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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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Discussion Starter #1
I'll try and keep this brief. Still loving the OB 2.5i CVT with AWP, moonroof, homelink and a package that included the arch moldings and mud guards.

After 6 months I currently have 10,500 miles on the odo, and have driven the car back and forth from San Diego to San Francisco a few times, once with the car totally loaded down and almost dragging the rear end, and it still performed admirably.

In San Diego, commuting on the freeway to work 35 miles each way I was getting 30-32mpg on average, but up here in the bay area, even on the highways my mileage has dropped DRAMATICALLY to 20-22mpg! Of course it's not the mountains, but there is much more elevation gain up here, and I live in Pacifica and have a pretty steep grade to climb as soon as I get on Hwy 1 to drive into work in the city, so the city driving should also be taken into consideration. This has, at times made me think twice about the CVT. I think the CVT is wonderful and shines on wide open stretched of highway and on the flats, but throw in a little bit of a climb and the CVT seems to start working hard. Sure it could be the small 2.5i, but part of me thinks the CVT has something to do with this as well, because I never experienced mileage this bad with my 2.5i manual that was in a Forester I used to own, which was essentially the same motor.

Still enjoying the ride and enjoy the 'cushy' suspension on the highway, especially compared to the old Forester that was louder, stiffer, and a less comfortable ride on the freeway. So far no mechanical issues at and just planning on doing another oil chance shortly.

As far as fit and finish, I have no complaints. Cloth tends to be holding up just fine. I did Scotchguard it the day after I bought the car, and then about 3-4 months later before a trip to Big Sur (which I have done twice so far with the OB) where the interior got very dirty, but after I cleaned the car once I got home its no worse for wear and still looks great. Cladding still looks new thanks to 303 protectant ( I am a believer!) Paint still looks great. I took a clay bar to the car the day after i bought it and since then try and regularly wipe it down/clean it with spray detailer and never take a hose to it or take it to a commercial car wash. So far so good. The only other things I did to the car were add rear and side cargo nets (an absolute must in my opinion!), a front hood protector (OEM) and OEM Subaru side window deflectors (chose these over the WeatherTechs just for looks) and WeatherTech Digital Fit floor liners, both front and rear. I'd like to add that I love the window deflectors. It's great to still be able to park the car and crack the windows to let in fresh air so the car doesn't smell stale when you get back in it. I really think this helps a lot, and contributes to my car always smelling nice!

I am using this car both as a travel car for work and as a means of transportation to get me to fun places! I am a traveling nurse, and so far have had the car in San Diego, now I am in San Francisco, and next month will be starting an assignment in Seattle. I think this is a great utilitarian car for being able to load up and haul all my crap, has a lot of cargo space, yet isn't obnoxiously large, although it can feel a bit too big driving in a busy city sometimes. The 2.5i has treated me just fine, even when the car has been loaded down, but I wont lie, there are times that I wish/wonder what the 3.6R would be like, especially given the fact that my mpg has changed so much since being in the Bay Area and think how much worse would the 3.6R really be, and would it actually be MORE efficient at handling changes in grade on a regular basis over the 2.5i? But this curiosity has not been strong enough to make me regret my purchase, and/or want to trade in my beloved 2012 2.5i for a 3.6R. This being my second new Subaru, I still can say with confidence at this point I am still very pleased with the car.
 

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20-22 mpg sounds about right for congested city traffic like SF. SF is not a car friendly or convenient place to drive. The trade off is poor mpg.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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Wow 10,500 miles in 6 months. You put a lot of miles on it. I love ours and did get the 3.6L knowing the 2.5L is better on gas. I have no issues with less mpg given our application and so far I am doing over 25 mpg overall which actually is much better by a mile or so than I expected. I want my paint to harden more before claybar and Klasse.
I am not that familar with water based paint and how long before the paint can be waxed but so far I can't find anything I don't like. I will get this into the dealer and ask for an alignment to see if they can tweak the toe-in to either 0 or -.1.
Fantastic vehicle...
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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Discussion Starter #4
I want my paint to harden more before claybar and Klasse.
harden? i'm sure it's just fine already! it's not like they painted the car the day before you bought it! I hit the car with a clay bar the day after I bought it and have seen no ill effects. In fact, the bumper guy who repainted and clear coated my rear bumper was impressed at how well I maintain the car and said the clay bar ASAP was the best thing I could do for the car along with waxing it once every 6-12 months. He said to wait a few weeks to let the paint and new clearcoat harden on the bumper first before treating/waxing/clay barring it, but factory paint is applied in a way where it hardens MUCH quicker apparently. Maybe waiting for paint to harden might be more applicable to the way cars used to be painted back in the day, but from what I was told (and understand I don't know $hit about painting a car!) it's a non-issue with new cars.
 

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2004 Toyota Sienna, miss my eyesight. Life moves on.
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So didn't you complain about your mileage at first? Then it got good and now it sucks again? Have you come full circle or what?!

Glad you're happy overall though, but I had to say something.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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Discussion Starter #6
So didn't you complain about your mileage at first? Then it got good and now it sucks again? Have you come full circle or what?!

Glad you're happy overall though, but I had to say something.
Initially the mileage sucked mostly because I had to 'learn' the CVT. Once I learned it I could easily get 30-32 mpg on the freeway, even with a load in the car. Now that I know what the CVT likes and how to drive it, I am noticing it does not fare that well with steep grades and city driving, just like any other car of course, but seems even worse than my old 2.5i MT. San Diego is primarily flat, while up here in the Bay Area there is much more variation in grade on the freeways.
 

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2010 ouback legacy, 2.5I prem, cvt trany
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Just a note on my '10. See if anyone has the same result and it may answer yours. I live in the Seattle area but way up in the mountains along highway 2 in the foothills by Goldbar where it gets a bit colder. With the air temps a constant 40 - 0, my '10 with the 2.5 CVT gets 27.7. At temps of 40 - 70 I get 31.5 MPG, at temps in the 80's and up I get 33 MPH. These numbers are an average of over 500 miles each with a combination city and highway. At first I thought the engine may have a mass air flow problem as far as fuel metering durring air temp changes but I now believe it is simply a matter of friction. The 2.5 is a small engine which performs well when combined with the CVT concidering the size of the car. Now take in the added friction of a very significant drive train with the AWD, due to simple oil viscosity and and drive train friction I think we have our question solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just a note on my '10. See if anyone has the same result and it may answer yours. I live in the Seattle area but way up in the mountains along highway 2 in the foothills by Goldbar where it gets a bit colder. With the air temps a constant 40 - 0, my '10 with the 2.5 CVT gets 27.7. At temps of 40 - 70 I get 31.5 MPG, at temps in the 80's and up I get 33 MPH. These numbers are an average of over 500 miles each with a combination city and highway. At first I thought the engine may have a mass air flow problem as far as fuel metering durring air temp changes but I now believe it is simply a matter of friction. The 2.5 is a small engine which performs well when combined with the CVT concidering the size of the car. Now take in the added friction of a very significant drive train with the AWD, due to simple oil viscosity and and drive train friction I think we have our question solved.
I'm not very quick on the uptake here, so can you explain to me what question we have solved?

I also forgot to mention, since my car was purchased in California, it's a PZEV. Not sure if that has any ill-effects on mpg.
 

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In regards to the CVT on hills. MPG isn't everything, sure the MT may serve better on hills but a traditional auto would just be downshifting all the time and running clunky. The CVT on the other hand is so smooth. I'll take smooth over just a couple MPG. Of course CA is now paying about $5 a gallon.

In regards to the other poster, 70-80 degrees is where I've gotten optimal MPG in all my cars. Above and below it I get less.
 

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In SF our OB and several friends with the same car run between 19-22mpg pending traffic and hills. Sitting in traffic kills your mileage average faster than anything else.

However all of us agree that we really didn't start seeing good solid mileage till around 15,000 miles. And by 20,000 miles the car seemed to hit its peak mileage ability.

Many long road trips To Socal and Washington St we didn't see our highest mileage averages till we have 20K on the car. Our last run North to Eastern Washington from SF the wind was terrible and knocked our mileage average down to 24mpg from SF to Medford. However from Medford to Pasco we did that run on a single tank for a total of 520miles via Bend OR and across Eastern Oregon. On the way back we ran to Portland then south it added 2hrs to the trip and dropped our fuel mileage to 27mpg. Not as pretty or as enjoyable as running up the Rogue River valley to Bend then across to Eastern Washington via that route which was surprising.
 

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Aha! I commute over HW17, and reading this I am very glad I opted for an MT car! I am getting 28.5 mpg on average (including the city driving stretches in Mountain View and Santa Cruz).
 

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Aha! I commute over HW17, and reading this I am very glad I opted for an MT car! I am getting 28.5 mpg on average (including the city driving stretches in Mountain View and Santa Cruz).
Ive done that run many times no the same as SF or even 280. After having a mt subaru cvt has it beat o mileage. 31mpg average for several days worth between SJ , santa cruz, and monterey. Top speeds being the primary impact on mpgs with the ob. 17 is slow going vs 280 is 70+mph brings your mpg down 27-28mpg
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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Discussion Starter #13
Ive done that run many times no the same as SF or even 280. After having a mt subaru cvt has it beat o mileage. 31mpg average for several days worth between SJ , santa cruz, and monterey. Top speeds being the primary impact on mpgs with the ob. 17 is slow going vs 280 is 70+mph brings your mpg down 27-28mpg
Exactly. I wouldn't want an MT in the Bay Area, that's for sure! Unless you like replacing your clutch prematurely. The mileage I've been getting is with city driving factored in. On road trips to San Diego, Big Sur, etc. I can easily get 28 mpg with a heavy load in the car and a Thule box on the roof, and 30+ mpg without the box and less cargo. Plus, if theres stop and go traffic on the freeway or gridlock, I don't have to deal with the hassle of the MT, which sucks.
 

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Exactly. I wouldn't want an MT in the Bay Area, that's for sure! Unless you like replacing your clutch prematurely. The mileage I've been getting is with city driving factored in. On road trips to San Diego, Big Sur, etc. I can easily get 28 mpg with a heavy load in the car and a Thule box on the roof, and 30+ mpg without the box and less cargo. Plus, if theres stop and go traffic on the freeway or gridlock, I don't have to deal with the hassle of the MT, which sucks.
My prior subaru was the 5spd mt it lived in sf commuted to redwood shores and towed racing sailboatson the weekends. The release bearing went at 144k with 10% left on the clutch. The operatordetermines the life of the clutch not really the place. However I had the 5spd because the 4spd at was lousy. I have the cvt today because the mt isn't as good as the cvt in most ob type uses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My prior subaru was the 5spd mt it lived in sf commuted to redwood shores and towed racing sailboatson the weekends. The release bearing went at 144k with 10% left on the clutch. The operatordetermines the life of the clutch not really the place. However I had the 5spd because the 4spd at was lousy. I have the cvt today because the mt isn't as good as the cvt in most ob type uses.
I'm just saying, if you are driving IN the city often, an MT probably isn't the most enjoyable or optimal choice. I drove a 5 speed MT Forester for 6 years and thought first gear blew if you were starting off on a steep hill. Sure there will be people that are the exception, but I would bet dollars to donuts that on AVERAGE, most people would burn their cloth out faster driving in the city than screwing up an automatic of some kind. The point here is AVERAGE, not EXCEPTION. I'm not criticiizng your post at all subiesailor, just commenting on posts from others on this site. Whenever someone makes a general statement, there is always some knucklehead on here, who very well in fact may be the exception, but does not represent the majority at all, but still thinks that their opinion reigns supreme over all others for some reason! I find that on this site a lot! I just wanted to post my impressions of the car so far given the different environments and situations I've put it through so far to maybe give others a chance to possibly be more informed in their decisions. That was my intent, not to say, "hey this is the best configuration and my car is bette than yours because...and you're an idiot for not agreeing with me!" What usually ends up happening on this site is someones opinions and intentions to help out others turns into a flame-fest or a my Subaru is superior to your Subaru thread! Not saying that's where this thread is going, just making a general statement (The 4cyl vs. 6cyl thread is prime example, or 2012 vs 2013, etc.)
 

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Aha! I commute over HW17, and reading this I am very glad I opted for an MT car! I am getting 28.5 mpg on average (including the city driving stretches in Mountain View and Santa Cruz).
OT, but I just wanted to add how much I love driving HWY17. Especially in anything other than our Outback Lol. Waiting for a trip to take my WRX, one of CA's best kept secret highways for driving. Although not much of a secret anymore as the road is almost always jammed with tourists these days.

Op congrats on the Outback, looks like it's serving you well, I've got 22K on ours and my mpg's are in-line with yours in hilly areas. Car gets 29 mpg though on my wifes commute from the foothills to Sacramento daily.
 

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Exactly. I wouldn't want an MT in the Bay Area, that's for sure! Unless you like replacing your clutch prematurely. The mileage I've been getting is with city driving factored in. On road trips to San Diego, Big Sur, etc. I can easily get 28 mpg with a heavy load in the car and a Thule box on the roof, and 30+ mpg without the box and less cargo. Plus, if theres stop and go traffic on the freeway or gridlock, I don't have to deal with the hassle of the MT, which sucks.
Bah, I drove a MT Corolla for 140K and the clutch was fine, so unless Subaru clutches wear out faster than Toyota's (which it can be, as it is a tad less smooth), I should be ok. I got MT because I enjoy the engine braking on 17, and because... well, I've always driven MT, and I thought I would risk regretting my choice less if I sticked to MT. Who knows what I could have not liked with CVT; at least MT was a known quantity to me. Perhaps for my next car I will be more adventurous and try CVT.
 

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driving a loaner 2013 CVT Outback right now.

might only have it one day. haven't crawled around it, but, some impressions;

more 'harshness' from the road surface than expected.

steering seems kinda heavy around the 'center' but oddly loose/vague when cranked over for parking lot maneuvers

seating is mostly awesome

CVT seems really nice - I could definitely see my self owning/driving one.

I don't like the position for my right leg - knee hits lower console

surprisingly more nimble handling than expected from its looks.

7 years newer than my wife's car, but seems 10-15 years more advanced, probably due to the electronics - and that new-car-smell!
 

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It is completely useless to compare city mileage. There are just too many variables.

I find the OB one of the better hill climbers than other automatics. CVT holds the speed more stable than other autos that have to downshift at times to hold its speed, which usually means downshift, pause, speed goes down, in gear, accelerate. Not an issue with the CVT. And given the same engine, I have never seen too much variance between MT and AT in the same car. If you do, it's most likely due to your driving style.
 

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OT, but I just wanted to add how much I love driving HWY17. Especially in anything other than our Outback Lol. Waiting for a trip to take my WRX, one of CA's best kept secret highways for driving. Although not much of a secret anymore as the road is almost always jammed with tourists these days.

Op congrats on the Outback, looks like it's serving you well, I've got 22K on ours and my mpg's are in-line with yours in hilly areas. Car gets 29 mpg though on my wifes commute from the foothills to Sacramento daily.
128 from 101 to 1 - you know what I'm talking about.

Highway 1 from Socal to SF on a Tuesday morning in November is also a great ride start with good tires you'll finish the trip needing a new set. Something about 4wheel drifts through those switch backs you can see the on coming traffic situation long before you ever hit the corner results in short tire life. WRX would be a hoot heck even my non turbo 5spd MT 2.5 legacy GT was a drive to remember. 16mpg and a set of tires it still brings a grin to my face.
 
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