$15000 for 2013 Subaru Outback Premium at 35000 miles. Good buy?



I didn’t say it wasn’t a good deal. I haven’t looked up the market value of the vehicle, checked out the vehicle, or test driven it. Your original post didn’t indicate that you’d taken any of these steps, only that you’d put money down on the car. I see from your newer post that you’ve taken some of these steps.


@VOLVO_V70. Sure. I will, and because good listener has higher chance to success. Working together is better strategy.


all the other 13’-14’ outbacks are for sale for a similar price or higher in my area. and all have higher miles. so the price seems in the ballpark.


@Cavell. Thank you for your time and advice. Have a great Sunday.


From Subaru of America’s own website:
Note: All 2013 Outback, Legacy, Forester 2.5 X, Impreza, BRZ, Crosstrek, and Tribeca have a timing chain, which shouldn’t need replacement

(The only 2013 Subarus that have a timing belt are the turbocharged Forester, as well as the WRX and STI.)

All of that being said, I would be very concerned regarding the regularity of the vehicle’s tire rotation. Subaru specifies every 7,500 miles, but some people choose to do it every 5k miles. However, no matter which of these intervals is chosen, the owner must adhere to that schedule. Otherwise, the Center Viscous Coupler (and possibly the transmission) are at risk of failure.


Too many unknowns! This could be a real pig in a poke. As other say, keep looking.


At 35k miles, this should still have the original tires. Take a tread gauge with you and measure the tread depth, if there is less than 2/32" difference between the deepest and shallowest tread, then there should be no worries with the transmission or center differential.

These engines do consume a little oil, mine consumes about quart every 5000 miles. They call for 0w20 synthetic. I check the oil every time I fill up with gas. Mine is a 2014 Legacy which has the same engine and transmission.

If you do get this one, the CVT has a 100k mile extended warranty because of a solenoid in the valve body that tends to go bad.


@keith. Great information. I really appreciate your comment.


If it had chain, it is likely an FB engine as doubt Subaru would chnage EJ design to have chain only for last year or two of production.
FB is the one having issues with oil burn, EJ is the one prone for head-gasket issues… so pick your poison :slight_smile:

Do they still have an old viscous coupler in Outbacks?

When I bought 2007 base model, it had one, but all the higher tiers had some more advanced differentials with a force distribution of some sort, so I assume they might have clutch[es].

Also, when I bough my first Subaru., 1996 Legacy L wagon with 120+ K miles, it had wheels visually worn to different depth, all quite worn. I had no idea about how sensitive or not AWD is, so, I drove it for a season before replacing tires before next winter, it did not show ill effects.
I was amazed by that car crawling through the loose sand in Carolina, so AWD was definitely working fine.

Not to tell having wheels uniform is not important for AWD, but IMHO the dangers of slight differences in wheel sizes seem to be overrated. Subaru absolutely warns about ill effects in their manual, not questioning their advise.


Buying any used car is a crapshoot, sounds ok by me, though you may want to sock away for a head gasket.


First and most important thing, find out if this model is part of the class action suit for high oil consumption. Depends on whether it was made in Japan or Indiana. You don’t want to buy a car that needs new rings and Subaru won’t pay for it.


apparently for 2013 with CVT transmission it depends on VIN:


That’s really easy to figure-out because every Outback that has ever been sold in The US was built in Lafayette, Indiana. Imprezas and Foresters continue to be manufactured in Japan, but the new Subaru Ascent will be build in Indiana.

Fun Fact: Camrys were also manufactured in Subaru’s Indiana factory for 11 years, until demand for Legacys and Outbacks became so large that Toyota had to depart from Indiana, and concentrate their US production at their other facilities.


hopefully new Ascent will not suffer from the same identity crisis what Tribeca did

parked next to “some Subaru” yesterday, could not get from the first glance if it was a Forrester, so I went around and found it is Tibeca… too small to be a step up from Forrester in my view, hopefully they do not repeat that mistake


The Tribeca was actually larger than the Outback of its day, so it was two sizes larger than the Forester, despite how it might have appeared to you. The problem for the Tribeca was that it wasn’t quite large enough for its 3-row seating design, with the result that only kids could sit in that third row.

The Outback grew considerably as of the 2010 model year, and the Ascent is larger than the “new” Outback, so it should have decent leg room in all 3 rows of seating.


If I were looking for that sort of vehicle I’d definitely consider it. My main concern would be the “premium” affixed to the name. Premium to me means a lot of gadgets and gizmos I don’t need. And those tend to lead to expensive and difficult to diagnose repair problems down the road. That’s a problem I don’t care to have.

But if “premium” means something else , or has no meaning, that’s what they are all named, then I’d consider it. Before writing any checks I’d see what Consumer Reports has to say about that make/model/year and what my own mechanics thinks about it after a pre-purchase inspection. I’d also check to see the status of work done on all the pertinent recalls and customer interest bulletins. And of course I’d consider the receipts provided by the owner showing what maintenance work has been done prior. But if the owner didn’t have any receipts, I’d still consider the purchase. Many people don’t keep or can’t find the receipts.


“Premium” means “one step above barebone” in Subaru’ terms :slight_smile:
“Limited” was the best tier, then lately they seem to introduce something like “Grand Touring” or such.
Owned 2 Subies of “Limited” kind before, gizmos were never a concern, even as car approached 100K+ mark, moreover, “Limited” leather seats seem to hold better than Nissan I have now, leather quality was definitely much better.


“Premium” simply indicates one step above the “strippo” model. The top line used to be the Limited model, but the top-of-the-line model for the past couple of years is the Touring model.

I frequently see comments about “avoiding gizmos” because they are supposedly a source of trouble, but none of the “gizmos” on any of my Subarus has ever given me a problem, even after as long as 8 years of use.


My trouble areas were:

  • front CV shaft boots on the right/passenger side, where shaft is getting close to the exhaust: broke on all my Subies around 70-80K miles
  • rear struts: had to replace these repeatedly, they get weak much faster than front… KYB with a “made in Japan” stamp seem to last longer
  • high voltage wires - expected wear items, at some point I started replacing these routinely every 50K miles, never had unstable idle after that

on the rest of things, Subarus I used to have were remarkably reliable


My first Outback–a '97 model–suffered from the dreaded head gasket breach at ~110k miles. I never quite figured out whether it was solely the dealership that came to my aid, or whether the manufacturer also played a role in this scenario, but my total bill for replacing both head gaskets was less than $400. For a vehicle that was long out of warranty, I thought that this was very generous, and because that was the only repair in the 120k miles that I owned the car, I replaced it with a 2003 Outback.

The 2003 model needed only two repairs in the 110k miles that I owned it:
The replacement–under warranty–of a defective purge valve in the evap system.
The replacement of one of the belt pulleys whose bearings went dry at ~ 100k miles.

I recall asking the service manager whether he thought that my struts needed replacement, and–with a puzzled look–he said, “I don’t recall ever replacing struts in an Outback”. It turned out that the struts were fine.

So far, in 81k miles, my 2011 Outback has needed only the replacement of the WW pump–under warranty.