2013 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: Impressive Machine

2013 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

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Impressive Machine
By jetpilot767 on


2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)


I bought a 2013 Outback 3.6 Limited last month. Since then I have traveled from Georgia to New Hampshire to Michigan and Illinois visiting family and friends. All told, I put 3400 miles on the car very quickly. I had been looking at the Outback for several years since my 2002 BMW X-5 was getting a bit long of tooth. I am glad I did because just about all the complaints from other reviewers of the 2010- 2012 models have been resolved. The more I drive this car, the more I enjoy it. And it will go places that other crossovers only dream about.

Best Features

The Eyesight camera based adaptive cruise control which is uncanny in its precision. The improved handling and cornering. The quietness and ride quality. And, of course, the Swiss Army Knife type of versatility. I really love the updated SD based navigation system which now includes all of North America. Also, hooray, I now have a real temperature gauge! The Harmon Kardon radio is clear and has a very true sound ( I listen to classical music mostly). Paddle shifters make me feel young again.

Worst Features

My wife would like a 10 way power passenger seat like the driver's in lieu of the 4 way. She sits too low and must use a cushion to feel comfortable. Although the built in roof rack rails are practical for most needs, I would like the option of using my Yakima racks. The six lunger is powerful and smooth, but could there be a turbo four in the future, eh Subaru? And for us older folks, how about a power tailgate?
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Comments (5) Post a Comment
By wolfie8
on 08/31/12 12:31 PM (PDT)

Thanks for your response to some of q's in the other thread. This is encouraging & am now glad I didn't buy a '10-'12 version used. The Outback is on my shortlist for sure. Of the Outback's your rented did you ever drive a manual transmission model? If so, what were your thoughts? At first I was turned off by the large driving light's and plastic on the '13. . But now, when I see the '10-'12 they look old already.

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By wolfie8
on 09/01/12 20:19 PM (PDT)

Thanks Jetpilot767. I have to unload a few cars before I get ready to deal. I have had honda's in the past & the new CRV gets great reviews. But I'm ready to try something different. Sounds like Subaru's awd is hard to beat. On tires, ya, Michelin's are hard to beat. I was just in a Sam's Club & see they carry the Defender. I had their Michelin X radials on my intrepid & was an excellent tire.

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By leester
on 02/09/13 15:33 PM (PST)

Jetpilot767 - What "real-world" mileage are you getting with the 3.6? Just wondering how significant the difference is between the 2 engines/transmissions. Thanks!

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By jetpilot767
on 08/29/12 15:11 PM (PDT)

I should preface my report with the caveat that I have been renting Outbacks and Legacys during my travels to the Seattle area for at least six years. I do some off road traveling to reach mountain hiking trails. The handling of the Outbacks prior to the new body revision (prior to 2010) was wonderful. The first editions of the revised Outback and Legacy left much to be desired when compared to the previous models. That said, the new suspension of the 2013 outback has been stiffened with much less roll and the car now exhibits the same point and shoot characteristics of the 2009 model. and the new body is much roomier and more practical than the 2009 version. When I test drove the 2013 I was happy I had waited for the change which IMO is all for the better. Being retired has caused me to consider other manufacturers than BMW of which brand I have had at least one in my stable since 1969. Suffice it to say that I will be doing with a few less amenities but I can certainly live without them. For the money, the Outback is a logical and rewarding choice for me. The only thing I wish is that Subaru would ditch the Continental tires that come as OEM. Consider reshodding with Michelin Defenders for a quieter and more responsive ride.

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By jetpilot767
on 09/01/12 06:53 AM (PDT)

Sorry, I only drove the A/T models. As for the looks, the 2013 with its new grill, fog light housings and the optional wheel arch moldings and rub strips on the doors, looks beefed up and in keeping with its rugged outdoors personality . The more I drive this machine, the more impressed I am with it. And this is coming from a BMW fanatic! I'm a retired airline pilot and I spent an inordinate amount of time researching other small SUVs. Subaru always came to the top of my list. You may consider the Toyota Venza, the Honda CRV or the Toyota Rav 4. I felt the Volvo, BMW and Audi offerings were overpriced and not necessarily better cars. Check TireRack.com for alternate tire suggestions. The Continentals are way below par in my opinion.

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