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Spongy brakes??

fifidanonfifidanon Member Posts: 3
edited November 2016 in Subaru
After several weeks of research, am honing in on used Subaru Outbacks. Need to buy something this week or early next. We've been driving toyotas for decades, but the 2004 Toyota Camry that my newly-licensed teenage daughter just totaled had extremely spongy brakes that in my opinion contributed to her inability to stop before smashing into the rear of an SUV that was stopped in front of her (and her inexperience). Our mechanic didn't find anything wrong with the brakes just months before the accident, but my own research showed this to be a serious issue and/or complaint for a percentage of 2004 (and possibly other years) Camry drivers. Brakes would go to the floor before engaging. Just as I felt confident the Outback was the car to get (hoping for 2015/2016 under 50k miles for around $20-25k) I read a review from one of the large car sites citing spongy brakes as one of the major cons of the Outback. The last thing I or my daughter want is another vehicle that has spongy brakes!! Can anyone weigh in on this? (I have yet to test-drive Outback or anything else plan to do that over the next few days.) Thanks!


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    There's nothing on the NHTSA about this and the only spongy brake complaints I've seen were for much older Subies. I don't think I'd let one review of one car color my perceptions too much.

    The Edmunds road test for the 2016 states this: "During Edmunds brake testing, a Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is an average distance for the segment."

    The only repetitive complaint I've heard about newer Outbacks is that some drivers find them a bit down on power. But others don't.
  • fifidanonfifidanon Member Posts: 3
    Thanks so much for the reply and the reassurance! As I'm sure we can all agree it's such a stressful ordeal to buy a car especially under pressure, and at such an otherwise stressful time of year, despite the promise of amazing car deals beckoning us to visit showrooms haha. The sooner I can get this decision and ultimate purchase finalized, the happier I'll be! 

    Any thoughts on used 2015 vs 2016 Outbacks? I'm new to the Subaru world so have no idea if there's a better or preferred choice according to Subaru aficionados! Thanks again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think mostly the difference is in tech features offered. The styling was refreshed in 2015 so the 2016 isn't going to look much different. So you'd have to decide how important the 2016 new tech is to you.

    Here's what Edmunds says:

    "What's New for 2016

    Having been completely redesigned just last year, the 2016 Outback gains some additional equipment. The optional Subaru Starlink system adds two packages of connected car applications, adding functionality such as automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle recovery, along with Internet-connected apps such as Stitcher. The steering has been retuned for better feel, and Limited models get retuned shock absorbers for a smoother ride. Safety features on the Outback now include optional lane departure intervention."
  • fifidanonfifidanon Member Posts: 3
    Thanks so much for the info! I guess it'll come down to what's available in my price range and mileage preferences. There do seem to be ample choices out there, at least on paper haha. Thanks again for your help!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited November 2016
    Let us know how you make out. You can get pricing info here too. And take a nice long test drive.
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