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Discussion Starter #1
hi! im thinking of purchasing a 2013 3.6 outback. after reading all the handling issues with 11/12 years im having second thoughts and want to hear what actual owners have to say about their 2013 outback model. thanks!
 

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2013 finally got it right. It's everything my 2010's should have been. It handles better than previous years but I never really had the major shake or wandering issues with my previous ones. Just a word of caution, it has a firmer ride in a good way for me. If you prefer the marshmallow ride of previous years you may not like it. Also they fixed a ton of little issues: auto headlights no longer turn on at every overpass, nav is much improved but still not perfect, homelink mirror no longer needs key to be inserted to work, new improved 2.5 engine with more hp and torque with timing chain instead of belt, improved cvt, rear A/C ducts, EyeSight technology available, improved roof rack cross bar design. That's all I can think right now but I am sure others will chime in with more.
 

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Might help to know which problems you are referring to.

The shakes should have been "shaken out" by the 2012 MY, if not earlier.

"Handling" is a bit vague. Are you referring to the actual "sloppy" handling that even Consumer Reports talked about? Yeah, that's been improved.

Are you talking about the "wanderer" effect or the twitchy steering wheel? That hasn't really changed, and in my experience, the 2013 is much like my old 2001. The steering is touchy and easy to overcorrect if you aren't used to it, but I like the responsiveness and don't actually have much of a problem with it. The car tracks straight for me with no input.
 

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What MPNRET stated. I traded in a 2010 limited for the 2013 Limited with SAP. Vast improvement all the way around. My 2010 was not a "shaker" and never wandered. Both were 2.5i's.
 

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If this is gen 4, we have rev a and rev b within the family.

If anything about rev a is a sub-par it has been missed by all of us in the year my mother in law has had it. We're close to her, have driven it, helped her with service, the purchase, see or handle it once a week or so. Rev a is a great car.

On to rev b. Not yet 2 months of ownership is too early to measure reliability but not core characteristics. Rev b (my 2013) is more like a sports car hitting urban bumps but superior in cross wind and for moving fast on a narrow uneven road. My longest trip in a day was 380 miles of mostly freeway and it was easy to handle and comfortable. The CVT programming seems better. If the nav system and electronics are crap and poorly designed so is the brand new Toyota my friend brought by.

I don't do sport 4x4 riding but have to travel the designated 4x4 only service roads at our ski club and I'm a trail builder. The car gets traction where our front wheel drive minivan has none.

I read about CVT in reverse problems. With that in mind I parked it in a steep rutted off road spot and was able to back up hill out of the ruts.

4 vs 6 was a concern and I'm really glad I got the 4. It has plenty of power for how I will use it most of the time.

Having lurked here for a few years, tried about every possible competing car, and had hands on with the rev a, I feel rev b is great.

If I have any complaint about rev b at this point it is rev a grille and wheels look better.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for input. i guess its safe to say that a test drive is in order. never drove an outback so can't compare. drove my wifes 07 forester and steering is light and very crisp, i like that. drove a 10 legacy and steering is heavy, so i assumed outback should have been heavy too. go figure
 

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I think it's in the eye of the beholder.

Some here have found the 2013 suspension to be harsh.

On the other hand, despite the improvements which were supposed to improve handling, some here are still finding they need to make improvements on the 2013 such as 19mm RSB and still complaining about excessive body roll.

The shaking problem seems to have been fixed on 2011.5-on Outbacks.

The steering in the 3.6 does feel heavier than in the 2.5, I assume due to the increased weight in the front end. Regardless (to me) it does not feel overly heavy, just not light.

Regardless the 2013 is the most refined Gen-4 Outback to date, so go drive it and see for yourself. It's a great car. :29:
 

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Have about 300 miles on my 2013 2.5i Limited and the handling and ride quality are great for road trips and pretty fun in corners. There is the slighest bit of "wander" in the steering, but that's really splitting hairs compared to other "soft-utes" like CRV and even the acclaimed handling of Mazda CX-5. Tthe Outback overall package to me was by far better than the other CUVs I drove. From driving 2011 3.6R and 2.5i, I recall the 3.6having better steering with the weight of the H6 but also being a little "nose heavy" feeling compared to the H4. In comparison, I honestly love the 2013 2.5i for it's quiet capable performance as it's quiet even when going up hills, etc. (haven't needed or wanted to push it hard as yet during break-in). In the Forester I also drove, the newer engine makes it almost sporty even.

FWIW, I came from driving a Honda Pilot SUV which had crisp steering, but really "hard" suspension in most cases (mainly from the tires I put on it I have to admit which were Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max's; Michelins were MUCH better for ride quality).
 

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i was favoring h6. rear seat will be occupied with two kids most of the time
That's where I was until we tested both and realized we'd be owning a more powerful minivan for years to come. The 4 for me is going from V8s, turbos, 6. Before making the purchase contract we put all 5 of us in both models. When I realized I was going faster than 60 at end of the on ramp in busy traffic I chose the 4.

We were able to test cars absolutely identical except for the engine including color that also helped us decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FWIW, I came from driving a Honda Pilot SUV which had crisp steering, but really "hard" suspension in most cases (mainly from the tires I put on it I have to admit which were Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max's; Michelins were MUCH better for ride quality).
if its anything like a 2010 odessey i would hate it. drove that on a 600 mile trip. way too twitchy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's where I was until we tested both and realized we'd be owning a more powerful minivan for years to come. The 4 for me is going from V8s, turbos, 6. Before making the purchase contract we put all 5 of us in both models. When I realized I was going faster than 60 at end of the on ramp in busy traffic I chose the 4.

We were able to test cars absolutely identical except for the engine including color that also helped us decide.
interesting! whenever i drive 4 cyl, seems very underpowered with just me in the car. drove forester, drove crv. all my cars were 6cyl so im used to the power. plus i hate 3500 rpm doing 60 on freeway. i know it has cvt but ive read a few posts about 10/11 years having issues in snow where cvt would cut power preventing wheels from spinning too fast.
 

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The 2.5 has been our road trip car since 2001. Pre kids it was wife and I + the 75Lb doberman and all the Triatholon crap or our 600lb racing sailboat + camping gear. That car hauled us through some of the most severe climbs vs summer heat you can find with no issues. Though we were at the very limit with the 600lb boat and probably another 600lbs worth of people and gear. The power was never an issue the cooling was.

The new 2.5 with CVT we now have 40,000 miles on it haul two kids + the dog all the crap that comes with that many times a grand parent yes you can fit three in the back seat of the Gen4. We also towed our much larger 21ft racing boat which was 1700lbs behind the car with no issues regarding power and the cooling and exhaust heat was far far far superior with the new Gen4. Again the 2.5 has more than enough power for the suspension and cooling capacity the car has. If I wanted a faster more powerful car note FASTER and POWERFUL I would get a sports car - Infinity G37 - or the such given they are actually FASTER and handle exceptionally well compared to the Outback.

I like the H6 but the Outback is a lousy platform to have it in. I bought my mother a 2010 Legacy which would be a hoot with the H6 given the suspension and set up easily have more capability than the 2.5.
 

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interesting! whenever i drive 4 cyl, seems very underpowered with just me in the car. drove forester, drove crv. all my cars were 6cyl so im used to the power. plus i hate 3500 rpm doing 60 on freeway. i know it has cvt but ive read a few posts about 10/11 years having issues in snow where cvt would cut power preventing wheels from spinning too fast.
Its called turning off the traction control system I must do it in every car I have from the 2001 manual 1.8T VW - to my 2007 Sequoia - to the 2010 OB. There isn't a car that will not cut power when wheel spin is detected.

Having replaced the old MT 5spd Subaru with the CVT I can hands down 100% tell you the CVT is WAY WAY superior in snow than the MT was and the old 4spd AT was a stinking pile of junk regarding performance but bulletproof regarding taking a beating.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i dont doubt that 4 cylinder can do all that. im just judging from experience i had with 2007 forester for example. it feels like its over working all the time, i admit i dont drive speed limit. 70 in 50 80 in 60. i know it doesnt have cvt but still. so why make a 6 cyl with 5 speed? doesnt their new cvt can handle over 260lb of torque? i need to hear both sides . anyone?
 

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i dont doubt that 4 cylinder can do all that. im just judging from experience i had with 2007 forester for example. it feels like its over working all the time, i admit i dont drive speed limit. 70 in 50 80 in 60. i know it doesnt have cvt but still. so why make a 6 cyl with 5 speed? doesnt their new cvt can handle over 260lb of torque? i need to hear both sides . anyone?
The 4spd at is lousy thats why I had a 5spd mt in my prior subaru. Now the cvt is superior to the mt regarding gearing and power allocation. By far the single best thing subsru ever did was go cvt with the 4cylinder
 

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The 4spd at is lousy thats why I had a 5spd mt in my prior subaru. Now the cvt is superior to the mt regarding gearing and power allocation. By far the single best thing subsru ever did was go cvt with the 4cylinder
It took a bit for me to fully appreciate the CVT and now I like it a lot. I confess that it's the first time my main vehicle has an auto. I've only driven my wife's automatics prior. The 2013 seems to have tweaked the ratios and behavior a bit compared to my mother in law's.

I'm not one of the rabid 4 or 6 fans like we have in some threads here. With 3 kids and a dog, I might not have the 4 if we didn't have a larger and more powerful vehicle in the family.
 
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