Is CVT transmission in Subaru Outback a good thing? CDN$

Asked by May 14, 2018 at 09:57 PM about the 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

My friend is offering to sell to me: Subaru Outback 2011, 109,000km, traction
integral,  CVT transmission, 17 inch tires brand new Toyo summer tires. Asking
14,500$CDN. Paid 21,350$CDN in 2015

2 Answers


The CVT's are not terribly reliable and are very expensive to replace. I would check up on that price. BTW - Summer tires defeat the purpose of having a Subaru. You will need a new set of tires this fall.

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Check for value, adjusting for currency as necessary; maybe use New England as a geo-equivalent for winter use depreciation. Be sure to check off Limited if leather, and the power moonroof and/or nav too. 109km is quite low for a 7 year old, so you'll get a valuation bump there, too, but I wouldn't give it much credence, as winters eat these chariots more than rolling around on empty highways. Start by draining and replacing 4 qts of CVT fluid, as well the old iridium plugs and filters. Your t-belt is most probably well the outer serpentine. If the CVT is noisy or stalls at idle you need to replace it! Used ones are around 2k Canadian plus a few hours installation. If all seems ok...and especially if it's a Limited, the price seems pretty fair. It's all in the details. And yes, those Toyos will have to go this fall. If you don't mind dropping about a half inch height you'll improve handling crispness nicely by getting 225/55R17 all-season tires in an H or V speed rating. There are lots of choices. Most critically FOR ME, is to replace Subaru's wimpy rear stabilizer (anti-sway) bar (and its rusted-frozen end links) with the stiffer 20mm bar they make for the Sti. This easy mod ($200) will GREATLY improve body control and reduce roll, sway, and integrate the rear end into a more coherent unit. Good luck.

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