Used 2016 Subaru Outback SUV Consumer Reviews

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I dare you to find a better car for the money!

Charles, 12/06/2015
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
79 of 79 people found this review helpful

Purchased '16 Limited edition of the Outback with just about everything the factory can install on it, plus a couple of dealer add-ons. It beat out the Hyundai Sante Fe Sport and Tucson, as well as the GMC Terrain. This car is comfortable given its off-road capability. It handles well on winding roads, and stops when you want it to stop. The Eyesight system works very well, and I absolutely love the rearview camera and cross-traffic warning system, especially in mall parking lots when next to tall suv's and pickup trucks. The entertainment system is a bit intimidating, but we are catching on slowly. The interior has leather appointments, making it easier to slid into and out of the vehicle with bulky winter clothing. Plus the additional clearance height means the seating is taller, making it easy to "climb" into and out. Pros include spacious interior (you don't feel cramped), the power rear gate, fuel economy, 10-way power driver seat, lots of interior storage cubbies and cup holders, and dash instrumentation. A couple of bothersome things to get used to: 1. door locks are not activated when car is put into or taken out of gear (get with it Subaru - first car in 25 years that I have owned that did not have that feature); 2. there is a lag in the transmission when switching from reverse to drive that requires you to stay on the brake pedal bit longer; 3. it takes a touch longer to get car moving when accelerating from a standing stop. The last two will resolve themselves over time as I get used to the vehicle. Overall we are very happy with the Outback, and look forward to driving it in all types of weather. It should be on your list of cars to test drive and evaluate.

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Subaru Outback - flawless performance -

Bob, 12/21/2015
2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
63 of 63 people found this review helpful

I have never even looked at Subaru's before becoming interested in one. After looking and driving virtually every other similar styled vehicle out there (small suv's/wagons) we decided on the Limited model pretty well loaded with most options available. Two weeks after buying we had an emergency 1,900 mile round trip come up. This vehicle never missed a beat entire trip, was very comfortable and I am well over 6' and about 265#. Didn't have much time to get used to the Subaru before having to leave so was not familiar with how everything worked, i.e. the navigation, radio system, lots of safety features but didn't take much to figure most of it out. We were in very heavy rains at end of trip and even in some pretty serious dust storms early in the drive. Have seen reviews indicating not enough power with the 4 cylinder but did not have any instance of not having sufficient power and did go up some pretty steep stuff. Acceleration while getting onto freeways and passing more than adequate. Some things hard to review at this time as no maintenance costs yet, purchase cost very good compared to other similar equipped vehicles we looked at. Obviously we have no idea of resale value at this time and warranty has not been used. Right now if we had it to do over again we would have purchased the exact same vehicle, seems to fit us perfectly. The dealer, Modesto Subaru has been excellent as has been the salesman, Ron Myers, who was able to answer all our questions well with absolutely no pressure at any time. Continued review after owning vehicle for slightly over 1 year now. Again, the Outback has been flawless and while the power is not like a turbo would be or 6 cylinder it is more than adequate for all our driving. Have got as high as 36mpg on a 200 mile round trip via highway and in town mileage when driving most of a tank has never been under 26mpg. Only maintenance costs have been for regular service which is only every 6 month's. Could not give 5 star on value as couldn't do that on any new car out there as simply all are expensive but would consider this Subaru a better value then any other vehicle in its class. Definitely worth anyone looking for similar type vehicles to test drive one to check them out.

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Electrical drain

Tom E, 08/07/2016
2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
63 of 63 people found this review helpful

No modern car should leave you stranded. After purchasing a brand new 2016 Outback Limited - the battery is completely drained in 13 days (with not using the vehicle). Dealer reports this is "normal!" WT_?!? That is NOT normal. I would have given higher ratings across the board had it not been for this crucial issue. You cannot park at the airport and go for a 2 week trip without getting stranded. Given this situation, if you buy one of these, also buy a 10mm wrench so you can disconnect the negative battery connection when you plan to take a trip. ... this is my wife's car, had it been mine I would have returned it - this is unacceptable. 2/8/17 Update: Returned from a trip and the OEM battery was depleted in 9 days. In multiple conversations with Subaru of America they have agreed to pay for a larger capacity battery. Prior to this vehicle ALL Subaru's use a Group 35 (640 CCA) battery, yet the vehicle is sold with a OEM Group 25 (only 550 CCA). Considering the vehicle has tons of electronics that is ALWAYS ON I'm dumbfounded that Subaru would roll these vehicles off the production line with such a small capacity battery. You either have to disconnect the battery (and it takes ~90 miles for the computers to fully reboot and restore all functions - like windows) or bring a jumper battery with you if you plan to park for any extended amount of time (even if the security system is not engaged). This remains unacceptable to me ... my wife isn't too worried about it. Costco carries the same batteries used by Subaru = Interstate Batteries. Costco carries the Group 35 for $75-80, or you can get the larger 700 CCA capacity 24F700 battery that has more lead to hold a charge longer - this is what I replaced the OEM with - I have not had a chance to test how long it will hold a charge when the vehicle is not in operation. What I would like Subaru to admit to is that the OEM battery is inadequate but they are not going to do that. It will take more than me complaining about this. Subaru is not alone, this is becoming more common across newer vehicles that have a lot of electronics you cannot turn off. BTW - none of this is mentioned in the owner's manual - and if it did, would you buy it? Overall - we are satisfied with the vehicle but not thrilled like we were and remain with the 1996 Subaru Legacy LSi Wagon (320,000+ miles), which remains my favorite = that's why it is 4 stars. The Outback is sturdy, reliable with the exception above, feels very safe, handles snow well, is comfortable, much bigger than the LSi, and competent. The electronic dash for the radio is difficult to use when driving as you cannot keep your finger in one place with the road bounce = I miss having actual knobs and being able to toggle between my favorite stations quickly and not having to look at the screen - thereby taking my eyes off the road. A good vehicle but I'm hesitant to purchase another because of the ability of the vehicle could leave me stranded - then again, perhaps any of the newer vehicles suffer the same fate. 2/9/18 update - no electrical problems with the larger battery. Last summer returned from a 2 week trip and the vehicle started fine with the battery attached. I don't know if that would have held true had it been for 3 weeks. I'm hearing either road noise from the tires or the transmission - a slight whining sound that we did not notice before - no change in driving behavior. Continue to average 25-27 mpg in mixed street/HWY driving. 8/10/18 update - no change from the last update. Average mileage has increased to 26-29 mpg. I used a trickle charger this summer to ensure the battery would not be drained. I still think Subaru should have a recall to replace the battery and submit a bulletin of the draining issue. 2/12/19 update - again no change from the last update. OEM tires are loud and are about half worn now (at 40k miles) - I look forward to replacing them when worn with some quiet tires (the 1996 Legacy wagon has Continental True Contact tires and they are fantastic - much better and quieter than the OEM's on the Outback). Car has not sat unused for more than a week in the past 6-months so I cannot report of the battery drainage is still a problem - I suspect it is as there would be no reason for an magical change. 8/13/19 update - Was out of town for 3 weeks and had a trickle charger on the battery to ensure the battery would not drain - this has worked - but this only works if you can add a trickle charger where you park for more than a week. OEM tires continue to be loud. Based on the wear pattern will need to replace by about 50k miles. 2/17/20 update - Ironically the Costco replacement battery started to fail and was replaced at cost by Costco. A weird thing we notice with the Subaru when you disconnect the battery is that it make take a day or two (or more) before you can control the passenger side window = very weird and inexplicable. Otherwise - same as before

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Very Impressed with the new Outback Limited Loaded

Lars Anderson, 08/18/2015
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
101 of 103 people found this review helpful

I have never owned a Subaru. I have owned 2013-15 BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Q7, VW CC, and Honda Odyssey for comparison [Yes...lots of new car purchases in last 2 years]. I test drove the 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen [better fuel economy and acceleration but smaller, less advance safety features, and more road noise] and 2015 Mazda CX-5 [just didn't do it for me but deserves a look]. I traded in my 2013 X3. Flaws, but not deal breakers: Voice recognition for entering destination address never works, and system locks out manual address input while driving so you need to stop to change an address in this setting. The Keyless FOB can not be programed to unlock all doors with one button, but keyless entry with door button can. Key FOB open button just has to be pressed twice. Adaptive cruise control button that adjusts distance from car in front not iconically intuitive. Side mirrors don't power fold. Mute button for music doesn't pause song. Turn signal level a little high for optimal ergonomics for me. Poor acceleration but adequate for conservative drivers. XM radio screen difficult to navigate. Voice recognition takes few minutes to initialize but bluetooth acquires instantly. Things I like moving from front to back: Very good head and fog light dispersement, Limited 18" wheels, Night time Approach light in the side mirror and side mirror auto dimming feature, HK stereo is quite impressive and better than premium Q7 stereo, Lane assist really works keeping you in the lane if you don't put hands on steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, lane change warning doesn't warn too early like Honda Odyssey system, Blue interior lighting and instrument panel, 3 12V and 2 USB jacks, Quality/Speed and resolution of infotainment screen, well balanced steering, Forward Adjustable head rest [not just up and down], seat comfort and leather quality, electronic parking break, rear seat AC vents and heated seats, rear seats flip down effortlessly and flat, rear trunk screen cover can be stored in car when not in use, rear seats can recline a bit, roof rack adjustability, road noise on chip & seal roads is very good and better than Audi but similar to BMW, minimal wind noise. Corners well with minimal body roll during conservative driving but certainly not on any rails. I am very impressed with quality, comfort, and electronics. Fun to cruise [quiet and comfy] so I can hear the great stereo. Look forward to tackling some dirt roads and throwing skis, kayak and bikes on top.

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Customer must change the phone?

Jay, 09/24/2016
2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
126 of 131 people found this review helpful

I purchased 2016 2.5 limited at the last April 2016. The problem started within a couple of days. It started with random changes of the interior clock. Then the audio part (it is a sort of computer) turns off and re-boot again time to time, while driving!!! Then the key less entry does not work at all intermittently. So when i open it by physical key, the alarm actives. I went dealer and they re installed the program, then changed the audio part. At last they said it is not the problem of the car, but my phone interfere the car. Ask me to update my cellular phone or change my phone. Really? I am always updated my cell iphone and my wife also had same problem when she drove. How can they explain this? I think i need to change my car rather than my cell phone.... Update, March 2017. 1. Couple of weeks later, the center console and interior electricity went out for days. I brought the car again. At that time they said ' the fuse was loosed and detached', and that is all. After that it apparently all the electrical problems are solved. Was it a small fuse problem?? Hard to believe. 2. The Audio is excellent. 3. The mileage is good. mixed mileage is about 27 mile per gallon. 3. The ride does not meet my expectation. I have motion sickness some times, which I did not have other vehicles ( I have been driving constantly since 1990, more than 8 cars). When driving over the pothole or bump, the vibration/instability is too bad, it feels like this car aged more than 10 years.

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Excellent vehicle

Tim Johnston, 09/13/2015
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
63 of 65 people found this review helpful

We owned a 1998 Legacy Wagon for 17 years, putting about 125,000 miles on it. It was a great car -- very reliable, comfortable, and capacious. When we decided to replace it last summer, we immediately went to Subaru again. We've only had our 2016 Outback for a couple of months but are very pleased with its performance and versatility. We've never owned an automatic before (!) and at first we were a bit hesitant because the Outback does not come with a manual option, but we find the AVT very smooth and the manual paddle shifts on the steering wheel are a great way to lock in a gear when you need it. (We frequently drive to a place we own in the Blue Ridge Mountains and being able to set a gear while driving up a very steep and windy highway is a convenient.) We didn't get the EyeSight option, as I didn't like the idea of all that electronic intrusion into my driving -- I was pretty sure I'd end up turning it off, so why buy it in the first place. We did get the optional cargo area and rear bumper protectors, which I recommend if you are going to use the car to carry cargo other than groceries and suitcases. We move a lot of gardening supplies but I think they'd also be good for dogs or sports and camping equipment. There are levers to remotely fold down the rear seats from the back of the car -- a big convenience. The climate controls are not very intuitive and the clock is small and poorly placed amid several temperature readouts. The backup camera display is large and clear -- much better than on our 2013 Toyota Tacoma. As the Edmunds review says, acceleration is not spectacular, but it's certainly adequate and quite safe for merging on to freeways or passing on 2-lane roads. If you are in the market for a station-wagon style SUV, the Outback is worth a close look.

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Not even close

Flyer, 04/26/2016
2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
27 of 27 people found this review helpful

After months of research we had narrowed our search down to the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid. We've driven Toyota's for years. The morning we were going to the Toyota dealer we decided to go drive the Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited. The Subaru dealer was blocks from our house and on the way to the Toyota dealer. After reading many poor reviews of the Subaru's acceleration issues and the gutless 2.5 engine I was shocked by how well the Subaru accelerated. Not only was the acceleration much better than expected but the Subaru held the road WAY better than the Toyota (we test drove both in pouring rain) and felt far better balanced and much easier to control. The road noise in the RAV4 was extremely loud and obtrusive while the Outback was much quieter. The interior on the Subaru felt comfortable and spacious with great lines of sight and visibility. The RAV4 felt cramped with awkward lines of sight. If you are considering one of the other SUVs (RAV4, CR-V, CX-5, Ford Escape) I would highly recommend test driving the Outback before buying one of the other cars.

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Moving up to the 2016 Outback Limited

S D Miller, 01/05/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
26 of 26 people found this review helpful

I looked at several other vehicles including the Forester, Hyundai Sport, Volvo X60, VW Tiguan and the Audi Q5. In the end the Outback seemed a much more logical choice for the money. The Outback rode a little better than the Forester and Tiguan, but the Audi Q5 was indeed a nicer vehicle, but at a much greater cost. The Subaru Outback Limited was a loaded vehicle and really liked the latest safety equipment provided. We immediately drove the vehicle from Houston to KC and hit some of the worst rainstorms we'd ever been in. There were even tornado's. The vehicle handled marvelously and was always sure-footed. The front and back seats were both very comfortable for four adults and handled all of our luggage. The HID lighting was not available, but I will get after-market which is a nice option when driving on old blacktop roads. The only other item not available was a front passenger seat memory & height adjustment. It can be difficult for over 6 ft people when the seat can't be lowered. The engine is very smooth with the transmission, but definitely could use a few more ponies under the hood. However, the trade-off with the 6 cylinder didn't really work for us. There wasn't a big difference in power in the lower range and the mileage dropped quite a bit - as do most larger engines. The Turbo 4 cylinder as in the Forester would be a welcomed option indeed. We did end up getting an extended warranty due to all the electronic equipment on this model. (not shown in total price)

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High Expectations Were Met or Exceeded

Jim K, 10/20/2015
3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT)
75 of 78 people found this review helpful

After reading every "expert" and "consumer" review that I could find, and after watching every YouTube video about the 2015/2016 Subaru Outback, I decided to order one in July. My wife and I picked up our Outback, October 9th. Before ordering, I was very concerned about the "wind noise" problems described in some of the 2015 reviews. Our car has no "wind noise" issues, and road noise, even at 70 MPH is subdued. Very quiet and comfortable cabin. We only have a little over 600 miles on the Outback so far, but that includes a trip to Sevierville, TN, from our home in the Upstate of SC. The route up I-26W, and I-40W have many high climbs and steep descents, including many twists and turns. The new Outback did a terrific job, easily handling the mountains. I used the Adaptive Cruise Control extensively during the highway portions of the trip, and it was amazing how well this feature worked. It is easy to turn on, and easy to set the distance between you and the car ahead. It reduces a lot of stress. For a car that is fairly big and heavy, the Subaru handled nimbly, both on the serpentine sections of I-40W in northwestern NC, but also in the narrow twisting road roads leading into and out of the Cades Cove section of The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We are averaging about 23.5 MPG with the 3.6 H-6 in mixed driving conditions ( almost 50/50 city and highway). I am 5'11", and my wife is 4'11". The driver seat easily adjusted for both of our driving setups, and the "Memory Function" for our two driver seating positions, make it very easy for either of us to drive. We traded both of our older cars in on this new Outback, as we are retired, and think that we can get by with just one car. Some people complained about no height adjustment for the front passenger seat. While it might be a nice addition for the Outback, my 4'11" wife has no problem seeing out from that passengers seat. The Navigation system also got some negative comments the past year or so. I was happy with the Ford Sync system ( no nav display; written-spoken directions only), so I am really happy with the Outback Navigation System and Display. It only takes a few minutes to setup and save your various "destinations" to a "favorites" file. To test the system, we went to a very remote address outside of Sevierville, TN, near Lake Douglas. The Nav System guided us flawlessly to the destination. Some people also complained of the Voice Guidance being too intrusive. The volume of the Voice Guidance can be adjusted easily from the on screen menu. A truly nice feature of the Nav System, is the "next turn" display, showing up not only on the 7" nav display, but also in a display on the driver's dash, that also shows MPG, MPH, Trip A and B mileage, etc.(switchable from steering wheel controls). We took another couple through Cades Cove with us, and they were very comfortable in the back seat; plenty of legroom, and A/C-Heating Vents for the rear seat passengers, too. The rear seatbacks recline for additional comfort. Since we only have a little over 600 miles on the car, reliability and some other higher mileage issues can't be address yet. So far though, this is one outstanding vehicle, and it was worth the near 3 month wait to receive it. The "Owner's Manuals" are extensive, and I read some of the material every day, and then go to the car to use what I have learned. I think that it will take a month to read, and understand everything. One cautionary note, the "keyless" functions of the car warn of the possible hazard to anyone who has a pacemaker installed, due to transmitting antennas located throughout the car. This could effect you or your passengers, so you may not want to go the "keyless" way. Our car was ordered with everything except the auto-dimming side mirrors. All in all, a really nice vehicle. Very pleased. **Updates as of 4/26/16 Mileage 9267 MPG Combined 23.9 Best HWY MPG 26.8 (70 MPH) Terrain - Rolling Hills to Flat I still consider the cabin "fairly quiet". The noise level greatly depends on road surfaces. I sometimes think that the cabin might be a little too noisy, but riding same roads in a Cadillac SUV, and a BMW X5, produce similar quietness levels; Concrete whistles, black top is quiet, and milled roads are aggravatingly loud! We have made 6 trips of 650 miles in a day, and the drive was not fatiguing. The seats are comfortable, and the adaptive cruise control is terrific. Coming into Atlanta from I-75 and connecting to I-85 via I-675 and I-475, is a nightmare of construction, and general craziness. I just stayed "right", out of harm's way, and the adaptive cruise was terrific. I still rate the Navigation System as excellent. Just load up your "Favorites" and go. It sometimes takes a while to "search" for places, but not too daunting. However, it's better to do your research online, find the restaurant or hotel's address, and just enter it into favorites. Can't write more do to Edmund's software.

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bluebaru

archer, 11/25/2015
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
23 of 23 people found this review helpful

About a month ago, I trades my 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit and I am beyond happy. The Jeep had more bells and whistles than a church, bit the Subaru is less than an inch in most dimensions and super easy to drive. The quality is outstanding and I really like the eye-sight technology. I bought the 2.5 4 cyl, after driving a v-6, I will do no towing and find the engine more than responsive enough for me.

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