FWIW, our 2019 (Touring and wife's car, if it matters) with 57,218 miles, was diagnosed with the cracked 'pipe'. Service advisor called it the exhaust manifold ('PIPE ASSY - EXH FR' 44610AC61B is the part listed on work order) and quoted $1,067.57 for repair saying it was not covered under our Gold extended. Semantics aside, I didn't argue but called SOA. Two weeks later they covered the repair. Took it in on Thursday for this repair along with the replacement of new outer tie-rods and stabilizer-links (these, along with the sunroof weatherstrip on order, and the new replacement strut assemblies last month, were covered under warranty). To date, beyond the few recalls, until the previously listed items, we've had no repairs (tires and a broken windshield do not count) and no issues with other reported 'gremlins' like the rear hatch, dead batteries, or CVT either. The car has been performing as intended and expected. It is beginning to develop some slight rattles but I take care of those by turning up the music.
They wanted to keep it overnight to confirm no 'noise' on a cold start the next day. Gave me a loaner (2023 Crosstrek for those who care). Picked up car the next day. Drove fine to the office but I did not have the opportunity to open it up on the freeway. On way home, for a mile or so, no sign of problem. When 'flooring it' to merge with traffic (and bring a smile to my face), there was a sudden definitive lack of power and my smile turned to panic. Instead of the normal rush of forward momentum, the car shuddered and would not produce any power [not unlike when hitting the rev limiter (I've not done that in this car but I assume it would act the same: cutting off fuel, making the car stutter)]. Unfortunately, while getting my ears massaged, I had the music really loud so I was unable to hear if there was an associated sound to indicate something broke (BTW, I find the HK to be sufficiently proficient in its abilities for what it is. It performs best at 1/4 to 3/4 volume. Bass and Treble all the way up, Mid at the middle. Anything higher, the speaker saving sound-Nazi kicks in and degrades the range, but still not awful. Compared to the (standard) Outback and Crosstrek, its a dream; compared to the Mark Levinson in my Lexus, it does pale. At any rate, I digress). Once music turned off, the lack of power, while pushing the accelerator, was accompanied by a 'whooshing' sound under the passenger side hood and a further reduction in power. Like the turbo was spooling up but blowing air out to the atmosphere instead of the intake. It would not go more than 45 mph +/-, would NOT accelerate with any amount of intensity and did not run smooth even at a constant speed or throttle position; like it was misfiring. No visible signs of trouble; no smoke bellowing, either from under hood while stationary nor from exhaust while driving, no effect on Eyesight or lane assist, and no CEL or any other dummy lights to indicate an issue; the computer had no idea, or did not wish to alert me, of any problem. Immediately called dealer to advise of my imminent return and limped it back (he did not advise to have it towed and it did not occur to me to consider having it towed until I was on way home in loaner). They had a loaner ready for me upon arrival (2020 outback; again, in case you're wondering), deeply apologized and said they will investigate the issue and see if it was 'related' to the work they just performed (that made me chuckle). I hope it is just that the repair tech forgot to cross a 'T' or dot an 'I' making it a simple fix. It does make me a bit nervous that I've not yet heard from them (11:30 am) but maybe it's a busy Saturday. However, I have all the confidence that they will figure it out and make it right. Unlike so many posts, Subaru of Las Vegas has always done a great job reagarding customer service, so far. lol...No seriously, they've been great (even if they mislabeled the exhaust crack issue thereby classifying it as 'not covered') helping me with repairs of my 2002 Outback sedan (which now has an engine knock at 202,000m) and servicing and coordination of the recalls on the Ascent. In fact, a new Subaru dealership, that is so much closer, opened up recently, but I don't intend to leave SofLV, as convenient as it would be. (now you all know at what side of town I live..be sure to honk and wave)
I will come back and give an update when there is something to report.
ITMT, I get to test drive the Outback for a day or so, but so far, while markedly better than the Crosstrek, it's no comparison to the drive and ride of the Ascent (especially now with a semi-new front end). This is surprising as I thought the OB and AS shared the same platform?? IDK. Maybe I misread...I guess different suspension engineering and sound deadening also play a part?? Also, I am sure there is some logic to running EVERYTHING through the I-pad-ish control panel beyond trying to impress younger buyers, but I'm not seeing the benefit. Same with the Lexus and it's an infuriatingly bad design. Almost a deal breaker. Some controls should be a simple, non distracting, button or knob, IMHO.
Anyhow, this is not the forum for that discussion.
Sorry for the novel...My fingers have no discipline.