“Turbocharged Taskmaster”


Last weekend I went vehicle shopping, but since then, I have been very sick (and have gotten sicker being allergic to my meds). I have only been going to doctor visits in my new car with two stops to take a few photos. Sorry for the longer delays on GWGT. So how about car shopping… It was fun.

It became a rather moving moment since I have been a loyal Jeep owner since my teens, eventually owning the top-of-the-line Jeep Overland that I bought new in 2007.  The Overland has luxury, yet is a heavy-duty, hard-working Jeep in the family of a 75 year Jeep line. But after 10 years of loving my Jeep, it was time to scale down and sell my reliable old friend.


So what did I replace it with? Surprisingly, a Subaru Forester 2.0XT.  Subaru really is a fun car to drive.  I first test drove the Forester Limited, a capable little car.

My 4×4 Jeep had a V8 Hemi engine with loads of power when needed and I knew it would be hard to get similar power in a small crossover vehicle.

What was great about the Overland in 2007 was it really was pretty good on gas at over 26 miles highway and 18 miles in the city. The Hemi backed off to a V6 or V4 with a Multi-Displacement System-cylinder deactivation (new Chrysler technology in 2005). The Quadra trac II, 4-wheel drive became rear wheel drive most of the time (like a RWD with a power-assist front axle), only dedicating power to wheels when needed. The Overland was a complex vehicle with all the new technology. Do I lose technology in the Subaru? No, it has its bells and whistles too.


So how was my first Subaru test drive? Not as bad as I expected. The car actually had some pep when blending into fast-moving traffic from a highway on-ramp. It has Symmetrical AWD all the time, which surprised me. The Subaru symmetry is supposedly very efficient and puts power down to all four wheels all the time for maximum traction, balance and control. Winters here will tell me if all the hoopla of not getting stuck is true. Can this small, all-wheel drive SUV handle the worst winter can dish out? Sure to find out.

Funny … my husband opened the rear hatch and the first thing he said was I could still get in my bags of “top soil”. He was thinking of me…

Being silver, my biggest fear is not finding it in a sea of silver SUVs in a parking lot. I wanted green, but this model did not come in green.

I have to admit, the Subaru had me almost laughing my head off though. When I put the petal down on the Limited for that quick burst of speed, the car let me know I was asking it to accelerate. It responded with ” rrrrrrrrrrr, vroom, vroom, vroom”. I all but lost it laughing. It was like it was telling me, “Look at me go, I am really speedy.”

After I got back to the dealership, I knew this would happen every time I did highway driving. My husband was along on the ride and started laughing at it too. It was hysterical. Vroom, vroom, vroom, just like in the cartoons.


So now what? I told the salesmen that I was hoping for a bit more power and he suggested the XT, a turbo-charged Subaru. My husband and I snickered a bit imagining a sports-car Subaru. I owned a Nissan Turbo 300 ZX, 50th Anniversary car (shown below when I first got it) which I sold ten years ago (I also had a Jeep in the garage too).

The Nissan was really fast, so again all I could wonder was how quick was a Subaru?

To my surprise, the XT was a speedy little car, very capable of highway driving, and best of all, no vroom, vroom, vroom.

But, you would think this was the end of the cartoon saga. Nope. My husband opened the hood and the quiet engine sounded like hamsters on a wheel, little feet clicking along. Again we looked at each other and had a laugh. You can bet I won’t be opening the hood much. Those old cartoons really looked to reality to make us laugh.

I know I like this car, but I doubt I will ever feel the same rush as in my Jeep. Both vehicles have a cult following, but the Jeep made me feel like I owned the road in every weather condition it faced. Maybe someday I will join the “Subie” cult after it sees its first snow. On Friday, my Subaru took plants to our garden club’s perennial sale. It certainly did not take very long for it to haul plants, just like my Jeep!


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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22 Responses to “Turbocharged Taskmaster”

  1. Enjoy the new car! Hope you feel better.

  2. swo8 says:

    I hate shopping for a car. It is one of the worst things for me to do. You seem to have made a good choice, Donna.
    Hope you’re feeling better.

  3. Hope you are felling better….we love Subies especially because how they do in our very snowy weather….hope you enjoy it too!

  4. I hope you are feeling much much better!
    Must have been hard giving up your old Jeep! Coincidentally, last week we changed our 27 year old car for a new one [yeah, it was about time! 😉 ] and it felt really sad!
    May your new Subie faithfully[!] take you to lots of beautiful places safely. 🙂

    • It still is hard knowing the Jeep is not in the driveway. I hope you have a safe and fun new car. 27 years is a long time to have a car. I had the Nissan 20 years. Thanks Marina, I am finally get over this recent bronchial illness. I had the same illness in Seattle, got better, then days laters was really sick. I am on antibiotics so I guess they are working after almost two weeks.

  5. alesiablogs says:

    Looks like a beauty! And all the laughing you and your husband did — well that alone made me smils! Feel better.

  6. I’m glad you had so much fun shopping for a car. For me, it’s such an ordeal. It’s something we try to do only every ten years or so.

  7. Steve Jones says:

    Hi Donna, I hope you are feeling better, I know all about allergies to prescription meds, I sympathise with you.

  8. A new car! Now, that is fun. But I hope you won’t need to drive to the doctor’s office much anymore. Take care!

  9. Congratulations on your new car – hope you feel better!

  10. debsgarden says:

    So sorry you have been unwell. It is discouraging how often our meds actually make us sick! Get better soon!
    When i purchased a new car three years ago, I had two major requirements: excellent gas milage and plenty of space to haul plants and other garden stuff. I ended up with a Prius V, the new larger Prius with lots of hauling space. I had to get accustomed to a variety of strange sounds. I love my Prius, but I still am not used to the sound it make when I am in reverse. it sounds just like a warehouse forklift!

    • Thank you, Deb. It t is funny how important hauling plants is to gardeners. My Jeep was great for that. A Prius is a nice car. My friend Carolyn has one. I would have had to get used to that car too. So quiet when going forward. The Subaru beeps a lot since it has Eye Sight. That takes getting used to as well.

  11. Good luck with the new car! I hope it will get along with the snow next winter. Glad to hear that you don’t have to stand this vroom, vroom … any more! :-)) Well, the hamsters … I know. But it won’t happen very often, I suppose.

    Sorry to hear that you feel sick, Donna! I hope it will change soon!
    Sending you a lot of get-well wishes!

    • Thank you so much. Today was the first day I felt better and actually got out on the garden. I really can’t believe how quiet the engine is when running. I can picture an army of hamsters when it goes fast.

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