It was just over 20 years ago when Subaru debuted the Legacy Outback, which was a mid-sized wagon with a suspension lift and body cladding. It was meant to be the brand’s answer to the blossoming sport utility vehicle segment, and now after all those years, the car has not only sold 2 million units in the U.S., but it’s also Subaru America’s best selling vehicle.
Two million buyers can’t be wrong, but in case there was any doubt, the Outback does a number of things very well.
Read more: http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/subaru/2018-subaru-outback-2-million-and-9-reasons-why-it-s-so-popular
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My only complaint about my wife's 2013 Outback is the positioning of the heat/AC vents under the dash. They don't direct enough heat to the feet, leaving them feeling cold in the winter. Hope this new model addresses that.
what is a "more natural feeling" CVT? One that doesn't kill the engine when you stop? I am a fan of the Outback, but Subaru's move to their unreliable CVTs means that for years to come I will drive the pre 2015 5-speed auto 3.6R as a CVT repair is outrageously expensive.
Have you driven it? One of the better CVTs and terrible compared to what? As a fan of manuals I find most automatics in cars that don't cost ridiculous amounts to be annoying. I'm okay with Subaru CVTs. Not a manual but still good.
I returned my 2016 Outback 2.5i limited. Though it had a great suite of safety features, I couldn’t live with the CVT anymore. Engine noise, wind noise, and road noise was also terrible. I would floor it and the car would not pick up speed. It did get me through some tough snowy situations. But that CVT was a first and last for me.
For those with the 2.5i engine.
- Are you really getting 25 mpg in the city? I've read reports from various sites including Fuelly that state lower mpg for mostly city driving.
- Does that drone of the cvt or engine, bother you?
- Do you regret not getting the 3.6r engine, or does the 2.5i provide enough acceleration for you to pass on 2-lane highways?
- Any other complaints or comments?
- Not sure about just city, my 2016 Outback got about 28 with about even split between city and highway (I do have a bit of a lead foot)
- Never had drone from the CVTs in our 2015 Legacy, 2016 Outback, 2018 Impreza or 2019 Ascent. I did drive other CVTs that I disliked including a horrible 2015 Hyundai Sonata we once rented. The engines haven't bothered me either. You do hear them sometimes but you do in most cars that aren't luxury coffins.
- I would rather have the fuel economy of the 2.5i and it does provide decent acceleration. That said, it is not a sporty engine and there were times where additional power would have been appreciated. The turbo in the Ascent is definitely an improvement despite the added weight.
- My biggest complaint about the Legacy and Outback is the aggressive lumbar in the front seats. Subaru seats seem designed for women who have more curve in their backs than men. I have seen others complain about this too. Even set all the way back it killed my back until I figured out how to remove the big plastic piece from inside the seat. I did that in the Outback. My wife wouldn't let me do that to her Legacy since she loved the seat and even adjusted it for more lumbar. Hurts just thinking about it. The Impreza is not as bad so I don't mind driving it. I did do the lumbar-ectomy on the Ascent the day after I bought it.
I bought the limited 3.6r after driving an '02 civic for 15 years. I love this car! The audio system bumps! I was planning to add a subwoofer but after listening to music on the drive home from the dealer, (best feeling ever right?), I realized a subwoofer isn't needed! I only have 3 complaints. First is the mirror of course. I find that easy to fix by adjusting the seat to the lowest position. Second is android auto. Sometimes it just doesn't connect to my galaxy note 8 making the AA app grayed out. I'm not sure who is at fault here (phone or head unit) Hopefully an update will fix that. Lastly, adaptive CC. It will put on the brakes if the car in front of you switches lanes into a slower lane. Normally one would be able to keep the same speed and without the need to swerve to be able to continue on down the lane. That caveat is easily overcome by turning off cruise control with your thumb as you anticipate other shitty drivers driving very shitty. I will be buying the ascent as well because I've been subaruized.
I have had a 2018 Outback Limited 3.6R for 11 months and this is got to be the best vehicle I've ever owned. I absolutely love it. It's very sure footed. I've owned 3 Lexus's, Accords, VW's, Buicks...etc. It's so smooth and effortless to drive. I figure that the new Outback coming out in 2020 will probably have the option of the 2.4 Turbo. The 3.6R is an awesome engine, very smooth. I figure it won't be around much longer because of engine downsizing to increase mileage. Subaru makes awesome vehicles. You can't go wrong buying one.
Every time I get behind a slow driver, it seems to be a Subaru. Why do Subaru drivers go several miles below the speed limit? Lol. Am I alone or does anybody else feel that way?
Subaru's are really good, quick, performing cars...Except for maybe the Crosstrek, which is the best looking little car on the road. Just saying. I live in the mountains and I'm not talking about city drivers driving hot rod Subarus.
jammergreg I wonder if it's the speedometer. Whenever I drive past the speed check sensors in our town while driving 25 mph, the speed sensors show I'm driving only about 23 mph, so I now drive a couple mph faster to make up the difference.
Build quality is impressive, a step better than my 2017 Honda Accord. The Accord doesn’t feel cheap by any means either.
The ride quality and quiteness on the freeway is great too. Im averaging 37 mpg combined. Impressive mileage for a larger wagon/suv.
The AWD is insane too! Its magical how the outback gets up steep, icy and snowy alleys with just all-season tires.
I have a 2013 Outback. Hands down the best car I've ever owned for the money. I actually looked at new vehicles last summer and just recently, NOT because I needed one, but just had the new car bug. I didn't see anything, frankly, that I liked even as much as my Subaru. I'll keep it, especially since it only has forty one thousand on it. Great cars.
Thanks for a great review. You did not mention whether the car in this review was oversteer or understeer. You also did not say your recommendation whether the car is worth to buy. Keep up the good work.
Depreciation is outrageous, I agree! That's why it's best to get with a used CPO Volvo! However, my car was NEW when I bought this past January, original MSRP was $46,500! They offered $12,500 off MSRP, and CPO'd!
New vs. used? Really? Compare apples to apples. Volvo V60 CC entry level T5 price: $41,850. Outback 3.6R entry level price: $38,500. I stand corrected - it's not twice as much. However, the Subie has greater ground clearance (which is about the only reason why you would want to go with the Volvo V60 Cross Country over the standard V60), superior reliability, has a more extensive dealer network, and is generally rated higher by consumer organizations.
P.S. If you go with a certified used 2017 V60 CC T5 vs. the same condition 2017 Outback 3.6R Limited, prices are actually lower for the Volvo vs. roughly $30,990 for the Subie. Looks like you're right...but what does that say about the depreciation curve of the Volvo?
+robert hensen Subaru replaced the EJ25 engine in 2012 with a new updated FB25 engine using a timing chain instead of belts, and designed for low maintenance. There have been no reported head gasket issues or oil consumption issues in the 6+ years the FB25 has been used in the Outback and Forester. I have a 2016 Forester with the CVT. My personal fuel economy is 27 in town and 32+ at 65 MPH on interstate. Very quick, smooth acceleration with the CVT, and on cruise control, the CVT will "gear down" on downgrades to hold speed steady. The CVT is very quiet, smooth and responsive. Try taking a Subaru CVT for a test drive; I think you will be surprised and very impressed!
+Tom Eisenmenger your 2017 has the new FB25 engine which replaced the old EJ25 back in 2012. There are no reported oil consumption issues or head gasket issues with the FB25 in the 6+ years it has been in use.
The EJ25 was replaced in 2012. The FB25 is the new 2.5L engine, redesigned completely using a timing chain now in place of the belts of the old EJ25. Much better and lower maintenance engine. There are no reported issues at all of oil consumption, head gasket failures, etc with the new FB25, which is the same basic design as the FB20 used in the Crosstrek. A new FA24F 2.4L Turbo will debut in the 2019 Ascent and will likely be offered in Outbacks and Foresters, replacing the 3.6L 6-cyl. The FA24F is the same basic low maintenance design as the FB20 and FB25.
robert hensen CVT transmissions are unavoidable if you want a brand new car, unless you go with a manual transmission. Toyota is, in my opinion, the best manufacturer in terms of general reliability but even they use CVT. Subaru claims oil consumption is normal, really it's not a big deal if you just check it once a week. In my opinion, the 2.0 H4 subaru uses in the Crosstrek and impreza are probably the best bet for reliability. If the deciding factor on a car is reliability then I'd have to say go with a Toyota. Honda is right up there with them too, so I've been told. I love Subaru, and will never not own one, but Toyota seems to be hands down the best manufacturer. Can't really get over the CVT issue though. Locally, subaru dealers are offering lifetime warranties on engine and transmission components so ask a few different dealers about that.
i am thinking about buying a Subaru it will be my last new car as i am getting older flue economy and reliability are my number one concerns .Toyota is my next choice i have been checking problems with these cars i don't like cvt transmissions
2:53: "Even with 6 cylinder, it is not quite enough..." Not sure about the CVT on the newer models, but my 2012 3.6R with its conventional transmission has plenty power I think. After all, this is a family car.
Not my Honda. I had a 2015 CR-V that turned out to be a lemon due to the CVT transmission that they botched. It was the first year they used the CVT in the CR-V and lots of people, including myself, have had issues with it. I bought a 2018 Outback and it's amazing. Surpasses the CR-V big time
JCA - Subaru has always consumed some oil. That is their nature and they are totally worth owning. With this said I have one that did not consume oil and so did my mother. Also, having worked in a auto shop in the past I can state majority of new cars consume some oil. This is because of the lower friction they are trying to achieve which allows some oil consumption to increase fuel economy the goverment has set. There are a few videos and papers written about this somewhere. I do not remember what they are titled, but they have engineers chiming in from several manufactures.
+Norm T Check the multiple tests on many AWD/4WD systems conducted by many different people on YouTube. You will find time and time again, the Subaru AWD system is the only system that will reliably work when only one wheel has traction.
Subaru will walk the Buick in bad conditions and general off-road use. Also the Subaru will hold a far superior resale value. With this being said I seriously like the new Buick though. I love both brands :-)
Stop it, you're making me jealous lol.
I'm eye balling the 3.6r and wondering if it's worth the added fuel economy expense, for greater power/smoothness?
I'm not really concerned about highway mpg, but would you mind sharing your mpg for 100% city driving?
Would I be better off (less problems) with the 3.6r over the 2.5i?
2016 - 2018 would likely be my target with I presume the 3.6r Limited (with eyesight/navigation).
2016 Outback 3.6r Limited's seem to be selling for about $10,000 Canadian less than a 2018 in my area. Would you consider a used Outback, or stick with new?
Now you're the man I'd like to talk to - I"m car shopping.
How's the 3.6r been for you?
I do mostly city driving, yet for the times when we take road trips, the 3.6r would likely be really nice.
What mpg would you typically get with 100% city driving?
Most cars have some issues, what problems/complaints do you have with your car?
The new turbo 4 uses regular. So at least that is addressed.
As far as engines though. I'm going to miss the smooth as silky smooth flat 6. And driven carefully, straight highway, no AC, holding to 60 - 65, I was getting over 30 mpg. (I was interested to see what kind of mileage I could get, can't do that in the city! And not with my foot).
Over all, an outstanding (even if they don't get all they could out of it) engine.
SUBARU should be ashamed by putting an engine like this in a car that size... they should easily make their 2.5L HP @ 205/210 ft tq. as matter of fact all car companies that have 2.5 should follow my standards. THUMBS DOWN SUBARU!!
Flathead engine? So I guess it's 1928 again and they're getting motors from Ford????? JK man had to bust ya on that one. In all seriousness Sub has addressed the issue. Love these flat motors though. Have one and it's smooth as silk!
+bigcrowfly "Horizontal engine" not "flathead". My 2002 Subaru Legacy wagon was at 398,500 miles when I traded it in for a 2016 Forester. No blown head gasket, the 2.5L engine was still running strong. Also, at nearly 400,000 miles, the 2002 front end was rock-solid, and would track so straight down a smooth highway, little steering input was required. I've owned several Subaru's and all have been rock-solid, totally reliable cars that you could not wear out. If you change oil and coolant at least as specified, (I changed my coolant every year, oil every 5000 miles), you will never have a head gasket problem in a Subaru. Horizontal engines keep oil and coolant in contact with the lower head gasket section all the time. If not changed regularly, the oil and coolant get progressively more corrosive as each ages due to absorbing gases put out from a charging lead-acid battery. That is what erodes a Subaru head gasket, to cause leaking. All Subaru's with head gasket issues I have encountered were not maintained properly at all, and the head gaskets were not blown, but would put back pressure into the coolant system and push out coolant until the engine started running hot. Oddly enough, if engine RPM were kept under 4000, the engines ran fine with no noticeable problem at all. I knew of one owner that ran( and is still running!) his Subaru for 50,000+ miles WITH the head gasket issue, and never had a problem because he never revved the engine to 4000 RPM.
JCA if you open any BMW, Audi, Porsche manual, it will say the same thing. My Crosstrek was built in 2013 but it does not consume oil. There is a TSB for FB20/25 motors for defective oil control piston rings. Toyota and Audi has huge class action lawsuits for the exact same thing. So this isn't just a Subaru problem. At least Subaru of America in general take care of their customers.
Jason Thach Actually, no I couldn't. My '08 Accord had recalls piling up,mostly due to the airbag issue. In Spring 2016 we got a letter from Honda saying not to drive the car more than necessary, not to drive with anyone occupying the front passenger seat, and (by the way) the replacement parts won't be available until Fall 2017. If you want to talk about a "meh" car with mechanical issues, it was that Accord.
The Legacy (which is not Subaru's "flagship" so I don't really get your point) is hardly "meh." We bought a '17 after comparing it to the Accord, Malibu, Fusion, Mazda 6, Sonata, and Passat (can't bring myself to even consider a Camry). The Subaru actually outhandled the 6 just slightly - better turning radius, tight in the corners, less body roll due to the low-slung boxer engine and it had more interior space than the Mazda. It had a nicer, albeit simpler, interior than the Accord (at the time, the Honda had the dual-screen center stack). Admittedly, the Subie is the less attractive of those three but I buy cars for the long haul and I've seen design exercises that don't age well (I'm looking at you, Hyundai) and the Subaru is handsome but not flashy. Take a Legacy for a test drive some day - you'll find that it's not as meh as you might think.
Subaru's are built in Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. You can see the plant from I-65. Subaru's actually are more "American built" than many Fords and GM products which are made in Mexico or Canada.
King Of the monsters Not the most awarded cars today. The domestics are just as good and $6,000-12,000 less than the Japanese. You'll never see that amount in Japanese residuals for the life of the car.
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