Owners' Pros and Cons with 2012 Outback 3.6 Limited

kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
I thought I would start a thread specifically geared to your thoughts on the latest OB, the 2012. Would LOVE to hear your thoughts, as well!!!


  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    2012 Subaru Outback 3.6 Ltd, Ruby Red

    My thoughts so far, after one month of ownership...

    - Quiet, smooth, comfortable ride
    - Nice upholstery, well appointed styling, comfortable seats
    - Telescoping steering wheel :)
    - Visibility
    - MPG very competitive in this class
    - HP in 3.6 H-6 competent for windy roads and mountains
    - Paddle shifters are way cool ;)
    - Passenger and cargo room (esp. leg room!)
    - h/k stereo is fantastic!
    - WAY more features for the money than in comparable/competitive vehicles
    - Misc: safety ratings, styling, ground clearance, retractable roof rails, backup camera

    - Seat heater buttons to easily pushed
    - Electronic e-brake button hard to see/find
    - Inability to change iPod playlists while moving :(
    - Homelink buttons hard to see on mirror, and don’t work when key is off :(
    - Rear headrests block some of the back window view (not as much an issue with b-u cam)
    - Seems they require synthetic oil (not sure, but was told this by dealer???)

    - Radio/Nav controls/buttons too small and unintuitive
    - “Handsfree” may turn out to be an oxymoron :(
    - Satellite radio
    - Tires...very smooth on dry pavement but only limited experience in wet weather

    - PLEASE update the Navigation! (hard drive based for easier, cheaper updates!)
    - Rear AC fan controls (I will miss this most ab my Tribeca)
    - Mute button on steering wheel with upgraded h/k stereo (how was this omitted???)
    - Power rear hatch lift and/or rear window latch

    - HP in 2.5 H-4 not nearly as peppy as the (drove one for 2 weeks this past summer)
  • mark1250mark1250 Member Posts: 2
    May I also ask current owners of the 2012 3.6R Outback about their experiences with stability control? I was all set to pull the trigger on a new Outback, but then I saw the video road test on the Consumer Reports site. They indicate maneuvers above 48mph can cause the rear to fishtail in a manner they describe as "scary." I'd love to hear from those who have "real world" experience with the new Outback.
  • kiltmankiltman Member Posts: 67
    look up some of the threads regarding the rear stabilizer bar. There are threads here and other forums where people are replacing the stock rsb on the 10-12 outback which I believe is 15mm, with a 05-08 Impreza STI rsb which I believe is 19mm. This is supposed to really reduce the fishtailing.
  • mark1250mark1250 Member Posts: 2
    It's disturbing to think one would have to replace the rear stabilizer bar on a newly purchased vehicle. I wonder why Subaru didn't address this after Consumer Reports first mentioned it with the 2010 re-design.
  • pugjoypugjoy Member Posts: 14
    K, what did you pay before taxes/tags? Was there another vehicle that you strongly considered?

    We are looking to buy in the next few weeks and have an offer on the Limited with moonroof + nav with moldings, wheel arches, etc. for 33,800.

    Are you happy you got the nav?
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    Sticker price was $36,311, I paid $32,500. Would like to see what the arch molding look like, but may get them later.

    I had a Tribeca for 6.5 years with similar Nav, so I'm used to it. But the OB screen is 1" bigger and the font is SO much easier to read! Still, there's a few quirks, and it's outdated already (dvd updates are costly).

    I considered another Tribeca but the the diff in gas mileage, even with the 3.6, was enough to get me to think OB. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this vehicle! Absolutely the right choice for me. I teach band in two elem schools and haul instruments around, plus it has plenty of room for luggage on a trip, and rides smooth as glass and very quiet on the highway. Getting a bit better than the est 20MPG all around...more like 21-22 in ab half city/half highway.

    -Karen in AZ-
  • pugjoypugjoy Member Posts: 14
    Hi Karen,
    We have had our Deep Indigo Pearl since 12/23 and just came back from our first long road trip of about 300 miles (round trip), so we are ready for some pros/cons. This is my hubby's car so we have combined driver/passenger notes.

    We love the look of the wheel arch molding, as it blends nicely with this color. Returning to the dealer tomorrow to have the puddle lights installed, my in-laws have them on their 2011 and they look really good.

    On the plus side, fun to drive, great acceleration, handling, excellent visibility, room (all our weekend away stuff plus med size dog crate, 2 car seats, etc.). Which is of course why we bought it :)

    Seat comfort, fit, finish -- top notch. We were really close to buying a Venza but did not because a second drive proved the seats, and overall interior quality, a huge disappointment. This is huge for us because we leave behind a Volvo XC70, which has one of the best seats out there -- seat extends out to the bend of your knee and has what I call the "butt well," the seat actually accommodates the human anatomy.

    Leg room is outstanding in both front and back seats. We had to squeeze in some more family so I rode in the back -- I am only 5/3 but I think any taller person would have been good back there.

    Some cons (or maybe some things we just haven't figured out yet):

    Navigation -- can't adjust brightness to night mode while driving. You can adjust other things so we don't know why not this.

    Driver/Passenger Overhead lights -- can't be turned on while moving? You can reach behind you and turn on the dome light but not these?

    No memory for driver seat position.

    Jury Still Out:

    Sat radio is nice but I think I see where this is going -- a new monthly expense!

    Wish list:
    This is not exclusive to Subaru but we happen to believe that once you have loaded up a car with some nice extras like leather and power seats, that the passenger should have just as many position options as the driver.

    Again, for all car makers, if you could just lengthen the seat a few more inches! Venza seats require much more than that, however.

    So that's where we are for just over a week. We are looking forward to getting to know her better.
  • kmartinkmartin Member Posts: 427
    edited January 2012
    Sounds like we have a lot in common. There is a way to adjust the Nav to reflect day/night...email me at kamartin AT cox DOT net and I will try to copy-paste those directions for you.

    Also, there is a kind of hard to find overheard switch for the dome lights in front that I think my fix that prob...it's referenced in your owner's manual, but remind me in the email and I will track it down for you.

    -Karen in AZ-
    PS: love my OB more every day!

    PPSS: I will post those same directions here when I am more alert..10pm here and I'm a zombie ;)
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,573
    edited January 2012
    I haven't spent enough time in the Outback/Legacy to recall if the front "dome" lights are similar to the style of the Forester. On the Forester, there are two directional lights (one for each seat) that illuminate together when the door is opened. There is a selector switch for "door" or "off", but no "on" selection for both at the same time. Instead, you push each light individually if you want to use it as a "map light." Push again to turn it off.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • chitownbuyerchitownbuyer Member Posts: 1
    My wife really likes the 2012 Outback 3.6 LTD, but it only comes with the taupe interior. At the Chicago Autoshow, we were noticing that the taupe interiors were getting very dirty (e.g. indigo stains from so many jean-glad bums sliding in and out) that we are a bit worried that the taupe isn't going to hold up well. Granted, that is probably hundreds, if not thousands of bums sliding across the seats everyday, but what have your experiences been with the taupe seats holding up? Even if the taupe is wearing well, we wish it were a bit darker/richer looking, but wanted to ask.
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