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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in an Outback and trying to lessen my chances of getting a problematic engine and/or transmission.

What's the consensus on the 2.5 vs. 3.6r engine? I would love the extra power, for no other reason than a possibly smoother driving experience and extra oomph when desired.
Are the 3.6r engines less prone to oil consumption than the 2.5s?

I'm coming from an Accord 2.4 / i4, 5-speed manual, so I do appreciate a car that provides road feedback.
I've read than 2016-17 have better road feedback than 2018, truth to that thought?

Are there less problematic years, engine/trans. combos I should look for in particular?

cheers,
Jason
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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What's the consensus on the 2.5 vs. 3.6r engine?
It's talked about ad nauseam here because simply put: there isn't one.

If you want to read up, check this thread out here: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/185-irreconcilable-differences/378217-4-cylinder-6-cylinder-thread.html

My best advice is to drive one of each and see which one you like more.

The rest of your question doesn't have a good answer if you don't specify what model years you're interested in getting.

I'm assuming 2015-2019 since you posted in Gen 5. In which case, they're all the same.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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While I only have 7000 miles on mine, it didn't use a drop of oil before the first service at 6000. And I far prefer the 3.6 for a more "refined" experience. Not trying to pick a fight about the merits between the 2.5 and 3.6. Just my personal preference.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Use the forum search feature with some of the terms in your message -- you'll find many threads/posts about engines, oil consumption, steering/driving feel, ride, transmissions, etc.

But more important than reading the forum is to test drive vehicles with different engines and trims (check the tire pressure before you drive) to determine which will be best for you -- and do that for longer than a few minutes around a block -- sit in the vehicle for a while, make sure you can get into a comfortable driving position, take it out on highways (and try adaptive cruise control) and city streets, if the head unit functionality is important pair your phone, try some CDs, try a USB, etc. -- does it do what you want it to do? And if you find one you like make an offer. Good luck.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Was it 2016 or 2017 when the Eyesight cameras went from monochrome to color?
MY 2015 for Legacy/Outback. It's the 2nd Gen EyeSight system in North America, but it's the 3rd Gen in Japan. Confusing, eh?
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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Have you considered the disadvantages of AWD?

Tire rotations are even more important as the tires cannot wear unevenly without causing other expensive drivetrain issues.

Unrepairable flat tires become a huge expense on AWD vehicles as you'll end up needing to purchase all 4 tires if they have more than a few thousand miles on them.

Fuel economy takes a hit compared to a FWD vehicle.

You gotta ask yourself: Do you really need AWD? Do you see many days of wintry weather with icy roads?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have you considered the disadvantages of AWD?

Tire rotations are even more important as the tires cannot wear unevenly without causing other expensive drivetrain issues.

Unrepairable flat tires become a huge expense on AWD vehicles as you'll end up needing to purchase all 4 tires if they have more than a few thousand miles on them.

Fuel economy takes a hit compared to a FWD vehicle.

You gotta ask yourself: Do you really need AWD? Do you see many days of wintry weather with icy roads?
A fair question. Do I really 'need' AWD? Likely not - but isn't potential added safety worth it?
I live in southern Ontario,Canada and we can have decent winters here, with heavy snow fall and slick roads.
I've survived a few decades of driving with only fwd/rwd vehicles with winter tires.

I realise the routine maintenance will be more for an awd vehicle and a Subaru like this, undoubtedly more expensive to keep running than my car.
Yet, I really need a larger vehicle and figure awd would be nice to try for the potential added safety.
I'm focusing on Subaru,Honda and Toyota. Subaru has the clear lead in the awd department, but perhaps a CR-V awd would be good enough storage/functionality for my needs.
I also really find the Outback the most attractive out of all the other options in this price bracket. I sometimes also get tired of the buzzy nature of my i4 Accord (5-speed manual), in the lower gears, but that's just the way it goes.
I've only had experience with Honda, Nissan & Toyota, Oldsmobile,Lincoln fwd/rwd cars. No Subaru yet.
Yes - it's time for test drives.

Jason

Note: I was really impressed with Consumer Reports winter driving comparison of 2016 model year Forester/Rav4/CR-Vs. I was amazed how effortless the Subaru system appeared to handle the snow vs. the others. That's what caught my interest in Subaru initially.
 

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2018 Subaru OB Premium
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I enjoy our 2.5i

Very comfortable ride, decent fuel economy, and if I've burned oil it's a negligible amount. Roughly at 3,000 miles, so I haven't even changed my oil yet lol. The interior is much nicer than people give it credit for, we traded my thumping 6.2 liter Camaro and my wifes Honda Fit for this. The interior is comfortable, plenty of soft touches, and really heads above both of the cars we traded in. My Camaro had plenty of soft padding but my wifes Fit was disgustingly uncomfortable for any price IMO. So I think you'll be happy with an OB!
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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It doesn't require snow for AWD to be worth it. Here in Seattle we seldom get much snow, but have wet roads a large part of the year. AWD can absolutely be worth it under these conditions as well.
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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I'm assuming 2015-2019 since you posted in Gen 5. In which case, they're all the same.

The '18+ has quite a few changes that impact the drive. Dampers re-tuned for a softer ride which may or may not impact handling. Electronic steering/brakes re-tuned as well.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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The '18+ has quite a few changes that impact the drive. Dampers re-tuned for a softer ride which may or may not impact handling. Electronic steering/brakes re-tuned as well.
I was talking problematic years.

Although I'm still confused as to what exactly they changed.

I know refinements were made but I haven't got a clear answer on what that that is.

They didn't seem to change any parts out at the very least.

Subaru lists the same part number for 2017 and 2018 models for the struts, brakes, and rotors.
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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I was talking problematic years.

Although I'm still confused as to what exactly they changed.

I know refinements were made but I haven't got a clear answer on what that that is.

They didn't seem to change any parts out at the very least.

Subaru lists the same part number for 2017 and 2018 models for the struts, brakes, and rotors.

Their official wording was " retuned suspension dampers". Does Subaru have exact part numbers listed in public domain? I know some brands use generic part numbers online and then the dealer does some VIN based magic to find the actual part number.



I'm less impressed with the suspension as the miles have piled on. It was luxury-level impressive at first but now at 7k miles it's a bit rougher and more noisy over low-speed bumps.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 R Touring
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My 2018 3.6R is about 3 months old. I've had no problems.

I drove both the 2.5 and the 3.6. The 2.5 certainly has enough power, but I found the 3.6 really smooth. Sometimes when I pull into the garage - it's hard to know it's running.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,298 Posts
Their official wording was " retuned suspension dampers". Does Subaru have exact part numbers listed in public domain? I know some brands use generic part numbers online and then the dealer does some VIN based magic to find the actual part number.
Yea. Subaru lists parts on their part website. http://parts.subaru.com

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2018_Outback/STRUT-COMPLETE-FRONT-LEFT/69985647/20310AL17A.html

Here is the front strut, it lists the same for 2017 and 2018 (even says it fits in the fitment guide)

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2018_Outback/SHOCK-ABSORBER-REAR/69985342/20365AL11A.html

Here is the rear shock. Lists being the correct part for both 2017 and 2018.

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2018_Outback/BRAKE-DISK-FRONT/62881271/26300AL03A.html

Front rotor lists the same 2017 and 2018.

https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2018_Outback/PAD-KIT-FRONT-DISK-BRAKE/60015056/26296SG000.html

Pads list the same.

Etc etc.

I don't doubt you or Subaru that they changed something.

I'm just not sure what that something is.

If the struts and shocks aren't considered 'suspension dampers' I'm not sure what is.

Springs maybe?
 
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