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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback

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  • I'd say that some of the content is a bit suspect rather than not well written, which is why I highlighted certain phrases. The larger point though is that FHI lost money during a period when sales were strong relative to the other manufacturers. Yes, they lost less money, but they still are/were in the red.

    Below is a write-up from Joe Spitz at cars101.com re. the July sales:

    "8/3 July sales total 21,839 up 34%. Cash for Clunkers sells cars for everyone, and 'end of model year' rebates and low rates helps. Subaru is up 34% over July 08s total of 16,271 for a strong 4% YTD gain (July 09- July 08). July 09 totals - Outback 4972, Forester 7574, Impreza 6247, Legacy 2340, Tribeca 707.
    The Legacy (+34%) and Impreza (+41%) were clearly helped by big rebates and 0% financing. The '10 Outback CUV has been successful though folks who preferred the '09 station wagon version quickly picked off remaining inventory (Outback +33%) with the help of some nice 'end of model year' rebates of course. The '10 Forester Premium's new power driver seat has folks liking the car even more but all models are strongly popular. Tribeca? -10% from 788 July 08 and -44% YTD, Yes there will be a 2010 Tribeca 7 passenger but why and I still suggest a TriBaja pick-up version to replace the late Baja."

    July was an odd month so we need to see how the next quarter goes before drawing any conclusions about the re-designed Legacy and Outback. One thing that I am very worried about though is the overlap in Subaru's lineup when it comes to the Forester, Outback, and Tribeca. The Tribeca, for all intents and purposes, is dead; however, the Forester definitely ate into Outback sales in 2008 and 2009 (take a look at cars101 and the relative sales history for the two vehicles after the Forester was re-designed). Let's see how Outback sales are after the 2009s are long gone and the 2010s are on the lots in volume. I suspect that sales will be a bit disappointing because the re-designed Outback is more CUV/SUVish, a domain where the Forester resides. Also, the Forester is a cheaper option for a car that is pretty close to the size of the Outback.

    wilbur
  • Took a test drive the other night and liked the car. Friend told me to think twice before buying claiming the standard boxer engine is old technology so why pay today's dollars for an old design. Is he right? Are the powerplants in an Accord or Mazda6 more modern and sophisticated? Thank you.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Your friend is stupid. By that reckoning, an I4, a V6, a V8, etc. is "old technology." Inline, boxer, V design, W design are all different configurations of the cylinders in relation to one another. It is not like all engines used to be boxers (like Porsche) and then the smart money moved to something better. Sheesh, perhaps your friend believes in saying any stupid thing that comes to mind.
  • Your friend is marginally right in that Honda and Mazda do have more sophisicated engines (i.e., dual camshafts and variable valve timing), features that Subaru's H4 currently does not offer. These improvements allow for greater power without increasing the engine displacement. On the other hand the boxer design is still of great value and its age should not be held against it. For example BMW, who pioneered the boxer design in 1921, continues to sells motorcycles based on engines built with opposing twin cylinders which offer a low center of gravity along with modest engine vibration.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Boxer engines have a natural second order balance. In-line 4 bangers nowadays require the added reciprocating mass of balance shafts, while a boxer doesn't need 'em.

    Plus, 170hp from a 2.5l is competitive, even without DOHC or variable valve timing.

    Plus boxers have a characteristic sound. You may not tell a difference with an in-line four from Nissan, Honda, Toyota, or Mazda, but you'll hear the distinctive boxer from a block away.

    Pop the hood, especially next to a Mazda6. I just checked one out while getting an oil change in my Miata.

    Look closely at the location of the engine - the Subaru's entire engine lies below the top of the tire, allowing a low center of gravity. I believe both spark plugs lie aft of the front axle, too, so really it's a front-midship engine layout.

    Now hop over to the Mazda6. Aye, what a train wreck. The entire block lies ahead of the front axle. And way up high, much of it above the top of the front tires. Having all the weight in front of the axle like that makes it harder for the car to turn in. There's more inertia preventing it from feeling nimble, and of course a very nose heavy, unbalanced car.

    I don't have specifics but I bet the Mazda6' weight distribution is something like 62/38, while a typical Subaru is closer to 55/45. Much, much better balance.

    To be fair the one in a showroom was a V6, but I doubt the 4 banger is much better, maybe 60/40.

    Even if you ignore the position of the engine, neither the Accord nor the Mazda6 use the latest Direct Injection technology (Mazda does in the turbo MazdaSpeed3 though), so arguably those designs are dated as well.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113
    I have nothing to add to this post except to say that it's one of the best written and informative I've ever seen on this or any other site. KUTGW!

    But ... I still can't make up my mind between a '10 Outback or a leftover '09 Forester. :confuse:
  • "Plus, 170hp from a 2.5l is competitive, even without DOHC or variable valve timing."

    BMW's 2.5I engine, equiped with DOHC and variable valve timing, delivers 184 HP and 175 ft-lbs. So clearly there's potential room for improvement.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,725
    The BMW is also a 6-cylinder engine, whereas the Subaru 2.5 is a 4-cylinder engine; same displacement, but the BMW cylinders are smaller. The rule of thumb is that smaller cylinders are more efficient than larger cylinders, so the BMW will always have a theoretical edge over the Subie.

    Back in the 1960s Honda made a 6-cylinder 250cc racing engine, and a 5-cylinder 125cc racing engine for their GP mototorcycles. They put out an incredible amount of horsepower for their displacement. Most other bikes of that era used single or twin cylinder engines in those displacement classes.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Different price class. Totally different set of rules, if you ask me.

    At that price, get a loaded-to-the-gills H6 Limited model for less than a subcompact BMW 1 series with that 2.5l, and indeed you'll get the double-AVCS that is more appropriate for that price level.

    Having said that, like Subaru, BMW lies their I-6 engines longitudinally, so they're not sitting on top, way up high, like the transverse designs used by Honda and Mazda.

    The Miata is a notable exception - it has an in-line four that is laid out longitudinally, with 3 of the 4 spark plugs behind the front axle for 52/48 balance. Proof that Mazda knows that's the best layout for a sports car, while the Mazda6 has other goals and being sporty isn't really a priority.

    Also, as mentioned above, BMW uses boxer engines in their motorcycles. It's rather humorous to read the press materials about those engines and how great that layout is. BMW's own words.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    The rule of thumb is that smaller cylinders are more efficient than larger cylinders,

    I believe you intended to say a six cylinder may have the capability to produce more output than a four of the same displacement. The newest and most efficient engine from Toyota is a large four as in the Venza. Now that fuel economy is a dominant requirement, hp per cubic inch takes a back seat.

    Perhaps the new measurement should be sport per gallon? :D
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,725
    What I meant was that gas is burned more efficiently when the cylinders are smaller. I think smaller cylinders "breath" better (incoming fuel mixture enters the cylinder more efficiently, and exhaust exits better), and the fuel is more throughly "burned." Plus the smaller cylinders tend to rev higher, and you make more power at higher rpms. I wasn't thinking in terms of better gas mileage.

    Bob
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,481
    Look closely at the location of the engine - the Subaru's entire engine lies below the top of the tire, allowing a low center of gravity. I believe both spark plugs lie aft of the front axle, too, so really it's a front-midship engine layout.

    Look again. The entire engine is in front of the axle (the front diff / transmission is attached to the rear of the engine). One of the reasons that Subarus have longer than "normal" front overhangs. Granted, an H4 is a very short engine fore and aft.

    A Subaru boxer is positioned the same as a Porsche 911, but at the opposite end. A Subaru is just a 911 running in reverse. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe it depends on the model. I swore my '98 had spark plugs behind the front axle.

    Another thing about that BMW engine - it requires premium fuel, the Subaru doesn't. I bet the 2.5l engines with higher output also require premium.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,481
    I swore my '98 had spark plugs behind the front axle.

    I'm sure it did ... when you left the store with new ones, you put the bag in the passenger compartment. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    :D

    Funny thing was the easy way to change the plugs was from underneath the car.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    .. . there is a new complication. Both dealers I visited this weekend had high expectation (but no official word from SOA) that there would be a USA diesel Forester in less than 12 months. They also seemed quite positive that the Forester would be getting the CVT in 2011 unless some major glitch was discovered in the half year. Joe (from Cars101.com) suggested the Diesel CVT Forester would get 35 mpg highway. Actually I would anticipate higher than that.
    So there is a new question: Do we want to wait another year to see if the diesel of CVT or both make their way into the 2011 Forester?
    Actually, I after re-reading the Dec 08 review of the prototype Diesel Forester, I suspect that the increased cost & the slow acceleration Diesel reportedly has would I think I spring for the gas model.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    What we really need is a direct injection 2.5 NA CVT Forester with the trick roof rails like the '10 OB has. That should be good for about 190hp on regular gas and 30-31 hwy MPG.
  • abzabz Posts: 13
    I seem to be alone, but I do not like the new roof rack. I regularly carry skis, bikes, kayaks, canoes, and even ladders and lumber on top of my car. With adjustable cross-bars, you space the bars appropriate for the load being carried. I hate that the new system has one fixed width.

    I found a picture of the European Spec Outback and they have roof rails similar to the 2005 Legacy wagon, which I would much prefer. If anyone knows the width between the cross bars on the 2010, please post here so I can make informed decisions. If I am not the only one disappointed with this roof rack, please post. I hope there are enough of us that SOA might consider making the European roof rails an option here as well.

    Thanks.
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I'm undecided on the roof rack. It comes down to if and how an after market rack (Yakima/Thule) will work on it. I tend to put 4 or 5 bikes on my 01 outback and a Yakima rack. If the Yakima rack can go on this new rack/rail system I'll be OK with it, but it would be nice to have more length to seperate the cross bars for long loads.

    --Jay
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,725
    I have to disagree, but I do see your point. The new Outback roof rack has had its load capacity raised from 100 pounds to 150 pounds, which is a definite plus. Also, virtually all previous Subaru roof rack accessories will work on this new fold-way roof rack.

    Bob
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,686
    I, too, am not thrilled about the new design. I used all the roof racks on my previous Outbacks extensively and often needed to adjust their placement. That said, if they remain cross-compatible with prior model accessories and attachments, I can live with the new design. I do like to remove my crossbars when not in use in order to eliminate the extra drag, so there is value in the fold-away design. There is, as always, room for improvement.

    What I definitely do no like is the bulk associated with the side rails on the new design. It looks awkward (so it fits the rest of the car nicely!).
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 685
    What I definitely do no like is the bulk associated with the side rails on the new design. It looks awkward (so it fits the rest of the car nicely!).

    Well said. :) That's another reason to get the Forester instead. I'm glad I don't need to trade this year. For those who need a new Outback class vehicle now there are the 2009 leftovers at advantageous prices. Of course back seat passengers would prefer the 2010 and those with long commutes might need more mpg of the 2010s.
  • dice4dice4 Posts: 9
    I would rather have folding mirrors, but I carry the same toys and use Yakama racks and probilly will never use their cross bars. Choices are good its a matter of priorities. Good luck
  • ahqahq Posts: 37
    Took my 2009 Legacy 2.5i SE in for an oil change today and got behind the wheel of a 2010 Legacy 2.5i Premium for about fifteen minutes. This was the first time I've seen the 2010 Legacy and Outback in person. Although I wasn't bowled over by either car's styling, I felt they looked better in the flesh than in photographs. I was concerned that the 16" wheels on the Legacy would look too small, but it turned out that they were quite acceptable. Also, considering that the 17" wheels and 50-series tires on my '09 Legacy make for a rather flinty ride on the east side of Milwaukee, I wouldn't mind sacrificing looks for a slightly more absorbent ride.

    The Legacy I drove was steel silver in color. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of room inside the car - it was downright spacious. I'm six feet tall and, as I had learned from various reviews, I was easily able to sit behind the driver's seat after I had adjusted it for my comfort. The trunk's small opening was a significant step backward, however. Also, the seat upholstery was unusual. It was somewhat shiny and it felt cheap. In fact, it was very similar to the fabric in the early 1990s Nissan Sentra E. (I used to sell Nissans back in the day...) At least the seats were comfortable, although I wish the driver's seat cushion was a little bit longer... at least I was able to sufficiently adjust the height and tilt to my liking.

    About the CVT... the throttle response is somewhat soft and elastic compared to my 09's 4-speed automatic, but it wasn't objectionable... I could get used to it. The 2010 was very solid and quiet. I didn't get a chance to take it on a curvy road, but overall I was quite impressed.

    One last thing... I was stunned at how large the 2010 Outback has become... not that I found its size to be disagreeable, but it's just about as large as a Tribeca!
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    Agreed...give me the regular roof rails. I took off the cross bars om my '02 7 years ago and never looked back. I use my Thule when I need a rack and otherwise leave it off to reduce drag. I am kinda peeved that the new OB won't allow me to use my load bars and space them as I need to. In addition, it means extra $$$ buying new bike and ski carriers. Smells like a conspiracy to me! grrrr :mad:
  • Regarding the Premium vs. the standard model 2010 Legacy, how much of a difference do you think the 17' wheels make regarding handling? I was thinking of getting the Premium but if there is a minimal difference driving on hills and winding roads, maybe the $3,000 price difference is better spent elsewhere. Thank you.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,725
    Probably not a whole lot of difference. What about the other items that come (or are optional—like the All-Weather-Package) with the Premium Package? Are they worth it to you? They would be for me. Gotta have those heated seats. :)

    Bob
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Yep - me too. Heated seats are my therapy for a 54 year old spine on my long commutes. But then again, easy for me to say as there was little extra charge to get the heated seats and the 17" wheels on the 2009. The Outback "SE" package was a steal and a no-brainer on the 09.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree that it looks awkward but Subaru has always been about function-over-form, and the hide-away dual purpose-ness is simply trick.

    The Forester doesn't come with crossbars at all, remember. You have to pay extra for those.

    We looked at these again this past weekend, in fact Bob (rsholland) and Frank came along as well.

    The cargo area of the Outback was actually better than I thought, and the funny thing was that Frank's older Forester actually seemed to be the boxiest.

    I also noticed the 16" wheels on the Legacy sedan, they should be good for the folks that want a cushier ride, but I'd opt for the 17"s.

    They had a loaded up Outback 3.6R Limited and the price was $34k, IMHO way too close to the much nicer Genesis 3.8 Premium sedan that was sitting in the same dealership. No AWD and no wagon body, but the Genesis is simple over-and-above when it comes to materials and ambience. You sit in it and feel like it should cost double.

    I do think they offer a strong value up to $30k, though, and many models are priced there. The Legacy 2.5i sitting in the showroom was nice. I'd just upgrade the rims.
  • ahqahq Posts: 37
    If you're considering a 2.5i, my understanding is that the Premium trim level has 16" alloy rims. You'd get 17" wheels only if you go with a 2.5i Limited or any of the 3.6R models. I don't think that the 17" wheels would make a huge difference in the ride and handling, but its tires would probably cost a bit more to replace down the road.

    BTW the dealership I went to had a 2.5i Limited in black with ivory leather. Very sharp looking car... the 17" rims really complete the look, IMO.
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