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2019 Subaru Outback Keeps 3.6R Trim; But Not For Long

Subaru announced pricing on the 2019 Outback and Legacy models. Subaru keeps the 3.6R six-cylinder Boxer for now.


Subaru of America released pricing and details on the new 2019 Outback wagon and Legacy sedan. If you want a 3.6R model with the six-cylinder Boxer engine, you can get it for one more year. If our sources close to Subaru are correct, the 3.6R models are going away after the 2019 MY. Here’s more 2019 model year Outback details.

Subaru keeps the 3.6R models for 2019 featuring a 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine and a Lineartronic CVT. If rumors are correct, the new-generation 2020 Outback arriving later next year, will not be offered with the 6-cylinder boxer engine. Subaru has not confirmed this information.

The 3.6R’s demise is no surprise because Subaru Corporation spelled it out in their “Prominence 2020" plan. The plan outlines every new-generation Subaru vehicle will get a newly-redesigned boxer engine with the latest Direct Injection technology. You’ll see smaller turbo engines developing more power and with greater fuel efficiency (like the new Ascent 2.4-liter turbo) in the new-generation Subaru Outback and Legacy.

2019 Outback gets new upgrades

For 2019, EyeSight driver assist technology is now standard on all Outback trims which had previously been an option on most models. The new 6.5-inch Multimedia system is now standard on base models.

The 2019 Outback also features interior enhancements for 2019. The 2.5i base models gain an overhead console shower light and dual front center console USB ports. A high-grade instrument panel combination meter with 5.0-inch LCD display is now standard for all models. Outback 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited models have a standard auto-dimming rearview compass mirror with Homelink featuring a thin-frame design.

2019 Outback pricing

The base Outback 2.5i, starts at $26,345 (+$450), and now includes standard EyeSight and the updated Starlink 6.5-inch Multimedia system. The Outback 2.5i Premium is priced from $28,445 (+$450), Outback 2.5i Limited starts at $32,845 (+$150), Outback 2.5i Touring, has a starting price of $36,795 (+$305), Outback 3.6R Limited has a starting price of $34,995 (-$400); the 3.6R Touring is priced at $38,995 (+$305).

The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine in the Outback and Legacy is likely going away after the 2019MY. The new-generation models, when they arrive sometime next year, will likely be powered by new twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engines similar to the new 2019 Ascent. So if you still want the larger displacement 3.6R Outback and Legacy model, you have one more year before they are a thing of the past.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Gennie (not verified)    September 12, 2018 - 10:45PM

His roving eyes keep following them the actual evening, although
he never flirts all of them. We are called to
be dynamic and prophetic even when that means being irritating.
This does work for quite a bit of points.

Robert Spinna (not verified)    November 20, 2018 - 1:30PM

I have owned three Outbacks; 2011, 2014, 2017, all with the 3.6R engine. They were all great cars. Good gas mileage, very comfortable .Great for long trips and bad weather. I planned to buy another in 2020, but probably will not if they only offer a 2.5i engine. Too bad, because I really liked the Outbacks I have had in the past. I hope Subaru reconsiders the change.

Harvey (not verified)    November 24, 2018 - 7:58AM

My wife has a 2018 Outback 3.6R and that engine is terrific. Her vehicle gets over 1000Kms distance on a tank of fuel. Combine that with the fact that the 6 cylinder is much quieter on heavy throttle than the turbo 4 in the Ascent.
I just picked up a 2019 Crosstrek and the fuel economy is poor. Only 470Kms on a tank of fuel. So much for the theory that larger engines consume more fuel!

Not Harvy (not verified)    December 1, 2018 - 11:44AM

In reply to by Harvey (not verified)

Harvey - you're clearly confusing fuel tank size with fuel economy.

There is absolutely no way the 3.6r engine gets better mpg than your Crosstek, either in city or highway driving.

Harvey (not verified)    December 10, 2018 - 7:50PM

In reply to by Not Harvy (not verified)

Fuel economy dilemma solved!

CONFIRMED. My 2019 Crosstrek 2.0 limited does indeed get poor fuel economy when compared with the wife's 2018 Outback 3.6R. Let me explain what I have discovered.

First, a few statistics are in order:
Outback - 70 litre fuel tank. Range = 1000 kilometers before the low fuel warning comes on.
Crosstrek - 63 litre fuel tank. Range = 700 kilometers before the low fuel warning comes on.

The Crosstrek has engine management software designed to keep engine RPM's high until the engine reaches operating temperature.
I commute 20 kilometres to work daily, most of it highway driving. When the Crosstrek has not reached operating temperature the tachometer reads 3000 RPM @ 90 Kph (55 miles per hour). The CVT will NOT upshift beyond 3rd speed when the engine is cold. Attempts to manually force an upshift with the paddle shifter only lasts a second or two before the CVT downshifts back into 3rd speed. essence one cannot get into higher ratios with the CVT until this thing is fully warmed up.

I'll be looking to dump this lease at 6 months and get into a 2019 Legacy with the 3.6R Limited. One of the last remaining 6 cylinder motors to inhabit the Legacy and Outback.


George G. (not verified)    December 26, 2018 - 8:45PM

In reply to by Harvey (not verified)

Hi Harvey. I own a 2017 3.6R Outback. Can you explain to me how you get close to a 1000 Kms range on a 73 liters tank? 80% of my mileage is done on the highway and I can on’y average about 550 Kms on a tank. If there is something you know that I don’t, I’d like you to share that with me. Thank you.

Big Fella (not verified)    November 28, 2018 - 10:40PM

Turbos are great....until they fail. Then get over to the ATM because it will cost you about 2 G's !!
NEVER buy a first year turbo ! That normally aspirated 3.6R is my choice for sure.

Harvey (not verified)    December 28, 2018 - 3:27PM

In reply to by Big Fella (not verified)

That is the reason I'm getting out of my lease on my 2019 Crosstrek and moving into a 2019 Legacy 3.6R limited with Eyesight.
I don't like small motors.

Harvey (not verified)    December 28, 2018 - 3:26PM

George, a lot depends on how and where you drive.
If you live in a cold part of the country, mileage will be poor. Are you an aggressive driver? First across the intersection at a traffic light? Also do you carry any extra weight in the vehicle?
My wife's 2018 is considerably better on fuel than her 2016 she had on lease. Plus, we get heat out of the heater much faster with the 18 than her 16.
Oh, one other thing, the throttle on the 16 was touchy. A light touch on the gas peddle and it pinned you back in the seat. They fixed that on the 18 as well.
So I think George, there have been improvements in the 18 that are not in the 16 - 17 model years.

Milagros (not verified)    July 5, 2019 - 9:56PM

Nice respond in return of this matter with genuine
arguments and descrining the wholle thing concerning that.