Outback questions...

ksayersksayers Member Posts: 59
I am semi-patiently waiting for the 2013's. They are supposed to be available late June but who knows. A couple ignorant questions;
- is the AWD system for a 4 cylinder the same as for a 6? Or is it a lightweight version that doesn't need to deal with a 6's hp/torque?
- internet sites all seem to mimic the same NY show mantra about the new 4 cylinder, same HP, "better" torque, etc. Has anyone seen anything other than the usual cut-and-paste "reviews"?
- any comments about the updated CVT transmission, "improved" for 2013?
- Are 2012 owners typically happy with the road noise?

Insights appreciated.
Thank you !


  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    edited June 2012
    The 4-cylinder Subarus have different AWD systems than the H6 models. While all are good, the AWD in the H6 is a bit more sophisticated, and therefore a bit better in worst-case traction scenarios. Also, it has a 45/55 front/rear power split, therefore making it a bit more sportier to drive.

  • dcm61dcm61 Member Posts: 1,567
    The new 4 cylinder is the same engine that is used in '11 and '12 Forester.

    The updated CVT is "2nd gen", so I assume it's the same one that's used in the '12 Impreza 2.0L
  • ksayersksayers Member Posts: 59
    Previous posts have offered the opinion that the Forester 2.5 has "adequate" power, albeit, noisy when pushed. Assuming no engine changes from the Forester to the "new" engine for the Outback, any opinions on how the 2.5 will handle a slighly heavier vehicle with with more bulk to push around?

    I can understand leveraging one engine to two vehicles but Subaru appears to be touting the "new Boxer" as some sort of new design revelation when, it appears, it's the Forester engine. That's not necessarily bad. However, if I have driven the Forester, it appears I should not be expecting any significant change from the 2012 to the 2013 Outback model when driving a 2013 Outback.

    Subaru notes (for 2013) the increase in torque across a lower RPM range with the "new" 4. Is this marketing hype or are their tangible engine changes that are actually noticable to the driver?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    CVT should offset the extra weight, so they should perform similarly.

    Timing chain is a nice change, that plus no coolant flows through the head gaskets so no leaks. Top it off (literally) with an easy access top-mount oil filter, and it will be easy to live with.

    My sister priced a timing belt/water pump change, and the dealer wants $1200. YIKES.

    So a timing chain would be nice.
  • ksayersksayers Member Posts: 59
    Again... is the timing chain only a change for the Outback and NOT for the Forester as the Forester has a timing chain and has had a timing chain since... 2011? Read: the new engine for the Outback is the same as the engine used in the Forester for the last 2 years?

    There just seems to be a lot of hoopla about a timing chain and revised torque curve. But... what this really appears to be is "take 4 cylinder engine from Forester, put it in an Outback" with a little bit of ignition and fuel change variation that happens every year, year after year, again and again. Is this really... a substantive change or just marketing hype?

    I like the horsepower of the 6 and the fuel economy of the 4. No surprise. Subaru seems to be saying that the two are now "closer" to each other performance wise since there is a timing chain and torque adjust? Really? awwwwwwww... come on. I am sitting here ready to buy a 2013 Outback and the engine choice has me scratching my head. Sure... go drive both when they come out but I can't test drive both in the Sierras. I wish I could rent each one for a week. Then you throw in the CVT and how it does or doesn't perform or feel with each. Too many variables. If the 4 is 98+% similar in actual customer use to last years 4, fine, I go with the 6. But.... I dunno... must be thinking sloooowly today as I missed something...
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    For the Outback, yes, this is a substantial change because it used the EJ25 engine in the 2012 and prior model years.

    They're using the FB25 block, so it is the same block as in the Forester. Is that a problem? No. The Forester and Outback shared the same engine for twelve years until the Forester started using the FB25 as a mid-cycle refresh in 2011 and neither are, or have ever been, underpowered.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I was hoping for DI and more power, maybe the 200 that Hyundai's 4 banger makes, but oh well.

    The head redesign is a big deal because of all the gasket issues Subaru had in the past. This exorcises that ghost. I don't think Subaru has been hyping the engine at all - we have, because we recall the gasket failures.

    You seek a dramatic improvement but I don't think you'll find it. It will be adequate, but not fast.
  • ksayersksayers Member Posts: 59
    If it's more reliable, that's a "good thing". Adequate is also sufficient. I didn't expect "fast" out of the 4 banger. When I get above 7000 feet the power of any engine drops significantly, therefore, knowing if it has enough grunt power for that situation is a key item. Thanks for the reply !!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You need a turbo! At altitude they lose much less power.

    Too bad the Legacy GT is sedan only.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    ...and discontinued for '13, from what I hear? :(
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yeah? Bummer.

    I guess the new WRX will sort of fill that role, in their eyes.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    It's like Bob said previously, though, we all complain about it, but did we buy one? ;)

    I'm torn for my next vehicle. I was leaning very heavily to a MT Fiesta, but now am reconsidering a bit. Things don't look promising for a North American Fiesta ST, which I would really like (depending on the pricing). I don't plan to buy until next spring (~ a year from now), so maybe other options will open up.

    I plan to keep this next one for a long time, as will we keep our Forester, so I'm going to buy exactly what I want, not what I have to settle with. To that end, I actually haven't ruled out the WRX yet, even though the FE is less than desirable. It has other qualities that are worth considering.... ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I recommended a GT to a buddy, who still has it. 2005. :shades:

    Fiesta ST does look fun, loved the colors they brought to the local auto shows.
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