4 cyl vs 6 cyl - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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4 cyl vs 6 cyl

I'm buying a 2012 Limited Outback this weekend. That's the good news - one decision made. I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Highlander. I love the get up and go of the 6 cyl but I'd like to get better mileage as I drive an hour each way to work. But is it worth it? I'm test driving tonight and I know that from a brief test drive, it's going to be hard to decide whether the OB's 4cyl in the long run is going to be a very large difference from it's 6 cyl, so I thought I'd ask for opinions.

Thanks so much. (& thanks for the help in learning how to post to forums!)
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post #2 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 12:31 PM
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Woooo you created your first topic! Welcome to the world of forums! :P

I'm not going to be to helpful on this topic but I purchased the 4cyl due to the better gas millage, but seeing as I always have stuff on my roof rack its a lot lower then what its suppose to get but that's given.
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post #3 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 12:33 PM
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Calculate the cost difference in gas and vehicle. Make a financial decision if you don't want to make the bigger engine more fun decision.

I have the four cylinder but really wanted the manual transmission. I have plenty of power but live in flat Iowa.

So far I've turned 90,000 miles over on my 2010 and plan on putting another 90,000 on before getting a new vehicle. No major issues so far, which was my concern with the smaller engine.
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post #4 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 12:38 PM
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Tons of threads on this already. If you don't care about the extra cost and some MPG penalty get the H6. If you want to spend less all the way around, get the 4. The CVT makes the 4 more than usuable. But many here seem to think they are buying a sports sedan and prefer more power. Regardless, keep in mind this car is a WAGON. If you want fast and sporty get the STI.

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post #5 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 12:44 PM
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Hello Chief, welcome to Outback.org!

If there is one topic that has been beaten to death on this site it is this discussion, not your fault but there have been multiple "2.5 vs 3.6" or "4 cylinder vs. 6 cylinder" threads over the past few years.

Here is a link to a post I made in our other most recent thread along these lines, in it contains links to previous thread.

Hope this helps: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...tml#post408591
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post #6 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 01:17 PM
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<- New 4 cylinder owner. I'm sure the 3.6 is great, but we bought the 2.5i for the better fuel economy since I mainly commute in it. I'm perfectly happy with the power the car has. If I want to drive a "quick" car I'll hop in our turbo Jetta.

My parents have a loaded 2011 Highlander with the V6 and while it does have a lot of get-up-and-go the gas mileage in it is atrocious. Also, I'm not a fan of how sensitive the gas pedal is- the slightest touch of the gas and that Highlander is off, it's way to sensitive.
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post #7 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 01:31 PM
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I am on my second Subaru, and went from an '06 Forester 2.5x to a '12 OB Premium 2.5 CVT. I was in the same boat as you, and will admit that I still may have a touch of buyers remorse at times for NOT getting the 3.6, however the 2.5 is more than capable. The ONLY time I wish I had more power would be merging on freeways here in southern California. Other than that I have no complaints at all with the 2.5. I'm already taking a hit on mileage with the AWD, and the 6cyl makes it even worse.

I have not towed anything with the new OB, but used to tow a Triumph Thruxton (a 640lbs cafe racer) in a U-Haul motorcycle trailer back and forth to Los Angeles and the one thing I was impressed about with the Forester was that it had plenty or torque and didn't even blink when towing the bike and trailer (but again, i was not winning any races, and it's not the same as towing with a full size truck obviously). It might be a small engine, and not the fastest thing out there, but for what it was it did have some grunt! Now if you are going to be towing something bigger, or towing frequently though, i'd think its a no brainer and get the 3.6. If you are just getting something as an 'all-around', have a bit of a longer commute to and from work (my commute is 70 miles roundtrip 3 days a week) and want decent mileage, SLIGHTLY lower maintenance costs, and save a few bucks at the dealership, the 2.5 is more than adequate. It really all depends on your priorities and what you want out of it. Like others have mentioned, if you want a fast car, you won't find that with either engine, and get a WRX.

I can say with confidence that although my '06 was only nearing 100k miles, which is not a lot for a Subaru, I beat the **** out of that car. I took care of it mechanically, but used it for what it was intended for. IT was cross country several times, FULLY loaded with stuff on the roof as well, been to the desert in ridiculous heat, mud, sand, hail, snow, rain, and plenty of trailheads out in Colorado that require 4WD/AWD (never any rock crawling or really gnarly off road stuff, obviously), and it also made a great surf car for the last three years here in San Diego as I could fit a 9'6 longboard INSIDE the Forester, and NEVER had an issue. So as far as durability and longevity of the 4cyl/2.5, I wouldn't worry. I will say though that if I still have the '12 OB the car after the 3 year/36k bumper to bumper warranty expires, I may consider getting an extended warranty, simply for all the electrical stuff on the car. I'm more worried about having to pay out the ar$e for tracking down some electrical gremlin if my sunroof breaks, heated seats malfunction, etc. This is not just particular to Subaru, but any car that has all the modern luxuries that can break. The drivetrain though is solid in either the 4cyl or 6cyl.
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post #8 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 01:43 PM
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2.5i only if you want 6MT.

If not, 3.6 all the way!

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post #9 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 01:58 PM
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3.6, all are underpowered for this vehicle but that one is paired the best out of all the options available.
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post #10 of 394 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 02:46 PM
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Both are WEAK. Getting a 3.6 for the small increase in "performance" while getting a large decrease in gas mileage didn't make sense to me. If I wanted the 3.6's gas mileage I woudl have gotten a real SUV.
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