Subaru has long been known for producing reliable and rugged vehicles, and the 2023 Subaru Ascent is no exception. With its spacious interior, advanced safety features, and impressive off-road capability, the Ascent is an ideal choice for families and adventure-seekers alike.
Interior and Comfort:
One of the standout features of the 2023 Ascent is its spacious interior. With three rows of seating and room for up to eight passengers, the Ascent is perfect for larger families or groups. The second-row seats can also be configured as captain’s chairs, providing additional comfort and space. And with 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, even adults will have plenty of legroom and headroom.
The Ascent also comes standard with a variety of comfort features, including tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The Limited and Touring trims offer even more luxury features, such as leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.
Performance and Capability:
The 2023 Ascent is powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, making it capable of handling rough terrain and inclement weather. The Ascent also has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is higher than most competitors in its class.
But the Ascent’s true off-road capability comes from its X-Mode system. X-Mode optimizes the vehicle’s throttle, transmission, and all-wheel drive system for maximum traction and control on slippery surfaces. And with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the Ascent can easily haul a small camper or trailer.
Safety and Technology:
The 2023 Ascent comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology, which includes features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. It also comes with a rearview camera, and higher trims offer additional safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
In terms of technology, the Ascent comes with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims offer an 8-inch touchscreen and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
What Others Are Saying:
According to Car and Driver, “The 2023 Subaru Ascent is a solid choice in the crowded mid-size three-row SUV market, offering ample interior space, solid performance, and standard all-wheel drive.” Edmunds also praises the Ascent’s “spacious and practical interior,” and notes that “its standard all-wheel-drive system and respectable ground clearance make it a competent option for those who venture off the beaten path.”
Overall, the 2023 Subaru Ascent is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a spacious and capable SUV. Its comfortable interior, impressive performance, and advanced safety features make it a top pick in its class. And with its off-road capabilities, it’s the perfect vehicle for adventure-seekers who want to explore beyond the pavement.
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent compact SUV with versatile features and impressive performance. It is a popular choice for drivers who value fuel efficiency, cargo space, and affordability. In this review, we will delve into its design, safety features, performance, and customer feedback.
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek has a rugged yet sleek design with a bold front grille and stylish headlights. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with ample legroom and cargo space. It features modern technology, including a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is equipped with advanced safety features, including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking. It has been awarded a 5-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek offers impressive performance with its standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. It also has a smooth and responsive continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that delivers power to all four wheels. The Crosstrek has been praised for its fuel efficiency, achieving up to 34 mpg on the highway.
Customers have praised the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek for its combination of style, affordability, and versatility. Many have noted its excellent handling in various weather conditions, including snow and rain. However, some have found the engine to be underpowered, especially when driving on steep hills.
Overall, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent compact SUV that delivers impressive performance, safety, and versatility. It is a top choice for drivers who value fuel efficiency, cargo space, and affordability.
The 2023 Subaru Outback is a rugged and versatile crossover that’s perfect for drivers who need a vehicle that can handle anything. With its standard all-wheel-drive, generous ground clearance, and advanced safety features, the Outback is an excellent choice for families, adventurers, and anyone in between. In this review, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the 2023 Outback, covering its design, interior features, safety, performance, and customer reviews.
Design and Exterior Features: A Bold and Adventurous Look
The 2023 Subaru Outback features a bold and adventurous look that sets it apart from other crossovers. Its high ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive make it ideal for off-road adventures, while its rugged cladding and muscular lines give it a tough and capable look. Other exterior features include roof rails, LED headlights, and available 18-inch alloy wheels.
Interior and Comfort: Spacious and High-Tech
Inside, the 2023 Outback offers a spacious and high-tech cabin that prioritizes comfort and convenience. Its 8.7 inches of ground clearance allow for easy entry and exit, while its standard SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration keep drivers connected on the go. Other interior features include available heated front and rear seats, a power panoramic moonroof, and an available 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.
Safety Features: Spacious and High-Tech
Subaru is known for its advanced safety features, and the 2023 Outback is no exception. It features the EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic pre-collision braking. Other safety features include Blind-Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Reverse Automatic Braking.
Performance and Driving Experience: Capable and Efficient
Under the hood, the 2023 Outback features a choice of two engines: a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque, or an available 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that provides smooth and efficient power delivery. The Outback’s standard all-wheel-drive system and advanced suspension make it a joy to drive on both paved roads and off-road terrain.
Customer Reviews: What Other Drivers are Saying
Drivers have been impressed with the 2023 Subaru Outback’s combination of ruggedness, versatility, and safety features. Many have praised its spacious interior, advanced safety features, and reliable performance. Customers have also noted its fuel efficiency, with an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
Conclusion: Is the 2023 Subaru Outback Worth the Investment?
Overall, the 2023 Subaru Outback is a top choice in the crossover market, offering a well-rounded package of features, performance, and value. Its rugged and versatile design, spacious and high-tech interior, advanced safety features, and choice of two capable engines make it an excellent choice for families, adventurers, and anyone in between. With positive customer reviews and a strong reputation for reliability, the Outback is a smart investment for anyone in the market for a new crossover.
The 2023 Subaru Forester is a popular compact SUV that offers plenty of space, comfort, and safety features, making it an excellent choice for families, commuters, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Several experts and car enthusiasts have had the opportunity to test drive and review the Forester, and here is what they had to say:
According to Car and Driver, the 2023 Subaru Forester offers an excellent blend of practicality, capability, and value. They were impressed by the Forester’s roomy interior, which provides plenty of space for passengers and cargo. They also praised the Forester’s standard all-wheel-drive system, which makes it an excellent choice for drivers who live in areas with inclement weather.
MotorTrend also gave the 2023 Forester a positive review, highlighting its smooth and efficient power delivery and its comfortable ride. They also noted that the Forester’s infotainment system is easy to use and comes standard with several desirable features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Kelley Blue Book named the 2023 Subaru Forester one of their Best Family Cars for 2023. They praised the Forester’s spacious and comfortable interior, advanced safety features, and excellent resale value. They also noted that the Forester is a reliable and versatile vehicle that can handle a variety of driving conditions.
In addition to expert reviews, several Subaru Forester owners have shared their experiences with the vehicle. Many owners have praised the Forester for its safety features, including Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system, which they say provides an added sense of security on the road. Other owners have praised the Forester for its spacious interior, which makes it an excellent choice for families with children or pets.
Overall, the 2023 Subaru Forester is a highly rated compact SUV that offers excellent value, reliability, and safety features. Whether you’re looking for a practical and efficient daily driver or a versatile and capable outdoor adventure vehicle, the Forester is an excellent choice.
When covering the Subaru racing team, two names stand out: Travis Pastrana and Brandon Semenuk.
A five-time national rally champion with Subaru and one of the world’s best-known action sports athletes, Pastrana returned to the 2020 American Rally Association (ARA) season. Brandon Semenuk, a Canadian rally driver and freerides mountain bike legend, joined Travis Pastrana for their full season of SUBARU 2020 U.S. rally competition.
First of all, their rally cars, instead of keeping the Subaru stock engine, the engine used in this is the same as their rallycross engines, around 600-700 bhp. The only thing comparable to a stock motor is MAYBE the block castings, but even they will have been reworked.
First, each vehicle’s interior is stripped bare. The body shell is lightened and fully seam-welded for added strength. No boost limiters, no cooling restrictions, nothing. The engine is putting out 700+ horsepower in that trim, even at high altitude. The engine makes roughly 900 horsepower before the restrictor at something like 60+ PSI of boost. Those engines are completely bonkers.
Amazing to watch: Launch Control: Hindsight is 2020 – Episode 8.1
When we left Marathon, Texas on September 27, 2020, we expected to be in Del Rio, Texas in 3 hours. Instead, after 1 hour of driving, we stopped the car, first in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert, and another hour later, at Judge Roy Bean’s original “Opera House/Town Hall”, Law West of the Pecos.
Our original plan for the day was to drive 3 hours non-stop so we could have time to do some sightseeing in Del Rio. Amistad National Recreation Area, Val Verde Winery, and Whitehead Memorial Museum looked good in pictures. Also, as a border town, I assumed the commercial areas in Del Rio would be interesting to explore.
The highway from Marathon to Del Rio is incredibly clean and scenic. So clean and white, I tried to put my sunglasses on and realized that I had them on already. At the end of September, the Chihuahua Desert did not look anything close to a desert. Instead, you could see an ocean of pink flowers, covering layers of mountains, near and far. The colors were so vibrant and impressive, and the thought of all these flowers being native and wild made us in awe.
We had to pull over the car to have a closer look at the natural beauty, which could be once of our lifetime of being in the Chihuahua Desert in September, during the blooming season of the pink flowers. Even today, I still don’t know the name of these plants. But I am glad I seized and enjoyed the moment on September 27.
We resumed our journey, still thinking of visiting some sites in Del Rio.
Judge Roy Bean Museum
When we were about 1 hour from Del Rio, my husband saw a road sign “Judge Roy Bean Museum” and decided to pay a visit. I went along with him, thinking to myself that it should be a good place for a bathroom break 🙂
The visitor center is absolutely a hidden jewel on Highway 90, in between Del Rio and the Big Bend National Park. When it was first opened in the 60s, there used to be 400,000 visitors per year and the center reached its peak with Paul Newman’s movie portraying the legendary judge/bartender. And then a new highway changed everything. Nowadays, there are only about 40,000 visitors to stop by each year. With the current Covid 19 pandemic, there are even fewer people visiting. But all the facilities were kept clean and the ground was kept nice. The employees there were very friendly and helpful. It is worth to pay a visit there.
The opera house
What I found intriguing the way that Judge Roy Bean had a peculiar way to dispense hard liquor and harsh justice in Langtry, Texas around 1880. He fantasized and idolized an English actress until the day he died. He named his residence “Opera House” in honor of this actress, who he never got to meet in person while he was alive. And he even named the town after this actress, who eventually paid a visit to Langtry, after his death. Jersey Lilly Langtry, the English actress, Roy Bean’s idol, was quoted to say: I am happy as happiness goes, for a woman who has so many memories and who lives the lonely life of an actress.
I wonder what she really thought after visiting a town bearing her last name.
By the time we finally got to Del Rio, it was dinner time. We ordered some Thai food and called it a day, a day full of spontaneous decisions and wonderful encounters. Sometimes, no plan or “off the plan” could turn out to be the best plan.
Mayser was established in Ulm, Germany in 1800. Maker of hats of high quality fabrics.
This beanie is arm and comfortable, soft, and tender to your skin, it is 100% cashmere! High-quality wool, it is hand-made in Italy in a classic style. It is a bit pricey but for the quality and luxurious-feel craftsmanship, it is worth the cost.
Adding a definite air of class to any outfit, it goes with everything you choose to wear. Nothing is better than cashmere if you can afford it.
Suixtil Men’s Cashmere & Wool Beanie Bonnet
Suixtil story starts in 1930s Argentina. Its founder, M.S. Rudman was a revered gentlemen’s outfitter in Buenos Aires. He also happened to be a passionate motorsports fan.
Outstanding beanie! Inspired by the early flying and racing helmets, it is very comfortable, great under the bike helmet for crisp morning rides, or just wearing to and from the vehicle going to work.
Woven in a super soft luxurious mix of 30% cashmere and 70% sheep wool, Wool keeps the sweat smell away nicely even after exercising on long hikes or rides.
It is nice and soft, warm yet breathable. Just the right size to resist the high winds without squeezing your head too much. High winds will not dislodge it.
Goggles in intarsia in contrast colors look stylish and cool.
Stetson Wool Cashmere Beanie Hat Men
Stetson is a brand of hat manufactured by the John B. Stetson Company. Founded in 1865, John B. Stetson headed west and created the original “cowboy” hat of the pioneering American West.
Made in Italy, 70% virgin wool and 30% cashmere. This hat is bombproof. It is extremely well-made and will no doubt keep you warm in cold weather and it is comfortable to wear without overheating even if the weather is not so cold. It is tightly woven yet very breathable. It is 100% pure wool. It would keep you warm even when wet.
New wool enriched with cashmere fibers makes this hat cozy and creates a cuddly, soft feel. The wool is obviously of high quality with a very tight and snug weave while remaining pliable enough to fold and contour to your head and ears. Wonderful hat for cold weather! It is dense boiled wool and is very well-made.
40 Colori is a family-owned Made in Italy men’s accessories brand, using top materials and those artisanal techniques that have allowed Italian craftsmanship to excel over the years.
This 100% cashmere luxurious hat is also Made in Italy, a smart Italian product for uncompromising men, crafted by Italian “Artigiani” with the highest quality materials, traditional production techniques.
The design is timeless. The hat fits great and feels nice and soft. Great product.
Moncler is a luxury fashion brand mostly known for its skiwear. Founded in 1952 by René Ramillon and André Vincent, Moncler took its name from the abbreviation of Monestier-de-Clermont, an Alpine town near Grenoble, France. The brand was bought by the Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini in 2003, who listed the company on the stock exchange in 2013.
This oversized wool hat has Moncler patch in front. Nice and soft, this is the kind of hat you buy for hiking, camping, or when it is zero outside.
The cap is well-made, warm, and snug-fitting.
It’s so generously long that folded up, it covers easily from the bottom of your ears to the top, providing two layers where they are most needed.
The most important part is that the hat is stylish. If you are image-conscious, this is a hat for you.
100% wool, made in Italy! It is Gucci! With leather trademark detail on front, this burgundy blue wool hat is warm yet is breathable. You can wear it indoors without burning up due to breathability, while at the same time keeping warm.
This hat looks great and the rich colors suggest quality.
The wool is fairly thin, making it lightweight, but still warm enough to be a 3-season hiking hat or good for activity in the winter, perfect for cool mornings and evenings.
It fits so well and is really comfortable. Very well made, warm but not bulky.
DSQUARED2 is a luxury Italian brand established in Milan, Italy in 1996.
The founders are two brothers: Dean and Dan Caten. Originally from Toronto, Canada, the twin brothers moved to Milan, Italy in 1991, where they worked as designers for Versace and denim brand Diesel. And in 1996, they launched DSQUARED2.
Celebrities, such as Maddona, Christina Aguilera, have worked with the twins.
This hat is a classic winter hat and their designs have been worn by Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Nicolas Cage and Lenny Kravitz.
On September 27, 2020, our visit to the Big Bend National Park area was over. It was time to go back to Houston.
Our adjusted plan was to drive 8 hours straight home because we had some unexpected experience at our Airbnb stay in San Antonio, which was our place to catch breath coming to Big Bend. Please read my article about what happened in San Antonio if you are interested: https://subaholics.com/san-antonio-2/
An eight hour driving in a day is intimidating nowadays for us. We are more used to an easy lifestyle. I decided to book a hotel room in Del Rio, which is three hours from Big Bend and five hours from Houston. As soon as the decision was made, I felt relieved immediately.
It turned out to be a good decision.
Pay a Visit to the Famous Gage Hotel
Before leaving Marathon, not only did we have time to enjoy our homemade breakfast at our adobe home, but also we got to pay a visit to the famous Gage Hotel.
It is very impressive to find a 100-year-old 5-star hotel in a remote town with only 500 population. The hotel has gone ups and downs with the passage of time. It was built on the speculation of big growth and was almost abandoned for a period of time, reduced to empty hallways and dusty rooms. And now the hotel has been remodeled and refurbished by the Texas State founder’s descendants, partly for business development and partly out of a sense of love and responsibility.
The hotel is doing really well, fully booked most of the time. Quite a few celebrities have lodged there. Wild West, the famous novel, was penned in the hotel…
In the Big Bend National Park, nature is so overpowering and a person feels subdued easily. However, the very presence of Gage Hotel, the refined and somewhat compulsive perfection is human’s manifest in front of the broad wildness. For over 100 years, the hotel has been almost single-handedly representing the civilized world conversing with the broad wildness. That somewhat eccentric spirit is touching…
Well, I was going to write about our journey from Marathon, Texas to Del Rio, Texas today, but I got sidetracked by writing about our tour of the Gage Hotel.
Well, I promise that I will write about our trip from Marathon to Del Rio and our visit to Judge Roy Bean’s original saloon.
This good quality warm mummy sleeping bag comes with a compression sack, handy to compress it into your pack for a multi-day back-country trip. There are three straps to keep it tightened down. There are two sacks with the package and the larger one makes the folding even easier. But the smaller one takes up less space. Packing and rolling it up is a breeze. It can compress up very small which is nice.
Impressive right out of the box; it feels and handles like a down sleeping bag.
Soft material makes less noise than lower quality polyester. The material of this bag is really good and the zippers are strong. As for the temperature, it keeps you very warm. You save weight and space without sacrificing comfort from the cold. The materials are lightweight and well constructed and can be machine washed, also includes a 5-year warranty.
The size of the sleeping bag is huge, really roomy for an average adult woman and big enough for a 6 ft man. It does not feel confining and moves with your body. The vent on the side is a good feature and helps regulate the temperature. The hood keeps your camping pillow securely under your head, unlike some sleeping bags spitting your pillow out. The lower foot portion is not too tight like most mummy style bags. There are actually 2 separate elastic pull cords, one over the chest, and second over the head. The plastic part is secured in the bag so it doesn’t get tangled or stuck in some uncomfortable spot while you sleep. That’s really nice.
Light and easy to pack, a great bag for wet and damp environments. The synthetic material dries fast and keeps you warm and comfortable in a winter camping. The high-quality material provides sufficient padding comfort yet is breathable and water-resistant. The filling feels even and the cover feels very soft and comfortable to the skin.
The zipper is of good quality without any issues which is usually the first downfall to most sleeping bags. The stitching and design appear to be well made. The double zipper makes this sleeping bag really good. The shoulder strap is a good feature, by which you can tighten and “seal” yourself in the bag. It is a must for someone who needs extra protection and warmth for the neck and shoulder. There is extra filling underneath the feet area too.
The size is good for a 6 ft tall person, who can sleep comfortably without feeling cramped.
It is extremely lightweight and compact for easy storing. Comparing it with the other name brands, this one’s quality is equivalent to those. Its a fraction of the price of most other brands with the same rating.
Pretty easy to pack back into the carry bag and maintains its form.
This is a fine bag for car-camping, moto camping, or short backpacking trips on a budget. Warm, affordable, and awesome value.
It’s cute. It’s comfortable. It packs up small and lightweight.
The first time I heard the name Marfa was four years ago. A young colleague did an article for our internal monthly newsletter and mentioned a weekend in Marfa Texas, the new hyped art hub in West Texas. Back then I did not realize how far Marfa is from Houston and how small Marfa is in terms of population (about 2000) and physical size. The city itself consists of just a few city blocks.
Instagram snapshots have helped Marfa to quickly rise to this mythic status. You see all kinds of peoples’ posing in front of the art installation of Prada Store, the smallest Target in the world, and the movie site of Giant…I knew in theory that all these art displays are a few miles away from each other, but once I was in Marfa, I was dumbfounded finding out how far away all these hot spots were in different directions from Marfa’s city center. I guess it was the very concept of “snuggling art in a vast expanse of the desert”. Art is part of the landscape. The broad nature is the canvas of the compositions.
Instagram snapshots have also amplified the food trucks in Marfa, which captured my husband’s imagination. After our visit to Alpine and Fort Davis, we arrived in Marfa around 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2020. I was beyond hungry, so much so I was not hungry anymore.
Immediately upon arrival in the city center on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we did see some pretty girls posing for their Instagram photos. It was so obvious! But our mind was on finding the food trucks. We went everywhere, literally, but did not find any! We saw two or three restaurants but my mechanical husband insisted on looking for food trucks. Eventually, he gave up. A pizza place looked good and he wanted to order pizza now. I was frustrated during this whole process already in now 95-degree weather, so I told him that I only wanted an ice cream bar.
Skip the pizza!
“Good idea! That is what I want too! Skip the pizza!” My husband was agreeable finally, after an all day’s arm wrestling about having lunch in Marfa from a food truck.
Marfa, before the pandemic, could have been once a booming artsy hub with creative works of art under starry desert night skies mixed with the primitive landscape…however, this September, after 6 months of the ongoing pandemic, we found it deserted, far and with no food trucks anywhere around, but there were still Instagram girls and their snapshots.
I will write about our trip from Marathon, Texas to Del Rio, Texas and our visit to the original saloon of Judge Roy Bean in my next article.