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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, first time caller, long time listener. I am looking to buy my first Outback (upgrading from my current 2006 Forester that has been a gem). I have been looking between two cars today that I could use some opinions on:
  1. 2018 2.5 Limited, 44,000 miles CPO from a Subaru Dealership for $22,999.
  2. 2017 3.6R Touring, 123,000 miles, at a Toyota dealership for $16,940. Dealership said belonged to a sales person so it was likely mostly highway miles.
Both cars are 1-owner no accidents (none that show up on the Car Fax, I know those aren't always 100%). The price of the 2017 obviously appeals to me more, but I worry about the mileage and potential issues that might come with it. Any opinions or thoughts are very much appreciated!
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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3,964 Posts
A lot depends on your risk tolerance, but high mileage used vehicles usually scare me as well. Lots to consider here (e.g., some have a strong preference for the H6 - you should drive both) and much has been covered in past threads. Whatever you decide on, consider having a good mechanic inspect it first. Some recent threads:
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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1,212 Posts
2 years at appx 1,800 miles per month average - doesn't sound like the '18 sat around too much either. My guess is that the get up and go of the OB would be pretty much what you're used to from your Forester, albeit the OB is heavier. So unless you really need the extra power I'd say it's the '18 for sure - all other things being equal. To me that means exterior colour (in terms of attraction to me), interior condition and finish, etc. and then only if my prime candidate passed inspection.
 

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2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R
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60 Posts
My two cents: It depends on your intended usage. If you don't drive much, I wouldn't be afraid of a high mileage car (assuming the maintenance was done properly). Mileage is an anachronistic barometer for vehicle longevity. Almost any modern vehicle, with proper maintenance, can go many 100K miles without major (engine/transmission) failures. The only caveats are vehicles with known issues with their drivetrains (maybe the Subaru CVT falls in this category?) or if you're using the vehicle inappropriately (towing regularly in a Subaru, for example).
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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3.6R is too expensive if you ask me

so is the 2018...

my 3.6R has 155K on it and still trucking. it is 11.5 years old and one of the best things about it, no nanny tech... the very best thing about it is the 45/55 power split
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '12 Mazda3 skyactiv
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729 Posts
I've purchase quite a few used cars in the past to use a reliable family haulers and I will say mileage is one of the few main concerns on my list.

More specifically avoiding low mileage cars as they typically sat a lot and did short trips and never fully got up to temp. I almost always looked for the high mileage cars that drove a lot which is likely highway miles and therefore easier on the engine and properly warms up all the fluids in the engine. Following this I have been able to save a decent amount of cash to put towards making the car more reliable on other wear items and the cars have all lasted a long time.

It is going to depend on what you want out of your OB. The H6 is a very reliable engine in terms of the long block internals. Its weakness is over time they get leaky (HG externally, timing cover gasket etc). The fix to these leaks are not cheap due to the labor involved if you cannot DIY.

Your main concern would be the CVT, but with the amount of cash you are saving on the 3.6R, you could be disciplined and put it in an emergency account to cover things like that. The CVT is also not specific only to the 3.6R so it is also a potential issue with the 2.5.

The 3.6R uses more gas in town but it is a much nicer highway cruiser and the extra gas used on the highway is virtually moot over the 2.5.

I'd recommend determining what you are primarily using the OB for and what your main must have features are ie: fuel saver or fun engine when needed.

I just wouldn't go into this comparison thinking the low mileage and much more expensive 2.5 is a much more reliable option over the 3.6R.

My bias is I wrench on my own cars so replacing wear items is not a big deciding factor for me as I only have to pay for parts.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5
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Hi all, first time caller, long time listener. I am looking to buy my first Outback (upgrading from my current 2006 Forester that has been a gem). I have been looking between two cars today that I could use some opinions on:
  1. 2018 2.5 Limited, 44,000 miles CPO from a Subaru Dealership for $22,999.
  2. 2017 3.6R Touring, 123,000 miles, at a Toyota dealership for $16,940. Dealership said belonged to a sales person so it was likely mostly highway miles.
Both cars are 1-owner no accidents (none that show up on the Car Fax, I know those aren't always 100%). The price of the 2017 obviously appeals to me more, but I worry about the mileage and potential issues that might come with it. Any opinions or thoughts are very much appreciated!
This isn't even a close question, IMO. Get the 2018. The 2.5 is FINE. I've driven both, and sure, the 3.6 has more power, but the 2.5 is plenty of juice. Not once in several years of being severely loaded down with camp gear, rooftop tent, and mountain bike, have I ever thought I wished I had more power. Dead serious.

The CPO program is great, you have 16,000 miles of bumper to bumper coverage, then years of powertrain coverage. I paid about the same for a Premium 2.5 a couple years back, so you're getting a good deal.

If you have to ask, you don't need the 3.6.
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium
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571 Posts
Go with the lower miles one, it will last that much longer for you without having to purchase something else so while you pay a little more now you get that many more years of use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone for the advice! I went with the 2018 and am now a proud first-time Outback owner.

Overall I went with it for the warranty, plus the peace of mind that came with having less miles. Coming out of 2006 Forester with issues I was ready to look for something that could last me a while.

And between the 2018 and the 3.6R, while I know I would have had much more fun driving the 3.6R, it was hard for me to ignore the better gas mileage on the 2018 (and the Apple/Android Car Play was a plus for me).

Now I've got my eyes on some black/onyx-looking wheels as a future addition.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
 
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