2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

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Encheiridion
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2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Encheiridion » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 pm

I am looking to get a 2019 Subaru Outback, and the main question I have concerns which engine size (2.5 vs 3.6) best fits my use case. For my daily driving that consists of urban highway and some surface streets (no snow), the 2.5 engine seems more than adequate. However, I often take trips through the Sierras, and I am apprehensive about the capabilities of the 2.5 engine with a loaded car in the mountains.

I have test driven both engines multiple times and there is no significant difference between the two for typical driving around my area, which is primarily flat farmland. There are dealerships with both engines that are in more hilly/mountainous areas, but these are ~200 miles away. So, I was hoping that there might be others here that can lend anecdotal evidence about the 2.5 vs 3.6 engine. Thank you very much in advance.

Quick summary of max car loading:
4 adults, 1 kid with car seat, 1 dog, a loaded trunk with ~150 lb of gear, possibly a roof rack (~75 lb), no trailer
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badger42
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by badger42 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:48 pm

I'm on my second Subaru with the 2.5 non-turbo. It may not be the fastest at accelerating up a mountain, but I have yet to meet any driving conditions where the 2.5 was a "no-go" item, even with a fully loaded vehicle. Between the flat torque curve and generally well matched transmissions (caveat: my experience is all pre-CVT), the 2.5 really does punch above its weight.

Also, for the price of the 3.6 (which is probably on its last year) I'd buy an Ascent instead - the 2.4 turbo is the best engine Subaru has put out in a LONG time - tons of torque, really built for real-world driving.

Flag Prepper
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Flag Prepper » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:29 pm

I have a 2014 Subaru Outback with the 3.6 engine, and I am very happy with it.

Two of my neighbors bought the Outback with the 2.5 engine, and they both sold them within the past year.
They complained that the 2.5 engine is under powered at our 7,000 foot elevation in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Your maximum load requirements of "4 adults, a child in a car seat and a dog" will be a tight fit in an Outback.

The Ascent will have more room.

Happy car hunting.

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TxAg
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by TxAg » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:40 pm

I'm taking a 2017 2.5 Outback to the mountains next week. We'll be around 10,000' and loaded down. I'll report back....I'm not expecting any significant issues b/c of a smaller engine, though.

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Encheiridion
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Encheiridion » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:49 pm

badger42 wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:48 pm
Also, for the price of the 3.6 (which is probably on its last year) I'd buy an Ascent instead - the 2.4 turbo is the best engine Subaru has put out in a LONG time - tons of torque, really built for real-world driving.
I would have a hard time trusting the new turbo engine given Subaru's historical engine issues, especially since this is the first year for the model. Otherwise, I would agree with you that the turbo engine checks all the right boxes.
Flag Prepper wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:29 pm
Your maximum load requirements of "4 adults, a child in a car seat and a dog" will be a tight fit in an Outback.
Agreed. 99% of the time the max cargo will be 2 adults, 1 kid, 1 dog, and gear. But I couldn't rule out the occasional trip with relatives or whatnot. These situations would be few in comparison to "normal" duty.
Flag Prepper wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:29 pm
They complained that the 2.5 engine is under powered at our 7,000 foot elevation in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Nice to know, as trips to Sedona and Flagstaff are within reason as well.
TxAg wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:40 pm
I'm taking a 2017 2.5 Outback to the mountains next week. We'll be around 10,000' and loaded down. I'll report back....I'm not expecting any significant issues b/c of a smaller engine, though.
Good luck, and I look forward to the field report.
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by jthokie4 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:16 pm

I owned a 3.6 outback, and couldnt get rid of it fast enough due to the atrocious gas mileage. The 2.5 is plenty powerful enough--now our family car is an even less powerful Prius V wagon loaded with 4 people, camping supplies, and mtn bikes on a hitch rack. It is more than powerful to easily traverse any paved mountain road in CO at posted speed limits, including roads that go up to 14,000- ft in elevation.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:36 pm

Encheiridion wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:49 pm
Agreed. 99% of the time the max cargo will be 2 adults, 1 kid, 1 dog, and gear. But I couldn't rule out the occasional trip with relatives or whatnot. These situations would be few in comparison to "normal" duty.
You will pay the higher purchase price, plus the higher fuel cost 100% of the time, for that 1% of the time the car is fully loaded, of which some further fraction is spent on the difficult uphill at high altitude situation.

I prefer to think of the 3.6 liter option more as a choice to make if you want the extra performance on a daily basis, rather than just on rare occasions. But even on those rare occasions, I think the 2.5 L option should be fine for most people.

This is not at high altitude, but I was pretty satisfied last time I towed with my 2.5 liter Outback how it did accelerating up a 2 mile long, fairly steep (5% grade) hill near our house, with 2000+ pounds of weight. Obviously acceleration is reduced under those conditions, and I didn't try to push it hard, but I had no trouble reaching the speed limit in a reasonable time.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by jayk238 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:25 pm

Encheiridion wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:39 pm
I am looking to get a 2019 Subaru Outback, and the main question I have concerns which engine size (2.5 vs 3.6) best fits my use case. For my daily driving that consists of urban highway and some surface streets (no snow), the 2.5 engine seems more than adequate. However, I often take trips through the Sierras, and I am apprehensive about the capabilities of the 2.5 engine with a loaded car in the mountains.

I have test driven both engines multiple times and there is no significant difference between the two for typical driving around my area, which is primarily flat farmland. There are dealerships with both engines that are in more hilly/mountainous areas, but these are ~200 miles away. So, I was hoping that there might be others here that can lend anecdotal evidence about the 2.5 vs 3.6 engine. Thank you very much in advance.

Quick summary of max car loading:
4 adults, 1 kid with car seat, 1 dog, a loaded trunk with ~150 lb of gear, possibly a roof rack (~75 lb), no trailer
Im in love with my 3.6 touring paid 38k for everything including taxes.

I have the 2019. Im grateful its a 2019 because it has the ability to receive updates to the head unit by wifi. Not yet activated but there. (Side note if dealer says u can get lte he is wrong).

Anyway for comparison i had a 2013 crv thru my dad that was 185 hp like the 2.5. I hated how badly it struggled flr acceleration thru the intersection. I just dont like having to put effort to make a wide turn or get onto highway. I told myself id spring for 3.6 as a result. Really appreciate that.

Now will it whine to go fast from 0-60? Yeah but thats not why i bought it.

For sure gas mileage will suffer. I went from 25 mpg on crv to about 22 now. Luckily the tank is a lot bigger 18 gallons vs 12 for crv.

I also wanted it for skiing and going up the hilly terrain in the snow. Something my crv struggled despite being awd.

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SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:22 am

Everyone is different. And these two engines/tech packages are different. You'll need to decide your hierarchy of needs. Is MPG your #1 priority? The larger engine isn't what you need then. But there are always trade-offs anytime you choose a priority. We have a 2018 Outback 3.6 Limited. Love it. Our priorities include safety and comfort. The 3.6 limited provided us all the technology and power we felt was important for safety and comfort. We live and play in the mountains, so I want to disclose that. Our mountain drives may be more frequent than what you describe. We tow a small camping trailer occasionally.

What drives me a little crazy is when people say "I can't tell the difference so get the smaller motor". There are measurable differences, despite your perception. That's why we measure things...our perception can miss differences, even non-trivial differences. Review the stats available on various review websites and the Subaru site. There are differences in the two engines and accompanying configurations. Now, whether or not those objective differences are a priority for you, well that's a different matter.

As you describe your use case, it sounds like the smaller engine may serve your needs, since you perceive no difference in town. The stats say the acceleration of the 3.6 is significantly different when getting on the freeway, so the two cars are not the same, even with typical in town driving. The additional acceleration means safety to me, but it may not matter to you. Again it sounds like the smaller engine will serve your use case.

The 3.6 will perform better on your mountain drives. But, you will need to prioritize this. The extra power on your infrequent mountain drives may not be worth the tradeoff for the bigger engine and tech.
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RootSki
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by RootSki » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:45 am

I'd go 3.6L, but I my normal choice is to always choose the bigger, more powerful engine.

At some point, you might wish for more power. I feel it's unlikely that you'd be wishing for less power day to day.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by stan1 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:53 am

Some people are OK with 0-60 acceleration in the 9 second range. Others are not. Some people see slow acceleration as a safety feature. Others see slow acceleration as a hazard. You know which group you are in.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:01 am

Is the new engine in the 2019 Outback the same new engine that is in the 2019 Forester?

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GoldStar
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:14 am

RootSki wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:45 am
I'd go 3.6L, but I my normal choice is to always choose the bigger, more powerful engine.

At some point, you might wish for more power. I feel it's unlikely that you'd be wishing for less power day to day.
No one wants less power but one respondent above said he didn't like the extra trips to the gas station and all the extra money he/she was spending. You end up with extra $$ for the cost of the car plus extra $$ throughout the year on gas. It depends upon whether or not the extra cost is worth it for it.

OP: When you say you go to the Sierras "often" - is that yearly or monthly or a few times a month? That would be the consideration for me - if only yearly - who cares - you could rent cheaper for a week if you want more power. For multiple times a month I'd go with the bigger engine.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Encheiridion » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:40 am

I figured that there would be an overwhelming consensus regarding the engine differences at grade and elevation, but it seems that ultimately I will have to try a dealership in a more mountainous area to know whether the 2.5 is adequate enough for me or the 3.6 is the de facto choice. I do appreciate all the responses.
SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:22 am
What drives me a little crazy is when people say "I can't tell the difference so get the smaller motor". There are measurable differences, despite your perception. That's why we measure things...our perception can miss differences, even non-trivial differences. Review the stats available on various review websites and the Subaru site. There are differences in the two engines and accompanying configurations. Now, whether or not those objective differences are a priority for you, well that's a different matter.

As you describe your use case, it sounds like the smaller engine may serve your needs, since you perceive no difference in town. The stats say the acceleration of the 3.6 is significantly different when getting on the freeway, so the two cars are not the same, even with typical in town driving. The additional acceleration means safety to me, but it may not matter to you. Again it sounds like the smaller engine will serve your use case.
I completely agree. In the test drives, the 3.6 obviously accelerated quicker, got up to speed with less RPM, and was slightly quieter. However, there was no significant difference in my test drives (flat area) between the two merging on to highways or getting up to speed on surface streets, as long on-ramps and light traffic (basically not LA 80+ mph traffic) made the engine differences moot in my area.
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:01 am
Is the new engine in the 2019 Outback the same new engine that is in the 2019 Forester?
The 2.5 Outback and Forester seem to be the same engine, except the Forester is direct injection and the Outback is not.
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:14 am
OP: When you say you go to the Sierras "often" - is that yearly or monthly or a few times a month? That would be the consideration for me - if only yearly - who cares - you could rent cheaper for a week if you want more power. For multiple times a month I'd go with the bigger engine.
From spring to autumn, trips are multiple times a month. I don't have a car currently that I would trust in the winter, which was one of the factors for getting the Outback and a good set of tires. Overall, 18-24 trips a year.
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onourway
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by onourway » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:25 am

175HP in a 3600lb vehicle is anemic by today's standards. If the vehicle will be fully loaded, and at altitude without the benefit of a turbocharger, it's not going to strand you or anything, but it'll be slow going.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by harrington » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:54 am

The 2020 redesign will only feature two different turbo four cylinders.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Sasquatch » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:31 pm

2014 Outback 2.5i here. We are in the Mountains. Snowy mountain passes, ski hills, etc. I would definitely go 3.6. I would happily pay the extra fuel cost. Best snow car by far I have ever owned. Way better than our pickup in 4wd.

That being said there are literally hundreds of Subaru’s in our town and most are 2.5s.

As I write this I am passenger in our outback on a long highway run. Trip computer says 31.2 avg mpg.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Calli114 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:40 pm

When I was going to get a new Outback, my trade-in was the 2002 3.0 Outback, and I instantly disliked the lack of power when merging with the 2.5 on the test drive. I'm sure I would not have been happy going uphill either, and I don't live at altitude.
They seem pricy, but I ended up with the Outback 3.6R. Perhaps I would have been happy with the smaller engine if it hadn't been a downgrade from what I owned.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by HappyWorkerBee » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:12 pm

I have a 2016 outback 2.5 and if I had it to do over again, I would get the 3.6. The 2.5 is under-powered. I rarely need the extra power but when I do and it's not there I'm disappointed (and often a bit frightened).

I got the 2.5 because it has slightly better fuel economy, fewer trips to the gas station sounded great at the time. Now that I'm a few years into owning it, having 10% more trips to the gas station would be a fine trade-off for an engine that doesn't let me down when I need it most.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by radiowave » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:32 pm

OP I compared the Outback vs CR-V last December when we were looking to replace our 14 yr old CR-V and wound up getting a new Honda Pilot instead. The primary issue was comfort of the drivers and front passenger seats in both the CR-V and Outback. I did like the 3.6L Outback but the Pilot has 3.5L V6 engine and a third row of seats (max 8 people), and lots more carrying capacity. I have been recording all my gas fills, and consistently getting around 24MPG local and 26-28 MPG highway and mountain. The Pilot sits higher up and has better visibility than the Outback. And I got the Pilot for $36k even out the door (no trade in) which was cheaper than the 3.6L Outback.

Just want to give you another option. We live in CO at 6500 ft and the vehicle works well in local traffic or up in the mountains (been at 14k ft already without any issues during late summer travel).
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:41 pm

RootSki wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:45 am
I'd go 3.6L, but I my normal choice is to always choose the bigger, more powerful engine.

At some point, you might wish for more power. I feel it's unlikely that you'd be wishing for less power day to day.
+1..If the difference in money is not a concern, I would always choose the bigger engine. Most people who say the 4 cyl is fine have probably never driven a 6 Cyl. Now I don't have direct experience with the Outback, but every time I've driven a 4 cyl, I've always thought the vehicle was underpowered.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by htdrag11 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:11 pm

Let me rain on your parade, as a counterpoint.

I came from a 2012 RX350 V6 and find the acceleration of my 2.5 2018 Outback Limited adequate but there are only the 3 of us. The gas mileage is OK, but at least 15-20% better than the Lexi.
As for the negatives, both my nephew-in-law and I had the amps replaced (both are 2018) from different dealers. It would have cost about $7-8k if it's out of warranty. I have Android and he has iPhone, so he has less issues with connectivity. Even when working, my front speakers cut out about 10-15% of the time. Increasing the volume did not help. I ordered the Limited to get better speakers since audio is important to me. Few people are as picky as I'm, so YMMV. The car is kind of noisy and still do not like CVT.

The pros - it has much better traction in snow than Lexi and handles better (but anything handles better than Toyota/Lexus). I love the EyeSight safety features. Subaru just extended the warranty of the CVT to 10 years or 100k miles.

GL.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by fishnskiguy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm

Do not buy a Subaru with a CVT. Go over to You Tube and search on Scotty Kilmer Subaru CVT. Scotty is a straight shooter and knows what he is talking about. Yea, Subaru extended the CVT warranty to 100K miles but that's because they had to. The word is getting out on that tranny. Expect that CVT to die shortly after warranty.

I drive a 2007 Outback with the 2.5 turbo and a five speed stick. Best car I've ever owned. Got 126K miles on it and it's just getting broken in. Sadly, Subaru engineering is losing its mojo.


The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.


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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:31 am

fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm


The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.


Chris
Isn't that hard to do, given that manufacturers are moving towards CVT? I know Honda SUVs are CVT, I am not sure of their sedans, Nissan went with CVT a while ago. I also do not get vehicles with CVT but seems like that is where things are headed, no?

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by RootSki » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:44 am

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:31 am
fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm


The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.


Chris
Isn't that hard to do, given that manufacturers are moving towards CVT? I know Honda SUVs are CVT, I am not sure of their sedans, Nissan went with CVT a while ago. I also do not get vehicles with CVT but seems like that is where things are headed, no?
I really don't want another car with a CVT. With 8 to 10 speed transmissions much more common now, I just don't see the point behind them. The gear ratios are "good enough". CVT vs a 4 or 5 speed, is a different story.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by RootSki » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:47 am

fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm
I drive a 2007 Outback with the 2.5 turbo and a five speed stick. Best car I've ever owned. Got 126K miles on it and it's just getting broken in. Sadly, Subaru engineering is losing its mojo.


The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.


Chris
I would not even consider a Subaru until they bring forced induction back into their SUV range. Great AWD, but lame engines right now.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by dsb012 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:33 am

fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm
The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.
I'm not sure current Honda CRV owners would agree, see the 13 page thread here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=244271

And yes the CRV does have a CVT. I'm commenting on the turbo 4 with DI.
Last edited by dsb012 on Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

ponyboy
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by ponyboy » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:45 am

I like subarus...but be prepared...your head gasket is going to blow. And your timing belt will need replaced. Just had to replace my timing belt in 2006 forester.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by tomd37 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:54 am

Ponyboy - How many miles do you have on your 2006 Forester that required a timing belt replacement? Normally I would expect to replace a timing belt on a twelve year old car, unless the mileage was extremely low. On the other hand one might replace it at lower mileage due to possible drying out of the belt over a long period of time.

We had a 2001 Lexus ES300 on which the belt was replaced after fourteen years out of caution but with only 74,000 miles on it.
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by texaspapas » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:22 am

dsb012 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:33 am

I'm not sure current Honda CRV owners would agree, see the 13 page thread on this site: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=244271

And yes the CRV does have a CVT. I'm commenting on the turbo 4 with DI.
Exactly. For all these comments about other great engines and lost Subaru "mojo", both the 2.5 and 3.6 right now seem to be solid, mature engines, capable of great service. Look at recent Subaru Legacy/Outback drivetrain reliability, it's excellent, and the oil burning problem seems to be resolved. Yes they did announce a recall involving Forester/BRZ engines today, but I don't count that against them.

For the original poster, the question is easy: If you've got even a slightly heavy right foot, you need the 3.6. If not, you'll be fine with the 2.5. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I'd venture to say that if you're thinking this hard about it, you need to stop thinking and spring for the 3.6, or find a different model or manufacturer with a more powerful set-up.

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Encheiridion
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Encheiridion » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:27 am

radiowave wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:32 pm
OP I compared the Outback vs CR-V last December when we were looking to replace our 14 yr old CR-V and wound up getting a new Honda Pilot instead.
I looked at the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, etc., and I found them all to be much larger vehicles than I require. If I was going to the next size up in cars, I'd probably just get a truck and be done with it.
htdrag11 wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:11 pm
As for the negatives, both my nephew-in-law and I had the amps replaced (both are 2018) from different dealers. It would have cost about $7-8k if it's out of warranty. I have Android and he has iPhone, so he has less issues with connectivity. Even when working, my front speakers cut out about 10-15% of the time. Increasing the volume did not help. I ordered the Limited to get better speakers since audio is important to me. Few people are as picky as I'm, so YMMV. The car is kind of noisy and still do not like CVT.
Audio is a big priority for me, and I appreciate your response here. I have not previously seen audio issues listed under reliability problems for the Outback, so I'll have to check it out.
fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm
Do not buy a Subaru with a CVT. Go over to You Tube and search on Scotty Kilmer Subaru CVT. Scotty is a straight shooter and knows what he is talking about. Yea, Subaru extended the CVT warranty to 100K miles but that's because they had to. The word is getting out on that tranny. Expect that CVT to die shortly after warranty.
I checked out a few of his videos, and he makes a lot of negative blanket statements about non-Japanese vehicles, Nissan, Honda, Subaru... basically anyone not Toyota... with zero sources. Similarly, I could make negative statements about Toyota for their early 4Runner issues, but then I would never have driven the Tacoma, Prius, etc. Needless to say, his videos are hard to take seriously.
fishnskiguy wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:31 pm
The absolute sweet spot in automotive engineering these days is a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo with direct injection matted to an eight to ten speed automatic transmission. Good power (most are in the 240-280 HP range), great torque starting at very low RPM, good acceleration, and north of 30 MPG if you don't have a lead foot. Almost every manufacturer except Subaru offers one.
This is exceedingly difficult to find in the smaller size SUVs/crossovers. The Nissan Rogue is CVT. The Honda CR-V is CVT. Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota all make CVTs. About the only small-mid SUV with an automatic transmission seems to be the Rav4. If there is another make/model that I should be considering, I am all ears and certainly would appreciate the input.
dsb012 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:33 am
I'm not sure current Honda CRV owners would agree
Yes, the 2017-2018 gas-dilution issue was a major consideration for not having the CR-V on my shortlist of cars to pursue.
ponyboy wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:45 am
I like subarus...but be prepared...your head gasket is going to blow. And your timing belt will need replaced. Just had to replace my timing belt in 2006 forester.
My understanding is that the HG issues affected one particular engine, and the issue has since been resolved. I also believe the 2019s have a timing chain instead of belt. In any case, regular maintenance of any engine is paramount.
texaspapas wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:22 am
For the original poster, the question is easy: If you've got even a slightly heavy right foot, you need the 3.6. If not, you'll be fine with the 2.5. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I'd venture to say that if you're thinking this hard about it, you need to stop thinking and spring for the 3.6, or find a different model or manufacturer with a more powerful set-up.
All fair points. I think the original purpose of the thread has been resolved, and I will need to test the engines in the appropriate terrain. Thank you all for your responses; you have given me much to consider.
I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance. - Socrates | | The only money made in newsletters is through subscriptions, not from taking the advice. - Malcolm Forbes

ponyboy
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by ponyboy » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:32 pm

tomd37 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:54 am
Ponyboy - How many miles do you have on your 2006 Forester that required a timing belt replacement? Normally I would expect to replace a timing belt on a twelve year old car, unless the mileage was extremely low. On the other hand one might replace it at lower mileage due to possible drying out of the belt over a long period of time.

We had a 2001 Lexus ES300 on which the belt was replaced after fourteen years out of caution but with only 74,000 miles on it.
It only had around 80,000 miles when I changed it. I wasn't 100% convinced it needed changed but we bought it used...and if those things snap when the car is in motion...bye bye car. It was actually pretty easy...about $350 parts all in...and that included an OEM water pump.

The only difficult part was getting the freaking belt on. For whatever reason that was a pain. Watched a couple different youtube videos and eventually pulled some pulleys and it fit on...still not easily though. Other than that...pretty straight forward.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by htdrag11 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:10 pm

Encheiridion wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:27 am

This is exceedingly difficult to find in the smaller size SUVs/crossovers. The Nissan Rogue is CVT. The Honda CR-V is CVT. Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota all make CVTs. About the only small-mid SUV with an automatic transmission seems to be the Rav4. If there is another make/model that I should be considering, I am all ears and certainly would appreciate the input.

I had a 2013 (? 1st year production) CX-5 but decided to give the Subaru a try. It had a 2.0l engine (later models have 2.5l) which was under powered. All Mazdas have a regular auto tranny and is fun to drive.
The only reason I would consider the RAV4 is their ventilated seats option which DW missed since I got rid of the RX350. Might have added Apple CarPlay as an option in 2019.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by John88 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:05 pm

We have a 2014 Ford Escape with a 2.5 engine, we have had it loaded with landscape supplies and couple of times all the way over highway 120 to Mammoth lakes. It seemed fine getting over the Sierras.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by onourway » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:25 pm

John88 wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:05 pm
We have a 2014 Ford Escape with a 1.6 engine, we have had it loaded with landscape supplies and couple of times all the way over highway 120 to Mammoth lakes. It seemed fine getting over the Sierras.
Your Escape is about the same power to weight ratio as the Outback with the 2.5, but the turbo makes a huge difference at elevation. A normally aspirated engine loses significant power due to the lower air pressure at elevation, while a turbo engine essentially loses no performance at all.

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TxAg
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by TxAg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:13 pm

TxAg wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:40 pm
I'm taking a 2017 2.5 Outback to the mountains next week. We'll be around 10,000' and loaded down. I'll report back....I'm not expecting any significant issues b/c of a smaller engine, though.
So far, so good. I won't win any road rallies, but it's no trouble going 65 on these mountain roads. The worst part was the headwind coming through the TX panhandle.

Also, I'm extremely impressed with the performance in the snow with stock tires.

Andyrunner
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:50 pm

I have a 2014 2.5

One thing that I have now noticed as I have two kids and a camper seems more practical than a tent, I am very underwhelmed by the towing capacity of the outback. If they want to market the outback to outdoorsy people, they need to make a bigger engine.

For your needs, the 2.5 should be more than enough, but think about the future.

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TxAg
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by TxAg » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:32 pm

Andyrunner wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:50 pm
I have a 2014 2.5

One thing that I have now noticed as I have two kids and a camper seems more practical than a tent, I am very underwhelmed by the towing capacity of the outback. If they want to market the outback to outdoorsy people, they need to make a bigger engine.

For your needs, the 2.5 should be more than enough, but think about the future.
Have you considered a heavier duty tent, like a Kodiak canvas tent?

28fe6
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by 28fe6 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:21 pm

I just rented an Outback. I assume it was a 4. I don't consider myself a lead-foot, but I was not happy with the acceleration. My Chrysler minivan is much faster, which says something. I would recommend the 6 unless you are just not sensitive to slow cars.

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Sasquatch
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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by Sasquatch » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:09 pm

It’s a shame they discontinued the 2.5 XT turbocharged engine in the Forester. 224hp. Great mileage if you stay off the turbo but the power is there when you need it. I’m not sure if it was ever offered in a Outback though.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by GottaRun » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:43 pm

i have a 2012 Subaru outback with 2.5L & CVT. Ours has 140K miles and it's been great. timing belt, tires and brakes, that's it. We've had it for 4 years; 3 in MN & ND (snow, ice, brutal temps) and now 6 months in Asheville, NC. Honestly, 50% of the vehicles here are either an Outback, Taco or a Prius.

I think the 2.5L has plenty of power, albeit mellow, even for mountain driving. We regularly have 3-4 people with bikes on the roof and drive around the Appalachians in this area (5-6000') all the time. It does seem like the 2.5 really needs to rev to get it's power. If we try to keep ours at 60-65 mph on steep mountain roads, it will regularly rev close to/over 3,000 rpms. Even in town (where we have steep on-ramps and acceleration lanes) we need to regularly rev it past 2,500 rpm's to get her up to speed. I would likely get the 2.5 again for dependability, fuel economy and popularity regarding repairs & spare parts, even though I agree with others that 170 hp for a (+/-) 3,300 lbs car is not great.

It's interesting to me the new Subaru Ascent (heavier with 5000 lbs towing) is using a Turbo 2.4L boxer engine; wish that was an option for Outback & Forester. Perhaps in the future it will be.

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Re: 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5 vs 3.6

Post by stimulacra » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:10 pm

I test drove the 2017 version of both.

The 3.6 is definitely way more fun to drive but the fuel economy ratings were a bit mediocre for the class.

The 2.5 is ok, I'm not into CVTs in general but the fuel economy was pretty competitive.

I almost wish Subaru could find a way to spit the difference.

If forced to pick though, I would probably go with the 2.5. The additional range between fuel-ups is of more value than the additional pep the 1% of time I would actually need it.

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