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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Ken, yes, that's me. I traded in my beloved '99 Forester for a little more leg room (94-year-old grandma had trouble getting in and out). I still have the old links, but haven't updated the site for a long time, and don't have it up and running at the moment.

    Karen M.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    As far as seat height, I think the whole car is taller, but the seat itself is pretty much in the same position. At least it felt that way.

    Patti: thanks for the VIN decode post, I bookmarked it!

    kmartin: same to you, thanks for the reviews post, also bookmarked that!

    These folks invest a little time to help us all, and I appreciate that kind of stuff. :-)

    Leather steering wheel covers? I have one on my Forester, it was so good that I actually had it on my previous car for 7 years and moved it to my Forester, 6 more years and I still love it! 13 years and no wear that you'd notice. Wheelskins IIRC. You'll find them on-line.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keeping in mind that we were in track conditions with broken-in cars, I did not notice the automatic lagging much behind the MT5 models. In fact it felt just as quick in transitional driving, plenty of power on tap and quick responses.

    The manual with the new dual mass flywheel felt wonderful, but the auto seemed very smart. Perhaps it had adapted well to the track after a few laps, but I have absolutely no complaints, in fact I think the tranny is one of the biggest improvements.

    Or the turbo engine.

    Or the steering. Man, the steering is awesome.


  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Karen: So it is you! All the links, the mention of Phoenix and a Forester rang a bell. Thanks for having that Forester website, BTW. That was a great resource to us owners back in the good old days. I probably still have it bookmarked somewhere -- kmartin/amug or something like that.

    juice: Are you slipping off the fence? ;-)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Naw, for now I'm house poor. Maybe in a year or two...

    But personally, I watch my kids beat up the interior and think a Forester XT, as a budget performance buy, might be a better fit.

    If it were for my wife, a GT Limited Sportshift, though even then I'd be scared of her piling up speeding tickets. Might just make it a base Legacy 2.5i Limited automatic.

    When the fundage is better...

  • joajoa Posts: 8
    I looking to possible buy a new '05 Legacy 2.5i also in the Santa Cruz/San Jose area and wondering if anyone can tell me the prices paid in this area. I got email quotes a couple thousand above invoice. Can you get an '05 for close to invoice? How are the sales people at Sub of Santa Cruz? Has anyone used the Costco buying program with the '05 Subaru's. Sorry for all the questions, I really like the new Sub's but may have to settle for an '03 or '04 because of price and the options my wife wants.

    Thank you all in advance,
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Unless you have some IMBA discount (requires 6 months of being a member), you probably won't find any 05 models selling at invoice since they just started rolling into dealer lots.

    I'm buying a Legacy GT and when I checked a few weeks ago the dealers were asking the following:
    Carlsen: MSRP non-negotiable
    Stevens Creek: MSRP+3K negotiable
    Santa Cruz: Invoice+1K

    Try broadening your search also. Walnut Creek/Diablo and Marin Subaru are also known for pretty good prices.

    Things may have changed so the best thing is to visit or call them. Carlsen and Santa Cruz are no-haggle dealers so they will quote accurate prices over the phone.

    If you don't absolutely have to have an 05 model, you'll probably find screaming deals on the 04s. I'm sure you could find prices BELOW invoice on any 04s left on dealer lots.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I finally saw an 05 Outback at a local dealer -- they had two 2.5i models in stock. One was unlocked and I spent a fair amount of time looking at the car.

    First, there are absolutely *NO* rain gutters!! What was a rain gutter on the 00-04 model is just a piece of trim on the 05. There is absolutely nothing to divert or channel water that may be running down the side of the roof over the doors. I'm kind of shocked by this. Even cars with aircraft-style doors have concealed gutters! There's absolutely nothing to stop drips in the new Outback. You're gonna get wet!

    The window gusset and seal are the same design as the previous generation, so we still have potential for noise issues. However the mirror is contoured and shaped in such a way to make me believe it will have lower drag and be quieter (I'm an aeordynamics/aeroacoustics researcher for those that don't know).

    The headliner material everyone is raving about is actually the same stuff that's on the 03-04 Forester, a coarsely wovern cloth. If you've seen the Forester, you'll know what I mean. As I've seen mentioned, they carry the cloth down the A-pillar in the OB which seems like a bad idea to me. The car I sat in already had stains and fingerprints on the driver's side pillar cloth.

    A lot of the interior design cues are similar to the 03-04 Forester. Compared to my 02 Outback, the new Outback interior seems to be at a 7/8 scale. All the interior stuff -- switches, buttons, the steering wheel, the steering wheel hub, the auto-trans shift knob, etc... is smaller than on my 02 model, like the interior has been scaled down a smidge. This gives the interior a much different feel independent of the design changes.

    Subaru was clearly trying to impress with the interior, which looks great. It feels pretty good too, thanks to the use of special textures and coatings. For instance, the door pulls have a micro texture to make them feel like grippy rubber even though they are hard plastic.

    There is more room for the driver in the 05 compared to my 02, and I was able to get comfortable quite easily. Seats were nice but the lighter cloth color, coupled with the material, looks like it would stain easily. The bolster material reminded me of a pair of light-khaki pants.

    The switchgear looks nice, but is not up to the quality you get in a Honda or Acura. There is a lot of slop in the climate control knobs (2.5i has manual CC) for instance, and they take a lot of effort to turn. Honda/Acura knobs are usually very precise feeling and easy to turn in comparison.

    Another gripe: the power lock button still gets pushed UP to lock and DOWN to unlock. Maybe Subaru figured all us brainwashed OB owners are used to the reverse convention by now!

    I saw a few interior defects -- the lighted trim ring around the ignition was loose (actually falling into the column) and the piece of carpet inside the center console bin was cut in reverse -- the adhesive side was facing up with the finished side facing down! Due to the asymmetry of the bin (with 12V outlet) there's only one way it fits in and it was definitely wrong-side-up in the car I sat in!

    There's a kludged-looking piece of velcroed carpet that covers the floor right in front of the front passenger seat. It looks bad, but hopefully won't get noticed too much with floor mats in place.

    Exterior fit and finish and paint looked great. The 16" wheels on the 2.5i are not that attractive in persion. The roof rack side rails are not as beefy or useful as the ones on the 00-04 models, which is disappointing. Much less range of motion for the crossbars. My guess is that this is due to the fact that the rails taper quite a bit front to back, and the front and rear cross bars are probably different widths (so they have a limited range).

    Overall, nice car, I'd sure love to have one! I'll have to take a test drive someday (will wait for an XT 5-spd).

  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Atlantic Blue with Black Interior.

    Only problem is a small dent on top of hood to far right of air intake. Two little knicks out of paint. Not real bad but can be seen at just the right angle.

    As you know hood is aluminum and I'm going to point out to dealer to see if Dent Doctor can get it out. Touch up paint will make it unnoticeable with the dent out.

    Pain in the back side, but with all the crap on the roads anymore it's no wonder. Even the invisible bras will not stop some of the items that make dings and dents.

    Only option on it is the auto dimming mirror. After you have had one of these you will never be without one. I'm going to add the perimeter alarm next month, real easy add on to the existing standard alarm.

    This unit was re-trucked from a dealer in New England to Florida so I had an extra $300 to foot, but all in all got a decent deal with tradein of 2002 Outback VDC Sedan with 59,000 miles on it. All my miles are from home to work via Interstate 95.

    I know the dealer will work with me on the dent - again not big just noticeable on an otherwise flawless finish.

    I've owned Subaru for several years in the mid late 80's and went back to them in 1998 and now nothing but Subaru will do.

    Without question the 2005 GT Limited Sedan ranks up there in the quality and has more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at.

    Only thing missing is the radio does not have weatherband. I know Subaru is trying to go upscale, but IMHO they should have left the weatherband in.

    The vehicle had 76 miles on it when i picked it up. I know every salesman in the dealership had taken it "around the block" once - and wouldn't surprise me at the dealership up North. I'm know that you can't do that much damage to a new vehicle in that few miles unless you were drag stripping it and I know the salesmen didn't horse it that much.

    Did a ton of research before purchasing. Only two things that concern me with the fact I put 25,0000 - 30,000 miles on a vehicle a year.

    1. Timing belt to be replaced at 105,000 miles

    2. The tires that come stock are rated at 160% wear factor at a popular online tire seller. Bridgestones are about $600 a (4)set. - for the original equipment tires (RE92) - but the RE950s are rated at 400%. Harder rubber not as good or??? Any thoughts anyone. Will let you know more when I have 1000 miles on it and ready to rock and roll.
    We have a 2004 Forester XT Auto (Have the two car payments to prove it too) and I think the GT will be a little faster than it is once over the 1000 mile breakin.

    The ride is really really nice too. I think This car is a real winner for Subaru.......................
  • grove4grove4 Posts: 95
    I have a silver 05 gt limited 5sp.Funny thing is we also have a forester xt like you.I know you will enjoy the car very much.One thing is the car is really nice on the highway which is good for you with all those miles you put on.I think the legacy is quicker than the xt especially from a punch.I also liked the weatherband.Too bad.You know the radio in the xt sounds better to me than the new legacy.Really though I dont turn it up real loud plus the gt is so fun to drive it makes up for it.
  • rambo5rambo5 Posts: 37
    Does Subaru have any plans to offer satellite radio in the near future? I'm quite surprised that this is not offered in a new model.

    It seems insane to spend 30 large on a loaded Outback and then take a trip to Circuit City for an aftermarket upgrade.
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Haven't played with the SPORTSHIFT yet and won't till after 1000 miles/ Feels good though just driving with normal automatic setting.

    Have you figured out all the bells andd whistles on yours yet?

    Wild you have the Forester XT too. Both are great cars, but when you slam (gently) the door on the GT it really sounds solid...............
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    I'd like to hear more! Both are near the top of my list!

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Congrats to both of you. Enjoy, and let us live vicariously through your experiences.

  • Outback 3.0R! The order went in 2 weeks ago, and it is due for delivery June 22.

    Up until recently, I was convinced that the Forester XT would do everything I needed. But once I drove it and the Outback together, the Outback proved a nicer day-to-day option.

    Would I notice the performance difference? Here in Australia, 15 mph over the speed limit (normally 60mph limit) loses you your licence. So the outer reaches of on-road performance driving might not be reached.

    Note we don't get the Outback XT option. You have to go for the Legacy GT which is $10k more than the Outback, and still with the 5AT. I don't see the benefit.

    The FXT was as quick as expected...but I am a bit biased against turbo vehicles. Great handling, quick acceleration, but the lack of linearity really bothers me. Interior better than previous Subs, but still not great - leather seats that didn't look or feel special, cheap fittings and no trip computer?! How else could one keep an eye on the outrageous fuel economy which would no doubt be duly noted by my better half. On the same note, I drove a WRX about 5 years ago and I knew I could never own a car (no matter how good it drove) with an interior which lacked any sense of occasion.

    I also drove a Mazda 3 and 6 (not strictly competitors, but each $10-15k cheaper - maybe I didn't need to spend the big bucks to the get the same buzz). Both were a major disappointment. Poor quality interiors, tinny feel. And what is with the boomy interior in the 6? I could feel a headache coming on just during the test drive - from the lack of refinement.

    Back to the Outback - no manual transmission was a problem. I've never owned an automatic, and always hated driving them. I didn't know if I could live with it. The sportshift definitely helped. I guess to nitpick the engine felt a bit gutless low down, the transmission could have been quicker/smoother (and either paddles or steering wheel shift buttons might be preferred). The interior was good - BMW good. A few laps of the test drive circuit led me to believe I could live with the transmission to get the rest of the benefits.

    Our pricing here is A$50k for a base 3.0R, and about A$59k for the "Premium Pack". The 3.0R lacks the sunroof, the leather (you get the suede), the VDC, and the side and curtain airbags. All for a saving of $9-10k. I ask you, folks - what do you do? Sunroofs I don't really use except as a toy. And in Australia it is usually either too hot or too cold. Leather - I could live without it. VDC - I've never believed greatly in to having the car take too much control from me - the way I see it (contrary to some other posts), you have to take responsibility for the way you drive, VDC or no. Airbags? Now that is a toughie. As I have never been in an accident (except for being hit by a small kangaroo - they bounce along next to you and then make a dive for the front of the car; no I don't know why either), I see the likelihood of needing airbags as almost nil. But how would I feel if the wife or a child was killed/injured through not specifying it? Tough decision. In the end, the money solved the problem. I couldn't afford the extra cash. It seems in North America, your options are better priced and you have more choice. We don't get much chance at specifying. So the 3.0R it was.

    On to price - a phone call through to a car broker revealed a dealer who would sell at $3k below list. My A$50k on-road became A$47k.

    Which colour? Silver resale is better, black looks average when dirty or scratched. White - no chance. The two blues? They seemed a risky choice, so silver it was. I think in hindsight the lighter blue (Atlantic pearl?) might have been the best choice. Still, that is what happens when you buy down the miss out a few details in your haste. Like figuring out which colour interior we get. I think (and hope) silver matches with the lighter colour interior. Although it will no doubt raise some staining issues later, it sure (IMHO) beats sitting in a grey or black interior day after day.

    Finally - a recent look at the website revealed a special offer which neither of the 2 dealers I spoke to had told me about. $2000 worth of extras for $275. Roof bars, luggage pod, tow bar (hitch in USA?), and an oil cooler for heavy duty towing. A great deal - I needed the roof bars anyway, and I'm always in for other freebies. Luckily, the dealer let me qualify even though the order had already gone in.

    But here is a question. I can't ever see myself doing heavy duty towing. Will fitting the oil cooler have any negative effect? Should I ask them to miss it out? Any thoughts welcome.

    I will give driving impressions in 2 weeks - and I promise it will be a shorter post!

    - Outback Aussie
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,168
    The oil cooler won't hurt if you don't tow. I actually like to get a HD or tow package if available, just to get the piol cooler, trans cooler, bigger battery, etc. even though I never tow anything.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fabric on the A-pillars is expected in the near luxury class. Bimmers and Volvos have them.

    Congrats chassol. I like your fleet! I'd love to hear you compare and contrast the two once it's broken in.

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    "Anyone know of a reputable aftermarket sunroof/moonroof installer in the Phoneix area?"

    - I can not think of their name off-hand, but one located by the Scottsdale airport off of Scottsdale road. They were recommended to us by a dealer in the metro-Phoenix area. 7 years and reliable. I can get the name possibly over the weekend. Just remind me.
  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    I think the power lock button configuration is a security thing isn't it? Maybe the centre console bin carpet was a JDM piece? Ha, ha.
  • snowbirdsnowbird Posts: 120
    Thanks, Craig, for your input. Hope SOA will follow up on that, too. Water leaks from a new car is never good!
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