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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post, I apologize if in the wrong section. My wife and I are in the market for a small SUV. We are down to Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Rav4 and Subaru Outback. We absolutely fell in love with the 2018 Outback. Ride was great and extremely quiet compared to the others, interior room was very generous as well. We both agreed this was the one. I never really check what others say about a car before buying because it typically just causes more confusion. After reading many, many threads last night I feel there is a major problem with the (Head) and seems there is no resolution in site. I have not asked the dealership about the problem, cause I know what they will tell me. "They have not heard of any problems" or "The issues have been resolved" I really hate this problem exist, because we really loved this car.

So the question. Do we guy this one and hope and pray we don't experience the problem or move on to one of the other choices.

All reply's are welcomed! We did own another Subaru in 1984 and it finally died in 2000.

Thank you,
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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I would not expect any miracles.

I think it s*cks a decent car can be brought down by the entertainment system. (what???) I remember the days when a car meant freedom. The thought of driving a "vehicle" filled us with lusty passion for the road. That was entertainment enough. Depending on your right foot, it could be a wild ride.

Now, because of an unnecessary device our cars are no-better than a crappy laptop, "glitching". I am so happy that I am poor and can only afford an older car.

"Look Ma! No Nav, I'm driving myself."

:soapbox:
 
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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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wouldn't the Forester be the model most similar?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We originally went to the dealership for the Forester. From what I have read, same potential problem.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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This is my first post, I apologize if in the wrong section. My wife and I are in the market for a small SUV. We are down to Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Rav4 and Subaru Outback. We absolutely fell in love with the 2018 Outback. Ride was great and extremely quiet compared to the others, interior room was very generous as well. We both agreed this was the one. I never really check what others say about a car before buying because it typically just causes more confusion. After reading many, many threads last night I feel there is a major problem with the (Head) and seems there is no resolution in site. I have not asked the dealership about the problem, cause I know what they will tell me. "They have not heard of any problems" or "The issues have been resolved" I really hate this problem exist, because we really loved this car.

So the question. Do we guy this one and hope and pray we don't experience the problem or move on to one of the other choices.
Everyone has his own needs and priorities. I found the '15 OB really matched what I was looking for - ground clearance, competent AWD system, cargo capacity, fuel economy, good highway comfort - better than any other I looked at when shopping, and I have not been disappointed. We'll see how the long-term reliability works out, but so far, so good (knock wood!), with only a couple of minor to barely significant issues, plus one potentially significant issue - a problem with no-start in very cold weather in some situations that was addressed in a TSB - dealt with, under warranty, before it could affect me.

That said, knowing of the audio system problems plaguing the '18 models, that might be a deal breaker for me if I were shopping now. I suspect that those will be fixed for good in the '19 models (or at least the known ones will). I usually listen to the radio in the car, and I just don't want the bother of wondering whether the radio will work or not each time I get in. Things like that aggravate me, and I try to avoid aggravation when I can reasonably do so.

I would not expect any miracles.

I think it s*cks a decent car can be brought down by the entertainment system. (what???) I remember the days when a car meant freedom. The thought of driving a "vehicle" filled us with lusty passion for the road. That was entertainment enough. Depending on your right foot, it could be a wild ride.

Now, because of an unnecessary device our cars are no-better than a crappy laptop, "glitching". I am so happy that I am poor and can only afford an older car.
You're right, of course. I'm not looking for my car to be an extension of my phone, but, as noted above, I am used to having a functional radio in it (and a CD player - yes, I still use those - but could live without that if the radio works). Trying to satisfy requests for all the crap some people want added to them has been a fiasco. A company like Subaru should have been able to implement a system with at least basic reliability, yet apparently they bungled that.

Worse, much of that crap will be obsolete in a few years, anyway. The sought-after CarPlay and AndroidAuto functionality may be only a phone or OS "upgrade" or two away from not working any more.

Unfortunately, modern head units are so complicated and tightly integrated into the rest of the car that just moving to an aftermarket system is fraught with its own problems, so that solution may no longer be practical for most people.

The best hope that '18 owners have is that the problems are so widespread that Subaru will address the issues and really fix them, or, if they won't, a class-action lawsuit will focus their attention on doing so. I'm probably one of the last ones to advocate for a lawsuit, but they do have their place, and this may be a good one.

"Look Ma! No Nav, I'm driving myself."

:soapbox:
No Eyesight(TM) or automagic lane-keeping and not dead yet!!
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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[. . . snip . . .]

Trying to satisfy requests for all the crap some people want added to them has been a fiasco. A company like Subaru should have been able to implement a system with at least basic reliability, yet apparently they bungled that.

Worse, much of that crap will be obsolete in a few years, anyway. The sought-after CarPlay and AndroidAuto functionality may be only a phone or OS "upgrade" or two away from not working any more.
I will disagree somewhat.

I agree that the Subaru '18 HU has had more problems (and design mistakes) than acceptable, and I would and do expect better from a car manufacturer, and more so from a brand that has a reputation for reliability and utility. It's apparently not a problem in all units, nor in any concrete percentage of units that we can confirm based on the forums, but we hear a lot on forums like this for a variety of well-known reasons. Note that I am not minimizing the frustration of those experiencing problems.

Bluetooth, USB connections for thumbdrives, media players, phones, etc. have been around for a number of years without problems that too many '18 owners are experiencing.

I'm optimistic, reasonably I believe, that CarPlay and AA will be backward compatible for many generations simply because I think Apple and Google understand who has most to lose for failing in this regard. And I'm not convinced that CarPlay and/or AA can be blamed for the '18 gremlins.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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ok - is there a fear of the audio/telematics, or head GASKET issues?

am I the only one confused?
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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I will disagree somewhat.

I agree that the Subaru '18 HU has had more problems (and design mistakes) than acceptable, and I would and do expect better from a car manufacturer, and more so from a brand that has a reputation for reliability and utility. It's apparently not a problem in all units, nor in any concrete percentage of units that we can confirm based on the forums, but we hear a lot on forums like this for a variety of well-known reasons. Note that I am not minimizing the frustration of those experiencing problems.

Bluetooth, USB connections for thumbdrives, media players, phones, etc. have been around for a number of years without problems that too many '18 owners are experiencing.
All true, yet, some of those features that worked reasonably well on previous models have all manner of glitches or unwanted "features" that are new for '18, like input sources that switch, volume setting that changes, and dropped station presets, when the car is restarted. An oft-heard refrain earlier was "in my Toyota, the radio would continue to play after shutting the car off until a door was opened. Why doesn't my Subaru do that?" Result: radios that sometimes won't turn off at all.

I'm sticking to my description. Bungled implementation of features.

I'm optimistic, reasonably I believe, that CarPlay and AA will be backward compatible for many generations simply because I think Apple and Google understand who has most to lose for failing in this regard. And I'm not convinced that CarPlay and/or AA can be blamed for the '18 gremlins.
I hope your optimism isn't misplaced.

Apple has not hesitated to abandon backward compatibility in the past. Like many things, that policy has both good and bad aspects. In my last job (at a company using Macs extensively for scientific work) we couldn't update the MacOS and stopped buying new Macs when we found updating to MacOS 9 broke a large amount of software we relied on. By dropping some previously-supported functionality they were able to keep a "cleaner" system, but it was a real problem for some of their users, us included. To a lesser extent, every previous OS upgrade caused some problems, but those were relatively minor in comparison. The change to MacOS X (which is a nicely-designed front end for Linux) was even bigger than the change wrought by 9, but Macs were history for us by then. "I can't update my iPhone, it's too old" seems to be a fairly common issue, so their policy doesn't seem to have changed. They have their reasons for doing that, but it's a real thing.

AFAIK, the first version of AA has already been rendered obsolete. I think I remember some chatter about that when my '15 was new, complaints like "AA is supported, but current phones use a newer version that is incompatible with the HU, I hope Subaru issues an update" or something like that. I didn't and still don't give a rip about AA, so didn't pay too much attention back then.

Apple and Google don't sell cars, they sell software and hardware. If updating their software to add new "gee-whiz" knickknacks breaks other systems, it's not their problem. It will be up to the auto makers and their suppliers to ensure that the other end of the link can cope. I seriously doubt they will put much effort (i.e. don't expect any at all) into systems three years old or more. Maybe I'm wrong; I hope so, but I'm not counting on it.
 

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These threads become humorous with folks scared to death of buying a car because of supposed head unit issues.

My wife's '14 Forester never had an issue with the head unit. My '15 OB never had a head unit issue.

My wife's current '17 Forester has had zero head unit issues in 15k miles of driving.

Majority of issues I'm sure are from crap apps and owners not placing the blame where it belongs.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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I'm sure he's asking about the head gasket issue with the 2.5i


I would only buy a 3.6R for that reason.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Apple and Google don't sell cars, they sell software and hardware.
For the former, it's only a matter of time. For the latter, it may be a matter of "me-to-ism" after the former gets into the business.

And their world view in both cases will be "this is a computer that happens to have wheels and propulsion system attached to it" - as opposed to "this is a set of wheels and propulsion system that happens to need a computer attached to it".
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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[ . . . snip . . .]

I hope your optimism isn't misplaced.
Me too!

I'm sure there will be many apps that age of a maturing platform over time. And certainly the platforms themselves will eventually grow out of the hardware being distributed today. I'm more optimistic that a decision upgrading the platform in a way that FUBARs existing hardware systems, when the platforms are only now making impressive penetration among auto-makers, would be a decision so obviously harmful to the platform, that it is very remote. And I hope (but am less confident) that Subaru and other auto makers negotiated for lengthy support / end-of-life terms as part of agreeing to adopt the platforms.
 

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I am a new Subaru owner, bought a 2018 Legacy about a month ago. The Legacy is a kind of sedan version of the Outback and shares most systems. I have had no problems with the infotainment system, or for that matter any of the electronics so I have my fingers crossed. My car is well built and solid as a rock, absolutely no rattles or squeaks. If you get the Eyesight option, which I recommend, it comes with some great safety and convenience features. I started out to buy an A6 but decided on this car and saved a bundle of money and I think the Subie is just as good if not better, at least for me. So everything is great after one month and 2500 miles. Oh, and my mileage beats the EPA too..
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i premium, Lapis blue
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when I got my 2011 Outback, I looked at CRV, RAV4 and Venza - outback was the right decision, hands down. traded up for a 2017 in late 2016. Best move. Be sure to get the eyesight. I have a the 2.5premium - all the car I need.
Good luck
 

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2019 3.6 Touring & 2018 H6 Limited. Previously also owned a number of Outbacks.
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Wrong comparison. Look at Outback's dimension... we cross shopped Lexus RX350, GX, Volvo XC 90, MB GLE, Grand Cherokee, etc. Sit in the back middle of Acura MDX you'll know what I mean (vs. Outback). yes... compare leg rooms, width & especially headroom for all the above.
 

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2016 2nd Outback owner, April, 2016 2.8, CVT Red
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Buy Subaru, if you experience any problems you are covered. I flipped from US cars when the Outback did the redesign on the Outback in 2010. Bought another Outback in 2016, both still running without issues. Love the car and the company, Dealerships may vary in quality of service.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 R Touring
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Buy the Outback. I've had my 3.6R for about 4 months and it's great. The infotainment system and bluetooth work well. Haven't had any problems with the car. Controls on the steering wheel are very nice. Seats are comfortable, and the center console has a huge capacity.

Forums like this, whether it's Subaru, Toyota, Volvo, BMW..... you will see a constant stream of problems - that's why people come here.

Then there are some who complain about features of the car - but don't even own one.
 

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Hope you bought the outback ...I have a 2017 outback touring 3.6R and my family has 2 other Foresters, an Impreza and a Cross-trek. We love them all and have had great luck with repairs/maint over tons of collective miles. The all wheel drive system is also far superior to any of the other brands you mentioned. My last car before finally giving up to the family brand was a BMW X5 and after a year with my outback I thinks it’s much more comfortable ride, not to mention much more dependable.
 

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I will disagree somewhat.

I agree that the Subaru '18 HU has had more problems (and design mistakes) than acceptable, and I would and do expect better from a car manufacturer, and more so from a brand that has a reputation for reliability and utility. It's apparently not a problem in all units, nor in any concrete percentage of units that we can confirm based on the forums, but we hear a lot on forums like this for a variety of well-known reasons. Note that I am not minimizing the frustration of those experiencing problems.

Bluetooth, USB connections for thumbdrives, media players, phones, etc. have been around for a number of years without problems that too many '18 owners are experiencing.

I'm optimistic, reasonably I believe, that CarPlay and AA will be backward compatible for many generations simply because I think Apple and Google understand who has most to lose for failing in this regard. And I'm not convinced that CarPlay and/or AA can be blamed for the '18 gremlins.
once a cell phone company updates the os, the chances of the hu not working correctly go up. subaru and the os updates need to be on the same page for things to work, and since there is really no standard across cell phones due to the fact that each company tinkers with android for their own purposes, the potential for new problems will continue to exist.
each car brand has issues with cells phones. my 17 fist will lock up with mysync 3 and a google pixel. my sons apple will not hold a blue tooth connection very well. my previous chevy had blue tooth issues with both apple and android. some phones get along better than others, but not always playing nicely.
my 16 limited had the head unit replaced 2 months ago. it wouldnt accept the firmware upgrade. other than that, it has worked fine, and thats without android auto and apple car play. sure subaru has been lapse with the new units, but its not all their fault, some of the blame can and should be with apple and google. a standard needs to be adopted across the board with all parties involved and once that is done, these problems should and will go away.
 
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