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2013 Subaru Outback Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Sedans too small? SUVs too big? Outback is just right! by thyservant



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I bought my '13 Outback nearly 2 years and 37,000 miles ago. For the first time in my auto life I actually went for "style" and got the Special Appearance Package, which included brown leather, nav, and a few other style points. This car was the culmination of 2.5 years of research and 20+ test drives....I keep my cars for 12+ years and 200k miles minimum.

Coming from a lumbering midsize SUV (Trooper...which I love and is the most comfortable car I've ever had), the OB took a little getting used to with the size difference height-wise. My lanky frame fits fine although I'd prefer the seat bottoms to be 1-2" longer, something that's been rectified on the '15 (I'm tempted to test drive one but afraid I'd be too tempted to trade up..). I'm very pleased with the 2.5 4 cyl and CVT - took all of a day to figure how to coax the performance out of a CVT. It has effective paddle shifters too for when you're feeling sporty.

My car is solid and a blast to drive, highly confident especially in our torrential Houston downpours and quick handling in dry conditions. I can't say enough about the boxer engine (lower center of gravity), symetrical AWD (confidence boosting), and 8" of ground clearance (works wonders in standing water, light trails, and driveway inclines).

Average 26-27 mpg in mixed driving, a 10 mpg gain over the Trooper. Lots of room in the rear seat and cargo areas. Option I regret not getting is Eyesight, Subaru's radar-cruise system borrowed from Lexus. Option I've grown to love is push-button start FTW.

My "Final Four" were the Volvo XC70, Audi Q5, and CR-V AWD...the Subie and Volvo felt more substantial. Ultimately the responsiveness of the 2.5 and confident tracking are what sold me. The '15 looks nicer than my "aardvark" homely '13 - but then again I've never met anyone who bought a Subaru for looks. Apparently the '15 is quieter and slightly larger.

Reviewed: 2013 Subaru Outback

4dr Wagon 173-horsepower 2.5L H4 6-speed shiftable CVT AWD

2013 Subaru Outback Love Letter

A face only a mother could love, but the '15s look better. Very useful tall-wagon shape. Well put together.


A strong choice got stronger with the 2015 new model.

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Response from JD

10:17 am February 15, 2016

I agree with your assessment. Our 2014 OB is dead steady in Houston rains and drives, well, like a Subaru. Some feel it is underpowered, but give a full throttle and it will accelerate just fine. My wife complains that it isn't tall enough for her to see over traffic. Unless she goes to a Tahoe or pickup there aren't many crossovers that are taller.

It is comfortable on long trips with enough room to stow whatever we need. It's just about the ideal car.


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