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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • doug1doug1 Posts: 37
    I think we almost certainly did get a safer car for 2005. With the previous generation Legacies, the IIHS only used a frontal offset crash, in which the Legacy was a Best Pick. For 2005, the Legacy is again a Best Pick in such crashes. Looking at the technical data, the 2005 did even better in the frontal offset crash than the 2004. The IIHS has only tested a few cars for side impacts, and most do poorly. However, I too am disappointed with the results for the 2005s. I expected better, and Subaru should have done better. It appears the thorax airbag is not doing its job.

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over the differences between the NHTSA, ANCAP (Australia), and IIHS side tests. It seems to me that the biggest difference is the size and shape of the impact sled. The IIHS sled is both higher off the ground and has a greater top to bottom dimension in order to simulate an SUV. In contrast, the NHTSA and ANCAP tests are designed to simulate a car. The sleds impact the test vehicle lower in the body. Additionally, the sizes of the dummies differ significantly. ANCAP (and I believe NHTSA) uses a 50th percentile adult. IIHS uses a 5th percentile female.

    I think it's unlikely that IIHS will ever test the Outback, as they apparently view it as essentially the same as the Legacy. They've never tested an Outback previously. However, with side impacts I suspect there could be differences. In looking at the 2004 NHTSA tests, the Legacy sedan received 3 stars. The Legacy wagon got 4 stars. The Outback wagon was awarded 5 stars. Apparently the ride height difference helped when being impacted by a car, even without any side airbags. It will be interesting to see the 2005 NHTSA results, as well as the EURONCAP results from Europe.

    While I've probably been just as disappointed as many of the rest of you, I think it is important to remember that we're dealing with probabilities and a continuum of possibilities. It seems very possible that the 2005s will do well against cars in side impacts, but not so well against SUVs, at least at these test speeds. But about half or more of the vehicles on the road are still cars rather than trucks or SUVs. Additionally, given that the 2005s do extremely well in a frontal impact, perhaps they could protect their passengers in such a crash at even higher speeds, while possibly still providing some side impact protection at speeds lower than used in the IIHS test.

    Perhaps I'm not doing a very good job of explaining myself, but I think it's important to look at risk from a broader perspective. If one walks in a city or rides a bike, they are facing far more risk than in most cars, let alone the 2005 Legacy. Moreover, the 2005s are certainly more safe than cars such as my 1996 Legacy. Without a doubt, I would like the 2005s to do better, and they should. But driving a 2005 probably wouldn't raise my global or calendar-year exposure to various risks much over driving a new Accord or Camry. That is certainly not to say that Subaru doesn't need to do better though. I certainly expect them to make changes.

  • gentlegentle Posts: 7
    Sorry about the "death trap" comment. I don't post all that regularly and I forget that sarcasm doesn't play well in the unskilled written word.

    If I really felt the car was dangerous, I wouldn't haul my 6 month old around in it. I know that you can't control everything, but I think that alert, defensive driving (even in a fairly aggressive car) is a better way to remain injury free then to drive on the edge and hope for the car to bail you out when you screw up.

    That said, I'll pass on the Ford Pinto.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Craig: You echoed my engineering thoughts exactly.

    Snowbird: The reason for the change is that the IIHS added an all new second side-impact simulation to their test this year.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I've been away for a few days, it was good getting back in my car this morning- It's been almost a month since I bought it and I am still eager to drive it everyday!

    Ken- I'm jealous- I'm still a ways from 1000 miles (I never thought I'd wish I had a longer commute!) Do you think 900 is enough? How about 8? 7? ;-)

    Drew- You'll notice they crash tested a 2.5i. With a GT you'd have avoided being hit! ;-)

    Does anyone know if you can adjust the position of the gas and brake pedals? They're a little far apart for me to heel toe easily. Maybe it's just practice and maybe it's because I'm still not aggressively driving, but it seems the gas pedal is too low or the brake pedal too high. Lateral distance seems ok. Anyone else with a MT, or who have driven the MT, have any thoughts or comments? I looked at the pedals of my friends WRX and they seemed more level with each other.

    I got a call from Subaru saying they are sending my free maintenance coupons!

  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Sorry to disrupt a terrific heated discussion, but on a lighter "note"...

    I bought a new 40GB Click Wheel iPod at the Apple Store earlier this week. I looked at three different FM options, and after conferring with several of the Apple folks finally settled on the DLO TransPod FM transmitter. It has the charger, stand and transmitter all-in-one. I plugged my stand into the cigarette lighter, used various-shaped adapters (all come with the TransPod), I rigged it up so that I can reach and read it while I am driving (don't try this at home) I can also unplug it all and stow it away where no one can see it.

    My Apple salesman said this unit has much better sound quality than the Belkin or Griffin models (I wouldn't know for sure) and that it was the unit he used in his car. He showed me several different ways to hook it up - very versatile. You can also use the charger without the stand, if you like.

    I have found that the sound quality will vary from song to song, but generally acceptable levels on most everything. The EQ settings on the iPod really help.

    Here are a couple of quick pictures I took (a little blurry...sorry) to give you an idea.



  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    Well, I don't know the particulars of that car, but my guess is that Saab would have added some extra safety engineering to whatever they got from Subaru.

    Take the Mazda 3 and Volvo S40 for example. Same platform, but Volvo put a lot of effort into the S40 with a goal to make it at least as safe as the S80. They totally re-engineered the structure, and used exotic materials and techniques in several places. The Volvo also weights about 400 lbs more than the supposedly "equivalent" Mazda 3. They tested a side-impact with a 4000 Lbs XC90 and the S40 fared very well.

    Does that mean it would do well in the IIHS test? I don't know, but I'm sure it would do well in a real life situation. I know which of the two (Mazda/Volvo) I'd prefer to be in if I had a severe crash.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Thanks for the info, folks. luck11--I'll look for FOLEX and had not hurt of it before.

    Craig--thanks for the picture link--lookin'good. I also discovered a decent picture inside the Outback hard copy brochure.

    Unfortunately, since I'm leaning to the 2.5i, it appears I would not have the choice of champagne gold *and* dark interior (not available), so the choice becomes even more critical and would require a switch to a different exterior color if I decided to go dark.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    There's a new Subaru/Lance Armstrong commercial airing in our area that more or less focuses on the Outback's "dual" personality (refined & sporting) in which people kind of morph into two different types of the same person (You have to see it). If it comes on, check the quick visual of the instrument panel (which I Tivoed and replayed) where the "gear number" for the Sportshift is displayed, and indicates an "8"?????
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I replied over at, but congrats on your 4G purchase!

    The DLO stand is nice. If I knew I was going FM from the get-go, I probably would have purchased that setup.

    How do you like the 4G? Which EQ settings do you use for FM? I find that "Flat" sounds a little thin, but some of the other EQs distort the sound too much.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Nice setup!

  • We don't get that commercial in Oz, but maybe it is because Lance Armstrong is used to having 21 gears, so they built him a special Outback just to suit ;-)

    Given the focus on crash-testing, is it time for someone to make a joke about Lance Armstrong's propensity to crash, and his endorsement of an Outback?!

    - Aussie Outback
  • Does anyone know when Subaru will have these available? I actually purchased them, but they weren't ready for delivery, and will be added on whenever Subaru makes them available.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Which ones are you talking about? I saw numerous GT wagons on lots with the optional crossbars. They are made by Mont Blanc, and looked like junk. Save your money and order towers/crossbars from Yakima. They have a nice setup that fits the GT wagon perfectly, and they are available now. They also offer a locking capability which the Mont Blanc racks lack.

    The Outback comes with crossbars, but again, Yakima offers a solution that is a lot better. I have a Yakima setup that I have used on my last two Outback wagons and some previous cars, and it fits the 05 too. I am thinking about ordering a new rack system, as the parts are starting to look old (some of my Yakima rack components date back to the 1980s!).

  • It's too late for that. I ordered the Subaru cross bars that come as an option on the regular Legacy 2.5i.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If they are not available for delivery, I think you can cancel the order. Seriously, I would not get those Mont Blanc crossbars for the Legacy, it would be a waste of money. Even the factory crossbars that come on the Outbacks are much better quality. When I was looking at the Mont Blanc crossbars, an end cap fell off and I could see the rack crossbar rusting underneath. The tower did not look very good either.

  • Yakima makes the roof rack systems for the Outback and, until this year, the legacy. The Yakima EasyRider set is what you want for the legacy wagon. For you outbackers out there, the Yakima Low Rider is your ticket. Subaru uses the much older Yakima Double Cross as their Outback "Factory" rack.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "Ordered" a Regal Blue Legacy Sedan 2.5i 4EAT w/ the Pop. Equip Group, Rear Spoiler, Emissions regs (required, I think in my area), and Wheel Locks.

    $1000 deposit, invoice pricing (under VIP through my employer), and the dealer agreed to pay the last month of the leased vehicle that the Legacy will be replacing- very nice, we didnt even ask for that! (We did ask, however, that a separate check be issued for that amount, instead of the amount being netted against the price of the vehicle, that way we can be sure that we are truly getting invoice (plus destination)). Subaru also offered to beat any loan financing amount offered to us, and right now, it looks like we'll be getting 5.09%, which is fairly decent w/o incentives, IMO.

    Very excited.

    FWIW, Its actually not going to be a true "order" unless it has to be- we told the dealer that if he can find, in the region, an identical Legacy (NO EXCEPTIONS) to the one described above, we'd take it when he could get it, which is why he offerd to pay the last month on the lease (to mitigate our overlap). If the vehicle must be ordered, and it comes in the 40-70 days that we were told Subaru specifies for an order, we agreed to forgo the dealer writing us a payment for the last month of the lease, since there wont be appreciable overlap.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Awesome color. Good luck with the wait!

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Congrats, alpha!

    If the dealer needs to locate one, make sure it's not one that's been test driven extensively. With an "ordered" vehicle, you're assured you'll be the first customer to drive it.

  • goneskiiangoneskiian Posts: 381
    Whew! Finally caught up with all the posts in here.

    I thought I'd add that the EZ Rider Towers for the new low-profile rails on the Legacy wagons DO NOT LOCK. Sure all the accessories will lock to the crossbars but unfortunately the towers will not lock to the crossbars.

    I know this for a fact as I have a set I special ordered from REI sitting in my garage still waiting for me to wash, claybar and Klasse AIO my new wagon. Yes, Ken, you're way more OCD than I am. ;-)

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