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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "Granted, the IIHS test result is disturbing. But, doesn't the Toyota Camry recall, after the good rating from IIHS, suggest SOME caution and raise SOME questions about the test?"

    rsorganize- Im not quite clear on what that sentence means. The recall of the Camry's side impact aibags seems to be incredibly similar in nature to the one that affected 140 early Legacies, and involved improper manufacture/installation. Certainly, the Camry that the IIHS tested with the optional Side Curtain airbags and accompanying seat mounted chest airbags, didnt suffer from any issue.

    So what is exactly is the caution/concern that is raised?

    The NCAP side impact tests are an incredibly good waste of money. The barrier that strikes the vehicle is closest in profile to an early 80s midsize, is non-deformable, AND NHTSA merits stars in the side impact WITHOUT factoring in Head Injury Criterion (HIC), even though that measure is taken. Basically, anything with a higher center of gravity (minivans, SUVs, p/u) get 5 stars. How is that a valid comparison?

  • subie05subie05 Posts: 2
    Reply to #2759
    "I'm surprised the 2.5i's brakes are bigger than the Outback's, but the point above it valid - if it has enough power to lock the brakes, bigger rotors will primarily only help in reducing brake fade."


    Though this post was sometime ago, I just wanted to respond:

    Yes, larger rotors will primarily only help in reducing brake fade. But what about hauling full vehicle loads or towing, then the brake fade becomes much more of an issue when either braking normally or in an emergency. It is a shame that the Outbacks don't have the bigger brakes like the GT given the performance specs for the XT and 3.0 models. What was Subaru thinking when specing these vehicles for brakes that are more upscale, heavier, and just as powerful as the GT?

    I also would take issue with the stock tires Subaru has choosen, i.e. Bridgestone Potenzas. Web searches on tire reviews like those on, will show that these tires are not well received by their owners for wear, handling on wet and snow covered surfaces.

    These are the only major issues I can come up with (for now) that I'd like Subaru to address in future revisions.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Let's be serious. The IIHS test also needs to be addressed by Subaru, especially if the brand is going to continue to tout its committment to safety. IMO, its not a deal stopper (obviously it wasnt for me), but it merits due attention.

    Also, I have Bridgestone Potenzas on my Nissan Sentra 2.5, and I litterally have NO complaints. I actually think they are a great tire for the price, and in 28,000 miles, Ive had no wet handling/braking OR snow issues. The Pirelli P400s on our Camry are better, in fact I think they are the best non-performance tire going, but they are also more expensive.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    As I have said many times before, there are numerous variations of the RE-92. The RE-92A on the 05 Outback (I own one now) have a high TW rating and are pretty good tires, as were the ones on my previous 02 Outback -- they had plenty of tread left at 45000miles and were great in rain and snow. For non-performance all season tires, I'd say they have been some of the best tires I have owned. No complaints at all.

    Other variations of the RE-92, like the ones that came on my WRX, have a low TW rating and are not so good in the rain or snow once they wear down. These are probably the RE-92s that people are complaining about. They are OEM tires on numerous vehicles. I probably would not buy these tires.

    So, be careful about making blanket statements regarding the RE-92 and the choice of tires on the Outback until you know which specific tire is involved! It's unfortunate that TireRack lumps all the RE-92 comments into one place -- it seems to mislead a lot of people.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Brian, I think the 05 Outback compares quite favorably against the Passat. Outbacks have always been great cars, and they added a nice dose of styling for the 05 model that is as good as anything from VW (or Audi for that matter).

    AWD will keep you out of trouble for the most part, especially if driven sensibly in foul weather. Having owned many Subarus and being a skier, I can say that the cars will soldier through some pretty rough winter weather without a sweat.

    VDC gives you an extra margin of safety and stability, and I would consider it a great feature in those scenarios where things happen fast and you could potentially get in trouble (accident avoidance, etc..). VDC will detect any sort of yaw or deviation from the intended course, and do whatever it can to keep the car going straight and maintain stability.

    If you want the untimate in safety and stability, get the VDC. If you just need a car capable of handling winter weather, any model will suffice.

    BTW, different models and transmission combos have different types of AWD systems. They're all good in the snow, but have differences that affect handling and gas mileage on dry roads.

  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    I thought my point on the IIHS Camry test result was pretty obvious, but - then again - maybe not. I was wondering what to make of a test that apparently failed to detect a pretty significant model-wide (130,000 vehicles) problem/defect? I'm guessing that the tested vehicle(s) didn't show this problem. In the meantime, there are 130,000 Camry's out there with defective side air bags. If I'm missing or misinterpreting something, please enlighten me.

    My overall point about the Australian NCAP test - which you seem to avoid with the reference to the 'waste of money'of the SIDE impact tests - was that Subaru outperformed everyone of those vehicles listed (and others) on the SAME front crash tests. Now, perhaps in comparison to the IIHS tests these, too, are 'an incredible waste of money'; but, the fact remains that there are direct comparisons available across vehicle lines and the Subaru outperforms every vehicle on these front crash tests. Seems significant too me....

    So, again: while I AM concerned about the IIHS tests - and hope SoA makes changes on the Legacy sedans and other vehicles if necessary - (1)I would like to see what happens on the side-tests on the wagons, especially the OBs; and (2) why not show some appreciation for the comparative, top-rated performance of Subaru on FRONT crash tests? While there might be some dispute on what the NCAP side impact tets are worth, the NCAP front-crash tests suggest, to me at least, that - comparatively - there is no safer vehicle than the a front/front offset crash.

    Peace, my friend.
  • subie05subie05 Posts: 2

    Point taken. Admittedly, I do not have first hand experience with these tires (look forward to testing their performance with my 05 OB XT however). My assumptions were formed from reviews such as those on, but I have researched/purchased other tires based on reviews from such sites and have pretty much agreed with the majority. And, I was not aware of more than 2 variations of the RE-92. How many are there? Mine are the RE-92A also, so your experience with them gives me some comfort.

    Thanks for the reply.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I know of at least three different ones -- the ones on my 02 Outback, 05 Outback, and 03 WRX are all different. There are probably more.

    I just happen to have a picture of the RE-92 on my 02 Outback:


    Compare these to the 05 tire tread and you can see the difference. The sidewalls are different too, but I don't have a pic of that.

    I sold the stock tires and wheels that came with my WRX, otherwise I'd go get a picture of those too!

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I agree with Craig. If you are worried about getting around in snow deeper than a few inches than I think the OB is a much better option. I had a Passat wagon (non-4motion) which had very little ground clearance. I was always scraping the mud flaps (one of which fell off!) I have driven VWs in the snow and they do quite well, but mind you it's always major roads and highways. I would guess you get a lot of snow up there which might get you stuck in a Passat.

    The Passat is about to change also, so you'd be buying an 'old model'.

    I had stability control in my last 2 cars and never activated it (in a useful situation) I'm sure it's good to have but as long as you're a careful driver you'll probably never use it (if you're not careful it won't save you either). It kicked in on me once while turning into traffic- it cut power causing a dangerous situation where I caused traffic to slow down. I wasn't happy about it. Technology can have it's disadvantages.

    Good luck

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I haven't had anyone flash their lights at me yet, although because these lights are bright and have a sharp cutoff (not unlike HIDs) if you're car is 'bouncing' up and down it may seem like you're flashing your lights to oncoming traffic. I have noticed this in other cars with projector beams (VW passats, Audis w/o HIDs) coming towards me and have been tempted to 'flash' them back too.

  • Thanks, Craig !!!

    Would you please tell me the differences among transmission/AWD combinations of Legacy/outback? Or, if you have any link that explains this pretty well, let me know. Since we have more than enough snow here in Calgary, Canada, I am very much interested in Outback. But, fun/exciting driving is also one of major concerns.

    Thank you so much.

  • buzzctbuzzct Posts: 5
    I LOVE my new 2.5 Outback wagon! But I'm finding one problem: the small side mirrors are causing blind spots on both sides of the car. I was wondering if I'm the only one experiencing the problem. (PS: This is my fourth Outback, and I've never had this problem before.)
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    The differences in Suburu AWD systems are explained very well in their brochures and I assume also on the Suburu website but I can't remember.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    Our '01 Forester's headlights also have a hard cut-off of light. I don't like it one bit. On dark country roads that have many hills and dips, you can find yourself in situations without any light at all—which is extremely dangerous.

    In reasonably well-lit areas, this is not a problem, but on dark country roads it can be a real problem.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    Bolbo, I have long complained about this Edmunds policy to no avail... :(

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Although I think the policy is a little silly, as owners of this discussion group, Edmunds is free to set whatever rules they want. There is no such thing as "free speech" when you are using someone else's forum. You abide by their rules or you don't get to post. They may lose a few participants due to this but I'm sure the numbers would be too small to notice.
  • Brian,

    I agree with everything that has been written. Hopefully this will help you out. I've have owned three Legacy GT's and One WRX and I live in MPLS. And we see our fair share of snow in a given year. I have driven my friends cars with some form of VDC and they have driven my cars. When it all came down to it, VDC or VSC is nice to have but AWD (in my opinion) and common sense is the better choice..

    Tony T
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    One thing to consider is that although the Camry recall applies to 130,000 vehicles (approximately), not every one of those vehicles necessarily suffers from an issue with the side airbags. This would explain why the IIHS test did not detect the problem, as it did in the Subaru. This is the case in most recalls- not nearly all the vehicles recalled necessarily will experience the problem addressed in the recall, it is simply possible that those vehicles COULD experience the problem, and hence all are recalled.

    I never addressed the Australian NCAP ratings in my post. My intention with respect to the US NCAP Side Impact test was to point out the serious deficiencies that exist and I think most would agree that neglecting to include the Head Injury Criterion information in the overall evaluation is a major oversight.

    That the Legacy did well in Australian NCAP full frontal impacts is commendable, indeed. I was not debating that at all. You ask the question "why not show some appreciation for the comparative, top-rated performance of Subaru on FRONT crash tests?" Because my post was addressing the topic of areas for improvement of the Legacy/OB lines, as were several posts before mine. If you're at the top of the class in terms of frontal impacts, that does NOT represent an area for improvement. A "Marginal" rating in the IIHS side impact DOES.

    For what its worth, your statement that "there is no safer vehicle than the a front/front offset crash" is somewhat incorrect as well, since the Honda Accord achieves a Double Five Star Rating in the US NCAP full frontal test, as well as a "Best Pick" from the IIHS. The Camry comes very close as well, and slots just a hair below the Legacy and Accord in frontal, as it did not get a Double Five from NCAP.

  • I have a Legacy i 2005, which I purchased three weeks ago. Amazingly, the black finish on the driver's inside door grip is *already* flaking off. There are little black specks everywhere. The silver below it is also peeling. Is this typical of Subarus? I will ask the dealer to fix it. I hope the dealer doesn't give me a hard time.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Gee, we have not heard this one yet! I only have about 750 miles on my OB XT, which is probably not enough wear and tear to experience this problem if it is widespread. So for the moment, your case appears to be an isolated issue. Let's hope so!

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