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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: 643
    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: 679
    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: 8,269
    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: 679
    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: 8,269
    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: 8,269
    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: 106
    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: 679
    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: 8,269
    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).
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