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2016 Outback, 2.5L Engine, Limited with Nav
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for advice from this forum, and the similar CRV forum on which car to keep. It will be interesting to get non-biased input and compare notes:). I am buying a new vehicle, and have a choice of selling my '16 Outback Limited or my '14 CRV EXL. The Outback has 95k on it and has been ok on reliability. Replaced a wheel bearing, serpentine belt pulley, and a seat bolster. The radio is getting the fuzzy lines and appears to be on the path of going down. Great in snow, love the size, etc. It is 2 years newer than the CRV. The 2014 CRV has 155k, has been perfect on reliability. No issues with anything on the car. Newer tires on both, similar gas mileage. Car would be used primarily for highway driving (about 30k per year). So, newer Outback with lower miles, or the proven CRV with higher mileage? Plan to keep another 3-4 years. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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73 Posts
If you have to buy this model year (2020) then sell the Outback with the troublesome Head Unit.

I make it a point not to be the Quality Control Supervisor or Product Tester on any .0 version (first model year) on any motor vehicle from any manufacture. Wait for the 2021 Outbacks.
 

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4,459 Posts
Sell whatever is costlier to keep... higher taxes, maintenance coming up, etc.

OR put them both up for sale and keep whichever doesn’t sell first.
 

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618 Posts
The Outback has the advantage of better AWD and longer cargo space. You said you plan for mostly highway miles, so based on that I'd keep the CRV because I believe 14 was one of the best years whereas 16 was not one of the best years for the Outback, and based on your personal experience that seems to be true.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5i
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269 Posts
I had a 99 CR-V, one of the first generation. It is still one of my favorite cars ever. I had it 17 years and 140k miles and never did anything other than scheduled maintenance and batteries and tires. It's probably still running somewhere. I just had a certain fondness for the first generation look, particularly the interior with he flat front floor and steering wheel mounted gear shift. It gave it a very spacious interior feel. Later generations got away from that with more of a center console look. Yea, it was underpowered, a bit noisy, and with just a 4 speed it wasn't going anywhere fast. But I really liked it. Oddly, my outback has a power/weight ratio that just barely beats the 99 CR-V, but it does a much better job of using that power with the CVT, so it doesn't feel as underpowered as the specs might lead you to believe.

When I bought my outback, the CR-V was on my short list. I wasn't a fan of the 1.5L turbo, particularly with many reports of excessive oil dilution. So I passed. Also Honda reliability wasn't what it was. I currently have an 04 accord as my 'backup' car. About 130k miles and still nothing major wrong. Still runs great, doesn't burn a drop of oil. I've had it since new as well, so it's going on 17.
 

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5,421 Posts
If I were driving 30k miles a year, I would sell them both and get a nicer new vehicle.
 

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Premium Member
2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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411 Posts
I would keep the one with the lowest mileage. IMHO, the higher the mileage, the more money you are going to have to spend to maintain it regardless of the manufacturer. It’s a point of diminishing returns. It reaches a point that the more money you pour in verses it’s overall value just doesn’t make sense. I can’t comment on whether a Honda is more or less reliable than a Subaru over 100K miles since I have never owned a Honda. I have however owned a lot of high mileage cars well over 100K miles and can speak to the increase cost of repairs as they age and increase in mileage. Back before I could afford to buy new, I bought a lot of used cars and always went with the lowest mileage car I could afford. Then drive it until the wheels fell off.


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2016 Outback, 2.5L Engine, Limited with Nav
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
A couple of great ideas - thank you.
 

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17' Outback Touring 3.6R
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246 Posts
What is the new vehicle? Which is it more comparable to?

And honestly, I drive a lot. If I'm putting on 30k highway, I'm keeping whichever one is more enjoyable to drive, sit in for longer periods of time, convenient for my needs. Don't have time to be bothered for small annoyances, downtime and what not.

I'd lean to the crv since it's been more reliable for you even with the higher mileage. Maintain it well, and it'll last. My MDX has 200k when I traded it in.

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2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R
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14 Posts
I have a 2016 Outback and my wife has 2015 CRV, I traveled long and short distance in both and I would take Outback over CRV anytime. Outback fits me better, it's smoother, quiet and more comfortable in my opinion.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Ltd. w. Eyesight
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200 Posts
Tough decision and not enough info provided to make a well-considered recommendation. I own both a 2016 Outback 3.6 Ltd. w. ES, and a 2012 CRV EX AWD, both purchased new. They're both outstanding long-distance vehicles for me -- we'll all different in that regard though. My OB has more oomph, handles better, is better in the snow and off-road, has more creature comforts, and has much more advanced safety systems; the CRV gets significantly better MPG, is cheaper to insure and probably cheaper to maintain in the long-run (although my OB hasn't needed anything but routine stuff so far). The OB has more storage space but the CRV has a taller compartment. My particular OB has a hitch and is wired and my CRV doesn't, but given the choice, I'd much tow with the Subbie.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R Wilderness Green
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314 Posts
I still have them both 2005 CRV with 275K miles and 2012 OB 3.6 with 165K miles, comparing the realability they are both super, and for your question I will keep the OB.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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3,879 Posts
Between the two I would probably keep the Outback. The CRV seems a lot closer to the Forester than the Outback and I think the overall size difference and shorter wheelbase of the CRV would push me in the other direction. For me the very low towing capacity always ruled out the CRV early on, though that isn't as big of a factor for me as it used to be. If I was choosing between keeping a Forester or the CRV it might be a tougher choice but with these two choices for me it would be the Outback.

It might also depend on what the new vehicle I was getting was though.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,035 Posts
If I wanted a nice AWD highway cruiser, that loves to fight slush, I would keep the outback.

If I wanted something that was easy to slip urban traffic like a knife, and into tiny parking spaces: the CRV. (maybe at the cost of loosing the superior subaru AWD)
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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4,913 Posts
I am the Outback King and I say keep that CR-V!

If selling, the Outback will have higher market value, might as well make the most of it instead of getting less for the CR-V. Or just trying getting a price on both from a place like CarMax, I guarantee that you will get more money for the Subaru and you can always bank it for future CR-V maintenance.
 

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4,459 Posts
spreadsheet.
  • List your best guess on the sale price of each (use KBB or whatever). Sale and trade in.
  • List out the cost per year of insurance, taxes (including registration).
  • If you're super picky, list out average fuel economy, price of fuel over the next 3-5 years, and the mileage you'd drive.
  • list any maintenance costs in the next 3-5 years
  • figure out any costs other than maintenance required to sell the car if it's the one you keep and sell in 3-5 years (like if the radio gets bad enough it needs to be replaced at that point, but not right now).
see what the actual costs are for keeping one over the other (as much as you can figure out anyway). Adjust some of the numbers by changing assumptions here and there.

Or start a poll on which to sell (on each site), average the results, and let the internets decide!
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,766 Posts
An older Outback (2016) and a newer Outback (2021) in the same garage would be pretty cool. Anyway, it all comes down to the headunit. This thread proves how important a headunit is. (Car makers need to get their sh*t together.) Imagine the replies if the original post said the head unit is flawless in the Outback. Here is what the original post would look like:

“Looking for advice from this forum, and the similar CRV forum on which car to keep. It will be interesting to get non-biased input and compare notes:). I am buying a new vehicle, and have a choice of selling my '16 Outback Limited or my '14 CRV EXL. The Outback has 95k on it and has been ok on reliability. Replaced a wheel bearing, serpentine belt pulley, and a seat bolster. The head unit is flawless. Great in snow, love the size, etc. It is 2 years newer than the CRV. The 2014 CRV has 155k, has been perfect on reliability. No issues with anything on the car. Newer tires on both, similar gas mileage. Car would be used primarily for highway driving (about 30k per year). So, newer Outback with lower miles, or the proven CRV with higher mileage? Plan to keep another 3-4 years. Thanks for your thoughts.”
 

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2016 OB Limited 3.6R
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206 Posts
'16 Outback Limited 95k.
'14 CRV EXL.155k
Car would be used primarily for highway driving (about 30k per year)
Plan to keep another 3-4 years.
If the car was a light commuter that rarely went out (local commuter, retiree, etc.) I would keep the CRV and pocket the money from the Subaru as resale will be greater. If you intend on using the car for high milage over the years the CRV will begin to show its age as rolls over 200K and cost you more money. Personally, for the usage you stated I would choose the Subaru.
 
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