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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+

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  • I mentioned a few weeks ago that my new Legacy i (2005) had an interior door handle grip with peeling paint, chipping all over the place. Well, I took the car into the dealership, and they ordered the replacement part under the warranty. So far so good. I brought the car into the dealer again yesterday and -- get this -- after having it for five hours, they called to say oops we ordered the wrong part. Now mistakes happen, of course, and I figured they'd make the redo easy for me.
         I was wrong. I asked the service manager if, when the part came in, I could bring it in first thing on a Saturday, so I would not have to miss work time due to their mistake. He said no, telling me that Subaru doesn't allow warranty work to be done on Saturday. He was also positively uninterested in rectifying the problem. I called Subaru to complain. I was told: (1) that dealers can do warranty work whenever they want (which means the service manager lied to me); (2) that because this dealership is independently owned, there is nothing Subaru can do for me.

        I've never had anything but pleasant experiences with Honda and Nissan service departments. And it's not like there's another Subaru dealer nearby that I could switch to.

          My advice folks: if you're considering buying a Subaru, think again.
  • Sorry to hear about your problems there, but that sounds like a Major dealer problem not an SOA problem. I have always had great service at my local dealer.

    It would take something truely astounding to stop me from buying a GT.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    My dealer has been quite happy to fix everything on my car, even little nitpicky ones. They spent 3 hours removing and re-attatching the panel on my trunk because it was off by 2mm. They also replaced my entire door panel because of a small 3mm cut in the side (leather? vinyl?) They have given me service loaners both times.

    My worst experiences have been with VW (I have had 2) who look for reasons not to do warranty service.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you need to find another dealer, even if it's farther away. You can try writing letters or calling their customer service manager (if they have one.) Certainly doesn't sound like an 'upscale' experience.

    Sorry, and good luck.

    tom
  • bolbobolbo Posts: 16
    Safetyfirst: I don't know what kind of social/negotiating skills you possess, so my advice may not be helpful to you.

    That said, you need to forget the service manager and go to the Dealership manager. Simply tell him your problem and then ask him " I just want to know, is this how you do business here?"

    If his answer is anything but satisfactory. You politely, very politely and without fanfare or superfluous comments, ask for the the Dealership's owner's name and a way to contact him.

    The only other information that I would divulge, and before asking for the Owner's contact info, would be to matter of factly tell him that you've been given absolutely no reason to bring your car to this dealership for regular service and that you'll be happy to patronize an establishment that deals with customers with a modicum of respect.

    It's entirely possible that when you first talk to the Dealerships GM, he will 'usurp' the limited authority of the service manager and take care of you. Good luck, let us know. Question - is there another dealer within reasonable driving distance?
  • Still trying to discover if the 5MT will give better mileage than the 5EAT even through the final gearing is lower. I don't put much stock in the figures posted on the sticker.
    I also wonder about the gearing down for compression braking into corners and slowing for stops ect. Seems like most automatics since the late 50's, when they took out the rears pumps, haven't provided much holding back. Thats when it started that you could no longer push start a car with an automatic. It was always considered hard on the transmissions to be shifting them manually. Have there been major improvements that now allow the manual shifting and downshifting without causing undue strains on the automatics?
    I'm sure the auto trans will be able to outshift me with a manual but it also sounds like the 5MT is a better performer.
    Any ideas???

    Warren
  • rsq798rsq798 Posts: 35
    Wow I would give the dealer low marks on the Purchase Experience Survey that SOA mails out after purchase. One of the sections is, "Please rate this dealership compared to other dealerships you have visited," with marks for "Overall customer service."

    My salesman made it a point to let me know that, on a scale of 1 to 7, anything below a 7 counts against him/them. Of course, that does make you wonder why they have 7 ratings. Wouldn't 5 have been silly enough? 3? 2?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I've never had anything but pleasant experiences with Honda and Nissan service departments. And it's not like there's another Subaru dealer nearby that I could switch to.

    Some of teh worst service I ever had was at a local Honda dealer. I drove 25 miles to another dealer for all my service after that, and continued to drive Hondas.

    Don't judge Subaru solely by their dealers. There is only so much Subaru can do! It sounds like you should find another dealership if you are unsatisfied with the current one.

    Craig
  • Thanks to all for thoughts and feedback. My OB 3.0R has just hit 1300 miles. Mileage is still about 14mpg in town, but has improved to 26mpg on the open road.

    In addition to an earlier poster asking this - does anyone have any thoughts?

    1)How much benefit is there to changing oil earlier than the 3000 mile recommended limit? Why?

    It would seem odd for Subaru to recommend 3000 if it really should be changed at 1000 or 1500.

    2)Because it is winter here in Australia, I drive with the headlights on during the day as well. I only just discovered that if you hit the "bright" button next to the trip computer, the lighting for the stereo/heating becomes legible instead of too dull (great discovery!). However, does anyone know if there is a way to set the brightness so that it automatically starts up in bright mode?

    Finally FYI - although my OB is the latest version, it is officially an 04 OB rather than 05. Looks in the USA that they it took about 8 months to tool up on the assembly line, so when they launched, they launched as 05 models.

    So they have just launced the 05 models here in Aus. They have added a 3.0R Legacy sedan, with 5EAT and a 6-spd MT. There is also a 3.0R-B which has got an even sportier suspension. All these models are within $1-2k of the Legacy GT turbo with similar equipment levels.

    So you get plenty of choice, so long as you want to pay that amount for a car. Expect those models to hit the US soon (I don't think you have them yet).

    - Aussie Outback
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    On the Subaru Global website there is a movie featuring a JDM Legacy Wagon in search of a worthy driver in So California. It's funny, the wagon (without a driver) chases down a potential owner and even jumps over a wall to follow him. ;-). Then they see a mugger and the guy jumps into this car (right hand drive) and they chase down the thief. Dennis Hopper even does a little role as the CHP who arrests the thief.

    Quite entertaining if you have a few moments. ;-)

    tom
  • You guys are great! Thanks for all the advice. I will definitely call the dealership manager; great idea.

    I could go another 10 miles to a different dealership, I suppose, but because I live in a gridlocked city, that might take an extra hour! I'll keep you posted.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    "How much benefit is there to changing oil earlier than the 3000 mile recommended limit? Why?
    It would seem odd for Subaru to recommend 3000 if it really should be changed at 1000 or 1500."

    Look at this this way: the car manufacturer wants you to have a trouble-free experience with its product so you'll buy another one in the future. The maintenance schedule is created (including a different schedule for severe service) so the owner knows how to maintain the car to make it last a long time. It would be counterproductive for the manufacturer to recommend a maintenance schedule that might allow the vehicle to deteriorate prematurely.

    The need for a 3000 mile oil change interval is a myth propagated by oil companies and dealer service departments. If you driving is primarily highway, you could easily go 5-10,000 miles between changes. If you're driving in sub-freezing temps and the car never gets warmed up, you'd probably need to change the oil every couple of thousand miles.

    You can't go wrong following the manufacturer's suggested maintenance intervals.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    When you stop, it will go into 1st gear with the selector in "3". If the selector is in "2", it stays in "2". Have a look in the owner's manual at the dealership.

    -Dennis
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    I hope the 3.0 is added to the U.S. Legacy offerings. Perhaps it would be a 2006 model here. The H-6 is far more pleasant in heavy traffic than the turbo 4 unless my test drives were not typical cars. If the price differential is $1-2k of the GT turbo, they should sell very well here. At those prices they would be $2-4k less than a Passat six cylinder with AWD. When my Passat W8 gets near the end of its warranty I may return to Subaru...if the six is available in the right model.
  • fkozilfkozil Posts: 65
    Thought the same as you until I tried the auto tranny...The 5 speed manual is a lot of fun and offers greater control but the automatic is a fair compromise.

    I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted the manual but after trying out the auto (I have the 4spd version) I was pleased. The misses can not drive the 5spd manual so I figured it was a fair compromise even though the 5spd is more performance oriented.

    With respect to fuel mileage, the difference between the two are really not noticeable and fuel economy can better be attributed to driving habits vs. gear ratios.
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Tom-

       Thanks for the info. Nice brief movie. It reminds me of what BMW did a couple of years ago. They did a series of movies revolving around their cars by various directors. They were all around 3-5 minutes long.

    Mark
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    pato01:

    The reason why SOA doesn't offer the 5EAT in the 2.5i is probably cost and product positioning. The 5EAT is a more complex and expensive unit than the 4EAT. While the 2.5i is a great vehicle, Subaru also needs to keep certain "premium" features for their higher-end models.

    Also, keep in mind that Subaru's automatics do have an "adaptive" nature to them. Over time, the units learn your driving style and the response changes quite a bit from when you test drive a green unit at the dealer.

    Ken
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    tom: You're welcome on the break-in info. And yes, I did change my oil at 1000 miles. It was free and it gave me peace of mind.

    aussie outback: I'm sure Subaru choses their oil change intervals for a balance of engine longevity and minimizing customer hassle. There certainly is no drawback to changing one's oil more often than recommended.

    Keep in mind that the service intervals in the owner's manual are "recommended" based on normal usage. There's a footnote saying that under heavy or extreme usage, more frequent changes should be followed.

    Warren: A manual transmission will always let you tap the full potential of an engine. It's simply the nature of it's design. However, the 5EAT does bridge the gap between traditional autos and manuals. With electronic control of both the throttle body as well as the transmission, the 5EAT can smooth out gearshifts to minimize shock.

    As for gas milage, the 5EAT top gear is taller and therefore achieves the same 19/25mpg as the 5MT.

    Ken
  • Here are 2 roadtests comparisons of the above two Aussie variants. In my last post I said they were $1-2k more expensive than the GT - it appears that should be $1-2k cheaper than the GT.

    Note in the first article: Legacy sales in Australia are up 58% on previous model, and Legacy GT selling 3x as quickly as expected!

    http://carsguide.news.com.au/news/story_page/0,8269,10388006%255E- 27286,00.html

    http://carsguide.news.com.au/news/story_page/0,8269,10410311%255E- 27286,00.html

    Also - a note for Karen. Some older roadtests that you may not have:

    3.0R Outback
    http://carsguide.news.com.au/news/story_page/0,8269,9204535%255E2- 7286,00.html

    3.0R Outback Towing Test
    http://carsguide.news.com.au/news/story_page/0,8269,9549578%255E2- 7286,00.html

    Outback H4 and Outback 3.0R VDC
    http://carsguide.news.com.au/news/story_page/0,8269,8471565%255E2- 7286,00.html
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Aussie OB, thanks for the postings! :) We really appreciate it. BTW, you guys are lucky to have the 3.0 6-speed. :)

    Bob
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