I purchased our 2013 3.6R in early November 2015 after nearly a year of research. I wanted the best bang-for-the-buck SUV to fit our particular needs. My research pointed me to the 3.6R engine mated to the 5EAT transmission. That is exactly what I bought (at 25,500 miles). The vehicle now has 37,300 miles. Other than a new set of General Altimax RT43 tires last December, all I have done is routine maintenance. It did have a minor recall to replace a shield on the windshield wiper motor assembly earlier this year. No big deal. This vehicle has done everything we have asked it to do in all sorts of weather conditions including ice and snow.
As additional insurance against premature transmission failure, I do a simple ATF drain-and-fill every 30,000 miles using Subaru HP ATF. About $7 per quart at my local dealership. I get between 4.5 and 5 quarts out of it during the ATF pan drain, so that's about $35 per drain-and-fill procedure. Money and time well spent because fresh ATF is always a beneficial decision. There is no such animal as "lifetime fluid".
I purchased a used 2012 3.6r 4yrs ago and am very pleased with my purchase, 111,000 miles so far, no major problems to report. In fact, have not had to replace the brake pads yet, incredible. Slight oil consumption, about 1qt/3000 miles,but I believe this is somewhat typical for the 4<sup>th</sup> gen outback. I did the research when looking for my vehicle, and concluded the 3.6r outback was the best all-around choice for practicality and performance. Good luck!
We have a 2011 3.6 Limited purchased new. 51K miles and so far only routine maintenance. I had the brake fluid changed as recommended at 30K, replaced the battery twice (once under warranty at 2 years and then again last fall before winter), and replaced the tires at about 45K. And had to replace the little pneumatic hood support struts this spring. We usually get 27 mpg on the road and average about 22 overall in mostly local driving. I change the oil every 5K using Mobil 1 and have had zero oil consumption problems.
My 2012 3.6, bought new, now has 75K miles and had no problems. I don't even have to add any oil between 7.5k mile oil changes using Mobil1. I replaced tires at 52k miles and had a brake fluid flush at 60k miles. No issues.
I bought a 2013 3.6 about 8 months ago now. It had about 55,000 miles on it when I got it and a few months after bringing it home I had a problem where the low oil pressure light came on and stayed on. SOA did handle it though and they had to pull the motor and do some repairs (replaced some bearings) but I think it was just a weird fluke. I love the car.
2012 3.6R with 140K on mostly highway miles. Adding 1/2 qt engine oil every OCI period of 5K. Replaced radiator last month (leak at bottom where plastic meets metal - of course). Great car, engine, AT transmission. Hope to run it past 250K.