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2013 OB Limited, 2.5 w/Moonroof
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With several threads about "wheel shakers" and CVT noise, and other drama thought it would help to have a report that the 2013 2.5i CVT is really, really quiet ride both during acceleration and at speed.

Now for full disclosure... I came from driving a Honda Pilot that had newer but fairly hard low rolling resistance tires on it for MPG so I have been dealing with a fair amount of road noise the past year or so. But this is by far the quietest drivetrain I've had in recent memory and that includes our other current vehicle which is a Prius V wagon (that's louder during acceleration when it's not on battery at least :) ) Another family member's 2010 OB 2.5i CVT is also nearly as quiet after 60K miles on original tires (rotated religiously with plenty of highway miles), but the engine noise and CVT "whine" is there under load... The 2013 improvements really do matter here...

Still on my first "honeymoon" tank though so we'll see how it goes after break-in...
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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Congrats on the purchase. I find the road noise on the 2013 to be much improved but my ears still hear the CVT whine just as much as my 11 Legacy and my sisters 11 OB. Maybe somethings wrong with my CVT but I have really good higher end hearing. My dad can't hear the Turbo on his diesel and thought my car had no CVT whine at all. I'm not worried about it though. The Outback gets the Impreza CVT unit which many reviews state they can hear a wine or whirling sound.
 

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2010 outback. base 2.5
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Congrats on the purchase. I find the road noise on the 2013 to be much improved but my ears still hear the CVT whine just as much as my 11 Legacy and my sisters 11 OB. Maybe somethings wrong with my CVT but I have really good higher end hearing. My dad can't hear the Turbo on his diesel and thought my car had no CVT whine at all. I'm not worried about it though. The Outback gets the Impreza CVT unit which many reviews state they can hear a wine or whirling sound.

The Prez gets a whine from its chain driven FB2.0, not the CVT. The second gen CVT is much improved over the early its gens.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
I picked up mine last day of Aug, and am at end of 3rd tank. My mother in law's is exactly a year older. You hear the CVT with both but it's not at all obnoxious. It seems like a quieter car than my friend's late model Civic as far as road noise and when the engine runs in higher RPM.

What my ears get from the stereo and nobody complaining about using hand free phone point to quiet.

I think this speaks to a good product. We considered, tested and can afford vehicles that were considerably more than we spent for Ltd w/EyeSight and could afford them but chose the 4 cyl Outback. I see some I know in a higher demographic also choosing these cars. They have aspects that are cheap but I think it says something when people who can afford more chose them.

A few passengers used to fancy vehicles have also been impressed with the car basically commenting that it blew away their impressions of the brand and model.

We almost got the 6 and the sound or noise was lower or more pleasant with higher acceleration but it's not an issue for most all of my regular driving.

Basically a happy family here if this vehicle has reliability and durability like our Toyotas. There is one noise - a rattle - I hope is fixed with its first trip for service.
 

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We are midway through the second tank on our 13 OB LTD. It is the quietest OB we have ever had (our 3rd) and the quietest overall (our 5th Subaru).

When I compare it to our first Subaru, a 2000 Outback it is refreshing to discover how refined Subarus have become over the years. On the highway and around town our new car is very quiet yet there is a certain firmness (in a good way) to the ride . I don't find the CVT intrusive at all in fact it has a reassuring noise when accelerating hard.

Pleased so far.

Ron
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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A good raging case of tinnitus will solve most noise issues with cars.

:(
Yeah I have that unfortunately. However I was told I'm one of the cases that has perfect hearing with a ringing in my ear. Its mainly only at night though so I sleep with a fan.

This morning the car was too quiet as my 7 week old son wouldn't quit crying until I cracked the window to give some background noise to calm him down. :29:
 

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2016 Tungsten Outback 3.6R w/Eyesight. My 6th Subaru.
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This is my first CVT vehicle.
The sounds and performance differences do take some getting used to.
 

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'08 Veracruz Limited
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This morning the car was too quiet as my 7 week old son wouldn't quit crying until I cracked the window to give some background noise to calm him down. :29:
Yeah, the downside of a car that's too quiet. My 3 month old doesn't care to ride in our ES350, but slumbers deeply in my rough riding, lowered and loud Kia Soul. :29: Our 18 month old could care less, LOL.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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572 Posts
I agree. The initial cold loud idle is really deceiving, but driving down the road I would put it up against a Lexus on road noise. The FB engine with a timing chain is so quiet. The CVT sounds like one of those wooden train whistles which is kinda cool, but thats only when acellerating. It reallly is a marvel how quiet they are. Our previous vehicle was a Honda CRV (the Queen Mother of Horrible Road Noise), so we are comparing night and day here
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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I agree. The initial cold loud idle is really deceiving, but driving down the road I would put it up against a Lexus on road noise. The FB engine with a timing chain is so quiet. The CVT sounds like one of those wooden train whistles which is kinda cool, but thats only when acellerating. It reallly is a marvel how quiet they are. Our previous vehicle was a Honda CRV (the Queen Mother of Horrible Road Noise), so we are comparing night and day here
Good point, I only hear the CVT when acclerating. At speed or on cruise control its really quiet. Come to think of it I could hear the CVT on my Legacy cruising below 40 on pavement with no air or music on, on this car I can't. But I never drive with the music off unless my wife is in the car with a headache.
 

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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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With several threads about "wheel shakers" and CVT noise, and other drama thought it would help to have a report that the 2013 2.5i CVT is really, really quiet ride both during acceleration and at speed.

Now for full disclosure... I came from driving a Honda Pilot that had newer but fairly hard low rolling resistance tires on it for MPG so I have been dealing with a fair amount of road noise the past year or so. But this is by far the quietest drivetrain I've had in recent memory and that includes our other current vehicle which is a Prius V wagon (that's louder during acceleration when it's not on battery at least :) ) Another family member's 2010 OB 2.5i CVT is also nearly as quiet after 60K miles on original tires (rotated religiously with plenty of highway miles), but the engine noise and CVT "whine" is there under load... The 2013 improvements really do matter here...

Still on my first "honeymoon" tank though so we'll see how it goes after break-in...
Really? I test drove one to make sure it'd fit in the garage and I thought it was one noisy beast. At least from the engine compartment. The rest of the ride was quiet. When the engine wasn't working very hard.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...I really like our OB for highway cruising. Quiet! The whine from the dogs in the back is worse than any whine the CVT gives out. lol
 

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I think it depends on what car you've driven previously when considering what sounds your outback makes...I recently took my 2011 (that I've put 40,000 miles on this year) on a road trip from Indiana to Maryland - it gets a little throaty when going up a 13 mile 6% grade, but I can't really fault it for that, and a combination of axle gearing and the CVT ensured that it stayed under 3000 RPM and could pass minivans that were lumbering up those grades. The trip, in the winter, through the mountains, at 70 mph, got me a calculated 30.4 average mpg. When on the flatlands, it's mostly silent. Also, I have pretty good hearing, and the only time the CVT is noticeable is when the windows are down and I'm accelerating.

But then again, the car I traded in for this one is a 2004 Grand Cherokee V8 with glasspacks...jet engines sound quiet in comparison...
 
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