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2013 Outback 2.5 Premium
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I've got about 1500 miles on my 2013 Outback 2.5i Premium now, I've had since Dec. 1, 2012. Thought I'd share some impressions.

Haven't had a car I've liked this much since my 1991 Accord. Generally love the fit and finish of the Outback. The tinny clinky doors of the Forester I'd considered are open and close with a perfect thud on the Outback. Switches have a smoother touch and higher quality feel than any car I've ever owned, including many Hondas famous for such things.

Seems like the padding on the drivers seat may be a bit lopsided, and feels like it pushes into my back more on the left than on the right. It might be my back muscles, but seems the foam may be a bit off center.

Moonroof rear venting position at full open only gives about a 1/2" of ventilation. What's the point?

I'm fine with the CVT. My last car, a Murano had one, and I like the smoothness of them. The Outback is much better mated to the CVT than the Murano when it comes to getting out lower end torque. Other times, it seems to almost coast along much of the time at very low RPM, yet seems to have enough low-end torque to not be lugging the engine. Only gets noisy briefly during hard acceleration, but will quickly quiet down again, and most of the time, it's very quiet.

I hear lots of complaints about no heat gauge and that the MPG gauge in its place is a joke. I do miss the heat gauge, but actually find the MPG gauge helpful. I'm drive in a fairly spirited manner, and my mileage kind of sucks. The MPG gauge is helping me to sense how the CVT is responding, and I'm often finding I can back off the pedal a bit at times, kicking it into a more fuel efficient gearing range. Far more helpful than the wildly fluctuating digital readout next to the clock, which is almost useless to follow.

Great rear leg room! Makes me wish I could be a passenger more often.

I think the outside is quite handsome and purposeful, as is the interior. Love the Metallic Cypress Green. Rearward right side visibility is superb. Almost no blind spot. Very unlike my old 1st gen. Murano in this regard. Interior feels more like it has more width than the Murano, but outside is 2" narrower, and feels like it's hogging the road a lot less. It drives like a smaller car than it is and that's a good thing. Handling it quite good on higher speed windy mountain roads. The shocks though I think are valving is set wrong - just too much bounce coming back from the springs. Car really hops the back coming off a road dip. Acceleration coming out of slow turns feels pretty unresponsive - it can really lug.

Nice touch to give you a leather covered steering wheel, even on the cloth interior models. Thank you Subaru! Loving the backup camera/mirror too! Saving me a lot of twisting and turning to look back, and is quite reassuring.

Stock radio, initially terrible sounding, sounds much better once I learned how to turn off the default SRS system. Interesting that the manual says SRS is off by default, but mine was on.

Other minor complaints:
-My city mileage sucks, but still 25% better than my Muruno. I think I drive the freeway a little too fast to get good highway mileage.
-Not enough light at rear tailgate. I may build in some better lights.
-Alarm horn (with motion sensor) not "alarming" enough sound.
-Head rests positioned too aggressively forward. I might use a somewhat more upright seat back position with better upper back support, if the headrest wasn't stopping me from straightening up more. So seat has to be reclined more than perhaps would be ideal.
-Coin tray between seat heater buttons - would be nice if it had a cover to help the interior appear cleaner.
-Crappy stabilizer bar end links. Can't find a good replacement for the fronts with their 12mm bolts.
-Cheap thin vinyl on interior door panel tops (above the silver accents). Dog got impressive paw marks in it on first drive. Subie should offer nice custom-fit dog protection setup for the rear interior.
-Still waiting for a moulded front license plate holder for the 2013.
-Would have appreciated a full-size spare tire.

Really though - so far I'm very happy with my car. The Cypress Green color hides road dust and dirt better than I expected. I dust the car daily, and use detail spray to touch it up, taking about 15 -20 pleasurable minutes per day - much more fun than washing an SUV! Looks just out of the detail shop, even though it hasn't been washed since mid-December!

Hoping for better mileage.

Jeff
 
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