General questions about Subaru Outback?

10

Asked by Josh Feb 10, 2020 at 05:15 PM about the Subaru Outback

Question type: General

I am thinking about getting a Subaru Outback.  Can anyone guide me on things
to look out for?  Also ate there any reasons not to get an Outback?  Thanks in
advance.

8 Answers

20,340

Cons: Depending on model year, CVT transmission, Headgasket issues around 100K and oil burning. Pros, AWD

10

TDolby. Thanks for the response. I have seen that in a few spots now. I am just now starting to do some research. I am looking at getting something in the next year or so. I was thinking something like 2017 and newer.

346,855

The Outback is new for 2020 and the older models are not the same. The 2020 has the new FB25D engine which is an unknown factor as they are too new. FB engine cars do not have a head gasket issue like the older cars from the previous decade.

10

F_O_R, thanks for the info!

1 people found this helpful.
36,330

Josh, I sell off-lease 2017-2018 OBs in the Boston area, finishing up a 37th year as TheSubaruGuru. So you're welcome to grab one from my 3-5 car tiny menagerie anytime. So that's my disclaimer. Call me anytime for a careful consult re your needs and recommendations, at 781 483-3922. Yo help fill in your knowledge: the HG fiasco ended in 2009. First gen CVT failures are prevalent with 2010-2014, but much less so later on. The DOHC chain-driven 2.5i debuted in 2013, and is an unqualified winner. Low incidence of front cover oil seepage is a concern, but easily visible when assessing condition. A tallish CoG on comfortable suspension limits handling and body control, but that can be wonderfully addressed via an inexpensive ($300) update replacing the native rear antisway bar with Subaru's own 2015+ STi stronger version. Shocking (npi!) improvement in reducing understeer and body roll. OE batteries are crap, rarely lasting a third winter. Brake rotors are larger than before, lasting 3-4 winters. Wheel bearings are still small, but not expensive to deal with. CVs are better isolated from cracking their boots.... If you're looking at a nice Premium, note that it will handle better also with slightly lower 225/60R17 tires (as used in 2010-2014 to good effect), when needed. The Limited's ok with OE 225/60R18, but I put 225/55R18 on my daily driver, furthering the STi improvements theme. The new (2020) has a completely different platform that's still remarkably soft and understeering, with poor body control when sawing the wheel, for example. Even with the new 2.4t Subaru does NOT improve the suspension. There are no in-house (nor aftermarket) better parts to improve handling (yet), so I do NOT recommend buying a 2020 newbie. 2018 saw a bigger screen (nice for nav), and actual tire pressure readouts (love it!), but otherwise 2015-2019 are clones mechanically. Learn to use 5w30 synth instead of 0w20 to quench oil consumption and protect better in summer heat. 5.5 qts is a slight overfill, but perfectly fine. Keep tires at 35F/33R for best handling and longevity (and +1mpg). The OE iridium spark plugs are golden, so leave them alone. Use NADA to assess value, rather than KBB or Edmunds. Don't be afraid of higher highway mileage, as that's less important than corrosion over winters' use. YOUTH is therefore more important than DISTANCE, all other things equal. I cannot overemphasize this well-established tenet. Avoid the very thirsty H6, by the way.... The beige cloth is harder to keep clean than the charcoal, and 2018 saw the introduction of a middle-hue steel gray cloth, which I like. The leather is nice, but note that side bolsters are vinyl, and cracking early! Limiteds sell for +$2k over Prems, so think hard about whether you want leather; Limiteds get PB start and seat memory, which is nice. Sunroofs are well-done, but really only useful as convection "chimneys" when parked in summer sun...esp on black specimens w/ black leather. (I just bought a 2017.5 Limited Black Pearl w/ TAN leather, which is much cooler, for example. Further on the 2020, I was disappointed that throttle tip-in was slow on the new 2.4t, with moderate turbo lag. So spending $$$ for the turbo is recommended only for early adopters who crave highway passing ability. Although Toyota builds good turbos, Subaru motors historically don't like them, so we;ll see if Toyoburu has a durable mill here.... You'll find that a 2015-2019 OB is VASTLY more comfy and functional with 4-5 passengers and when cruising at elevated speeds than any Forester (or silly CrossTrek). Reasons NOT to get an OB? Given the easy 34mpg at 75mph on regular fuel and nice audio system, I struggle to make other recommendations. The NA 2.5i, besides being an eco champ, is rugged, but slow to get up to high speed. Yet it cruises nicely all day at 80mph. SOA extended factory warranties on motor and CVT to 100k. We'll see how the years roll by. The Audi Q5 has horrible body roll, the CX-5, although my favorite cute 'ute because they handle well (and I like Mazda), doesn't compare except to the flawed Forester. X3? Wanna go there? Pricey now and later. None of the other Asians handle well at all, and the CRV and RAV4 are toys by comparison. The Audi All-Road is beautiful, but also suffers from serious throttle lag and expensive repairs later. It's not really much of an upgrade from an OB anymore except for traditionally better northern euro paint quality. But ya pay for that.... My wife drives an Ernie-modded 2016 Limited. My "exit" car if I retire next year may well be that one, or a 2018 Limited w/ NAV just to get the bigger screen. Maybe something can be done to improve the handling of the new 2020 platform in 2022 or so? I doubt SOA cares.... By then the upcoming TeslaY may be the ultimate compact 5dr AWD for the planet...although at a steep $60k all-in with taxes. Ouch! I have a pair of 2017 Prems for $18-19k, a 2017 Limited and a pair of 2018 Prems all around $21-22k, with all new tires, extra brakes, my STi mod, and otherwise "certified" by me! Call if you want one, or to simply consult re your options. Cheers. Ernie TSG/B 781 483-3922

1 people found this helpful.

I'm in a similar situation - looking to get a late model used Outback, but worried about oil consumption issues. Ernie - it looks like you know just about everything about Subarus. Boston's a bit far to go get a car, but I'd hit you up if I were in the NE. My question is about the value of a CPO subaru. A dealer (who I don't trust) told me that basically every pre- owned subie that goes to auction will end up CPO if it meets CPO specifications (because SOA is pushing certification), thus if you find a non-CPO subie that was sold at auction there's probably something wrong with it. Sounds like a crock to me, but now I'm wondering if going CPO is worth it, even if just for the 100k powertrain warranty. Any ideas?

THANKS FOR THE RUNDOWN ON SUBARU MODEL DIFFERENT PROBLEMS. I HAD A 2017 OB WITH ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS AND TRADED FOR A 2019 OB. WE LOVE IT BETTER CAR THAN THE 2017. JUST READ THAT THE INSURANCE INSTITUTE RATES 2019 OB'S OF THOSE MADE BEFORE OCT 2019 AND AFTER OCTOBER. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? YOUR SITE IS ONLY PLACE I CAN FIND TO ASK THIS QUESTION.

36,330

Oct 2019 production is the 2020 new model!

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