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2018 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

As I research the Outback 3.6, I have a question: Is the Outback's drive-ability nimble or more of a loose feel? I currently drive a 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 and a 2006 VW Passat 3.6 and both are relatively nimble compared to other vehicles I test drove in the past. I am looking to replace the Mazda as I do not enjoy the 4 cylinder and lack of common sense features, even with it loaded with options.

I enjoy the feel of the drive of a car thus my question.

Thank you in advance for your input.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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239 Posts
Greetings,



As I research the Outback, I have a question: Is the Outback's drive-ability nimble or more of a loose feel? I currently drive a 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 and a 2006 VW Passat 3.6 and both are relatively nimble compared to other vehicles I test drove in the past. I am looking to replace the Mazda as I do not enjoy the 4 cylinder and lack of common sense features, even with it loaded with options.



I enjoy the feel of the drive of a car thus my question.



Thank you in advance for your input.


My $0.02.... to be super nimble you’d need the 3.6 engine. A few mods to improve the driving feel: upgraded rear sway bar (19mm should do) and upgraded sway bar bushings (front and back).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2015 Outback LTD 2.5
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1,045 Posts
Two thumbs up on the 19mm rear sway bar....after getting my 2015 OB Ltd, two weeks on the road convinced me that the car was too much like my uncle's 1965 Chevy Impala wagon.......tight turns on the highway cloverleaf ramps were an exercise in gut wrenching swaying....the OB felt much bigger than it really was.

After the larger RSB was installed, the OB was a different car. .......and daily driving experience was unchanged.......

Try it, you'll like it.

Steve
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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2,112 Posts
I'm gonna guess that coming from a Passat, the OB will feel like a boat to you.
It has a much higher center of gravity, the steering is not as precise and the suspension is tuned more for comfort than agility.

But test drive one and decide for yourself.
 

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Changing from my modified 2011 STI to a 2018 Outback, I added the 19mm rear sway bar and a front strut brace and have found the handling to be ok enough for me. I have driven a CX-5 and find the handling of the 2018 Outback to be somewhat better.

Have you gone to test drive the Outback yet?
 

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6,264 Posts
Nimble is a relative thing. Compared to our Corvette and Camaro the OB is as nimble as a two ton oddly shaped boulder. Comparing it to the Silverado is quite a different story.

Due to it's higher center of gravity I don't believe the addition of a larger sway bar does any more than provide some unwanted over steer. Placebos can be powerful medicine.

Certainly not going to be anywhere near as nimble as the VW.
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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904 Posts
I think it's a little sloppy even by SUV standards. The CX5 is top of the non-lux compact class for handling and even an abused Passat is going to feel more nimble. I doubt you'll be impressed. We have two other bigger SUV's in the garage that feel more planted through the turns and don't get blown around as thoroughly on the highway. I can't believe I would consider a "performance" mod on an Outback, but that RSB and bushing upgrade may be worth it if it can keep the highway cross-wind wobbling in check. Otherwise, the suspension does a very nice job on rough roads and doesn't get upset all that easily.

Depending on your goal here, the '19 Acura RDX is likely going to be a winner. We were going to wait but decided to give the OB a try. So far my wife is very pleased except for cross-wind driving on the highway.
 

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2018 Dark Blue Pearl Outback 3.6R Premier
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195 Posts
Our two previous cars were German so our 18 Outback 3.6 felt a little "floaty". I installed the 19mm sway bar and it transformed the car in my opinion. For the class of vehicle I think it handles quick well now. Even my wife who could not understand my earlier complaint, noticed the difference.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 3.6r with CVT
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143 Posts
I traded in a 2009 Honda Fit for a 2018 Outback and the handling went from go-kart to a bit sloppy and boaty. Just added a 20MM rear sway bar, because it was cheaper, and because it added more stiffness than the 19 by some percentage I read on a thread somewhere. Either way I am still going to add the traildogck front bushings to stiffen the front sway bar and the strut tower brace from SSD performance, should make it quite a bit more "sporty" and even more fun to drive. Just my pennies though
 
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🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
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My '18 2.5i honestly feels floaty which I enjoy

rough "sporty" rides are for two door V8's, not a lifted family station wagon
Either low, or lifted can benefit from the proper chassis control. It doesn't have mean harsh...but sloppy, nobody wants to be sloppy in public.
 

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2017 Outback
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179 Posts
nimble handling is not what people buy an OB for
and the larger engine doesn't make it any more so, just adds more weight to the front end making it handle even worse, not that the handling is bad, it's a station wagon/SUV
I don't know about the 2016.5 CX-5, but the earlier model was more of a tight and sporty handling SUV
when you want a sportier ride, drive your Passat
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R LBP "Dingo"
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643 Posts
It ain't a sports car, ya know? And if that's what you're looking to buy, you're looking at the wrong thing. My 16 3.6R doesn't hold a candle to my 08 Lancer GTS when it comes to taking a turn (it is faster in the straightaway though). It's not terrible, but it isn't going to set records.

BUT, if you want an SUV/CUV with decent handling and very (VERY) good highway merging abilities, plus the ability to tow, then the 3.6R is definitely the way to go. It's also much quieter than the 2.5i.

Best advice I've seen here is to go test drive one. If you can't find a 3.6R on the lot, test drive a 3.6 Legacy - not the same amount of weight, but a very similar vehicle in most other respects.
 
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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited w/ EyeSight - Lapis Blue Pearl
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70 Posts
I'm gonna guess that coming from a Passat, the OB will feel like a boat to you.
It has a much higher center of gravity, the steering is not as precise and the suspension is tuned more for comfort than agility.

But test drive one and decide for yourself.


We moved from an '03 Passat GLX 4-Mo wagon to the Outback. Yep, definitely a different driving experience, primarily due to the increase in ride height and looser tail. But, I do appreciate that additional ground clearance...
 

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2018 3.6R Touring in Wilderness Green
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53 Posts
Everything's relative. Coming from a 2016 4Runner Limited, the 3.6R OB is tighter, quicker, planted, and just all around more engaging to drive. What's really blown me away is how smooth it rides. I've found myself creeping past 60 in a 40 MPH zone a couple times without even realizing it.
 

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2018 2.5i Magnetite Grey
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53 Posts
I find the turn in pretty serious on my 2018 2.5i, like it will rotate more than you may want if stability control doesn't intervene.
Also subaru specs the fronts at 35 psi and the rears at 32 which also sharpens up the front end.
Compared to my 2006 CRV you can definitely feel that the outback had a bit lower CoG and I think body roll is fine for what it is. Give one a try anyways, I doubt the handling will be a deal breaker, and a set of decent summer tires makes anything turn harder than almost any car with OEM 3 season tires...
 
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