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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

I plan to buy a new Outback to compliment my 2000 Limited in the next month or so.

I'm looking for any advice/comments/suggestions anyone might have on some things before I go talk to a dealer.

Pros/cons of buying late year 2012 versus 2013...
Packages that are best gotten from dealer versus aftermarket...
Packages that I should consider which are not available on the build your own at Subaru.com (like the 2013 Special Appearance package)...
Usefulness of trailer hitch package...
Any recalls on either 2012 or 2013...
Moonroof leakage (a problem on my 2000)...
Anything I haven't thought of?

I make the assumption that a late year 2012 is going to be cheaper than a new 2013, hence I see that as an option. But, no matter which year, I'm looking at a 2.5 Limited. I must have leather, and I don't need the 6 cylinder...my 2.5 is plenty fast enough :29:

Thansk in advance.

And yes, I'm keeping the 2000. :D Purchased it new and I can't imagine giving it up. Bubu is like a family member.
 

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2012's have a different ride and engine and CVT behavior than the 2013's.

Some folks who traded their 11's and 12's for the 13 have mentioned they liked the ride of the earlier car better not as stiff as the 13.

The 2013 has the new engine which is a clean slate regarding both known reliability and any sort of mechanical issues so thats a bit of an unknown. The 2012 2.5 is in effect the most perfected version of your old 2.5 you have in the 2000. That engine has far far FAR superior cooling capacity over your 2000 - has more power in the lower RPM range than the engine in your older car. It also has larger exhaust porting meaning when its cold it is LOUDER than your old 2000 2.5 - However this larger exhaust porting helps with the heat issues your old car has - and no doubt was part of the new tuning which makes it even more enjoyable to drive having more power at lower engine speeds.

If you value your money - do not pay for the Hitch unless you can get it for $300 or less. They are easy to install and the aftermarket hitches offer 2inch receivers which tend to be better for the larger bike racks.

Go drive them! And yes you are right if you can find a 2012 still or even a dealer with a few 2012's - they are either a car collector not a dealer LOL - or they have found a source for unsold 2012's and are ready to deal. Invoice or below invoice on 2012's would be expected at this point.
 

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- The 2013 gets better gas mileage than the 2012. This is due to the redesign of both the motor and the CVT.
- Most people like the new CVT better, subjectively speaking.
- The 2013 motor uses a timing chain instead of a belt, which lowers maintenance cost.
- If you get a 2012, read up on steering shimmy, understand it's symptoms, and insist on testing the car you get in a proper way to asses if the car you are considering has the problem.
- The 2013s handle better than the 2012s. Less body roll, better steering response. But yes some people prefer the older, softer setup.

Personally, the 2013 was a no-brainer for me based purely on the suspension tuning. I would not have bought a 2012 even if it was $3k cheaper. But we all have preferences. I'd suggest driving both before making a decision. If the 2012 is to your liking, and it's cheaper, then of course you should go that way.
 

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- The 2013 gets better gas mileage than the 2012. This is due to the redesign of both the motor and the CVT.
If you look at the fuel mileage thread and fuelly, you'll note that despite what the EPA and Subaru says that in fact the mileage dropped in 2013.

That said the tighter suspension in 2013 is really good.

So IMHO if fuel economy is the higher priority go with the 2012. If driving experience is the higher priority go with he 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys.

Based on what I've read, I'm thinking a leftover 2012 will be best. Unfortunately, my searches of all the Subaru dealers within an hour of me is showing slim pick-in's.
 

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My first Subaru so I reseached and drove many 12's and 13's.

Pros/cons of buying late year 2012 versus 2013...

I drove 12's and every one of them has a shudder and shimmy that even my wife complained about. Be sure that this is an anomaly between the two.
I enjoy the 13 for its handling qualities except for lack of self centering which is an alignment tweak

The 13 comes with Eye Sight which is an adaptive cruise control I bet you have read about it but I very much like having it. Had we not wanted Eye Sight we may have gone with a 12 except for the shake or shimmy.

Packages that are best gotten from dealer versus aftermarket...
I got everything from the dealer to include the trailer hitch. I bought aftermarket Weather Tech front mats because both snow and sand will not be captured in the factory mats. I also added HIDs to the low beams because I didn't think the existing halogen low beams to be very good and where we drive is very dark. The trailer hitch I added because I know that Subaru has to stand behind the hitch and also it has been designed to be sturdy but also with some attention to crash testing.
If I was to do this over again I would not buy the factory hitch (we do tow things so have to have a hitch) because the factory hitch sticks out far enough to bang your shin on it. I would buy an hidden hitch
All the other packages are perfect for us the Eye Sight system meant we had to get both Nav and Moonroof neither of which we wanted but we like the Nav. Many complain that the Nav is slow but works fine for us. I have no use for moonroof and I have heard no issues of leaking.

Packages that I should consider which are not available on the build your own at Subaru.com (like the 2013 Special Appearance package)..
See comments above

Usefulness of trailer hitch package...
See comments above

Any recalls on either 2012 or 2013...
Not aware of any

Moonroof leakage (a problem on my 2000)...
See above

Anything I haven't thought of?
Engine choice but you have decided on the 2.5L already. We could not stand how buzzy the engine is at 70-80 mph with the CVT. Assuming that you are OK with the engine then you are set.

Our leather seats are very comfortable to us. I have two BMWs which have some of the best seats in the world and the leather seats in the Outback are terrific.

We are very pleased with the 13 after driving both engine models and years a few times.

I am not certain that price advantage is that huge. We paid $1400 under invoice which to us is a good price...

Either a 12 or 13 you can't go wrong...
 

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You'd be well served with either. Finding the options you want in a '12 may be hard but you can probably swing a pretty good deal on one if you're willing to make a compromise or two.
 

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Pros/cons of buying late year 2012 versus 2013...
EyeSight is new for 2013, I believe - and it's really cool.

I was told that the CVT was reworked, and that was enough for me. Gas mileage improvements as a result.

Packages that are best gotten from dealer versus aftermarket...
Side molding, wheel arches, things like that are typically ordered with some vehicles, so if it's something you want, it's easiest to get it included rather than having a dealer install it. Things like that are easy to "throw in" if the vehicle already has it, but if you need to add it, it can be a few hundred. (by "throw in", I mean that you get the dealer to ignore that part of the price when negotiating. Works best if you don't really want those things)

Packages that I should consider which are not available on the build your own at Subaru.com (like the 2013 Special Appearance package)...
SAP is the only one I know of. I don't particularly like it, since it's only available in a couple of colors and you can't get EyeSight with the SAP.

Some things are available on subaru.com that are NOT available in real life. The Venetian Red is supposedly available with the light leather - but only if you special order. They come by default with the off-black. I'm kind of glad, now, though - I like the black better now that I'm used to it.

Usefulness of trailer hitch package...
The stock hitch is a 1.25" hitch, and it's super-expensive. 2" hitch is more useful both for towing and for accessories, and it ends up being cheaper, especially if you install it yourself.

Moonroof leakage (a problem on my 2000)...
I'm guessing it would take awhile to show up. Mine doesn't leak, yet, but I've only had it a few weeks.

I make the assumption that a late year 2012 is going to be cheaper than a new 2013, hence I see that as an option. But, no matter which year, I'm looking at a 2.5 Limited. I must have leather, and I don't need the 6 cylinder...my 2.5 is plenty fast enough :29:
Are you financing? a 2013 will probably have a lower rate than a 2012, so the difference in price could cancel out. Rule of thumb says you can take the MSRP and subtract around $2500 to get what the actual price you can talk them down to is. See how that number compares to what they offer for a 2012 and you might be surprised. If a 2013 is within a couple thousand of a 2012, I see no reason to go with a 2012.
 

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as mentioned plenty of test driving.

price shop, hitches are easy to install so no need to pay premium for a "hitch package"....."package" generally means yo'ure going to pay twice as much as the parts cost. "package" and "service" should raise the marketing flag and you should ask or hesitate if you wanna save some green stuff.

i would personally favor the new engine of the 2013. subaru did such a fantastic job with the H6 timing chain equipped EZ engines and knows their headgasket issues from the EJ25 debacle that i'm hopeful for the new motor. it's still an unknown and unproven motor though being so young. but i wouldn't mind avoiding the EJ25 either.

If you look at the fuel mileage thread and fuelly, you'll note that despite what the EPA and Subaru says that in fact the mileage dropped in 2013.
13's haven't been out long enough, not even a full year of seasons, usages, and engines typically don't get their best fuel mileage until a few thousand miles of break in - many 2013's are still in the break in periods. Whatever 2013 mileages are posted I wouldn't pay much attention to them either way.
 

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13's haven't been out long enough, not even a full year of seasons, usages, and engines typically don't get their best fuel mileage until a few thousand miles of break in - many 2013's are still in the break in periods. Whatever 2013 mileages are posted I wouldn't pay much attention to them either way.
That's what I was thinking when I read that the '13s are getting lower MPGs.
 

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That's what I was thinking when I read that the '13s are getting lower MPGs.
I doubt any of them have enough miles on the car to really start seeing predictable mileage. Fair guess if the new engine has high tolerances for fit etc - it wouldn't surprise me if it needs some miles on it and the running gear before the mileage numbers get pretty good.
 

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Speaking of mileage - my 3.6R is all over the map. 23 on one tank, 25.8 on another. This tank I'm on now I've got 28 and some change on. Trying to get the trip computer accurate, but it too is all over the map. -0.5MPG on one tank +0.3MPG on another - rinse and repeat.
 

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I'm inclined to think the '13 is better than my '12. But it's not worth $5,000 "better" for me to make the trade-in and swap.
Every new car is better than those in the past.
 

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Nothing is better than a car that is paid off! Which case my 2001 VW jetta which I really do not like is still a screaming deal as long as it doesn't run me $500 bucks every couple of months in repairs. LOL
 

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That's what I was thinking when I read that the '13s are getting lower MPGs.
AM seeing about the same +/- 1 MGP. The '13 is peppier and has an overall nicer ride and handling - seems to have better acceleration and less noise. Have about 2.5k on the clock at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the responses, I think I've got a good idea what to go for. It will all depend on availability in the remaining 2012's. From what I've seen, I may have to go 2013 even though the new engine design makes me feel uncomfortable. I've come to know my way around my 2.5, and I had no problems with the timing belt (which I changed myself).

One thing I can't figure out...the moonroof. How many are there?

Is there still one in front, with the optional second over the rear seats? Or is the option for one over the front seats.

Flying down the road with the window and roof open is well worth the intermittent leaking. The kids love the rear moonroof.

{Subaru ought to introduce a convertible Legacy}
 

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Good luck with whichever outback you get. We just bought a '13 2.5 Premium after having owned a 93 legacy wagon and a 01 outback. We tested a '11 a '12 and a few '13's before deciding.

Now, panoramic moonroofs are very nice but sadly, it wasn't an option on the '13. We have it in our other car and our baby loves looking up through the window, especially if it is raining.

We did break my rule, though, and took the '13 even though the engine and suspension tweaks have not had a full model year to bake in. However, we needed a car now, the '13 with the stiffer ride vaguely reminds me of my "wrx" having days and the prospect of excellent long distance highway mpg sold us on getting back into an Outback.

We've had the car one week and have promptly put 1,100 miles on it. Total average is 23.1 MPG with 60% Highway, 25% suburb and 15% ultra urban driving around Boston. There was also quite a bit of idle in that total mpg number so far.

On the highway we see 28- 31 mpg driving at 75mph. Around Boston I'm seeing 16mpg. We get fuel with 10% ethanol.

We also paid about $800 below invoice on the '13. Since the end of the year is near, dealers can see that "hold back" figure coming in soon as opposed to waiting a full year to get it. I see a ton of '10 - '12 around Boston but I've yet to see another '13 roaming about. The fog lights are the larger round bulbs in the '13 and that's the most obvious visual difference.


Good luck again and let us know what you get!



Thanks for all the responses, I think I've got a good idea what to go for. It will all depend on availability in the remaining 2012's. From what I've seen, I may have to go 2013 even though the new engine design makes me feel uncomfortable. I've come to know my way around my 2.5, and I had no problems with the timing belt (which I changed myself).

One thing I can't figure out...the moonroof. How many are there?

Is there still one in front, with the optional second over the rear seats? Or is the option for one over the front seats.

Flying down the road with the window and roof open is well worth the intermittent leaking. The kids love the rear moonroof.

{Subaru ought to introduce a convertible Legacy}
 
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