2011 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: CVT REVERSE POWER PROBLEMS!!!!

2011 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

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153 Total Reviews

2.5i Limited 4dr SUV (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)

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19 of 61 people found this review helpful
By mpp1234 on


2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)


I purchased a 2011 Subaru Outback in June, the car seems to be fine except that I bought the car for highway and off road driving. Unfortunatley I found out that the NEW SUBARU IS NOT CAPABLE OF BACKING OVER A 5" CURB FROM A STOP!!!

THE CVT DOES NOT PROVIDE REVERSING POWER TO GET OVER CURB. A supervisor at Subaru America has stated that the car is not expected to be able to clear objects 5" tall in reverse without having momentum to car the car over the object. If you shift into reverse and try to back over a curb the pedal will go to the floor and the car will go NOWHERE without starting momentum. The car has severly limited torque in reverse and cannot be trusted!!!!

Worst Features

Give car the ability to back over 5" objects from a stop... this is a FREAK Outback which can't handle backing over something 5" tall -- TOTALLY HONEST POST HERE..
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By chandyy
on 11/14/11 18:02 PM (PST)

mpp1234 was corrected. My 2011 Legacy CVT has the same problem backing over a 4x4 lumber, measured 3.5 inches tall on a flat concrete surface with no momentum. Yes, it will climb, if you floor the gas pedle at two feets away before the object. Mine climbs snow just fine.

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By matt5214
on 12/28/11 14:49 PM (PST)

I've got a 2011 2.5 Outback and live in Monument, CO. I've experienced the same lack of torque problem in reverse. I have pushed this car through very deep snow on mountain trails, and with a set of chains the car does better in snow than my Jeep Liberty Renegade. However, I have been in deep wet snow where my wheels have dug themselves into ruts, and I'm unable to rock the car back and forth in order to manever out. In this case I had to grab my stow away shovel and dig out the tires just in front and behind so the vehicle can start momentum again. Could Subaru somehow install a push buttom low range in the CVT? This would solve all these issues!

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By hongthan
on 10/27/11 07:03 AM (PDT)

You better off to switch the manual mode if you want off-road capability. That is the reason there is paddle shifter on the steering wheel.

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By okcthunder1
on 09/06/11 18:08 PM (PDT)

Is backing over a 5" curb something you're having to do on a regular basis? Sounds like a unusual situation to me; respectfully I think you're expecting too much of your vehicle. For serious off-roading, a CVT-equipped vehicle is the last thing you want. And I don't think Subaru markets the Outback for that purpose. Perhaps a Rubicon-certified Jeep product would meet your needs.

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