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Which engine does your Outback have?


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2.5i vs 3.6 R?

I'm a prospective buyer. I test drove a fully equipped 2012 OB premium with a 2.5i engine. Nice, lots of things to like about the vehicle! However, my wife and I have both driven manuals for the last 35 yrs and are used to higher HP engines. My main thought after the test drive was I wish the car had a manual transmission and 6 cyl engine.

Please don't take offense as I was not able to get out on the highway in this limited drive but it felt as though it would strugg1e getting up to freeway speed on the entrance ramp (75 mph in ID) and perhaps would struggle maintaining speed on hilly roads or going over mountain passes. Am I mistaken? Should I focus on finding 3.6 R? We will not be using the car for towing. I have a pickup for towing my duck boat... :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!
 

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Well, if you want a 6 cylinder and manual, you're out of luck. Not one made.

You can get the 2.5 with a 6MT.
 

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its really on you, but the value of this car lessens as you start throwing in expensive options like the H6 or some packages. I assume the reason you're looking at a Subaru is because you want something that offers a lot for a reasonable price. the 2.5i moves pretty well for its bulk, its no sports car. but for that matter neither is the 3.6. the 3.6r is going to be a little faster but I don't think its worth the extra initial premium or the higher gas bills. either way you'll enjoy the outback.
 

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We bought a new 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited.

Drove it for ~23K (as I recall) and wound up trading it in.

We just didn't like / couldn't get used to the 2.5i & CVT.

They credited us $24,500, plus the tax advantage toward a 2103 Acura RDX AWD Base for my wife and then I bought a 2005 Outback XT (turbo) 5MT for myself.

I really liked the Outback 3.6R Limited, although I just read it doesn't have a limited-slip differential. Not sure how I feel about that.
--
 

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the 3.6r is going to be a little faster but I don't think its worth the extra initial premium or the higher gas bills.
The initial premium and the presumed higher gas bills is EXACTLY why I never even considered the 6-cyl when we bought our 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited. Didn't even test-drive one.

If I had it to do over again, I think we would have been totally satisfied with the 6cyl and would have spent a LOT less money in the long run because we'd still be driving it.

If you watch on the forums and look on Fuelly.com, you might be surprised to see that the real-world MPG between the 2.5i and 3.6R isn't all that different.
 

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...my wife and I have both driven manuals for the last 35 yrs and are used to
higher HP engines ... I wish the car had a manual transmission and 6 cyl engine.
Same here. However, six cylinder engines and manual transmissions have
each become increasingly rare in N. America -- and it's nearly impossible
to find a mainstream six cylinder sedan or wagon with both.

...it felt as though it would strugg1e getting up to freeway speed on the
entrance ramp (75 mph in ID) and perhaps would struggle maintaining
speed on hilly roads or going over mountain passes. Am I mistaken?
Yes, you are mistaken. As automatics go, the Soobie CVT is far better
than most at coaxing maximum performance from a small-ish engine.

Anyhow, a 2.5L, 173 HP engine isn't what I'd call "wimpy" -- that's the
same displacement and 10 more HP than our old 1997 626-V6, which
was then Mazda's "zoom-zoom" top-of-the line. Many other 2.5L-3.0L
V6 flagship sedans of the day were in the same ballpark.

No problem at all hitting 80+ mph on an entrance ramp -- even during
break-in, while keeping the tach below 4000 rpm. Although we don't
have any high-altitude mountain passes around here, I've crossed the
Rockies many times in cars with poorer power:weight ratios than OB.
It won't win any drag races, but it has more than enough HP for any
(paved) road you'll find in the USofA.

Looby
 

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I'm glad we got the 3.6. The extra power make it much more drivable. Unfortunately, the 6MT isn't available with the 3.6 engine. One of the reasons we went with the 3.6 is because it was available with the 5EAT rather than the CVT. I'd choose the tranny first and the engine second.
 

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I have a '13 Legacy with the 2.5 engine with CVT and have been happy with it. Just got back from a road trip from So Cal to the Coeur D'Alene area up the I-15 and I-90. Had the cruise set at 80 most of the way once I passed Las Vegas. The car maintained that speed on all the up grades and the engine never had to rev over 4000 RPM on the worst ones. The gas mileage is pretty good too. I'm averaging 30 MPG so far with about 5500 miles on the odometer. That's much better than the other Subarus I've had before.

The 6 cylinder would definitely be more powerful but I think the 2.5 is more than adequate for me and I like the gas mileage.

I've read of some oil consumption issues but my engine hasn't used any oil. Had a car kick up a rock and crack my windshield in Montana. The crack had to be in the worst possible place right in front and eye level. Sure was irritating to drive all the way back like that. LOL Got a new windshield yesterday so all is good. :)
 

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I have a'12 with the 2.5 and CVT. I have been driving for 45 years, and this is only my second non manual transmission vehicle. I actually planned to buy a premium 6 speed manual, but test drove both it and the CVT. The CVT is better, in this case. I get 30+ mpg, and it has enough power for me, even living where I do, at 7200'. I cannot go anywhere without going up and down a mountain or 10. 30mpg vs 25mpg for the 3.6 would make up my mind. You pays your money, and you makes your choices.....
 

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I love my 3.6! Only 2600 miles so far. Best highway mileage has been 29 with AC on and dry road conditions, worst is 24.9 in rain, wind, AC on driving 2 lane highway with Memorial weekend holiday traffic. Average 18 city with LOTS of stops, starts and idle time. She gets up and goes when merging or passing.
Test drive the 3.6 and consider how you will be using your car as well as how the traffic flows where you are.
 

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I'd choose the tranny first and the engine second.
exactly why I wanted the 4 cylinder outback. I have a tendency towards buying the latest and greatest car technology. to the guys who want their oldschool slush boxes or carbuerators or something like that, go check on your black and white tv.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks for the comments and reports! :)

I use my pickup for most of my travels and this second vehicle would used by my wife in her daily commute plus travel across southern Idaho to see our son in Boise. My wife would be fine with the 2.5i, but I have to see if I am,,, ;-) I did find a couple 3.6 R's here in Idaho Falls and will give them a try as well as the 2.5i under freeway driving conditions. Thanks again!
 

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Downside is available HP is about 20% less, as well.
Yes, it's a downside for power, but another upside for fuel economy.
Less air = less fuel. That's effectively the same as having a smaller
displacement engine at sea level.

Looby
 

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Discussion Starter #18
exactly why I wanted the 4 cylinder outback. I have a tendency towards buying the latest and greatest car technology. to the guys who want their oldschool slush boxes or carbuerators or something like that, go check on your black and white tv.
I'm not sure what you mean by slushbox.... For me, I like being in complete control with a manual tranny! I become one with my engine and we make a grat team! :D If kids had to drive manuals, they wouldn't be trying to talk on their cell phones or texting while driving....
 

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you've never heard slushbox before? Urban Dictionary: slushbox

if you want to concentrate on shifting, buy some sort of real sports car and then you'll probably be tracking that constantly and having so much fun we'll never hear from you again. and kids would DEFINITELY be talking or texting while driving with manuals. much more difficult but only at lower speeds. but the younger generation has almost no interest in cars in the first place.
 

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you've never heard slushbox before? Urban Dictionary: slushbox

if you want to concentrate on shifting, buy some sort of real sports car and then you'll probably be tracking that constantly and having so much fun we'll never hear from you again. and kids would DEFINITELY be talking or texting while driving with manuals. much more difficult but only at lower speeds. but the younger generation has almost no interest in cars in the first place.
Sorry, I'm not a big car buff and had not heard the phrase. Must of struck a nerve, sorry I simply enjoy driving a manual. You'll get over it, I'm sure. :rolleyes:
 
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