2012 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: The Wanderer

2012 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

57 Total Reviews

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

Build Quality
Reliability Value
27 of 29 people found this review helpful
The Wanderer
By wil12345 on


2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)


This car would be perfect if it would only track down the road.
This is our 6th Subaru and all the previous Outbacks drove fine.
We have had it aligned 3 times, the rack and pinion has been adjusted, but the steering wheel will not return to center when traveling on the highway.
Because of this, the car needs constant correction to drive in a straight line.
We only have 2700 miles on it and if this problem can't be resolved, this car will be gone and it will be our last Subaru.

Best Features

Everything other than the steering is wonderful.

Worst Features

Handling must be corrected. When you look away from the road for a moment, you never know what direction the car will be heading when you look back. This is a serious design issue that needs a recall.
Recommend (27) (2)

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By crd1029
on 06/08/12 19:25 PM (PDT)

I agree with this assessment 100%! I had my 2012 Outback for three months with MANY scary moments on the highway and a feeling of not being in control of the car. After 2500 miles, I traded it in for a Nissan Rogue (which I love!). I had to take a financial hit, but my life and happiness are more important than money. I will also say the car feels heavy and the four cylinder engine has to work hard starting from the rest position and going up hills. Even though it's not that much larger than a Rogue, it feels like a boat to drive.........very smooth ride, though. Not my taste. Subaru NEEDS to address this steering and tracking issue!!

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By alta2
on 06/17/12 11:07 AM (PDT)

I too have a 2012 Outback, but I came to terms with the trade-offs before I even considered this purchase. This is an AWD sport station wagon with tons of interior volume, fair (C to C-) handling depending on road surface with ok fuel economy. When I want power or towing capacity, I hop in my Dodge HEMI 5.7. When I want macho, my Harley bagger with the 103 ci engine does just the right thing. And when I want some totally engaging motorcycle performance, I jump on my (actually to be purchased next week) Yamaha Supere Tenere. Everything in life is a compromise. There is no perfect drive or ride just like there is no Eater bunny boys and girls!

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By spocktaculous
on 07/17/12 11:37 AM (PDT)

Traded a 2010 Nissan Rogue in for a 2012 Outback. What the Rogue was lacking -- made up for it in handling and gas mileage. The main reason I traded in the Rogue was that I thought it was uncomfortable for long trips or daily commuting. Wish I had avoided buying the 2012 Subaru Outback however... I completely agree with your comments. My 2012 Outback IS heavy and it DOES feel like a boat. As for the steering -- continues to wander even after an alignment. Trading it in!

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By bigpapak
on 07/29/12 12:38 PM (PDT)

I'm going back and forth between the 2013 4 and 6, inclined heavily towards the 6 cylinder. Is this something people are experiencing in the 6 cylinder as well?

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By goalkik753
on 08/20/12 06:03 AM (PDT)

I have a 2012 Outback Limited and have had no issues with alignment. I consider these things when I have an alignment issue: Equal tire pressure, equal tread life left, same tires on all four wheels, crosswind, drainage crown on road, weight distribution of passengers and cargo (i.e. very heavy driver), brakes dragging?, even suspension shock absorbtion at every wheel. Good luck with your Rogues, however ugly they are.

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By jetpilot767
on 09/01/12 11:28 AM (PDT)

I have a 2013 Outback 3.6. The steering has been quite good although when traveling on highways that have been indented in the tire lanes by heavy trucks, I found the Outback wandered a bit. My solution was simple, but kind of expensive. I trashed the OEM Continental tires and replaced them with the new Michelin Defenders. Problem solved! Quiet, smooth and the handling improved immensly. Two Subaru dealers ( Kennesaw, Georgia and Ann Arbor, MI) told me the most frequent complaint about the Outback is the Continental tires. Go to Tirerack.com and read the consumer reviews for this below standard tire.

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