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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+

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  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 185
    Last week, I posted my concern about the tires on our '05 Outback Limited. The stock Bridgestone Potenza RE-92 tires provided such a rough ride, that both my wife and I hated it. After reviewing user comments on Tirerack.com (thanks Sly!), we switched to Bridgestone Turanza LS-H tires.
    The new Turanza tires have given us an amazing change...very smooth and comfortable....and according to the reviews are significantly better overall than the stock Potenza's....especially in the rain.
    The new Outback is great...now love it even more!

    Doug
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Also check with your insurance company. I believe that most of them give a discount for having the VIN etching on the windows. It is part of an anti-theft program the local police do.

    If your dealer is going to charge you, check with your local police precint first, as they ususally have free etching once a month.

    Mark
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    Doug, Glad I could help :)

    Sly
  • jsgnfwtxjsgnfwtx Posts: 17
    Seriously considering purchase of one or the other. Major concern, with rising gas prices, is the probable gas mileage. I am wondering how veteran H6 owners fare in the MPG game. I am a conservative driver and generally always exceed the EPA estimates. I have a great deal waiting on the LL Bean but am apprehensive due to gas mileage. Are most of you H6 drivers using premium or regular? From reading the owner's manual I noted that premium is recommended rather than required. Thanks to all for your help
  • We recently purchased a 2005 LLBean. My wife LOVES THE CAR, but has also fallen in love with the XM radio in my Audi. From the look of the radio in the Bean, I cannot see how anyone can install an XM compatible radio. Has anyone on this forum done so successfully?
  • jsgnfwtxjsgnfwtx Posts: 17
    In this forum, do a search on XM Radio. It will bring up several postings dealing with installation of XM in the new Outback. Some of the postings have photos.
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    I picked up my VDC back in July. I currently have 19K miles. You may want to check my recent posts on mileage a few days ago. Here's the summary... First, the VDC needs premium fuel, 93 preferred. I notice that occasionally I get a "bad" tank (realize that "bad" could be operator error... when you put gas in your car almost every day, this is bound to happen) the car idles very rough, though runs. I can really see a change in the smoothness and responsiveness when I put the VDC's favorite gas in, Shell Oil 93. Unfortunately finding a Shell station here in PA is not easy.

    Now to mileage... In the summer/fall (without the Thule box and without winter gas additives), I average 19 city, 22-23 mixed, and 26-28 MPG highway (This can be affected by driving habits, speed, etc.) In the winter with a roof box and non-freeze gas, my mileage drops to 19 city only, 20-22 mixed, and 21-24 highway. I also have noticed that extended driving on totally snow covered roads results in mileage in the 19-20 mpg range, even at speeds around 40 mph.

    Overall, I find this fuel performance very acceptable, especially for a full-time AWD, performance vehicle. Most vehicles in this weight category (luxury sedans) with this kind of power, 2WD, and less clearance get worse mileage? But, I'll let the techies on this board speak to the numbers. I just say it how I feel it. On average I get 300-400 miles per tank.

    My only disappointment in terms of mileage would be the "true city" number, which ends up being between 19-20. This is when you drive for short amounts of time, less than 15 minutes on city streets for a whole tank.

    I absolutely love my VDC and would not trade it for any vehicle on the road today. I highly recommend the VDC over the LLBean if you can afford the VDC system. The system has only engaged once in 8 months, but it saved a tremendous insurance bill and potentially my life. Recent IIHS test results indicate that vehicle stability systems drastically reduce the rate of single car (driver error) crashes by nearly 60%. In their results listed today, I believe SUV's with stability control maintained the lowest fatality rates while SUV's without stability systems fared the worst of all cars. All in all... VDC is well worth the $1000! The stereo is not bad either.
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    I have still been unable to find a direct FM antenna connector for the VDC factory radio. My understanding is the the standard 2005 Outback radio FM connectors became available in early 2005. For now, my XM Commander is somewhat "jury rigged" which means static interference in cities. Any thoughts?

    I figure if the "my-fi" 2nd generation becomes available before the plug does, I will switch gear. I prefer the "hard-wired" antenna because the sound is better than the true FM-modulated equipment provides.

    I have been a XM user for nearly 4 years now. This is the first vehicle that I have had an installation problem with. I guess the demand for VDC antenna plugs is not high enough for the after market producers to get one designed and made?
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    There is a guy on the board that has Legacy GT in the name that has made and sells antenna adapters for the 05. Looks fairly simple.

    Sly
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    The word from my local Subaru car audio guru is that the standard 2005 Subaru radio and VDC radio FM antenna connectors are not the same? The technician manually "connected" my system back in July. My problem is that when in strong radio environment like NYC, Boston, Phila, I get occasional interference. I also do not have great antenna, volume gain. I believe the after market antenna plugs are now available for the standard 2005 radios. Is anyone familiar with the VDC?
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    Sounds like he set you up with an FM transmitter, not with an FM Modulator. Tha latter being a direct connection which should give you much better quality and no interference.

    Sly
  • katwaykatway Posts: 19
    "I absolutely love my VDC and would not trade it for any vehicle on the road today. I highly recommend the VDC over the LLBean if you can afford the VDC system. The system has only engaged once in 8 months, but it saved a tremendous insurance bill and potentially my life. Recent IIHS test results indicate that vehicle stability systems drastically reduce the rate of single car (driver error) crashes by nearly 60%. In their results listed today, I believe SUV's with stability control maintained the lowest fatality rates while SUV's without stability systems fared the worst of all cars. All in all... VDC is well worth the $1000! The stereo is not bad either."

    -- Ditto. I love my VDC. Well worth the extra $, especially if you consider it over the length of the entire ownership period.

    With respect to gas mileage, I agree 100%. I think it's great for this type of vehicle. Premium gas is absolutely required to avoid rough idle, etc. The 93 octane Shell is the best.
  • khallockkhallock Posts: 63
    I have an 05 LLBean and I think something is wrong with it. When I first got it the Avg MPG went up to 19.1 at its highest. That is driving some main streets and back roads here in VT. Mostly averaging around 40mph. Then, it just started going down. It might have been around the time I got my snow tires on? But maybe it was before that. Now I get 17.1. What gives?

    I do admit my driving is probably not that conducive to good MPG, but it hasn't changed from when I was getting 19.1 miles to the gallon. My DH doesn't drive the car, but once he was with me on the highway and he said it smelled funny, like a brake was stuck. Then the smell went away. I can't smell anything because I am constantly stuffed up from allergies. I am going to make an appointment at Subaru to get an oil change and have them see if there is anything up with the brakes. It does kind of worry me that my MPG is so low. As of today it was 17.1.

    Besides my gas mileage woes, I love the car.
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    If you think you have a "dragging" brake (typically a hung caliper), you might notice the car "pulling" in the direction of that brake (with hands off the steering wheel), especially if it's a front brake. Another quick 'n dirty check is to drive the car for several miles (at least - more if it's cold) trying NOT to apply the brakes at all (perhaps between interstate exits) then stop the car and hop out and place your hands on the wheels. A dragging brake can generate enough heat to be noticeable simply by checking the "wheel temperature" of all four wheels.

    Good luck!

    Ken in Seattle
  • timo1745timo1745 Posts: 58
    khallock-

    While I don't have an LL Bean model, from your narrative, I think you might've outlined a pretty good "recipe" for why your gas mileage isn't optimum.

    1) It's winter: If VT uses oxygenated fuel (to reduce emissions) during cold weather, knock 2-3 MPG off your mileage for that.

    2) Snow tires: Most every snow tire I've run across has a more aggressive tread for the purpose of gripping snow/ice. This adds rolling resistance, and reduces gas mileage. How much? Only you can tell (given how/where you drive) by paying attention to your mileage after you swap back to your summer treads. I've seen probably a 1-2.5 MPG reduction with my snow tires.

    3) Average speeds: Since your average speeds are less than highway speeds, your LL Bean is definitely not taking advantage of its higher gearing. Consequently, your gas mileage won't stray far from it's "City" mileage listing. With my XT's summer tires, I get probably around 18-20 MPG with pure "around town" driving, between 25-27 MPG when driving between 55-70 MPH, and between 22-24 MPG when driving over 70 MPH sustained (don't even ask about 85+...you won't like the answer!).

    4) Miles on car: I don't believe you mentioned how many miles you have on your car, but if you've read any of the comments on this board Re: gas mileage specific to vehicle mileage, you'll see that nearly everyone on this board has reported substantially better gas mileage after their cars have had a chance to break-in, e.g., between 10k-20k miles. Again, I don't know how many miles you have on your car, so this may or may not pertain to you.

    5) Driving style: I believe you said "I do admit my driving is probably not that conducive to good MPG"...I took that as: "I'm a little heavy on the pedal". This is one of the biggest mileage-killers you'll find on ANY car.

    Keep in mind, each of the items above would add to the cumulative reduction in gas mileage! That's a lot of variables/factors, huh?

    So, just from the information you've provided, I think you've probably also provided your own answer. Some variables are beyond your control (e.g., "Winter", "Snow tires", "Average speeds", "Mileage on Car") but those pertaining to "season" should change soon, as will your engine breaking-in if it hasn't already. One of the largest contributors is "Driving Style", which only you can change if the gas mileage is that important to you.

    Hope that helps!

    Rgds,
    Tim G.
    '05 OBXT - 5MT
    11k miles and climbing
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,674
    There's a report over at nabisco that some SOA big chesse from Japan was here in the States visiting some dealer, and stated that we're getting a lightweight, autocross oriented WRX model for '06. It sounds like a stripped version, sans a/c, thinner glass, and so forth.

    WR = weight reduction

    The guy reporting this supposedly spoke directly to this SOJ guy.

    Bob
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    ok they are going to make an autocross version but driving autocross voids the warranty????????????
  • khallockkhallock Posts: 63
    Ken - We ended up stopping by Subaru on the day my husband noticed the brake smell and they told us the same thing. Maybe I will try that this weekend!

    Tim - Thanks for that long post. It was pretty helpful!

    I'm not sure if VT uses oxygenated fuel or not. Is there a way to tell at the pumps? I have just over 7000 miles on my car so far. I got it in late August. I do drive on the interstate sometimes, but its never a long drive, so I dont think its enough to see an improvement in my gas mileage. (And I like to do over 70 alot!) You're right I need to change my driving style in order to get better MPG. I'm going to have a baby in November so maybe that will turn me into a more conservative driver? I can only hope! I'm not a crazy psycho driver, but I am not a slow one either. LOL. Oh well! Thanks very much for your post.

    The other thing I noticed about my Outback a few weeks ago is that they must have damaged the back window when they installed it. I have a huge chip in the lower right corner, on the inside. You can't get to it from the inside or outside, because its covered my the frame of the car. So it must have been there since I purchased it, I just never noticed. I am going to see if they will replace this when I have my next service. I also got a letter saying they need to reprogram my "Manual" mode with new software, so I will have that done also.

    Thanks again!
    Kristen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can't believe you didn't squeeze that post into the title!

    You're slacking off, man! LOL

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Bob,

    They have offered something like this before in Japan -- Car and Driver did a write up a few years ago:

    "Further complicating things is the designation of our test car: Type RA Spec C. RA stands for "Rally Applicant." It's a car intended to go racing and is, therefore, stripped of luxuries such as a sound system of any kind, air conditioning, power windows, trunk trim, airbags, underbody coating, and other things—all in the name of weight reduction. It also has an adjustable center differential that can be locked from the cockpit and a roof vent that opens manually—as on rally racers. The hood and roof metal is thinner, and so is the car's glass. It has a quicker steering ratio."

    I believe the US STi already has some weight reduction over the standard WRX, including thinner glass.

    Craig
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Kristen, unless the glass chip is visibly bad looking and bothers you (or poses a known safety hazard), I would stick with the factory glass. You're probably asking for problems getting this replaced by the dealer -- they typically massacre jobs like this! Maybe get it documented in case it ever becomes a real problem.

    Craig
  • khallockkhallock Posts: 63
    Craig, thanks for the tip. I think you are right and thats probably the way to go. I dont mind that its there, but if it ever cracks further I dont want to be the one to have to pay for a new one, kwim? Documenting it is probably the best thing to do.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I had it done, real simple. Taken out of my Malibu MAXX. The only thing that was a little different was the way the antenna connects to the modulator. I had the same company that installed in my first car switch it over to Outback. The guy knew what he was doing & there is a little something unusual about installing in a Subaru, but it can be done. Cost me $125. I have the XM Commander Unit. There is a perfect spot for the control unit. It sits flat on the space immediately in front of the gear shift mechanism, between that the the two controls for heated seats. Much better location than my previous car. Real easy to change stations without having to use the remote. One other thing, and this is rather interesting. They put the antenna on the driver side of the dash, inside the car. Not as good as with previous car in which it was on roof next to front windshield but at least now I can go to a car wash without the antenna moving & scratching the roof. Lose a little reception--maybe 5 to 10% of the time but I can live with that.
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    Interesting comment on the "chip". I noticed the exact same thing about a week ago! Maybe it is a Vermont thing? or at least a cold weather thing? I had made a trip to the dealer for an oil change and asked about it. It is definitely on the inside of the glass in the "black" area of the passenger side of the rear hatch. The dealer suggested that it looked like the adhesive back that makes the glass look black had given way there. We decided to leave it alone unless it got worse.

    As far as Vermont gas goes, I get some of my best mileage out of the Rutland Shell station so my guess is that Vermont is treating gas the same as any other New England state. I regularly purchase gas in PA, NJ, NY, and VT.

    Not sure how to post a picture on the forum, but if someone advises me... I will try and get a picture of the "chip" posted.
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    I put the XM Commander in the same spot. Once you know XM there is no reason to look at the device too often. It certainly makes it easy to adjust.

    I am still suffering through the "jury-rigged" antenna connection. I have refused to go with the modulator because I know the direct antenna connection produces a better result. Eventually, they will get the plug made. That's what I get for buying a 2005 in July of 2004.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Well, I made my own antenna adapter, and a guy is making them and selling them on the LegacyGT forum now.

    Craig
  • khallockkhallock Posts: 63
    ssminton - Too wierd that you have the same chip and you are in Vermont too. Hmmm...I got my Outback from Burlington Subaru. Did you get yours from the dealer in Rutland? Maybe it is just the adhesive. I will look at is more closely. So I guess you are saying that VT does not oxygenate its gas? I asked my husband and he didnt even know what oxygenated gas was. So I assumed the VT doesn't.
  • subefansubefan Posts: 5
    I have the same chip in my back window in the same place,I have a outback xt and I haven't been to the dealer yet. I will be going in for an oil change soon and get it documented. I'm located in central maine and got my car from Charlies Subaru. maybe a defect in window installation with cold climate.
  • fj60fj60 Posts: 28
    I didn't get a response the last time I posted so I'll try again. Is a jiggling noise from the sunroof normal when driving over rough roads, lane markers, etc. while the sunshade is open? Is it simply inherent with a sunroof so large?

    FJ-60
    '05 Legacy GT Wgn Lmt 5MT
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