Subaru Outback or Subaru fans?

markr6

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
9,262
My Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting about 16.4mph average lately. The Outback gets 25/32...so even 25 would be a nice bump up. But that would only save me about $450 on gas per year...or roughly 1.5 monthly car payments on a new car. I guess I'll keep running the Jeep.
 

Bdm82

Well-known member
CPF Supporter
Joined
May 27, 2016
Messages
1,003
Location
Illinois
I would have to disagree and say they are pretty terrible on fuel tbh. Although maybe not all of them.
The 2.5s with cvt get very good mpg at 55 or 60 mph. Our legacy will get 30 to 34. Compare thst to other mid to large sedans with AWD and it stacks up nicely.

The 3.6 v6 is an old engine and nowhere near as economical. Also nowhere near as powerful as it should be.

The only catch with the 2.5's economy is if you cruise at 80 or 85, the mpg tanks pretty quickly. From 30-34 to say 25-27.
 

tom-

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
233
Fuel economy with our Subaru cars has always been very good mid to upper 20's was never a problem but we do drive on the easy side and for an awd car that really is very very good. The worst was a 4motion Passat-high teens around town and the best would be low 20's- but the drive system with VW is very different than with Subaru, quite different. Of course using the dash display for mpg is an approximation at best.

If you have a Subaru that keeps most of the engine oil between changes thats only half the Subaru battle-keep an eye on the level of coolant. Should you have a steady oil level AND a steady coolant level count yourself among the Subaru Select-very very unusual indeed.
 

tom-

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
233
Forgot to add that we should have some uoa's coming back soon, I will post the Outback numbers and of course if glycol has been detected YET....
I will be very surprised if there is not coolant in the oil.
 

TKC

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
1,473
Location
Earth
Not wanting to sound overly rude, but that is quite a delusional reason for buying a 'new' car.
That is NOT the reason I bought a new car.My Tahoe got totaled in an accident, and I wanted something MUCH more fuel efficient, since at the time I had a 120 mile commute. If you read the the first post, you would have know that, and kept your rude comment to yourself.:shakehead
 

CanadianSurvivalCompany

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
114
Location
Northern Canada
I have to admit, I don't Remember the model (station wagon style) but we had a guy follow us a decent ways once (we were in overland jeeps) have to admit it was pretty impressive. That being skill will go a lot further then equipment. But either way was fun to watch!
 

moldyoldy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,410
Location
Maybe Wisconsin, maybe near Nürnberg
after reading the many +/- comments on Subarus, I feel compelled to add the experiences of my extended family with Subaru vehicles:


In my extended family, we have had maybe a dozen Subaru vehicles, primarily Foresters and Outbacks, in model years from before 2000 to 2015. No one has reported either oil, coolant or CVT problems, and some of the vehicles are over 200K miles. Noting that all of them drive long distances, and that easy mileage adds up. IOW, their experience mostly reflects the Consumer Reports repair record history. Yes, there was one acquaintance girl who purchased a very used Subaru and it turned out to burn oil. But a quick look at that vehicle showed that it was poorly maintained and I would not have recommended that she purchase it. too late.

In my current living area of Western Wisconsin as well as Eastern Minnesota, there are many Subaru vehicles of all ages on the road - possibly 10% or more. I even saw a Subaru Brat. The Subaru Brat has a lousy reputation, but this one was in mint condition!

In my immediate family, there are two 2015 Foresters (1-manual, 1-CVT) and one 2015 Outback (mine). 2 of them with Eyesight (excellent!). I have been careful with a long break-in period in our first 3 Subarus - no jack-rabbit launches, etc. We all drive a lot! So far, so good with my immediate families Subarus. I have 42K on my Outback, my wife has 34K on her Forester.

Many of us came from the Honda Civic series of '98, '99, and '00, meaning that we came from a very successful long-lived Auto series, so if the Subarus were causing problems, we would have said something. Our primary reason for the switch from Honda is the desire for a AWD with a good reputation, not just 4-wheel drive. Said differently, Ma and Pa are gettin' old and digging ourselves out of deep snow is no fun. Plus which Honda had some relatively trouble-prone model years after 2000 per Consumer Reports and per some experiences related by other drivers outside of my family.

I am well aware that any/all automotive manufacturers can produce individual 'lemons' or even a model line that produces nearly all lemons. (Chevy Vega, Ford Falcon, etc.) Yes, I did read about the lawsuits against Subaru, but also against many other automotive manufacturers.... I recall the the GM full-size diesel converted from a Chevy gas-based 350 cu.in. to diesel. An unmitigated disaster for GM!

I do believe that the later-model vehicles, but especially non-US designed vehicles, are increasingly sensitive to timely maintenance. especially oil changes. BTW, I still believe in a break-in period for a new engine!

Furthermore, except for my older daughter in one of the last manual xmsn 2015 Foresters, everyone drives with a 'light foot'. CVT xmsn systems are not nice to people who often feel the need to accelerate quickly => which forces those pulleys to change diameter under a heavy load. Pulling a trailer aggravates the disadvantage of CVT drives!

However, given the fuel economy advantage of a CVT xmsn over a 5, 6, 8+ gear xmsn, it will be increasingly difficult to avoid passenger vehicles with CVT drives. Besides, the electronics for a CVT can be tweek'd from year to year to improve fuel economy w/o redesigning the transmission. In my view, CVT drives are an intermediate step towards electric motor drives. In our design meetings, we often commented that electric motors can generate the necessary torque, but dissipating the heat is the real problem.

FWIW: At the top of the fuel economy lineup of all vehicles that I have owned since the '60s or maybe even driven since the '50s, the 1998 & 1999 Honda Civic manual xmsn will reach 50-51mpg on a flat road over a day's drive - meaning a tankful, consistently. The only vehicle that could match that was a 2-door Fiat 850 driven on the Autobahn in Germany in the '60s. My 2015 Outback will reach 40+ mpg on _flat_ roads regardless of internal load. eg: the N-S main Interstates in Illinois, or most of western and northern Minnesota.
 
Last edited:

gunga

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
8,039
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
That's cool. We had a couple subarus. A 97 Legacy with nasty head gasket issues and a 2012 cvt impreza that is fine. Glad to hear good stories too!
 

StarHalo

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
10,932
Location
California Republic
I feel compelled to add the experiences of my extended family with Subaru vehicles:

Great post, glad to hear you've have good experiences, I wish everyone in snowy areas had access to AWD vehicles.

The CVT is just about perfect for a family car, can't beat the smoothness. Years ago we briefly had a rental Dodge Caliber, a car that was a real testament to how ignored the compact format was for American carmakers; full-plastic interior, buzzy engine, apparently no sound-deadening material on the underside of the car to speak of so it was like driving around in a subwoofer box with every bump and road imperfection made audible, not a pleasant drive. But it had a CVT - every time you'd pull away from a stoplight, the engine would simply make a monotone hum up to cruising speed, no jerking or nudging through gears, the one inadvertent nod to luxury in the entire car. That kind of transmission in the Outback really validates the comparisons to Audi and Volvo, very comfy.
 

moldyoldy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,410
Location
Maybe Wisconsin, maybe near Nürnberg
following up on comments about the Subaru AWD system:

The Subaru AWD system in three 2015 Foresters/Outback has demonstrated excellent stability control on any road surface, even if the display lights up with warnings.

Subaru claims that their current (2015) AWD system can detect and initiate a reaction to a wheel slip w/in one revolution of any wheel.

eg: My older daughter ran the 'Tail of the Dragon' in Tennessee in her Forester manual xmsn. Her Forester was pulling away from any vehicle behind her, including a Corvette. I prefer to interpret that to mean that my daughter was being a lot more aggressive with her AWD vs the Corvette with only rear-wheel drive. A girl in the passenger's seat said that the display was nearly constantly complaining about something. 4-wheel drift in a Forester anyone?

eg: I was driving north on Interstate 39 from Bloomington/Normal the morning after a 5-6" snowfall the night before. I had overnighted in Champaign. Both lanes were plowed, but the left lane was still snowy. The right lane had two tracks to the pavement, but there was an occasional shimmer in those tracks, which meant 'black ice'. All traffic was behaving and driving maybe 60 mph or less. No one was being stupid and passing on the left. However at 60 mph, the Outback steering wheel feedback went really soft more than once, which told me to slow down. I suddenly noticed a black Ford F-150 maybe a hundred yards in front of me that was sliding sideways down the Interstate at 60 mph. My first thought was "That is an odd place to cross the median"... The F-150 slid sideways into the left lane, then sideways into the median throwing up a huge cloud of snow. It was not visible if he rolled in the median or not - too much snow in the air. He continued sliding and slid upright across the south bound 2 lanes, went into the ditch and spun around with the nose point back at the Interstate. The problem was that he crossed the southbound lanes sliding northbound about 2 seconds in front of a semi in the southbound lane!!! The semi stopped. I slowed way down. the F-150 driver did not exit his vehicle but seemed upright. I decided that I was more of a danger on a really slippery Interstate so I resumed my drive northbound.
 

moldyoldy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,410
Location
Maybe Wisconsin, maybe near Nürnberg
BTW, I do have some gripes about the three 2015 Subaru vehicles that my immediate family purchased:


- 2015 Forester, manual transmission: Gears 5 and 6 are a very short lateral 'throw' from gears 3 and 4. so short that once in a while I miss a shift. My daughter is used to the short lateral throw and does not miss a shift, but often forgets to shift from 5th to 6th gear. IOW, 6th gear should have had a greater ratio difference from 5th gear.


- 2015 Forester, CVT, 1st Generation Eyesight: The Eyesight system functions quite well except for some odd situations.
1. The base problem is that the day-running lights are a bit too bright. So if adaptive cruise control is engaged, and the Forester is approaching a semi-trailer with those shiny back doors, then the reflection of the day running lights causes the Eyesight to apply the brakes.

2. If two motorcycles are in a staggered position in their lane - one forward of the other - and if for some reason they drift towards each other such that they sort of merge, meaning that they start lining up in the same track, the Eyesight thinks that it detected a vehicle that grew larger, meaning came closer, and appies the brakes.


- 2016 Outback, CVT, 2nd Generation Eyesight: This corrected the errors of the 1st generation. The second generation detects farther ahead, and in color. It also tracks vehicles moving off to the side of the lane. The problem arises when the vehicle in front is blinking to exit the roadway, applies the brakes which turns on the brake lights and starts moving to the exit lane. Unfortunately the 2nd Gen Eyesight sees the brake lights and evidently detects that a vehicle is blocking the lane and applies the brakes fairly aggressively. That could lead to my Outback being hit from the rear on an Interstate. I learned to be ready to tap the brakes or to simply turn off the adaptive cruise control in traffic with many exiting vehicles.


- 2016 Outback, CVT, electronic emergency brake: As received, the electronic brake was a real irritation. I had to step on the main brakes, then pull up the e-brake release lever before the electronic brakes would release. A couple of times I could not move - the electronic brakes simply would not release no matter how/when I pulled on the little e-brake release lever. a later service bulletin corrected that software problem. Now the electronic brakes release at the instant of depressing the gas pedal, assuming that the system is in "D". That change also killed the hill-holding feature in the Outback. which does work very well in the manual xmsn Forester.


- 2016 Outback, CVT, 2.5L Boxer engine. When the oil is hot, and only at idle speed, I can hear a slight tick, tick, tick. The sound disappears quickly with nearly any RPM increase. The two Foresters do not have that problem. Subaru supposedly stopped using hydraulic lifters in about 1997. I doubt piston slap only at idle and not at higher speeds. Probably caused by a valve clearance slightly out of alignment. IMO, nothing to pay attention to until a major servicing.


- All Subaru vehicles that I had the chance to compare the actual fuel mileage (miles divided by gallons) with the mpg as reported on the display, have a positive error of about 1 to 1-1/2 mpg. The error seems to depend on the number of ignition start cycles - meaning starting the engine from off. IOW, the mileage reported in the display is too high. I have heard the same complaint from fellow engineers regarding nearly any vehicle that reports the MPG on a display. measuring the fuel flow is evidently a very low priority in the maze of events running during an ignition start cycle.
 

Echo63

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
1,778
Location
Perth - West Australia
On our second subaru, looking for the third.
wife had an 09 impreza, i got an 09 forester.
got rid of the impreza when she was pregnant, she had difficulty driving and we used the money for other things.
the forester is now the family car and i drive a "bunky" 96 toyota paseo** to work and back.
looking at replacing the bunky when it finally dies with another subaru, probably a forester or a liberty (i think its a legacy in the rest of the world)

**230,000km hail damaged, slipping clutch, but it only cost me a carton of bundy rum+coke cans, and the airconditioning and heating is incredible - freezing cold or toasty warm in 5 mins after starting it up.



update - we bought our third Subaru - the wife now has a BR(09) Liberty wagon
I was made redundant and moved straight into another job, so the Payout wiped out our debts and replaced the bunky

 

markr6

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
9,262
Still contemplating a new Outback. Normally I wouldn't look at brand new, but it will cost me about $23,000 to get the used Grand Cherokee I want under 50,000mi. So I figure spending another $6,000 to get something new, 0 miles, and better gas mileage would be a wise move. But I'll miss that Jeep!
 

TKC

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
1,473
Location
Earth
This is my first AWD vehicle, as I have always had a 4x4 truck, and most recently an SUV. The more I drive it, the more I am inpressed with it. I was particularly impressed with how it handled in the snow! It drove in the snow BETTER than my 4x4 Tahoe did.
makr6: I am excited to see which OB you get. Please keep us posted.
:twothumbs
 

markr6

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
9,262

makr6: I am excited to see which OB you get. Please keep us posted.
:twothumbs

Will do! I test drove one recently. Didn't love it, but good enough I guess. It would just be the fairly basic Premium model; still around $29,000 which is more than I want to spend but I'm trying to justify it :) Wife's car will be paid off soon, so that makes me feel better about getting into another monthly payment.
 

moldyoldy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,410
Location
Maybe Wisconsin, maybe near Nürnberg
bump regarding oil consumption in 2014-2015 Subaru with the 2.5L engine.

None of our 4 Subaru vehicles had problems .... up until my daughters 2015 Forester 2.5L gradually started consuming oil at around 40K+ miles. at first the oil consumption was part of a quart before oil change time. However on a move from TN to OH driving at 70mph on an 88 F day on the Interstate, the low oil light came on - some 2000 miles after an oil change. Another bottle of 0-20 synthetic was poured in which sort of brought the oil level up to near full. After another 1-1/2 hours of driving at 65mph on speed control & me driving, the oil was checked level was checked again. down to less than 1/2 of full on the dipstick. That is a problem! On the freeway no 0-20 synthetic was available, so 5-30 Pennzoil was purchased. during the rest of the drive, the temp was dropped down into the 70+F range, and the oil dropped only a couple mm on the dipstick.

The rest of the story: the Subaru dealer that performed the oil change ~2K miles ago in TN was called. We stopped at a local Subaru dealer in Columbus OH, and heard about the same info as from the TN dealer. The original selling dealership was called - about the same info.

The oil consumption test: The oil is changed by a Subaru dealer. after 1200 miles, the vehicle has to be returned soon as possible to Subaru. If the oil consumption is greater than 10.5oz, the short block is changed out. estimated 2-3 weeks for this changeout. if less than 10.5oz is consumed, no action.

Caveat: a manual xmsn Forester is considered to be OK up to 10 oz of oil consumed before an oil change. Reason is that either high revs' during shift changes or as the tech rep said - driving long distances at highway speeds will aggravate the oil consumption problem in the 2.5L engine.

Additionally, Subaru extended the short block warranty to 100K miles in the 2014-2015 2.5L engines just to cover this possibility of oil consumption.

Caveat: I did not hear the entire conversation that my daughter had with the local Subaru service rep, some detail on the warranty or allowable oil consumption rate may be in error.

To complement Subaru service personnel in 3 dealerships in TN, OH, MN: We were treated fairly and honestly. no attempt was made to hide from the oil consumption problem. The local Subaru Service departments took my daughter's word as to recent oil consumption. The first oil consumption test is free. any further test is at the owner's cost. While I am admittedly disappointed in the original oil consumption problem, 3 Subaru dealerships acted consistently, courteously, and were quite complete with the information provided.
 

Latest posts

Top