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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback



  • knr5knr5 Posts: 83
    My wife currently drives a 2002 Subaru Outback (MT). It has 88k miles on it and is in a decent condition. I am thinking of replacing it with a 2010 Forester 2.5x Premium or a 2010 Outback 2.5i Premium (both MT). The all-weather package is a 'must' for us. I am currently leaning towards the Forester because it has better visibility, seems more agile, and is less expensive (2 -3 k).

    I would appreciate your thoughts on which may be a better buy. Thanks.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    The Outback is more upscale, has more room, has a much quieter ride and is less likely to rattle. The sight planes are very good although perhaps not quite so good as the Forester.

    That having been said, the Forester is still a commendable vehicle but I would prefer the Outback if I could get one that did not have steering wheel shake. Be careful of that if you decide on the Outback.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    The Forester actually has 1/4 inch MORE fore and aft room in the back seat and certainly is easier to park. Folding mirrors are missing on the Outback until the 2011 models arrive. The Outback's bloated look is not to my taste.

    I chose a 2010 Forester XT over the 3.6R Outback...I like the narrower width for city streets (and folding mirrors), shorter overall length and better visibility. I didn't mind the lower price and made-in-Japan for potentially better reliability. Be sure not to get the base model Forester with no lumbar support in the driver's seat; I got a bachache with a 30 minute drive.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,511
    I much agree with Dave's opinion.

    Either vehicle will give you substantially more passenger room. The appearance, price, and agility of the Forester versus the Outback won out for me, and I had previously owned three Outbacks. The only interior rattle issue I had was the door panels on the driver and passenger doors. That was fixed just last week and was easily noted and repaired by the service technician. So far I have had no lift gate, glove box, or dash rattle issues in this car (a 2010), which is more than I can say for my prior two Outbacks.

    The steering is very light and body roll more pronounced in both vehicles as compared to prior generations, but comparing 2010 to 2010, the Forester easily wins in both categories. Being a driver, these are important aspects of the experience for me. That said, the lightness of steering is the one thing about my 2010 Forester that I do not love, but I do tolerate it. It stands in stark contrast to previous Subaru vehicles, which always had very well-balanced steering.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    That said, the lightness of steering is the one thing about my 2010 Forester that I do not love, but I do tolerate it. It stands in stark contrast to previous Subaru vehicles, which always had very well-balanced steering.


    If you were my age, you'd appreciate the lighter touch. :)

    The return-to-center action when releasing the wheel is nice in city driving; neither my Legacy or 2005 Outback 3.0R had that feature.

    When I test drove a 2010 Outback with CVT I thought I was in a Buick.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,511
    When I test drove a 2010 Outback with CVT I thought I was in a Buick.

    Yeah, me too... that's primarily why I didn't buy it! Oh, and the fact that it is hideously ugly didn't score it any points either. ;)

    I don't think that return-to-center has anything to do with the lightness of the steering. I doubt there is any vehicle in the world that could best the action of my 1969 Ford Econoline in that department, and I guarantee you that the steering on that vehicle is anything but light. However, let go of the wheel and it will center itself in a heartbeat (or less depending on your heart rate at the time which, if driving that van, is probably pretty high). :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Forester also has higher residuals, so it will cost you less to own over the long haul.

    We had a 98 Forester (loved it) and an 02 Legacy (OK, but can't say we loved it). Wifey owned the Legacy.

    When it was time for her to get a new car, I had traded my Forester for a minivan, and she ended up choosing the Forester again. She likes it better than any car we've ever owned before. Won't even let me talk about trading it.

    The gas mileage of the CVT would be appealing, and the Outback is a little quieter.

    Dunno, though, the Forester just gets my heart pumping more.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,511
    If going for an auto, the better fuel economy of the CVT would certainly be appealing. I think the OP mentioned MT, though. Mine, as well, is MT.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case the Outback does have a 6 speed vs. the Forester's 5.
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    If this helps you, I had the 2009 limited Forester for 1.5 years and did not like it so I traded it for the 2010 outback limited 4cyl cvt. My reasons for the trade were I found the fit and finish of the Forester to be less than expected for the price, too many rattles and squeaks, too much plastic, no passenger seat adjustments and quite a few other issues. Again, all personal preferences. It did ride nicely for the 28k miles that I had it. I also had 3 windshields replaced due to the design angle of the glass and small rocks hitting it.
    I have 4K miles on the outback and find a night and day difference. I think the fit and finish as well as attention to details and layout design are much better. I am getting better milage 31 mpg @70mph, 33-35 at 50mpg. I like the cvt transmission. The car overall seems more comfortable and drives very well except for a steering vibration which SOA is almost ready to fix . I also like the redesign and the overall look of the car as well. The exterior and interior colors available, well that is another story! God Luck..either way
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 111
    Just thought I'd give an update on my 2010 Outback Limited that I bought in Oct. It now has about 9,000 miles on it. (I posted my original impressions on this forum. See nos. 626 & 632.) Overall, I continued to be very satisfied. Ride is smooth & quiet. Acceleration & power are good for a 4 cyl. I've never felt it is underpowered. Fuel economy is outstanding. Around 30 on the highway & 22 in town. Much better than my 2000 & 2004 Foresters. I stll find the driver's seat very confortable, even on long trips, while the passenger's seat sits too low for me. I'm still impressed with the quality of the vehicle. Much improved on the Foresters.

    I did have slight vibration in the steering wheel at speeds of about 65+. Nothing major, just annoying. Happy to report that after 1 tire rotation, that has gone. I still feel that the steering is overly assisted. The heating was weak during the winter months & the fan is very loud, except at the lowest speed. However, this is something I can live with. The car does eventually heat up, just not as quickly or efficiently as I would like. I love having the backup camera displayed on the NAV screen, but the NAV alone would not be worth the money for reasons I set out in post 632. Still satisfied with audio system & iPod interface. Bluetooth works well, but the mic in the car is either cheap or poorly designed or both because you sound like you're talking into a tin can when calling hands free.

    I've had no reliability problems. However, I did just receive a recall notice for a CVT hose & a "service program information" notice for a possible cracked ABS cover. That work will be done in a couple weeks.

    Bottom line, very satisfied & if you're looking for this type of vehicle, I'd recommend.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Appreciate all the input guys! I'm torn between the Forester (less $) and the Outback (better gas mileage, color options int and ext). Have test driven 4 cyl version of both (love my CVT on my 08 Altima) and both have sufficient acceleration to suit me (passing on/off interstate ramps).

    Decisions, decisions..... :confuse:
  • ktmotoxktmotox Posts: 5
    I'm curious as to which of the three different AWD systems for the 2010 Legacy work the best. I'm most interested in the comparison between the one used in the CVT car vs the one in the 3.6 AT car.

    Models equipped with Lineartronic™ CVT utilize an electronically controlled variable transfer clutch to distribute power to where traction is needed. Sensors monitor parameters such as wheel slippage, throttle position and braking, to help determine torque distribution and direct it to the wheels with optimum traction.

    Models equipped with 5-speed automatic transmission utilize an electronically controlled variable transfer clutch in conjunction with a planetary-type center differential and a viscous-type limited-slip rear differential. Torque distribution is normally configured at a performance-oriented rear-wheel-biased 45/55-split front-to-rear. Sensors monitor parameters such as wheel slippage, throttle position and braking to help determine torque distribution and direct it to the wheels with optimum traction.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Summary: both work, but the VTD in the 3.6R might feel sportier with a default rear bias, plus it is capable of sending higher percentages of power to each axle.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    but the VTD in the 3.6R might feel sportier with a default rear bias

    I would have agreed before I switched from a 2005 3.0R VDC Outback to a 2010 Forester XT recently. Heavy throttle U-turns are much smoother and faster with the XT. I suspect that sportier calibration of the stability control in the XT is a possibility. The Outback actually was dangerously unstable and slow under such conditions....both under damped and too much throttle cutback.

    That said, 2010 3.6R models could have a very different stability control calibration. Only test drives will tell.
  • tgl3tgl3 Posts: 6
    I just purchased a 2011 outback 3.6r. There are rectangular box-shaped cutouts on the side near the seam of the passenger exterior doors. about 3" by 8". Can someone tell me what the deal is on these?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,511
    edited June 2010
    I suspect you are describing the film-style paint protectors that are applied to the area just in front of the rear wheel arches on the rear passenger doors. This patch is meant to reduce paint damage from road debris (rocks, gravel, sand, etc) kicked up from the front tires. I'm not sure how well it works.... the patches on my 2010 Forester were fairly well torn up after the first winter. :(

    Below is a close-up of the area on my Forester taken last Fall while it was rather dirty. The dirt allows for the line created by the film application to show up quite well....

  • tgl3tgl3 Posts: 6
    thank you. that must be what it is. on your car they are curved to match the arches. on my car they are located right in that same spot, but are rectangles. also the seam is much more pronounced, they actually stick out. But close enough to your description that it must be what they are intended for. thank for this.
  • Just put my first 1,000km (Canadian car) on my Subie. First impressions are;

    great drive and great style, very comfortable seats and car looks more upscale than many in its class.

    Bluetooth through one speaker in the middle console looks and sounds cheap. I have what is almost a top of the line model and have found out that my satellite antenna is not on the roof as per most cars but glued to the inside windshield (top passenger side), again, this looks really cheap in a almost top of the line model. There is no "push button" start available.

    This is a great car and I am sure I am going to love driving it (great handling), however there are a couple of quirks that need attention, if Subaru wants to be a global premium brand (as they say on their website) then they need to get serious about the details.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Everyone calls themselves premium. Heck, Suzuki pitches the Kizashi as a luxury performance sedan. Seriously. It doesn't even offer a V6 or a turbo.

    Subaru's true upscale march came in 2005-2006 and failed miserably (look at Tribeca sales). Everyone balked at the prices. Sales really took off in 2009 when the Forester arrived with value pricing (and a little de-contenting to be honest).
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Subaru's true upscale march came in 2005-2006 and failed miserably (look at Tribeca sales). Everyone balked at the prices.

    But some of us benefitted from the great discounts like the $5000 off of a 3.0R VDC that I got at that time. The up-market push brought me back from Audi/VW since I didn't have to sit on recycled burlap like in my 97 Legacy any more. :D

    And take a look at the prices on the 3.6 Limited Outback which I believe is sold out for 2010! Of course those prices helped me decide on a 2010 XT Forester instead.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, 2008 or so may have been the sweet spot because they were still building high-content cars but selling them at huge discounts.

    I looked today and a loaded Tribeca is $36 grand. People were getting those for $32-33k or so. Demos were less. Remember those supposedly hail-damaged Tribecas that sold for $27k new? Rumor has it they were hardly damaged at all, but SoA wanted to unload a bunch for cheap without an adverse affect on resale.

    I should have nabbed one.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Remember those supposedly hail-damaged Tribecas that sold for $27k new? Rumor has it they were hardly damaged at all, but SoA wanted to unload a bunch for cheap without an adverse affect on resale.

    I should have nabbed one.

    That is how I bought a 1993 Passat VR6 wagon for a minimum price: The hail damage was only barely visible when I sighted across the roof at exactly the right angle. One bounce of a roller at a car wash would have done more. When I traded it in on the 97 Legacy the dealer thought it was a cream puff, but it was a true VW with a questionable head gasket and autotrans gasket leak. The long VW warranty in later years was of benefit for my next two Passats. They are great cars to drive and ride in, but hell to own out of warranty.

    I hope Subaru head gasket problems have been laid to rest or the present sales success will not continue. I suspect the increased bore diameters of the 2.5l engine in the same overall block dimensions as the 2.2l have pushed the limits of block rigidity. That's one reason I bought an XT with the sturdier block casting. It also does not have the nasty exhaust rap from the thin manifolds. The 3.6R block exhaust also does not have those manifolds.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,325
    edited June 2010
    Motor Trend is long terming a 2010 Outback. They had the oil changed-tires rotated and air&cabin filters replaced. Just $368. That's Mercedes territory. My 09 Murano cost me $10 for the air filter [installed by me] coupon for a free rotation at autotire and the dealer comps my oil and filter. The cabin filter is just fine. I'm feeling so lucky. Do like the Outback --- nice car but the dealer really ripped Motor Trend. Be careful out there.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 186
    Ouch, I'm pretty sure MT can afford it. How did they show the cost, as part of the overall upkeep, or as a warning to owners against using the dealers for routine work? I haven't read MT for years but I guess for consistency's sake they do it that way to get consistent comparos across manufacturer's lines.

    I turned 5,000 a month or so ago and had the oil and filter changed at a local (not national brand) oil/brakes/exhaust place that coupons $20.00 as a way to build customer loyalty. They use national brand oil and good filters. I had the tires rotated at Discount Tire so no charge there.

    When I was in my dealer last weekend for the CVT cooling hose change out I remember seeing the price list behind the service counter. I'm pretty sure the 15k one was listed at about the same price as MT paid.

    I'm probably going to put a big DO NOT TOUCH sticker on my air filter housing to keep morons from opening it. My wife had her oil changed (Lexus RX) at a Wal-Mart or some other place and they managed to DISLODGE one of the "captive" screws on the air filter housing. She noticed it when we were driving from Austin to Denver when the gas gauge needle was dropping faster than normal.

    Turned out they had dislodged on of the tiny vacuum lines which was causing the crap mileage. But the missing screw is a PITA because it's IIRC a 5mm diameter. After the second one disappeared I changed services to the place I mentioned above.

    Overall that dealer charge adds about 2.4 cents per mile to the long term ownership costs.

  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    I'm glad you are enjoying your car. Have you noticed any shakes in the steering wheel of which many have complained and for which there is supposed to be a TSB issued by Subaru in mid-July?

    The cheap glued-on satellite radio antenna has been fixed for the 2011 model. It has been moved to the rear portion of the roof where it should have been all along. Also, the 2011 has folding rear mirrors.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    The 2.5 engine uses an open deck block design which is why it is prone to head gasket failures. I believe that Subaru actually re-designed the head gasket yet again for 2010 to try to deal with the head gasket failures. I encountered this on my 1997 Outback which had a failed head gasket at 140,000 miles and required a new engine.

    The XT uses a semi-closed deck block and so is sturdier but the problem with this engine is that the banjo turbo oil filter screen tends to obstruct, leading to turbo failures, of which there are many reports online. Good luck with yours. -banjo-bolt-filter-print.html
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 186
    I was driving my wife's RX on a local street the other day and a new, '10 or '11 Outback pulled up next to me. Looking across I was pretty suprised by how close in size they appeared. I went into the "Specs" section of Edmunds and did a size comparison and was noticed they are THE SAME SIZE.

    One or two of the dimensions differed by less than an inch, but that was about it. I realize that the Subies don't have all the nice extras that the Lex has; outside mirrors looking down in reverse gear, electrically controlled tilt wheel, multiple driver's seat pre-sets, electric tailgate but the price difference is a bunch.

    A few months ago I ran the numbers for an Outback on both Edmunds and SOA and an Outback with what we'd want would probably MSRP for about $30-$31K. I figure a Lex is going to be in the $40K plus range.

    I'm posting this because we have a 6 month old Legacy, 2.5, CVT and my wife likes its ride and mileage. Her Lex is 6 1/2 years old and not ready for replacement yet, but she has been "pre-looking" and "pre-planning". We no longer do the kind of things that require a sport ute but she has always liked having the extra space and the fact that she sits up a bit higher.

    The improved mileage ratings versus her old, much heavier RX is an issue, although we don't drive enough for much $$ savings.

    Anyway I was wondering if anyone has moved from anything like a RX-330, Acura MDX or similar to the new Outback?

  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    In the latest edition sent to me there is a photo of the steering wheel controls for the Outback. It mentions there is a mute button for the audio. I have a 2010 limited and do not see this button. Am I missing something? Does anyone have this button? Thanks
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    That button is replaced with the voice activation button in models with the nav.
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