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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an 18 3.6R Limited 2 weeks ago today. It's been in the shop for a couple days for an out of the box alignment issue and my loaner is a 17 2.5i premium.

Here are my observations. They are opinions.

Premium cloth seats are nice. They're comfortable. The car is 'softer' with them. I actually prefer them to the leather I think. Much nicer than I first thought.

Head unit in 2017. Unacceptable. Worst modern infotainment I've used. The interface is garbage. It's convoluted and hard to use while driving. The display is ugly and looks like zero effort. That being said, I found cool pages, like car stats and weather I've not found in my 18 yet.

Headlights, halogen. Borderline unacceptable. They're horrid. Terrible visibility especially off 30 from center. I found myself straining to see when making left turns.

Wind and road noise is significantly more than the 18. Wife commented on how annoying it was.

New 18 blind spot location is much improved.

No active tpms in 17. This is nice in 18.

That said, if you can get the 18 premium with xenon / led and eyesight its a good trim. I don't know if you can. Headlights would be a deal breaker for me. The 17 would have been unacceptable in any trim due to the head unit and noise.

Now for the fight. 3.6R vs 2.5i

On my test drives which were all very limited, I hated the 2.5. After 2 days and 400 miles, I don't. It's not bad about 90 to 95 percent of the time. If it learn to use it, it's actually got an interesting power band. The cvt however ruins the experience. It's got some strange weird shudder when crossing the fake shift points. Wife asked if the trans was broken. It's actually not a bad engine for my commute. However the mpg falls face down above 60.

On a road trip down 64 at 70-75, the mfi read 31.5 compared to the 28 of the 3.6. Going to work, mostly 55-60, the mfi read 33.5 compared to the same 28 on the six.

Filling the car up this morning netted a 28.7 over all mpg for the same routes I've been getting 25.2 on the 3.6 with.

In the end, the 2.5 is better than my test drives lent me to believe. However with how I drive and the many trips we make back home to the mountains, the roughly 3.5 mpg of the 2.5 isn't worth the trade.

Had I been able to get the 2.5 premium with a sun roof, eyesight and led headlights, that decision would have been much harder. But I was never afforded a proper comparison between the two engines.

I'm very happy with my 3.6R.its much queter and smoother than the 2.5 for only a 3.5mpg difference. However in the premium trim, it would have been a good choice, given we could get the features we wanted.

For what we paid? It was a no brianer to get the 3.6
 

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2016 OB Premium with Eyesight
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534 Posts
Congrats on the new add to the stable! Will this be a replacement or an addition? That milage is not too bad of a difference! I drove a loaner Fozzy XT and the milage wasn't far off either, made me want a different engine than the 2.5i. However, the 2.5i is enough to make it up Pike's Peak when you are not competing.

It is funny how we compare things which were not an issue 25+ years ago. Headlights for example: HIDs are awesome and now make the traditional setup appear as the worst thing invented. They have their trade-offs (like the dealer not liking aftermarket HIDs installed, im looking at you, local dealer!)
 

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2016 Outback Premium ; 2019 Outback Premium
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124 Posts
I bought an 18 3.6R Limited 2 weeks ago today. It's been in the shop for a couple days for an out of the box alignment issue and my loaner is a 17 2.5i premium.

Here are my observations. They are opinions.

Premium cloth seats are nice. They're comfortable. The car is 'softer' with them. I actually prefer them to the leather I think. Much nicer than I first thought.

Head unit in 2017. Unacceptable. Worst modern infotainment I've used. The interface is garbage. It's convoluted and hard to use while driving. The display is ugly and looks like zero effort. That being said, I found cool pages, like car stats and weather I've not found in my 18 yet.

Headlights, halogen. Borderline unacceptable. They're horrid. Terrible visibility especially off 30 from center. I found myself straining to see when making left turns.

Wind and road noise is significantly more than the 18. Wife commented on how annoying it was.

New 18 blind spot location is much improved.

No active tpms in 17. This is nice in 18.

That said, if you can get the 18 premium with xenon / led and eyesight its a good trim. I don't know if you can. Headlights would be a deal breaker for me. The 17 would have been unacceptable in any trim due to the head unit and noise.

Now for the fight. 3.6R vs 2.5i

On my test drives which were all very limited, I hated the 2.5. After 2 days and 400 miles, I don't. It's not bad about 90 to 95 percent of the time. If it learn to use it, it's actually got an interesting power band. The cvt however ruins the experience. It's got some strange weird shudder when crossing the fake shift points. Wife asked if the trans was broken. It's actually not a bad engine for my commute. However the mpg falls face down above 60.

On a road trip down 64 at 70-75, the mfi read 31.5 compared to the 28 of the 3.6. Going to work, mostly 55-60, the mfi read 33.5 compared to the same 28 on the six.

Filling the car up this morning netted a 28.7 over all mpg for the same routes I've been getting 25.2 on the 3.6 with.

In the end, the 2.5 is better than my test drives lent me to believe. However with how I drive and the many trips we make back home to the mountains, the roughly 3.5 mpg of the 2.5 isn't worth the trade.

Had I been able to get the 2.5 premium with a sun roof, eyesight and led headlights, that decision would have been much harder. But I was never afforded a proper comparison between the two engines.

I'm very happy with my 3.6R.its much queter and smoother than the 2.5 for only a 3.5mpg difference. However in the premium trim, it would have been a good choice, given we could get the features we wanted.

For what we paid? It was a no brianer to get the 3.6
I own a 2016 Premium 2.5. I love the car. I have no problem with the 2.5 engine. Works fine for me. Wife does not complain about anything (as far as how the car drives anyway :smile2:). My car is quiet as a church mouse. No issue with road noise. I also did my research prior to buying and found the OE tires are not rated well. Had the dealer do a straight tire swap for General Altimax RT43's before i took the car home. Maybe that helped the road noise issue.

Seems there is a new thread daily with someone giving a review of how they like their car or pros and cons of their car. Which is great. However it always seems to end up turning in to a 3.6 vs 2.5 debate which is not so great. It always starts with "i know this has been beaten to death but" or "I hate to bring it up but".... I think we all know by now the 3.6 is smoother, obviously has more horsepower, is better in the mountains etc etc. I think if someone is deciding on the 2.5 or 3.6 they can do a search and find about 6000 threads to help them by now. And no i don't have 3.6 envy. Anyway, just wanted to stick up for the minority on this forum. 2.5 Premium owners. :wink2:
 

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'18 2.5i Premium
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96 Posts
In the end, the 2.5 is better than my test drives lent me to believe. However with how I drive and the many trips we make back home to the mountains, the roughly 3.5 mpg of the 2.5 isn't worth the trade.
The problem with the 2.5 vs 3.6, is it's not just an MPG--and thus gas expense--equation. It's an extra $6,000+ if you were looking at a Premium and are interested in the 6-cylinder. That's the main reason I didn't get the 6-cylinder. At the price point of the 6-cylinder Outback, there is simply other vehicles I would have bought over it. The 2.5 Premium is a great price. The 3.6R Limited or 3.6R Touring seems a lot less competitive at it's price point.
 

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'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
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1,659 Posts
The problem with the 2.5 vs 3.6, is it's not just an MPG--and thus gas expense--equation. It's an extra $6,000+ if you were looking at a Premium and are interested in the 6-cylinder. That's the main reason I didn't get the 6-cylinder. At the price point of the 6-cylinder Outback, there is simply other vehicles I would have bought over it. The 2.5 Premium is a great price. The 3.6R Limited or 3.6R Touring seems a lot less competitive at it's price point.
Where did you get the $6,00 difference from? Attached is an image clip I took off of Edmonds.
 

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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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451 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's part of my point.

The 2.5 premium is a good car, having driven one.

Had I been given 24hr test drives in each, I maybe would have had a harder time deciding.

That being said, the difference was like 1800.00 in limited trim with eyesight. 1800.00 is not 6k if you're already sold on the limited. Wife much preferred the limited.

I paid 32,500 for this car. Most people are paying in the 28k range for a 2.5i premium. I got a stellar deal. 4500 bucks was MORE than worth the step up for me.

That being said, had I had a full day driving each one, and not had access to the amazing deal I did, we may have looked much harder at, and ended up with a 2.5 premium.

Even at 34-35k there isn't much that does what it does, capability wise.

I think the two best trims are the 2.5i premium and 3.6R limited.
 

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2017 Outback Limited
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136 Posts
I agree, AGAIN! Look, just let people write their own opinions (which they will continue to do) and be done with it. Have confidence in your purchase and know you made the right choice for “you”. No car on the market will be perfect. Trade offs are made all the time. I have the 17 Limited, and while it’s not perfect, it does just what I need it to do. I enjoy driving it.
 
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