The more research I do, the less confidence I have in Subaru as a brand. They seem neat and they offer a lot of features. And, the dealership experience was wonderful.

However, all I hear/read online when I say “Subaru” is “oil burning, headgasket-eating, CVT-destroying.”

My wife and I have been spoiled by our trouble-free car ownership. The CX-5 is seven-years-old with 69,000 miles and has only needed a TCM update and a liftgate lock adjustment. Other than that, it has just been normal maintenance.

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My Mazda6 has had brake issues but I have had that corrected. I had a trim piece on the trunk replaced under warranty and the driver’s seat upholstery was warrantied, as well. But, that’s it. No major mechanical bits have ever had hiccups.

My wife doesn’t like the CX-9. I’ve tried and tried to convince her and she just hates it. It feels “too low and too small.” Basically, it feels like a car and she doesn’t like that.

She adores the Subaru Ascent, and I liked it as well. It ticked all the boxes: safe, not bad looking, offers a wide variety of color choices (my wife loves the brown color), comfortable, etc.

But I don’t trust the Subaru in the reliability department. Major mechanical car problems, even with a warranty, disrupt life and are annoying to say the least.

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We drove a Highlander yesterday. Aside from being boring enough to put me to sleep and ubiquitous in our town, it was fine. The 2020 Highlander is a total redesign, so Toyota is offering good financing on the 2019s.

Please be advised: No minivan (per me). Nothing GM (per wife). Nothing German (per me - I like reliable cars). I’m also wary of FCA products in the reliability area, so we haven’t looked at a Durango. I guess we could drive one, but that gets exhausting because our local dealers are piranhas that won’t leave you alone.

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We looked at a Honda Pilot yesterday and my wife said it was “ugly.” I’m going to have her drive one anyway, though. We also plan to drive a Telluride, once they get one in stock.

At least there isn’t any pressure to buy now, since the CX-5 is okay and we are comfortable exploring options first. We do want to get out of it while its value is still high-ish, but we can drive my 6 more to keep the miles down on the CX-5.

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We don’t want to keep the CX-5, or should I say SHE doesn’t want to keep the CX-5. I think she is tired of it and is using its relative lack of space as an excuse. Which is fine. She works VERY hard at her job and she is the main breadwinner (a shot to my ego, but oh well), so she deserves what she wants. In her defense, her little sister (11-years-old) is with us a lot. So is her best friend (who has some mobility issues) and her five-year-old son. Add in our two-year-old son, and the CX-5 is at capacity. Watching them all exit it is a bit like watching a high number of clowns exit a Volkswagen Beetle. Once you add in our probable future second child, the CX-5 is over capacity.

Side note: Friend and her son don’t have access to a reliable vehicle at this time, which is why they don’t just drive themselves when my wife and them go places.

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Sorry to continue to blabber on about car buying, but that’s what Oppo is for - I think.