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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • yankee617yankee617 Posts: 36

    Thanks for all the comments about driving an Outback on the beach. They are much
    appreciated. But I wonder about the "18-20 psi" and "don't go too low" remarks...
    The links I gave in Msg 2157 indicate that my beginning tire pressure should not
    exceed 15 psi and they generally recommend using 12 psi. Here's the link:


    Do you agree with them or do you think they are wrong or what?

    Thanks, Yan
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    I do agree with what the link says. However keep in mind the following:

    &#149; Most people who drive off road do it in trucks or SUVs, which usually have taller sidewalls. Besides that truck tires, even those found on smaller trucks, have a beefier construction than car tires. This link is written more for this truck/SUV audience, than for a car audience.

    &#149; By lowering the tire pressure, what you are doing is making the tire "fatter" so that it "floats" on top of the sand, rather than "dig" into the sand. Tires with aggressive tire patterns such as all-terrain or mud-terrain tires are probably the worst type of tires you can use on the sand, because they are designed to dig to find traction. That exactly the opposite of what you want on the sand. Actually the best sand tires are bald street tires, with little or no tread, because they have little or no ability to dig.

    &#149; My recommendation would be to lower the tire pressure as little as you can. If that doesn't work, lower it a bit more. Just keep in mind the lower you go, the more you risk doing damage to your sidewalls&#151;and Outback sidewalls are not that tall to start with (55 or 60 section, as opposed to 70 or 75 section found on most trucks/SUVs). And again, Outback tires are car tires, not truck tires.

    &#149; Actually, the Forester comes with a light-duty truck tire (60-section Geolanders) and is probably the Subaru best suited for sand duty, as it has the best angle of approach and departure too.

    &#149; Also remember to air back up as soon as you bet back on hard road, hence the tire pump. Sometimes gas stations with air can be several miles away from the beach access. You could easily ruin a tire just driving to the gas station to air up.

  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    I have a 2K OB wagon, and installed a new set of Goodyear Eagle GT-HRs in February just before a ski trip. The were quiet and responsive at interstate speeds, dug in and hauled in deep snow, and have been excellent in our typically damp and rainy Seattle weather. Have about 3K miles on them so far with no complaints. Can't speak to ice driving (for those who would actually tackle it without studs!). Ran about $125 per tire with new valves, balancing, installation, and our 8.8% local sales tax.

    Ken in showery Seattle
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Another thing to keep in mind -- there are several versions of the RE-92, and they have dramatically different treadwear ratings. I have the RE-92 tires on my 02 Outback (which are wearing nicely at 42K miles) and my WRX also came with RE-92 tires. These two versions of the RE-92 are TOTALLY different. The TW rating on the WRX tires is around 220, if I remember right, and the TW rating on the Outback tires is around 340.

    I have had RE-92 tires on my last two Hondas (93 Civic and 97 Prelude). In both cases, the tires made it to about 45K miles. They were decent in rain and snow when new, but were pretty bad once they wore down. I believe these were the 220 TW variety. The 340 TW ones on my Outback continue to be good in the rain/snow at 42K miles and look like they will hit 60K miles easily.

    Anyways, before sounding the alarm about the RE-92 tires, make sure you know which ones are on the car you're looking at.

  • yankee617yankee617 Posts: 36
    Thanks Craig,

    I don't know which RE-92's are which (it would help if they gave different names
    to different tires!) but thought I'd share some of the information I've gathered.

    Among these, the Pirelli's look the best to me. The RE92's are described as a
    "value" (read "cheap") tire. The Continental's are inexpensive but little info is
    available on them. At $91/tire, the price of the Pirelli's is reasonable and they
    get good reviews for handling under wet conditions... hopefully they are not
    too noisy as I like a quiet ride and excessive tire/road noise would drive me nuts.

    Note that I'm looking at 225/70-16 tires (not the 225/60-16 Original Equipment)
    since I want them to be tall enough to take on sandy beaches. Can anyone comment
    on what "side effects" (mileage? speed/odometer?) I'll experience because of this?
    Should I consider even larger designs like 235/75-16 or something (if possible)?

    Bridgestone Potenza RE92


    GENERAL INFO - tireModel=Potenza+RE92

      40,000 mile treadlife warranty
      360 A A Uniform Tire Quality Guide (UTQG)
      1609 lbs maximum load
      44 psi maximum inflation
      11/32nds initial tread depth
      837 revolutions/mile

    REVIEWS - - nts=y&tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Potenza+RE92&com- - mentStatus=P

    Continental CrossContact LX

    GENERAL INFO - tireModel=CrossContact+LX&sidewall=Outlined+White+Letters

      65,000 mile treadlife warranty
      560 A B Uniform Tire Quality Guide (UTQG)
      1874 lbs maximum load
      44 psi maximum inflation
      12/32nds initial tread depth
      740 revolutions/mile

    Pirelli Scorpion STR A

    GENERAL INFO - Model=Scorpion+STR+A&vehicleSearch=true&partnum=27HR6SCOR- - STROWL&fromCompare1=yes

    TESTS - l=Scorpion+STR+A&tireMake=Pirelli

    REVIEWS nts=y&tireMake=Pirelli&tireModel=Scorpion+STR+A&comme- - ntStatus=P

      65,000 mile treadlife warranty
      520 A A Uniform Tire Quality Guide (UTQG)
      1874 lbs maximum load
      44 psi maximum inflation
      12/32nds initial tread depth
      732 revolutions/mile
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    I know this question doesn't apply to subaru's, but this seems to be one of the more knowledgeable discussion groups to post this.

    Does anyone know how the stability control works on a 2wd vehicle? I was under the impression that stability control breaks and sends power to the wheels that need it. I can understand how that would work in a AWD vehicle, but 2wd only has 1 pulling wheel in the front?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    Also, the new Legacy GT is running 215/45x17 RE92s, which have a "Z" speed rating. So, yes, all RE92s are not the same.

  • rahimrahim Posts: 8
    First of, I don't profess to be an expert, but this is my understanding. I have been a more or less passive observer of this forum, with the hope to own a GT limited wagon soon....

    From my experience with my 2001 Accord with Traction control (different from stability control)... there is usually a differential between the two wheels of the driving axle. Under normal driving circumstances, power goes to only one wheel. Traction control involves a limited slip differential which does not allow that one wheel to spin out of control as compared to the speed of the other wheel. When there is any slippage detected from that wheel, power is diverted from the usual wheel to the other wheel on the same axle. This is usually limited to low speeds in most cars with standard traction control, 35mph in the VW golf/jetta etc, in order to start moving in slippery conditions or when brisk acceleration is warranted. Remember this applies to FWD cars. As opposed to specifically 2WD cars. There is a difference. Most cars what we consider 2WD are actually FWD and use a single wheel for power. 2 WD actually has more or less of a fixed differential at all speeds (not precisely or you would have excessive tire wear and probably decreased grip in turns!).

    Stability control is different from all this. That detects slippage in any tire, or sudden lateral shifts, etc, not just that associated with acceleration causing transient slippage. It is more complex, and involves more sensors, and more control. Control over individual brakes, and control over torque distribution (either by cutting power, or diverting power to a specific wheel), in order to return the vehicle to stability. In a FWD vehicle, the stability control usually involves diverting or cutting power within the front 2 wheels, but allows breaking control over all 4 individual wheels.

    E.g. All the fuss about not having the VDC as an option in all the subarus refer to this kind of a sophisticated stability control system. The AWD systems of most cars including all subarus are, in a way, 4 wheel traction control - continuous (at all speeds)!. In manual tranny subarus, the torque split is about half/half between front and rear wheels in all conditions (the 4EAT/5EAT is more complex), not just when slippage is detected. Thus most AWD cars have good traction control, but not all will have stability control unless provided for. (I hope the VDC becomes an option soon)

    I hope I am not misguiding you or the others in this forum, and have answered your question. Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong about any of this. This is just my take on the way I think things work, but can't say I have read it specifically explained like this anywhere so I may be way wrong!

  • skiweeskiwee Posts: 28
    Just picked up our Atlantic Blue XT from Colonial Subaru in Dandury, CT. Have to say that juice and Bob's comments are dead on accurate. Drove the LL Bean last week and although a beautiful interior, was diappointed with the performance. Actually considered a WRX, but just too small for our current needs. The XT performance and handling was much closer to what I was hoping for (and got 27mpg driving home).
    Will be changing the tires as soon as the Dunlop Wintersport M-2s come available. Have them on the Baja year round and couldn't be happier. The Potenzas perform poorly on turns, control and responsiveness. Really a mediocre tire for the XT.
    Wish there were more interior pockets. Why only 1 net behind front passenger seat, not driver's seat?
    Miss the weatherband radio. Window motors a little noisy. Glove box doesn't shut tight. Need to have adjusted.
    Overall very satisfied with the XT and would recommend highly. Will keep you all updated.
  • skiweeskiwee Posts: 28
    Just in case anyone's interested the XT above is the Limited with Sportshift.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Most OE tires are almost always going to be okay at best. Why? The manufacturer is trying to appeal to a wide range of driving needs with a cost-effective model.

    The comments at Tire Rack also need to be taken with a grain of salt due to the old vs. new syndrome. Many posters will comment on the performance of their brand new tires vs. their outgoing old tires. Of course the new ones are going to perform better!

    Stability control usually employs a series of motion sensors and the vehicles brakes to correct under and oversteer situtations. For example, a car is entering a corner too fast and begins to push the front out to the corner. Stability control will apply more brake power to the outside wheel. AWD is not a prequisite for this to happen.

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    As I had mentioned before, neither juice nor I had an opportunity to drive the GTs under "normal" driving conditions at Vegas. Today I was able to do that. Interesting tidbit: I accidentally exceeded the red-line in the GT in 2nd gear, only to find out that there is some sort of engine cut-off, as the car started bucking violently

    that is normal driving????
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    No that wasn't, but I was able to drive it on the street, under normal driving sitauations. In Vegas, I drove it on the track&#151;flat out. This time, with the exception of that one incident, I was able to see what's it's like to "live" with.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think we're all going to tease you about this for a long time! (especially since some of us have done the same thing).

    SO what else do you do when "living" with cars? Four-wheel drifts?? :-)

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    you've got to expect some, 'what'll she do?' kind of driving to creep in there somewhere. I don't want to leave the impression that I was out solely to abuse the car&#151;and most certainly not with the sales guy right next to me. So did I run it through the gears a few times? Yeah, but who wouldn't? I was really much more interested in, is this a car I wouldn't mind making 60 car payments on; and the answer is most definitely yes.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I had a chance to finally drive a Legacy GT Ltd Wagon 5EAT that had been PDIed. My local dealer had a silver wagon no their lot and I took it for a short test drive.

    The most memorable experience on the test drive was how flat the wagon cornered. I took a freeway on ramp fairly fast and was amazed at how little body roll there was. Steering was awesome too, as juice mentioned. The vehicle just felt incredibly planted.

    I did also notice that the 5EAT, when given gas suddenly seems to wait for a second or two before it surges forward. I don't know if this was the back pressure thing or just a TCU that's learning, but I did wish that power kicked in a little sooner. Once it was on it's way there was nice strong delivery of power. I believe leaving the selector in Sportshift mode didn't change it much.

    I wanted to try a manual, but all the 5MT models were sedans and they were in the process of having the side airbags retrofitted.

    Right after the Legacy GT test drive, I headed over to the Infiniti dealer to drive a G35 sedan. The advantages of a 3.5L NA engine was quite apparent as even the auto felt quite peppy down low. The brakes were also very communicative and felt solid -- more so than the Legacy.

    However, the G35 overall interior and exterior wasn't to my taste. While some parts like the seat leather seemed very well done, there were parts of the vehicle like the carpeting in the trunk space that just didn't seem right in a +30K vehicle. The Legacy seemed much more tastefully done. Also the G35 (without optional sport package) didn't corner as flat as the Legacy GT.

    So, bottom line -- I can't wait for my GT Ltd. Wagon to show up! I'll have to try a manual before I take delivery juuuuust to make sure, though.

    I'd love to read a car magazine review on just the GT. I wonder if C&D would do a comparo against other sport sedans or wagons.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Thanks for the comparison. Even though they are fairly different vehicles in my opinion, I plan on cross shopping the new Outback and the G35x.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob "rev limiter" Holland! ;-)

    It does rev freely and quickly, though. Even if it had been an automatic, they do rev to the redline before shifting.

    As for that auto, Bob, I guess the "adaptive" tranny really works if you noticed a difference from that dealer model to the broken-in one that we drove in Vegas.

    Lesson learned: drive 'em hard so the adaptive tranny wises up! It's up to you!

    Good to hear that you thought the moonroof was quieter. Must be nice to drive with it wide open! We didn't get to try it because conditions were so dusty in the desert.

    Beach experience? Yes, in my Forester. These comments should apply because:

    1) I have the same viscous coupling in the manual tranny Legacy and Outback

    2) I use the same tire size as the 2004 model, 225/60R16

    I aired down to 18psi and drove all over the Outer Banks. The key is to drive smoothly, and not stop on the soft (quick)sand, where you might sink. I was able to climb some moderate inclines, basically a ramp to get onto the beaches.

    Never even close to getting stuck. My ground clearance with those tires is about 7.8", so a new Outback will do even better. Wider tires float better on sand, keep that in mind. OB is a little heavier, though.

    The 2005 is lighter and has more clearance, it should do very well.

    I've also had the Forester in the Pine Barrens, that was fun. Again, aired down to 18 psi and drove around on sand/dirt/mud and even did some small water crossings. Basically more than 99.9% of the population will ever do in their SUVs.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Beach: &idx=3

    Pine Barrens water crossing: &idx=15

    Impromptu "Hay Ride" at the Apple Orchard: &idx=17

    You might need to register with to view those pics.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    As for that auto, Bob, I guess the "adaptive" tranny really works if you noticed a difference from that dealer model to the broken-in one that we drove in Vegas.

    To be honest juice, I just don't remember. I was a little disappointed however, that my latest test drive didn't shift as fast in SportShift mode as I had hoped. Was it slow shifting? No, just not fast shifting.

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