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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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452 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We will have our '11 Outback for 2 years on Valentines Day of '13 and after nearly 30K I'd like to offer my observations on the car. They are MY observations and I'm not trying to sell anyone on them as being a gospel.

First of all it's been a wonderful trip. The car is everything we wanted and is quite comfortable under almost any conditions. The roominess of the cabin is awesome and the visibility is great. Given the 2.5 liter engine the power is adequate although I admit there's been times that having a few more ponies under the hood might have been a good thing. OTOH, I learned how to grin and bear it and that I can't always pass the guy in front of me!

I don't like the fact that my Limited looks exactly like your Premium, at least from 5' away. I can't find a single "Limited" nametag and feel that would have been a nice touch. I spent a few grand more than a Premium owner did and would at least like to be able to see the difference. There is no apparent trim difference that I can detect.

The seat cushions are a tad short, although I've found that I've gotten accustomed to them and they don't seem so terrible any more.

Having hit a curb and lost a tire at 27K I don't like the issue about having to replace all 4 tires, but that's a caveat of AWD. And when it happens and you are away from home and too far to deal with the donut as the only other tire, you don't necessarily react with a level head.

Memory seats would have been nice, although I've had them on previously owned BMWs Audis and Jags and can say that they all gave me trouble.

The auto lock on the doors was a touch that I miss. I have it on my '01 Dakota Pick-Up for goodness sakes!

I can see an argument for those stupid auto close tailgates when ours is so filthy from the winter weather! Keeps the fingers cleaner!

The seat heater controls are in a stupid place on the console. They can be easily bumped and turned on. They should have been either slightly depressed into the console or relocated away from that area.

The "climate control" system leaves a bit to be desired. It seems to want to heat up a bit too much at certain ambient temperatures and it doesn't like to cool down at others. I've had cars where the preset temps are usually left alone and the cabin temps seemed fine. The Subie needs adjusting at times.

Beyond that I don't know where I could improve on the vehicle. The suspension may be a tad too soft, although I did replace the rear sway with the heavier one right after getting the car. When the shocks get replaced I'll see what my options are. The basic systems on the car work well and it can carry huge amounts of stuff and/or people.

I would strongly recommend the vehicle to anyone in the market. The fuel economy we get is quite nice for the type of driving that we do.

For the most part I will say that the Subaru Outback is a great car for our needs and delivers almost everything we expected for a very nice price that could have been a tad lower if we DID opt for the Premium vs the Limited.:29:
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,665 Posts
The auto lock on the doors was a touch that I miss. I have it on my '01 Dakota Pick-Up for goodness sakes!
on our 03, the security system can be made to arm after a few seconds when the last door is closed by use of a coupla connectors behind a trim panel. But I'm not sure what you mean by auto-locking.
 

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'08 Veracruz Limited
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3,975 Posts
on our 03, the security system can be made to arm after a few seconds when the last door is closed by use of a coupla connectors behind a trim panel. But I'm not sure what you mean by auto-locking.
Probably talking about having the doors lock once the car is in gear and moving.
 

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'18 Accord EX-L 2.0t; Wife's car: '16 3.6r Ltd. w/ Eyesight
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855 Posts
I don't like the fact that my Limited looks exactly like your Premium, at least from 5' away. I can't find a single "Limited" nametag and feel that would have been a nice touch. I spent a few grand more than a Premium owner did and would at least like to be able to see the difference. There is no apparent trim difference that I can detect.
The front bumper/underguard tray is silver on Limiteds and black on Premiums.
 

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2013 Green Outback Limited 2.5, Past Subarus owned: 2011 Ruby Red Outback 2.5 Ltd with Moon and other goodies, 2007 Outback Premium 5sp, 2000 Outback Ltd AT, 1997 Outback Basic 5sp, 1990 Legacy LS
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147 Posts
The front bumper/underguard tray is silver on Limiteds and black on Premiums.

The silver front bumper underguard is an accessory that is available for any trim level Outback. It just comes standard on the Limited.

Rick G

PS Do you know why they call it "Limited"? Because Subaru is "Limited" to as many as they can build and sell. LOL
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited, EyeSight & Nav.
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565 Posts
The only discernable differences I can tell between a Limited and Premium are:

-As already mentioned the under-bumper guards (standard on the Limiteds, but yes, they are an option/accessory available to all trim models.

-The 'fin' that is visible on the higher end vehicles equipped with the navigation package.

-And the small little wheel inserts on the Limiteds have the Subaru logo painted blue, while all other trim models are not painted.

Sounds like most of your complaints are related to more creature comfort things, which I agree with some of them. I have a Premium, but you'd think there would be more attention to these creature comfort details with the Limited, since the drivetrain and everything else is the same, and the trim is really the only difference. That's pretty much why I went with the Premium over the limited. I didn't think the Limited was worth the extra $$$, given that I didn't like the higher end stereo system, the navigation was sub par, and the leather trimmed seats seemed cheap to me. I just bit the bullet, went with the premium, use Waze on my iPhone for nav, am fine with the stock stereo and cloth seats.

I've driven my 2.5 up and down the California coast several times now from SD to SF, and have been very pleased. As you mentioned, the car does great carrying big loads, is really comfortable, the shorter seats are a non-existant issue (I'm 6'2 and it never has been a noticeable issue). The 2.5 can feel underpowered at times I agree, but all in all it's still a great car. I'll have '12 Premium CVT coming up on a year in a few months.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
I don't like the fact that my Limited looks exactly like your Premium, at least from 5' away. I can't find a single "Limited" nametag and feel that would have been a nice touch. I spent a few grand more than a Premium owner did and would at least like to be able to see the difference. There is no apparent trim difference that I can detect.
Ah, the great American status symbol.

I agree with blSwagger, the front bumper underguard is the typical giveaway on a limited since most people not springing for every little trim feature (ala limited) do not spend the extra cash for the relatively pricey piece of plastic that affords little additional protection.

To people who have never looked at an outback, the OP is right that there isn't a label spelling it out on the rear. To that end, I think that most people see the Subaru label and think base model prices no matter what sticker is on the back.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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The shark fin affords the highest level of certainty it's a Limited.
 

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2020 Touring XT, 2013 Outback Lim SAP 270K, 2003 Outback Lim MT 2.5L, 241K..
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I just bought a limited - and had an 03 limited. I just realized as I read this - that the new one doesnt SAY "Limited". Wonder why they took that label off in the last 10 years. I guess I dont care as I didnt even notice till now - but wonder why they did it.


I DID accidentally hit the seat heater in my 03 ALL the time. Havent done it yet in the new one but Im sure I will. Its weird when its warm and you accidentally hit it - it creeps on slowly and you feel like you are having a hot flash. ;)
Yes - maybe up by the climate controls would be better - I know I spilled something on my other ones once in the 03.

I DO think the SAP package (which I have) - should have been less money and SOME of the features should have just been part of the "LIMITED" package to separate it from the Premium perhaps. I love the SAP features - but it came at a hefty price.
 

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2010 outback. base 2.5
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1,969 Posts
After almost 4 years of ownership my early build 10 has been a decent car, quiet nice riding (a little too much body roll). I have had my share of issues. A CVT replacement due to a front diff leak early on, front pads replaced due to glazing, several seat frames and drivers side seat cover, defective weather striping (rear door) rear door cloth torn and peeling and silver paint peeling from radio(replaced radio). All those issues where taken care under warranty within the first 18 months. Oh yea, add all the recalls to that list.
 

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The silver front bumper underguard is an accessory that is available for any trim level Outback. It just comes standard on the Limited.

Rick G

PS Do you know why they call it "Limited"? Because Subaru is "Limited" to as many as they can build and sell. LOL
Actually no your thinking the add on the stock bumpers on the limited is painted silver where the premiums are simply black.
 

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April 2010 OB with 44,000 miles on it - the major major issue with the lousy tires was fixed with the BFG touring tires much stiffer stronger tire which holds balance and just simply a better built tire compared to the Continental.

Interestingly enough the stiffer better built tire also improved the handling. Made it just a hair crisper without impacting the ability to soak up the bumps. No Sway bar mod for me. I'll buy a real sports car before trying to improve the handling of the OB with suspension changes.

#1 Best thing to change is to get better tires when the Conti's are done.

A good friend with an 2010 OB about 4 months older than ours just put the BFG Touring tires on his yesterday. They had two Continentals which were so out of round they even shook the car on the 35mph streets around town. Simply a lousy tire
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
No Sway bar mod for me. I'll buy a real sports car before trying to improve the handling of the OB with suspension changes.
You don't need want a sports car to have a vehicle that doesn't try to change lanes on the highway every time the wind blows. The RSB drastically improves this regardless of what type of tires you're running. I'm running dedicated snows, Michelin X-Ice Xi2, which have excellent road manners for a snow tire that makes gusts of wind a little more noticeable compared to the 19mm RSB with the stock continentals. With the snows and the 19mm RSB, the behavior is still nowhere near as bad as it was with the stock continentals and the stock RSB.

Who needs a sports car? Running dedicated snows with more "squish" in their step (such as the Blizzak WS-70) and a stock 10-12 MY sway bar on the highway with strong gusts of wind seems like it would be quite the adventure for any thrill seekers.
 

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You don't need want a sports car to have a vehicle that doesn't try to change lanes on the highway every time the wind blows. The RSB drastically improves this regardless of what type of tires you're running. I'm running dedicated snows, Michelin X-Ice Xi2, which have excellent road manners for a snow tire that makes gusts of wind a little more noticeable compared to the 19mm RSB with the stock continentals. With the snows and the 19mm RSB, the behavior is still nowhere near as bad as it was with the stock continentals and the stock RSB.

Who needs a sports car? Running dedicated snows with more "squish" in their step (such as the Blizzak WS-70) and a stock 10-12 MY sway bar on the highway with strong gusts of wind seems like it would be quite the adventure for any thrill seekers.
Lots of Long road trips on the 2010 towing and not towing in high winds even to the point nakid zero trailer or roof gear we posted 23mpg for a trip all due to high winds for nearly 200 miles. Hasn't been an issue the Ob is planted to the road compared to our SUV.

No Subaru Outback can handle even close to a Legacy Sedan let alone a proper sports car. Which case if we get a sports car its our third vehicle anyway drive it when driving is good and said sports car is in its element. 11yrs 180,000 miles of epic snow storms and back country camping and Mt biking with the Legacy GT Sedan trust me the Outback with no amount of lip stick on the pig can be made to handle as well as the Legacy unless you remove all things OB and change it to a Legacy. Which case I'd rather have a 911 Turbo anyway
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Speaking of the "shark fin", I don't have the nav anyway so I can't even brag about that!

I did get a Magellan that I have the luxury of transferring from vehicle to vehicle. If I had a permanent one, good or bad, I'd be looking to get one for the other vehicles too.

And three years ago I NEVER would have seen a reason to get one! 'Use a map' I'd say and to degree still do, but having owned a GPS I can go to bat for them quite a bit easier now.

And as far as handling is concerned, no I don't expect 911 handling from a Subie, but I'd like a bit less roll and a bit more grip. That said I find my wife is less inclined (Pun!!) to cling onto the "oh SXXT" handle when I take sweeping turns in the Outback then when I take them in my Miata and I have sways and Konis as well as high level tires on that baby. I think it's the psychology of being closer to the ground that causes white knuckles on her~~
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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Lots of Long road trips on the 2010 towing and not towing in high winds even to the point nakid zero trailer or roof gear we posted 23mpg for a trip all due to high winds for nearly 200 miles. Hasn't been an issue the Ob is planted to the road compared to our SUV.

No Subaru Outback can handle even close to a Legacy Sedan let alone a proper sports car. Which case if we get a sports car its our third vehicle anyway drive it when driving is good and said sports car is in its element. 11yrs 180,000 miles of epic snow storms and back country camping and Mt biking with the Legacy GT Sedan trust me the Outback with no amount of lip stick on the pig can be made to handle as well as the Legacy unless you remove all things OB and change it to a Legacy. Which case I'd rather have a 911 Turbo anyway
Sorry to derail this thread further, but I was perfectly fine with my Outback's handling until I noticed large SUV's driving along just fine and me fighting with my car wobbling back and forth in strong gusts of wind. I have driven higher profile vehicles that did not have the same degree of issue in the wind. One person's experience compared to another, certainly. You have not had issues, therefore you have not done the RSB upgrade. A lot of people on this forum have though and all I am saying is that not everyone who does a suspension modification is trying to turn their Outback into a Legacy wagon or paint "lip stick on the pig". I just wanted more control over my vehicle in strong winds and that is exactly what I got.
 

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2015 Limited 2.5/ES/Nav/Moon Roof/Venetian Red
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481 Posts
Ah, the great American status symbol.

I agree with blSwagger, the front bumper underguard is the typical giveaway on a limited since most people not springing for every little trim feature (ala limited) do not spend the extra cash for the relatively pricey piece of plastic that affords little additional protection.

To people who have never looked at an outback, the OP is right that there isn't a label spelling it out on the rear. To that end, I think that most people see the Subaru label and think base model prices no matter what sticker is on the back.
I have a hard time considering my "Limited" Subaru a status symbol. You could designate it the "Outback Limited D'Elegante" in big gold hatch letters and it would still be a perfectly pragmatic, unassuming and utilitarian wagon. Come to think of it, I consider the Subaru image to be a kind of thumbing of the nose at traditional status symbols. Least it is for me. ;)
 

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'08 Veracruz Limited
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I have a hard time considering my "Limited" Subaru a status symbol. You could designate it the "Outback Limited D'Elegante" in big gold hatch letters and it would still be a perfectly pragmatic, unassuming and utilitarian wagon. Come to think of it, I consider the Subaru image to be a kind of thumbing of the nose at traditional status symbols. Least it is for me. ;)
Similar to how tattoos used to be for outcasts to express themselves. Now they're lame and mainstream. Subaru's quickly heading down the same path, or at least that's what many old time Subie faithfuls say. :29:

I'm not one for pretentiousness, but if I'm going to spend extra dough on something, I'd like it to be fairly easily distinguishable. I don't slap a Seiko badge on my nice watch to thumb my nose at society. :D
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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I have a hard time considering my "Limited" Subaru a status symbol. You could designate it the "Outback Limited D'Elegante" in big gold hatch letters and it would still be a perfectly pragmatic, unassuming and utilitarian wagon. Come to think of it, I consider the Subaru image to be a kind of thumbing of the nose at traditional status symbols. Least it is for me. ;)
I completely agree with you (maybe not the "thumbing the nose" part though, since Subarus are pricier vehicles in Europe and it seems more that Subaru is trying to pursue the "nose up" market there). I cannot see why you would want your car marked in a way to signify you paid more unless you want it to signify something about your status to others--hence my original comment.
 
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