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2013 Subaru Outback Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Love it after 4K miles... by edawg



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...just know that it's a wagon and an SUV with a few compromises. Great handling compared to an SUV, great handling, great fuel economy and great value. Just realize it's an "almost luxury" kind of ride at this price point (in 2.5i Limited trim).

Reviewed: 2013 Subaru Outback

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

Why the 2013 Subaru Outback?


After years of driving V6-powered SUVs, the handling of the Outback wagon is a huge improvement on curves and hills. Tight steering makes city handling especially nice and the the road manners on the interstate are good for road trips as well.

Fuel economy

Drive approx 70% rural highway / 30% city and getting 27 MPG on first oil. Mileage is improving.


Unless I really need to punch it, the engine and tranny noise is really quiet. And there is very little wind noise. The main source of noise is the sunroof outside visor accessory that came on the car.

Interior styling

The interior color combination on the Limited with leather is beautiful with a nice balance of tan/black/fake wood accents. Downside is the light color on the tan color really shows marks. More signs of dirt after 3 months than a Honda we had for 3 years.

Safety & braking

Overall braking feel is not great. Stopping distances seem a bit long for the wagon on panic stops, though I'm also still braking in the pads with less than 4K miles on the car.

Why Not the 2013 Subaru Outback?

Ride smoothness

Ride is compliant, but not buttery smooth. Tire pressure is especially important on this car due to relatively tight suspension setup on the 2013 and beyond Outbacks (significant tighter from 2012).

Audio & nav systems

Audio system is not intuitive in the Limited (non-Navi) system and takes some training. The bluetooth works intermittently though my phone is older and may be contributing to the difficulties.


Great content, utility and safety on the Subaru for the money with low operating costs down the road as well and great resale values.

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