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2021 Subaru Outback Premium (2.5L)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the reason I ask - I've been on a Top Gear and Off-Road Youtube kick and watching the old Top Gear specials and during one of them in Africa around the 2:10 mark, we see Hammond's Subaru basically flying through mud like it's nothing with minimal spin.

Most current videos with Gen 5 and 6 Subies - I see more more wheel spin and vehicle dynamics (software)) that seems to meter power delivery. I know there is some preservation probably coded in the newer Subies to save the CVT vs the older ones - but is there more to it? Was a normal AT/Manual Transmission more capable than a CVT?

Video is below - I'm genuinely curious to know from first hand experience that many of you might have having owned different gens.

 

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2021 Subaru Outback Premium (2.5L)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that car has real limited slip differentials and that is a definate improvement over any curremt car that uses a software limited slip
So was this standard in older models? An option? I know we can get a torq masters auto locker for the rear diff for current gens - but with that comes the noise of it engaging.
 

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2022 Limited 2.5 (current), 2014 3.6R, 2001 Forester, 1982 GLF coupe
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I had a 2014 3.6r and I believe it was the only outback in the lineup that shared the same system with the WRX STI with 45/55 torque splitting between front to back. It was unstoppable in the snow and fun to drive with a real Trans and not cvt. I haven't had the 2022 in any significant snow yet. I had a 2001 Forester and I swear I could feel the awd more in that vehicle than either the 14 or 22. Like even just pulling away from lights in dry weather, but that might be because it was my 1st awd vehicle I ever had.
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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Our '11 OB Premium did fine in the snow, even with the all-season radials it originally came with (until they wore down - - replaced them with Michelin Defenders). I also had, at one time, a 2011 WRX, which also did well. We no longer live in snow country, but the 2021 Touring does just fine in what little snow we have received here in Portland.

Steve
 
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2021 Subaru Outback Premium (2.5L)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for sharing your experiences - I find this info fascinating - I feel like when something pique's my interest, I need to go down a rabbit hole!
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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195 Posts
I have only driven MT and CVT versions of the Subaru drivetrain. I believe the manual transmission is far superior to the CVT in terms of AWD performance. We don't get snow/ice very often in Oklahoma. However, when we do, I usually try to find the limits.

Donuts;
  • The manual with a 2.5L NA motor can't do donuts. Too much grip and not enough power. It just turns in circles.
  • The 2.5L NA motor CVT can easily do donuts thanks to all the open differentials. Traction and stability control do step in eventually.
Slippery Hill Start:
  • The manual transmission can stop and get moving again on ice covered inclines with minimal wheel slip and drama.
  • The CVT stops fine but struggles to find traction to get moving again. I have experienced fishtailing, sliding backwards (despite wheelspin) and almost took out a mailbox while the AWD system figured out how to get moving. Once forward momentum was restored, it drove up just like the manual.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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So was this standard in older models? An option? I know we can get a torq masters auto locker for the rear diff for current gens - but with that comes the noise of it engaging.
for that car yes as it is a WRX
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
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I had a 2014 3.6r and I believe it was the only outback in the lineup that shared the same system with the WRX STI with 45/55 torque splitting between front to back. It was unstoppable in the snow and fun to drive with a real Trans and not cvt. I haven't had the 2022 in any significant snow yet. I had a 2001 Forester and I swear I could feel the awd more in that vehicle than either the 14 or 22. Like even just pulling away from lights in dry weather, but that might be because it was my 1st awd vehicle I ever had.
no rear LSD in the 3.6R E5AT or front one for that matter.
 

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2017 3.6R Touring
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136 Posts
Loved this episode.

“That’s the throb of a turbo charged flat 4 engine, a sound which all over the world heralds the imminent arrival of a MORON!” -Jeremy Clarkson
 

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2022 Outback Wilderness with moonroof package
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287 Posts
Loved this episode.

“That’s the throb of a turbo charged flat 4 engine, a sound which all over the world heralds the imminent arrival of a MORON!” -Jeremy Clarkson
Especially were Clarkson the driver . . . .
 

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I have only driven MT and CVT versions of the Subaru drivetrain. I believe the manual transmission is far superior to the CVT in terms of AWD performance. We don't get snow/ice very often in Oklahoma. However, when we do, I usually try to find the limits.
Does the AWD/differential system differ between the MT and CVT versions of the car?

It seems odd to me that two identical engines would cause such substantial differences in snow performance.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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Does the AWD/differential system differ between the MT and CVT versions of the car?
The manual transmission always sends power to the front and rear axles via internal gearing. The CVT has a clutch that engages to send power to the rear. Most of the time, they are only driving the front wheels. That's why if you watch roller roller test videos, the manual transmissions immediately spin the rear wheels and the CVT cars take a second or two to get spinning. Even with a CVT and open differentials, the Subaru AWD system is one of the best on the market.
 

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The manual transmission always sends power to the front and rear axles via internal gearing. The CVT has a clutch that engages to send power to the rear. Most of the time, they are only driving the front wheels. That's why if you watch roller roller test videos, the manual transmissions immediately spin the rear wheels and the CVT cars take a second or two to get spinning. Even with a CVT and open differentials, the Subaru AWD system is one of the best on the market.
Interesting. Didn't know that - thanks!
 

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As for myself, I've had a 2002 WRX and currently have a 2010 Legacy 3.6R. Both are excellent. The 2002 WRX did not have vehicle dynamics control (VDC) or traction control, where as the 2010 Legacy does. As a result, the 2010 Legacy is the safer vehicle.

When I turn traction control off in the 2010 Legacy, it feels very much like the 2002 WRX in the snow. In my opinion, Subaru should rename the traction control button to: On = Safe; Off = Fun.

As safety is important, I prefer the newer models.
 
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