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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i Dark Blue Pearl/Ivory w'Eyesight
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Concur 3.6R
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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2.5 Even easier.:rolleyes:(ducks and covers) That question is like walking into a bar and a drunk asks you if you think his girlfriend is pretty.:gasp:
 

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I am not sure what thread contains more BS:

1.) 2.5 vs 3.6
2.) What type of oil is best
3.) Should I buy a K&N air filter

There are tons of answers. None are right. Both are great engines. Buy the one you like and go with it.

I have driven both, here are some of my observations:

Personally (and this is MY opinion) I found the 2.5 underpowered for Colorado altitude and mountain driving at high speed (interstate).

I like a little more umph off the line from the stop light and I feel the 2.5 has a flat spot in it's power/acceleration curve at 2500-3500 RPM.

I can't get used to the CVT. Some people like it. It helps with mileage. There have been a couple low mileage CVT failures posted on the board, but it's not the norm. The 5AT on the 3.6 is an average transmission. It's relatively smooth but not geared well (IMHO). I have no complaints with it other than gearing could be taller. I'm sure this was an MPG decision on the part of Subaru.

Gas mileage will be better with a 2.5.

Real world gas mileage on the 3.6 is much better than the EPA sticker, most people get 19-20 city and 25-26 highway with the 3.6. Gas mileage improves on the 3.6 after 5000-10,000 miles.

The 3.6 is much quieter and smoother. Not that the 2.5 is rough, but not as smooth. If you get a base model the cabin noise on the 2.5 is horrendous. The premium and limited have a lot more sound deadening which even out the cabin noise between the two engines.
 

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2019 Touring
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I like the power of the 3.6R but I love the CVT trans on the 2.5
I just traded my 2.5 for a 3.6 a couple of weeks ago and the 3.6 has the power I like but....... I miss the CVT
not sure if I will keep it or not. I guess I would like a 3.6R with a CVT
yep that would be nice
 

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I've been in the same mode trying to decide. That would be great if the 3.6 did better than EPA... mostly around city.

It sounds like 2015 will be a major redesign?

Also wondering if Subarus still burn oil, compared to other engines?

thanks
 

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Was in the same boat, had the EJ25 in my 2011 and liked it well enough. Under normal driving the EJ25 and original CVT in our 2011 Outback felt underpowered to me. That said I find new FB25 combined with the re worked CVT in our '13 much smoother and more "traditional automatic like" if that makes sense? The car leaves the light with a much more sense of eagerness .vs my previous Outback which seamed to require 1/4 throttle for any noticeable forward motion.

Wife really wanted a 3.6R this time around, as did I secretly. But I have read countless "Oil consumption" threads in here regarding that engine so I was skeptical. After owning a Volkswagen product of which I purchased new and always had to carry "spare" quarts of oil in the trunk, I prefer not to go down that road again. On top of that this is my wife's car, whom commutes over 50 miles each way daily so fuel economy was paramount over raw horsepower.
 

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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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Neither my 2000 VW Jetta (VR6) nor my current 3.6r burn any oil.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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Also wondering if Subarus still burn oil, compared to other engines?
The 3.6R seems to be developing a reputation for high oil usage.
Use the "search" function to find several threads on the subject.

Looby
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited Eyesight Lapis Blue Pearl
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I love our 2013 2.5 Limited. It's smooth and quiet. Still don't have enough miles to judge mileage(1500 miles so far). But the mileage is while we went with the 2.5. So far it is adequate in everyday. It has plenty of power for the low, but steep mountains here in WV. I have zero regrets. I'm sure the 3.6 is more fun, but i honestly didn't buy the Outback to be a sporty car.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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As suggested above, you need to drive both and decide for yourself. You must have some idea which is more important to you, fuel economy or power.

I personally went with the 2.5, and, except for a VW Dasher I drove many years ago, this is the smallest engine I have ever had in a car. While there are a few times on the freeway that I would like a little more power to merge where I want to, I have actually been pretty pleased with my choice. The engine does seem to have a power surge when it wraps up to higher RPM's, and this helps. I'm still waiting for the engine to break in well enough for me to get the 30+ mpg that others tell me they get. But I am confident that it is on the horizon.

If you change your own motor oil, then one very big plus for the 2.5 is the oil filter placement. Make sure you note that on the 2.5 vs the 3.6. With the 2.5 you will NEVER have to fight dirty motor oil dripping down the side of the engine. You will NEVER have motor oil dripping down your hand as you remove the filter. And you will NEVER have to blindly install the new filter.

As far as oil consumption, I have never owned a car that didn't use some motor oil, so I can't relate to those who say they never top off between oil changes. To date my 2.5 isn't using any oil, but I have less than 5k miles on it. So time will tell.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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it depends on your driving. the 2.5 is adequate. I probably should've gotten the 6, but a large part of the reason for this car was the gas mileage. I wasn't very impressed with the H6 for the increased premium. my monthly payment would be almost as much as on the evo that I traded in. im averaging 30mpg sometimes, id never get that with the bigger engine. I would only recommend the 3.6 if you tow, but even if you do the 4 cylinder can handle almost as much.
 

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2011 3.6R Limited in Azurite Blue
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I'm just kind of reiterating previous points but it really just depends on your needs. I test drove both and ended up trading my 07 Wrangler Unlimited for a 2011 3.6R. Going from 12mpg to 21mpg (mostly city but some highway) was a huge improvement for me but I can see how someone would go with the 2.5 if they're already used to better fuel economy. The main reason for my decision on the 3.6 was for towing capacity. I know there's only a 300# difference between both but I feel much more comfortable with the 5 speed and 6cyl vs the 2.5 4cyl and CVT. I have 4 different trailers that could be behind the car at any given moment (a pop up camper, jet ski, 8x12 open trailer, and a 8x12 enclosed trailer) so I wanted to make sure I was well prepared for any of those situations. Terrain around here is also pretty hilly and the drivers are just horrible so you never know when someone could pull out in front of you. I always want to be able to hit that skinny pedal and feel like I can get out of most dangerous situations, and with the 3.6, I feel like I can do that more comfortably.

When it comes down to it though, it depends on your budget and what your intentions for the car are. There are a lot of good used cars out there but you've gotta be patient and you'll find exactly what you want. I ended up getting my 2011 3.6 Limited with every option and only 14K miles for less than they were asking for the 2012 premiums with only a few options. I really don't think you'll be disappointed with either option unless you're looking for things to complain about. Best of luck!
 

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As suggested above, you need to drive both and decide for yourself. You must have some idea which is more important to you, fuel economy or power.

I personally went with the 2.5, and, except for a VW Dasher I drove many years ago, this is the smallest engine I have ever had in a car. While there are a few times on the freeway that I would like a little more power to merge where I want to, I have actually been pretty pleased with my choice. The engine does seem to have a power surge when it wraps up to higher RPM's, and this helps. I'm still waiting for the engine to break in well enough for me to get the 30+ mpg that others tell me they get. But I am confident that it is on the horizon.

If you change your own motor oil, then one very big plus for the 2.5 is the oil filter placement. Make sure you note that on the 2.5 vs the 3.6. With the 2.5 you will NEVER have to fight dirty motor oil dripping down the side of the engine. You will NEVER have motor oil dripping down your hand as you remove the filter. And you will NEVER have to blindly install the new filter.

As far as oil consumption, I have never owned a car that didn't use some motor oil, so I can't relate to those who say they never top off between oil changes. To date my 2.5 isn't using any oil, but I have less than 5k miles on it. So time will tell.
I just bought a 2013 2.5i Limited SAP, but some of the plusses with our old car 2011 2.5i CVT, Premium were that at 32K miles the car burned not an ounce of oil ever between oil changes.

Also it seemed as if the car started getting extremely good mileage once over exactly 30K miles. My wife was just starting to get 29-30 on her commute with the old car on a regular basis and that's with Yakima trays on the roof.

Our 2013 2.5i CVT, Limited SAP is barely getting 26 mpg's on the exact commute. It only has a hair over 500 miles on it so far, but I fully expect this car to take almost 30K miles to break in as well.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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which engine is the way to go?
You might want to give more information on how you'll use it.

I'm happy with 2.5 after decades with more and MUCH more powerful vehicles. I went from 6 to 4 cyl car and am reminded quite often how 2 more cyl were often a waste.

It's a great car for general metro area work and family use and has plenty enough power for the 190 miles between home and cabin.

I have friends who own the 6 and it appears I'm getting 2 - 6 MPG better than they do for same sort of use.

We do own a more powerful minivan and I rent vehicles when needed which also makes the 4 ideal.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i
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The 3.6 will cost $3000 more to buy and a few hundred dollars more in fuel each year. The only place you will miss the 3.6 power is merging and passing in heavy traffic. If you drive 2 lane roads behind trucks, or tow, I'd consider the 3.6. Otherwise the 2.5 is adequate. The 2.5 is fine for hilly roads fully loaded. It's even fine for extended grades when fully loaded.

The CVT takes some adjusting to. You don't get the auditory clues and the surge of acceleration just before gears shift like on a conventional AT. It accelerates more uniformly which makes it feel slower.

Both are much better than Subarus of previous generations.
 
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