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2013 Subaru Outback

cincinnati_dancincinnati_dan Posts: 12
edited December 2013 in Subaru
Thanks for the responses I have already received.

I read that there will be 3 different types of AWD systems in the 2013 Outback (I think the 2012s, and maybe older Outbacks, have these 3 types as well, but I am not sure). Is one better than the other? Are they all great as far as AWD goes? I will not be doing any serious off-roading. I just want a vehicle that has AWD all the time, for driving on various road conditions. I currently have 4WD (2009 Toyota Tacoma), and I hate it, because I am afraid to engage it when it rains, snows lightly, or when there may be freezing rain, in fear that I will damage the 4WD system.

Also, I have not been able to find anything regarding the new FB engine, and how that eliminates head gasket problems. Will the 2012s need a head gasket replacement every so-many miles?

I am also afraid of the 2013s because of the new EyeSight Driver-Assist System, and potential problems it may have.

Any thoughts on how much more the 2013s will cost? If I can buy a 2012 2.5i Limited now for $29,000, how much will a similar 2013 cost me in a couple of months?

Here is what I read on-line about the 3 types of AWD in the Outback:

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Three Different Types

Subaru offers three different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2013 Outback line, each tailored to the type of transmission. In Outback 2.5i models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power a nominal 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either the front or rear wheels will cause the system to send more power to the opposite wheels.

Subaru Outback 2.5i models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use Active Torque Split AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage.

The Outback 3.6R uses the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, and it can continuously adjust power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.


  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    edited May 2012
    They all work well, but the one on the 3.6 is the most sophisticated and the best, so I've been told. In a worst-case traction situation, that would be my choice. Also, by having a slight rearward power bias, it will give you a more rewarding driving experience.

    Having said that, we've had three 2.5 automatic Subarus with the Active Torque AWD, and they've never let us down. Also, I have a WRX 5-speed with the 50/50 power split viscous coupling AWD; same there, never let me down.

  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    Is the 4 cylinder engine on the 2013 supposed to be the same as the 2012?
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    edited June 2012
    2012 Outback has EJ25 engine
    2013 Outback will have FB25 engine (same as 2011/2012 Forester)

    The main differences are EJ25 = SOHC w/ timing belt; FB25 = DOHC w/ timing chain.

    FYI - 2012 Impreza has 2.0L FB20 engine.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Also, the FB25 has a bit more power, especially in low-mid rpm range, where it counts.

  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    Is this engine supposed to be free of the head gasket problem?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    edited June 2012
    The FB25 is a completely new engine, so there's no reason to assume that old problem remains.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Indeed, and I'm surprised that the assumed elimination of this problem wasn't at the top of the list in terms of the differences between the EJ and FB blocks!

    I'm wondering if any of the hosts would be willing to correct the thread title to "Subaru" from "Subura?" :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    free of the head gasket problem?

    More specifically, will coolant ever leak from the head gasket, internally or externally?

    Simple answer - not possible The coolant no longer even flows through the gaskets! The heads and block have different lines to cool them.

    So nope.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Typo repaired :)

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Most excellent. Thank you!
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I've just been on the site People are posting there that the 2013 will be out before the end of June and pricing may be out by this coming Monday. Someone also posted that the top of the line will go for close to 40K.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited June 2012
    Sounds high, but a base Explorer Sport with no options will have a starting price higher than that. Loaded ones break $50 grand now.


    Edit to add link, $40,720 actually: ort-from-40-720/
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I am totally clueless about torque and ratios, so this may sound like a stupid question. Will the new engine have more power than the old?

    And though this may not be the place for it, can anyone explain what the ratio of torque to rpm and hp to rpm tells you? I want to be able, if it's possible, to compare engines between cars. And if I do, would these comparisons give me an idea of the actual power of a car?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Same power, but a flatter torque curve with the new engine.

    If you opt for the CVT it may not matter much, because the CVT can put the engine in the sweet spot and keep it there.

    I'd wait for the new one just to get the timing chain, and the easy-access oil filter. Oil changes would take 5 minutes.
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I'm definitely waiting for the new one. The timing chain sounds like a wonderful improvement. I wasalso hoping that there might be a little more power in the new engine. I found it sluggish after test driving the 6.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you'll feel the bump in torque...
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Hi Juice!!

    Hope you and your family are well. You may not remember me, but I'll give it a try. I bought a new black 2001 LLBean Outback over 11 years ago... called it my black tank... I contributed to Edmunds' forum early on, but haven't in quite some time. Well, the car reached 162K miles this past April, but was totalled in an accident. Minor collision - my wife and an AMC SUV met in the left front corner of the Outback. She hardly felt anything - no airbags went off. The "cage" seemed to do its job quite well, but front left wheel/axle, radiator, etc. added up to a total. Got $6800 from insurance!! Much better than I thought I would get! Too bad, the car was going to my daughter next year. Now I'll have to spend more to find her one... and not know its true condition. All those years of caring for it down the drain...

    After 162K miles the H6 engine ran like the day I bought it. No kidding. No loss of power. It was amazing... as was the transmission and other major components. Never changed the radiator!!! Everything worked. It would have kept going on forever. Only regret I had was not changing the struts until 155K. It took its toll on the front end. I was looking at changing tie rods, etc. in the front. It was getting loose. The front brakes were a constant headache. Subaru engineers got that one wrong - too small for the H6 car's weight. Had to change the pads every 10-15K and use special Frozen rotors. AWD also eats up tires fairly quickly - but a safety tradeoff. That window design and the noise it created was unbearable at times. Wooden pop sticks helped, but always fell into the door cavity when someone opened the windows. Then at around 130K miles - after a windshield replacement - we would get a LOUD buzz whenever we went over 55mph. I mean LOUD. Some folks - I think, not Edmunds - seemed to zero in on the rubber window gasket as the source. Would have been hard to sell like that, but perfect for my daughter to not speed! Again, though, I felt like the car would go for another 162K easily. Now I know what they mean when folks say you can't kill a Subaru!

    I'd say the car had above average reliability overall. So... I'm looking at the 2013 H6 with the special appearance package, but I just saw the mirrors at this site: and they are damn ugly!!! Silver grey?? Why would they not be the color of the car? Just to stand out?? Why does Subaru still do stuff like that? Could never understand them... when they go upmarket they always seem to get it wrong. Really dealbreaker for me...

    So, now my search takes another direction. But, who knows, maybe someone came to their senses in Indiana or NJ the past few weeks and they will match the body's color. I guess it will be clear by the end of the month. Fog lights are in the wrong direction, too. But the memory setting (long overdue) and the 40% less body lean (also a major complaint I had with the LLBean) are in the right direction. And $40K loaded? Dream on...

    My other car, a 2004 MDX with 102K miles, has been unbelievably reliable. Nothing wrong but a radiator leak. Much less expensive to maintain. And with the base under $40K right now (new design coming out this fall), I might end up taking a little loan out to stretch... I don't care if it will look old within a few months. Reliability is my main concern, then looks.

    As Dave Matthews once said... too many choices...

    Take care,
    Ralph (Otis)
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,739
    edited June 2012
    Sounds high, but a base Explorer Sport with no options will have a starting price higher than that.

    Aw c'mon juice - that's a poor comparison. The Explorer Sport is a high performance vehicle. When the Outback seats 7 and pumps out 350 HP, you can compare them.

    The Outback and the Edge are more comparable.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Long time, no see! Really long! Welcome back!

    Can you get one without the appearance package? Aren't those mirrors body color? Some folks like stuff like that, I guess. Looks OK on the silver cars (LOL).

    I'm sure a body shop could paint 'em for you for very little if they bug you that much.

    MDX seems to be the official car of Potomac. A lot of friends have them and the one common theme - they all complain about the gas mileage (and the premium fuel).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I know but I read that on Autoblog just before I posted.

    Point is, sticker prices have really crept up. I just drove a pair of german compacts with 4 cylinder engines, each nearly $50 grand. Yikes.

    I'd take a Legacy GT over the C250 even if they cost the same amount!
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