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2013 Subaru Outback

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Timing chain vs belt, better torque curve, oil filter at top for ez access, and no coolant flow thru the heads to end gasket leaks.

    Same hp but significant changes under the skin.
  • mr_practicalmr_practical Posts: 2
    edited June 2012
    Hello folks. I'm about to take the plunge after all the years of owning Audis (sedans and wagons) so I am trading my aging A6 Wagon in for an Outback. I know it won't be a perfect comparison since I am used to driving an older Audi A6 Quattro Wagon but I figured someone should take a stab at it just to give some people a reference for some of the simpler things like handling, road feel, etc. I loved my old A6 but after nearly 16 years and 180,000 miles, the instrument cluster just blew, brakes need replacement and other things finally gave out and I also wanted side air curtain bags that the Audi did not have (last model before it became standard) for my current driving. I'm a moderate mileage driver (25-30,000 a year) but I live and commute into New York City which is probably the most "car adverse" city to commute into from a wear and tear standpoint. The pounding of road conditions plus the harshness of the winter/summer routines do take a toll on any car.

    I know a lot of people who swear by their Subaru so I'm putting my money on it and going for a 2013 Outback 2.5i Limited on lease to see how the car works. If I like it, I'll buy it out for my son and let him drive it the first 100,000 miles or so, if not, it'll be back to Audi at the end of the lease. I'm hoping that this is a more affordable option for my kids to keep the car a long time, vs. putting $45-50,000 into a new A6 Wagon or the Allroad that is coming out this year. Stay tuned.

    I will probably get a lot of the options since they all look pretty interesting. I hope to do this comment column as a long term "driving commentary". The lease program is supposed to come out early July and I've already picked out all the options for my car when they start writing up orders. I like the fact that this model has the extra 2 mpg over the 2012 plus the stiffer chassis which will hopefully give it a better ride closer to the Audis which are legendary in their road hugging characteristics. I'm not expecting a high performance car but I will try and give people some useful commentary between the two cars (even though the Audi I last drove is an older one). I recently had an Audi loaner and while some of the gismos were nice, the driving feel of the car really had not changed much in comparison to my older car other than the newer cars were a bit more powerful and tighter on the front end which I would have assumed given the higher wear and tear on my older car's suspension vs the loaner. I am also hoping that even though the Subaru has a higher road clearance, the boxer mounted engine is supposed to keep the center of gravity lower but we'll see how this feels when I get behind the wheel. I have another SUV at home so I already know the feel of a somewhat taller car and I'm hoping the Subaru drives closer to the Audi sedan profile.

    I haven't locked in the pricing and lease yet but I'll probably wind up with a car with an invoice price around $35,000. I am not getting the bigger engine intentionally as I want the better gas mileage. Except for a couple of smaller cosmetic things, I'm going to get every electronic option to keep the car's resale value someday on the higher side. I'll probably even try the Eyesight option even though I'm usually not a version 1.0 buyer of anything and having something controlling the car besides the driver isn't my usual sense of control (although blindspot warning is something I do think makes sense). Also, unless you need to tow or haul something of size, who needs anything higher than the 170+ horsepower engine. My 130+ hp Audi A6 has more than enough power to accelerate on any of the highways with short ramps like the parkway entrances in Connecticut. Anyone needing more than 170 is just throwing money away for no good reason except vanity on the 1/4 mile time tests.

    Wish me luck on the new Subaru and I'll try and report out my experience as I go.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    In our 161K miles driving our LLBean H6 Outback, there were two or three times the extra horsepower saved our lives. Driving in the greater tri state area and into/out of the city. I'd reconsider the advantage of the extra horsepower - it rides differently, too... more upscale like an Audi. Didn't know the A6 came in a 4... Good luck!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,662
    Drove a 2013 legacy last night (2.5i). It actually seemed pretty quick to me. Hard to imagine it not being enough motor to get the job done. And definitely better MPG to go along with it.

    also, Subaru has pricing up for the 2013 now (on the build your own). I specced one out identical to a 2012 on Edmunds (a 2.5i limited with moonroof) and MSRP was only up by $290. A definite bargain considering the upgrades they added.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,662
    the 2013 brochure is out too (looks like they beat the cars this year). one thing I noticed is they list the special appearance package in the brochure (gray trim, saddle leather, and seat memory mostly), but it is not listed on the build your own page, so that may be late availability.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • vrmvrm Posts: 303
    A definite bargain considering the upgrades they added.

    I am not sure which "upgrades" you are referring to.

    The only two changes in the 2013 are the revised roof rack with integrated cross bars and a different engine.

    You have to pay for all other options and/or upgrades.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,662
    new engine and transmission upgrade (better performance, drive-ability, long term durability and maintenance requirement and MPG), the cross bars, rear seat air vents I remember. Plus new electro gauges on the premium model that I priced. And I think there were a few other minor tweaks.

    so overall, for less than $300 (plus being a model year newer) it was a good bargain for what you get, especially if you plan to keep it for a long time (and don't want to worry about head gaskets or timing belts).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    edited July 2012
    Drove one about a week ago, a 2.5 Premium CVT. Was pretty impressed, as the car seemed a bit quicker than the '12 model; and it seemed to handle a bit better too, although I didn't get to drive it on any challenging roads. Bottom line is that I came away impressed.

    Today I went to another dealer to drive another, as I always like to follow up with a second road test to confirm my initial impressions, and to hopefully garner some more insight into the vehicle.

    Well today I was not disappointed, as the model I drove was a Limited CVT with the new and updated navigation—and the all-new optional Eyesight! Not only that I got to drive it on some fun country roads, as was able to check out the revised suspension.

    Comments:

    • The suspension is a big improvement over the '12 model. The car felt really taut on the curvy country roads. Subaru has claimed that it has reduced body roll by 40 percent. I believe it. The car felt much more "Euro-like" on the country back roads. As good as this felt, I'm sure the Legacy is even better. A big thumbs up here.

    • As with the earlier version I drove, the '13 Outback with this new FB25 engine felt quicker than earlier models. Even the salesman who was with me commented on that, as this was the first time he had been in the '13 model. He also commented that the CVT whine, found on earlier models, was absent in this car. My only wish is that engine had direct injection with ~ 190 or so horsepower, as 173 hp is merely average in this segment. Having said that, there is definitely more low- and mid-range power than before, and that's where most people spend their time anyway. So again, a solid thumbs up here.

    • The navigation also seems to have been improved. The salesman commented on the graphics being better than before. It also uses an SD card for easy map upgrades. We played with it a bit, but really can't compare it to the older version, as I'm not that familiar with it. I can say what I saw here was fine, and can only assume it's better than what they previously offered. A rear-view camera is part of the package, and that worked fine—and is almost worth the price in itself. For those who tow (me!), a rear-view camera is really helpful in lining up the trailer hitch with the trailer.

    • As to the Eyesight, I had mixed feelings. It warns you should happen to wander out of your lane, which is good. However any time you change lanes intentionally, it also warns you with a buzzer. After a while I think that buzzer might drive you nuts. So I'm not so sure I like that aspect.

    Now the adaptive cruise control (part of Eyesight) I love! You have three choices of how much distance you want between you and the car in front. You also get a graphic on the instrument cluster showing what distance of separation that you have selected. I like that. When you come upon a slower car in front, you are alerted by a quick buzz and a graphic of the rear of a car appears next to the cruise indicator on the dash. The car also slows to the speed of the vehicle in front. You don't have to do anything. It's really neat. Should the car in front speed up and pull away, the graphic on the instrument cluster disappears along with a buzz to let the driver know that the vehicle in front is no longer within the CC range. Also neat is the actual mph that the CC is set at is displayed. In my case, it was 60 mph.

    The downside to Eyesight is that you have to get navigation and the moonroof. Those who don't want those features are out of luck.

    This vehicle also had the optional rear seat back rubber protectors, which work in conjunction with the rear rubber cargo floor area protector. This is the first time I've seen these. They've been offered in other markets before, but never here. The seat back protectors appear to be permanently attached to the seats, which may (or may not) be a problem?

    The MSRP for this vehicle was a bit over $35K. Yeah, that's a lot for a 4-cylinder car.

    Bob
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,662
    Showed this to my wife, since the OB is on her short list. I drove the legacy, but we have not yet seen a 2013 OB. Might have to go searching next week.

    She liked the adaptive cruise, not that we would ever get much use out of it, since I hardly ever use cruise, and am paranoid anyway so I drive with my foot hovering over the brake. And she rarely drives on longer highway stints (that is my job!)

    Also, you get the rear view camera on the limited with the moonroof package, even without the navigation, it just has it in the rear view mirror instead of the display screen.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,481
    Also, you get the rear view camera on the limited with the moonroof package, even without the navigation, it just has it in the rear view mirror instead of the display screen.

    Rear view camera is also standard on Premium w/ moonroof (since MY2011).
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Been considering the Outback for sometime (among another SUVs) but have been hesitant due to all the talk about the steering issues the past 2 years. So now it comes down to this: should I jump for a 2012 at over $2k off sticker or go for a 2013 with improved mileage, steering, ride, etc? Salesman said I could get the 2013 for about $1K off sticker. BTW, looking at either the 4 cylinder 2.5i or premium.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,662
    for that minimal of a difference, 100% go with the 2013. Just getting 1 model year newer, even if there were no changes, would be worth that much.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Thanks for the input - I agree. Only thing about the 2012 is I can get one now with the sky blue exterior which I love; they have done away with it for 2013. I know, I know....I bought a house once mainly because I loved the blue carpet.... The new Twilight Blue for 2013 looks pretty sweet though... ;) May have to wait a bit but that's no bid deal.
  • albert72albert72 Posts: 141
    Does anyone know what the frequency of required oil changes for the 2013 Outback will be? A couple of years ago I was looking at one and the owners manual indicated oil changes every 3000 miles and today, most engines require changes every 7500 - 10000. Given the 2013 has a new engine, I would be interested to know what the new service intervals are.

    Also - the CVT transmission - the vibration that seems to be so common during deceleration - is that just the way this transmission is or is there a design / engineering flaw that randomly surfaces in Outbacks and you basically have to get lucky to get a vehicle that does not have vibration.

    The steering issue - any thoughts or knowledge of the new 2013 model has addressed this?

    Lastly, has anyone purchased a 2013 with the new 2.5 L engine and if so, is there a noticeable difference between the power / acceleration of the new model it's predecessor?

    Thanks,
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    I think the first oil change is at 3K, then every 7,500 miles.

    I drove 2 new '13 CVT Outbacks, and didn't notice any CVT vibration. The '13 model has an updated CVT. As to power, yes, more low- and mid-range power—where it counts!

    No steering issues. Suspension has also been updated. 40% less body roll. Feels very Euro-like.

    Bob
  • lynnvinlynnvin Posts: 2
    I just purchased this 2013 OB Limited. Was initially going to purchase a 2012 but after reading about the steering issues decided to go with the 2013. I traded in my 2004 Mazda 6 Sportswagon that had 103,000 miles.
    I got the model with the Moonroof, Nav, and the Isight System - MSRP was $34,790 - I paid $31,910 before my trade.
    I only have about 100 miles on the car but I have to say the car rides great and the build quality is very, very good. I chose the 4 cylinder for better gas mileage. Looking forward to keeping this car for many, many years.
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    You said you paid $31900 before your trade. Is that the price you agreed on before the sales person knew you had a trade? If not, did you get a fair price for your trade?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    edited July 2012
    Joe Spitz has images of the "Special Appearance Package" with the beautiful dark brown leather seats, as well as instructions/photos of how to adjust the roof rack spacing.

    Interior
    http://www.cars101.com/subaru/outback/outback2013photos2.html

    Exterior
    http://www.cars101.com/subaru/outback/outback2013photos1.html

    Bob
  • den_geoden_geo Posts: 1
    edited July 2012
    We've been looking for a new vehicle for my wife and she really liked the subaru outbacks. Based on all of the comments here about the changes made to the motor and suspension we decided to wait until the 2013 model came out and they just started showing up here in denver last week. Well, went and test drove them and really liked it. Ended up purchasing one a few days ago, a 2.5i premium cvt with package 6 (moonroof/rear-vision camera/allweather). I felt the pricing was pretty decent, sticker was just over $29K (plus $499 dealer fee) and we ended up getting it for $26,510 + tax OTD.
  • Just ordered my Legacy 3.6R with Nav (trading in my 2010 3.6R without Nav). I am expecting it in about 4-5 weeks, the Canadian cars have not made it to the dealers just yet that's why the wait. I just love the handling and with the amount of driving I do this is the best deal available.

    Although I do like the improvements from the 12 to 13 model year, they are more cosmetic than anything else on the the six cylinder. I am hoping that Subaru will work on better transmissions in the future, a six speed or CVT for the 3.6 (or the Forester which really is behind the times with a 4 speed). I had a 2008 Altima 3.5 SE with CVT before my Legacy, the transmission was really sweet for a CVT and got great gas mileage, I think this is the next step for an already great car. :)
  • erc39erc39 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2013 Outback with Special Appearance package in Northern California.
    MSRP was $34, 373, paid $30,771 plus TTL.
  • Just placed my custom order in this week so we're now committed. Ordered almost every electronic option including the Eyesight feature. Can't wait for our car to arrive and I'm looking forward to the 30mpg kick to cut my gas bill on my commute, etc. Wish me luck.
  • grdma2grdma2 Posts: 3
    Am looking for the same thing. What dealership did you use? Thank you.
  • grdma2grdma2 Posts: 3
    Another question - did you purchase any other options at that price, such as side molding, etc. Thank you.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    mr practical, did you stick to your original plan: 2.5i LTD or opt for the 3.6r LTD? Which dealer did you use. You're in the NY area? What was your Final Price and lease payment OTD including your trade in?

    If I may ask, was this a rush decision to replace your Audi? Usually, new model cars are at Top Dollar at introduction until they figure out inventory and sales activity and then offer some more discounts.
  • 2013ob2013ob Posts: 13
    edited July 2012
    I just purchased that exact same 2013 2.5i Limted w/Special Appearence Package. The color looks like dark chocolate cherry--brilliant brown pearl/saddle brown leather. I had a 2012 2.5i Premium and its a night and day difference with the HP, CVT, and suspension improvements. Added a Curt trailer hitch yesterday. Paid $30,997.00, MSRP was $34,197.00. The "whine" with the 2012 shifting is not present in the 2013---nice job Subaru!! Sharp color combo. Moon roof, Harmon Kardon (package # 23)
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I just purchased that exact same 2013 2.5i Limted w/Special Appearence Package. The color looks like dark chocolate cherry--brilliant brown pearl/saddle brown leather. I had a 2012 2.5i Premium and its a night and day difference with the HP, CVT, and suspension improvements. Added a Curt trailer hitch yesterday. Paid $30,997.00, MSRP was $34,197.00. The "whine" with the 2012 shifting is not present in the 2013---nice job Subaru!! Sharp color combo. Moon roof, Harmon Kardon (package # 23)

    Congratulations!! Did you get that price without a trade-in? If so, where do you live? I'm planning on selling my present car, so I'm looking at what people have paid without a trade in.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    Congrats! Would love to hear more comparisons between your '12 and '13 Outbacks. I suspect the changes, while rather subtle, make a big difference.

    Did you get the Eyesight option? If not, how about the Nav? That's been changed too for this year.

    Bob
  • 2013ob2013ob Posts: 13
    The upgraded engine has less whine when shifting, suspension feels more refined, the saddle brown leather is comfortable, the back seat air vents makes a difference, dash guages are completely different. The 2013 is a much more refined than the 2012. I had both and would not hesitate taking the 2013 over the 2012 I have put about 400 miles on the vehicle and all is well. The Navigaton and Harmon Kardon audio are nice as well. The Curt Class III hitch took about 30 minutes to have installed. Silver . mirrors with blinkers on the mirrors, puddle lights, heated seats---its pretty much the top of the 2.5 series you can get

    No, I didnt get the Eyesight---that is too annoying for me and had no desire to get it. Plus, you can not get the Eyesight w/ the Special Appearence Package---its either or.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    edited July 2012
    Thanks.

    While you may have a Class III hitch, you shouldn't try Class III towing (5000 pound max), as your car is only rated for 2700 pound towing—if the trailer has its own set of brakes. If the trailer doesn't have brakes, you're limited to only 1000 pound towing.

    The one with Eyesight that I drove did have an annoying lane-change feature. Every time you crossed a painted line on the road a buzzer would go off. Very annoying to say the least. I did like the adaptive cruise control, however.

    Bob
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