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Discussion Starter #1
I am seriously considering purchasing either the 2020 Outback Premium or the Ford Edge with auto trans. I actually like the Outback better but the one thing that is causing me concern is potential problems with the Subaru CVT. I usually run my vehicles for 100k. Looks like it is only warrantied out to 5/60K. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Plenty of discussion in various threads, but we only have so much "data" on the CVTs, so much of what gets tossed around here is useless speculation. If you're that concerned, buy Subaru's 100k extended warranty. Suggested reading:

 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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IMO, the CVT is one of the Outback's best features. (Others may disagree.) They have been quite reliable, overall. The most common problem has been minor fluid leakage due to incompatibility between CVT fluid and the assembly sealants used, and that is usually easily remedied under warranty. In fact, Subaru has extended the CVT warranty on Outbacks to 10 years/100,000 miles, through MY 2018, and it seems likely that it will be expanded to include later model years as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
IMO, the CVT is one of the Outback's best features. (Others may disagree.) They have been quite reliable, overall. The most common problem has been minor fluid leakage due to incompatibility between CVT fluid and the assembly sealants used, and that is usually easily remedied under warranty. In fact, Subaru has extended the CVT warranty on Outbacks to 10 years/100,000 miles, through MY 2018, and it seems likely that it will be expanded to include later model years as well.
So the 2019 and 2020 CVT is currently not covered by the 10 years/100,000 mile warranty?
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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So the 2019 and 2020 CVT is currently not covered by the 10 years/100,000 mile warranty?
Not that I'm aware of (yet). An extension could be issued (or not) at any time.

Is that because they fixed any issues with the CVT seals or those model year owners have not complained?
The CVT warranty extension always seems to lag up to 2 years behind the model year. "Why" is pure speculation. Don't overthink this; the current Subaru CVTs have been quite reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not that I'm aware of (yet). An extension could be issued (or not) at any time.


The CVT warranty extension always seems to lag up to 2 years behind the model year. "Why" is pure speculation. Don't overthink this; the current Subaru CVTs have been quite reliable.
Good to hear.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R
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I would buy a low mileage '18 3.6R if I had the cash to buy a 2020 premium. Except the wheels on those models are absolutely wretched.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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10,336 Posts
I've actively tried to kill my CVT and after 65k miles unfortunately I have nothing to report.

No issues.

In doing hours of research and reading as many first hand accounts as I can on the subject:

Remember the Outback has had at least 3 (or 2, or 4, depending on how you define them) CVT's.

The TR580 has a great record. It's attached the NA 4 cylinder models.

The HT-TR690 (In the XT models for the Gen 6, also used in the 6 Cylinder models in the Gen 5 albeit with a different trans code and fluid) also have a great record in the Outback.

The TR690 has a good not great record.

Most of it's issues seem to be early models where the torque converter failing would be an issue and likely cause the valve body to fail as well.

Point of this long post? I wouldn't worry about the transmission in these cars.
 

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I am seriously considering purchasing either the 2020 Outback Premium or the Ford Edge with auto trans. I actually like the Outback better but the one thing that is causing me concern is potential problems with the Subaru CVT. I usually run my vehicles for 100k. Looks like it is only warrantied out to 5/60K. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

I had the same question, and posted in new members, but didn't receive any responces, so I am with you Nathan, as I asked a couple questions one being the same as yours see below
Hope you don't mind me jumping aboard your thread, not trying to hijack it ....Thanks

I test drove both the Outback & Edge yesterday, and also enjoyed the Outback more, but the Edge has an auto trans.

Hi folks from the treasure coast of Florida.

I have a couple questions
1) Heard mention of possible CVT issues with Subie's
2) Also issues with Blown Head gaskets on Subie's
3) Any good independent Subie repair shops in Treasure Coast area of Fl

Side note: I did see where Subaru extended warranty on 2010 to 2015 from 5 yrs 60K to 10 yrs 100K for CVT. I understand they make them in house and not made by third party

Has Subaru improved on there manufacture of CVT's, and are Blown Head gasket still issues with the Boxer engine ?
 

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2017 Subaru Legacy Sport
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If you want "only" a 100k miles out of a car then the Subaru CVT should get you there easily with no maintenance (fluid changes) required unless you like to tow things in which case it is recommend to change the fluid per the maintenance schedule. Although not on your short list, if you want only 100k miles, then I would also recommend looking at the Hyundai's as they have an exceptional warranty on their cars.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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1) Heard mention of possible CVT issues with Subie's
Not an issue, IMO, in Gen 5 Outbacks.

2) Also issues with Blown Head gaskets on Subie's
Not an issue in Gen 5 Outbacks. The FB25 engine, adopted in 2012, is a totally different design than earlier H4s.
 

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Don't forget most of the "My Subaru CVT is about to explode" posts are written by Honda and Toyota dealers trying to sell more of their cars. Subaru has been and continues to be one of the best moderately priced cars ever made.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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383 Posts
I think of all the car manufacturers who offer a CVT transmission, Subaru has done them better. They’ve gotten the engineering right. Although if given the choice, I prefer a manual gearbox, but the two Outbacks and one Legacy all with CVTs have proven very reliable for my wife and I. I wouldn’t worry.


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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring
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I think of all the car manufacturers who offer a CVT transmission, Subaru has done them better. They’ve gotten the engineering right. Although if given the choice, I prefer a manual gearbox, but the two Outbacks and one Legacy all with CVTs have proven very reliable for my wife and I. I wouldn’t worry.


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I tend to agree and have grow to like the CVT coupled with my 3.6. That said the one area of caution would be towing. I do not think CVT's are great for that. To be clear not talking about a utility trailer or the like. For me if i were to tow let's say a boat or travel trailer on a regular basis i would get a small truck or SUV with V6 and traditional transmission. Now i know many tow with the Outback, so can it be done, i just feel there are much better choices if towing on a regular basis.

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I don't like the CVT but the whole package of the outback makes up for it IMO. There don't seem to be many CVT failures and the fluid seems to hold up to 100k. I like that it gets good mpg and pretty smooth on the highway. What I hate about it is how slow it is to get off the line especially in cold weather. The computer really limits the power to the cvt until it warms up. I have to enter a buy street that is slightly up hill out of my neighborhood and when it is cold the outback takes about half a second after I step on the gas to get going, it's really frustrating.
 
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