Used 2011 Subaru Outback SUV Consumer Reviews

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Pretty good, but could be better.

kaitflower, 08/19/2011
48 of 48 people found this review helpful

I traded in my 07 Impreza Outback Sport for the new Outback late last year. I loved my sport and I miss it. I need a larger car to drive myself, husband and 2 60 lb dogs between Ohio and California a couple times a year. I have 22,000 miles on her already with no major mechanical problems. As many people say:STEERING WHEEL. The shake. It's horrible. The process is horrible. Took the car in one day and the insisted that they evaluate the tires. Bad tire was the verdict. Replace it and have to drive 4000 miles right away. Nope, still there. Take it back in and they decide to do the replacement steering wheel, etc. Still not fixed.

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Dollar for Dollar it can't be beat

tupdog12, 04/22/2011
54 of 55 people found this review helpful

I purchased a 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine for my wife. (Everything except Nav) After driving it from Maine to Oklahoma (home), I had to have my own Outback so I sold my 2010 Maxima and purchased another 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine except this time with nav. I frequently refer to my outbacks as Honda Accords with AWD, however much more practical. You can haul and carry a lot of stuff home from Lowe's. I have several suggestions for improvement (explained later) and have actually conveyed them to Subaru. (Probably will fall on deaf ears though, however I did receive a nice response.) Great vehicle and you can't go wrong.

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We love our outback and so do our dogs!

blackbird69, 07/18/2011
26 of 26 people found this review helpful

We picked up our Outback on 12/1/10, the day we had the first "real" snow of the '10-'11 winter. The Outback was put to the test right away and was great all winter. It performed really well in snow and on icy roads. Gas mileage is great too. We were looking for a vehicle to haul our four dogs. The Outback has plenty of space for them. The ride, seating, and handling are as good or better than anything else we've owned. We're up to 10,000 miles and the more I drive this car the more I love it.

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Traded a Forester for an Outback

danwatson, 10/17/2011
24 of 24 people found this review helpful

I bought a Forester 15 months ago when I moved to 8000 feet elevation. The Forester performed flawlessly through 55 feet of snow in a record winter. But, it's four cylinder engine and four speed transmission struggled at this elevation, especially in hilly terrain. And, it was just a bit too small. Since we were otherwise very satisfied, we traded it on an Outback with the 3.6 engine and 5 speed automatic. After 18,000 miles, we traded it for $2500 less than we paid for it and still got a good discount on the Outback. What a difference. The Outback has plenty of power and leg room. The Limited has very nice features. It's a good value compared to similar crossover vehicles.

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2011 Outback - from a high mileage driver

sallad75, 07/25/2011
18 of 18 people found this review helpful

I have owned an '07 and '09 Outback prior to this 2011. I put on ~25k miles a year in all weather types (ND). The 2011 Outback rides great, has more room and does get better mileage than the previous 2 models. With just over 9k on the new car I am gettting 28-30 MPG on the interstate (77 MPH) and 33 MPG on the 2 lane roads (67 MPH) and in town 24-26 MPG. The car has great room, handles well and is a pleasure to drive. I have the premium model which adds some nice touches without going over the top. The clearence is great, especially in the snow we get up here. I also test drove a CX-9 when looking but found this a much better fit for our family.

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Can't get much better

goldentrv, 03/09/2011
14 of 14 people found this review helpful

I had my Outback for five months. On the 28th of February I left Chicago, the day before the snow hit, for San Diego, so I missed the big snow. With our 100 lb Golden Retriever on a 6000 mile trip, the Outback not only gave us 29 to 30 miles per gallon at high speeds, it did it comfortably, This car handled the steep mountain roads with ease. It could use more power, but at no time did I feel compromised. You do forgett that it is a four cylinder, the cvt is great.

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Believe the hype!

2011subiefan, 07/14/2011
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

If you are reading this, you are probably doing research. I have already put 1,000+ miles on my 2011 Outback and I can honestly say that it has been nothing but a pleasure. I used to own a 2000 Accord, but needed to upgrade for my growing family. We recently took it for a road trip from NYC to Lake George Village and the ride was firm and comfortable and the cargo space was sufficient. The only downside is the mp3 connection, which does not allow you to change songs. One other thing, I notice that the driver's side of the car rides lower than the passenger side. After analyzing the problem, I discovered it was all the cash in my pocket that I saved. Ha! Unbelieveable bargain!

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BEST MILEAGE SUV awd

jasperdog, 11/13/2011
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Fabulous Mileage for a 3400lb SUV...better than my CRV by 20%!! Just put on my first 8,000 km (90%hwy/10% City) or 5000 miles by driving to calgary,salt lake, sedona,LA,etc and back to Vancouver,BC. I used AVERAGE 7.0 l/100km...that's 34 us mpg or 41 canadian mpg for 5000miles. At one point when I kept speed downto 60mph I averaged 39usMPG or 47 cdn MPG for 200 miles. Car is very comfortable with best leg room ever( 6,3inches...my crv sucks in comparison) for long drives. Fantastic Car!!!Suggest you rename car as SUPARU

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I waited 60k miles before I wrote this review

gartho, 10/11/2014
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

We bought it new...its had 2 recalls on it since new I believe. I replaced the front rotor and pads at 57k only because the rotors warped. The car is great...the factory tires stink...I swapped to Hankook and like them. I cant say anything bad about our subie...well yes the handling sucked when it was new and I put the rear sway bar on and now its great!. Soft ride...ok fuel numbers... I will not sell it as long as this keeps up. It can climb a Mtn in the snow...hard to believe...

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My last Subaru

jimpstn, 12/03/2014
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

My 2011 Subaru has had one problem after another. Last month the manifold cracked and it was an $800 repair. This month a sensor went bad in the transmission - $1300! If Subaru has these known quality problems, they should at least help out with the repair costs. They said this sensor part alone costs $800, I'm sure it doesn't cost a tenth of that to make. Not only is the quality bad, but they won't work with their loyal customers on the cost of repair. I am not loyal anymore. (Not to mention they still have not fixed the head light blowing problem I had on my 2005 Outback)

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Dumbest design - headlights

Dave, 05/23/2016
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

I like my outback, except that the design for headlight replacement is probably the poorest engineering design I have ever witnessed in my life. You need to remove multiple fasteners to push back the fenders in order to access the headlight assembly, then fit your arm in the tightest area to remove the assembly cover, access the bulb, and do the whole thing in reverse. Absolutely the dumbest design ever. Subaru touts itself as an outdoor, adventure type vehicle, appealing to the "outback" kinda explorer...yet, headlights are not for show' but for safety, and thus should be easily accessible if ever the Indiana Jones in you is out and about after dark and needs to repair a blown bulb....just like changing tires, adding fuel' or changing a belt...all these things should be doable by the driver ( alone in the wild) not by the dealer.....bad juju all around!

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Everything perfect except for the transmission

wil12345, 08/01/2011
22 of 24 people found this review helpful

Great car except for an occasional hard down shift from the five speed automatic. Dealer and Subaru say they know about the issue, but claim it is operating as designed. Mileage is about 28 on highway and 20 in town. 3.6 6 cyl has OK pickup, but not as good at the turbo outback we traded in. If they would fix the transmission issue, the par would be perfect.

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Reliable. Good value, gas mileage & off road.

jcricket, 09/29/2012
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

I have a 2011 base model Outback with 27,000 miles. No issues except the headlights burned out at 25,000 (I keep them on all the time). Gas mileage ranges from 23 in town (in winter) up to 34 on the highway (in summer). High ground clearance is helpful for off-roading and deep snow. With snow tires on it goes everywhere, all the time - no stopping it. The interior is surpassingly spacious, particularly the back seat space. Consider avoiding the choice of white upholstery. In Alaska the car is ubiquitous - Outbacks and Forrresters are the most popular cars on the road here.

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Great Balance

inflict1, 05/09/2011
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

This vehicle is a great value. Extremely comfortable, balanced ride on the highway, and for the amount of space, extremely fuel efficient. Left my home in Louisville for Monroe, LA with less than 500 miles on odometer. Driving at 75mph with the AC on, we got 28.9 mpg for the 1,400 miles roundtrip. That came to about 50 gallons of reg. gas; compared to 69 gallons of premium used by our '08 Mazda CX7 on our last trip.

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Traded in a Forester for an Outback

danwatson, 06/08/2011
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

I purchased a 2010 Forester in June, 2010 when a job changed forced a move to the Eastern Sierras and an elevation of 8000 feet. The Forester was a great car that handled the snow without any problems. But, it was underpowered at this elevation and too small for someone who's 6'3" and 260 pounds. So, we traded it in on a 2011 Outback 3.6 Limited. No regrets at all. The 6 cylinder is both smooth and powerful, and the 5 speed transmission is much better than the 4 speed in the Forester. It's got plenty of room, front and back. The only car I've owned that's as comfortable was an Infiniti M35. This is a great road car. If it's as reliable as the Forester was in 18,000 miles, I'm happy.

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New Purchase Satisfaction

worldcitizen, 08/12/2011
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

I purchased an Outback for my older son eleven years go and he is still driving it with 180,000+ miles and a growing family so I decided I would do the same for our younger son. I recently purchased an Outback 2.5i Limited and I am very impressed. The quality of the car is excellent and we are averaging 27 mpg in combined driving during the break-in period. I am expecting the same reliability we had with our previous Subaru and anticipate a similar ownership experience.

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2010 Outback -> 2011 Outback

macmuchmore, 11/08/2010
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

I bought the 2010 Outback (2.5i Premium CVT) last year and really liked it except for a few issues (no folding mirrors, some window trim misalignment, no homelink, not red). So while I was in dealership getting an oil change I looked at a 2011 red outback. All the things I wanted changed were there. so I traded in my 2010 for the 2011. Love the new one more than last years. Have already used the folding mirrors.

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Great New 2011 OutBack 2.5i Limited

lgregor, 02/26/2011
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

My wife & I bought a 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited to help keep the miles off our 2008 Jeep JK with 114k on it already. I love my Jeep and it truly is the best 4wd out there but since driving the Outback I have become spoiled. The quality of ride is something I didnt expect out of this vehicle. Driving the exact same roads and paths I have taken for the past 3 years its a completely different feel. Many bumps/dips that I knew were there in other vehicles seemingly dissapear or become so minimal its outstanding. I am pretty large and I fit very easily in the new Outback. At 6'1 I dont even have to have the seat all the way back to fit. The doors/seals are very very good. Very good fit n finish.

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New to 95,000+, We LOVE this car

W. Robert, 02/20/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

We bought our 2011 Limited in 2010 to replace a lemon Honda Accord. This is our 1st Subaru, the whole family loves this car. I'm a big guy at 6'4" and 280+ my wife is 5'1 and a light weight (she'd kill me I posted a weight) . Bottom line is it fits BOTH of us, and we both find it extremely comfortable, including for long all day drives with limited rest breaks. More comfortable than a 2014 Mercedes E350 for 400 mile road trip (new rental) and left me wishing I had drove my Outback Limited instead. We have done normal servicing, bought 1 set of new tires at 50,000 which by the way inproved ride and handling over the factory tires. Passenger seat had a squeak, dealer fixed no charge as it should have been. Headlight bulbs have both needed replacement (seriously difficult task, go to YouTube for examples if you want to do it yourself). This is not a sporty performance machine, but it a roomy outstanding outdoorsy family car, that has turned out to be better than we expected. It drives more like a older American full size sedan, but has better road feel, and navy less acceleration ability, but it is more than adequate with outstanding full economy for the size of car it is. We averaged 27 mph mixed driving, after a move were we did much less freeway driving overall mpg fell to about 24. We are now thinking of a second Subaru. This car has been very reliable, required little maintenance, and is extremely comfortable for a an active family including vacations, camping, Home Depot runs, multi state trips, and all the running around a family does. Absolutely love it!!

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Great Car needed better Shocks

bwein, 02/07/2012
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Love this with the 3.6 plenty of power with descent gas mileage 22 combines for 18,000 miles. My only complaint was the soft ride and poor handling. I put KYB gas shock on it and now it handles great and rides nice and firm. (watchout Cayennes) We have taking this car on the LA to Mammoth trek many times to go skiing and have needed the AWD plenty of times and it works great. We can fit 4 adults and a dog for a weekend of skiing if we put the skis and boards on the roof. Ingenious rack system.

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Great Reliable Car!

Todd, 12/10/2015
2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
12 of 13 people found this review helpful

Most practical, reliable car I've ever owned! I've put 165,000 miles on my 2011 Outback so far and have had 0 issues. I drive it off road and in deep snow a lot and the AWD and ground clearance are fantastic! Seat ride height and comfort good for a tall person (i'm 6'2"). MPG great for a car this size as well. Acceleration isn't great, but more than adequate for any situation I've run into. My only complaints are the compass on the rear view mirror doesn't always work, and the light colored cloth seats stain easily (recovered them with leather). Cant beat the reliability, practicality, and resale value of a Subaru!! I would definitely buy another Subaru.

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Believe it or not the Ford Edge is better

1happycamper, 10/20/2013
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

I have owned two Subaru's...a 2011 OUtback wagon (4 cylinder w/CVT) and a 2009 Forester. Both cars were made with cheap plastic, had alot of rattles, transmission issues, and the darned muffler guard had to be tightened every 3 months or so. All of these items were apparently part of the regular joy of owning a Subaru and were not seen as requiring a recall fix. After owning the Outback for 18 months, I just had enough of having to take it back to the dealer to get things tightened up. I traded that car in for a 2013 Edge and have been EXTREMELY happy with it. The only issue with the Edge it to make sure to get the Scotchguard on it if you get cloth interior. Ford Edge rules!

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Great in the Snow

danwatson, 11/11/2013
3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

I purchased a 2011 Outback Premium new in May, 2011. It now has 52,000 mostly trouble free miles. The only problem was with a power window that would get stuck and the dealer had a difficult time finding the cause. Other than that, it's been very reliable. We live in a ski resort at 8,000 feet and the extra power from the six cylinder engine is well worth it. Even with the bigger engine, we are getting over 25 mpg with a combination of highway and town driving. Styling is subjective, but I think both the exterior and interior are attractive. We have a 100 pound golden retriever who loves riding in the back. I wish it had a little more leg room in front and rear, but it's adequate. After three years and over 80,000 miles we sold this trouble free car. I was getting ready to retire and decided we should get a new car for my wife. I asked what she wanted and it was another Outback in the same color - red. I don't like CVT transmissions and that's all that was available beginning in 2015 and I didn't like the looks of the new model as much, so I bought one of the last 2014 Outbacks with a 6 cylinder engine. It now has over 27,000 trouble free miles. We no longer live at 8,000 feet or drive in the snow, but the AWD is great and we're really happy with Subarus. We've now owned one Forrester and two Outbacks and believe Subaru makes a great car.

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Exceeded My Expectations

winebike, 01/08/2011
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

I have driven my OB 1200 miles. The build date was 10/10 and it came with Conti ProContact tires. In mixed city/highway driving, I've been averaging 22 mph. I previously drove a Lexus GS300. I am very happy with the ride, handling, and features of the OB. When I took my first test drive of an OB last summer, I didn't like it and took it off my list, but I kept coming back to it and liked it better after each test drive. After my fourth test drive, I was sold. After buying the OB and getting to know it even better, I can say that the OB has exceeded my expectations and is an awesome car for its class.

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Very refined over previous Outbacks!

Eric, 08/01/2016
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Purchased this Outback used. It's my 5th Subaru. I have been pleased with all of them. This car very refined compared to my 03. Very quiet. Lots of room. I am 6 ft 5. Out of habit I put the seat all the way back. This is one of two cars when doing so I can't touch the pedals! The other was a 60s Mercedes 250S. Reviewers state these Subarus don't handle as well as previous models. They are not race cars. It's turn well and has adequate road feel. Base radio is fine, though I miss the weather band. A review commented that the interior had to much plastic. It doesn't not look cheap to me. Fit and and finish are good. I think Subaru was on target with this redesign. Tight, well made, and will last a long time. The 03 was around 8 years. Longest I ever held on to a car. We are blessed with good dealer support in southern New York. Been dealing with the same dealer for over 20 years. My 03 was in an accident. Turn around time to my 2011 was done in a day! recommended

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Head Gasket Issues

Ann Capshaw, 01/29/2018
2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Had to get head gaskets machines at 75,000 miles and it was downhill maintenance wise from there. We were lucky that we had the warranty to 100,000 miles but we used it so much for other things that were breaking that we decided to get rid of the car before the warranty expired. The dealership was awesome in always checking to make sure repairs were covered under warranty too. The cloth interior showed wear and stains quite rapidly which was disappointing considering we are the perfect people they market the car to (outdoorsy family with kids and dogs). Spacious interior was nice. Sadly I’m off Subies until they can resolve the head gasket - my brother in law experienced the same on his ‘09 Forester and unfortunately it was past his warranty. Just can’t take the chance.

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They need to upgrade the quality of their plastics and fix some of the "accepted" normal problems with Subarus

1happycamper, 09/04/2012
10 of 11 people found this review helpful

I have owned two Subaru’s over the past four years (2009 Forrester; 2011 Outback). I was happy to start up with the Subaru line since I thought I would be getting a quality car. I have to say that I’ve been disappointed in the quality and irksome “normal” issues. It has the standard Subaru brake clunk and the muffler-guard rattle. It has a catalytic convertor baffle noise vibration too. It has a clicking noise behind the driver’s dashboard and creaking/rattles in the plastic trays on the sides of the doors. I’ve already started looking at what other car brand I might be able to purchase. Sorry Subaru, it’s sayonara for me.

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Excellent AWD vehicle for Outdoor trip!

hongthan, 10/01/2011
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I bought this Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited with moonroof package to replace my 2000 Honda Civic 2Dr EX coupe. We are going to use the vehicle for our winter ski trip and short range family vacation. So far I have 1200 miles on it. It average around 25miles per gallon for daily driving. This is the one if you are looking for reliable, AWD, and value. The auto climate control for the limited is a little bit weak on Auto. I have to increase the fan speed by two notches.

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Amazing family car

johnyoo, 01/31/2011
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Starting a new family, I had to give up my compact and this was the best choice for us. Great power, spacious interior (key for car seats), cargo room, AWD, and reasonable fuel economy. Primarily looked at a Murano which was more luxurious, but a bit smaller cargo-wise and you need to run it on premium so went with the Subaru. After about 3k miles I'm glad we did. It's extremely comfortable on the roads and was a lifesaver in the recent snowstorms. It doesn't handle as well as the cars I'm used to, but I didn't expect super crisp handling going into a larger vehicle. I wish some of the tech was more up to date, but it's good enough for our needs and should serve us well.

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Does it all

macdawg, 04/12/2011
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I agree with the Swiss Army knife comment--this car offers comfort, class, off-road and bad-road handling, lots of room, bells and whistles (I have winter package with heated front seats and also satellite radio) and for a car of its utility, superb gas mileage. At first I was getting an average of 23-25 mixed used mpg, but on a recent 2000 mile road trip, loaded with 5 passengers and cargo, I averaged 30 mpg at 70-75 mph. I had read in chat rooms people trash the contipro tires, but at the end of the trip we got caught in some sketchy snow conditions, and the car pulled through like a champ.

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First Time Subaru OB Owner - Happy Driver

bmwshin, 07/04/2013
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I've driven my 2011 Subaru Outback about 1000 miles so far. Bought it used with 37K miles. I was at first hesitant to jump in for this crossover, but decided to give it a shot. I'd say that CVT transmission and some Subaru quirks are something that I needed to get used to, but once I was acclimated, driving any other car is not fun any more. I love the spaciousness of the interior, and the performance of the AWD and boxer engine. You get respectable gas mileage at around 25 miles combined. Everything the Edmonds / CR experts talk about is spot-on, but nothing that you'd want to worry about. I love driving this thing around my town and can't wait for next road trip!

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Love my outback!

Michael, 05/05/2016
2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I love my outback! It's such a comfortable car, and incredibly quiet driving down the freeway. Gets good gas mileage (about 27 mpg) on an 18 gal tank. I fill up around every 480 to 500 miles. Handles very well and has plenty of storage space, especially with the rear seats down. Great head and leg room. I am 6'5" and fit very comfortably in both front and back seats. Can't say enough about how much I love it! Variable transmission takes some getting used to because it is so quiet, you dn hear it revving, so you don't realize how fast you're going.

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Very Pleased

rjnolfe, 10/06/2011
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Moving from a Chevy HHR to the larger, heavier, AWD Subaru I thought we would get a little worse gas mileage, but NO, it gets better mileage. We typically see 30mpg in or rural area of Upstate NY. Very comfortable and a pleasure to drive. We feel very confident that we can travel just about anywhere in any weather without fear of getting stuck.

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my best vehicle yet

go playOutside, 10/26/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I've had mine for 3 years now, bought it when it was 2 years old. I haven't had any issues. I can load it up and go on vacation and get 32 mpg on the hwy. Love my navigation, very helpful. I have helped a friend move and they couldn't believe how much I can fit in the car. Plus I never slip or slide when I leave work during a storm, as I watch others who cant make it up the hills. love this car

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First Subaru Purchase

chief47131, 12/16/2011
16 of 19 people found this review helpful

I have owned Ford vehicles all my life, but due to quality issues, decided to purchase a 2011 Subaru Outback. After owning this vehicle for over a year, and with 15,000 miles, it has exceeded my expectations and is worthy of all the positive reviews. I have no issues with the 4 cyl. not having enough power. It does very well in all driving settings and my gas mileage is averaging 22 MPG city and 30 MPG highway. Interior room is great for a family of four. Handling in snow is terriffic with no issues whatsoever. The Outback is a great reliable, economical, safe family vehicle.

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Very Satisfied!

JTC - Akron, OH., 11/17/2010
9 of 10 people found this review helpful

I'm a manufactures rep. by occupation and drive 40,000 miles/yr. My last two vehicles have been Honda Odyssey Vans, which I can say nothing negative about. Since I spend a great deal of time in a car it was just time for a change. This is my first Subaru and after two months/8,000 miles, I feel very satisfied with my decision. I must say, I read many of these personal reviews on this site and they helped make my decision. Since fuel economy is a key feature for me, I was a little concerned about the 4 cyl engine and if there would be enough power (no problem). I hope in the future to update my review and give potential Subaru buyers an honest assessment. So far, I'm a truly happy Subaru owner

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Outback Notorious Transmission Issues & software I

Shane, 12/07/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
9 of 10 people found this review helpful

CVT transmissions have well documented problems. If it's out of warranty, installation of a re manufactured CVT transmission is $10K! The dash warning lights come on flashing every couple of weeks while shutting down many systems. According to many internet reads, the Subaru shops don't seem to really know why. We have to take the battery cables off and allow for a CPU reset. I don't think this is a problem on newer models, but older ones around 2011 I would avoid.

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My Comprehesive Review!

Subak59, 09/30/2018
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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!

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Up-Date Major Defect

Bill, 08/28/2010
12 of 14 people found this review helpful

Up-date to my 7/28 review. Subaru came out with a TSB for the steering wheel shake finally which included new front and rear bushings, new steering wheel with dampener, new mount for the trans and a bunch of other parts. Car was at dealer for 2 days for the repair. It drives a lot better now without the shake however the steering wheel vibrates above 70 mph., kind of like operating a power tool. Called dealer and told him the problem and was told nothing more they can do. Car rides well, plenty of power, comfortable, and fun to drive as long as you stay below 70. Envy those of you without the shake or vibration. For me, my first and last Subaru.

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Great car...they think of everything!!

1happycamper, 05/13/2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

This is my second Subaru. I had a 2009 Subaru forrester but found it to be kind of an ambling vehicle (not very responsive or sporty). After40k miles, I traded in my Forrester for a 2011 Outback. The Outback is very sporty and is fun to drive...very peppy. Very reasonably priced for the features provided. I've been getting 30 mpg and love the vehicle. This is the perfect vehicle for an active individual. It hauls my road bikes on the hitch rack, the kayak on the roof, and my therapy dog to the nursing home. Then it cleans up nicely to haul five people comfortably to dinner and a concert. Truly a great deal!!

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Good value and safety for utility reasons

Alex Arnold, 12/02/2015
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

It's a very good car for utility reasons. I mountain bike, ski, and carry lots of sporting gear all over the place. The acceleration is good for the HP and it drives very good for the price. I would recommend this car to others to consider highly because of the value and it's safety. I rarely write reviews, but thought I would given the good experience I have had with this car. The bluebooth and noise in the car could be improved.

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Transmission went bad at 118000

Andrew, 10/04/2018
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Transmission on car went bad after 118000 miles. The rest of car was in great condition, just the cvt transmission has an issue on these models. Would not recommend if you want a reliable vehicle.

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Dump It Before It Hits 130K

Jesse, 08/02/2019
3.6R Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

The problem with this particular Year/Model is the same problem with most Recession-Era makes: cheap parts and expensive labor. I bought this car for the reason most people do; I wanted a nice car that would last for a long time. Before I even got to the first tune-up however, the suspension was already dragging (110 K) and had to pay to get that replaced, which I was fine with, but that was just the beginning. At 120K the transmission began to slip and had to be serviced (2K fix). At 130K, the Head Gasket began to leak along with the radiator. Had both of these sealed and kept going. At 150K, the power steering pump was absolutely gone, which happened very suddenly and caused the rack and pinion system to suffer damage. At 160K two of the motor mounts failed. At 170K The Head Gasket began to leak again and the car began consuming oil. At 180K, the alternator, starter, and battery were replaced for the second time in the car's short life. At 185K, the rack and pinion system and radiator failed completely. Let me tell you, if the interior and performance of this car weren't up to par, I would have dumped it long ago (I'm looking at you base model). The upkeep and maintenance, especially because of the mechanical design of the engine simply aren't worth it. If you change one tire, better to change all four or pay for routine rotor/balance/alignment issues the rest of the car's life. If you're looking for something reliable with all the bells and whistles this car provides, stick to the CRV. I traded mine in a month ago for an 08 Range Rover under warranty and I can genuinely say I've never been happier.

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Engine problems (9,500 miles)

elkrun, 01/06/2011
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Engine started to chug or mis-fire during a recent winter trip across the northern states (2,000 miles round trip). The problem appears to be related to snow intake as the problem only surfaces when driving during a snow storm or in blowing snow. I've taken it to two dealers and they have not resolved. Problem is that the car "chugged" abruptly about 30 times during four separate snow events, so the "cause and effect" seems very obvious to me. Not gasoline related. Dealer ruled out transmission. Serious enough "chugging" to make the kids think we were about to break down. There is something going on with a sensor or the engine that has yet to manifest as a code, but it's coming.

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My third Subie in three years

2005graypwrstk, 03/27/2011
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

We have an '08 Impreza OBS and an '09 WRX with lottsa mods. Both great cars. I needed a comfy adult vehicle to replace my just sold F250 pwrstroke diesel. I opted for the mileage and utility of the Outback Limited,moon, HK,Sat,camera. With 1400 miles and just returning from a ski trip where I average just under 30 mpg over the Cascades, I am very happy. I questioned my not buying the 3.6 for the first 1k miles until the 2.5i loosened up a bit. From experience I know the Subies don't really break in until close to 5k miles. This car is tight, very comfortable, and actually handles decently now that I'm getting used to how to toss it. Only gripe..hard plastic dash.

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Am impressed with the 2.5i

dhs1204, 01/15/2011
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

I bought the Outback 2.5i after an accident in the snow (hit and run) that left my Prius on the side while I was going 5 mph. I was looking for an AWD wagon for under 30k that could fit my family of three and two mid size dogs. Requirements were simple: I had to be able to sit behind myself, and there needed to be enough headroom so that my head did not hit the roof. Wants were good radio, quiet highway ride, fuel economy and performance. The needs narrowed it down to a few cars, most of which had too high of a center of gravity. Only the outback and forester made the initial cut. I chose the outback limited because it felt like it was designed to be upscale. 2.5i to keep it under 30k

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2011 2.5i Limited

Chris K, 08/17/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Here's an honest review- this car is not a 9.2 out of 10. Negatives: It handles like an SUV (slow, top heavy, and no where near nimble). The fit and finish are a little off (hard plastic dash, some spacing is a little off on dash parts, etc.), and the only desirable option (the v6) is WAY overpriced compared to other manufacturers. Positives: Comfort, ergonomics, storage, all wheel drive, safety. and gas mileage. Arguably styling as well, from my point of view the less "wagony" looking the better. Overall: you are not getting a BMW ride/performance, or Mercedes plush, what you are getting is a safe, dependable, sure footed, practical car for the modern family.

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Flawed steering system 2010-11 models

pc, 09/18/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bottom line is the car has a flawed steering system and it effects 30-60+ percent of the cars. I got one of the affected cars and have been fighting with SOA over it. They know the cars are bad and they are selling them to unsuspecting buyers. You sign a contract and your stuck. Run away from these 2 year models of this car! Read the horror stories on the site I mentioned above.

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Red Ruby Pearl

PSUfan, 10/27/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Needed to downsize from a Nissan Pathfinder. The Outback was the best choice for great gas mileage, ample storage space, luminous rear leg room for the kids, large rear trunk space for dogs, and almost the same ground clearance (0.2" difference) as the Pathfinder, (Outer Banks beach driving). Very happy with our decision, and looked a multiple vehicles (Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai).

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Just purchased and will continue review

Card Fan, 11/15/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I have spent the past two months methodically reviewing, test-driving, and evaluating vehicles that I would consider appropriate for a growing family. I narrowed the choice down to the following four vehicles: Honda CR-V, Honda Odyssey, Subaru Outback, and Kia Sorento. The CR-V sounded so noisy on the test drives and the interior seemed a bit cheap in comparison to the other vehicles so it fell off the list. The Oddessey had a great ride, but the price was pushing 36,000 or higher out the door. I pained over the remaining two, and after reading all the customer reviews available I ruled out the Kia Sorento because of miscellaneous reported problems. Over the next year I plan to write 3 reviews

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