Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
2016 Outback 2.5i Limited, Wilderness Green; 2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, Crimson Red Pearl
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When we first bought my wife’s new 2012 Limited, I immediately felt that the handling was too sloppy and added the 19mm rear sway bar. Since there was a lot of discussion on the forum about that very topic, it came as no surprise. However, when I bought my new 2016 Limited, even though there were those that were adding the 19mm or 20mm rear bar, I never felt the need for it. I was impressed by the tighter handling of the Generation 5’s. Please understand that I raced formula cars and sports racers for 30 years and understand proper handling and how to achieve it.

We just replaced the 2012 with a new 2018 Limited and to my unhappy realization, Subaru seems to have backtracked on the suspension designs and once again I have had to add a 19mm rear bar. It helped, but the car still feels a little too floaty for my tastes. :frown2: I suspect they have changed the shock damping or something to achieve the improved (read softer) ride. So I pose this question to those of you who have driven both the 2016 and 2018’s: Did you notice the same change in suspension and handling characteristics or did I just get lucky on my 2016?
 

·
Registered
2018 OB Limited 3.6R
Joined
·
201 Posts
There is definitely a difference going from the 2016 to the 2018. I only have 800 miles on my 2018 and cannot describe it with the level of authority or experience as you but would summarize the 2018 as having a more forgiving ride. It does not feel as taut and has a little bit of floatiness. Considering my purpose for this car it is a somewhat welcomed trait for our household. Until I complete the breakin period and drive more spiritedly the only thing I can say about steering it seems to be more sensitive and responsive but has an uncertain on-center feel.

Where the ridgedness of the 2016 was less desirable was with road noise which was pretty prominent. It registered uneven pavement with authority. Conversely the 2018 is quiet enough that you can hear even subtle interior rattles. You win some and lose some.
 

·
Registered
19 OB 3.6 Limited NAV, Pkg 2, Remote Start
Joined
·
145 Posts
My 17 3.6 Touring seems to ride softer and quieter than my 15 Limited 3.6 did. Don't know if it's my imagination or not.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,264 Posts
I've test driven both the '17 and the '18. Found the difference in handling to my '15 to be negligible.
 

·
Registered
2010/2016 outback
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
There is definitely a difference going from the 2016 to the 2018. I only have 800 miles on my 2018 and cannot describe it with the level of authority or experience as you but would summarize the 2018 as having a more forgiving ride. It does not feel as taut and has a little bit of floatiness. Considering my purpose for this car it is a somewhat welcomed trait for our household. Until I complete the breakin period and drive more spiritedly the only thing I can say about steering it seems to be more sensitive and responsive but has an uncertain on-center feel.

Where the ridgedness of the 2016 was less desirable was with road noise which was pretty prominent. It registered uneven pavement with authority. Conversely the 2018 is quiet enough that you can hear even subtle interior rattles. You win some and lose some.
I have a 16 limited and don't feel it has excessive road noise, although better tires would help I guess. I drove it cross-country when it had only 900 miles on it. Very comfortable and with the ES package I was doing 16 hour drives at one time. One thing I noticed was the seats seem harder in the 18's Maybe they are new and need some time to soften up.
 

·
Registered
Outback, 2018
Joined
·
4 Posts
I find my 2018 OB seems to take too much effort to steer while at highway speeds. I guess
it's the electrical power steering. I'll bet there's no software adjustment for that (??) Only 900
miles on the car. About 39 pounds of pressure in the tires. I'm an old geezer with less arm mussel I guess.
Anyone else think they take too much effort to steer?

Dave
 

·
Registered
2018 Dark Blue Outback 3.6R Touring arrived 8/31/2017
Joined
·
343 Posts
I find my 2018 OB seems to take too much effort to steer while at highway speeds. I guess
it's the electrical power steering. I'll bet there's no software adjustment for that (??) Only 900
miles on the car. About 39 pounds of pressure in the tires. I'm an old geezer with less arm mussel I guess.
Anyone else think they take too much effort to steer?

Dave
I see this is something that'll be a matter of taste and... muscles, to some degree. It reminds me a bit of my 93 Saturn SC2 with the sporty steering, which was deliberately not heavy assist.

I think it'll grow on you as your muscles grow as a result over time >:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: subydave

·
Registered
2013 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
67 Posts
Just traded in a 2013 for a 2018. RemArkable difference in my opinion. More manners... and impressively touchiest. But then again - my daily is a 2010 Toyota FJ with a proper 3" lift.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,264 Posts
I find my 2018 OB seems to take too much effort to steer while at highway speeds. I guess
it's the electrical power steering. I'll bet there's no software adjustment for that (??) Only 900
miles on the car. About 39 pounds of pressure in the tires. I'm an old geezer with less arm mussel I guess.
Anyone else think they take too much effort to steer?

Dave
It's not your father's Buick where you can steer with your pinky.
 

·
Registered
2020 OB 2.5 Limited
Joined
·
203 Posts
I own a 17 OB Limited 8 mo old. Had been contemplating the 18. Took an 18 limited out for a ride last night on some really dark roads to compare LED headlights against my HID. As for someone above saying seat was harder.....my 17 has a firmer seat bottom than the 18 but the 18 still feels ok. The ride is much softer on the 18 and the steering is much lighter. My 17 feels like a sport suspension and steering compared to the 18...I did notice that the 18 seemed much smoother on the shift points when accelerating and did not seem to get the hesitation that I get on the 17 which was kind of nice...although its new and maybe that had something to do with it. The headlights.....on low beam other than being whiter the LED and HID were about the same.....on high beam the HID with the halogen HB were much better as far as distance and light focus point than the LED high beams which didn't seem to do a whole lot. I was surprised but that. I actually liked the softer ride..sometimes I feel like the tight suspension in my 17 is a bit to much on the bumps. Funny thing was the salesman never noticed these little changes. I still like the looks of the 17 better and which I could keep the wheels from the 17 limited on the 18 guess you can only get the wheels on the touring now. The big draw for me is the big upgrade in connectivity features over the 17. So debating on making the upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Outback, 2018
Joined
·
4 Posts
Just wondering - is there a specific reason you over-inflate your tires?

Page 12-9 of the owners manual
Outback, 35 in the fronts, 33 in the rears.
It's interesting, when I got the car from the dealer the tire pressure was at 45 pounds!
I dropped it to 40 and that smoothed the ride. I didn't notice the steering problem until I got on the freeway for about an hour. Is it just me? Perhaps. I'll try dropping the tire pressure a bit but it seems like that should make the steering effort worse.
Around town, it's easier to steer than when going 60 mph.
 

·
Registered
2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
It's interesting, when I got the car from the dealer the tire pressure was at 45 pounds!
I dropped it to 40 and that smoothed the ride. I didn't notice the steering problem until I got on the freeway for about an hour. Is it just me? Perhaps. I'll try dropping the tire pressure a bit but it seems like that should make the steering effort worse.
Around town, it's easier to steer than when going 60 mph.
That just means that the dealership didn't do a proper PDI on your car. They're purposely shipped over pressure, and as part of the PDI (pre-delivery inspection) someone is supposed to lower the air pressure to normal.

Also note the difference between front and back. It's not much, but it's that way for a reason.

Having said that, the Outback is still going to give you a passenger car ride. I'm honestly not sure what you're running into with steering effort at highway speeds. The EPAS just lets the thing basically cruise along, and if you're using Eyesight and Lane Keep, there's basically no effort at all. (I've driven an Outback down to Dallas or Tulsa and back several times at 70 mph, not had any driver fatigue. And I'm not a young kid - I literally am the average age of a Subaru customer at 55.)
 

·
Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
I suspect they have changed the shock damping or something to achieve the improved (read softer) ride.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if they decreased the knee on the bump side of the curve - the under-2-inch per second velocity in bump is where the ride harshness and steering response crispness will start to be felt when the knee is pronounced.

Of course, they also could have just found some other means of decreasing the stiction in the dampers and the rest of the suspension.

You might try test driving another one from the dealer to see if it feels the same to you - it would not surprise me at all either that there could be a marked difference from one car to another of the same model and year - production variances in the dampers, etc.

If you are serious in wanting to get the handling back, some of the guys here will know which dampers to go to, as well as slightly higher rate springs.

Of course, if your wife likes it just as it is, why risk making her not happy with you? :)
 

·
Registered
Outback, 2018
Joined
·
4 Posts
Regarding stiff steering on freeway, I wish I had the muscles I used to. I tried the
lane keep but it seemed to be rather jerky back and forth like it didn't react until I
was almost over the line on the right side. I assume it's a function of how well the
lines are painted on the freeway. Is there some AI involved and it has to do some
self learning?

As to the electric steering, I hope its software is programmable but I doubt it.
I have not found any new cars that I can steer with my pinky. I'm still looking.
But of course an old Caddy or Mercury of the '80s might allow this arthritis hands
some relief.

Dave of Washington State
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,264 Posts
Regarding stiff steering on freeway, I wish I had the muscles I used to. I tried the
lane keep but it seemed to be rather jerky back and forth like it didn't react until I
was almost over the line on the right side. I assume it's a function of how well the
lines are painted on the freeway. Is there some AI involved and it has to do some
self learning?

As to the electric steering, I hope its software is programmable but I doubt it.
I have not found any new cars that I can steer with my pinky. I'm still looking.
But of course an old Caddy or Mercury of the '80s might allow this arthritis hands
some relief.

Dave of Washington State
It is programmable but maybe not on the Subaru. On vehicles with a mode adjustment switch, changing between modes will change the steering.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Limited, all bells & whistles!
Joined
·
11 Posts
When we first bought my wife’s new 2012 Limited, I immediately felt that the handling was too sloppy and added the 19mm rear sway bar. Since there was a lot of discussion on the forum about that very topic, it came as no surprise. However, when I bought my new 2016 Limited, even though there were those that were adding the 19mm or 20mm rear bar, I never felt the need for it. I was impressed by the tighter handling of the Generation 5’s. Please understand that I raced formula cars and sports racers for 30 years and understand proper handling and how to achieve it.



We just replaced the 2012 with a new 2018 Limited and to my unhappy realization, Subaru seems to have backtracked on the suspension designs and once again I have had to add a 19mm rear bar. It helped, but the car still feels a little too floaty for my tastes. :frown2: I suspect they have changed the shock damping or something to achieve the improved (read softer) ride. So I pose this question to those of you who have driven both the 2016 and 2018’s: Did you notice the same change in suspension and handling characteristics or did I just get lucky on my 2016?


One of the first mods I did to my 2016 Outback Limited was the 19mm rear sway bar. I've never been a race car driver, but my daily work rides (Chargers, Tahoes) have heavy duty suspensions on them, and tend to be driven fast, on occasion. On one of the first trips I made before changing the sway bar, I noticed the rear being a bit loose as I took a freeway ramp a bit fast. Haven't felt that since putting the new sway bar on!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top