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2018 Outback 2.5L Premium - Ice Silver
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hola!

I'm writing this post with my experience driving the 2.5 outback from Denver, CO up to Dillon, CO to help any Colorado prospective outback 2.5 buyers wondering if the 2.5 will be enough for them.

If you're from or live in Colorado, you know that the westbound drive on i70 from Denver to summit county can make or break a car choice- if you're like me- you want to have a sensible, reliable, and efficient wagon in town, but still be able to head up the hill to ski or camp for the weekend. I just wanted to share my experience for anyone who makes this drive regularly and wants to know how he. outback would handle it.

I picked up my 2018 Outback 2.5 yesterday, and my wife and I took it up to Dillon for its inaugural drive up to ski country. Despite still being in the break in period, it really handled the hills well, all while staying under 4000 rpm. It had more than enough power, and was so smooth. The car was loaded with me, my wife, my dog, and some bags for the weekend.

I used to have a 2007 Tacoma TRD sport before the outback, and it obviously was a great truck to take up i70, but always had its drawbacks during the week and around town with its gas mileage, rough ride, and spartan interior. I couldn't justify driving the Tacoma daily just because it was good in the mountains. I barely ever took it off road, and when I did, it was on roads that would be considered soft-roading I guess- old fire roads and mild trails. Regardless, I wanted something that would be great in all situations, and I think the outback fits he bill perfectly.

We cruised up i70 and easily stayed at the speed limit and kept up with traffic. The paddle shifters were great at regulating speed during long descents like westbound Floyd hill, and the west side of the eisenhower tunnel going westbound. The long uphills were fine- the 2.5 kept us comfortably at 65. The only point at which we slowed a bit was on the last half a mile on the approach to Eisenhower, but i didn't want to push the drivetrain hard during the break in, so I took it easy.

We haven't taken it back to Denver, so I will still need to report on how it handles the notorious ascent up the Eisenhower going eastbound.

-Shortround
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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552 Posts
2.5 is OK for interstate driving, I've had little to no trouble in that aspect. Once you're rolling, it works reasonably well. As months pass by, you'll see limitations of the drivetrain in other situations... and they might not be deal breaker for you...

and yes this is promising to escalate very quickly in another H4 vs H6 thread.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,542 Posts
One day this past summer my wife and I drove our 2.5 Outback from Glenwood Springs to Estes Park, via Vail Pass (10,662 ft), Loveland Pass (11,991 ft), Berthoud Pass (11,306 ft), and Trail Ridge Road (12,183 ft) ... just for fun. No problems expected, and none experienced.

Would a 3.6 have been smoother and quieter? Yes. Did I need to thrash the 2.5 to keep up with traffic? No. Was the 2.5 fully adequate? Yes! YMMV.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5L Premium - Ice Silver
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! Yeah, I didn't intend for and don't want it to it to turn into another 2.5 vs 3.6 thread. I only found a couple of first hand experiences on the i70 drive with the 2.5, so I figured I'd share my experience in case anyone was looking for more info since yhis post is quite specific to region.
 

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17 OB Premium, White w/black
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105 Posts
Same here. 17 2.5 from Texas to Breck the back way over Lizardhead and a bunch of others. Never "droning", never redlined to keep up. Able to climb everything without becoming the slow guy. Sure, the 6 is better at everything other than mpg's, but my 2.5 surprised me with the ease with which it handled the hills. No complaints at all. Just waiting for the snow.
 
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'17 OB 3.6R Touring [ex-'09 OB Ltd. (2009-16); ex-'01 Audi A6 Avant (2001-2009)]; '14 Impreza Sport Premium
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924 Posts
Last week did our annual 530-mile drive from VA to Cape Cod.

Previous 7 trips were in our 2.5 ('09). Even factoring improved smoothness of the '17 2.5 w/CVT over the '09, making the trip with our usual 2 kayaks on the roof proved every penny of the 3.6 cost (vs. 2.5) to be worth it IMO.

No muss, no fuss, no frequent downshifts or straining to pass at 65-75 mph. Could've gone either way (2.5 vs 3.6) but this trip validated the choice.

The '09 got ~23-24 mpg on the trip with kayaks atop; the 3.6 got about 21-22 fwiw .... a much more relaxed ride aside from the howling from roof racked 'yaks on both cars.

IMO it's a toss up choice based on personal preferences.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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7,542 Posts
... Texas to Breck the back way over Lizardhead ...
Back way? I'll say! Lizard Head Pass is way west of anything approximating a direct route between Breckenridge and anywhere in Texas.
 
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2010/2016 outback
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1,015 Posts
Hola!

I'm writing this post with my experience driving the 2.5 outback from Denver, CO up to Dillon, CO to help any Colorado prospective outback 2.5 buyers wondering if the 2.5 will be enough for them.

If you're from or live in Colorado, you know that the westbound drive on i70 from Denver to summit county can make or break a car choice- if you're like me- you want to have a sensible, reliable, and efficient wagon in town, but still be able to head up the hill to ski or camp for the weekend. I just wanted to share my experience for anyone who makes this drive regularly and wants to know how he. outback would handle it.

I picked up my 2018 Outback 2.5 yesterday, and my wife and I took it up to Dillon for its inaugural drive up to ski country. Despite still being in the break in period, it really handled the hills well, all while staying under 4000 rpm. It had more than enough power, and was so smooth. The car was loaded with me, my wife, my dog, and some bags for the weekend.

I used to have a 2007 Tacoma TRD sport before the outback, and it obviously was a great truck to take up i70, but always had its drawbacks during the week and around town with its gas mileage, rough ride, and spartan interior. I couldn't justify driving the Tacoma daily just because it was good in the mountains. I barely ever took it off road, and when I did, it was on roads that would be considered soft-roading I guess- old fire roads and mild trails. Regardless, I wanted something that would be great in all situations, and I think the outback fits he bill perfectly.

We cruised up i70 and easily stayed at the speed limit and kept up with traffic. The paddle shifters were great at regulating speed during long descents like westbound Floyd hill, and the west side of the eisenhower tunnel going westbound. The long uphills were fine- the 2.5 kept us comfortably at 65. The only point at which we slowed a bit was on the last half a mile on the approach to Eisenhower, but i didn't want to push the drivetrain hard during the break in, so I took it easy.

We haven't taken it back to Denver, so I will still need to report on how it handles the notorious ascent up the Eisenhower going eastbound.

-Shortround
I live in the same area. I agree no problem with the 2.5. With the 3.6 or better yet the Forester XT do a better job. Yep. The 2.5 is a totally acceptable engine
 

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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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Some people just arent happy with 'adequate' and want a little more. The 3.6 is for those people, Im learning. I've also learned Im one of those people myself. Coming from german inline sixes, and turbodiesels with gobs of TQ, the 2.5 would have made me regret my choice. There's a reason there are two different engines.

The majority is fine with a 2.5. Most people are also OK with a corolla.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5, Ice Silver
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Some people just arent happy with 'adequate' and want a little more. The 3.6 is for those people, Im learning. I've also learned Im one of those people myself. Coming from german inline sixes, and turbodiesels with gobs of TQ, the 2.5 would have made me regret my choice. There's a reason there are two different engines.

The majority is fine with a 2.5. Most people are also OK with a corolla.
They are also fine with better gas mileage, easier engines to change oil in, less expensive insurance and not regretting paying for something they didn't need! THUG LIFE!
 

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2010/2016 outback
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They are also fine with better gas mileage, easier engines to change oil in, less expensive insurance and not regretting paying for something they didn't need! THUG LIFE!
Agree, The corolla comment is a little demeaning . The Outback with the 2.5 is by no means the corolla model. I had both engines in Gen 5's and yes the 3.6 does make it a little more upscale overall but for a 3.6 it is way behind the times in today's engine tech.
 

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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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Agree, The corolla comment is a little demeaning . The Outback with the 2.5 is by no means the corolla model. I had both engines in Gen 5's and yes the 3.6 does make it a little more upscale overall but for a 3.6 it is way behind the times in today's engine tech.

How is it demeaning? The corolla has better acceleration. Thats a simple fact. The corolla does 0-60 in like 9.5.

I doubt many 3.6 owners regret their purchase. An average of 3 mpg means not much.

Buy what you want. All of subaru's engines are behind 'today's tech'. None have modern DI, and very few turbo choices. 22Rs and 1FZ's are behind in tech too, but they were 300K mile engines, with ease. There isn't a single DI turbo out there thats capable of 300K without something taking a dump. Sometimes, reliable power is better than tech.

I usually see more 2.5 people than 3.6 justifying their purchase. Who cares? Do you like it? Great. Drive it.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, with custom-added always-on auxillary power for an inverter, 3x DC jacks, and a radio transciever.
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638 Posts
This is interesting to me - I just tried a 2017 Outback 2.5i Limited test drive at my local dealership "for fun". I wanted to try a 2018 but the ones they could find keys for were all trapped behind other new cars with dead batteries (gee, that's a great selling point) that they were unsuccessful in moving out of the way.

Compared to when I was looking in 2012 it seems the 2017 2.5i (which I gather is the same drivetrain as the 2018) does a lot better "at speed" and passing but it was still rather anemic starting from a stop. I drove it maybe 2-3 miles down the state-highway and turned around in a neighborhood that is at the bottom of a hill (not super steep but a hill with a stop-light near the bottom). All I can say is I'm glad I waited for a much bigger gap in traffic because even "foot to the floor" it took an eternity to get up to 50mph and by that time the traffic that was just peaking the far side of the hill was on top of me already.

Once you get up to speed the 2.5 now seems like its acceptable if you need to accelerate to change lanes but it's still kinda crap in my opinion for starting from a stop, especially if that stop is at the bottom of a hill.

I will say the 2018 Outback Limited I got to "play with" trapped in the sea of cars on their lot had both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the head unit tho I didn't attempt to pair it to my Samsung S5 to test it. I wasn't fond of the touchscreen radio (love my physical buttons) but other than that it seemed cool and looked really sleek.

IMO the 3.6 is still superior for its ability to start easily from a stop without flooring it and get up to speed pulling out onto roads where you have to accelerate to fit with cars going at (or above) the speed limit.
 

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Back way? I'll say! Lizard Head Pass is way west of anything approximating a direct route between Breckenridge and anywhere in Texas.
:) That's because I skied Telluride, Crested Butte then Breck and A!
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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208 Posts
I doubt many 3.6 owners regret their purchase. An average of 3 mpg means not much.

Buy what you want. All of subaru's engines are behind 'today's tech'. None have modern DI, and very few turbo choices. 22Rs and 1FZ's are behind in tech too, but they were 300K mile engines, with ease. There isn't a single DI turbo out there thats capable of 300K without something taking a dump. Sometimes, reliable power is better than tech.

I usually see more 2.5 people than 3.6 justifying their purchase. Who cares? Do you like it? Great. Drive it.
I agree with most of what you said. I'm loving my new OB for a bunch of reasons. I didn't even consider the 2.5, in fact the 3.6 could use more power still. At my age I'm not skimping or short changing my self. I bought mine outright, just the way I wanted it, with no payments. Screw a few bucks saved on insurance or at the pump.
 

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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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I spend so much time on I95, I64, I81, and in the blue ridge mountains on 2 lane roads that are always containing slow drivers that need to be passed, Id never live with the 2.5. I pass MANY outbacks putting along in the right lane at 60 (in a 65-70). Im sure the 2.5 is all they need. I drive differently. Therefore, we are getting an ordered 3.6R.

Also, when I put those 17's and falken wildpeaks on it, Id rather have the extra tq.

That being said, I could care less about 0-60 or HP. My TDI has 155-160, but 240 TQ. I care about 30 to 60-70 for merging, passing, and roll on throttle.

I seriously doubt the insurance on a 3.6 is much, if any different than a 2.5. Insurance rates are based on safety, collision avoidance, and likelyhood of a claim by vehicle type. The outback was one of the least likely cars to have a claim, and with ES, has one of the best collision avoidance systems on the market. The engine under the hood has far less bearing on your rate.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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How is it demeaning? The corolla has better acceleration. Thats a simple fact. The corolla does 0-60 in like 9.5.

I doubt many 3.6 owners regret their purchase. An average of 3 mpg means not much.

Buy what you want. All of subaru's engines are behind 'today's tech'. None have modern DI, and very few turbo choices. 22Rs and 1FZ's are behind in tech too, but they were 300K mile engines, with ease. There isn't a single DI turbo out there thats capable of 300K without something taking a dump. Sometimes, reliable power is better than tech.

I usually see more 2.5 people than 3.6 justifying their purchase. Who cares? Do you like it? Great. Drive it.
New Impreza has modern DI. Again, not a lot of power but smooth and quiet. I had the 3.6 and it's a bullet proof engine built for the Tribeca in 2007. Lets' see what they put out in the new Ascent 2.4 and the next base Forester(Small turbo)
 

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Current vehicle is the 2008 honda civic sedan 2,850lbs with 140hp and 130 tq, about 20 lbs per horse. Compared to 2.5 outback 3726lbs with 175hp and tq is about 21lbs per horse. So I think the conparison to the corolla is warranted in terms of acceleration and engine specs. Dont get me wrong, my civic is bullet proof. 150k miles on it and nothing but oil and regular fluid changes. But it sure isnt fast, it feel "decent" in the cities but the auto is always downshifting and jumping to 5-6k rpms to keep up with highway traffic on large hills and the roar of the engine makes my wife think the car is weak and she is absolutely right, plus when have you heard people using "decent" as a complement? Currently vewing it as a downgrade in turns of engine output with the 2.5 so Im going with the 3.6. Test drove the 3.6 touring today and its perfect.
 
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