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:bla:There has been a lot of discussion on the forum about how the 2013 Outback seems to be a better handling auto than the 2010-2012’s. This is my two cents, maybe a nickels worth: Today I was given a loaner 2013 Outback Premium to drive while my 2012 Outback Limited was in for warranty repair. This gave me a chance to see how the 2013 handled on my southeastern Tennessee mountain roads where I live, and compare it with my 2012 Limited and 2005 Limited Outback’s. I drive these roads everyday and know exactly how my cars react to the curves at various speeds. I will use my 2005 as my baseline since it drives in the mountains like it was running on rails, a rock solid mountain driver. My 2012 hugs the curves only now because of the 19mm RSB addition, but still not as good as the 2005. The stock 2013 maybe (?) drove a bit better than my stock 2012 (before the RSB mod) which really surprised me. Supposedly the factory enhanced the suspension on the 2013 and I was expecting more from the car than what it showed me today, loose in the rear with body roll, as with my “stock” 2012. If you tightened the 2013 rear up with a heavier sway bar it might perform better than a 2012, but I really doubt it, I would have to drive one with the mod to make that determination. Engine and transmission performance was about the same in the 2012 and 2013. The only real difference in the three autos, CVT’s in the 2012 and 2013 vs. the 5 speed AT in the 2005. Both CVT’s are better suited for mountain driving with the H4 engine than the old 5 speed AT. Engine performance, all having H4’s, about the same. Another observation was the design change on the front fog-lights. Who ever designed the front end of the 2013 will not get any awards for beautifying the car. The whole fog-light treatment looks like its bolted on top of the old design. They could have done a lot better.
 

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Your driving observations seem like they are what we could expect, given that the 2012/2013 models are taller, larger overall, and heavier. I also like the CVT, as it keeps the car in it's power band much better. Works great for me in the mountains of the PNW :)
 

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I have yet tested out the 2013 with the bigger fog lights,I do abit of off roading from time to time,like u said might not win a beauty contest,but wonder how much light it give compared to 2010-2012, I am renting a 2012 legacy right now,don't like it,much faster (feeling), but vary heavy feeling as well when turning, adding what I have makes the outback more lively
,also legacy has more cabin engine noise,don't know if this is a good thing or not lol
 

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The stock 2013 maybe (?) drove a bit better than my stock 2012 (before the RSB mod) which really surprised me. Supposedly the factory enhanced the suspension on the 2013 and I was expecting more from the car than what it showed me today, loose in the rear with body roll, as with my “stock” 2012. .
I have found the biggest difference is the elimination of "wallowing" when going over bumps while turning corners at low speed. This was my #1 complaint with the 2010-2012 suspension. By "wallowing" I mean uncontrollable side to side oscillation in this situation.

Sometimes it wallowed so bad that I actually hit my head on the driver's door window!!

I added the 19mm RSB as well as the 26mm FSB to my 2012 and it helped body roll but ultimately did not clear up the severe wallowing problem. This is what drove me to trade for a 2013.

Overall I find the 2013 suspension is somewhat stiffer, and there is less body roll, but the biggest improvement is how much more comfortable the car is to drive with the wallowing problem finally corrected.


Your driving observations seem like they are what we could expect, given that the 2012/2013 models are taller, larger overall, and heavier. I also like the CVT, as it keeps the car in it's power band much better. Works great for me in the mountains of the PNW :)
I did not know the car was taller or larger for 2012/2013 (?). Are you referring to the Gen3(up to 2009) vs. Gen4(2010-present)?? I do know the Outback ride height in 2010 was taller and in 2011 Subaru lowered it a bit as they started their constant tweaking of the suspension throughout the build years up until the release of the 2013. My guess is the 2013 is slightly heavier but not taller nor larger than the 2012.
 

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Outback Executive 3.0 MY08 (VTD/VDC/LSD)
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(...) Engine and transmission performance was about the same in the 2012 and 2013. The only real difference in the three autos, CVT’s in the 2012 and 2013 vs. the 5 speed AT in the 2005. Both CVT’s are better suited for mountain driving with the H4 engine than the old 5 speed AT. Engine performance, all having H4’s, about the same. (...)
AFAIK your 2005 4-cylinder should have the 4 speed AT.
 

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I did not know the car was taller or larger for 2012/2013 (?). Are you referring to the Gen3(up to 2009) vs. Gen4(2010-present)?? I do know the Outback ride height in 2010 was taller and in 2011 Subaru lowered it a bit as they started their constant tweaking of the suspension throughout the build years up until the release of the 2013. My guess is the 2013 is slightly heavier but not taller nor larger than the 2012.

Yes, Gen 3 vs Gen 4. The lower Gen 3 would tend to feel more planted on the road :)
 

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Yes, Gen 3 vs Gen 4. The lower Gen 3 would tend to feel more planted on the road :)
Aah, so you meant 2010-2013. That's where I was confused. Got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have found the biggest difference is the elimination of "wallowing" when going over bumps while turning corners at low speed. This was my #1 complaint with the 2010-2012 suspension. By "wallowing" I mean uncontrollable side to side oscillation in this situation.

Sometimes it wallowed so bad that I actually hit my head on the driver's door window!!

I added the 19mm RSB as well as the 26mm FSB to my 2012 and it helped body roll but ultimately did not clear up the severe wallowing problem. This is what drove me to trade for a 2013.



I thought about changing the front sway bar on my Outback but haven't gotten around to it yet. Is this 26mm sway bar a Subaru performance bar or did you borrow it from another model Subaru parts bin?

You speak of "wallowing"? I haven't experienced that in my 2012 or this loaner 2013.

obtw: I hope you guys don't have a heater core leak in any of your Outbacks. I will be going on day three tomorrow waiting for them to get mine back together after changing the core. Told me the whole dash had to come out to get to the heater core. I've had bad luck with cars and trucks lately: 2008 Diesel Superduty Ford, four weeks in the shop for a oil leak (body off frame, engine removed to fix); 1997 Diesel Ford 250HD, four days to change high pressure fuel pump; and now my Outback. This has all happened in the last six weeks.
 

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26mm FSB is from the 2013. You must also install 25mm bushings with it. You have to pop the tie rods to swap it out. Took me about 45 min on my 2012.
 
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