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TRADED 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight, NOW 2016 Outback 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, new member here. We are considering a new 2013 Outback 2.5l CVT. Never have had a Subaru before and we are looking at a Toyota Venza or Outback.

Currently have a 2007 Toyota Rav4 that we have had from new. Almost 200 000km now and have a chance to sell it privately for a good price, and will roll this money into a new one. Total cost over 10 years will be about the same if the new vehicle holds its value as well as the Rav4 has. This was our first Toyota and it has been a very good vehicle. Subaru seems to have a similar following as the Rav and used values seem to remain high. Realizing that car values always decrease I prefer to purchase something with a good resale.

We have 2 kids and wife will be resuming her job with a 80mile 120km round trip commute. Mileage is very important. Rav4 is rated at 25 Imp.mpg city and 37 Imp.mpg highway. We have always averaged 30-31. New Outback is rated at 33 city and 43 highway(Imperial). If in fact we can average 37-38mpg Imperial this would be a nice improvement with a bigger vehicle. 2013s are rated better than 2012s and I am not sure why as this platform has been around a couple of years.

What did they tweak for 2013 to improve mileage over 2012?

CVT durability? This will be a minimum 200k or 400k vehicle over 5 or 10 years.

Toyota while a good vehicle, most seem to think their quality has declined over the last few years. How does Subaru currently stand in their historical quality?

Sorry for the long post. Opinions and experiences will help in our research.

Thanks for your feedback.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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604 Posts
I can't comment on the engine choice but I have the 3.6L. I think for commuting the miles you are talking about the 2.5L should return good fuel economy. I helped a friend buy a 2000 RAV 4 with 5 spd and it was a slug of a car and fuel mileage was average. However it was absolutely reliable.
I too looked at the Toy models and nothing sparked my interest. Driving the Outback all that changed, very quiet nice handling, comfortable ride, good mileage even for the H-6. How reliable the CVT will be is anyone's guess but this is a 2nd gen transmission with many improvements. I would guess that with regular fluid changes it will last a long time.

The 13 models have had suspension tweaked. I can vouch for that as we drove both 12-13 Outbacks with 2.5 and 3.6 engines. The 13 was any easy choice (we wanted Eye Sight which you should consider given it role as a commuting car driving long miles) and that is only available on the 13. The 12 however was not as dialed in and both 12's we drove had an annoying shimmy which no new car should have.

I am not easy to please and drive a couple BMWs and the Outback has exceeded my expectations. I have 2300 miles on this car now and could not be happier. I am strongly thinking of buying another in a year or two when I sell my M3 BMW.

I didn't find anything that came close for our requirements and was sort of neutral toward the car until I started driving it. Driving it changed all of that.

The only negative I have is the lack of selfcentering this car has but tweaking the alignment will correct that. It is minor and probably not noticed by many people...
 

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TRADED 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight, NOW 2016 Outback 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. This is exactly what I am looking for. Not familiar with Eye Sight though? I will check it out.
 

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TRADED 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight, NOW 2016 Outback 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight
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Discussion Starter #4
Eye sight. Camera based driving assist. Got it, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I still am in the early stages of comparison. Initially it does appear in Canada anyway, that Toyota has better financing and more dealers so more competition. Subaru it seems is sort of like Toyota was when we bought the 07 Rav4, hard to negotiate and no deals. I may be wrong though and the US always has better rates and prices.
 

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2015 Twilight Blue Legacy Premium
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466 Posts
I see a lot of venza's being traded in around here with low mileage. I work at a dealership and we now have 3 venza's we can't sell. One has 2,800 miles, another has 16k, and another has 34k. The higher mileage one is loaded up with everything except nav and the pano roof, but I gotta say it is nice and comfortable.

Would I take my Outback over it? Absolutely!
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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3,814 Posts
toyota was one of a the very other brands i considered when buying the outback. but toyotas are so overpriced, and while they used to make the best cars, their quality and reliability has gone way down in recent years. my only regret is not getting limited trim in the outback. subaru now holds the title of most reliable car maker according to consumer reports
 

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TRADED 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight, NOW 2016 Outback 2.5l Limited w/Eyesight
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback. Obviously I realize that the bias here is for the outback but I enjoy the reasoning and your views. It all helps.
 

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'13 OB, Black, SAP
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271 Posts
I drove the Venza, RX350, and Outback on the same day and I decided the outback was for me. It handled better than the Venza in my opinion, and seemed more "rugged", MPG wasnt a major factor as i just came from a 4 cylinder Altima and missed the extra HP so I went with the 3.6R.

This will be my first Subaru arriving next week. I personally do not think you will regret it, especially the 2.5 model.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
My wife didn't like the visibility and interior layout of Venza. When we decided to get a 4 cyl and complement to our Sienna the Outback looked better.

The Venza and Sienna are same platform so having Sienna, we figured Venza would be a good car.

The Outback is replacing a 4Runner, and I need the traction often because of work I do so the Subaru AWD reputation weight heavily.

IMO both are good vehicles.
 

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317 Posts
The only reason why I would go with Toyota is for the Sienna AWD, Sequoia, or the Land Cruiser. There are better alternatives (with the exception of the Prii family at the moment) for all other vehicles Toyota sells in the USDM. Unfortunately even the AWD on the Sienna is subpar and is not up to the standards of Subaru's AWD. But Toyota is still the only car manufacturer that offers AWD on a minivan.

In my opinion the Venza is close to Lexus' standards of luxury (or luxury in general) than the Outback when both are fully loaded. What the Outback lacks in amenities, it makes it up in handling, visibility, and AWD.


The RAV4, Sienna, and Venza share the same AWD system (Toyota calls it 4WD). If you don't believe me a simple Google search can tell you the same thing. And I've seen the same thing happen in person. It's not really attractive to Toyota's image but it fits their bland and "just enough" (not an insult) market strategy. I've always loved their Land Cruisers and I especially like this year's generation and last years. The only thing I dislike about it is the fact that the rear door is a two part door even if the top is powered. It's annoying even on the Lexus model to deal with a two part rear hatch door.

Toyota got some 'splainin to do [AWD systems on Rav4, Highlander, Venza and Sienna?] - Toyota RAV4 Forums : RAV4World.com
 

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'13 OBW SAP 3.6R
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416 Posts
My $0.02.

I have been actively looking for a new ride since 2009. Well maybe not as actively as one my be if really ready to pull the plug but my aging Nissan Maxima (97) with 251K miles finally started irritating me with minor things not working such as a the passenger window hesitating when rolling up and the sunroof needs to be helped along to close.

I looked at numerous vehicles but inside of me I wanted a station wagon style (doesn't fit my demographic one bit) and the usual suspects BMW, Mercedes and Audi were either too expensive for me when looking at the size I wanted (5 series, E Class, A6) were way over my idea of how much a car should cost and the smaller, more affordable versions (3 series, C Class, A4) to me were too small and feminine.

This all changed when I sat in a Legacy at the local autoshow in 2009. I did my research after that and found out about the redesign on the 2010 Outback and I was in love and started saving. There were a couple of things that I didn't like about the vehicle that SOA answered with the SAP package and that was it...my savings hit the right amount and I placed my order after drooling at it over the last 2 autoshows.

Nothing else has caught me eye when it comes to quality, space and cost compared to an outback and even the legacy. Simple but important things such as the safety rating, quality of leather and the sound the door makes when you shut it tell me we are getting a fantastic bargain. I think you will be hard pressed to find anything else that comes close in the price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your responses.

We took an outback on a pretty good test drive today. Wife commented on the steering wheel shaking at 120km/h. I did not tell her about this problem that I have read about.

More front leg room in Outback than Venza, but Venza had more rear leg room. They will let us take an outback home overnight and we will do that at some point.

I am sure that the AWD is better in the Subaru but honestly the Rav has been great for what we require in 200 000km. That is why I am sure the Venzas would work. Unfortunately neither have Downhill Assist Control or Decent Control or whatever name you use. The Rav has this and has been invaluable for going down our icy hill in the winter. With the outback or venza ice tires will be required and possibly even studs without DAC. Very unfortunate.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 Limited PZEV
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Wife commented on the steering wheel shaking at 120km/h.
FWIW, I've driven at that speed more days than not for the past month and I haven't noticed any shake on my Outback. I was a little concerned about the shake issue before I bought but my take from what I read was that this is not an issue on the 2013 models (I did not thoroughly research it though).

I would drive another outback and see if it does the same thing - this might just be a fluke - maybe something like an out of balance wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes thats what I thought and we will. Definitely have not ruled out the subie. You can get a little paranoid researching too much. I think the subie will have the highest resale value in 5 years and like to factor this into my purchase. You lose huge money on any vehicle purchase and I like to minimize it if I can.
 

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Mombee said:
...We have 2 kids and wife will be resuming her job with a 80mile 120km round trip commute. Mileage is very important...
If MPG is important, why is the Venza even in the picture? When shopping for my Outback, I looked at the CRV and Rav4. I felt that among MPG, overall usable space, ground clearance, interior layout, fit and finish, Outback was ahead. I've had mostly Toyotas and Hondas, but decided to give Subaru a try. Have been pleased thus far. BTW, we opted for the 13. Better MPG, timing chain, stiffened ride (a good thing), and easy oil changes (thanks to relocated filter).

The only thing I dislike about it is the fact that the rear door is a two part door even if the top is powered. It's annoying even on the Lexus model to deal with a two part rear hatch door.
Are you talking about the tailgate? I love having that tailgate on my LC. I've had SUV's without it (Jeep, 4Runners, now the Outback). Worst thing is when you open the hatch, stuff that has shifted during travel that is now leaning up against the hatch falls right out. With the tailgate, that's not an issue. Plus, it gives me a nice place to sit or layout fishing gear. I wish the Outback had the same design.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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Have you look into the SUbaru Impreza or XV? Gets better MPG, you give up some space and Comfort! and No SHakes (to worry abt!)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The 2013 Venza 4 cylinder is rated at 40mpg highway.
Our 2007 Rav v6 is rated at 37mpg highway.
We would be getting a bigger vehicle and a small improvement in mileage.

The 2013 Outback 2.5l is 43mpg Highway. Subarus are very expensive in Canada and the savings in fuel would be offset by the initial extra expense. The 2012 Outback was 41mpg so really not much different from the Venza.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Actually we started off looking at the impreza and XV which led us to the outback. At this point I think the OB is a better compromise, but my research continues.

Thanks for the feedback it is appreciated and I have learned lots here.
 
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