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When I test drove a 2012 Outback a few months ago, I decided that there was something amiss in the steering/suspension/handling department. The car wanted to wander down the road - never wanted to go in a straight line where pointed.

So, I was very interested to learn that for 2013 - suspension tweaks were in order to improve handling - bigger rear sway etc. So my wife and I went back to drive a 2013. As near as I can tell - same problem. The steering requires constant corrective input on the highway - seems to wander left and right. Reminds me of a Toyota Corolla that I had the misfortune to rent on a vacation trip a couple of years ago. The car reviews always seemed to describe the Corolla as having steering that was numb on center, Anyway, I'm not sure why Subaru can't fix this as it was a deal breaker for us.

Just my experience - YMMV.
 

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Awd cars do drive different. My ob is no different than my old subaru regarding steering feel and responsiveness. But they are different than all the front wheel drive cars. Best if luck glad you didnt get one too many subarus around these days.
 

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Hi - I own a 2013 Outback 2.5i Limited. I have about 800 miles on the car, driving the majority on the highway at speeds up to 80 mph. I never experienced the roaming problem in my car. In fact, if I remove my hands from the wheel the car drives as straight as an arrow. I am not saying that the car you drove did not roam but you may want to test drive another vehicle.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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It seemed like my car wandered a little when it was new. I'm assuming it has to do with the Continental tires. It wasn't anything I noticed on the test drive. I have Goodyeat Tripletreds on it now, and I can't feel any wandering at all.
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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So people that -I don't know- fall asleep while driving may not be able to keep the car on the road?
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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...had the same problem with my 'ol shaker...but not any more...
 

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2000 Outback Limited, Dual Range 5 Speed
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I think that subaru could probably do with putting some more caster on the front end. Its a non wearing angle 95% of the time and that is what gives most cars their auto centering and gives the car a less tendancy to wander and follow ruts in the road.
 

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I think that subaru could probably do with putting some more caster on the front end. Its a non wearing angle 95% of the time and that is what gives most cars their auto centering and gives the car a less tendancy to wander and follow ruts in the road.
I agree but many cars do not have adjustable caster.
Hopefully the mods can merge this thread into the OB Wandering discussion.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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I'm on my first Subaru and did notice that really bumpy roads can give the sensation of the car moving about but that's a byproduct of the AWD. If you keep the wheel pointed straight the car is going to go straight. You'll get used to it.
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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I had the 2012 2.5i and just bought the 2013 2.5i Limited last week and cant say I noticed any issues with steering or handling. I can say that the 2013 is definately an improvement over the 2012's in many ways---suspension, CVT, HP, and style.
 

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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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So people that -I don't know- fall asleep while driving may not be able to keep the car on the road?
The wander is very real AND very dangerous. You can sneer at the idea,
but a 2000 mile interstate road trip -- with 40 hours of constant steering
adjustments -- will quickly convert anyone to a believer.

Happily, it's also completely fixable -- at least it was for my 2011 OB --
just a simple alignment adjustment did the trick. Use the forum search
facility for more details.

...maybe you should own one before posing as an expert,

Looby
 

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2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
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I took a 600 mile round-trip vacation a couple weeks ago with my 2011 and saw/felt none of this. 12,000 miles on the vehicle. The most fatigue I had was my leg, due to traffic I couldn't use cruise that much.
 

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It seemed like my car wandered a little when it was new. I'm assuming it has to do with the Continental tires. It wasn't anything I noticed on the test drive. I have Goodyeat Tripletreds on it now, and I can't feel any wandering at all.
Both my 2012 and later the 2013 Outback's went through this tire break-in process. By 700-900 all the wandering was gone.
 

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My last vehicle was a F250 diesel pickup. When I changed the tires from OEM to Michelin's the truck developed a pronounced tendency to wander at about 40mph. But this didn't appear right away, it took about 50 miles on the tires before it started happening. It gradually diminished and had completely gone away about 500-1000 miles later.

I recently bought a 2013 3.6 SAP and didn't notice any wandering on the test drive, but it appeared at about mile 80 (I was cruising down I-10 and could feel the wandering start creeping up). It's extremely mild compared to those first weeks with the F250/Michelins, but it's definitely there, and definitely wasn't on the test drive.

My suspicion is that the reason it didn't show up during the test drive is because the releasing compound on the tires was reducing grip enough to prevent the wandering, and as it wore off the wandering started to manifest itself. Not sure why it went away on my F250 with a bit of wear, much less why the OEM tires on that truck didn't wander at all.
 

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Weird. I test drove a 2012, then test drove and bought a 2013. The '12 had the steering wheel shake, but I didn't notice any wandering.

At 900 miles my '13 has no shake, no wandering, and feels more buttoned down than the '12 I test drove...flatter cornering, firmer suspension, and just a more solid feel to it. Enough of a difference to notice it and to pay $200 more for the '13 over the '12. At least it was for me.
 

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I agree about the suspension and steering improvements in 2013. Much more solid feeling, and the steering is much lighter off-center. Combined with the usable (pleasant, even) new navigation system and it was a no-brainer to spring for the 2013.
 

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The wander is very real AND very dangerous. You can sneer at the idea,
but a 2000 mile interstate road trip -- with 40 hours of constant steering
adjustments -- will quickly convert anyone to a believer.

Happily, it's also completely fixable -- at least it was for my 2011 OB --
just a simple alignment adjustment did the trick. Use the forum search
facility for more details.

...maybe you should own one before posing as an expert,

Looby
I've owned cars that wander. I promise you a 75 pinto wanders more than any Outback could ever dream of and I managed to survive it.
Dr. LaneWanderer, PhD, has spoken.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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I drive on the highway everyday. No wandering. Maybe it is because i am used to driving cars with high COG and thus susceptible to cross winds?
 

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2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
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I drive on the highway everyday. No wandering. Maybe it is because i am used to driving cars with high COG and thus susceptible to cross winds?
I wonder if you're on to something. Everyone wants an "SUV" but expectes them to handle like a car. I don't notice any of the wander people complain about, but I've also driven passenger vehicles similar in size to the OB or bigger (full size vans, pickups, small SUVs) so I'm used to the way an SUV will handle.

Sure, the OB handles different than my old car, but I expected that and I adjusted to it just fine because of previous vehicles I've driven.
 
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