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I came to this forum looking for the scoop on the 2018 OB. I've found a lot of info and am so grateful for forums like these. It seems like the disappointed voices drown out the satisfied ones. It'd be great to hear from 2018 owners who are happy and what they love so much about their car. I was looking at 2 year old BMW X3s and test drove the OB because I can get a brand new one, better equipped, for just a bit more coin. Turns out I liked it quite a bit!
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R
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I’ve had mine in touring trim for about a month. My only real complaint is that I’m driving a car that gets 26 miles to the gallon in the year 2018. Yes, there are issues with the entertainment system. Seems like a standard complaint across all current model cars. Coming from years of FWD vehicles, it’s an absolute beast in the winter. All things considered, I’m extremely happy with my purchase so far.
 

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I have to ask how can you be disappointed with the MPG's on a 6 cylinder all wheel drive vehicle of this size? Show me a more efficient option!

I’ve had mine in touring trim for about a month. My only real complaint is that I’m driving a car that gets 26 miles to the gallon in the year 2018. Yes, there are issues with the entertainment system. Seems like a standard complaint across all current model cars. Coming from years of FWD vehicles, it’s an absolute beast in the winter. All things considered, I’m extremely happy with my purchase so far.
 

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Really enjoying our 2018 3.6 Limited. The H6/CVT combo provides smooth limitless accelaration and does so on regular gas. Try EyeSight once. You will be hooked and wonder how you lived without it. We use it in the city and on the highway. Our back seat passengers have commented that they are more comfortable than in their BMW or Volvo.
 

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18 Outback 3.6r Touring
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We’ve enjoyed the mechanics of ours for the last 4 months. The ride quality is nice. The engine is smooth and quiet. Handling and footing are predictable. The main problem is the tech. Subarus usually lag behind and when the play catch-up like this it’s a failure. I trust everything about the motor, trans, and anything mechanical. Besides it’s REAL easy to maintain and repair. But the electronics and tech suck.
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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I have to ask how can you be disappointed with the MPG's on a 6 cylinder all wheel drive vehicle of this size? Show me a more efficient option!
It's pretty hard to find direct competitors to the Outback, but the latest gen CRV is close and nearly identical in size. The 1.5T is not far behind the 3.6 performance wise, but has a 6-7mpg improvement.

There are quite a few other bigger and/or more powerful SUV's that get similar mpg. Pilot, Highlander, & CX9 are a couple options. Even the massive Chevy Traverse is quicker and gets slightly better mpg. That being said, the 3.6 is a nice setup in the OB. It's quiet, smooth, and matches up nicely with the CVT. You might gain 2mpg and maybe a little better performance with a more modern power plant, but like you said...I'm not sure why someone would be disappointed with 26 out of this vehicle. I'd be more disappointed getting 30mpg from the 2.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for this feedback. Glad to hear how confident you are in the mechanicals, what's your grip with the tech and how bothersome has it been for you? I'm guessing you're referring to the known issues with the key FOB, ARB, and infotainment system all not working right? Would any of the tech issues you've noticed keep you from making the same buying decision again?
 

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We’ve enjoyed the mechanics of ours for the last 4 months. The ride quality is nice. The engine is smooth and quiet. Handling and footing are predictable. The main problem is the tech. Subarus usually lag behind and when the play catch-up like this it’s a failure. I trust everything about the motor, trans, and anything mechanical. Besides it’s REAL easy to maintain and repair. But the electronics and tech suck.
My reply in Post #8 was to you but I forgot quote you!
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited, all dressed
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Would any of the tech issues you've noticed keep you from making the same buying decision again?
I just updated to a 2018 3.6R Limited from a 2015 2.4i Limited fully aware of the reports of head unit mayhem posted on this forum. I have not yet experienced any of them.

The larger engine is a much smoother drive than the four cylinder. Not as “green”, can’t get the impressively long range of the four, and more expensive to buy and to feed, but it is serene and extremely comfortable on the road yet with punch in reserve when you need it.

The Tomtom-based Nav system in the 2018 is infinitely better than the previous version, whoever produced that one.
 

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I have to ask how can you be disappointed with the MPG's on a 6 cylinder all wheel drive vehicle of this size? Show me a more efficient option!
Sorry, that's not what I meant. I should have been more clear - that commentary was directed at the auto industry at large, not at Subaru specifically.

To be clear, my purchase of the Outback was an informed decision. I knew what to expect going in, and the car has met all my expectations. I don't think I could have purchased an equivalent-across-the-board vehicle that also has better fuel economy. I wasn't picking on Subaru, just trying to be objective. I think that's especially relevant when addressing an OP who is coming in with a question about real-world experiences.
 

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2017 Outback
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179 Posts
it’s an absolute beast in the winter.
I agree, I work out of town and drive the Midwest about 800 miles a week in all kinds of weather, the tires are kinda crappy, but not even the tires can prevent me from getting where I am going, I just travelled thru a 14" wet snowfall last week, piece of cake. Very comfortable, great gas mileage, quiet, ...


I love the car but do not like most of the "automatic" functions, I'd prefer to turn things on and off myself.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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I came to this forum looking for the scoop on the 2018 OB. I've found a lot of info and am so grateful for forums like these. It seems like the disappointed voices drown out the satisfied ones. It'd be great to hear from 2018 owners who are happy and what they love so much about their car. I was looking at 2 year old BMW X3s and test drove the OB because I can get a brand new one, better equipped, for just a bit more coin. Turns out I liked it quite a bit!
While the Subaru will most likely prove to be more reliable, the X3 would have been more enjoyable to drive in the long term.

My OB is a nice car and like my wife's Forester I would recommend them to anyone looking for basic, reliable transportation. My wife loves her Forester because that is exactly what she wants. I get no thrill from it, that is why I've been test driving possible replacement vehicles.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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... watch out for them helicopters.
... or gliders! This guy was ridge running at the Heavenly Mountain ski area on the south side of Lake Tahoe. The photo was shot from the observation deck near the top of the gondola lift, at 9,123 feet elevation.

 

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18 Outback 3.6r Touring
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My reply in Post #8 was to you but I forgot quote you!
As you mentioned, reading around the forums you'll find stuff. Don't limit yourself in the gen5 discussion. The radio conversation is in the electronic discussion. So you need to look thru other The radio/starlink seems to be the biggest complaint. For us the auto or high-beam assist didn't meet our needs and had to have the dealer turn it off. The RAB is poorly implemented as it "get confused", subaru's words, and disables itself. There's a few other threads on it as well. That could not be turned off. Though we start questioning why buy a $40K car to then have the dealer turn off it's features? Others have complained about battery, fobs, etc...
The eyesight, adaptive cruise and lane keep work well. Only glitch with the new gen3 eyesight we had was pulling the car into the garage. It thinks our refrigerator or something is a person and won't let us pull all the way till we turn off the system. It is a big improvement over the previous gen eyesight where our car would slam on the brakes approaching a construction zone or lane shifts. Couldn't tell you how many times we'd hear the screeching of brakes behind us and cringe thinking we were about to take a rear end hit. With all the construction here it was the worse! And it could be permanently disabled. Cruise control is not able to maintain speed, but it's not really the fault of the system. It's the combination of other cars on the road and the minimum distance. Example, cruising in the right lane set at 70mph. Car passes us on the left, then pulls into our lane. The cruise control slow down, some times apply brakes, to keep a distance away. This causes the car behind us to move to the left and pass us then pull in front of use. Again slowing down. Typically we find ourselves doing 45-50mph on a 70mph highway with the cruise set at 70mph. Most long highway trips we can't use the adaptive cruise control. I would think this would be typical with any car's adaptive cruise and not just limited to Subaru.
 

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I am on our third OB. Great cars. Have a Toyota Van and love that as well, but if my wife and I are going out, unless we need van like volume, we take the OB. Nothing like it in snow. Nothing.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
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I have to ask how can you be disappointed with the MPG's on a 6 cylinder all wheel drive vehicle of this size? Show me a more efficient option!
Considering all of the mechanical & engineering advancements since the late '60s, One could (and should) assume a greater gains in mileage.

1. Engines were designed to be more efficient, powerful, and lighter
2. Vehicle weights (to a certain extent) have been reduced.
3. Aerodynamic drag has been drastically reduced
4. General Road quality has been improved
5. Tire quality is substantially better

It could be argued that the MPG ranges for 4, 6, & 8 cylinder engines are set in order keep the oil companies going. It could also be argued that we are doing more with cars now than what was done in the past which limit huge gains. Any way you look at it, there are still unanswered questions that lead to more questions.

Just a thought...

Cheers!
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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It could be argued that the MPG ranges for 4, 6, & 8 cylinder engines are set in order keep the oil companies going.
Ah, yes. Next will be the fabled 200 mpg carburetor!
 
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