Tom K.

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@Philpug nailed it. He's actually seen it in action with 5 family members, plus stuff, plus 7-10 pair of skis, a dog, etc.

Sienna AWD does it COMFORTABLY (with a roof box and snow tires).

Absolutely the best ski car you can get for a family, without a doubt.
I already liked this, but I thought I'd also quote it because it is SO DARN TRUE!

As Mrs. K. says: "People that have owned a minivan continue to own minivans." No single vehicle covers a wider spectrum of use. And it even drives pretty well when you ditch the run-flats and replace them with UHP all seasons.

And everybody knows that the whole "minivans aren't cool" thing originated with the manufacturers, because, well, they'd rather sell you a $60,000 (70?) Esplanadahoedition, right?! :cool:
 

Philpug

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I already liked this, but I thought I'd also quote it because it is SO DARN TRUE!

As Mrs. K. says: "People that have owned a minivan continue to own minivans." No single vehicle covers a wider spectrum of use. And it even drives pretty well when you ditch the run-flats and replace them with UHP all seasons.

And everybody knows that the whole "minivans aren't cool" thing originated with the manufacturers, because, well, they'd rather sell you a $60,000 (70?) Esplanadahoedition, right?! :cool:
 

Varmintmist

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I already liked this, but I thought I'd also quote it because it is SO DARN TRUE!

As Mrs. K. says: "People that have owned a minivan continue to own minivans." No single vehicle covers a wider spectrum of use.
Pssst, Mrs.K is wrong. A minivan is like all season tires. Equally good for all things, which also means it is compromise for all things. I have driven vans, mini and heavy duty, at work for probably 25 of the years I worked at this place and when the kids were small we went with a mini van. It went down the road with the car seats. I dont like vans from mini to 3500 size.
 

Monique

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Everyone has preferences. That's why it's nice to have so many options.
 

Tom K.

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I dont like vans from mini to 3500 size.
As @Monique says above, everyone has preferences. We've had vans -- mini and maxi -- since 1987 and would never be without one, partly because we live in the Pacific Moistwest, and keeping the toys inside is SO nice.

Current stable includes a mini (Sienna AWD) and Sprinter, and we wouldn't be without either, for our needs.
 

Fishbowl

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The newer Subaru Outbacks aren't much different size than a Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer went from a truck frame to a car frame with the introduction of the 2011, and as a result, the interior space decreased significantly.

The Outback is plenty big enough for hauling my family (maybe someday it'll be 2 kids, 2 adults, but for now it's 1 kid and 1 adult). The issue that I'm having is that the second row folds down as a two part backseat unlike the explorer that is a 3 part seat. So, I either am juggling carseats (pain in the rear), trying to rest the skis on the backseat in a bag (makes vehicle prone to damage), or using a rack.

I'm fine with a roof rack for the skis, but wife is not. So I am looking at various compromise options.
I have a feeling my comments may be based on a older Outback model with less usable space? We purchased a Dodge Journey, mainly based on being the crossover with the most usable interior space and versatile seating. We have a family of four, which includes two teen girls, and found the interior JUST accommodated our needs. The roof rack held the skis and snowboards, with the back comfortably able to take four sets of boots, helmets, gloves, goggles, jackets, backpacks and a cooler. The Journey we had was pretty good in the snow for a FWD, but like you felt that an upgrade was in order with Subaru being the obvious choice to consider. My only previous experience in an Outback had been when my wife and I caught a ride down the canyon from Alta. We are very average people, but neither of us could sit in the back without our knees jammed into the seat backs. A few years later we got to rent an Outback for a ten day Utah skiing trip, and were very disappointed with the lack of usable cargo space. We also didn't like the way it handled, but that may be a personal opinion. Maybe the Outback could work with a family with young kids who travel light, but based on our two experinces it would never work for our family. Just not enough usable space. Given our experiences, if we need better winter driving cpabilities, I think we would buy the AWD Journey over the Outback.
 

Monique

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I have a feeling my comments may be based on a older Outback model with less usable space?
Yeah, I think so. My 6' husband and I both noticed that the front and rear seats have a ton more room (2008 vs 2018).

I don't think there's much gain with the rear seats in the upright position. There's more height in the cargo area, but that doesn't help with typical ferrying duties.
 

crgildart

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It's no coincidence that mini vans took off right around the time car seats became required for kids under age 8. I was looking at AWD mini vans in early 2000. There weren't many out there... Mazda had just stopped making the MPV in AWD. I ended up with a Trooper LS which was great, but if we would have needed 3 car seats instead of 2 there would have been no way in hell that beast would have been comfortable for everyone..
 

MantanaB6

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The newer Subaru Outbacks aren't much different size than a Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer went from a truck frame to a car frame with the introduction of the 2011, and as a result, the interior space decreased significantly.

The Outback is plenty big enough for hauling my family (maybe someday it'll be 2 kids, 2 adults, but for now it's 1 kid and 1 adult). The issue that I'm having is that the second row folds down as a two part backseat unlike the explorer that is a 3 part seat. So, I either am juggling carseats (pain in the rear), trying to rest the skis on the backseat in a bag (makes vehicle prone to damage), or using a rack.

I'm fine with a roof rack for the skis, but wife is not. So I am looking at various compromise options.
You need a roof box. I have a 2004 Audi S4 wagon with a Yakima Skybox 12. I often use it to transport 4 full size humans (5 has happened on occasion but comfort is sacrificed) to the ski hill. Skis/poles in the roof box, boots/bags in the back. Blizzak WS80 snow tires and I've never had any issues. The Outback is bigger than my old S4 so I can't imagine you'd have any issues either. Plus you can use the box in the summer. I can fit 2 bikes plus all camping gear/biking on the roof, then coolers, etc in the back and have plenty of room inside for me and the mrs. without feeling like the car is stuffed to the gills.
 

KingGrump

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You need a roof box. I have a 2004 Audi S4 wagon with a Yakima Skybox 12. I often use it to transport 4 full size humans
For a minute there, I interpreted the "it" as the roof box.
Was wondering whether you packed them lying straight with olive oil like sardines. :D
 

Lorenzzo

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For a minute there, I interpreted the "it" as the roof box.
Was wondering whether you packed them lying straight with olive oil like sardines. :D
It's large enough for him to stow all four in the box but if you stow the heads inside you can haul six.
 

MantanaB6

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For a minute there, I interpreted the "it" as the roof box.
Was wondering whether you packed them lying straight with olive oil like sardines. :D
I have very skinny friends. Then I can keep the skis warm in the car.
 

kimmyt

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We have a 2016 Outback with a roof box and two kids and spend plenty of time in our car. Both kids are in car seats, one is still rear facing, and we have no problems fitting all our gear in. The box is useful because you can shove other soft goods on top of skis, and much more useful for all season use (put all the tents etc up there for camping and you can keep the cooler and clothes in the car). Yeah, I could probably use a bigger car for long trips but it works just fine as it is and as the kids outgrow car seats it will just get better.
 

Blue Streak

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I got a Yakima Rocket box on top of my 2016 Outback. Plenty of room for me and 1 sixteen y.o. The most I had was me, 4 teenagers and all of our gear. It was a tight squeeze, I'm not going to lie, but we made it work.
Which model box?
 

Prosper

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We use our Sienna AWD minivan as our primary ski vehicle with a Yakima 21 Skybox. With our 5 kids we max out the van. Skis and poles go into the Skybox and everything else goes into the back. Sometimes if we don’t have the box on we’ll run the skis down the center of the van inside. Still plenty of room. Our main complaint with the Sienna AWD is the lack of a place for a spare. We had all sorts of problems with the run flat tires it came with and recommend for replacement. Due to the AWD there’s no place under the car for a spare. We carry a full sized spare in the back of the van which takes up some cargo space. We’ll never have run flat tires again. They’re terrible.
 

John O

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We have had a 2008 Outback and just upgraded to a 2018 Outback for pretty much the same reasons. It's ostensibly bigger, but not in any practical sense I can tell.
At first I thought to myself "really?", but then I saw you said:

My 6' husband and I both noticed that the front and rear seats have a ton more room (2008 vs 2018).
Totally agree. I have an '08 and the rear seat legroom sucks, frankly. It's the single reason why I want (and will eventually get) a new car. The newer generations are way better.
 

Monique

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At first I thought to myself "really?", but then I saw you said:

<what I said>

Totally agree. I have an '08 and the rear seat legroom sucks, frankly. It's the single reason why I want (and will eventually get) a new car. The newer generations are way better.
Sorry - what I meant by lack of space is that there is not that much additional space in the cargo area. The front and rear seating areas are much bigger, and I'll admit that even as a short person, I appreciate it.
 

Slim

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By upgrading from a Subaru Outback to a Ford Explorer.

You need room for people and gear, and even with a box, the Outback just doesn't have enough.
What are you bringing on a ski trip for 2 kids and 2 adults that an Outback with a roof box won’t hold?

Serious question. Maybe you are racing and bring gate setting gear, or a team tent and heater, maybe you are camping. Maybe all your family plays an instrument they like to bring.

We have taken our Impreza from northern MN to Steamboat, with a family, including kids still in giant car seats, brought alpine and XC skis for the adults, alpine skis for the kids, ski clothes, going out clothes, etc. still had room left over. And we only have the 12 cft box.
 
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crgildart

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Most places I ski have shuttle buses to take skiers from remote parking lots to the base lodge on crowded days when a good spot can't be had. Bus stops at the end of each overflow lot, usually around 100 yards from the car, put your skis in the tubes on the side.. Ride the bus right up to the base lodge. Not all that boot bag friendly though crammed in the bus like sardines.. Booting up at the car is preferable on crowded days.. but not a lot of walking required so there's that..

 
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