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 Post subject: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:49 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Some time between Thanksgiving and Christmas I was heading west on I-64 on a rainy, foggy night. I crossed the WV/KY border where one goes by a Marathon refinery plant. It's quite the display in the foggy rain, with towers spewing flames from the natural gas being burned off.

A few miles later it happened. I'm in a fat-assed Mercury Villager van going maybe 74 mph (via cruise control) to keep it going but not tempt a stop. And then there it was - a doe standing in the middle of the freakin highway, looking for love. Given the physics of the situation, I decided not to do anything cute. I ran into her, which normally would have meant just a smashed-up car. But noooo... she had to get stuck underneath my van. We pirouetted down the highway a hundred yards or so, and then up into the woods on a very wide median strip. The doe died. My van died. I walked away.

Ask me how easy it is to get a car rental in rural eastern Kentucky. They are some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet, but rural is rural. I did my best to eat as healthy as I could for a few days until finally a car rental got to me.

My decision for a replacement vehicle was already in my brain before we had Bambi meet Carzilla. I was hoping they'd bring the Subaru boxer diesel engine over to this side of the pond, but right now it's just the gasoline boxer engines. Subies have *standard* symmetrical AWD, and the boxer engine gives them an extremely low center of gravity. We've had a Forester and a WRX in the family (mom and son accordingly). My only decision was Outback or Legacy Sedan.

I chose the sedan. I got a great deal on a 2012 3.6R, which was the last on the lot. They gave me a deal I couldn't refuse (*under* invoice). It's what you can get when you are patient, love cars, and they know you'll talk them up.

It sort of looks like this. Black was my last choice for a color (due to summertime greenhouse effect) but I couldn't argue with the deal. My son wants to steal it from me.

Image

Below is the wrong color, but you get the idea of what mine looks like with the trunk lip spoiler and the XM radio "shark fin" antenna.

Image

The thing that sold me on this vehicle was a 540-mile trip (just one way) I must do every 8 weeks which brings me through the mountains of West Virginia. Doing the WV Turnpike in a waggapig mommy van is a white-knuckled exercise. These cars have AWD, low center, and an override manual transmission with on-the-wheel paddle shifters. All radio and bluetooth phone controls are on the steering wheel as well. A luxury item? Try having a friend call you on some of these roads, where you don't dare take your hands off the wheel.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to my next trip back - with a vehicle that can actually do an emergency avoidance maneuver at highway speeds.

Here's a video review of the vehicle.

Subaru Legacy 3.6R Video Review

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Bill Glasheen wrote:
And then there it was - a doe standing in the middle of the freakin highway, looking for love. Given the physics of the situation, I decided not to do anything cute. I ran into her,

You did the right thing Bill, usually hitting it is the safest decision. Even braking can increase your risk for injury, as sudden braking causes the front of the car to dip which can increase the chances of the deer being tossed upward by the collision and coming through the windshield. Hard to overcome that instinct to swerve or brake though.

My university has a storm-chasing unit led by a meteorology-climatology professor. At the start of each trip whoever is driving has to recite "hit it, hit it, hit it" before pulling out of the parking lot, meaning that if there is suddenly an animal in the road s/he will maintain a straight steady path and hit it rather than attempt to swerve out of the way or brake. A couple years ago one driver had to put that into practice when a deer suddenly appeared in front of them; the rest of the team was occupied by various chasing/planning activities and not really paying attention to the road in front of them, until they heard the driver say "I'm sorry" and looked up just in time to see the collision.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Nice wheels, Bill. Subaru one of my favorites. Family just bought a 2013 Impreza fully loaded. Quite the car for the price.

I would also consider window tints - prevents outside from seeing in, and contains shards should glass be broken.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:39 pm 
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And this to consider?
Quote:
I had an interesting conversation with a friend concerning thoughts about increased violence and tactics of the attackers. We're seeing an increase in violent attacks and carjackings. Many of them turn out to be drug related misunderstandings. Just the other day a suspect burst into a home fired off 3 shots from a "AK" and fled.

I think we may be due for something of a violent crime increase in the near future, even without any of the usual excuses like the economy. Recently gangs have been initiating road rage incidents by drifting into another lane, and when the victim taps the horn as a friendly note to avoid a collision, the gang begins tailgating. When the victim has to stop for a red light, the gang members get out and start banging on the car and threatening the occupants.

So far Ive heard of two separate incidents, each time the victim was able to get away without injury, by driving through the red light. The vehicles were different, but its hard to say if the suspects were the same or not.


I see far worse than this coming down the road, and not in the terribly distant future. Specifically, Third World-style "block road and rob occupants of stopped cars" ambushes. Robbery ambushes of this sort were common in Rhodesia. Im hearing from friends in the area that its also been happening in Phoenix already, to include kidnappings, and the not-so-occasional murder with a few incidents involving attacks on or from cars.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:55 pm 
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http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/legacy/2013/

What do you make of this, Bill?

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Concerning our local situation of Road Raging Youth Groups, I've advised my unarmed family and friends that the 3000lb car trumps a whole lot. I think a terrified victim would be better explaining how they tried everything to get away and the attacker wouldn't get out of the way, especially if the next stop was at a police station or a call to 911.

Where legal, TINT is an excellent idea for all the points mentioned. In the long run other vehicle mods like reinforced bumpers and the "new" run flat tires would be a good idea too.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:01 pm 
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prepared your chances are low so stay alert, know your routes and avenues of escape beforehand and plan accordingly.
•People that did not survive where those that when the bullets started flying they simply applied the brakes and took cover under the door of the car. So move and keep moving, know how to ram a car and have a strong enough vehicle.
•Most of today’s cars do to the way they are built they are concealment not cover.
•Those who moved out of the kill zone where followed and re-engaged, so be ready for a prolonged fight and have enough ammo, one mag will not cut it have as much as you can carry. Fanny packs make great vehicle holsters, they are on your person so they will not fly away or shift position in a collision, you can carry lots of mags and a BOK.
•When confronted by high volume of fire outside the kill zone most attackers disengaged.
•Many who survived the initial engagement died of their wounds so carry a BOK or trauma kit and know how to use it.
•Drug dealers with rifles in their trunks never had a chance to get to them and employ them, not enough time. If it is not on you or accessible when you are opening the door and exiting you are most likely not going to use it.
•Either you drive or shoot but not both, those that tried both ended up in crash and killed.
•Where driving glasses, glass will fly and it might impair your vision if it gets in your eye.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:03 pm 
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The problem I see with the airbag is that in a confrontation with rounds incoming you will duck your head close or to the side of the steering wheel so as to make a smaller target, you are in an ambush situation where things are measured in fractions of seconds, having an airbag go off close to my face, stunning and disorienting me is dangerous, losing 2 to 6 seconds means 4 to 12 rounds of incoming fire, I can become a still target and not a moving one. Depending on the situation, volume of fire and many other factors you might have to ram your adversary or an object in the way, causing it to deploy. Does this mean that everybody should disable it? I think it depends on where you live/operate, are you a target or might be confused with one and many other factors, so I say it is a personal decision. I rather have front airbags disabled.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Here's is your car gun, BillImage

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Location: Somerville, ma.
Van Canna wrote:
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I think it depends on where you live/operate, are you a target or might be confused with one and many other factors, so I say it is a personal decision. I rather have front airbags disabled.


That's pretty dubious given the relative risk of dying in a regular old car accident.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:15 pm 
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I agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
Van Canna wrote:
http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/legacy/2013/

What do you make of this, Bill?


Well the reviews are all over the place, so I take each with a grain of salt.

Edmunds wrote:
Cons

Weak base stereo; unimpressive six-cylinder fuel economy and acceleration.

Well any base stereo is weak, hence the strong aftermarket.

In my last vehicle I ripped everything out and had a custom system built in it. Alpine stereo with XM radio, bluetooth, subwoofer built (hidden) into the back wheel well, etc. The place that put it together to my specifications was so excited about the result that they asked to hold on to my van for a few days to show other customers.

The vehicle I got - under cost by the way - had a 440 watt Harmon Kardon stereo system with XM radio and bluetooth. I have no complaints. The speakers aren't the best, but they're good enough for most. And as an FYI... If you do long trips across remote areas, both bluetooth and XM are a blessing. I have friends who keep me company with phone calls, and I never lose a radio signal.

The six-cylinder economy isn't the best. But it's better than average, requires only regular gas, is naturally aspirated, and doesn't have any hybrid electronics. It's built to last a very long time, and be relatively inexpensive to operate over the long run. All factors need to be taken into account when considering "economy." I thought about the 4-cylinder engine, but I feared it straining on the hills of West Virginia.

The 4-cylinder engine had unimpressive acceleration, but not the six. I'm not sure what the reviewer was smoking when writing this article. I have to be very gentle on the gas in town. The car gets up to speed - and beyond - very fast without even coming close to pushing it.

There are other things to consider here. I don't look at peak torque and peak power ratings. The last in fact is bogus. Torque is what pushes you back in your seat. And ideally you want that torque to be flat across the RPM band. Very few vehicles do this. Electrics do by nature, but right now the battery technology hasn't matured. Diesels have very broad torque curves - and at low RPM - but Subaru has elected not to bring their boxer turbodiesel engine over to this side of the pond. So if you want push-back-in-your-chair acceleration over a broad RPM range, you pretty much have to go with the horizontal 6. It does fine.

Also... Not even considered in this or most reviews is the lateral performance of the vehicle. I like to see slalom run stats and max lateral g-forces for how the vehicle will behave in spirited driving. Quarter mile speeds just tell you how quickly you'll get a ticket. The ability to do an emergency avoidance maneuver with confidence or take a tight turn is something that drivers appreciate. Subaru's boxer engine design and AWD puts it in a class by itself. So in terms of every day drivability, I'll take what the 3.6R offers.

Finally... what this and many reviews don't consider are other factors like safety and reliability. Subaru maxes out on all the IIHS safety ratings. And these vehicles are built to be driven hard. The civilian vehicles borrow from the WRX STI rally car heritage. That video review shows you just a hint of the ability to "drift" safely on loose surfaces. Just as an example of how extreme this can get, this video is worth a look.

Ken Block - Gymkhana One

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Quote:
"The optional 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine in the Legacy I drove had more than enough oomph to power up icy, high-altitude mountains without complaining. Its acceleration was quick and responsive." -- Cars.com

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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:07 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
As they say, there's no substitute for cylinders and displacement.

Subaru has a nice line of turbocharged horizontal 4s like my son's WRX or the rally car WRX STI. There's no mistaking the "oomph" in these vehicles. But you and the neighborhood both know when you step on it. I personally don't like attracting attention to myself. I kinda like my driver's license. So sleeper works just fine for me. ;-)

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Bambi meets Carzilla
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:19 am 
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Nice car, no questions about it, all the way around.

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