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Discussion Starter #1
Considering an Outback purchase and debating whether to buy used or new. My preference would be to by used, just for the savings.

But, before I do, I want to understand better what the differences are among the various OB models.

Doing a bit research, I've seen references to the '10 and '11 having the "shake problem."

What other differences should I consider in choosing among the different model years?

I expect we'd pick the 2.5, primarily for the better gas mileage. Ideally, we'd prefer a Premium or Limited package as well.

For what it's worth, we'll be putting two car seats in the back. In the short-term, this will be a car for city-driving, although when the kids are a bit older, we intend to use it as our car for hiking/camping.
 

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2013 Limited 2.5 Special Appearance Pkg
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I went through the "on the lot" '12 vs new '13 model debate too. If you're considering Nav, I read several complaints about the previous system, which was changed I think from Kenwood to a completely new Fuji platform. This was one reason I chose the '13 and I really like it. Also the stiffer suspension and slightly better MPG in the new engine (taken from the Forester). Lastly the appearance is different in that they brought back the bigger fog lights for the '13. Looks more aggressive IMO. I like both tho- to each his own.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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The "stiff" suspension on 2013 made me buy it ... everything else was not that important. I traded 2010 Forester XT for 2013 OB... I am glad that I did!
 

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13 Outback 2.5i Premium w/AWP 6MT
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I was in the boat to buy a 2012 last summer, but decided it wasn't for me for a few reasons.

Suspension issues plagued the earlier models. With reports of highway drifting, soft suspenson, etc.

Second, the first gen CVT wasn't as great, 2013 uses the same CVT in the impreza which is a small update. (note I didn't even buy a CVT, got mine in 6MT).

Third, Facelift with all the updates sold me on the 2013. Facelift, suspension, being able to find a 6speed manual.

Got my 6speed premium outback last month with all weather and haven't turned back since.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5, Ice Silver Metallic.
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I have wanted a Subaru for years but for whatever reason never went and looked at them and bought jeeps and suburbans instead. When I started researching Subarus I initially was looking at Foresters, after driving a few of them I did not like the higher RPM the geared automatic ran at 75 and 80 mph so I decided to test out this new CVT thing I had heard about in the out backs. While it takes some getting used to the CVT is a far superior system in so many ways to the traditional automatics. The 2012 outback ran a timing belt and the 2013 runs a timing chain, that was enough difference for me to go with the 2013. I am coming from a Z71 suburban and I can honestly say that in the back of my mind I was telling myself this thing would never be a suburban. The gas in the burn was killing me though and I had to do something. I haven't looked back one single minute and can honestly say I love this thing they call the outback. Just made a short trip of about 200 miles over the weekend that was a very good mix of driving. Everything from stop and go traffic, rural back roads, and the other half highway at speeds of 75-90mph. Never felt under gunned and when I got back my mileage was 27.6 mpg on the 2.5 CVT.
Go for it and get one, the resale is generally pretty high on outbacks so I couldn't justify the minimal cost savings I would get for the features I wanted and I knew it would wash out over time.
 

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Difference between a 10 and a 13 price wise in todays used car market is so small it makes nearly zero sense to buy used. Given the 2010 is nearly the same price as a new one.

Perfected suspension, updated CVT code and behavior and the new engine are all good reasons to get the 13 over the 10.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Scout:
That's funny; few years back (when I had a boat to pull, etc) I bought my first Suburban - and then, two more of those in a row. Suburban was the only car that I bought more than once! I loved those, when hauling kids to Summer hockey camps in Canada and few trips to Yukon, Alaska and beyond... great cars for long hauls! Lousy mileage though ... I am not in that segment anymore, kids are grown up and I have "settled" down with Subaru makes...
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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I was in the boat to buy a 2012 last summer, but decided it wasn't for me for a few reasons.

Suspension issues plagued the earlier models. With reports of highway drifting, soft suspenson, etc.

Second, the first gen CVT wasn't as great, 2013 uses the same CVT in the impreza which is a small update. (note I didn't even buy a CVT, got mine in 6MT).

Third, Facelift with all the updates sold me on the 2013. Facelift, suspension, being able to find a 6speed manual.

Got my 6speed premium outback last month with all weather and haven't turned back since.
+1 on all accounts - especially the '13 facelift. 2010-2012 is good looking, 2013 is GREAT looking :29:
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,324 Posts

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i Dark Blue Pearl/Ivory w'Eyesight
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703 Posts
+1 on all accounts - especially the '13 facelift. 2010-2012 is good looking, 2013 is GREAT looking :29:
That is a matter of opinion that I do not share.:28:
 

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2013 OB 3.6R SAP
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202 Posts
I actually like the front facia/fog lights of the 10-12 better than the '13, but the '13 suspension, and SAP, made it a no-brainer for me.
 

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The 2013's built after Aug. 2012 have received the IIHS TSP+ rating due to a change in the airbag programming. The FB25 Engine comes in the 2013's (which has been in the Forester since 2011) and not the prev. years. Also the 2013's have the suspension enhancements. Unless you are getting a great deal on a prior year model, I'd go with the 2013 with a drivers side door sticker build date newer than 8/12.
 

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2013 OB Limited, 2.5 w/Moonroof
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The 2013's built after Aug. 2012 have received the IIHS TSP+ rating due to a change in the airbag programming. The FB25 Engine comes in the 2013's (which has been in the Forester since 2011) and not the prev. years. Also the 2013's have the suspension enhancements. Unless you are getting a great deal on a prior year model, I'd go with the 2013 with a drivers side door sticker build date newer than 8/12.
++1! And if you do find a 'great' deal on 2010-2012 this time of year from a dealer, chances are its one of the problem cars mentioned on this forum. FWIW, I have both 2010 and 2013 cars in the family and both are perfect driving cars. Buy the 2013 and just 'cry once' knowing you have good family ride for a decade. Buy a great deal used and cry often.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i Dark Blue Pearl/Ivory w'Eyesight
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That's fine, you get what you want and I get what I want :cool:
Nothing personal, but I was just talking about the front end styling. The comment I was refering to was on the looks of the 13 vs earlier, not engine, suspension, features, price or licensing fees.
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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Nothing personal, but I was just talking about the front end styling. The comment I was refering to was on the looks of the 13 vs earlier, not engine, suspension, features, price or licensing fees.
Yeah that's cool, it's a good thing that you're in a '12 and I'm in a '13 because we both get what we want!

I walked out to my car yesterday afternoon and a coworker with an '11 had parked next to me, and it drove home that I really like the looks of the bigger fog lamps, black surrounds and revised grill - but to each his own!
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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We went looking for a 2012 given that we thought we would get a better deal, but they were not discounting them that much last July 2012. The 2013's just came out and they were still selling at the same price. Other issue even 6 months later the 2012's and even 2011's for that matter hold their value way too much (good for future but when buying not cool). I figured on a 60 month loan it would be silly to go and get a 2012 for $300 less! We picked up a 2013 Premium 2.5i and never gave it a second thought. The 2013 also felt more planted and also seemed to be more refined from a ride perspective (smoother and less body roll on corners). The CVT also seemed more "shiftless" as it was supposed to be. The 2012 seems to wind out coming off the line and then once you got up to 30-ish mph it settled down and was virtually the same as the 2013. I also heard more creaks andd rattles in the 2012 than in the 2013 (may have just been the particular car I drove)
 

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Given the choice, if I were going with the 2.5, I'd probably go with the '13 for the FB engine, updated CVT, and revised suspension. For the 3.6, the only real difference is the handling/cosmetic stuff, so whatever looks/feels best to you.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i, 6 spd M
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I was looking for a used Outback, because it was going to be towed behind my motorhome. After test driving the 2013 model, I really liked it. The main reason I went with the 2013 was the change from a timing belt to a chain. I keep all my vehicles for a while, so that was one cost I didn't need to plan for. I also love have the oil filter on TOP of the motor too.

I got a 2.5 with the 6 sp manual, and since October I have average 28.8 mpg in city / highway driving. I took one interstate trip so far, and had 520 miles on one tank before needing to fill up. Too cold for A/C, so I presume in the summer mileage will drop.

Oh - and the Outback makes a GREAT 4 down toad behind my motorhome !
 
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