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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R, 2013 Porsche Boxster S
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, looking for some feedback on overall longer-term experiences with 5th gen compared to 4th gen Outback. Best new features, let downs, more of the same, etc. I read a number of other posts that touch on 5th gen Outback and I am aware of the changes, but would like to ask folks to take a step back and evaluate their overall experience between the two generations. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

I currently have a 2010 2.5i Premium Outback that I have been debating about upgrading to a 2018 2.5i or 3.6R. Prior to the Outback, I had a 2003 Forester for weekend warrior expeditions and light off-roading. Needless to say, the Outback felt like an upgrade in every way over the older Forester. Along the way, I added an amplifier with a 6.1in touch display, and a back up camera to modernize my Outback. While the driving feel and power leaves a bit more to be desired, it fits the bill for all my outdoor activities and all-season mountain drives.

I drove the 2018 3.6R and like the improved feel/quickness. I also drove the 2018 2.5i, and felt it was not far off from what I currently drive. Sure the transmission is more refined, but all other upgrades seem relatively small steps. Just initial impressions. As other folks have pointed out, Subaru doesn't innovate on fit and finish, rather the focus is on value.

Couple of other things: subconsciously I'm reminded the 6th generation is coming in 1.5 years, and it will likely provide better driving dynamics and an interior that is truly modern. Also, as a car guy, I think the Outback is a great car, but I'm looking at it from a more practical sense compared with some of the other cars I've owned.
 

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2015 3.6 Premium
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1,182 Posts
I have recently gone from a JDM (Aussie) 2011 3.6 to a 2015 3.6. I am very happy with my decision. It took me while to get used to the new roof rack though as the 2011 JDM had rails.
 

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I am very happy I got a 2015 from a 2010. I can’t speak for the transmission as both are manual and are virtually the same.
But for the rest, I feel the improvements are quite noticeable. The ride is comfier and quieter. 2015 no longer has that lane wandering inspired behavior. The entertainment system, although not perfect, is light years ahead and a lot easier and safer to use. Lighting is also a lot better on the 2015. I did upgrade to HID, but the difference was not as noticeable compared to when I did the same upgrade in the 2010. Speaking of lighting, it is now 100times easier to change a burnt bulb. Open hood, disconnect, take out old, place new, reconnect, that’s done. No more bumper or wheel well nightmares.

My only gripe was with the speakers. I have the base model with only 4 speakers. It did not sound good a low levels and at high levels it was too loud and really uncomfortable. That was an easy upgrade (new door speakers and tweeters that use the wiring that is already in place waiting for a fresh install).

Now, I did recently test drive the 2018 with the 3.6 ... the 2018 is quieter than the 2015 and the 3.6 is a strong and it has plenty of power. I feel like my next Outback will have the 3.6 (as the manual transmission is no longer available in the 2.5)

Hope this helps
 

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Have a 2012 Legacy, 2015 Outback and 2018 Legacy, so have all the comparison notes right in front of me.

The 2018 updates are noticeable over the 2015 in refinement, even if minor, steering, throttle tip in, etc. Can get into the 2012 any time and feel like it's still a great car, a new set of tires and everything up to date makes it feel like new. G6 better mostly in steering IMHO... I actually preferred the straightforward older CVT, but most like the newer fake ratios, and the newer CVT is probably more stout. Having the oil filter on top of the engine is a huge upgrade if you do the work yourself. Insurance in the '15 was actually lower than the '12, go figure, probs Outback over Legacy.

My spouse loves all the tech bling, but to me it's just a bunch of distraction, can get music every which way I want via bluetooth audio in the 2012, so not really into all the new features too much.

If you wait for MY 2020, would still want to wait longer to skip the new model growing pains, that's a long time to wait and the G6 will still be very good and competitive, a lot of carmakers are making worse new cars than previous gens IMHO, and build quality continues to slip with volume.

At any rate, you would do well both ways, I understand your hesitation... right now OB can be had $1500 under invoice with 0% 63, that's pretty hard to ignore too. Our decision was made easy by handing down the 2012 to our teenager with 135k miles.

Buying a car is such a colossal PITA, would also factor in whether you have the time and gumption to put in to that process...

Good luck !
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R, 2013 Porsche Boxster S
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
right now OB can be had $1500 under invoice with 0% 63, that's pretty hard to ignore too.
That is a big factor. I'm getting price quotes for the 2.5i and 3.6R under invoice, as much as $5.5K off MSRP. Were folks able to get similar discounts in prior years from large-scale dealers, or is this the first time for Outback to be discounted to that level?

FYI, I'm in California, and the best quotes by far are in the Bay Area, Southern California dealers cannot match these.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 limited
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86 Posts
Personally, I would probably wait to either get a Gen 6 or get a discounted gen 5 when the 6's come out. Possibly a good deal to be had there. Unless they sell out of all the trim levels you may have wanted.
 
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