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Discussion Starter #1
Today I drove both the 2013 Subaru Outback 6 cylinder limited and the 2.5L Limited Outback. I know the gas mileage is better on the 2.5L, however, it seemed a lot noisier in the car (from the CVT). I have a 6 cylinder Camry right now, that has 168,000 miles. I've heard many good things about the Outback, so I thought I'd check it out.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the 2.5L or the 6 cylinder is the better choice?
 

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2012 4LT Centennial Edition Grand Sport Corvette convertible
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It all depends on what you want. I just bought mine on Saturday and went for the 2.5i. It's my daily driver so I wanted the slightly better gas mileage. From my perspective so far, yes the 4-cylinder and CVT are a little noisy when accelerating up to speed, but it's really not objectionable to me. I am coming out of a 2007 Corvette coupe and I can tell you that the Outback is MUCH quieter overall than the Vette was.
 

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Personal preference from the non logical reason.

The Subaru flat 4 and 6 have a very different sound than the inline 4 of V6. Often times people describe it as loud. I have found it to be just different than what most people are accustomed to hearing.

The logical reason for the 6 over the 4 would be if you live in a high altitude location where power loss due to the altitude is a factor - or towing lots at high altitudes etc.

Other than that the 2.5 out sells the 6 something like 5 to 1 for a good reason. It costs less to purchase - less to run and maintain probably a little less on insurance too.

What I find funny is that my first Subaru was purchased because it was the largest 4 cylinder engine sold in a car. 180,000 miles later lots of that towing boats I bought my second 2.5 knowing it was fully capable of doing the towing and camping I like to do.
 

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Once the 2.5 H4 warms up it's really not that loud. I wish I had the power of the H6, but definitely not the gas mileage. For my everyday driving purposes the H4 is plenty.
 

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13 blk Outback 2.5i cvt AW package, bunch of other OEM accessories...12 blk F350 6.2 gasser 4x4...10 Goldwing red nav ...04 JD 4510 loader/bhoe
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Yup, just a bit partial to the 2.5 here. It is slightly noisy though. Not like the v8 noise I was raised on though.LOL
To me it's reminiscent to the 8 speed blender my folks had as a kid. Always sounds like its fighting its way through some bananas, heavy cream,chocolate syrup, ice cream and walnuts.
But , the final result was always good!!!

I did run the 6 in the Forester for about a month and the mileage is dramatically lower.
 

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I test drove both this week also. Makes me wish there was a 3.0 choice. I am having a difficult time choosing. No real hurry.
 

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Yup, just a bit partial to the 2.5 here. It is slightly noisy though. Not like the v8 noise I was raised on though.LOL
To me it's reminiscent to the 8 speed blender my folks had as a kid. Always sounds like its fighting its way through some bananas, heavy cream,chocolate syrup, ice cream and walnuts.
But , the final result was always good!!!

I did run the 6 in the Forester for about a month and the mileage is dramatically lower.
Forester has never had a 6.
 

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I went from a V6 Accord to the 2.5 Outback. I was VERY undecided about whether to get the 4-cylinder. I now have over 3000 miles on my Outback, and it has plenty of power.
 

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13 blk Outback 2.5i cvt AW package, bunch of other OEM accessories...12 blk F350 6.2 gasser 4x4...10 Goldwing red nav ...04 JD 4510 loader/bhoe
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"Forester has never had a 6."
I stand corrected
Oh, ok... It was a loaner, I never opened the hood, I had it for a month.

I confused the poor mpg, better performance and the dual exhaust for a six cylinder. The mpg was much lower than my OB for having a 4 cyl also.

Thanks
 

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"Forester has never had a 6."
I stand corrected
Oh, ok... It was a loaner, I never opened the hood, I had it for a month.

I confused the poor mpg, better performance and the dual exhaust for a six cylinder. The mpg was much lower than my OB for having a 4 cyl also.

Thanks
Sounds like it may have been a turbo.


I want to test drive an Outback 3.6 because I have never driven one. I realize the newer 2.5s are better but I really don't like how my '04 2.5 performs. It does well enough around town but getting onto the interstate can be a dicey proposition if you don't time it right, also when goofing around with my friends I'm tired of being way way way way in the back. My old '95 Grand Prix with a less powerful 3.1 liter V6 (~160HP from the factory) had significantly more get up and go than my more powerful 2.5 liter Outback (~170HP from the factory). I realize the Outback loses a lot of power to the AWD system, but the Grand Prix wasn't exactly the lightest car on Earth, either.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i/CVT/Graphite Gray
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My 2013 has a weird whistling/whining sound that it makes during warmup when it's cold out. I think it is coming from the intake as their is some intake trickery in the 2.5L FB motor in the 2013, I think it is closing a valve or something during warmup that is making the noise. (For all I know it is the transmission or something else, but it is related to thottle position) If your test drive was short (less than 10 minutes?) you would have been hearing the whining the entire drive and would not have gotten a good idea of the actual noise level.

Our other car is a V6 Accord.. overall noise level is better in the 2.5L Outback. If you nail the gas on the highway and the CVT decides to do 4000 rpm I think it is louder than if you similarly nail the gas in the accord.. but cruising at 65-80mph the Outback is quieter because the CVT will place the RPMs around 2000rpm and it has less tire & wind noise.
 

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SE95, I own 2011 CRV with a 2.4. It was a good comparison but the subaru is quicker and pulls harder when you hit the gas.
I also own a 2012 Toyota Tacoma SR5. V6 4.0. It is more powerful as expected. Deciding between the 2.5 and 3.6 was difficult but I finally made my choice based on realistic needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate all the responses and feedback. This will help and now I am leaning towards the 2.5L. The test drive was around 10 minutes on a cold day so it may have been a factor with what I thought was elevated noise level between the 4 and 6 cyl. The initial cost and fuel savings hopefully will outweigh possible noise issues. Thanks again!
 

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Sounds like it may have been a turbo.


I want to test drive an Outback 3.6 because I have never driven one. I realize the newer 2.5s are better but I really don't like how my '04 2.5 performs. It does well enough around town but getting onto the interstate can be a dicey proposition if you don't time it right, also when goofing around with my friends I'm tired of being way way way way in the back. My old '95 Grand Prix with a less powerful 3.1 liter V6 (~160HP from the factory) had significantly more get up and go than my more powerful 2.5 liter Outback (~170HP from the factory). I realize the Outback loses a lot of power to the AWD system, but the Grand Prix wasn't exactly the lightest car on Earth, either.
AWD system in the new cars is pretty low drag it has very little impact on power loss. The tall ride height and windage is the biggest factor and probably gearing. Nothing dicy about the OB and highways heck even towing my 900lb tent trailer it hauls it up our local fairly steep and short ramp to what is the common California 70-80mph slow lane insanity we live with here in California every day. Of course the old 4spd AT was the worst performance zap on the 2.5 Subaru could have had. Before the CVT the proper transmission to get with the 2.5 for decent performance was the 5spd MT which is what my 2001 had. Today I have the CVT which is by far one of the best AT choices subaru could have gone with for the 2.5 regarding getting power to the wheels.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited - Twilight Blue
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Today I drove both the 2013 Subaru Outback 6 cylinder limited and the 2.5L Limited Outback. I know the gas mileage is better on the 2.5L, however, it seemed a lot noisier in the car (from the CVT). I have a 6 cylinder Camry right now, that has 168,000 miles. I've heard many good things about the Outback, so I thought I'd check it out.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the 2.5L or the 6 cylinder is the better choice?
My 2013 OB Limited 2.5i was loud when it was brand new, especially on start up and on revs. I changed the oil at 4,000 miles with Valvoline SynPower 0W-20, which is known as 'thick' 0W-20, and it quieted down the engine big time. There is a lot of debate as to which 0W-20 is the best by the way - Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 is not usually regarded as the best, just FYI.

The thicker oil, wear-in, and me getting used to the noise makes it a non-issue now. Power wise, my other car is a BMW 330ci so I am generally used to a Straight-6 - I find the OB is more than adequate when you floor it.
 

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I never tested the 6 so I can't compare noise levels. Like others have said, it's a preference/need you will have. I just bought the 2.5 premium on saturday. Noise is not really an issue. My needs are more geared toward mileage and everyday use. Won't need the extra power from the 6 on a regular basis. Very satisfied with my choice. Don't think you can go wrong either way once you evaluate your situation. Good luck.
 
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