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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at a '17 2.5 Touring and StarLink and a '17 3.6R limited with EyeSight+Navi+HBA+Reverse Auto.

Opinions? thoughts? What are the differences that I should be aware of that a sales person might not tell me?
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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The differences between the Touring and Limited w/EyeSight are minor cosmetic and comfort features (except for the LED headlights in the Touring, which may be considered significant). But you're comparing a 2.5 to 3.6 engine. IMO, that should be the focus of your decision. And of course price.
 

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The price point for each is about the same. You would get a heated steering wheel with the Touring. Do you want the larger, quieter engine and lower gas mileage?

FWIW - I have a 2017 OB Limited 3.6 w/EyeSight+Navi+HBA+Reverse Auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm on the fence as to the gas mileage vs bigger engine. Is the 3.6 quieter than the 2.5? If I may ask, does the Touring include all the bells the Limited has plus the heated wheel and the distance pacing cruise? Does your liftgate have a memory?
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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My OB is also a 2017 3.6R Limited w/EyeSight. It has the distance pacing cruise control and liftgate height memory. (Even in my garage with a very low ceiling, the liftgate can open full height.) The Touring has everything the Limited has, plus the heated steering wheel, chrome roof rack rails and side trim, the special edition brown paint and brown leather interior, and the steering responsive LED headlights. (The HID headlights in the Limited are great headlights, and might be brighter than the LEDs in the Touring, although I haven't driven a Touring to compare.)

For me, the bigger engine wins hands down. My last three cars all had four-cylinder engines. When I went car shopping, one of things I was looking for was "moar powah." But you might not care that much about engine power. I wouldn't exactly call the 3.6 quiet, but it has a pleasant throaty rumble compared to the higher pitched whine of the 2.5 which needs to run at higher RPM.
 

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I'm on the fence as to the gas mileage vs bigger engine. Is the 3.6 quieter than the 2.5? If I may ask, does the Touring include all the bells the Limited has plus the heated wheel and the distance pacing cruise? Does your liftgate have a memory?
Yes to all.

Don't know where you live, but every car should have a heated steering wheel.
It is so great in the winter. Funny, My brother just got a new Dodge truck. I asked him how he liked it and he said when he got it, he thought the heated wheel was no big deal: Now he says it is the best part of the truck.

We bought our Touring mostly for the saddle leather seats. Oh, and the '17 touring has 3 years of Sirius, the '18 Touring does not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm originally from NNY(a longtime snowbelt resident) currently residing in MA. I have a heated wheel on my outgoing lease. I do like it. I like that tidbit about Sirius. That wasn't known. Thank you!!
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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Oh, and the '17 touring has 3 years of Sirius, the '18 Touring does not.
Was that 3 years of the full Sirius service in the '17 Touring? My '17 Limited only came with 3 months of Sirius radio, and 3 years of Sirius traffic and travel info.
 

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I just bought the 2018 Touring 2.5. I companies the limited and touring as well as the 2.5 and 3.6. I also have a 2015 limited. My rational was LED lights, roof rail vs rack, heated steering wheel were all pluses. 3.6 wasn’t necessary.

Very happy with the Touring.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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If you ever own a 3.6 you will never consider a 2.5! >:)
Amen to that. Immediately after test driving one of the 3.6's I wanted a new car. lol!

That being said, hitting 28 mpg highway (with members reporting over 30 mpg) is really good, again, considering it's an AWD car. My wife's Honda Pilot barely breaks 20 on a good day. Yes, it's a larger car, but they're both 6 cylinders.

@Trish Lawyer

The 3.6 is much, much quieter in operation especially at higher RPM's above, say, 3000. Whereas the 2.5 has more of a "whine" like a millennial trying to get out of bed to get to work on time, that it's being stressed out, the 3.6, as pointed out above, is more of a confident "I've got this" rumble.

For me, personally, even though I drive primarily city, I'm still going for a 3.6 as long as it's still available for purchase... Some people view their vehicles simply as an appliance, like a coffee pot; some people view their cars as an extension of their soul. There's no replacement for smiles per gallon! There is a relatively confident rumor that the 3.6 will be discontinued shortly for the turbo 4... The million dollar question is when: MY2019, or later?
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Amen to that. Immediately after test driving one of the 3.6's I wanted a new car. lol!

That being said, hitting 28 mpg highway (with members reporting over 30 mpg) is really good, again, considering it's an AWD car. My wife's Honda Pilot barely breaks 20 on a good day. Yes, it's a larger car, but they're both 6 cylinders.

@Trish Lawyer

The 3.6 is much, much quieter in operation especially at higher RPM's above, say, 3000. Whereas the 2.5 has more of a "whine" like a millennial trying to get out of bed to get to work on time, that it's being stressed out, the 3.6, as pointed out above, is more of a confident "I've got this" rumble.

For me, personally, even though I drive primarily city, I'm still going for a 3.6 as long as it's still available for purchase... Some people view their vehicles simply as an appliance, like a coffee pot; some people view their cars as an extension of their soul. There's no replacement for smiles per gallon! There is a relatively confident rumor that the 3.6 will be discontinued shortly for the turbo 4... The million dollar question is when: MY2019, or later?
Bet it will be 2020 when I am looking for a new vehicle. :) Wish I bought a six just for the quieter engine. To me, a bigger future consideration is Subaru's potential move to additional autonomous driving features and/or hybrid or electrical drivetrain. All considerations for my next vehicle.
 

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'17 Outback 3.6R Limited, '05 Forester
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I have the '17 3.6R Limited bought in March, 2017. Here are my reasons for choosing it ... and I understand your needs may not be the same as mine.

Compared to the 2.5 4-cylinder
  • On the test drive, the 6-cyl was much smoother. It probably was quieter but to be honest it was the smoothness that swayed me. After 10 months of driving, I do not regret choosing the bigger engine.
  • The published tow limits are the same at 2,700lb but I felt the extra torque and power would be less stressful to the bigger engine in the long run.
  • I get 24-25mpg in mixed 70% city and 30% highway driving. I got 29mpg on 100% highway across the flatlands of the mid-West. I know the 4-cyl will get more but I'm satisfied with my results.
Compared to the Touring trim
  • We both hated the exterior and interior color options. And yes, this is a personal choice and I know other people love the colors.
  • I already have the roof rack for my kayak that fits on the standard roof bars. I didn't want to spend extra on getting new ones to fit the Touring roof. Besides, I like the look of the Outback with the standard bars, and to me the roof-line on the Touring looks a little naked.
Thoughts on the Outback in general:
  • There is a lot of body roll with the standard 16mm rear sway bar. My wife kept grabbing for the handle everytime we went round a roundabout. One of the first things I did was replace it with a 20mm RSB.
  • I added a tow hitch at the same time.
  • I hate the fact that Outbacks in North America do not have a full size spare. More so because where are you expected to put the flat tire when you've put on the donut spare. If the back is full your only option is to somehow tie it to the roof. I just wish the place for the spare was big enough for the full size tire.
  • I've had heated steering wheels on rental cars and they are definitely opulent. Even though I live in Minnesota, I don't miss it on my Outback because I have this new fangled invention called gloves that work out much cheaper.
  • I love not having to fish out my keys from pockets to unlock doors or start the car. Especially when bundled up in winter clothing. I chose not to have the remote start option.
@Trish Lawyer Please do let us know your final choice. I think many of us would be interested and especially your reasons. :smile2:
 

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We chose the Touring because we wanted all the options anyway, and we liked the brown leather seats and the less goofy-looking roof rails.

We chose the 3.6R because my wife hated our last car with a 4-cylinder/CVT combination. (But she did like making "nyinn, yin-yin-yin" noises to express her disdain for the way it sounded when she tromped on the gas.) She loves her 3.6R Touring.
 

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Bet it will be 2020 when I am looking for a new vehicle. :) Wish I bought a six just for the quieter engine. To me, a bigger future consideration is Subaru's potential move to additional autonomous driving features and/or hybrid or electrical drivetrain. All considerations for my next vehicle.
Yes, I agree, I'm curious to see how they get back into the hybrid or electric segment. HOWEVER by waiting you potentially lose the chance to purchase a 3.6 if they're discontinued. My approach is that I'm watching the Auto Shows and Media Subaru page extremely closely (one or twice daily for updates)... And if at one of the Auto Shows they show that they're phasing in a Turbo 4 for the Legacy, whether they confirm or don't speak about the 3.6, it would make me think the time has come.

Inventory is a lot tighter with the 3.6's. I think I read a statistic that 85% of the Subarus sold are the 2.5's, but I don't know if this includes all models or only the Leg/OB. While I've seen a LOT of 17-18 OB 3.6's around, I think I've only seen one other Legacy 3.6... and that was in Magnetite Gray, so I'll have to get a Black one. lol. It seems like many of the dealerships around here have zero, one, or maybe 2. Couple that statistic with the fact you may be shooting for a specific color combination, it makes it that much harder. It also means that if you really want something that's "in-stock", the dealer may have the upper hand in negotiations. ("Sure, we can get the car for you, but it'll cost you..."

In that case they kill off the 3.6 this year, I will run with flames coming out of my shoes to my preferred dealer and put in a factory order.

Typically speaking, Subaru will announce Legacy-related changes at the Chicago Auto Show, and discontinue Factory Orders sometime around mid April. So, with the CAS being around February, we're looking about a two-month heads up.

So if you truly have regrets about your model, there's no time like the present. At least get your ducks in a row!



I get 24-25mpg in mixed 70% city and 30% highway driving. I got 29mpg on 100% highway across the flatlands of the mid-West. I know the 4-cyl will get more but I'm satisfied with my results.



That's excellent. I echo your thoughts on the Touring trim. It's not like you're getting a special exterior color - you get knocked down to only four options and only the brown interior.

That's one of the reasons I looked back to a Legacy. I don't really make use of all that extra cargo space, so I decided that I would be best off saving $5-6000 and getting back into a Legacy compared to the Outback 3.6 Limited.

I actually prefer the Limited and below rails/crossbars. They are very functional the one or two times I've used them, and I like how everything's integrated. Just pop out, swing, and pop in. Easy. The Touring requires me to spend even more money for Thule crossbars.

I do like the idea of the Heated Wheel, but for me I'm fine without it. But, I do wish they had some type of ventilated seat option. It gets pretty hot here in the summer, so I have to make a choice to either crack open the windows and hope for no pop-up thunderstorms, or have the minor "inconvenience" of turning on the car, letting the A/C cool down the cabin for a few minutes, and then jumping in to drive.

How's the experience with the keyless start? That's new for me. I have to remember to set up that PIN code in the trunk in case I need it.

What happens if your battery in the remote is drained? Can you not start the car with a conventional key in this circumstance? (Maybe I'll keep a precision screwdriver and a spare battery in the glove box...)

I also would like to know what you chose! Drop in!
 

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The Touring, at least in the 3.6r OB includes every option including EyeSight. I have a 2015 Outback 3.6r Limited and I would recommend the 6 cyl engine over the 4 if you're looking for something with a little more punch to it. There are lots of arguments, either way, 6 cyl or 4 cyl but in my opinion, the small difference in gas mileage vs the big difference in performance with the 6 was a no-brainer for me.
 

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As another poster mentioned...if you ever own a 3.6, you will never consider a 2.5. The 3.6 is smoother, will last longer, and gives you that good linear power that the 2.5 just doesn't have. Night and day.

I just bought the 2018 Touring 2.5. I companies the limited and touring as well as the 2.5 and 3.6. I also have a 2015 limited. My rational was LED lights, roof rail vs rack, heated steering wheel were all pluses. 3.6 wasn’t necessary.

Very happy with the Touring.
If you ever own a 3.6 you will never consider a 2.5! >:)
 

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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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What happens if your battery in the remote is drained? Can you not start the car with a conventional key in this circumstance? (Maybe I'll keep a precision screwdriver and a spare battery in the glove box...)
You can still start the car if the battery in the remote is dead. It's a simple procedure described on pages 9-18 and 9-19 of the owner's manual. Basically, you use the end of the remote (instead of your finger) to press the start button on the dash. (It's a good idea to carry a spare battery in the car anyway.)
 
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