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Has anyone driven the 2013 Outback and 2013 Acura RDX and can offer any thoughts on the differences (for better or worse) between the two? I would imagine the RDX is more upscale but I'm an outdoors person and see the sensibility of the Outback as well.
 

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hawkeye2 52;460482 said:
Has anyone driven the 2013 Outback and 2013 Acura RDX and can offer any thoughts on the differences (for better or worse) between the two? I would imagine the RDX is more upscale but I'm an outdoors person and see the sensibility of the Outback as well.
I drove the RDX right after it came out and loved it. The handling was amazing and the steering felt precise. It had plenty of power ( and I've read does not need premium anymore). The "way back" of the RDX is definitely smaller than the Outback.

I drove a 2012 Outback shortly after driving the RDX. It was a big letdown. It felt clumsy and big, much harder to handle than the RDX. Right now I'm driving a 2006 Acura TL, but I need an SUV or wagon ( 1995 Subie wagon with 223,000 miles is growing long in the tooth), so I'm probably used to the power.

After driving the RDX and doing some math, I decided that I couldn't afford it. Since then I've driven the 2013 Outback. Enough time has elapsed since my RDX test drive that I'm looking forward to buying the 2013 Outback.

Hope this helps.
 

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I drove the RDX right after it came out and loved it. The handling was amazing and the steering felt precise. It had plenty of power ( and I've read does not need premium anymore). The "way back" of the RDX is definitely smaller than the Outback.

I drove a 2012 Outback shortly after driving the RDX. It was a big letdown. It felt clumsy and big, much harder to handle than the RDX. Right now I'm driving a 2006 Acura TL, but I need an SUV or wagon ( 1995 Subie wagon with 223,000 miles is growing long in the tooth), so I'm probably used to the power.

After driving the RDX and doing some math, I decided that I couldn't afford it. Since then I've driven the 2013 Outback. Enough time has elapsed since my RDX test drive that I'm looking forward to buying the 2013 Outback.

Hope this helps.
Very helpful carteach and thank you.

You are OK with the 2013 Outback then?
 

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36k for the base car with no fogs, but everything else is standard compared to a limited. The J series engine is fantastic and returns some good mileage butI felt the passenger side front seat sat to low with no height adjustment and if I recall the base had no rear hvac vents. Perhaps a CRV with a six could be a valid comparison but it has a more upscale feel and has a very quiet ride. The OB is the better value especially the 2.5 if you see more than the shopping mall now and then.
 

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We currently own an Gen 4 Outback (2010 2.5i Premium) and a 2013 RDX Tech so I can offer some insight.

I love both cars but for different reasons. Outback feels slightly bigger in the passenger compartment and clearly has more cargo room behind the rear seat. It has more overall utility and I don't feel guilty taking it offroad or loading it full of gear, lumber, etc. I also love it as a road trip car, we've taken it on several vacations and it always works well as a highway cruiser.

The RDX I love for it's refinement and technology. I thought the Outback was a relatively quiet and smooth riding car until we got the RDX. For those who don't know, the 2013 RDX is a complete redesign (much more attractive styling than the outgoing version, IMHO) and now has the 273 hp 3.5L V6 from the Odyssey, 6 speed tranny, new suspension, etc. Butter smooth, quiet and plenty of power. When I say quiet, I mean QUIET. It's just a more sophisticated, refined car than our Outback, and, given it's pricepoint, it should be (there is about a $10K difference between the MSRP of our two cars, $28K vs. $38K. As I mentioned before, there isn't nearly as much cargo room as in the Outback with the rear seat up, but with the rear seats folded down, there is actually quite a bit of room...feels comparable to the Outback.

Not having owned an R6 with the tech options, it is difficult for me to do the fair comparison of the relative value of a R6 Limited with Nav, etc. to an RDX. The RDX base starts at $34K (includes everything but the Tech Package and AWD) and the R6 Limited starts at $32K. The Outback will have the better AWD system, as the RDX moved away from Acura's SH-AWD system to a less sophisticated front-biased, system. I didn't even buy it since we have the Outback for the really bad stuff and the RDX has FWD with traction control and VDC which will handle 95% of our bad weather here.

It's unfair to compare the two cars on features since our RDX has every option available except AWD and our Outback has only they typical Premium features (moonroof, HK stereo, AWP, etc). If you really loaded up an Outback, I imagine you could get close in terms of technology available.

All in all, the cars really feel as though they are meant for different purposes. The Outback is a good overall dependable and safe vehicle that does many things well. You know it's going to get you where you need to be regardless of conditions. The RDX, on the other hand, pampers you. The Outback we would use to go kayaking, biking, run to Lowe's, etc., the RDX we would take for the drive in the country, take to a winery, out to a nice dinner, etc. I think if one is only looking at objective measures, the Outback is the better overall value. However, from an overall experience standpoint and with more subjective considerations, the relative value is closer. I don't think you can go wrong with either...I enjoy them both very much. They both put a smile on my face, just for different reasons.
 

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We didn't look at it as serious as others but have Accura, Ford, Chevy, Lexus and VW dealers 1.25 mi from home and Subaru and Toyota dealers are just about 3 mi from home.

The Outback got more attractive as we checked out other vehicles. We could afford more expensive vehicles but it started to seem absurd to do so. The kids liked the back seat of the Outback the most. I knew from experience how Subaru has superior AWD and that weight some. We kind of surprised ourselves in the end getting the 4 cyl but otherwise loaded (EyeSight) Outback and some bathroom remodeling all for the same price.

I realized the purchase would spend most of it's time as my work vehicle and what I'd use for my sports (mountain biking, skiing).

The 4 cyl Outback, stiffer 2013 model and Conti tires were not the most quiet but the car has a nice light handling feel compared to it's 6 cyl version and others.

YMMV, but I'm happy with the more conventional wagon config, and I see it buys me a coffee or beer for many of the work and sports drives I make via superior fuel economy.

I don't like the looks of my 2013 as much as the year older model my mother in law has but think the Outbacks in some colors don't look so trendy or stand out which is nice. Nice because I've changed to keeping vehicles longer and value a modest look. The Subarus and VWs seemed like they would not look too dated or like a past fashion trend in a few years.

My guess is the Michelin Defender tires we just put on our other vehicle would make the Outback seem more quiet or more luxurious.

I can't fault the Accura, just say the Outback seemed like a great choice after a few years of on and off car shopping. Especially with the 2013 tweaks. The 2013 tweaks do give it one thing in common with the Accura's which is ugly front end. YMMV, but I think my mother in law's Outback grille is nicer looking.
 

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RDX is small CUV ford escape honda crv - rav4 etc MDX is nearly the same size as the OB. Forester is RDX size
Perhaps a CRV with a six could be a valid comparison but it has a more upscale feel and has a very quiet ride.

The CRV is 178.3" long, the RDX is 183.5" long, and the OB is 189.0" long.

The CRV is 71.6" wide, the RDX is 73.7" wide, and the OB is 71.7" wide.

The CRV has 37.2 cu ft of cargo space behind the second row, the RDX has 26.1 cu ft, and the OB has 34.3 cu ft.

So it boils down to priorities: OB probably wins overall because of its superior AWD, the RDX is actually fun to drive and gets decent gas mileage (although a lot more $$$), and the CRV has the largest cargo area despite it being 11" shorter than the OB (it might not have the most "useable" space though).
 

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We currently own an Gen 4 Outback (2010 2.5i Premium) and a 2013 RDX Tech so I can offer some insight.

I love both cars but for different reasons. Outback feels slightly bigger in the passenger compartment and clearly has more cargo room behind the rear seat. It has more overall utility and I don't feel guilty taking it offroad or loading it full of gear, lumber, etc. I also love it as a road trip car, we've taken it on several vacations and it always works well as a highway cruiser.

The RDX I love for it's refinement and technology. I thought the Outback was a relatively quiet and smooth riding car until we got the RDX. For those who don't know, the 2013 RDX is a complete redesign (much more attractive styling than the outgoing version, IMHO) and now has the 273 hp 3.5L V6 from the Odyssey, 6 speed tranny, new suspension, etc. Butter smooth, quiet and plenty of power. When I say quiet, I mean QUIET. It's just a more sophisticated, refined car than our Outback, and, given it's pricepoint, it should be (there is about a $10K difference between the MSRP of our two cars, $28K vs. $38K. As I mentioned before, there isn't nearly as much cargo room as in the Outback with the rear seat up, but with the rear seats folded down, there is actually quite a bit of room...feels comparable to the Outback.

Not having owned an R6 with the tech options, it is difficult for me to do the fair comparison of the relative value of a R6 Limited with Nav, etc. to an RDX. The RDX base starts at $34K (includes everything but the Tech Package and AWD) and the R6 Limited starts at $32K. The Outback will have the better AWD system, as the RDX moved away from Acura's SH-AWD system to a less sophisticated front-biased, system. I didn't even buy it since we have the Outback for the really bad stuff and the RDX has FWD with traction control and VDC which will handle 95% of our bad weather here.

It's unfair to compare the two cars on features since our RDX has every option available except AWD and our Outback has only they typical Premium features (moonroof, HK stereo, AWP, etc). If you really loaded up an Outback, I imagine you could get close in terms of technology available.

All in all, the cars really feel as though they are meant for different purposes. The Outback is a good overall dependable and safe vehicle that does many things well. You know it's going to get you where you need to be regardless of conditions. The RDX, on the other hand, pampers you. The Outback we would use to go kayaking, biking, run to Lowe's, etc., the RDX we would take for the drive in the country, take to a winery, out to a nice dinner, etc. I think if one is only looking at objective measures, the Outback is the better overall value. However, from an overall experience standpoint and with more subjective considerations, the relative value is closer. I don't think you can go wrong with either...I enjoy them both very much. They both put a smile on my face, just for different reasons.
Good review. With 2 dogs to haul around my OB is also the logical choice,that said the new RDX is nice and I would compare it to a Q5 or perhaps a base RX350,then it becomes a good value. It appears Honda could be getting back on track with the new RDX and Accord. Time will tell. I almost bought the first gen RDX but a hard ride and bad turbo lag turned me off. Does it seem the passenger seat is a bit low? I felt kind of sunken in, along with the higher belt line than the OB felt more comfy to me.
 

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Is the RDX running the part time AWD system Honda uses in most of its light duty AWD offerings? I recall them all being front wheel drive cars at 20mph and up and when 20mph and under they were front wheel drive with light rear wheel assist making them just barely AWD.

Also the RDX is the Acura version of the CRV as the MDX is the Acura Version of the Honda Pilot.

The Subaru Outback is in a different class than the CRV - the CRV is in the Forester class of vehicles that being the Cute SUV class.
 

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We didn't look at it as serious as others but have Accura, Ford, Chevy, Lexus and VW dealers 1.25 mi from home and Subaru and Toyota dealers are just about 3 mi from home.

The Outback got more attractive as we checked out other vehicles. We could afford more expensive vehicles but it started to seem absurd to do so. The kids liked the back seat of the Outback the most. I knew from experience how Subaru has superior AWD and that weight some. We kind of surprised ourselves in the end getting the 4 cyl but otherwise loaded (EyeSight) Outback and some bathroom remodeling all for the same price.

I realized the purchase would spend most of it's time as my work vehicle and what I'd use for my sports (mountain biking, skiing).

The 4 cyl Outback, stiffer 2013 model and Conti tires were not the most quiet but the car has a nice light handling feel compared to it's 6 cyl version and others.

YMMV, but I'm happy with the more conventional wagon config, and I see it buys me a coffee or beer for many of the work and sports drives I make via superior fuel economy.

I don't like the looks of my 2013 as much as the year older model my mother in law has but think the Outbacks in some colors don't look so trendy or stand out which is nice. Nice because I've changed to keeping vehicles longer and value a modest look. The Subarus and VWs seemed like they would not look too dated or like a past fashion trend in a few years.

My guess is the Michelin Defender tires we just put on our other vehicle would make the Outback seem more quiet or more luxurious.

I can't fault the Accura, just say the Outback seemed like a great choice after a few years of on and off car shopping. Especially with the 2013 tweaks. The 2013 tweaks do give it one thing in common with the Accura's which is ugly front end. YMMV, but I think my mother in law's Outback grille is nicer looking.
The quest for the quiet car! My 10 is quiet compared to all my other cars I have had. I have learned if the car is noisy and rides poorly then no tire or undercoat will satisfy the owner. Not sure about 13 but the buick like 10-12 years for the money are pretty darn quiet
 

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The quest for the quiet car! My 10 is quiet compared to all my other cars I have had. I have learned if the car is noisy and rides poorly then no tire or undercoat will satisfy the owner. Not sure about 13 but the buick like 10-12 years for the money are pretty darn quiet
The Legacy in 2010 was rated as having the best interior for the price in its class and had the most quiet interior of all the vehicles in its class and beat out even a large number of Luxury brands.

Honda's are much like Mazda's they have never been viewed as having a plush ride or quiet ride. NOT EVER! Acura the brand was built around simply adding more sound insulation and higher quality interior trim over the Base Honda product. Lexus is the same thing in most cases all the Lexus models are found in Toyota trim - the interior being the largest difference between the two. Suspension - engines - and bodies are all for the most part exactly the same.
 

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The Legacy in 2010 was rated as having the best interior for the price in its class and had the most quiet interior of all the vehicles in its class and beat out even a large number of Luxury brands.

Honda's are much like Mazda's they have never been viewed as having a plush ride or quiet ride. NOT EVER! Acura the brand was built around simply adding more sound insulation and higher quality interior trim over the Base Honda product. Lexus is the same thing in most cases all the Lexus models are found in Toyota trim - the interior being the largest difference between the two. Suspension - engines - and bodies are all for the most part exactly the same.
Well some of the Acuras I have had were not that quiet for the price premium, but as some have pointed out the 13 RDX and now the Accord have made significant progress in that department. As far as the 4WD RDX'S, I believe the new for 13 uses the same real time system as in the CRV and I do believe to disengages at highway speeds but Honda has reifined this system for 13 so maybe it has changed.
 

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Well some of the Acuras I have had were not that quiet for the price premium, but as some have pointed out the 13 RDX and now the Accord have made significant progress in that department. As far as the 4WD RDX'S, I believe the new for 13 uses the same real time system as in the CRV and I do believe to disengages at highway speeds but Honda has reifined this system for 13 so maybe it has changed.
I doubt honda redesigned the part time AWD system they sell in the CRV and RDX.

They have two different systems one is the light duty part time system sold in the CRV - then the full time heavier built system for the Pilot and MDX.
 

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I doubt honda redesigned the part time AWD system they sell in the CRV and RDX.

They have two different systems one is the light duty part time system sold in the CRV - then the full time heavier built system for the Pilot and MDX.
If that's how you want to break it down, they really have 3 systems then including SH-AWD.

From another thread on this forum:
"Real-Time 4WD" - CRV

Real time four wheel drive system
Honda's Real Time 4WD system on the CR-V utilizes a Dual hydraulic Pump Rear Differential and 4WD Transfer case. The dual pump rear differental operates the front wheels during normal conditions then automatically transfers power to the rear wheels when needed, without the driver engaging the system. To allow the ABS braking system to work when the CR-V is engaged in four-wheel drive operation, the 4WD will turn off if the brakes are applied.
Your so called "heavy duty" AWD as found on the Pilot:

Off-road capability
The Honda Pilot has a capable off-road system which comprises three individual systems: the Variable Torque Management four-wheel drive system with locking differential, Hill Start Assist Control system and Grade Logic Control system.

The 4WD utilizes a unique Variable Torque Management four-wheel-drive system which automatically engages when the system senses loss of traction. The system has a manually locking rear differential which can also be engaged by the driver (when vehicle is in first, second, or reverse gears) and will stay engaged up to 18 MPH, or is shifted from aforementioned gears, then unlocks and reverts back to the automatic engaging. The Pilot also has a Hill Start Assist system which maintains brake pressure when the brake pedal is released, giving the driver time to engage the accelerator. The Pilot also uses a Grade Logic System which holds the engine in a lower gear when on steep inclines for better hill-climbing torque and increased engine braking when going down steep inclines.
Then SH-AWD as found on some Acuras (like the MDX and the 2012 and earlier RDX):

Honda's SH-AWD system is unique in the industry. It does not have any center differential or any limited-slip differential. All the mechanicals is mounted at the rear axle. The drive from propeller shaft is sent to an accelerator first. The latter uses planetary gears to step up the rotation speed, creating a speed difference between the input and output shaft. By applying electromagnetic clutches, the speed difference can transfer driving torque to the rear axle.

The electromagnetic multi-plate clutches are mounted behind the accelerator. There are 2 clutches, each responsible for one rear wheel. When the right clutch engage, more torque will be sent to the left rear wheel via the conventional differential. Vice versa, engage the left clutch will transfer more torque to the right rear wheel. (This theory is the same as Mitsubishi's Active Yaw Control) When both clutches engage, more torque will be sent to the rear axle. In this way, SH-AWD can very the torque split between front and rear axle, as well as between the rear wheels.
 

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I looked at the MDX, it’ll beat the 2.5/3.6 OB any day (umm, that’s what $19K can do). Almost went for it too until wifey slapped some sense into me, it’s just a car at day's end. The MDX is in a different market segment. The OB has better (relative) value, you pay for what you need the Subaru sense way, with advanced tech for $25K.<O:p</O:p
I believe the RDX dropped the SH in 013, is still using premium, part-time AWD, belt SOHC. To be at equal grounds you’d go 3.6r Ltd, full-time Sym-AWD, chain DOHC, and still be +/- $4K ahead. Buck-bang the 2.5 OB beats the RDX.<O:p</O:p
 

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Is the RDX running the part time AWD system Honda uses in most of its light duty AWD offerings? I recall them all being front wheel drive cars at 20mph and up and when 20mph and under they were front wheel drive with light rear wheel assist making them just barely AWD.

Also the RDX is the Acura version of the CRV as the MDX is the Acura Version of the Honda Pilot.

The Subaru Outback is in a different class than the CRV - the CRV is in the Forester class of vehicles that being the Cute SUV class.

I drove the CRV. No comparison to the RDX. The CRV felt light and small. The Outback felt much more substantial than the CRV, though the RDX felt the best But when all is said and done, money included, the Outback seems like the right car for two Golden Retrievers.

I just took my Acura TL to be detailed. Feeling a little sad about losing the upscale look and the power, but know once I get behind the wheel of the 2013 Limited, I'll be fine. (First I'll have to go through the dreaded sell it by yourself!).
 

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I drove the CRV. No comparison to the RDX. The CRV felt light and small. The Outback felt much more substantial than the CRV, though the RDX felt the best But when all is said and done, money included, the Outback seems like the right car for two Golden Retrievers.

I just took my Acura TL to be detailed. Feeling a little sad about losing the upscale look and the power, but know once I get behind the wheel of the 2013 Limited, I'll be fine. (First I'll have to go through the dreaded sell it by yourself!).
4 TL owners in my office - 6 transmissions between the 4 - and now there is one TL left.

One former TL owner now drives a 911
Another has a new Ford Exploder and thinks its the coolest thing EVER!
The third former TL owner has a Prius now

The one remaining TL owner happens to make the most of the 4 regarding income and has said that he should probably replace the TL before it drops another Transmission but he's too busy to go car shopping.

An interesting trend - all the former owners had ZERO interest in owning another Acura.
 

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The RDX and CRV ride on the same platform as I understand. I owned a CRV for 7 years. The AWD was ok and worked a little bit mainly noticable in 6" or more snow driving. The car really is a Civic with an additional basic friction based AWD system and a little more headroom. It looks nice and is well appointed like all beautified hondas with a new logo. I will caution you on the AWD though and they may have fixed it, but our CRV sometimes felt as though it was trying to engage the rear wheels for no reason at stoplights or turning corners at low speed. It would vibrate and carry on for no reason. I took it to the dealer and they blamed it on the rear diff fluid needing to be changed? While it was due it started doing the vibration again 5000 miles later. I ended up just dealing with it and traded it for the 2013 Outback. I vowed that I would not buy a Honda AWD product again, but would not hesitate buying a front driver from Honda. I echo a lot of the comments on here that if you want a cute ute then the RDX is ok, but if you want something with real AWD go with the Subaru. I would steer clear of Honda AWD though just from past experience and a bad taste in my mouth
 
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