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Discussion Starter #1
One thing I have noticed in the 2013s that surprised me compared to my 2003 Limited was the back of the front seats:

Whats with the huge plate of plastic armor on the back of the seat? My 2003 is nice full leather apart from the netting pocket on both seats and the mount arms for that pocket - but its still all leather.

2003 seat back:
http://pictures.dealer.com/s/stanolsensubarusoa/1186/93403bade3621fa5de795a3bba184afax.jpg

2013 seat back (note the back of the front seats - Im not talking about the folded down seats)
http://www.cars101.com/subaru/outback/outback13-seatbackprotector1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I also prefer the plastic on the back of the front seats.

It just puts a lot more plastic look in the interior and I wondered if anyone knew why they did it - since the whole back of the seat being leather to being plastic is quite a change. i dont know what was in the 3G as I have the 2G I think.

I am looking at the SAP package and the black plastic against the brown leather is a bit strange - wish they could have colored it like they did with the white and black.
 

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I bought my Outback to be more utility than luxury so for me, personally, it's okay. If kids kick the backs of the seats, as they will do, I won't worry. When I put the back seats down and load stuff, I won't have to worry about hurting the leather on the back of the seats. Heck, even if my wife sat in the back she would put her feet on the back of the seats like she puts her feet all over the glovebox and dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
lol well for me, my 2003 Outback Limited was luxury and is as luxury as Im sure Ill ever have. All I had before that 3 Toyota Tercels before that. Now that the 2013 OB Limited is 10,000 more than my 2003 OB Limited, I wasnt expecting MORE plastic. ;)
 

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It just puts a lot more plastic look in the interior and I wondered if anyone knew why they did it - since the whole back of the seat being leather to being plastic is quite a change. i dont know what was in the 3G as I have the 2G I think.

I am looking at the SAP package and the black plastic against the brown leather is a bit strange - wish they could have colored it like they did with the white and black.
Does it really matter if the backs of the seats aren't leather when they entire front of the seat isn't leather?

Only the perforated center inserts are real leather. The side bolsters on the seat and seat back are fake leather.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does it really matter if the backs of the seats aren't leather when they entire front of the seat isn't leather?

Only the perforated center inserts are real leather. The side bolsters on the seat and seat back are fake leather.
no - it doesnt matter that much. When I can purchase - Im still getting the OB limited.
And its not about it being LEATHER/vs fabric, so much as its just the change from my seat (older OB LIM) and the new, is a normal soft material to very large bulky hard shell.
It just looks odd to me and I initially was just curious why the seat went from one extreme to the other and wondered if anyone knew.
 

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I go back and forth about that decision. On one hand it is totally in line with utility nature of Outback but it does take away somewhat from the ambiance inside.

I plan on having kids so the dark interior coupled with the hard plastic kick resistant seat backs bodes well.

Why is the 19th so far away?
 

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One thing I have noticed in the 2013s that surprised me compared to my 2003 Limited was the back of the front seats:

Whats with the huge plate of plastic armor on the back of the seat? My 2003 is nice full leather apart from the netting pocket on both seats and the mount arms for that pocket - but its still all leather.

2003 seat back:
http://pictures.dealer.com/s/stanolsensubarusoa/1186/93403bade3621fa5de795a3bba184afax.jpg

2013 seat back (note the back of the front seats - Im not talking about the folded down seats)
http://www.cars101.com/subaru/outback/outback13-seatbackprotector1.jpg
No one here can say for sure (I might be proven wrong later...but I'll take that chance). ;)

Subaru does have a reputation of adjusting their cars to current customer wants. The '13 OB is a great example with it's firmer ride. Lots of us were getting the RSB changed out to "improve" the car. Some people have this idea that leather is this fragile material that must be protected and cared for. So I could see there being market demand for plastic instead of leather.

Give the people what they want, especially when it's cheaper. Even the general feedback so far in the thread has been, "plastic is fine."
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No one here can say for sure (I might be proven wrong later...but I'll take that chance). ;)

Subaru does have a reputation of adjusting their cars to current customer wants. The '13 OB is a great example with it's firmer ride. Lots of us were getting the RSB changed out to "improve" the car. Some people have this idea that leather is this fragile material that must be protected and cared for. So I could see there being market demand for plastic instead of leather.

Give the people what they want, especially when it's cheaper. Even the general feedback so far in the thread has been, "plastic is fine."
Whats RSB? Sorry apart from loving my OB, Im not much of a "car" guy.

I suppose you could be right - but it surprises me considering that I thought the outback was supposed to be gearing more towards the fancier SUV mom crowd since the 2003, and it seemed like that would mean a bit less utility, and a bit more cushy. I guess my first thought was that it was some structure inside that seat that demanded a harder surface, as I would have never thought people might like the whole rear of the seat to be a big piece of plastic. My leather seats have gone through 240K and I have gone through so much hauling of everything under the sun from my camping trips to moving myself and friends. Those seats have taken a beating and there isnt one tear in the leather anywhere. I have really come to appreciate leather seats in my OB for their toughness and ease of cleaning them.
 

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Whats RSB? Sorry apart from loving my OB, Im not much of a "car" guy.

I suppose you could be right - but it surprises me considering that I thought the outback was supposed to be gearing more towards the fancier SUV mom crowd since the 2003, and it seemed like that would mean a bit less utility, and a bit more cushy. I guess my first thought was that it was some structure inside that seat that demanded a harder surface, as I would have never thought people might like the whole rear of the seat to be a big piece of plastic. My leather seats have gone through 240K and I have gone through so much hauling of everything under the sun from my camping trips to moving myself and friends. Those seats have taken a beating and there isnt one tear in the leather anywhere. I have really come to appreciate leather seats in my OB for their toughness and ease of cleaning them.
Rear sway bar.

Leather is one of the toughest materials we can use to cover stuff. People just don't think that way. "True leather seats" are getting more rare too (whole seat is covered in leather) when people complain about wrinkles, so there is a push to put vinyl on the other surfaces that the body is not in direct contact with. You even see this trend in furniture. Yes it is cheaper but again there is market demand for vinyl sides and leather main panels.

There is a segment of OB owners that seem to think that these cars are in competition with BMW, Volvo, Acura and others like them. But with the exception of Europe I'm not sure Subaru ever meant to go after those brands. They just kind of find their customers making that decision for them which is fine but head scratching for me. OB's start at $20k. Yes you can pay $30k+ for limited and I think that's where this other segment comes in but realistically it's hard to get a BMW, Volvo, or Acura out the door for under $30k. Different price points and different type of people.

Today's OB's are currently competing with Equinox's, Rav4's, CRV's, Santa Fe's and the Sorento's of the USA. All of those are "crossover" SUV's. Not a Suburban and yet not a car.

For me? I'm with you. If you are going to go to the trouble of adding leather, do the whole seat. It looks classier and will last longer. (IMO!)
 

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Correct me, if I am wrong: Sequoia225 is refering to the plastic protection on the Back 2 REAR seats ...
You're wrong ;)

One thing I have noticed in the 2013s that surprised me compared to my 2003 Limited was the back of the front seats

2013 seat back (note the back of the front seats - Im not talking about the folded down seats)
 

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I like the plastic, but I wish that it was not the smooth plastic that marks up easy and you have to use goof off to keep it clean. If they are going to use plastic they should use a textured plastic that doesn't mark up
 

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I miss the net that should be on the back of the driver's seat as well as on the passenger's seat.
They (Subaru) must have had a clinic on the next/future models and most people only wanted the net on the back of the passenger seat. Reason being that the driver can reach into that net from his (driver's) seat. Case and point; my 2010 Forester also has a net - and only on the back of the passenger seat!
I participated in some of these "clinics" (in Los Angeles) myself, when you evaluate future models. You go through various parts and features and check off parts/features that you like and dislike. This must have been one of them!
 

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I guess I would ask why anyone would NOT want a net on the back of the driver's seat. I can't reach it, but it is a great area for storage of things that clutter a car.
 
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