2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
This was my first car. I say was because I recently totaled it. Here's my experience: 7,000 miles over four months of driving. Acceleration is decent, but the CVT prevents you from getting off the line quickly at all. Manual mode helps you get off the line a bit quicker. In many passing situations, especially on the highway, you have to floor it to get anywhere. The Outback is extremely stable at high speeds though, even at 112mph. It brakes well and features ABS. The vehicle surprisingly grips pretty well given its size, height, and tires (thick sidewalls); but pushing it hard around corners prompts understeer and squealing tires. The CVT (for what it is) is a good, smooth transmission. The only thing I really don't like about the CVT is its fake first gear. From a stop, the CVT acts like an auto with a first gear, then drops into CVT mode. Manual mode can be fun, but shift response times are slow. I left it in auto most of the time. The vehicle just didn't have enough power to make paddle shifting worth the trouble, although a little bit of the lag from the CVT could be reduced by keeping the transmission higher in its rev range in manual mode. The steering definitely feels artificially weighted - its much heavier than that of other vehicles I've driven. I got used to the heavy steering though. The front seats are extremely comfortable - I absolutely love them! They're not overly firm, which is good. The bolstering is pretty aggressive, and I really like it - keeps me planted in my seat while turning. Pretty good backseat space, getting in/out of the Outback feels very natural, and the ride is smooth. The Boxer engine rumbles fairly loudly into the cabin, but I didn't mind it much. No vibrations or creaking to be heard. The cargo capacity is just great. You can really fit a lot in the cargo area, plus the back seats fold down to form a smooth loading floor. Storage is not fantastic but decent. The center console, while nifty, isn't as large as I would've liked. There is an auxiliary input and 120V outlet in the main compartment of the center console (there's also an outlet in the trunk). But NO USB ports! I had to install a USB port converter into my single 120V outlet. I like the storage area under the radio, though. I really like the brushed aluminum interior finish and glowing red lighting. Controls are easy to understand. The interior quality is satisfactory. The factory halogens on the Outback are atrocious, however! I can hardly see anything with those headlights and on a rainy night, I can't tell the difference between my headlights being on or off. I bought HID's to replace the halogens but never got to install them since Subaru designed the headlights to be so difficult to get to. 360° visibility is excellent with the seats set all the way up (I'm 5'9"). Being the base model 2.5i, there is no backup camera, blind spot monitor, navigation, bluetooth, etc. I was totally fine without the driving aids and technology, but if you're looking for the extra technology, you're going to have to step up to the Limited trim level. Traction on rain is pretty good; I can't even spin tires in the rain, whether the AWD, traction control, or the mere 170 horsepower/torque is to "blame." Fortunuately, the traction control and stability control systems are amazing at their job! Simply letting off the gas pedal and allowing these systems to kick in have saved my life countless times. You can turn it off at the push of a button, but it doesn't fully defeat it, which is acceptable since this isn't a sports car. I haven't had a chance to drive it in the snow, but anyone can find YouTube videos of AWD Subarus pulling out semis, buses, and Jeeps stuck in snow & saving the day. I have done a little mild offroading with my Outback, though, and I will say that it is a competent offroad vehicle. Don't expect to tackle serious obstacles, however; the AWD and/or CVT left me stranded once when one of my tires were suspended in the air. A/C and heat work well - the climate control system, albeit basic, is pretty versatile and easy to set it the way you want. The Subaru has been extremely reliable with me! No dealership runs. Engine power is adequate but leaves more to be desired. Also, I didn't experience the burning oil problem other Subaru owners have complained about. No problems with the electronics whatsoever. Fuel economy is pretty good, although I expected better given the CVT. I usually average 23-25 MPG between fillups. On a mostly highway 1.5 hour trip with no traffic and cruise control set at speed limit, I averaged my record of over 32 MPG. So it's possible, but you really have to hypermile it. The ECO gauge is pretty neat. It compares your instant MPG to your average trip MPG - I find myself often driving off that gauge. Overall, I loved my 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i. If you're not concerned with performance but looking for a reliable, comfortable, and versatile vehicle, you honestly can't get much better than this!
2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
My husband wanted this care when we were regularly driving into the mountains and it was great for that. Now we mostly drive it around town and I don't like maneuvering and parking such a big vehicle. It's wide and long, and just more car than we need for our daily errands.
I am the original owner of a 2011 Subaru Outback which up until two weeks ago, has been a great car. (I have had all the routine maintenance done at the dealer and was saving up for the 135K service.) However, two weeks ago the CVT just gave out and it felt like I was learning to drive a manual transmission again. The car would clunk and lurch into gear. I took it into the dealership and found out that Subaru knew there was a problem and had extended their warranty on the CVT (with over 100K on them) to July 31, 2018. Mine died on August 20th, 2018. I read the Subaru forums and the advice given was to contact Subaru of America, which I did. They gave me the run-around telling me that they were waiting to hear back from the dealer but the dealer said that they had called Subaru of America repeatedly and had not gotten a response from them. Last night I received an email from Subaru of America:
Thank you for the reply, I apologize as I was out of the office yesterday.
I have received further details from Subaru of Puyallup for review.
Your vehicle was given a warranty extension, The extension increased Powertrain coverage for all included vehicles to 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). For vehicles over 100,000 miles, a 1 year extension had been granted for transmission concerns. The extension expired July 31, 2018 to have any transmission issues addressed by your local Subaru retailer.
In the review with Subaru of Puyallup, they let me know that the repair estimate would be around 8536 plus tax.
If I were to offer good will assistance, I do not believe that it would be a substantial amount toward the repair, however I would be more than happy to review for an owners loyalty coupon toward the purchase a new previously untitled Subaru if that is something you would be interested in.
Please let me know how I can best assist moving forward.
Regards, Mark Hammer Customer Retailer Services Subaru of America Inc.