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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring - Cinnamon Brown Pearl
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Discussion Starter #1
Just got the latest Consumer Reports in the mail (December 2013 issue). In it, they compare a 2013 Audi Allroad 2.0T to a 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. (Hmmm, a $43K car against a $34K car????)

The Subie is still a recommended model, though they lowered its previous road-test score of 79 to a 73.

A lot of nice things they mentioned about the OB, but they didn't like:

  • Agility
  • Acceleration
  • Engine noise
  • Complicated radio (with optional navigation)
They liked the OB's:
  • Roomy interior
  • Visibility
  • Fuel economy
  • EyeSight Safety features
Overall, CR's rankings of All-wheel-drive wagons
  • Audio Allroad 2.0T - 79
  • Toyota Venza - 77
  • Volvo XC70 - 77
  • Honda Crosstour EX-L (V6) - 73
  • Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited - 73
Just the messenger here . . .
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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604 Posts
If they tested the 3.6L against the others for a price point items 2&3 would be eliminated or lowered quite a bit.
I use their ratings as a guide but remember that when you have been rated #1 for a year or two others are always gunning for you.
I have never tested the Allroad so don't know how good a car that is but the others like the Volvo and the Honda really?

Having looked at all of those the Venza was nice and I like Audi's in general but the other two don't measure up.

Frankly I think their evaluation is quite skewed since they didn't really do a great job of matching engines and price points...
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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982 Posts
IMO those scores are all so close from a scoring perspective that its up to the buyer to do the final leg work for themselves. If somone lets a 4 point difference make them buy a Venza over an OB, or any other car, they have some issues.
 

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I like CR, but mainly for which cars to avoid. I don't rely on their ratings too much. And I don't see how it would score less than the pre-'13s when the acceleration, noise, and agility are, IMO, much improved.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
I can get those results knowing that publication and having checked out a lot of the competition (was shopping for 3 years). It may not be fair but I can sort of get how they lump vehicles together. We could afford more than the Subaru and 4 cyl but just have different values and priorities. The positive points you mentioned did a lot to influence our purchase.
 

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2013 OB Limited, 2.5 w/Moonroof
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CR just goofed...

Audi Allroad 2.0T - 79 - Expensive ride both initially and in maintenance! And small to boot.

Toyota Venza - 77 - Ride of the 2010 I drove was awful rough due to big wheels and tuning and dash design was just weird with a HUGE expanse of cheap plastic dashboard.

Volvo XC70 - 77 - Nicest luxury feel and easiest to live with of the bunch IMHO, but expensive both ways again. Good luck on reliability after 4 years or so...

Honda Crosstour EX-L (V6) - 73 - Probably nicest balance of content and cost, but mileage stinks and interior space is limited. And that rear hatch design is just ugly. I used to love Honda design, but their designers went on a bender about 2006 and haven't recovered as they apparently want to sell pricey Acuras instead. Honda has been left adrift ever since. Frankly, the old 4 cyl Accord wagon was a MUCH better alternative.

Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited - 73 - 2013 refresh is all good with a more refined, better handling vehicle after the major 2010 redo... I'd like to see a bit less plastic body molding and improved touch screen radio/head units, but the Harmon Kardon sounds great and it checks all the boxes otherwise.
 

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2013 OB 2.5 CVT
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I only use CR for reliability, almost everything else is subjective. Slow, fast, complicated, noisy, ugly, pretty; all subjective. But it is what it is. I drove the Volvo and for me, subjectively, I thought it was nosier with the exception of hard acceleration, It was more expensive, didn't test as well off road, and the gas milage was not as good. But the Volvo is known for safety and longevity. I drove and love Harleys, the only MC I would want to buy but they don't do very well in ratings. If they start scoring low with reliability then I would be more concerned.
 

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2012 OUTBACK 2.5 LIMITED SILVER ICE Metallic, moon and nav free
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I have no clue how they got a $34k 2.5 limited. My limited went home for $27k. For the savings compared to an ALLROAD, if I added in another $4k I could have also had an XV Crosstrek to boot.

I based my purchase on value. All the other crap like nice materials, quiet etc., I would surely be looking for the luxury car. I wanted a practical, cheap, good MPG vehicle that I really don't have to worry about. I will put up some noise for the essentially lifetime free gas and maintanence that I saved with the $16k in savings over the ALLROAD. It is very nice though and actually looks cool.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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+1 Amen, bro.
Same here Reliability reporting based on a large cross section of data gives one the general idea how reliability will be.

The rest is just BS.

The long term testers where they run a car for 20,000+ miles with multiple users with different interests and needs gives you a far better idea what a vehicle might be like for you and your interest and needs. The rest of the reviews are just 5 minute test drives that are pretty meaningless.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R SAP
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I drove an Allroad, and it is a fantastic car. I'm not surprised at all that they rated it tops in that group. When compared to a 2.5i, it handles better, accelerates much better, and has more content from a tech/luxury standpoint, if you check the right boxes.

But as has already pointed out, it is quite expensive. Yes, a 3.6R SAP would have compared better, but it still does not handle as well and gets worse gas mileage than the Audi.

Don't get me wrong, I love my new Subie. It's a great car, and a great value, no matter what trim you buy. The interior space can't be beat by anything from BMW or Audi unless you want to go north of $50k (X5), and the long term cost of ownership will undoubtedly be much lower. But don't underestimate the Allroad - it is a very nice ride.
 

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I have never been a fan of consumer reports. They are biased and probably always will be. They have never given american made cars and in particular GM cars a fair shake. I am convinced you could take two 2014 model cars one a Toyota and the other a Chevrolet. Cover the sheet metal and all model markings except the logo on the steering wheel except exchange them. I would bet they would give the car with the Toyota logo the best score even though it was actually the Chevrolet. I would even go so far as to give them two identical cars except change the interior some and the one with the Toyota logo will always get the higher score.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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I have no clue how they got a $34k 2.5 limited. My limited went home for $27k. For the savings compared to an ALLROAD, if I added in another $4k I could have also had an XV Crosstrek to boot.

I based my purchase on value. All the other crap like nice materials, quiet etc., I would surely be looking for the luxury car. I wanted a practical, cheap, good MPG vehicle that I really don't have to worry about. I will put up some noise for the essentially lifetime free gas and maintanence that I saved with the $16k in savings over the ALLROAD. It is very nice though and actually looks cool.
That's why I never truly understand the Outback being compared to an Allroad, XC70, etc - different leagues of vehicles, with different price tags, and much different intended purposes.

I've had my fix of an Audi A6, Volkswagen Golf TDI, and a BMW 3 series and of course they all had "nicer" interiors with "better" materials- that is the segment of the market, along with somewhat better driving dynamics, that they fill and they do a great job at it. However value/$ spent and overall reliability are generally not their fortes.

Why one would compare the Outback to an Audi A4 Allroad is beyond me- of course a vehicle with a more powerful motor and a $40+ starting price is going to "feel" and "drive" better than a Subaru, it doesn't take a journalist's salary to conclude that. This is in no way to disparage the Allroad, it's a superb darn vehicle, but to compare one to another is a pretty futile effort in my opinion.

At the same time, I guess it difficult to find another vehicle that has standard AWD, decent ride height, decent space inside, above-average reliability, and a price tag of roughly $24K to get you a decent package (heated seats, stereo, etc) so the mags have to take what they can get :29:
 

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Although not a measure that anyone would want, but for me, it is a lot easier to throw a bag of fish I just caught, my dog, and kayak gear in a OB then it ever was in the Benz I traded in for it. I wanted a car I could use hard and wouldn't mind getting dirty. Granted if your a lot richer than I am it probably doesn't matter much.
 

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Never own a Euro vehicle out of warranty. Never.....
What are you doing to your Euro vehicles? I own Euro vehicles for years and years and have no problems with them!
 

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Same here Reliability reporting based on a large cross section of data gives one the general idea how reliability will be.

The rest is just BS.

The long term testers where they run a car for 20,000+ miles with multiple users with different interests and needs gives you a far better idea what a vehicle might be like for you and your interest and needs. The rest of the reviews are just 5 minute test drives that are pretty meaningless.
I agree with you. It seems to me that they value different things in a car than I do. I don't care how many cup holders a car has (I drink only one beverage at a time), or how many cubbies it has, whether a child seat can be attached easily or not, etc.

CR is only one more data point in my decision making what car I want to buy.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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Just got the latest Consumer Reports in the mail (December 2013 issue). In it, they compare a 2013 Audi Allroad 2.0T to a 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. (Hmmm, a $43K car against a $34K car????)

The Subie is still a recommended model, though they lowered its previous road-test score of 79 to a 73.

A lot of nice things they mentioned about the OB, but they didn't like:

  • Agility
  • Acceleration
  • Engine noise
  • Complicated radio (with optional navigation)
They liked the OB's:
  • Roomy interior
  • Visibility
  • Fuel economy
  • EyeSight Safety features
.
Nor surprising... These are the same thing people Complained and praise abt the 2.5 OB here too!
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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Just got the latest Consumer Reports in the mail (December 2013 issue). In it, they compare a 2013 Audi Allroad 2.0T to a 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. (Hmmm, a $43K car against a $34K car????)

Overall, CR's rankings of All-wheel-drive wagons
  • Audio Allroad 2.0T - 79
  • Toyota Venza - 77
  • Volvo XC70 - 77
  • Honda Crosstour EX-L (V6) - 73
  • Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited - 73
Just the messenger here . . .
Back in 2009, Subaru send 3.6R Outback ONLY(to represent Outback) to Motor trend and won the the 2010 SUV of the year award.... in 2008,Subaru send the Forester XT only (to represent Forester), and FXT deliver the 2009 Motor Trend SUV of the year!!!! Regardless how many 3.6R or Forester XT subaru actually sell (percentage wise)


I do not know if Subaru have a say as this which OB to send (2.5I or 3.6R) to this competition/comparo, if they did, shame on them for sending the 2.5....you always send your TOP DOG to any COTY/SUVOTY and comparo tests....this is especially true if the price of the lesser model is only $3K less than the top dog! and 3-4 mpg diif!!!!

Ok, maybe Subaru have no say in this, CR just pick the 2.5 OB....

you cannot "whine" that they are comparing cars that is over $10K more in these comparo...The COTY and SUVOTY competition, you can have Smartcar competing against Nissan GTR or Porsche Cayenne vs Scion XB
 

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2020 Outback Limited, 2.5, Non-Turbo
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2011 vs. 2013 2.5 CVT Ltd

My experience of relying on CR for years is that their advice is spot on, reliability and otherwise Having just traded a 2011 2.5 cvt ltd for a 2013 2.5 cvt ltd, I'm in a pretty good position to compare:

* Engine: Better...needs to "rev" less to accelerate. If you are normal to modest in your acceleration, you barely hear anything. Yes, it's louder when you push it. That doesn't matter to me. For the vast majority of the time, you can't hear the engine at all.
* Mileage: Better...getting about 2mpg more...34mpg steady state on freeway with a large carrier on top. Averaged 32 mpg on a recent mostly freeway trip. This is miraculous mileage for a car that holds 4 people in luxury with all their gear, has a mileage-robbing carrier, AND 4wd. Amazing!
* Handling: Better...much less likely to lose grip in turns, especially on bumpy corners.
* Ride: Slightly worse, but still great. The better handling results in more road "feel", include bumps.
* Radio / Audio: Much better. My new radio sounds much better than the old one.
* Navigation / Traffic: Not much comparison...there was no traffic before. This is a very welcome addition. The menus are a bit complex, but they are better than before.
* Bells and whistles...love all the lights and keyless entry / start in the Special Appearance Pacakge. I decided against Eyesight, as I'm a good driver, and don't drink and drive (so no need for lane assist). I also don't plan to rear-end anyone at low speed. Now if it had forward and backward obstacle warning, that might be worth it. For me, Eyesight is a techno wow-factor device with little use in the real world. I know others feel otherwise.


Overall? Much better car. With a trade of my very used 26K mile 2011 and just north of $10K cash, wow...well worth it!

Looking forward to more years of Subbie happiness!
 
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