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I am car shopping at the moment, looking at a 2013 outback. Just wanted to hear some real world reviews from actual drivers. I know the reviews, read consumer reports, its a great car. But with every great thing, come the little things things that seem to be over looked.

2 options I am considering, first is a 2012 Outback, convienience package, slightly cheaper but manual, which I dont mind but would prefer an automatic. The other is the 2013, same model, or possibly the touring addition.

The salesmen said there was very slight improvements to the suspension and fuel range in the 2013, but hardly noticeable.

So what are the issues that could be expected down the road with these cars?
 

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dont waste your time talking to that salesman again. he wouldn't know his ass from a whole in the ground. the '13 is very very different from the '10-'12 models. find another dealer or at least salesman
 

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2 options I am considering, first is a 2012 Outback, convienience package, slightly cheaper but manual, which I dont mind but would prefer an automatic. The other is the 2013, same model, or possibly the touring addition.
Sounds like they have '12 manual they are trying to get rid of. I don't know what the "touring addition" means. What, exactly, does that add?

This part:
The salesmen said there was very slight improvements to the suspension and fuel range in the 2013, but hardly noticeable.
sounds like BS to try and downplay the improvements on the '13. Either he is full of ****, or hasn't bothered to learn about the product he is selling. The suspension improvements have been documented here and lots of people that have driven both have noticed the difference.

It's also a completely different motor (but not brand new, just new to the outback) - unless you are looking at H6, but then the fuel range improvement wouldn't have been part of the conversation.

Only "slightly cheaper" and "I would prefer an automatic" means don't consider that car.
 

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I just bought my first Subaru and have about 1k miles on it...... I'm still undecided if I would do it again. Mine has a wandering problem when driving down the road that I have never experienced before.
 

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My two cents, after going through a similar evaluation.

The 2012 and 2013 are very different, particularly with the suspension. The 2012 is very smooth, road deadening luxury kind of ride. The 2013 is a sharper, better handling, slightly rougher BMW 3 series kind of ride (with better road handling characteristics to boot). We settled on the 2013, although since we plan to use ours as a highway cruiser the smooth riding 2012 had some merits. No real way to describe it but the difference is very apparent if you drive both back to back.

I'm in the 2 week old 500 mile 'juries still out' thought of our 2013 Limited. This car is the perfect compromise ... If the criteria is fuel mileage, cargo capacity, comfort, handling, AWD, or 'classiness,' it does each adequately but doesn't shine in any one thing. It's a compromise in each but when you combine everything I don't know what's better. Anyway, no overwhelming great emotion but a good thought that we bought a good set of comfortable shoes.
 

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I'm in the same boat, getting ready to pull the trigger on a 2013 2.5 Premium w/ manual trans. My concern is the shimmying/wandering issue that people are complaining about. Has anyone identified the cause of the issue? Is this a problem inherent in the Outback, or does it just affect some of them?

Any other issues I should look for before taking delivery?
 

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I too have my concerns about the alignment issues some have reported. The shimmy thing seems to be an early Gen 4 issue that as been resolved? The '13 I test drove was hands free straight on Interstate & two lane frontage road highway, and when you consider the number of cars vs. the number of complaints (always louder) I'm hoping I have better than average chance of not having to do an alignment on the one I've ordered.

The only other unmentioned thing between 12 & 13 I could think of is if left foot braking is important to your ice-style then the 13 is out.
 

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I just bought my first Subaru and have about 1k miles on it...... I'm still undecided if I would do it again. Mine has a wandering problem when driving down the road that I have never experienced before.
A66auto
If you haven't already, do a search on this forum for 'wandering' or 'lane wandering'. These threads are quite long so here are the main points I came away with from reading them and from my own experience:
1- factory alignments are not always in spec (take to dealer right away for re-alignment to ensure coverage under warranty)
2- Outbacks are very sensitive to slight out-of-specification toe angles
3- 0 degrees toe angle on all four wheels has corrected the problem for some of us
4- 19mm rear sway bar makes a positive difference in handling (however, does not 'cure' the wandering problem - a correct alignment does this)
 

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I had to have an alignment but I am fine now. The shakes are over with so I wish people would quit bringing it up. I added the 19mm for the fun driving it brings in corners but it does help in high winds as well. You need to drive one your self to really know but we love ours.
 

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I have a little over 1,000 miles on my 2013 Premium with the manual transmission. Here are my feelings:
-I love my Outback. If it was totaled tomorrow, I would go and buy another just like it.
-The Outback has a very touchy steering. I think most of the wandering problems are the driver over-steering and over correcting, however, I could see an alignment issue making the problem worse. My wife has no issues keeping a straight line. I wandered a little until I got used to the car and but I still wander if I straight from driving my 3/4 work truck to the car.
-The first gear is a little on the tall side but it is manageable once you get used to it. The other gear ratios are almost perfect. Clutch pedal travel is long but manageable.
-The new FB25 engine is very impressive for a four cylinder in a car like an Outback. It isn't fast but it does quite well for what it is.
-Fuel mileage is very decent for an AWD wagon.
-The suspension is almost perfect in terms of being firm yet smooth.
-I'm very impressed with the handling for a car with so much ground clearance.
-Maintenance and repairs are going to be a breeze if you plan on doing your own maintenance (compared to most other new vehicles).
-I have a couple very small complaints about the interior (such as the flimsy plastic trim piece on the driver's seat and cups in the cupholder being partially in the way of the shifter) but overall the interior layout is very good.
-There is definitely an improvement during the break-in period. Everything from the engine power to engine hesitation to the clutch friction zone to the shifter feels much better now then it did when brand new.
-I do not have any shimmies or shakes. I get a slight vibration until the tires warm up but that is because I have to park on a rock layered parking lot which plays heck on tires.
-The low beam highlights were aimed way too low from the factory (and I mean dangerous low). The over-driving the headlights speed would occur at about 25 mph. They are much better now that I raised them to the max legal height.

Again, I would buy my car again in a heartbeat. Most of my complaints are nothing compared to all of the positives of the car. I would recommend a 2013 over a 2012 for the improvements.
 

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I have a very early build 10 and aside from some bugs I would buy again. For 23k I got a heck of a car. Interior layout is great but I feel the materials are on the cheap side and wear a little to quickly. The engine is great whatever one you choose, the EJ series in the 10-12 years or the new FB. Can not comment on the trans since mine is a auto but I can tell you the 6 speed has some quirks. Overall a great value for the money
 

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I bought a 2012 Legacy in June for the same reason you are considering. The price break was extensive, so I still feel like I made the correct choice. I was able to save around $5k. A friend bought a 2013 Outback about a month later, first one on the lot. He has had none of the wandering problems noted. I do think his engine is a little quieter and smoother than mine. I would consider the amount of savings in your decision. If it is only $1,000 in savings I would go with the '13. If it is significantly more than that, I think you will be happy with the '12 as well and save some cash.
 

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I just bought my first Subaru and have about 1k miles on it...... I'm still undecided if I would do it again. Mine has a wandering problem when driving down the road that I have never experienced before.
My sentiments exactly. Have had my car 4 weeks, just over 800 miles. The wandering, especially on the highway, can be unnerving. The sad part is, I love the car in every other respect. Real driving on winding roads feels solid and holds the road. Plenty of acceleration for me. Unfortunately, the majority of my driving is my highway commute. Bought the car for the AWD and winter driving. I am scheduled for an alignment check tomorrow. I am actually hoping it is off so that I can see some improvement. Also trying to monitor the tires for radial pull. Also read that some people felt the condition improved with more miles on the car.
 

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My 2 cents.

I lurked here for a few years while trying and considering about everything as replacement for my gen 3 Toyota 4Runner. I needed something that would be an all weather service rig for my business, serve my time as trail builder and ski club director, then add having family of 5. Some more background would be having had a nice Volvo wagon traded for Sienna and friends with BMW, VW, Honda, Buick and Ford competition.

We got my mother in law the Gen 4, Rev 1 exactly a year prior to my getting the 2013 (Rev 2 by comparison).

With both in the family and driving both in same places I'll offer the following. Both are fine cars and I wouldn't be throwing money down the toilet to buy the 2013 Rev 2 if I had a perfectly fine Rev 1. The earlier version is more toward Buick comfort ride if the later is more like a BMW, VW or sports car.

Yesterday I did a 380 mile round trip to winterize our cabin in strong head winds up and nasty side winds back. I hit 1000 miles on the way so felt fine keeping freeway speeds and letting the tach go north of 3000 if it wanted to. My conclusion getting home late was the 2013 and 4 cyl are awesome. I had reservations about seat comfort but I was fine with much driving in one day. The car held well as I watched the wind blow others around and knew that it was better than my mother in law's Rev 1.

I've already had the Outback on the service road at my ski area and in trail builder service. It keeps traction where my 4Runner had to be locked, and where our Sienna can't go if it has rained. The trip to one of trail locations is a paved but narrow and uneven twisty and hilly road. On that road like the cross winds - it stands out as an excellent vehicle.

FWIW: My 3 kids liked the back bench seat of the Outback more than it's common and similar competitors.

Some humor: I did that trip yesterday with new iPhone 5 in addition to new car. I was more impressed with the Outback than my iPhone 5.

:)
 

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2012 Outback, convienience package, slightly cheaper but manual
A leftover manual should be SERIOUSLY cheaper. Last January, we bought
a leftover 2011 6MT Premium (with AWP, Moonroof & wheel arch moldings).

MSRP: $28,080; selling price: $23,500 + tax & tags

BTW, I wouldn't buy a newer OB -- because they no longer offer MT + moonroof.

...shop 'til ya drop,

Looby
 

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...The Outback has a very touchy steering. I think most of the wandering problems are the driver over-steering and over correcting, however, I could see an alignment issue making the problem worse. My wife has no issues keeping a straight line. I wandered a little until I got used to the car and but I still wander if I straight from driving my 3/4 work truck to the car...
That seems to be true for many new cars and suvs. I get to drive a lot of new cars, and many have very light steering, especially at lower speeds. My current 11 KIA Sedona has a terrible case of the wanders, I'm always having to correct the centering. It almost remindes me of the vintage movies, where the drivers are always moving the steering wheel (mostly to show that the car is moving, but back in the day, my 51 Ford (pre power steering) needed a lot of correction as I recall.
 

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I purchased my first Subaru ever in March of this year. Got a '12 OB Premium 2.5 CVT. After doing the rear sway bar upgrade I have to say I could not be happier with the vehicle. The vehicle has never been back to the dealer since the day I drove it home.
I have made several SF Bay Area to LA trips and a few to Tahoe and Yosemite. I have been getting 28-30 mpg's on the highway and the vehicle tows my teardrop trailer well. I am 6'2" and 250# and find the vehicle quite comfortable - although like many on this board I do wish the seats had more thigh support.
All in all I have not once regretted my purchase! Good luck in your purchase. :D
 

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To those with wandering have you taken it back to the dealer and asked for an alignment check? If not you need to do so. Also wandering means what? More times than not wandering if the alignment is spot on is caused by the tires, more accurately tramlining which both my M3 BMW do with Michelin Pilot Sports. So what that is the nature of the beast. I also don't find the steering light or sensitive at all. It seems that the modulation of the input is about right. Probably depends on the car or truck you drive besides the Outback.

From everything I have seen in Ohio and Florida there is no great price break for a 12 compared to a 13 they were selling for the same price. I was fortunate to get a 13 for a good bit under invoice using the techniques provided on this forum.

What engine and transmission you choose is up to you but for me the 2.5 with the new transmission was way too buzzy at highway speeds over the 3.6L and I was not happy with the HP given my application. Other may find the 2.5L spot on. I would have bought a manual in a heart beat but my significant other can't drive one thus life's compromise.

My car is due this week but I was extremely impressed with both the Forester and Outback in super soft sand. I drive a friends Forester 12 model often and it is an excellent vehicle and the Outback even better.

I am not a fan of Consumer Reports ratings because it omits other aspects which are subjective that add to the value and experience with the car but in this case I totally agree this is an excellent vehicle you will never be sorry. And should you decide you don't like it just look at the classified section of the paper for a used one, you will find very few out there and you can resell it in a minute.

I looked at a lot of other vehicles before going to the Outback to include the new X1 and X3 BMWs as well as the Highlander and none of them seems to be the same package of size, performance, comfort, reliability and over all fun as is the Outback.

Good luck on your decision...
 

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Probably depends on the car or truck you drive besides the Outback.
If I drive my Outback for a while and get in my Suburban I always moan a little that the steering is so light and over boosted. If I drive the Suburban for a couple hundred miles and get back into the Outback I have to adjust back to the precise firmer steering. I prefer the Outback but bouncing back and forth has an effect.
 
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