Trading Mercedes GLC 300e to Subaru Outback

One may think that Mercedes-Benz 300e plug-in hybrid would be near a dream car. At least performance figures with massive torque would imply so. However numbers won’t tell the whole truth always. There are cases when a full electric car has been traded back to gasoline car and now plug-in Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e is going to change to Subaru Outback 2021. Let’s check this case a little bit closer and ask the owner what’s going on!

Mercedes GLC 300e 2021Subaru Outback 2021
Power155 kW + 90 kW124 kW
Torque700 Nm252 Nm
Fuel consumption (combined)1,7 l/100km8,6 l/100km
Turning circle11,8 meters11,0 meters
Trunk size395 liters1822 liters
0-100km/h5,7 seconds10,2 seconds
Ground clearance14,75 cm21,3 cm

1. Please introduce yourself
I will soon be a retiring man from Northern Finland, Lapland, where I was born and lived. My wife and I live in Rovaniemi.

2. What is your current car
Mercedes Benz GLC 300e, Model 2021, plug-in hybrid, petrol.

3. How long you have owned it and how much you driven with it
The car was taken into use on 4 January 2021 and the kilometers are now just over 3,000

4. Is the AWD permanent or does it engage on demand when needed
The car has a continuous four-wheel drive, the Mercedes branding for it is 4Matic

5. How long distances you can drive with electric only
When the car was taken into use in early January, it was pretty cold, even colder than -20 degrees, at that time the car used more gasoline and less electricity. Now that it is warmer, driving with a full battery is about 40 km, which is enough for a day’s work trip.

6. Are public charging stations easy to use and are they available when needed
 I have charged the car only at home, from a normal schuko socket, which takes about 6 hours to charge. I haven’t even figured out where in this town the battery could be charged and how efficient charging stations would be available.

7. Your top 3 of the best features of the car
Quiet, stable drive, preheating option with remote control.

8. What is the most annoying feature of the car
Considering the price range, it lacks the amenities I’m used to, a heated steering wheel, a fully electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory. If I had ordered those amenities for a car, it would have cost too much, those should already be included in that price.

9. You decided to trade Mercedes to the 2021 Subaru Outback just after 5 months of ownership, why?
The next section explains the biggest reason, namely trust in Subaru. And the fact that I get a cheaper car with all the equipment I can imagine I need. And to some extent, I wonder if I can afford to keep aging out of Mercedes.

And it’s not very good either, when you go on a longer trip, so the battery power is enough for the first 40 kilometers, after that the discharged battery is just a ballast, I don’t know how much fuel the Mercedes consumes.

In addition, the Outback’s space is larger, there wasn’t very much space left in the Mercedes’s back cabin when I tried to put in the dog cage I had in my previous Outback.

The wife also wants Subaru back.

10. Have you owned any other Subarus before this upcoming new Outback
The first Subaru I bought was in 1988, it was a Leone 1.6 DL, front-wheel drive. I drove 250 thousand kilometers for 10 years. Carefree, reliable car.

Confidence in Subaru laid a solid foundation. The first 4-wheel drive was a Subaru Legacy I bought in 1998, I switched to a Legacy in 2003. In each of these kilometers, I managed to get a little over 100,000.

In 2007 I bought a 2.5 turbo Forester, I drove it for 7 years, roughly about 120 thousand kilometers. Turbo switched to 2.0 CVT Forester in 2014, which I liked, CVT seemed to work well.

In 2017 I switched to the Outback Summit model, i.e. 2.5 petrol engine and CVT, a nice and spacious car. The Outback seemed to get lower consumption readings, apparently a larger, more torsional engine with a CVT gearbox worked more economically than the 2.0 Forester.

All Subarus I bought as new.

11. Why Outback and not e.g. XV or Forester
The more ample space in the Outback and anyway, I like a station wagon-shaped high ground clearance car more than, for example, the Forester, which is more SUV-shaped.

12. Outback is with traditional natural aspirated engine. Any thoughts about the engine
Well, of course the turbo could be more fun sometimes, but since the fuel consumption would be higher, it eats up the fun.

13. Have you test driven new Outback already, how was it to drive
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an opportunity to try that novelty, but I’m confident that Outback hasn’t gotten worse, based on the articles I’ve read, it has improved. So I dared to order something like “pig in a poke”

14. What are the major differences between trim levels
There seem to be good features in the most affordable model.

For example, the things listed under safety are exactly the same on all models, and the EyeSight features are all the same on all models. Same under driveability features. In the most expensive Touring model, more entertainment and navigation has been added to the sound system, e.g. Harman-Kardon speakers and more than in more affordable models. The air conditioning is the same in all. Comfort, e.g. the heated steering wheel is on all models. The nappa leather seats, the way I wanted, are only in the Touring model, and these are what I wanted, and just in Java Brown, which is why I took that most expensive model. The electrically adjustable glass sunroof is only available on the Touring model. The memory of the driver’s seat adjustments is, I understand, only in the Touring model. Opening the hands free tailgate is not the cheapest model.

I have to say that even the cheapest model would have been enough for me, but I both wanted to pay extra for those amenities and the luxury of Nappa leather, but still the car is much cheaper than Mercedes. Lack of a heated steering wheel during winters is a big minus and also it was difficult to operate infotainment with gloves on during cold weathers.

In Mercedes, I would have liked red-black leather benches, the package would have made several thousand more euros.

15. What do you think about the infotainment system. It has big screen and less physical knobs. Still functional?
I liked the display of the previous Outback and the separate controls. The new Outback has a bigger display and when there are still separate mechanical controls for air conditioning, for example, that’s a great thing.

16. What you think about Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD and when do you need it most
Throughout my life, I’ve found that every winter here in the north, you have some slipperiness and AWD stabilizes the go. And then when I want to go further north and away from the main road, on a road that hasn’t necessarily been plowed just yet, Subaru’s AWD is the one I’m used to relying on.

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