2013 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: Car is great - DO NOT PURCHASE

2013 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

87 Total Reviews

2.5i 4dr SUV (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 6-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
5 of 17 people found this review helpful
By sailingfool on


2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M)


I love my Subaru's - this is my third.
When it came time for a new car I did not hesitate and bought another Outback.
Based on experiences with my wife's and friends' cars, I sprung for the integrated nav after having played with one in the dealership and finding it OK.


The 2013 Outback nav system is very different from the 2012, and severely lacking in user interface and usability.

First, you can only enter addresses when stopped (a reasonable safety feature), however even when there is a passenger present and operating the nav (the car could know this as it detects front passengers for airbag activiation) it is not very usable.

Worst Features

The NAV system requires many, many improvements to make it reasonably usable. The top 3: - Allow passengers to operate the Nav. - Have better interfacing between phone and nav/handsfree. None of my favorites and key numbers (wife, work, parents, best friends) show up in the downloaded address book - Do not have full screen popups block the backup camera and/or map at inopportune moments.
Recommend (5) (12)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By eldoop
on 09/08/12 17:26 PM (PDT)

Purchased a 2013 Outback Limited a few weeks ago. Didn't really want a sun roof but it's packaged with the NAV system. Navigation system does need improvement and appears to have been designed by risk management rather than engineers. Along with the fact that passengers can't operate the system when the vehicle is moving the cell phone blue tooth is also unable to be operated as soon as the vehicle moves. The dialing keypad and the contact list fade out and cannot be used. If you get a call while the vehicle is moving you appear to be able to answer the call on the nav screen and hear the caller but you must talk into your phone as the microphone does not operate. So much for the safety of hands free calling. Hopefully there will be software modifications. Otherwise very happy with the Outback.

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By ljnymd
on 01/12/13 10:21 AM (PST)

I agree that the nav is by far the weakest link in the vehicle. My initial experience was even worse as I had a glitch in that my nav wasn't working properly on delivery so would regularly give the audible turn instruction only when I was in the middle of the turn and would also immediately say "exit the highway" if I went from audio display to map display, whether or not there was an exit, much less if I was supposed to exit. The system is now updated and working properly, but in addition to the irritating lockout feature, the number of touches to do something as simple as cancelling the current route is much more that necessary. And I have a 15 year old and we are still having trouble getting the audio system to work with two phones on Bluetooth, so you know this takes more effort than most people would be willing to invest. What puzzles me is how they can botch up things like navigation systems that have been perfected by so many others yet they manage to do such a great job with the eyesight which is a unique technology. As to the mechanicals, great mileage, room, etc., and I have rigged it with hitch, roof cargo box, so really using the outdoor capability.

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By jetpilot767
on 09/10/12 13:50 PM (PDT)

(eldoop) I also have a 2013 Outback 3.6 Limited. My nav system works very well and is a great improvement over the last CD based design. I agree that not being able to modify the destination when the vehicle is in any gear other than N or P is perhaps a little bit overzealous by the legal department. However, I consider this a small inconvenience after being rear ended by a teen last year who was texting while she drove and failed to see the traffic stop at a red light. My bluetooth works perfectly so perhaps you have a glitch in yours. The Eyesight system is absolutely amazing. I drove from Derry, NH to Ann Arbor, MI (14 hrs, 12 Min) and only touched the gas pedal about a dozen times.

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