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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I currently drive a 2004 Grand Cherokee with the 4.7L V8, and although I love Jeep, I loathe this car. I'm also looking to start a job where I have an 80 mile round trip commute, and 20 mpg isn't going to cut it. The problem? I've got 3 greyhounds and a beagle, so the GC size needs to stay.

Enter the Outback. I've been looking at a few 2010-2011's and have a few questions.

1. How serious IS the steering wheel shake, what percentage actually feels it, and what does it feel like? Is it like an unbalanced wheel, or like death wobble as found in Jeeps?

2. I'd be getting the 2.5 for both mileage and price issues (the girlfriend is a travel nurse, so it'd be getting some extended road trips as well). I'm a bit iffy on a CVT. I've never had one, have driven a few (non-Subaru) CVT's and thought they felt weird, but have seen that the Subaru has a "step" feature where it feels like it's shifting gears. Would you go for a CVT model, or hold out for a 6 speed? I like driving a manual, but the girlfriend has a Mini S, so I can get my manual transmission fun in that if necessary - which would you prefer for daily driving and 30K+ miles a year?

3. Warranty: Do they transfer to used-car owners, or is it just original owners? Also, if I get it from a non-Subaru dealer, can I still get the warranty? Two of them that I'm looking at are 2011's with about 55K miles (so still within the 7 year 100K warranty), but they're post-lease vehicles that are done through an independent dealer.

4. Besides hesitation at a costing start and the steering wheel shake, are there any other readily apparent problems? I'm also aware of the high-altitude cold weather starts, but I live in Indiana, and have no aspirations to move anywhere in the Rockies, so I don't see that being a gigantic problem.

5. Head gaskets - I understand the problem was resolved in 2010 for the 2010+ 2.5 engine. Is this correct?

Thanks all, I really appreciate it.
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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If you can find one with a build date after around Feb. 2011 you should be fine on the shake issue. Just yesterday I took a 400+ mile round-trip doing the return leg non-stop with zero hand/arm fatigue (one of the signs you have a "shaker"). Mine was built in Aug. 2011 (one of the last 2011's built).

Yes, it will take a little adjusting to the CVT but once you do it's hardly noticeable. Yes, you'll likely need to adjust your driving style a little bit, I found I did. The "step" you mention is only found by utilizing the paddle shifters.

The ones you mention have ~5,000 miles left on the factory powetrain warranty, that will transfer to you. If there's an extended warranty, that may be able to be transferred to you as well. Subaru extended warranty plans can only be purchased before the expiration of the 3/36 warranty.

Some people complain about poor floor heat output on the Premium models. I don't find much of a problem with it personally.

Word is that they have fixed the HG issues. Time will tell.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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1. I bought my '11 in June of '11. never had any trouble.

2. I prefer a Manual, the OB is my wife's DD and our long haul car. As far as AT go, I LOVE the CVT. It feels different than most AT because it does what it's supposed to. It keeps the car in the optimal gear and delivers smooth power application. No AT can replicate 3 pedals, especially not in a full size wagon. If it were my DD, I would have gone 6 speed, but that's just out of personal preference.

3. Factory warranty transfers to new owner as far as I know, however it's only 60k. Any Subaru dealer should be able to offer the car as CPO, which extends it to a 100k warranty.

4. Never experienced hesitation at coasting or shakes. I haven't noticed any other "problems" with mine. It does everything I expect a sub $30k AWD car to do.

5. I've owned 4 2.5 Subarus, never had a HG issue. My parents have 2 2.5 Foresters with 70k and 90k on them, never an issue. IMO it was fixed 7 years ago.

If you do your research and get a well treated used car, you should have plenty of miles ahead of you.
 

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2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
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Just to clarify on #3 above: the basic standard warranty is 3 years/36k miles. 5 years/60k miles is the standard warranty for the powertrain only. It's possible that the original owners purchased an extended warranty before the basic warranty ran out, but you'll want to verify that with a Subaru dealership and the cars VIN. Yes, the Subaru of America warranty moves with the vehicle from owner to owner, no matter who the resale is through.
 

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2011 2.5 Limited Cypress Green
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In regards to the shaker issue, one should remember that this forum is where more people come for help, rather than to state, "hey, my car drives exactly like it should!"

Most of us will report no problems or shakes, mine is a 2011 and I have had no shaking problems.

Also, our winter car was a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Subaru's AWD is much better than the Cherokee's system. At least from that year.
 

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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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For used Soobies from a dealer, check Subaru Certified Pre-Owned Inventory.

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) cars carry a bulletproof 100k mi, 7-year, $0-deductible
powertrain warranty -- and they also tend to be well-maintained cars that a dealer
likes to keep on his lot (rather than sending to the auction). Also, they often have
some of the original 3yr/36k warranty remaining.

The above site will give you an idea of what's available in your area, and the
range of asking prices you might expect. Of course, there's LOTS of room for
price negotiation on used cars.

FWIW, my 2011 OB (built in Aug 2011), has never had any shaking problem at all.

...shop 'til ya drop,

Looby
 

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2013 3.6R SAP BBP Outback
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Enjoy looking around. There are lots of '10, '11', and even '12 models on the dealer lot near me. You could have a wide choice of color, miles, and major options. However, thoroughly and completely test drive it before you buy one. Take a long trip of at least several miles at speeds up to those you're used to and take your time. If you feel anything shaky or pulsating, or etc. in the steering, don't buy that car; keep looking. And, check the service records to the extent you can for steering issues. The Outback steering shake is not like the Jeep death wobble that you mention. I've experienced that on a old CJ and I've also experienced the Outback steering shake on an '11. The steering shake makes the steering wheel unstable, but I'm sure you could not see it in the front wheels like you can with the death wobble.
 

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2011 outback,2.5 Ruby Red
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I have an 2008 Outback and a 2011 Outback with the 2.5,neither one has ever had a problem with anything. the 08 is near 80K and the 11 is near 30K with theCVT. I love the CVT and the fact that you just press on the gas and it just goes with no feel of a gear change. My neighbor bought one after riding in mine because of the smoothness and how quiet it is inside. I changed the stock tires on the 08 at 67K miles and the 11 stock tires are just fine, mine are quiet and more than 1/2 life is still left on them. Don't know what business your in but you know that there are many people you can NEVER please no matter what you do for them. There are 6 Subaru's on my street and only one is a first time owner so that tells you something. Not one has ever complained about the tires and we all have the same brand.Would I but another Subaru, yes I would and would I trade it in, why NO !!! I'll give it to one of my kids and I'll know that their going to get a good and dependable car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
THanks guys - I'm going to Lafayette tomorrow where I'm going to be test driving a number of 2010-2011's. I'll make sure to hit highway speeds up to 75mph, as well as some around-town driving.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Good luck and ENJOY!

One thing to keep in mind is the CVT. It offers a completely different feel. It can make it seem like the 2.5 is underpowered. But if you floor it an watch the speedo, it moves just as fast as any traditional AT, just no high revs and jumps between gears. I've never had trouble passing or pulling away from someone. Just a different feel to it.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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08/2010 Build/Purchased, 2011-MY = No problems whatsoever. But to say the shake is safe past a certain date, I wouldn’t go that far. Peruse the shakes sub-forum, even the 012 is a TSB-Applied 010/011. Most definitely do the test drive.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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i had a 2002 grand cherokee limited. the outbacks' interior is better, probably a little bigger too. correction, it is bigger. i thought the jeep was perfect just not at all reliable and yes it ate gas. the outback does everything the jeep does but doesn't break down and doesn't go on three wheels when you turn at high rate of speed. the only advantage the jeep has is a higher towing capacity. a used outback newer than '09 is going to be about as much as a brand new one. i'd say get a '13, many improvements from the '10-'12s, i think youll be happy.
 

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THanks guys - I'm going to Lafayette tomorrow where I'm going to be test driving a number of 2010-2011's. I'll make sure to hit highway speeds up to 75mph, as well as some around-town driving.
Two 2010's one of them was very early one of the first Gen4s to hit the lot. No issues though the continental tires are garbage finally replaced them at 40K this August. They simply did not hold balance very well and every 9000 miles or so needed considerable amounts of weight change to rebalance them. I had one start going out of round at 25K at which point it no longer could get rotated to the front of the car given it shook the wheel too much.

We own a place in San Francisco where you curb tires or get a ticket so even a careful light tire curbing would cause the continentals to shake like a wet dog for a while.

Replaced them with BFG Touring tires which are much stiffer and stronger built tire very similar tread pattern. Very very slight change in the road feel made road feedback just a hair more obvious and seemed to improve handling making it a little more crisp probably due to the stiffer sidewalls etc. Tires hold balance good and don't seem to be bothered by curbing like the Continentals did. Car also rides nice and smooth no shakes it hammers down the road at 80+ just fine.

So if you find a car you like used - and the prices is right but the tires seem to be bad giving you some vibration etc - see if the dealer will toss on a different set of tires just for a test drive check to make sure it is really the tires and not say from skidding down a hill and hitting a curb in a Lafayette Ice follies video.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i had a 2002 grand cherokee limited. the outbacks' interior is better, probably a little bigger too. correction, it is bigger. i thought the jeep was perfect just not at all reliable and yes it ate gas. the outback does everything the jeep does but doesn't break down and doesn't go on three wheels when you turn at high rate of speed. the only advantage the jeep has is a higher towing capacity. a used outback newer than '09 is going to be about as much as a brand new one. i'd say get a '13, many improvements from the '10-'12s, i think youll be happy.

Well, I can find 5 within 100 miles that have under 60K miles for under $19.5K. I'd have a very difficult time finding a 13 for that...most of them around here actually go for 22-24K even if it's a 2011-2012 with 25K+ miles on it. And the new ones? Forget about it - they start at 27K and go up from there.
 

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ok, maybe its just this area. i wanted a slightly used one but they're always within a few thousand dollars of the new ones so it doesn't make sense to go with used.
 

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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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Well, I can find 5 within 100 miles that have under 60K miles for under $19.5K.
Yep. The CPO site shows 3 (2010 Limited, 2010 Premium, 2011 Premium??)
within 100 miles of me. All < 60k miles, all < $20k, all CertifiedPreOwned
with 7yr/100k/$0-ded. drivetrain warranty -- good at any Soobie dealer.

...and "under $20,000" is just the dealer's initial asking price,

Looby
 

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2011 Outback Premium and 2014 2.5i 6-spd
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I own two 2011 Outback Premiums, one Graphite Gray and the other Cypress Green. I purchased the Gray with 27k miles and the Green with 39k miles. I bought the Gray one first; my significant other loved it so much (she drove a GMC Yukon) that I never got to use it myself. I was forced to purchase the Green about 3 months later so that I could drive an Outback. So far, everything is great with both. In spite of some of the nitpicking seen on this blogsite about Outback 4th generation vehicles I rate them at two of the best vehicles I've owned over the last 40 years. The Green is pre-Feb 2011 and the Gray post-Feb 2011. Both drive equally well with no shake issues. I don't think Mickey85 will go wrong shopping and finding a good one for himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys!

Honestly, I love my Jeeps, and if they still made something like the Cherokee (bulletproof drivetrain, two solid axles, light and "sporty"), I'd buy another one in a heartbeat, but the libertango, bloated and mini-van powered Wrangler, and the Grand Cherokee/Land Rover just don't do it for me. Don't get me started on the compapatrioliber abortion that Dodge calls a Jeep.

Looking around, I can't find something with the size I need that has decent mileage and capability like the Outback, for the price I can afford. I'll be checking them out as soon as I get the title for the Jeep mailed to me (lost the stupid thing and had to get it redone). I contacted the dealer, and all the OB's I'm looking at are CPO and have been tested for shake, not to mention that the salesman himself is taking them out and testing before I even make the trek over there.
 

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I purchased a 2010 2.5 Limited about 2 months ago and love it. Have had no problems with steering wheel shakes, etc. That being said, I just got it back tonight from the dealership where it was in for replacement CAM and oxygen sensors which were causing it to misfire. I am glad it was certified and it cost me nothing to get it fixed. It had 47k miles on it when I got it. I got it at a very good price. All the room for my cattle dog and our gear and I LOVE the ride. Much more refined than my CRV. Best of luck!
 
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