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2013 Outback 2.5i LTD / Auto
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought my OB last week and so far, so good. I replaced a 13 year old GM SUV that served my family faithfully and had a reasonable cost of ownership. I work from home so the miles on it were from around town or from vacation trips. Same will go for my new OB.

I've been very impressed with the OB. Love the interior and creature comforts, Bluetooth, sound system, etc. Ride is great. Handling is great. Not as much power, but overall, drives a lot like our sedan.

Overall I'd say I'm in bliss except for wondering about the future with this car. I'm not a DIY guy and depend on mechanics for maintenance. From what I've read thus far, Subaru service departments do not get high marks. My fear is the competency of service and the cost. I'm game to keep up with the manufacturer's regularly scheduled maintenance program.

Going back to our sedan and cost of ownership, it's one of the top-tier German sedans and the scheduled maintenance costs are very expensive. It's a daily driver for my wife and she racks up the miles. I'm getting tired of feeling fleeced over the maintenance costs and am considering trading it in and getting a second OB. The "badge" and "status" were fun for a while with the sedan, but as I matured, I grew out of it. Cars wear out and need repair no matter how much your initial spend on them. On "luxury" models, repair costs sting. I learned my lesson on this one!

So after all that, my question is to those of you that use your OB as a daily driver to commute to and from work. How do you like it? Any quirks, advice?
 

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Read your owners manual your car needs very little and each item is listed. Your local dealer can do that but ask for each item NEVER EVER TELL A DEALER you want a service package or mileage based service. That is a GREEN light to fleece you.

Our 2010 is our second subaru since 2001 used for daily hauling and commute. The prior one was replaced after 11yrs and 180,000 miles zero issues when we sold it. Only servicing the dealer did was TB, a failed sensor and replacing a faulty Gasket. The 2010 the dealer will be doing the TB at 105K and changing the CVT fluid in the transmission. Outside of that the dealer won't ever see the car for service work. Spark plugs will be done by a local using OEM plugs and wires. Brakes I do my self or have a local do it using OEM parts bought online from a subaru parts supplier.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i Dark Blue Pearl/Ivory w'Eyesight
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703 Posts
After 20 months, and 15,000 miles as primarily a daily driver (4 miles one way with 17 potential stops in rush hour traffic (public transit would take 1.5 hours to work, and over 2 hours from work), I have no qualms about using my 3.6R as a daily driver. My service department is a rarity. They are the best. Willing to listen, take pride in their work and even personal service, and greet me by name--no I haven't been to see them that often. I've personally known the general service manager for more than 20 years, before he started at the Subaru shop. I understand that that is a rare commodity. I do not have the time, tools, space or even inclination to do my own work. Last car I did that for was a 1968 Ford (in 1971). Since then, far to complicated. The last private mechanic I used practically destroyed the car I owned at the time. Since then, somewhat reluctant about repeating the experience.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
During my slightly younger years I had my share of cool cars. They had their problems but I enjoyed making them go faster and keeping them clean.

I'm older and wiser now but I think there's something invariably cool about capability and practicality.

Then again, I'm not nearly as cool as I used to be.
 

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01 LL Bean
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135 Posts
So after all that, my question is to those of you that use your OB as a daily driver to commute to and from work. How do you like it? Any quirks, advice?
I owned a Mercedes SL 600 for a while. It had a rock chip in the glass in front of the headlight. I went to the dealer to purchase a replacement piece of headlight glass as it was separate and easily removable from the headlight. The dealer told me I could not buy the glass and I had to buy the entire "assembly". They wanted $1,800 for the "assembly". I decided the car was over-rated and sold it... never looked back.

You are aware I imagine if you get a flat tire which is not patchable that you cannot put one new tire on with 3 tires of less tread depth. You must either replace all 4 or shave the new one to match the others. If not, damage to the drivetrain will result.

My fiance and I love our outbacks. We will not go back to a different vehicle.
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i
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114 Posts
If you are comparing maintenance costs to a Eurolux brand, you'll be pleasantly surprised.. $80 synthetic oil changes/rotations is about all you'll need every 7500 miles. Most dealers are reasonable for engine air filters but not for cabin air filters (they charge $100 usually for a $20 part you can change yourself in 5 min. Lots of youtube video on this. It's slightly more difficult than opening the glove compartment). Scheduled maintenance costs are about 1/3 of MB and you'll save a lot on gas and insurance too, but you already know that. Reliability is also much better and parts are really cheap by comparison. Just limit your maintenance to the items listed in the owners manual.

When you replace your tires, you can get something like a set of Michelin defenders that last 90K miles for about $700. Compare that to $1100+ for 40-50K on your MB.

The OB makes a great commuter car. AWD is great during midwest winters and you won't have to worry about your wife getting stuck on the tollway. Safety is comparable to most any Euro brand. And you don't need to worry about road ragers/gangbangers targeting her. If you get her the SAP model you'll get all of the latest safety gadgets that cost lots more with MB.

The only downside is you won't get the concierge service that you get with MB. Just take her to Paris with the money you save.
 

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2012 4LT Centennial Edition Grand Sport Corvette convertible
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how did you get a GM product to last 13 years?
It's not a problem - GM trucks last a long time. My Avalanche is almost 11 years old, has 77k miles on it, and has been supercharged for 57k of those miles. No issues whatsoever except routine maintenance.
 

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2012 OUTBACK 2.5 LIMITED SILVER ICE Metallic, moon and nav free
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1,220 Posts
Why do people think Subaru car techs are morons? Cars are cars. Fixing them is not rocket science. I never had any trouble with my Subaru service. Blown way out of proportion on this site. DIY guys think they know more than certified techs. Makes me think that Subaru owners are just weird people and untrusting control freaks.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 CVT All-Weather/Alloy Package, Graphite Gray
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199 Posts
Why do people think Subaru car techs are morons? Cars are cars. Fixing them is not rocket science. I never had any trouble with my Subaru service. Blown way out of proportion on this site. DIY guys think they know more than certified techs. Makes me think that Subaru owners are just weird people and untrusting control freaks.

This is my opinion only...I think forums like this attract DIY folks for info sharing and such and do not represent the general population of Subey owners. As for the service techs, I think you get a mixed bag. The dealership I go to has great service and has never put doubt in my mind of their abilities. Its' like going to a chain restaurant, You can get the same dish at 2 different establishments, but one might be great while the other not so great. They all know how to do it, its the small details that separate the good from the not so good.

The OB is my daily commuter, no complaints here.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Why do people think Subaru car techs are morons? Cars are cars. Fixing them is not rocket science. I never had any trouble with my Subaru service. Blown way out of proportion on this site. DIY guys think they know more than certified techs. Makes me think that Subaru owners are just weird people and untrusting control freaks.
Agreed, my parents have used the dealer for most of their maintenence. My dad has gotten to the age that he doesn't have the time or desire (or me at home to help ;) ) to do the small things himself. They have never had any trouble and haven't been fleeced. Yes, there are dealers that will do that, but the owner should be responsible enough to be self aware of what needs done.

To the OPs original question. My wife LOVES her OB. She has commented on several occaisions how pleased she is with it and how much she likes it. I chuckle each time, thinking how much small problems are blown out of proportion on here. Ignorance truly is bliss in this sense.

Now, if you are replacing a high end sedan, might I suggest looking at the Legacy? It handles better and is a bit more fun to drive. If you already have one OB and another sedan served you well, it might be a better option.

As to long term reliablity. I have put 55k and 88k on my last 2 Subarus with zero non-maintenence issues. My (used) Forester has 75k miles and drives great, 1 owner no problems with him. My OB is at 22k and still doing great. My parents have 90k and 65k on their Foresters with the same results. :29:
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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I just bought my OB last week and so far, so good. I replaced a 13 year old GM SUV that served my family faithfully and had a reasonable cost of ownership. I work from home so the miles on it were from around town or from vacation trips. Same will go for my new OB.

I've been very impressed with the OB. Love the interior and creature comforts, Bluetooth, sound system, etc. Ride is great. Handling is great. Not as much power, but overall, drives a lot like our sedan.

Overall I'd say I'm in bliss except for wondering about the future with this car. I'm not a DIY guy and depend on mechanics for maintenance. From what I've read thus far, Subaru service departments do not get high marks. My fear is the competency of service and the cost. I'm game to keep up with the manufacturer's regularly scheduled maintenance program.

Going back to our sedan and cost of ownership, it's one of the top-tier German sedans and the scheduled maintenance costs are very expensive. It's a daily driver for my wife and she racks up the miles. I'm getting tired of feeling fleeced over the maintenance costs and am considering trading it in and getting a second OB. The "badge" and "status" were fun for a while with the sedan, but as I matured, I grew out of it. Cars wear out and need repair no matter how much your initial spend on them. On "luxury" models, repair costs sting. I learned my lesson on this one!

So after all that, my question is to those of you that use your OB as a daily driver to commute to and from work. How do you like it? Any quirks, advice?


This is our 5th Outback my wife's 4th. She has a new 2013 Limited. We just sold our 2012 with 50K on it in 16 months. She drives 124 miles a day all highway. Do I need to say more? She drives German on the weekend but prefers the Outback for her commute. We never had a single issue or warranty repair. Always got 30-36mph highway. The sweet spot is around 71-75 mph on the highway. This is the best gas mileage spot. Get a Fumoto Valve | Qwik Valve™ Fumoto Value and oil changes will be clean and fast. 10 minutes or less. Other than that air and cabin filters are a 1 on a scale of 10 being the hardest. Just keep it under 4K for the first 1000 miles make sure the tire pressures are plus 2 lbs as recommended on the door jam and rotate every 7-10K and enjoy. For the money and for what it was made to do, it's a great highway car. The 13 is tons better than the 12 (my 2 cents) Do I think the Subi would run to 200K plus, YES!

One more thing, don't let the dealers fleece you, if she does a lot of highway, oil and filter ever 7,500 miles. At 30K air and cabin filters or in a dusty area every 15K. They are cheap $32.00 for both total in parts and it's a DIY. Other than that, nothing till 60K.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i LTD / Auto
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow. Thank you for all the thoughtful replies. Much appreciated.
 

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2010 3.6R Limited
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504 Posts
I'm on my third Outback, I use(d) them all as daily drivers and have a job that keeps me on the road a lot. They aren't exotic cars and don't require anything unusual to keep them on the road. I have a local mechanic who does most of my upkeep, if something unusual comes up he will recommend a trip to the dealer. Ex: My '96 developed a leak in the heater core and he preferred the dealer disassemble the dashboard.

My 2010 has nearly 85,000 miles on it. So far a wheel bearing is the only unusual replacement I've had to make. Oil changes, fluid checks and a new set of tires are the only other things I've had done, in other words normal maintenance. When the weather is nice I do my own oil changes, so maintenance costs are pretty minimal.

I have no problem with my closest dealership, but they are forty miles away. My advice is ask around your community to find a good mechanic.

In short, just keep the oil changed and drive it.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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Just adding my .02 here.

I'm currently putting over 30,000/year on my 2012 2.5 OB. As others have stated, don't get raked over by the dealerships - they have all moved to the "30,000 mile service or 50,000 mile service" etc etc to try to sell you a long list of "services" which in reality are nothing more than VERY expensive inspections. Stick to the basics as outlined in your maintenance manual provided with the car - oil changes, tire rotations, brake fluid swaps, fuel filters, and spark plugs and this thing will last you a VERY long time. Additionally, if you are physically capable, just do them yourself. I DIY all the maitenance on this OB because the time spent doing them is MUCH less than sitting at a dealership and frankly it's ridiculously easy to work on.

As to the dealership, I think it really just depends (like everything in life). My local dealership is phenominal - prices are high like all dealerships, but their 3 main techs have been with them since they opened over 15 years ago. They know the ins and outs, never bs'd me (with my previous WRX), and always returned the car cleaner than what I took it in as.

I got rid of a non-luxury German car (2011 VW Golf) because the maitenance and repair costs had already gotten out of hand for me as a daily driver - I had no faith that that car would go even 100,000 miles without another very expensive repair (HPFP went out on the CR TDI system causing about $9,000 in needed repairs). The OB is absolutely better in terms of easier/cheaper maitenance and I only have to assume it will run forever like my previous 2 Subarus did. It will never match the driving dynamics, fit/finish, materials, or creature comforts of an over-engineered German vehicle but none of that mattered to me when I was stranded in the middle of Missouri with a failed HPFP :)

Congrats on your purchase and best of luck!
 
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