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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    do not buy AWD.
    If you do most city driving then hybrid might be worth the money.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    In strictly city driving, my guess is that 18 is about the best you will see. Subaru is probably not the best choice if gas mileage is a major concern and AWD is not exceptionally important. In this case, you might even be better off considering something like the hybrid Ford Escape. They claim near 36 mpg in strictly city driving, though it drops to around Subaru mileage on the highway (26-27mpg?). Capacity-wise, it would feel somewhat similar to the wagon.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Hahaha, there's a compact way to restate. :blush:
  • ddunbarddunbar Posts: 31
    We get the same mileage on our 2003 Legacy Wagon LE with the automatic transmission -- 16-18 in the city and at best 26 on the highway.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    Polish or English ;-)


    PS There must be some truth in our statements as they are surprisingly similar.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Forester is lighter but I do better in the city, in fact the EPA numbers for mine are about on target (21/27).

    I've only dipped below 20mpg twice in 9 years, and both times I was towing a trailer.

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    I guess I could do a lot better gas mileage with other cars. Too bad. I like the Legacy sedan. It's got a classy look, very dependable, strong 4cyl (175 Hp), and good crash tests.

    I wonder, if it was made in 2WD, crash test result would change. I figure it might because the loss of weight, but gas mileage would improve. I know you guys like the AWD, just to make a choice between the two, at least for the sedan. I'd be happy with that.

    I've researched a little more and I also like the Mazda 3 5 door. Crash tests aren't nearly as good. The Civic is having problems. The Impreza also has AWD and I think the Legacy's a better looking sedan. The Prius is too expensive (going for MSRP and above). The Chevy Cobalt, I hear, is not reliable. The Mini Cooper is TOO small and uses premium gas! I think the Corolla is a bit too femme. The VW New Beetle is also WAY too femme and too small. The Ford Focus also too femme and not as good of a reliability record as the 3. The Suzuki Aerio also isn't reliable, gets a POOR side crash rating even with side airbags, and the 3 is better overall. The Mitsubishi Lancer has the same crash test rating as the 3 by IIHS but the 3 has a better ride and fit and finish according to Edmunds and Consumer Reports. All other rated small cars by IIHS are too risky.

    If only the Legacy came in 2WD! :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • Hey luvmbooty, you're doing too much research (as if that's not good). By the time you finish, all the 2006s will be gone. :blush: The regular Legacy SE sedan will give you decent gas mileage. My new SE wagon is giving me 30-31 mpg hwy, no lead foot or overly aggressive driving (70 mph max), regular gas. I never go by the trip computer - I just do plain old math. Go buy the car and fuhget 'bout it.... :shades:
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Almost all my driving is city driving. Do you think the 2007 will be much different?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Have you estimated the operating cost impact of fuel milage? Assuming you drive 15K miles a year and that gas costs $3/gallon, a 10 mpg difference in fuel economy amounts to $750/year or just over $60/month more. Could you justify going with a lesser featured and less crashworthy vehicle for this difference?

    $60/month is not trivial but neither is vehicle content and safety! If you can swing it, I'd get the Legacy. :-)

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yes, I think I would have to offer similar advice.

    Do not settle for a vehicle. Decide on your priorites and which vehicles you would like to own. Rank them based on priority, test-drive the subset that makes the cut, and then buy the one with which you are most content.

    I think that if you end up buying something for which you settle, you will end up with buyer's remorse and/or prematurely trading it for something different. In the grand scheme of things, fuel economy is just one factor and is often not even the most expensive one. Heck, insurance can have greater disparity than fuel operating cost. It sounds to me like safety equipment / rating is your #1 concern, so rank it accordingly.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Good advice! Thanks! ;)
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Think there's on in the future?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I wonder, if it was made in 2WD, crash test result would change. I figure it might because the loss of weight, but gas mileage would improve. I know you guys like the AWD, just to make a choice between the two, at least for the sedan. I'd be happy with that.

    I doubt you will ever see a 2WD Legacy again. Subaru's worldwide branding vehicle identity is 99.9% AWD. In Japan they offer a few bottom-feeder Imprezas and tiny 660cc JDM-specific models that are offered in both FWD and AWD, but that's it. Outside of Japan every Subaru sold is AWD.

    Being virtually all AWD is what they known for. It's part of their DNA and a huge part of their marketing. It goes to the core of what a Subaru is all about. I don't expect that to change.

    Offering a FWD alternative will weaken their brand image. Subaru has been saying for years that AWD is the best drive system out there. If they offer FWD, in a way they're saying that what they've been promoting all along may not be true. It's sending mixed signals to their customers. They would be shooting themselves in the foot. Let the other brands offer a variety of drive systems. Being 100% AWD is another braggin' right feature they can sell to the public.

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    As prices rise and dino fuel becomes scarce, AWDs will cost $$$. What happens when gasoline prices reach $5? Unless they start using alternative fuels like diesel.

    All 2006 automatic non turbo models EPA mpgs:

    Legacy sedan/wagon: 23/30
    Impreza sedan/wagon: 23/28
    Forester: 23/28
    Outback: 22/28
    Baja: 21/28
    Tribeca: 18/23 premium only

    As of right now, these mpgs aren't bad, but I live in the city and really don't need AWD. People who live in an area that needs AWD, these mpgs are probably the one best you can find (except for the Tribeca).

    Interiors of Subarus could be a little roomier for people who have families. Like the Legacy, with a 93 cu ft interior, is classified as a midsize sedan, but for a growing family of 5 I think would need at least 100 cu ft interior.

    Otherwise I think Subarus are one of the best and original makes out there. There are AWD alternatives though like Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe, Dodge Caliber, Ford Five Hundred, Dodge Magnum, 2006 Toyota Rav4 (which has an optional 3rd row), Honda Pilot (with standard 3rd row for a total of 8 passengers), and others.
  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    How about if they offered a FWD with standard traction and stablility? This would allow mpgs to rise, would help prevent skidding and keeping it standard like the AWD. ;)
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    Subaru in the US almost folded when they tried competing against Toyota, Nissan, and Honda in the 2WD category. They were rescued by AWD and the Outback campaign. It's unlikely they will venture down that path again. Subaru simply does not have the volume to compete in that specific arena. Today's challenge is to retain their niche (and market share) while everyone else is coming out with AWD vehicles.

    MPG should really be compared between like vehicles.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    You're missing my point. It's all about marketing and positioning the brand. Subaru has spent a ton of time and money marketing themselves as the only company in the world that's 100% AWD. They're not going to change that.

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    OH, O.K. :P :blush: ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru is tiny compared to Honda and Toyota, and can't compete directly with them. Last time they tried they nearly went bankrupt, sales took a nose dive to 100k/year back in 1995.

    Where they'd succeeded is at being a niche player, AWD wagons mostly. The OB and Forester have done quite well and now sales are nearly double that level, selling more profitable cars at that.

    Remember something - common sense does not apply to Subaru. Think about it, they DROP half their lineup (all FWD, Justy, SVX), increase prices dramatically, and sales DOUBLED! :confuse:

    Sure, they could come out with a FWD Legacy, but it would probably still not match the Accord's 26/34 mpg and so the fuel misers would still buy the Honda. They could probably get about 25/31 out of a FWD Legacy, but it would be smaller than the Accord and they have only half as many dealer outlets to sell them from.

    Now, look at it differently. You're shopping for an SUV that gets 16mpg, and suddenly an Outback's mid 20s mpg seems quite reasonable. It is a legit alternative to what most people use SUVs for. Bingo. Jackpot.

    Forester's 23/28 doesn't seem that great? Well guess what? It's best in class, matching the 4WD RAV4 and besting the CR-V, which takes 3rd place. Bingo again. Jackpot #2.

    Those are the models that sold well. FWD Legacys from 1994 and earlier were a disaster Subaru is better off forgetting about.

    A FWD Legacy is less efficient than an Accord.

    An AWD Outback/Forester is more efficient than an Equinox/Vue/Escape. That's why it works.

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