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Discussion Starter #1
Hello 4 th Gen Outback owners :),

I don't actually own an outback, but decided to join this forum as I am thinking about purchasing the 2013. So here is the short story:
<O:p</O:p

Back in 2011 I test drove 2.5 6MT and I hated it. It was floaty ride, some gears would not engage properly, underpowered and overpriced. So, I went with the 2011 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab V6 4X4 Long bed with 6 speed manual for five grand less than the outback. Great truck IMO, but with gas prices climbing up, this truck desperately needs a diesel, as I am only averaging 13.5l/100km (17.5 US MPG) and I am not even towing anything or hauling heavy loads in the bed! As result, I started to look for something efficient, yet family friendly with all wheel drive to battle Canadian winters and occasional gravel road trips.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
Fast forward to today, I decided to give the Outback a second chance as the 2013 addressed, at least partially, the flows that I have experienced with the 2010-2012 outback. As a consequence, I went and test drove 2.5 with CVT and a short test drive in the manual (dealer only had one, so they couldn’t give me a full test drive). Guess what, I really liked the outback this time around with both transmissions and I am not comparing it to the truck as we have a Jetta TDI as well. The CVT was always in the power band exhibiting some noise but nothing crazy, definitely worth considering especially that it gets better fuel economy that the manual tranny. As for the manual, I thought it was great combo with this engine, never stalled, as some have experienced with the 2010-2012. I specifically stopped on steep incline to test clutch engagement and see if there is dead zone in the throttle, everything seemed ok there as well. Overall, very impressed with the Outback :29:
<O:p</O:p<O:p</O:p
Hence my test drive with the 6MT was limite, all of the you with the 2013 6MT please share your experience in this thread. Your input is greatly appreciated, especially, considering that there are only very few such unique owners with updated engine and 6MT. <O:p></O:p>>>>>>>
 

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I own a 2011 6 speed with 41,000 miles on it. For the most part the car as a whole is not much different than the 2013 6 speed I recently drove. Gearbox and throttle etc all seemed exactly the same in the quick drive I took.

There have been many long drawn posts on the 6 speed vs. the CVT and 4 cylinder vs. 6 cylinder etc on this forum. In the end, it all comes down to to personal preference. Overall the Outback has been a pleasure to own. In my case I prefer to drive a shift so that is what I bought and am very happy with it.

Hope this helps a bit
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I own a 2011 6 speed with 41,000 miles on it. For the most part the car as a whole is not much different than the 2013 6 speed I recently drove. Gearbox and throttle etc all seemed exactly the same in the quick drive I took.

There have been many long drawn posts on the 6 speed vs. the CVT and 4 cylinder vs. 6 cylinder etc on this forum. In the end, it all comes down to to personal preference. Overall the Outback has been a pleasure to own. In my case I prefer to drive a shift so that is what I bought and am very happy with it.

Hope this helps a bit
Thanks for the advise

I am leaning more towards the manual. I've never actaually even owned an automatic, neither did my wife. What region do you live in?? I am close to the mountains, so I am a bit concerned regarding on how 2.5 6MT performs on the hills. Any insight on gas mileage you are getting?
 

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I live in Northern NJ, but use the outback in basically all types of driving. I cover metro NYC, NJ and eastern NY for work as a salesman. I've spent a lot of time driving in bumper to bumper traffic, as well as upstate NY in the ADKS etc.

The only time I did not enjoy driving in steep terrain was after I traded in my 2010 jetta TDI wagon in Keene NH. The massive supply of torque from the diesel threw me off guard taking some steep highway passes, but now I am used to it.

Overall MPG is around 26-29 and I never have less than a few hundred pounds of catalogs and samples etc with me either. I use the Outback to occasionally tow my approx 3k boat to the ramp a few miles away and also I occasionally pull a 6x12 open deck utility trailer. This car is like a swiss army knife
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's great info man! I actually own a 2006 Jetta tdi with stage one tune and this thing just rips the hills without the need to downshift. Sportwagen TDI is on the consideration list for truck replacement along with the outback, what made you change the sportwagen to the outback?


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I owned the Sportwagen for about a year and half and put 59k on it. I suppose the fear of long term expensive repairs and VW corporates poor handling of High Pressure Fuel Pump failures made my mind up. Here is what I experienced in a short period of ownership. If these were out of warranty I would have been screwed. The fuel economy 42mpg , driving dynamics, and power were great, but I just felt like it would have cost me in repairs whatever I saved on fuel etc. In 41k the outback has been flawless ( knock on wood)

-damaged 3 wheels hitting pot holes ( one wheel was replaced, others could be balanced still). Use error I suppose due to NYC roads in poor shape but I have never damaged a wheel on a car before

-Lower control arm bushings went out at 24k

-Beautiful touch screen radio broke twice. Second time I had to get assistance for VW coverage due to being out of new car warranty. New part was I believe 750 bucks

-Intercooler would ice up in 30-40 degree weather. I could have hydrolocked the car due to slush oily build up in lower hose. Had to remove the lower hose and scrap the gunk out or risk Hydrlocking the car. Well documented and hopefully resolved on current models.

-10,000 mile interval oil change and 20,000 interval for fuel filter were pricey. VW spec oil had to be used at approx 80.00 per change and the fuel filter needed to be primed via VW laptop program. I recall having both done the same time was around 200 bucks.

Ground clearance is very low. I put on an aluminum skid plate and in the winter it saved my from beating up the oil pan pulling in and out of parking lots with frozen chunks of ice/snow etc built up.
 

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I owned the Sportwagen for about a year and half and put 59k on it. I suppose the fear of long term expensive repairs and VW corporates poor handling of High Pressure Fuel Pump failures made my mind up. Here is what I experienced in a short period of ownership. If these were out of warranty I would have been screwed. The fuel economy 42mpg , driving dynamics, and power were great, but I just felt like it would have cost me in repairs whatever I saved on fuel etc. In 41k the outback has been flawless ( knock on wood)

-damaged 3 wheels hitting pot holes ( one wheel was replaced, others could be balanced still). Use error I suppose due to NYC roads in poor shape but I have never damaged a wheel on a car before

-Lower control arm bushings went out at 24k

-Beautiful touch screen radio broke twice. Second time I had to get assistance for VW coverage due to being out of new car warranty. New part was I believe 750 bucks

-Intercooler would ice up in 30-40 degree weather. I could have hydrolocked the car due to slush oily build up in lower hose. Had to remove the lower hose and scrap the gunk out or risk Hydrlocking the car. Well documented and hopefully resolved on current models.

-10,000 mile interval oil change and 20,000 interval for fuel filter were pricey. VW spec oil had to be used at approx 80.00 per change and the fuel filter needed to be primed via VW laptop program. I recall having both done the same time was around 200 bucks.

Ground clearance is very low. I put on an aluminum skid plate and in the winter it saved my from beating up the oil pan pulling in and out of parking lots with frozen chunks of ice/snow etc built up.
The diesel rated engine oils are more expensive than the standard oils. Even though my diesel in my boat only takes two quarts - 12hp engine - the oil is still more costly than 3.5 quarts of the normal stuff for the Subaru. I love the diesel!!! But with the VW TDI he is in the same CAMP as my neighbor. Lots of miles on his sport wagon TDI - he dumped it after dropping over $2000 into it after the warranty was up. He's been driving a new Ford Focus for about 5 months now and last I talked to him he said that his mileage with the Focus 5door is only 3mpg lower than what he was running for the past 3yrs on the TDI. He figures the Ford will be FAR FAR FAR! cheaper not to mention gas costs about 30 cents less than Diesel around here.

I like driving the TDI's but never want to own one LOL. The one diesel engine I like is the Mercedes 3L CDI - unfortunately its wrapped in a Mercedes HA HA.
 

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Had a 2010 2.5MT put on about 50,000 miles before trading it for a 2012 CVT. The manual functioned something like a farm tractor, but it functioned, since owning the CVT I have been very pleased. If Subaru put a little more spunk in the 2.5 and a better MT, they would have something. To each his own, but I do like the CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I owned the Sportwagen for about a year and half and put 59k on it. I suppose the fear of long term expensive repairs and VW corporates poor handling of High Pressure Fuel Pump failures made my mind up. Here is what I experienced in a short period of ownership. If these were out of warranty I would have been screwed. The fuel economy 42mpg , driving dynamics, and power were great, but I just felt like it would have cost me in repairs whatever I saved on fuel etc. In 41k the outback has been flawless ( knock on wood)

-damaged 3 wheels hitting pot holes ( one wheel was replaced, others could be balanced still). Use error I suppose due to NYC roads in poor shape but I have never damaged a wheel on a car before

-Lower control arm bushings went out at 24k

-Beautiful touch screen radio broke twice. Second time I had to get assistance for VW coverage due to being out of new car warranty. New part was I believe 750 bucks

-Intercooler would ice up in 30-40 degree weather. I could have hydrolocked the car due to slush oily build up in lower hose. Had to remove the lower hose and scrap the gunk out or risk Hydrlocking the car. Well documented and hopefully resolved on current models.

-10,000 mile interval oil change and 20,000 interval for fuel filter were pricey. VW spec oil had to be used at approx 80.00 per change and the fuel filter needed to be primed via VW laptop program. I recall having both done the same time was around 200 bucks.

Ground clearance is very low. I put on an aluminum skid plate and in the winter it saved my from beating up the oil pan pulling in and out of parking lots with frozen chunks of ice/snow etc built up.
Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with the VW, I bought mine new in 07 and still have it to the day with 137k kms on it. Never had any issues with it, even with the Stage 1 tune. Its actually lowered with Eibach springs, so just like you I installed thick aluminum skid plate and it just plows through the winter. I do all oil changes myself, including the fuel filter which I never prime, so maintennace costs are at a minumum. On the other hand, I do have an older generation diesel which doesn't have the fancy HPFP, NOX filters, etc. So I am probably just gonna keep it until it dies as they just don't make them the same anymore.

Anyway, back to the topic. Its great to hear that the Outback 2.5 6MT is very reliable, great fuel economy for an all wheel drive vehicle, low maintenance costs, and even decent for towing, I mean you towed 3k boat with it, that's over a metric ton! Plus, the 2013 has the chain now instead of the timing belt, and DOHC for smoother running. I think the odds of me getting it are stacking up. How is the clutch holding up at 41K?
 

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Clutch seems fine, no issues at all. Pulling the boat out of the water is not something I do often since it bogs down pretty good. I've used it I think twice to pull the boat and would prefer to use our truck whenever possible It is just nice to know that if all else fails it will do it without too much drama or clutch burn up
 

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I have a 2013 Outback with a manual transmission. It does pretty well. the only complaint I have with the MT is that changing into second and third gear is a little rough (my other manual from Audi does it way smoother). I have 4000 miles on the clock now, and how that the transmission gets a little smoother over time.

I live in north west Wisconsin, and considering the experience with my 2033 Outback, I assume it will do just fine in winter conditions.

I can recommend the 2.5 1 Outback with manual transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a 2013 Outback with a manual transmission. It does pretty well. the only complaint I have with the MT is that changing into second and third gear is a little rough (my other manual from Audi does it way smoother). I have 4000 miles on the clock now, and how that the transmission gets a little smoother over time.

I live in north west Wisconsin, and considering the experience with my 2033 Outback, I assume it will do just fine in winter conditions.

I can recommend the 2.5 1 Outback with manual transmission.
How useful is the 6th gear on the highway?? Does it have any ground at 75mph or is just for flat sections of the road? Thanks for your experience


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How useful is the 6th gear on the highway?? Does it have any ground at 75mph or is just for flat sections of the road? Thanks for your experience


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It is kind like a "overdrive". But this is not much different in two other cars I have with six speeds.

You still can gain speed with it, but it is not like one of the lower gears.
 

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I suppose you're likely getting into an Outback for more than fuel efficiency..but if for some reason you're solely looking at fuel efficiency, I suggest you take a long, hard look at how long it will take you to break-even on your depreciation, additionally financing if applicable, etc. Eating thousands in depreciation plus new financing costs typically figure in the thousands, something not typically made up for years, even decades depending on your mileage :29:

Having driving 12/13 back to back with both CVT and manual, the manual felt no different to me while the CVTs were vastly different (with my preference for the 2012 and prior CVTs as they seem smoother). Best of luck in your search!
 

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I have a 2010 with the 6 spd.

I hated the spongy manual when I test drove it, so I had the short-throw shifter worked into the purchase order. I think it was the first one in Canada... they said it couldn't be done, but I pointed to the US brochure with the same part number as the Legacy.

Round trip from Kelowna to the coast, my best average is 8.6L/100km.

With the steep rear end gearing, the tranny is actually a triple overdrive (4,5 & 6). I eventually get it down to 3rd gear climbing the Coquihalla summit, but it'll still pull about 90km/h.

Definitely test drive the ACTUAL car you intend to purchase (ON THE HIGHWAY) before you sign anything. I've had the shakes since day one. Dealer said they'd fix it, but I've moved and Subaru Canada says it's up to the Regional Manager, who refuses to fix it.

Honestly, if I was told I couldn't drive this car over 110km/h, I NEVER would have bought it. I still plan to go to CAMVAP when I find the time.

I love the car, but the shakes are a serious problem and Subaru Canada is not standing behind their product. I doubt I'd ever buy a first year model or Subaru again.
 

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I have a 2010 with the 6 spd.

I hated the spongy manual when I test drove it, so I had the short-throw shifter worked into the purchase order. I think it was the first one in Canada... they said it couldn't be done, but I pointed to the US brochure with the same part number as the Legacy.

Round trip from Kelowna to the coast, my best average is 8.6L/100km.

With the steep rear end gearing, the tranny is actually a triple overdrive (4,5 & 6). I eventually get it down to 3rd gear climbing the Coquihalla summit, but it'll still pull about 90km/h.

Definitely test drive the ACTUAL car you intend to purchase (ON THE HIGHWAY) before you sign anything. I've had the shakes since day one. Dealer said they'd fix it, but I've moved and Subaru Canada says it's up to the Regional Manager, who refuses to fix it.

Honestly, if I was told I couldn't drive this car over 110km/h, I NEVER would have bought it. I still plan to go to CAMVAP when I find the time.

I love the car, but the shakes are a serious problem and Subaru Canada is not standing behind their product. I doubt I'd ever buy a first year model or Subaru again.
I know exactly which summit you are talking about, I go at least once year from Calgary to the island, never had to donwshift in TDI from 5th, current truck downshift 6 to 5th was more than enough, but it's a v6. But downshifting to third is civic territory, very interesting observation. Is anyone experiencing steering wheel vibrations at high speeds on the 2013s???


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I posted the ratios in this old thread:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/19801-manual-outback-2010-review-print.html?perpage=20&pagenumber=2

2010 Gear Ratios (6MT) - Manual
First Gear 3.454
Second Gear 1.947
Third Gear 1.296
Fourth Gear 0.972
Fifth Gear 0.825
Sixth Gear 0.695
Reverse Gear 3.636
Final Drive Ratio 4.444

The H4 needs the gearing for torque multiplication. It would probably climb the Coquihalla in 4th gear at 70-80 kph... but it's more fun to gear down and pass everyone (and most of them probably have more power)!

One other point, if you plan to tow anything, the H4 is rated at 2700lbs. The H6 is rated at 3000lbs, but that's restricted to a measly 1500lbs with long grades at high temperatures. They don't have an automatic transmission cooler, you'd have to go aftermarket.

I just ordered a 2100# popup (Jayco 1207) for the spring... I plan to tug it around the valley for a couple of years, then get a better tow vehicle. I like the current Frontier, but yeah, the mileage is as bad as a full-size truck (without the space and power). It'll be interesting to see what becomes available when the 2015 CAFE comes into effect. Maybe I'll go for a new Frontier, Tacoma or Canyon/Colorado. I love the AWD though (mountains in the winter at highway speeds), so the truck would probably be used to tow, and just as a second vehicle around town. In that case, mileage isn't quite as important, so a used full-size truck/SUV might be the way to go for me. Though it would be nice to have something that's relaxing to drive over 110km/h.
 

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I have a 2013 premium with the 6MT. I love it. A few points about it:
-6th gear is like a traditional 5 speed with a very tall overdrive. You can gain speed but not by much. It is nice for long highway/interstate drives.
-The difference between 5th and 6th is about ideal. 5th is still an overdrive but you can still go up hills with it. My daily drive consists of a 6% grade at 70 mph and 5th gear is perfect (unless I need to pass, then 4th gear will get the job done).
-The 2.5 runs out of steam at above 10,000 feet in elevation but it still gets the job done.
-1st gear is a little tall for going over obstacles but it still can be done. 1st gear isn't as tall as what some may make it seem.
-Starting on steep hills is easy, especially when you have the hill holder on.
-The clutch needs at least 1,000 miles before it starts feeling good. I have ~4,000 miles on my car and my clutch is feeling even better. The friction zone is very easy to find now.
-The shifter has been improved for 2013 for shorter shifts so the complaints from the 2010-2010 6MT owners about truck-like shifters do not apply. 6th gear is the only gear that feels out of place now but it still isn't bad.
-The 6MT can owners will be very happy with their choice if/when the CVT's starts to have issues.

Again, I'm personally VERY happy with my decision with the 6MT. My wife would've preferred the CVT but she still puts up with the manual. I think she has only stalled it once so far and she drives it everyday.
 

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I had Legacy with CVT for 2 years (30k miles) but now I'm driving Outback 6MT.

Since I liked very much the smoothness of the CVT, the complexity and general behaviors of the CVT's electronics scared me for a long term use. So I choose a Manual tranny for the new Outback. More, I prefer getting the 50/50 split power AWD than the FWD bias of the CVT transmission.

I was accustomed with legendary VW's manual transmissions, so I find that the Subaru MT is a unsophisticated device. As the weather is becoming cold in november, shifting is getting more and more stiff, espacially to shift in the second gear. Very "trucky" feeling ! Subaru could do better !
 
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