2011 Outback - Improvements?

centralmecentralme Member Posts: 3
edited September 2014 in Subaru
I purchased my 3.6R Premium (all weather, Auto-dim, Bluetooth) about 3-4 weeks ago and I have to say I absolutely love it. Because I purchased it so late into the season, I decided to skip the snow tires for this season, but plan to put them on next year.

So, after only a few short weeks, again, I can't say I love this car enough. However, there is always room for improvement so I hope Subaru is monitoring this board and sees my personal comments. They aren't major structural designs, but mainly "minor" tweaks.

1. The manual is very poorly indexed. I tried to program the Homelink garage door opener and it wasn't easily listed under things you would assume ("garage," "mirror") and had to slog through the book to find it. I took a look at my wife's 2011 Camry manual and it is incredibly better indexed. Her Homelink program was exactly where it should have been, under "garage."

2. I came from many Saabs and one thing they do that nobody other manufacturer does (at least in this quality price range) is make an asymmetric dashboard - one that is slanted towards the driver for ease of use. Everybody makes it symmetrical which is stupid as the driver needs to reach incredibly far to scan the radio, etc. It shouldn't be designed for the passenger's ease of use. Come on.

3. The intermittent rear wiper knob could be better designed, specifically with at least one other intermittent position. It is either always on (never needed) or the current position is simply too frequent. Add another slower one.

4. I'm shorter so I'm a bit closer to the wheel than probably most. Make the center console with a sliding top that can extend forward for a better armrest - MANY other cars have this.

5. The rear-seat map pocket is non-existent behind the driver. What's up with that? The other is a net, not making what is stored in there very neat looking. Make a solid cover for both.

6. And like many others have complained about, nix the MPG gauge. It is like Saab's idiot shift light for the manual. I, like others, would much rather prefer a temperature gauge. I think the digital read out on current MPG where the clock and outside temp is ( I assume all versions have this) can easily be used as a resource on whether you are driving efficiently enough or not - if even somebody needed to know.

7. Going back to the manual, operation of the Bluetooth is practically non-existent, at least I can't find it anywhere. How about some more detail on how to program it, etc.

8. The radio seek feature on the steering wheel (holding on the up/down switch) beeps each time it goes to the next strongest station. The "beep" is annoyingly load, especially when you are continuously toggling up the dial. Dial the tone back a bit.

I know it sounds like I am really criticizing the car and I know many of these items will seem petty to some. I had my eye on this car for a year, opted to the 3.6 for more power and will help Subaru sell many more I hope.


  • easypareasypar Member Posts: 191
    How are the seats? I have a '10 Legacy and one day at the dealer I noticed the seats in the '11 looked to have better side bolsters (Outback). I didn't have time to do a side by side comparo but I've noticed more backache on a 2 hour drive in my Legacy than anything else I've driven lately. Although I'm sure my age is contributing.

    I've noticed that indexing is TERRIBLE in all owner's manuals. I swear you cannot find the gas tank capacity in my wife's Lexus manual, or oil capacity either come to that.

    I pretty much don't use seek on my radio so haven't noticed your problem there.

    I think the vacuum (mileage) gauge is a good idea. It serves as a reminder and probably encourages some "hile miler" activity by those so inclined.

    I have a beef (written elsewhere here) about the "rapid changing" of the distance to empty gauge. I once filled my tank in Denver after the hour and a half ALL DOWNHILL drive from Vail back to Denver. When I started out it said I had 710 miles to go on my new tank. It will constantly change due to current driving; 40 miles of in town might show me with 480 miles left, get on the interstate and it will continue to climb for the first 50 miles or so.

    Nothing's perfect and I really do love the Legacy as obviously you do your Outback.

    BTW, the rear wiper options on her RX330 is just as bad.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,284
    The intermittent mode for the rear wiper is speed-dependent. If driving slowly, it will activate less frequently than at highway speed. I agree, though, it is generally too frequent (regardless of speed) and I would also prefer either a slower setting, or a dial option similar to the front windshield wipers.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • centralmecentralme Member Posts: 3
    Speaking of wipers, the one thing I do miss from the Saab is the headlight washers. I really noticed this on my first long and messy trip this weekend, when I realized how dim (and dangerous) my headlights were. It took me quite a while to find a station where I could wash them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Our Forester's lights seemed dim, so I used a wet wipe (we always carry those in the glove box) to clean it up.

    It would be a useful feature when the roads are all sloppy with salt/ice mix.
  • subarudeclinesubarudecline Member Posts: 1
    Within the first month of ownership, my 2011 Subaru Outback paint job was noted to have bubbling on the hood, top and rea panel of the car. When addressed with the dealership they said it was a SOA issue. Followed up with them and they stated acid rain caused it. The car had about 1000 miles and is parked inside! None of our other vehicles show acid rain damage? This car is brand new...did clear coat not cure correctly? Subaru says there is no problem and are not offering to assist. I live in WI. Please help...
  • carteachcarteach Member Posts: 179
    About fifteen years ago I had a friend who had a Subie and complained of the same problem. Subaru wouldn't do anything for them. They persisted and after lots of battles were given a new car!
  • radar6radar6 Member Posts: 28
    I clicked on the Subaru global link on bottom of Subaru's web site and saw European version of Outback. Their model comes with keysless start and keyless entry. I wounder why its not on usa model? A limited model w/nav is at 35k in price I feel it should be standard at least on the limited model. They have a deisel model also with fuel prices going through the roof it would be nice to be offered here. Dont get me wrong I like the US model. It would be an easier desicion to buy if it had the push button start or some of the other features that are offered in other markets.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,284
    edited March 2011
    I think the answer to the content concerns lies in the value of the dollar itself: it is crap. So, you have a choice. The manufacturers could content-up their vehicles and drive up the prices at the rate inflation demands, or they can de-content in an effort to stabilize the pricing increases.

    It is only going to get worse, so don't set your expectations too high.... ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • tommy312tommy312 Member Posts: 15
    I like your list. Coming from a few higher end vehicles it would be nice to have .1 memory seats & mirrors
    2 all windows auto up & down
    3 more than 1 color for the interior
    4 panoramic moonroof
    5 power lift gate
    I know that just jacked up the price to just under 40k & highly unrealistic. I'm just saying what I miss pre wife, mortgage & family. Still love driving this car though :)
  • riverside71riverside71 Member Posts: 5
    4. I'm shorter so I'm a bit closer to the wheel than probably most. Make the center console with a sliding top that can extend forward for a better armrest - MANY other cars have this.

    This can't be stressed enough. Subaru lost a sale here. I could find no other fault but this critical issue of long-haul comfort. Surprisingly Subaru has withdrawn the option of adding a center console extender that used to be available in 2008. I checked with SOA and their response was that they no longer offer such an option for the 2011..

    I hope Subaru realizes this and fixes it in a refresh.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,284
    all windows auto up & down

    That seems like something easy enough to do without adding any significant cost, unless the three-function switch is many orders of magnitude more expensive!

    One other window-related feature that would be absolutely fantastic would be for the driver's door window lock to only lock out the window controls on the other doors. Currently, the window lock cuts off operation for the other doors both from their own switches and from the driver's master switches. So, if the driver wants the other windows controlled, that lock must be disabled (thereby enabling operation from the individual windows). Those without children may not understand the significance of this, but those with children certainly will. ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
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