Subaru Outback Wilderness

Alloy

Well-known member
I'm 60 now & I have found that any auto company is only as good as its dealerships service people. You can easily find people to badmouth every single brand out there. You can also find people who swear by them. Service is everything. They fix the mistakes made during design and during assembly. If I didn't have competent people to service my vehicle, it wouldn't matter what make it was, it would just be an exercise in futility that would be greatly frustrating.

We also have had 4 Subarus over the years. Our dealer is awesome. But we have also dealt with shady, unscrupulous Subaru dealers as well. It's no fun. I was thinking that if I ever get rid of our ZR2 diesel, a Outback Wilderness may be in our future.

The problem here is Subaru can't recruit / maintain the techs because there isn't enough service work. The oldest tech at the Subaru we got our Outdoors XT from was 26yo. We had the issue of the headlights being too high due to the weight of the full size spare and were told the headlight can't be adjusted. Ended up adjusting them myself.
 

Dougnuts

Observer
I just drove a Wilderness for a week in SLC & Park City, Utah.

I daily drive a 2015 3.6R, so keep that in mind during this review. I thought I would come back from this week ready to upgrade, but that is not what transpired.

I loved the way it looked (ours was white), but immediately, all 4 of us disliked the soft, porpoising ride, particularly with our luggage in back. We also found the torque surge from turbo lag, coupled with the CVT, to be atrocious. And by that, I mean it was an absolute dealbreaker for me.

The CVT was generally very good, with crisp and quick responses. However, there were many times (40+) that I would give it just enough throttle, and hold the pedal at that point, that it would quickly go to about 2400RPM, the turbo would spool, and everyone’s head would get thrown back. In manual mode, it was less pronounced, but still there. The only way to avoid it was with a very light right foot, which basically kept it out of boost.

On the highway, and at altitude, it had plenty of power, but I was always aware that I was driving a 4 cylinder. I never heard the turbo, but could hear that Subaru flat-4 gargle most of the time. Very thrashy sounding when you’re coming from a similar car that rarely breaks 3k RPMs and is quiet when doing so.

If I owned one, I would immediately get some larger tires (to take some gearing out), overload springs, and dampers with stiffer valving.
 
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There are a few brands that have been hit and miss for quality...and Subaru is definitely one of them. I'm glad that some people have success with their Soobs, but the problems are many, and they are documented well. It's one of those things like Kia engines. Loads of people know they go boom...yet people keep buying them.

In Subaru's case, it's the aggressive marketing that has so many people loving them even after another CVT failure under warranty. Optics matter...ask a Tesla fan.
I've heard so much about Subaru reliability issues...

Between my parents, my wife, and my circle of friends I bet we've gone through 35+ Subaru vehicles.

Zero significant issues. Including several that were modified.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The problem here is Subaru can't recruit / maintain the techs because there isn't enough service work. The oldest tech at the Subaru we got our Outdoors XT from was 26yo. We had the issue of the headlights being too high due to the weight of the full size spare and were told the headlight can't be adjusted. Ended up adjusting them myself.
The two top auto group owned brands out west are Toyota and Subaru. As such tech pay went to crap, as did tech skill, sales ie perceived model availability and prices shot up, garbage services sold by service sales staff shot through the roof.

Its why after 28yrs of Toyota’s and 18yrs of Subarus I don’t own either one today. Will never own either brand again. I have two pre covid fords which have been superior to the Subarus in quality. And superior to the Toyotas in performance and service needs/cost.
Next vehicles will likely be direct sale from the maker no more Dealer BS especially today for me.
 

utherjorge

Observer
I'm excited that you three have been able to own without issues. Those are outliers, though. Facts are what they are.
 

Jupiter58

Active member
I'm excited that you three have been able to own without issues. Those are outliers, though. Facts are what they are.
121000 on my 2010 2.5 before I traded on my f150. Never an issue. Oil, tires, gas, and other scheduled maintenance. I know a dozen or so people with similar stories so there are many more with no issues than there are with issues in my personal experience.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
There are a few brands that have been hit and miss for quality...and Subaru is definitely one of them. I'm glad that some people have success with their Soobs, but the problems are many, and they are documented well. It's one of those things like Kia engines. Loads of people know they go boom...yet people keep buying them.

In Subaru's case, it's the aggressive marketing that has so many people loving them even after another CVT failure under warranty. Optics matter...ask a Tesla fan.
My friend was a Subaru tech for a while. He's Mexican American and uses the term La Basura for Subaru's. You can do the translation.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Good luck with that as most every states Franchise Laws will ensure that will never happen!
Already done by multiple Auto Makers. What makes you think Red States who claim to be anti GOV meddling in Business will force old Auto Makers out of business in their states? The states that have fought Tesla and others are basically a non factor in the Auto sales business anyway. Those people will just need to travel across state lines to buy a vehicle 😆
 

utherjorge

Observer
My friend was a Subaru tech for a while. He's Mexican American and uses the term La Basura for Subaru's. You can do the translation.
It's exactly what it is. Pallets of trannies and what not shipped out each week to dealers and repair hops around the country...is what it is as well.
 

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