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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback

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  • Dear Crew;

    I'm finding that building an Outback has gotten more complicated in the last 8 years since I purchased my 2002 L.L.Bean. Guidance please:
    1. Moon Roof: Used to have two standard. Now a single moonroof is an option?
    2. That nifty sounding internet "hot spot". Any idea as to how well it works? Is there a separate monthly charge, or does it somehow piggyback as part of my cell phone plan?
    3. Any other items that were part of the "Bean" package that are now "options"?
    Thanks in advance.........">
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Single moonroof is a-la-carte now and only offered on some models.

    I think they did that because some tall folks wanted head room first and foremost.

    If you like lots of glass check out a Forester. Most models come with a huge one standard.
  • I don't currently own a Subaru, but am considering the Legacy. I've driven V6 sedans for many years (Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima), and have enjoyed the reduced vibrations and noise and lower RPM on the highway compared to I4 versions, as well as the increased HP.

    How does the H4 Subaru with CVT feel on the highway at 70 mph? Is there much vibration and noise? What RPM is the engine turning on a flat road at 60 or 70 mph? I have never owned a CVT car (in fact my current Maxima is a 6MT), but it seems this would be one of the strong points of that transmission - low RPMs when power is not needed.

    While I will certainly miss the HP of a V6 if I go with a 4-cyl car, I think I can live with that since I so seldom put my foot into it. But I'm pretty hesitant to accept more NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), even for more MPG.

    Any feedback regarding both the 4- and 6-cylinder Legacy is appreciated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may be happier with the smooth-as-buttah H6.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 186
    Tim, I came out of a 2003 Maxima, automatic. I had similar concerns and I went with a 4 cyl Legacy. I did extensive road testing first and I find the Legacy to be as smooth, or smoother. I was suprised to note the size of the '10 Legacy is within 1/10" on just about every dimension as my Max was. The only thing smaller is the trunk but I'm not in sales any more so that doesn't matter.

    I really like the CVT, it's great for mileage. To see some of my numbers on that please go over to the thread on mileage with the CVT.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    The four is slow in highway driving, esp. passing and on long upward grades. It is OK in town.

    The CVT makes a loud, objectionable droning noise. I did not like it at all on the car I test drove. Some folks say they can't hear it but it is definitely there.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    Our 2011 Outback has just developed a high pitch whine/whistle noise in the front that begins around 2500 rpm and increases/decreases with rpm (rpm not mph/speed). Very audible under acceleration beginning at 30 mph and sounds similar to high speed wind noise of a nylon lawn trimmer (but it's not car wind noise). This has definitely not been there for the first 1000 miles, and just started in last few days. Any ideas what to have service look at? Thanks.
  • The noise could be coming from the alternator.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    I thought about that but I can't replicate the noise when "not moving" and I would think if it was the alternator I could replicate it when in Neutral. It's very prevalent when going 30-40MPH, but can't get it when in Neutral sitting still. Even my kids say it sounds like wind noise, but rises and falls with rpm (if I rev from low rpm while driving). Could an intake leak or the fans cause this?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,460
    edited October 2010
    If the sound is not there at all when the transmission is disengaged, it is most likely coming from the transmission. Does the noise persist if you put the transmission in neutral while you're going 30-40? In other words, you're accelerating and you hear the noise - put the car in neutral... does the sound immediately stop?

    When you test it in neutral while standing, there are a lot of parts that are not turning (from the transmission onward), so it could be the transmission itself, a differential, etc.
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    edited October 2010
    Drive at the speed you hear the noise but have all the windows down and the sunroof open(If you have one). If you still hear the noise have a passenger try to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Roll the sunroof closed first then the opposite rear passenger window then the driver side rear window then the passenger front and then the driver side front. Make sure the inside air vents are open and the fan is off. Possibly the noise might abate during one or more of these trials.
    Failing that I would ask a service manager to go for a ride and see what s/he might be able to figure out.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    OK, I've done the Neutral test... here are my results.

    Where the noise can be heard the best is when it's traveling around 35-40MPH (even though it doesn't seem to be wheel speed related) and is amplified when depressing the accelerator as rpms rev.

    Today I drove and then dropped the car in Neutral around 40MPH and revd the accelerator - noise is still there, and is actually much more pronounced now in neutral because you don't have the engaged transmission noise. Again, the noise gets louder (and higher) right along with engine rpm (meaning, you depress the accelerator and the noise increases). Once you hear it, you can then identify it even at lower speeds and rpms, but you really hear it the loudest around 40MPH for some reason. Also, again, it does NOT make the sound when stopped and revving in Neutral, and the noise does NOT change with wheel speed.

    To those asking about isolating the noise inside the car - ummm... it's coming from the engine compartment, so unless I stick my wife up under the hood while I'm driving... can't get more specific than that.
  • What transmission do you have? CVT or 6-spd manual?
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    It is the CVT (4-cyl).
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,460
    I don't know enough about how the CVT works to narrow it down further, but it sounds to me like the problem is something in the transmission. Given it is under warranty, I would take it to a shop and have it examined.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    Well, yes, it is going in to the shop for investigation tomorrow - but I was hoping to gain a little knowledge here before hearing the "it's normal" response from the dealer (which I won't believe because it wasn't there for the first 1800 miles).

    I'm still a little vague though on how it could be the transmission when it's still there when I drop into neutral - and gets louder/higher with rpm when I rev it in that condition. Transmission is disengaged at that point, so engine rpm shouldn't be transferring into the transmission (except for the clutch, but I'm not sure about the mechanics on a CVT), right?

    Of course if it was just related to the engine, then I would expect the noise to still be evident when standing still and being in Neutral.

    I'll probably have to drive another 2011 at the dealer if they say it's nothing - to prove (to them or myself) whether it's a real problem or not.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,460
    edited October 2010
    Well, that's the point at which it becomes vague for me too, because I don't know enough about how the CVT works. It is not like a manual transmission, wherein you literally disconnect the transmission when you press the clutch pedal. In that regard, I *think* it is more like an auto tranny where the torque converter and front end components of the transmission stay connected to the engine at all times.

    So, when you're going to down the road, you have the drivetrain and everything up to the point in the transmission where it disconnects from the engine in neutral spinning with the wheels, and everything on the other side of that point spinning with the engine. There's something about that operating speed that is causing the noise, yet when you place the CVT in neutral and rev the engine, the sound changes with the engine. So, it is speed and RPM dependent, but independent of transmission engagement. ?

    Seems the problem must be in the CVT, but where... I just don't know.

    We already know it's not normal, so take it for a drive with the service manager and show him/her the problem first-hand.
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    edited October 2010
    We'll see what happens tomorrow. I'll report back - hopefully with some level of answer other than "no problem found" :(
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    A reporter is interested in talking with owners of the Subaru Legacy who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to pr@edmunds.com no later than Saturday, November 20, 2010 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds Inc.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Okay, after 4 months and 16,000 km (10,000 miles) here are my thoughts on this car (hopefully someone from Subaru is watching). Take into consideration that I change every two years (company car) and that my last two were Altima's 3.5SE.

    I hate the bluetooth, it is useless at highway speed and since I do a lot of work calls on the highway it is a major inconvenience. Put the sound through the car stereo speakers please (like everyone else).

    After you remove the bluetooth speaker out of the center console move the HVAC and emergency flashers up in its place, maybe then I won't turn on the four ways every time I put the car in park (hit the 4 way flasher switch with my knuckles). Use the space that you get back to make the center console storage under the HVAC system bigger.

    I would like to control for myself the recirculating air switch, it goes on all the time on auto, making the windows all slimy and therefore collecting dirt from the humidity in the recirculated air.

    Add one or two reading lights in the back, you have now made the car a family sedan so make it so that the kids can read in the back when coming back from their evening activities.

    The bottom part of my power seat goes up or down, can we get it to tilt front to back as well?

    Get a sixth gear or CVT transmission to reduce rev's at highway speed (costly on gas).

    As much as I think the storage drawer under the trunk carpet is a cool storage area, I prefer to get the trunk space (again now that the car is family size it is attracting a broader audience that needs the space).

    On a final note, I absolutely love the handling, hands down the best thing on the car, corners like a pro. The power is almost as addictive as my 3.5 Altima's were. Despite the comments for improvement I really like the car, in two years I would buy another Legacy on one condition that they fix that bluetooth system, this is way behind industry standards for a family sedan in this category.
  • Not that this is any consolation, but the Bluetooth that is built into the H-K sound system does play through the sound-system's speakers, and sounds pretty good. Your's must be the add-on Bluetooth accessory?
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    Dropped the Outback off today after taking a ride with their lead service tech and confirmed the noise. As expected, I learned later, Subaru says this is normal for the CSV 4-cyl (although my wife swears, and I also think, it wasn't noticable prior to last week).

    However, with tha said, the Service Manager is giving me his Outback tonight to drive home and confirm that yes indeed we hear it in his as well. So, a nice offer and I'll be picking ti up tonight to do just that. I'll report back later :)
  • My bluetooth has the center console activation buttons in the middle with a speaker on one side and microphone on the other. I believe that with the Nav system you get the bluetooth through the H-K audio system speakers and you also get a button on the steering wheel to accept and end calls (the non nav cars only have the center console button to accept and end calls).

    What gets me is that the capability is there but they have added this lousy ten cent speaker (at extra cost to them) to run the audio for the bluetooth on the non nav equipped cars.

    Two other things I forgot to mention about the car, my 2010 does not have an exterior satellite antenna, I have an after market antenna glued to the interior of my front windshield (top passenger side). For the price I paid I would expect an exterior mounted antenna like all others in this category (I understand that this is no longer the case on 2011 models). The other thing is the weak air conditioning, it takes forever to cool down on hot days, I have noticed several comments of this nature in other blogs so seems to be a "to do" project for Subaru to make it better.

    They are so close to having an industry winner here, some minor adjustments and this car would sell by the boatload. Subaru, I hope you guys are listening.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 186
    I agree abotu hitting the 4-way flashers when putting the car in park. I don't use my phone much and this is my first car with bluetooth so I don't have anything to compare it to. I think the A/C is adequate for the size car but I leave my sunroof open a couple of inches when it's really hot and I don't live in Texas any more (yay!). Mine is black though so it does get hot inside.

    My main complaint is that the seats just don't seem to give enough back support after an hour or more of driving. I try varying the lumbar support occassionally and even have a small rolled up towel that I tuck in. My wife's Lexus (RX330) is better, but not by much. Nothing can compare to my old Grand Marquis or the older Infiniti Q. My back aches severely when I first get out to stretch on the road, but it's better a few minutes later. Anyone else have this compaint?

    14,400 miles in 11 months.
  • for the seat I think the best solution is if the bottom section pivoted front to back, something I noted in my original post of my four month review. That would allow for the raising of the thighs and thus put more backwards force on the back. That would make it more comfortable in my opinion.

    BTW, I drive 200-300 mile routes all the time and at first could not find the same comfort that I had in other vehicles but seem to be used to it now.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 186
    I'll try putting the front of the seat higher and see if that helps. My next couple of long trips are in our sport ute so it'll be a couple of months.

    Thanks
  • thor14thor14 Posts: 17
    I have a new 2011 Outback. Not sure if this has been addressed in other forums. But does anyone know what the twang noise under the car is from after I begin to move forward upon starting my car. It almost sounds like a spring releasing something back into place.

    My sense is that this is a normal operation for the vehicle, but I'm curious as to what it actually is.

    I've heard various reports that it could be the ABS running a test, or the brake booster. Any ideas here?

    Thor
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,810
    Does it only happen once and right after starting up? If so, it is probably the ABS self test.
  • thor14thor14 Posts: 17
    Yes. Thanks.

    I was guessing its normal, but just wanted to know what was going on.

    Thanks.
  • Actually, I have a non-Nav H-K audio system (car is a 2010 3.6R Limited, without Nav), and my Bluetooth is built into the H-K system, with the dialing and hang-up buttons, etc. on the steering wheel, and using the speakers of the H-K system.

    Perhaps it is different as a result of being a Limited.
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