• Oct 13, 2010
Above are Autoblog's two current long-term test vehicles, the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT and the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sport Cup Edition. At the moment, they are separated by some 2,460 miles of road with the Legacy at my house in the Greater Cleveland area and the diesel Jetta with Senior Editor Damon Lavrinc in San Francisco. Come next Monday, they will have swapped places.

We could have called a carrier service to deliver the cars across the country. In fact, we looked into it, but who wants to pay over two grand to have a company do what we'll gladly do for free? So myself and Lavrinc are embarking on a cross-country road trip from nearly opposite ends of the great 48 to swap these cars somewhere in the middle. We'll both be leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning and plan to return home late Monday night with different vehicles than the ones we left in.



This being my last night with the Legacy 2.5GT, I'll sum up my feelings towards it by saying that it's not the sporty sedan I expected. It's not a true sports sedan at all, in fact, but more like a mid-sizer with a very comfortable ride that injects an extra element of driver involvement with its six-speed manual transmission. Unfortunately, it's not the most precise six-speed I've ever rowed, but the 265-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder is a willing dance partner, even if the transmission occasionally has two left feet. And where else can you get a manual transmission paired with a powerful engine that starts under $30,000 in this segment? Not many places, that's for sure.

So while Damon and I hunker down for the long haul, ask us any questions in Comments that we haven't answered already in our updates. We'll try to tweet answers from the road on Autoblog's official Twitter account (@therealautoblog) or we'll save the answers for future updates on the site.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I believe Damon will be going right past Sydney, NE. It's in his best interest to stop at Dude's Steakhouse. It's poorly lit and badly decorated, but the steaks are spectacular!

      Man, gotta love roadtrips.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll be on the lookout for a TDI Cup on the streets of Strongsville :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      It would be cool if you guys used a tracking device like SPOT that transmits every 20 mins so we could watch you on your drive. I use it when I am on my motorcycle and my wife like to watch me on the road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i've done the RT 80 cross country and back 6 or 7 times maybe 8 in 6 or 7 different cars. Over the years I went up into Yellowstone and Montana, Gillette WY. and Devils Tower, stopped at Sturgis during a Harley run.. Saw the Corn Palace and Mt. Rushmore and stopped at Wall SD, just because. Had a tire fixed for free at Fat Boys in Cheyenne...nice guys. I've stopped a number of times at Bonneville Salt Flats, once when the were doing speed runs, and Iv'e bought Taffy at that old abandoned Dance Hall(?) tourist place on the south side of Salt Lake.

      The worst part of the trip to me is between Youngstown Ohio and just west of Joliet Ill. followed closely by the stretch between Sacramento and San Fran although the new(to me) xtra lanes there helped a lot. That is truly a boring part of the trip. At the Indiana tollway I blew past the toll booths because I took the "fastpass?" road... I was fishing for coins and went left instead of right. Got stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam due to screwed up traffic signs by the Illinois road dept, and stopped at a prison in northwestern Pa. to visit someone.

      Iv'e been in thunderous downpours in Iowa but avoided the flooding of RT80 that year, but a monsoon blew rain through and into my 93 Mercury Capri that had the top up and windows shut. One rainstorm turned the daytime sky black into night with huge fast repeating bolts of lightning...there were three of us cars clustered and doing about 30mph hoping to find a place to get off the road. It looked like driving into a blackhole. I stopped at a gas station for shelter and then hoped that lightening didn't strike it. Detoured on 80 crossing the Mississippi due to floods that year and not to ignore snow in late May in Wyoming, which is a bitch with summer tires.

      I remember in Nebraska being followed by a Camaro cop car for miles. And there was a small newly renovated motel that the owner was so proud of...3 times he told me that using the hot tub would cost more and how did I like the rooms his wife had decorated...it was very fancy with nice ornate woodwork, but all i wanted was a place to sleep.

      And yes there was a trip when I thought I saw a UFO in western Wyoming about 5am one dark morning somewhere west of Rawlins. That was interesting!

      Iv'e driven Rt.s 70, 80, 90 and 40 east and west, and I forget all the north and south ones but at least 5, 15, 25, 35, and 81, not including a number of shorter trips to Colorado,Arizona and the Extraterrestrial Hwy. in Nevada..

      I guess I'm of a nature that never finds these kinds of trips boring.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Over the years I went up into Yellowstone and Montana, Gillette WY. and Devils Tower, stopped at Sturgis during a Harley run.. Saw the Corn Palace and Mt. Rushmore and stopped at Wall SD, just because. "

        You were on Interstate 90, then...

        As an aside, I moved from the Boston area to the Iowa several years ago. From a driving perspective, it's certainly boring as hell; there's plenty to actually DO, though, and the people are far friendlier and more laid back than your average coastal native (and this is coming from a coastal native.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please let us know actual MPG and total cost of fuel for each car!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Having driven to Washington state last year from Detroit mostly on I-80 I would imagine that the actual meeting point would be a fair ways west of Omaha. It takes a lot longer to cross the Rockies than it does to cross the mostly flat terrain in the Midwest. I was somewhat surprised by how rolling Iowa is though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wish you both safe and enjoyable travels!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does the Subie have the Short Throw Shifter kit found on the options list?
      • 4 Years Ago
      GTFO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sucks for the guy from Cleveland who has to drive across the Mid-West.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish you safe travels and stay alert! As for "What a waste of fuel and resources to tell us about two dull, boring, and mediocre cars", I'm sure there are amny more wasteful things done all the time. Thanks for reporting on the two cars I would consider on my next purchase. I'm eager to hear the report.

      One comment: I have heard of folks having trouble with the TDI and bad fuel. Apparently the newer fuel pumps cannot tolerate rocks and metal shavings very well. The suggestion from VW is to frequent only brand-name fuel stations.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I doubt if it will actually be 2460 miles. It will be nice to know the actual mileage if you keep track of it. :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        John, since you will have the TDI next, please take it to a Unitronic (or other) dealer and have it chipped. I know it's not keeping the car 'stock' but it's a $500 investment to get 180hp and 295tq at the crank. Something that if were not available, I would have never bought my current TDI (1.9).

        Please please PLEASE! It's completely reversible by resetting the ecu to factory.
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