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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The only subaru that needs special LSD fluid is the STi as it's a Mechanical LSD v. the Viscous one in the other subies so yes same fluid for both.

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    mike - thanks, I figured you'd know the answer.

  • I am thinking of getting a 2005 Outback, but I just don't understand the different engines. Could you please explain the difference between a 4 cyl, 6 cyl, and turbo to me as far as the car's performance and why one would be more desirable over the others? Currently I drive a '93 Camry, V6 LE, with 68K on it. I live in Colorado, my car is the mommymobile, mostly short suburban trips, with occasional trips on highways and to the mountains. Since I am not clear on the engine types, I don't know which Outback I should buy.

    Thanks in advance.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The 2.5i "base" models have a regular "H4" engine, 168HP. This gets very good gas mileage, and is perfectly adequate for the car. I think this engine is very well matched with the manual transmission, less so with the auto.

    The 2.5XT "sport" models get a turbo H4 (this is the only turbo in the lineup). Gas mileage is mediocre, but the cars are insanely fast and a lot of fun to drive. This is the hot rod of the bunch (I have one!).

    The 3.0R "luxury" models get an H6. This engine is really smooth and quiet, and also very powerful (a bit less hot rod than the turbo, however). Definitely the luxury engine of the bunch. Gas mileage is mediocre on this one as well.

    You'll notice the various engine options are paired with the base, sport, and luxury models in the Outback lineup. So, you sort of get the engine based on what type of model (and associated price range) you are interested in.

    Good luck! My 05 is my 3rd Outback and I like it a lot.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I test drove an Outback with the 2.5 way back in 1997, and it was slow enough that it concerned me, and I went with the smaller Outback Sport instead.

    The 2.5 today makes the same power as that 2.5 did in 1997, only it now powers an even heavier vehicle. Or, to put it another way, your '93 Camry has 10% more power, 15% more torque, and weighs 500 pounds LESS than this Outback. It's just not that great as the powerplant for a highway-tripper.

    DEFINITELY consider the manual transmission very strongly if you are going to go with the base engine. Otherwise, it would be wise to look more at the XT turbo. The H-6 is a very nice engine, but can only be had in trim levels that are absolutely loaded to the gills with luxury equipment, and sell at $30K or more.

    If I had my way, Subaru would offer the H-6 with a manual transmission and make it available for base models for $2000 or so extra.

    c hunter has a point about the gas mileage, although I wouldn't call the base model's numbers "very good" - I would call them decent for an AWD vehicle. You do have to bear in mind that these cars have AWD which adds weight and consequently reduces fuel economy somewhat.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Wasn't there a minimal increase in horsepower in the base 2.5i for '05? FWIW, when I drove it, I thought the Sportshift AT made things fairly tolerable in the base model without necessarily having to go manual, although obviously it's not speedy and the manual is still preferable from that perspective. My mileage on a lengthy road trip (base 2.5i) going 70 approached 28-29 mpg, which I think is quite decent for an AWD of moderate size and better than I get in my OBS. Local driving dropped to about 23 or so.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    yeah, it popped up 3 hp. When I said "the same power", I was taking the 3 little horsies into account. However, with all the use of aluminum in the '05, it is actually almost the same weight as the '97 was, so I probably made more of that than it was worth...during the intervening years, though, it was HEAVY. The 2.5i now has about the same power-to-weight ratio as the 4-cylinder Accord and Camry, in perhaps a slightly less aerodynamic package. When I test drove it recently, the dealer only had an automatic to try, and it felt barely adequate to me. I would go with a base model for the gas mileage and a manual for the slight extra oomph, if I were ready to buy.

    Boy are these cars nicer on the inside now than when I was looking at them in '97! One thing is odd: I didn't notice it when I was in the car, but the reviews all say Outback does not have a height-adjustable driver's seat. If not, that is kind of a weird omission given they are trying to go upmarket a bit, and the smaller cheaper OBS has it.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep in mind the new ones lost 180lbs in some cases, so even the base engine, with a small 3hp gain, are adequate.

    Ask yourself how do you really drive daily, and how often you need the extra power?

  • tulanetulane Posts: 12
    I just bought an Outback 2.5i(manual) and I've noticed a "tapping" noise. When I drove it over 65 MPH it seemed to get louder as though I needed to shift to another gear(I was already in 5th). My 2001 Forester could go 85-90 MPH and still seemed smooth. Is this just because this engine is not powerful enough for this car?
     Also, the engine smells like it is burning which I'm hoping is just because it only has 500 miles on it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The smell might just be the undercoating overspray burning off the exhaust. I smelled that for about 2000 miles IIRC.

    I'm not sure about the tapping...

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Juce is right about the undercoating.

    I would get the tapping checked out at the dealer.

    Can you tell if it's an engine noise or a driveline noise? Easiest way would be to push the clutch in at 65mph and see if the noise goes away or not. You could also try putting the car in neutral to see if it's a gear noise.

  • tulanetulane Posts: 12
    The noise occurs when my foot is on the gas and stops when I take my foot off of the gas. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds like a bike when you put playing cards on the spokes with clothes pins.(I don't know if kids still do that). As I said before, it just feels like I need to put it in another gear even though I'm in 5th. Maybe I'm just not used to the new car. Anyway, other than that, this car is great.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Do you get the noise when the car is stationary and you rev the engine, or does it have to be in gear and rolling?

    The only time I have heard "similar" noises when applying throttle in gear at speed was due to people lugging the engine (ie, they would need to downshift). But going 65mph in 5th gear is definitely not lugging the engine!

  • tulanetulane Posts: 12
    I think it's just when I'm moving and have my foot on the gas. I'm a health inspector so I'll be driving it today and will check back with you this afternoon. Thanks for the help.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I hate to make all the rest of you Subaru owners jealous, but we finally have our first good snowfall of the season here in Fairbanks!

    I'm as giddy as a school boy. It's days like today that I absolutely love owning a Subaru - it makes me wonder how I ever made it through the winter driving my 2wd '69 chevy.....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lucky dawg! ;-)

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    My Outback is now 6.5 years old. The newness has worn off. I can wait as long as it takes for the first snow here in Minneapolis.
  • tulanetulane Posts: 12
    The noise occurs when I'm standing still and step on the gas. I'm probably just being too sensitive since it's brand new and I was accustomed to my old Forester.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Hmm, maybe still would be good to ask the dealer to listen too it. Despite many changes, the engine has the same characteristic boxer sound your Forester made. If it's a lot different, maybe something is up. I would trust your first instinct.

  • plantzplantz Posts: 3
    In the latest issue, Consumer Reports got 18 mpg overall for the 2005 Legacy GT. They're generally pretty conservative in their testing. The other cars in this test - Acura TSX, Audi A4, Volvo S40 - all got 23/24 mpg. I'm surprised that awd and a turbo would use that much more gas.

    I'm considering the wagon. I would like to have the power of the turbo once in a while, but most of the time I'm a very conservative driver. I would get the manual transmission, simply because I prefer it.

    For those of you who have had Subarus for a while, what is your real world experience with gas mileage?

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