Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-

I'm finding it hard to decide between these two:
a) 2013 Outback 2.5i Premium.
b) 2012 Acura TSX Sports Wagon.

Points I'm considering:
1. I live in the sunny California. So, the AWD is not a *MUST*.
2. I want my Subaru with leather seats (I have a kid. Cleaning up leather is more hassle free than fabric). For Subaru, I need to spend extra $1200. On Acura, it is standard.
3. Acura has a better stock audio system than Subaru.
4. Subaru has better space than Acura.
5. Acura is slightly more powerful than Subaru, but uses *Premium* fuel.
6. I like the look of Acura better. Honestly, I liked the previous generation Subaru Outback the best, when it comes to look.
7. Towing does not matter *AT ALL*.
8. Both have the same fuel efficiency (23/30).

What I'm not sure:
1. Resale value after 4 or 5 years?
2. Overall maintenance over this period?
3. Reliability and safety?

If I add leather seats and upgraded audio to my Subaru, we are talking about almost the same price.

I'm sure many people in this forum would have had similar dilema. Your thoughts are much appreciated!!

Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
Joined
·
18,669 Posts
which one do you prefer to drive?
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
Joined
·
474 Posts
The TSX wagon is a fine automobile. Like Texan said, it's all about which one you like driving more.

The power train on the Acura is just as bullet proof as what you get on the Subie though the tech and interior bits aren't nearly as simple as what you get on the Outback so longevity won't be as good.

If you switch up every five years or so then the Acura is probably the way to go. If you're a long term owner then I'd go Subaru. Why you ask? Pay attention to older Acuras on the road. They don't age very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks folks.

Honestly, I will have to test drive the Subaru again.
I test drove the 2012 Outback, and the dealer rep was with me. He just let me drive for 2 freeway exits. I could infer nothing based on that.
And I hear there are subtle differences for the good, when it comes to the ride of 2013 OB.

OTOH, the Acura dealer gave me the TSX wagon for a full 2 hours with a full tank of gas. So, I could drive it on freeway, downtown etc to get a good feel.
So, at this point, to me, Subaru is still kind of an unknown quantity... Acura, I know what I'll get..

To the poster who said, "Acura's don't age well", what exactly do you mean?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
Acura quality hasn't been the poster child of Honda past the last few years so really you don't know what your getting regarding that. However if you like a sporty road focused wagon that is quite enjoyable to drive on the pavement and AWD really is not a major need or concern then the Acura wagon will make you happy.

The Outback is by design after a very different market - it is a Legacy Wagon which has been done up with SUV bulky plastic bits and has had the suspension tuned to provide as best as possible off road ability while not making it a complete disaster while on the pavement - which generally translates to it gets the job done OK on pavement and does decent off pavement - but really is not excellent at either pavement or off road its simply a compromise on both surfaces.

Even though I do take our Subarus off road primarily dirt roads 99% of my driving is all on pavement. I found over many years that any car does quiet well on dirt roads as long as it does not get too technical- our legacy was just fine on dirt roads and major snow storms - and it drove great on the pavement. The outback on the other hand doesn't drive so nice on the pavement and has a very slight advantage over the old legacy regarding more technical off pavement use - but I would still prefer a more on pavement focus given thats were I am most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
TSX Wagon

Hey there,

Came across your thread and thought I would reply as I own a 2011 TSX wagon with tech package. Have had it about a year-and-a-half.

Overall I really like the car, but here are some unvarnished opinions:

1. Car is adequately peppy but def could use some more power, or at least a 6th gear on the low-end to make launch quicker. The engine is wonderful but you really need to use the paddle shifters to get the most out of it, the auto tranny is hopelessly tuned towards economy. But you've already driven so you know what it drives like.

2. Car gets phenomenal mileage on the highway--we've seen as much as 36mpg--but is surprisingly thirsty around town, averaging around 24 mpg around town in stop-and-go.

3. Be sure you check out the back seat to make sure it's big enough for you, it's pretty tight

The car has been absolutely trouble free, which is one reason why we bought a Honda... er... Acura. Interesting that one poster questions Honda's quality, I have never heard that. I have heard that Subies with their AWD require more, and more expensive maintenance over the life of the car. Nothing against Subie, but it's just more complexity to maintain. Thus, if you don't need the AWD, there are some benfits IMHO to eschewing it. (This is one reason, along with price, why we didn't get an Audi A4 Avant).

The way I look at it, Subies are very functional, and somewhat utilitarian. The Acura is sportier, flashier, and has more creature comforts. We wanted a "near luxury car" so the Acura really stood out for us. But for someone that camps a lot or drives on rougher roads, the Subie would likely be a better choice.

So I agree that it really comes down to what you're looking for. Again, though, if you like the design and features of the Acura, I think you'll be very happy with the car.

Finally, if you're interested, there is a comparo I found a few months ago between the Outback (3.6) and the TSX, which I think makes some valid points (again coming down to personal taste and what features are important to you).

Clash of the Wagon Titans: 2012 Acura TSX Sport Wagon vs. 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited | Autobytel.com

Have fun whatever you decide!
 

·
Registered
2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
Joined
·
396 Posts
Are Hondas/Acuras still as noisy on the road as they used to be? My dad had an 03 MDX new and I couldn't believe a luxury SUV could get away with being so loud. Suspension noise, road noise, wind noise, everything!
He has a new Pilot now and it's no better.
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
Joined
·
474 Posts
To the poster who said, "Acura's don't age well", what exactly do you mean?
This is my opinion of course. I find that Hondas and Acuras are already a bit aged even before they leave the lot. That's not to say they're not built well and won't last. They absolutely will. To me, a five year old Acura has an appearance on par with a 10 year old car. For the Honda familiar this is a good thing.
Are Hondas/Acuras still as noisy on the road as they used to be? My dad had an 03 MDX new and I couldn't believe a luxury SUV could get away with being so loud. Suspension noise, road noise, wind noise, everything!
He has a new Pilot now and it's no better.
They're not as bad. Sound deadening is being used more now than before but you're still going to get a lot of engine and road noise which is a bit of a Honda hallmark. What you won't hear is a lot of squeaks of rattles. Dedicated Honda/Acura owners don't notice this.
 

·
Registered
2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
Joined
·
5,022 Posts
...all these comparisons are an apples and oranges type of comparison and it just boils down to which one you like best. The PIA is getting to the point where you can make up you mind with out second guessing yourself.

Good luck with your final decission...and there is no such thing as oranpples...lol...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
The honda forums are nearly a triage location for figuring out how to get broken transmissions replaced - etc etc etc.

I really do not consider any of the larger auto makers any different regarding reliability these days - the only difference between them is how they handle customers and product issues. Honda is generally viewed as having the attitude that our "--it" don't stink and our cars never break so this problem your having is on you. Toyota was suffering from this in a big way till more recently after getting kicked down the list a few notches for some major screw ups. In the end all the large auto makers who are not German - have a very common level of failure and number of product issues.

Subaru is puny regarding company size and actually can't afford a massive, expensive and quite stupid oversight like transmissions failing on such a level that all the owners know they must dump the car by x or when x starts happening or your hosed AKA honda/Acura. All the honda owners and Acura owners I know have all had at least one or two transmissions put in their cars from the mini van - to the Hot Acura Sedan - to the Honda Pilot and the accord.
 

·
Registered
2010 2.5 Ltd. 2009 OBS
Joined
·
138 Posts
Also in socal here.
i'd go with the outback for the reasons below:
1) more room, cargo, head, rear
2) cheaper maintenance costs with the 2.5i
3) likely cheaper insurance rates (have not compared the two)
4) access to maintenance (have you seen the lines at Acura dealers on saturday mornings? Not as bad as hondas or toyotas but it's quite long)
5) 4wd is not just for snow or mud, it does occasionally rain here in socal and when it does, it help with traction and control.
6) acura will likely kill that wagon very soon.

hope this helps.

Ric
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
Joined
·
474 Posts
The TSX wagon will be dead soon. It's based on the Eurospec Accord which is being eliminated. The ILX is replacing it as the entry model. The TSX and TL will probably merge into one model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Two deal breakers for me with the Acura:

No spare. A can of goop??? If you live and drive in the Western US like we do, you are often more than 100 miles from a tire or help. No thanks - even if they did save a few bucks.

That immovable headrest (only up and down) on the passenger side that makes the passenger seat a torture seat for my 5'2" wife. The headrest hits her exactly wrong. After a very short ride, she advised that she wouldn't ride across town in the thing. Let me tell you that no matter what you are told, one size does not fit all.
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 3.6 Ltd
Joined
·
44 Posts
FWIW, how do the closest dealerships compare, especially the service departments? I delayed replacing my 2005 OB with another Subaru in part because the service dept. at my dealer was at best annoying and usually pushy. New owners changed things and now taking my 2012 in for service is more satisfying.
 

·
Registered
2013 2.5i Limited
Joined
·
22 Posts
My wife and I are also trying to decide between the Outback and TSX wagon and we also live in CA where we don't need the AWD. I have owned 4 different Hondas with two going over 200K and never had any failures except an Alternator in my CRX.

I think I'm going to go with an Outback for our family car.

I drive an 08 Ridgeline and I've noticed that the Honda quality has been going down. Nothing really major, I have little rattles that I never had before. The mileage stinks. Water stains my seats. The OEM stereo will not play MP3 disks nor does it have an AUX in. Also, I really think Honda is trying to make their cars as ulgy as possible.

I love an Ulgy car ( I've owned an Element and Drive a Ridgeline), but Honda is starting to get carried away. The TSX wagon is a really cool car to drive, ride in, and I think it looks better than the Outback, but I just want to try something different.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback Premium 6MT fully loaded
Joined
·
55 Posts
For what its worth I considered and test drove the TSX wagon before finally purchasing the Outback. The thing that struck me immediately was how underpowered it felt for a supposedly 200hp car. The handling also made it feel bigger than it is, just kind of heavy. I also really did not like the layout of the car, much smaller rear seats and overly large wheel wells take up a huge amount of the back. The cockpit on the otherhand was much much nicer than the subaru, but you are not buying a two-seat sport car here.
 

·
Registered
2010 OB 3.6R limited
Joined
·
3,284 Posts
All the honda owners and Acura owners I know have all had at least one or two transmissions put in their cars from the mini van - to the Hot Acura Sedan - to the Honda Pilot and the accord.
My last 2 cars were Honda... Nothing wrong with them except 1 Oxygen sensor need replacement,. That"s 17 yrs of use btw the 2 cars... I would say Honda are very reliable...on the other hand, I have to replace (under warranty) my OB battery after 2.5 yrs of use.....Subaru need 14.5 maintenance free yrs to tie Honda.... That's NIT gonna happen....

and one of the Honda was a new (then) Hybrid (very first year),,,,,
 

·
Banned
2007 Outback XT Ltd
Joined
·
847 Posts
I like both brands - my wife's daily driver is a 2010 TL SH-AWD (manual, 20K miles) and our other get around car is a '07 Outback XT Ltd (automatic, 33K miles). I like both a lot, but if I had to give one up it would be the Outback, without hesitation.

The interior build quality and general NHV is better on the Acura, and it just feels better built. The Subaru engine feels very industrial. I don't care how powerful the turbo motor is - it always sounds harsh and busy. The TL engine is turbine smooth, revs freely and sounds wonderful above 4000 rpm (after I opened up the airbox).

The OB has had a couple of minor issues including a failed O2 sensor that made it almost undriveable, and servicing at 3500 mile intervals, the TL has had nothing but infrequent fluid changes (when HAL the computer tells me they are due). The TL requires one third the maintenance, but of course it isn't a turbo.

I can't comment on the TSX since I required AWD and a decent engine power, neither of which is available in that car. I love the look, even better than my Gen 3 OB. Compared to the Gen 4 OB, it is a stunning beauty queen. The new OBs are just bland SUVs..... If I could have bought a 3.0 liter AWD TSX (or a turbo four cylinder), I would have been all over that car two years ago.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

·
Registered
2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
Joined
·
184 Posts
I would not hesitate at all to buy a Honda vehicle. From a pure reliability standpoint, they and Toyota are it. That said, certain models were dogged with issues. The 6th generation automatic Accords were recognized to suffer transmission problems, in the same way certain generations of our Outbacks suffer head gasket problems. But the other generations of the cars are doing just fine.

The way I see it is the Subaru's just have more...spirit. It's difficult to describe, but they possess a character the Honda's do not. I have a Civic that is approaching 100K with no issues at all, but its such a clinical car. It works like a swiss watch. My Outback, on the other hand, feels organic. It feels like a living being with attitude and spunk. I suppose it depends on which you value more, but for that I'm drawn more to the Subaru.

Might I also suggest a 3rd Japanese contender into your selection: the new Mazda 6 Wagon. The previous 6's were very much a driver's car. It will be interesting to see what the new version will do.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top