2012 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: Steeriing problem at highway s

2012 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

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38 of 107 people found this review helpful
Steeriing problem at highway speeds
By ouchback on


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


Are you in the market to buy a new Outback?
If you are then don't act until you have read about the steering wandering at highway speeds.
Go to subaruoutbackdotorg and do a search on wandering.
There are lots of posts about this problem.
We just bought a new 2012 (1800 miles now) and our car wanders at highway speed (50_ MPH).
You have to constantly make corrections to keep the car on track.
Very tiring after a while and dangerous at times.

I would not have bought this car if I had known about this problem.
I hope Subaru does a recall and fix this issue.

Best Features

This car would have received a perfect score if it wasn't for this serious problem.

Worst Features

Subaru: Please read people's comments on the wandering problem at highway speeds and fix it.
Recommend (38) (69)

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Comments (6) Post a Comment
By crd1029
on 06/07/12 20:07 PM (PDT)

Amen!!! I bought a 2012 Outback three months ago and had the exact same steering problem at highway speeds. Believe me, it is SCARY! Also, at those speeds, the center of gravity vaccillates from side to side causing a feeling of no control over the car. The steering is VERY numb and unresponsive. The rest of the car is of high quality, though the 2.5i is pretty anemic in the power department. After 2500 miles, I traded my Outback in for a Nissan Rogue which is 100 times better and easier and more fun to drive. I will never buy another Subaru.

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By rjsake
on 08/16/12 03:52 AM (PDT)

Our Subaru 2012 Outback is unsafe at any speed due to steering mush. I have been driving for almost 50 years and this is the worst ...this is also our first Subaru. Local dealer is great in other respects but clueless or in denial of the steering issue for our new Outback... even after we asked for an alignment check. Had our first service today and no progress. If Subaru can fix the steering, I will keep the car...otherwise, back to Toyota, which is boring but has never disappointed.

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By safetyharbor
on 08/23/12 11:13 AM (PDT)

Common Thread. I have built raced and modified cars for over 30 years and now own a 2012 Outback. It is without doubt the worst driving highway car you will never wish to own. The car will not stay in the middle of the lane. Nothing to do with cross wind, Alignment , Rack adjustment, ground Clearance. At 1700 miles back for an alignment, at 3000 miles back for alignment(tires already feathering on the outside shoulder), at 9000 miles back again and Aligned again. Reading all the forums there are suggestions of heavier sway bars, centered alignment settings, front tires at 32 psi and back at 30 psi. Nothing works. I have not changed the sway bar, why should I? Please consider other options, unless you are only driving off highway. Any drive on the highway is 10/10ths driving. The effort required to stay in your lane is similar to driving an 18 wheeler with a 52ft trailer, you are on it all the time, correcting and re correcting continuously. I am reluctantly looking at the lemon law and the available options. I believe there is a definite design problem with this vehicle. The Alignment has been out each time, and never in the same area. Unacceptable

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By jetpilot767
on 09/01/12 11:34 AM (PDT)

Thank God that Subaru listened to all of you! I have a 2013 Outback now that has the revised suspension and stiffer roll bars. It tracks beautifully. One thing you might try is to ditch the Continental OEM tires and have it reshod with another brand. I have Michelin Defenders on mine and couldn't be happier. More quiet, better handling and expected increased longevity.

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By ouchback
on 09/17/12 10:05 AM (PDT)

For those of you who disagree with the wandering assessment to this very simple test. Make a 90 deg turn slowly (like turning into a side street or coming out of the driveway). After the turn, let go of the steering wheel. Most cars would bring the wheel back to center: straight line. Not this car. This car would continue to turn and YOU have to bring it back to center. This problem shows up at high speeds. You make a small correction to the left and now the car goes to the left, you make a small correction to the right and now the car goes to the right...on and on. You take your car in and the dealer says: alignment! Really? Brand new car off the assembley line needs alignment? They say the cars on the delivery truck go out of alignment. Millions of cars are delivered on trucks how come Outbacks are the only ones that go out of alignment and if that's true then these cars are not off-road worthy. For those of you who say: Replace tires, replace sway bars and other repairs...we just paid close to $30K for this new car and now have to spend $$ to make modifications? I believe Subaru knows there's a problem but the repair is costly and they don't want to do it (unless it comes down somebody losing their life...remember Toyota?). Dealers try to pacify the customers with alignments and this and that which really does no good. The thing they don't understand is that some of us are first time Subaru customers and this is not leaving a good taste in our mouth.

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By flyingt
on 03/05/13 08:33 AM (PST)

I have a 2012 OB 2.5 premium and I have this issue real bad too. My wifes 2007 Legacy also has wandering this issue but not as bad as the OB. I have a car with 300K miles on that rides on the highway much better than the new OB. My trade in (BMW X3 SUV) with 150K miles on it with no suspension work done on it handled infinitely better on the highway than the new OB. Last week I got pulled over by the cops for suspected drunk driving and was forced to do a field sobriety test on the side of the highway. I don't drink alcohol and this was very embarassing. Cop said I was all over the road. I told him it is an Outback issue that Subaru refuses to accept. Subaru has the best AWD system out there, but the diving dynamics tells me that this will be the last Subaru I will buy.

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