Subaru Outback 2.5i vs 3.6i?

Asked by Mar 20, 2017 at 07:30 PM about the 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I am looking for a reliable car to take with me to Montana while I live there
for 6 months. I have been looking specifically at the 2011 Outback 2.5i, but
seeing so many for sale makes me question it. Are there any known
problems with this car? And should I be looking instead at the 3.6i engine? I
don't plan on towing anything, but I need to be sure the transmission won't
cause me problems in Montana.

13 Answers

73,065

I haven't heard too much complaints but I would go with the 3.6L engine.

74,525

Both the 4 and 6 cylinder Subaru's have issues with oil consumption. Not all of them but some of them do. Look up Consumer Reports Thirsty Thirty. If the car has a CVT I would stay away. I am pretty sure the 2011 3.6 engine uses the tried and true Subaru automatic.

21,175

Emily- I have the 2010 Subaru Outback Limited with the 2.5 and the CVT transmission. It's a great car, and you won't have any problems with oil consumption. The 2010 to 2012 Subaru Outbacks have the older EJ Series Phase 2 engines.. They are known​ for high oil consumption like the 2013 Subaru Outback FB series engines. The 2.5 Four will save you fuel and they are just a little slower on acceleration, 0-60 in 9.6 seconds. The 3.6 has the older transmission and much less effecient I took my car to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with a trailer and the car went to 9,000 feet just​ fine.

74,525

Look into the CVT before buying one. They are not very good and cost a small fortune to replace. Just a few days ago there was a thread about a guy whose CVT had packed it in at a really low mileage.

21,175

Emily- FYI- take a look at this article from Torque News below, http://www.torquenews.com/1084/how-subaru-scores-top-5- automakers-reliability An excerpt from this article, "Subaru uses a 6-speed Lineartronic CVT with 6-speed manual mode and paddle shifters on the 2016 Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy and Lineartronic CVT with low mode (2.5i Forester models) or 6- and 8-speed manual shift modes and paddle shifters (2.0XT Forester models). The 2016 Subaru WRX gets a Sport Lineartronic CVT transmission with paddle shifters and 6- and 8-speed manual modes. Subaru engineers have done a good job of blending fuel-efficiency and sporty driving dynamics with their Continuously Variable Transmissions. The new emerging trend that is causing many automakers to drop in the reliability ratings, has not effected Subaru as they are in the top five for reliability in CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey"

21,175

Emily-. I DO NOT work for Subaru.... Just a pleased owner and by the way, I know someone on this forum who drove his 2010 Subaru Outback Limited with the CVT transmission 300,000 miles.. YES, things happen, but, don't let people make decisions for you. I was very impressed when I purchased my pre-owned certified Subaru Outback three years ago, have had zero issues, and still love my car. Drive one and see if you like it. When I went looking for this car, I really thought that I would need the 3.6 SIX cylinder engine, but, after I drove the FOUR cylinder engine with the CVT transmission, I was pleasantly surprised. Good luck.

74,525

Ignore the Subaru cheerleader and make your own decisions. Mark only reports the exceptional cases, not what mechanics who work on Subaru's will tell you.

21,175

Emily- Ask yourself how many Subaru cars are on the road and why Kelly Blue Book has said that Subaru is the most trusted brand... https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/brand-image-awards/best-overall- brand/

74,525

Sis boom bah!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
21,175

Emily- my suggestion is drive the car and see how you like it...

21,175

Please read this article below about which CVTs are considered, http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/06/cars-best- cvt.html/2

30

The CVT has Obvious problems with a Thrust Washer breaking inside the torque converter and causing the "stall at stop" or the dreaded shudder.. I'm glad Mark has had no problems with his car, but there are thousands of people that have had this exact issue, and have been left high and dry by Subaru of America.. I am one of these people.. This issue should have been a recall, but as evidenced by labor cost to do this job, Subaru is unwilling to eat it in most cases unless threatened with legal action.. And as far as the oil consumption issue, my 11 Legacy has lost a quart to a quart and a half since new, and it has had nothing but Mobil1 since new.. To me the oil consumption wasn't a huge deal since I had no other issues with the car, but when the Torque Converter failed that wore most of the Subaru "love" off for me. When I contacted SOA about some help with the torque converter issue, I was offered $500 off of a new Subaru, but no assistance with my disabled vehicle due to their defective part. I in good faith could not recommended a Subaru at this point especially a 10-14 Legacy or Outback with the 2.5 and CVT.. It seems to me that Subaru used to be over and above better, especially with customer service, until an expensive problem occurs then they revert to being just like any other conglomerate that puts profit before reputation..

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
74,525

You summed up the current state of Subaru nicely Courtney.

Your Answer

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 35,873 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,900.

ZIP:
Get More Money for Your Car
Be seen by 20 million shoppers. Create Your Free Listing

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
    Markw1952
    Reputation
    7,720
  • #2
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    2,470
  • #3
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    2,220
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
379 Great Deals out of 33,831 listings starting at $1,808
Used Subaru Impreza
205 Great Deals out of 18,098 listings starting at $1,995
Used Subaru Legacy
221 Great Deals out of 13,517 listings starting at $900
Used Honda CR-V
832 Great Deals out of 53,612 listings starting at $1,007
Used Toyota RAV4
855 Great Deals out of 59,020 listings starting at $1,690
Used Toyota Highlander
451 Great Deals out of 24,811 listings starting at $2,299
Used Toyota 4Runner
249 Great Deals out of 21,419 listings starting at $2,300
Used Toyota Tacoma
565 Great Deals out of 41,710 listings starting at $2,999
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
865 Great Deals out of 70,866 listings starting at $995
Used Honda Accord
1,034 Great Deals out of 61,333 listings starting at $999
Used Honda Pilot
417 Great Deals out of 25,384 listings starting at $1,400
Used Toyota Camry
1,056 Great Deals out of 70,872 listings starting at $750
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
50 Great Deals out of 1,257 listings starting at $3,365

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i For Sale
532 listings starting at $23,310
2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i For Sale
483 listings starting at $21,568
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 87 listings starting at $17,995
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i For Sale
102 listings starting at $13,988
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 243 listings starting at $8,488

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.