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Subaru Legacy/Outback

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Comments

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    I wouldn't go that far - except maybe in the reliability category! The overall ride of my 2001 LLBean (feel of steering, engine, drivetrain, etc.) is refined and smooth (=luxury/near luxury), but it is not Lexus-like quiet. My 1992 Camry LE (which I sold to get the LLBean) was slightly quieter than the LLBean at cruising speeds.

    I'm hoping the 2005 re-design is whisper quiet. After 45K flawless miles (knock on plastic wood), this is by far my most reliable car ever (vs. Camry, Accord, Buick, VWs I have owned - all over 150K miles). My only minor minor tiny tiny gripes with the car are:

    - heavy understeer (but it has never come close to slipping - and I guess the new shock/spring design took care of that)
    - highway road noise (>55 mph)
    - two-tone paint (so 90s)
    - lack of a diversity antenna (to pull in distant stations - my 92 Camry had one as part of an upgraded 6 speaker stereo option!)

    But again, I'm being real picky. The car is unbelievable in all aspects - reliability, safety, performance, durability, repair/parts costs, etc....

    Ralph
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    BTW, it's on dry and rain-soaked pavement that the AWD shines...

    and the occasional snow...

    Ralph
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Your '92 Camry was before cost-cutting ran rampant with asian cars. They only recently started adding the content back.

    The 2000 Outback did gain refinement, and the H6 models have both a quieter engine and more insulation.

    I have not driven a Lexus recently, but we did sample a Camry SE. The LL Bean we drove was definitely more hushed. I'd put the Camry somewhere between our Legacy and my dad's OBLtd in terms of overall noise.

    -juice
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Keep in mind that tires have a major impact on noise. My Dunlops have worn very uneven and sound like truck tires now. I expect the car to be much quieter tomorrow after the new tires are installed. (got them yesterday)

    Greg
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I drove the Lexus RX-300 and Acura MDX back to back with the Bean, and it was easily in the league of those two, if not better (MDX was kind of noisy in my opinion).

    I rode in a coworker's Avalon a few weeks ago, and it was nice, but not noticeably smoother than the Bean. I would expect the Avalon to be a notch better than the Camry.

    So yeah, I stand by Lexus-like statement. The H6 engine and longitudinal layout is hard to beat for smoothness and quiet. It's certainly more refined than recent FWD/V6 platforms I have sampled.

    Craig
  • willocwilloc Posts: 19
    I just bought a VDC wagon about 2 months ago. the stereo is awesome it sounds much better than the Bose stereo i had in my Infiniti QX4. I'm real happy with the gas mileage compared to SUV (got 26 mpg on a recent trip) and it is quieter and handles better than any SUV out there. If you have any other questions about the VDC let me know. It launches great you can slam the throttle on a dirt/gravel road and it won't even break tires loose!! only time traction control kicks in is if you accelerate and turn a corner at the same time. straight line = mega traction
    -Will
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Pilot is bigger and cheaper, and a better value overall, if you like those.

    -juice
  • wilkichwilkich Posts: 52
    I have a 97 Outback and we need a basic tune up. I can't stomach the dealer high cost for servicing and had a bad experience at the Oakland dealership. Can anyone recommend an auto shop in SF or Oakland?
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Thanks for the info on the VDC. My head right now is telling me that the VDC is the best overall value for what I want from my next vehicle, but I'm going to have to see what happens when I test drive all of them and sit in the seats. I've already had the good fortune to take an Outback on a "test drive" that was much more intense than any dealer would let me do, so the VDC already has a leg up on the competition. I'd like to get a luxury/near-luxury feel out of the interior of my next car as well, and I'm hoping the interior of the VDC is comparable to that of the Passat Wagon, Saab 9-5, Volvo XC70, and Mercedes E320. I know it won't be as plush as the Mercedes, but any Mercedes I would be getting would be 3-4 years old anyway. If it's anywhere close to these others, then the VDC's "rough and ready" character and reliability will probably carry the day for me.
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    I also tested the Bean back to back with a Lexus RX300. Bean won hands down for driving experience, and was on par for noise.

    I also own a Lexus, so can perform daily comparisons. The result is that my wife and I have put far more miles on the Bean than we have on the Lexus in the two years we've owned the Bean. And, we share each car equally for commuting to work, so the choice of cars is made for the fun driving.

    Steve
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    I should no better than to even slightly dis my Subie Bean on this board! LOL!

    I always thought my 92Camry was built unusually well. It was basically in the same shape when I sold it 9 years later at 160K miles (my 4 yr. old daughter cried when we sold it - to a friend).

    I have to admit I haven't driven a Lexus since the 99 RX300 model...so...I take back what I said. We love our Bean anyway so it doesn't matter...

    Ralph
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Had my front/rear differ. fluids changed last night for the first time - 45.3K miles (both clean - no metal on bolt). Good news.

    The mechanic (who has won many awards from Subaru and is very sharp) said the H6 plugs are double platinum tipped and should go to around 90K - not the recommended 60K. He said to wait until I feel performance slip. Also said all of the H6 plugs he has taken out at 60-70K have looked brand new. Seems like good advice - he has been right on everything else with our Bean so far.

    He also said "they will make you bend way over when it comes time to change them". Apparently the engine has to be lifted up to change them. Anyone get to changing their H6 plugs yet?? Condition of plugs/price??

    Mechanic also told me all 2005 U.S. market Subarus will be turbo charged. I didn't like hearing that, but he said they are more reliable than other turbos because they are triple cooled - water, oil and air (with the new hood air scoop).

    Also learned the H6 pcv valve is a lifetime part (because it is impossible to get to), Japanese H6 engine is belt-driven vs. the US chain driven (also a lifetime part), and the wrx sti is actually 290+ horsepower, but Subaru listed it at 250 to avoid lux tax.

    He told me 2 proud parents came up to him to ask him what he thought of their purchasing the sti for their 17 yr. old son. He asked them if they bought a coffin too. He then proceeded to give them the name & number of a special racing driving school their son should go to before taking the car out. Said otherwise he'll have it wrapped around a tree within 2 months. Has anyone seen the tires on that puppy - they screem summer from 40 feet away. I'll have to test drive it...

    Sorry for the ramble...

    H6 tuneup stories??

    Ralph
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If I remember right, and this is a big "if", the plugs are good for 90K or 100K miles on the H6. I could be confusing it with something else. It's in the Bean/VDC owner's manual, but I drove my WRX today :-)

    Craig
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    "...wrx sti is actually 290+ horsepower, but Subaru listed it at 250 to avoid lux tax..."

    Statements like that make me even more leery of dealership personnel; a mechanic spewing that kind of misinfo (however harmless it may be in this case)is not encouraging. Lux tax? Not anymore, and when there WAS one, it surely was not levied based on HP numbers. 250 hp? Subaru's claiming 300hp for the STi. Ugh.
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    WC: it's flattering to the Outback that you even mention it in the same sentence as all those luxury cars.

    Ralph: that's a myth about needing to pull the engine to change the plugs. You don't. I'm not sure if anyone has changed their own plugs, but surely someone has had a tuneup.

    Japanese H6 belt-driven? They are made in Indiana and shipped there, I don't see why they'd be different.

    STi is rated at 300hp, not 250. Subaru managed to avoid a tax by removing the stereo to get weight down, a story confirmed by Patti.

    This guy seems to be full of errors, you might want to ask someone else to work on your car! LOL

    -juice
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    wepperson-
    a set of lowering springs and KYB AGX should set you on your way to a H6 VDC GT :D

    Or, when they become available, a set of PRAXIS coilovers
    PRAXIS

    -Dave
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    I reread my post above on the comparison. Much too stuffy, I intended a more lighthearted response!

    No offence was intended, and apologies to all.

    (But I do like my Bean!)

    Steve
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