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I'm in the process of deciding to buy a new car. New to me. Really like the Crosstrek. But the 2.0 kinda worries me. I'm looking at a 2015, and a 2016. It's what I can afford. But a nice deal has popped up on a 2014 Outback. Clearance is the same. Bigger engine. Gas mileage real close. More cargo room. Is it as good offroad ?
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The short answer is yes. The outback is equally as capable as a Crosstrek.

With the exception of being marginally heavier and marginally larger, the Outback should perform equally off road as compared to the Xtrek, with the added bonus of a better power to weigh ratio (I think). My personal experience has lead me to believe that, in general, the smaller a vehicle is the more capable it is offraod, but the size differential between the Crosstrek and the Outback, with respect to off-roading, is negligible. I wheel with Outbacks all the time, and occasionally find myself jealous of the added grunt. What I will say is that the Xtrek has by far the fastest growing aftermarket support, though that's mostly the 2nd gen (2018+). The 1st gen has a very respectable aftermarket selection but is likely to be surpassed in sheer volume by the 2nd gen, if that hasn't already happened.

I have had no issues with the 2.0 in my 2018 but they did undergo quite a redesign between 2017 and 2018. I have heard that the early models suffer from oil burning issues from time to time but can not confirm from personal experience.

What engine and trans is in the 2014? My dad has an older 2010ish Outback 3.6 with a standard auto trans (not cvt) which is exceptionally capable off road and frankly a freaking missile on the interstate. Properly kited out, it would make an awesome weekender rig! He gets offers all the time to buy it but I already have first call when that time comes 馃榿 馃榿

Best of luck in your car hunting endeavors!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The short answer is yes. The outback is equally as capable as a Crosstrek.

With the exception of being marginally heavier and marginally larger, the Outback should perform equally off road as compared to the Xtrek, with the added bonus of a better power to weigh ratio (I think). My personal experience has lead me to believe that, in general, the smaller a vehicle is the more capable it is offraod, but the size differential between the Crosstrek and the Outback, with respect to off-roading, is negligible. I wheel with Outbacks all the time, and occasionally find myself jealous of the added grunt. What I will say is that the Xtrek has by far the fastest growing aftermarket support, though that's mostly the 2nd gen (2018+). The 1st gen has a very respectable aftermarket selection but is likely to be surpassed in sheer volume by the 2nd gen, if that hasn't already happened.

I have had no issues with the 2.0 in my 2018 but they did undergo quite a redesign between 2017 and 2018. I have heard that the early models suffer from oil burning issues from time to time but can not confirm from personal experience.

What engine and trans is in the 2014? My dad has an older 2010ish Outback 3.6 with a standard auto trans (not cvt) which is exceptionally capable off road and frankly a freaking missile on the interstate. Properly kited out, it would make an awesome weekender rig! He gets offers all the time to buy it but I already have first call when that time comes 馃榿 馃榿

Best of luck in your car hunting endeavors!!
Thanks for the reply. It's the 2.5. and the CVT. I have a long commute to work, so need the gas mileage. I also like to kayak, so the fold away cross rails on the rack really a plus for me.
 

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Thanks for the reply. It's the 2.5. and the CVT. I have a long commute to work, so need the gas mileage. I also like to kayak, so the fold away cross rails on the rack really a plus for me.
I totally forgot about the fold away rails but yes those are awesome!!! Can't believe they didn't incorporate those into the Xtrek! Really a corner cut by Subaru IMO.

Make sure to do plenty of research on that particular engine and trans but from my interactions with other early 2010 Outback owners, they are great cars! Have you tried reaching out to an Outback forum/FB page? While the members and information here are exceptional, you will of course get some Crosstrek bias here. Outbacks also have an awesome community of enthusiasts behind them that I am sure would be able to give more detail on that particular model/year and the intricacy that come with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I totally forgot about the fold away rails but yes those are awesome!!! Can't believe they didn't incorporate those into the Xtrek! Really a corner cut by Subaru IMO.

Make sure to do plenty of research on that particular engine and trans but from my interactions with other early 2010 Outback owners, they are great cars! Have you tried reaching out to an Outback forum/FB page? While the members and information here are exceptional, you will of course get some Crosstrek bias here. Outbacks also have an awesome community of enthusiasts behind them that I am sure would be able to give more detail on that particular model/year and the intricacy that come with it.
Great idea. Thanks again.
 

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I almost succumbed to a test drive, when I was picking up my multi-recall 2018 Limited Crosstrek... but thought better of it. If I DID drive the Outback turbo XT (2.4) available now, I'd probably come home with it.
the 2.0 dog of a tractor engine is my only real complaint. :(
 

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Subaru Outback: Best Wagon To Buy 2020

 

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CR doesn't rate it that highly, lots of 3/5 scores. The new Outback on the new platform gets a higher rating than the Crosstrek, though. CR seems to like all of the models on the new platform. It would be great if you could find a high mileage '18 in your price range. Properly maintained it would easily be good for 200K or more.
 

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I own a 2015 Crosstrek and have loved the last 5 years of ownership. I made the choice for the more 鈥渃ar鈥 like ride. I like to take corners fast and have a lot of control over my vehicle. I would have got a wrx but there to fast and I had the ex drive the car as well. It鈥檚 a CVT and I鈥檇 say when you drive it hard it is faster then most people say. You have to know how to play the power band right and don鈥檛 forget about those paddle shifters.
 

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Hands down, all the Cool Kids drives a CrossTrek XV!!!
 

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I'm in the process of deciding to buy a new car. New to me. Really like the Crosstrek. But the 2.0 kinda worries me. I'm looking at a 2015, and a 2016. It's what I can afford. But a nice deal has popped up on a 2014 Outback. Clearance is the same. Bigger engine. Gas mileage real close. More cargo room. Is it as good offroad ?
Thanks
If you're still shopping...one Outback disadvantage is approach / departure angle. The Outback has a much longer rear overhang. Depending on how you most likely will use it, know that CrossTrek has a shorter wheelbase. Might be an advantage off road; on the other hand, the longer Outback will have more refined road manners (and could be a little more comfortable bouncing off road, too).
 

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I got an Outback loaner shortly after we got the Crosstrek and definitely prefer how the Crosstrek drives.
 

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I have a 2014 CVT Outback (now my gf's car, 65k miles on it) and a 2020 Crosstrek 6MT (500 miles). We traded in my gf's 2016 CVT Crosstrek (lease, ~30k miles) in December. Having driven these 3, I will say the 6MT Crosstrek is my favorite. Similar acceleration to the outback, but feels lighter in turns and braking. This makes it feel more "fun" to drive, pushing turns and some light snow drifting. The new 2020 Crosstrek also seems to be a bit faster than the 2016, but that did have a CVT and the older design.

Regarding the long commute, the Outback is noticeably quieter than the 2016 Crosstrek. When/if you test drive, definitely take it on the expressway to see if you are ok with the noise. On long trips we would ALWAYS take the Outback because of this. Talking and/or listening to music/podcasts was much more pleasant in the OB. The fold-able rails also helped with this as the cross rails create a lot of wind noise. Was getting about 24/25 mpg in the OB and 26/27 in the CT.

I did not take either in serious off-roading conditions, so I cannot speak to that. I would like to get into it more with my new CT, though. How often and how serious are your off-roading plans? These cars/wagons/CUVs aren't really built for very serious stuff anyway and I feel both would find their limit around the same places.

If it was between the 2014 Outback and 2016 Crosstrek, both CVT, I'd honestly go for the Outback. However, I think you should really test drive as many as you can and see how they feel to you.
 

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I totally forgot about the fold away rails but yes those are awesome!!! Can't believe they didn't incorporate those into the Xtrek! Really a corner cut by Subaru IMO.

Make sure to do plenty of research on that particular engine and trans but from my interactions with other early 2010 Outback owners, they are great cars! Have you tried reaching out to an Outback forum/FB page? While the members and information here are exceptional, you will of course get some Crosstrek bias here. Outbacks also have an awesome community of enthusiasts behind them that I am sure would be able to give more detail on that particular model/year and the intricacy that come with it.
Not everyone likes the fold-away crossbars. I have Thule add on bars with tons of accessories so I would only consider the Forester or Crosstrek with standard side rails. I have had four white water kayaks on my roof and regularly carry two sea kayaks and a paddle board. This is not possible with the current folding Outback roof rack. The Outback is a great car, but for roof rack versatility, I would choose Crosstrek, Forester, or (expensive) Touring Outback. This time I bought a Crosstrek, but have also owned 3 Outbacks and a Forester XT.
 

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Many here have the 2.0 and find it fine. Many have the 2.0 and feel it's super slow. I have the 3.6 Outback, and a 2.0 Crosstrek. FWIW, I prefer to drive the Crosstrek most of the time. For 4 adults, the Outback is better. I've had faster, and I've had slower. The 2.0 has plenty of go for my purposes. We bought 4 Subarus in the last 3 years, and 3 of them are 'slow', 2 of them the 2.0 and all of them powerful enough for our 4 drivers.
 
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