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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think we've all just heard too many stories of teens getting in trouble with a too-powerful car. The kid that lived across the street from my previous house totalled one of those lime green Mustang GTs.

    Though the Mustang actually looked better after the wreck. ;)

    -juice
  • Now, I have driven several WRX's. Like them, even though I am much more comfort-inclined - thus the A6. I realize the capacity they have - for speed - but, I didn't feel compelled to speed. Car seemed easily controllable. I put so many miles on my car, that - for the next 6+ months - I would use the car for moderate drives, hoping to save 5000 or more miles on the A6. WRX seemed OK as a commuter car, along with appeal - to the mature adult male that I am - to enjoy on the open road. Eventually, though it will be his. Nuts or what?

    Yes, it is. Set aside the issues of the car you're looking at. First, check your insurance - it will be astronomical - locally it's 50% higher than our OBW. Second, it becomes wearying for longer trips. Many Legacy GT owners have "graduated" from the WRX because of the better ride and 2.5l turbo.

    An Impreza RS is a nice small car that's reasonably quick and responsive, at a much lower cost.

    Of course, "A man convinced against his will - is of the same opinion still."
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Yes, I was told those same stories back in the 60's by my Dad. :P

    Welcome, you are now officially old. All of you. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My dad was smart and didn't give me anything too powerful. And when it rained or snowed I had to drive the Olds Custom Cruiser wagon. I think it weighed about 15,000 lbs so it was hard to brake traction in that thing. :D

    -juice
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    My 20-y/o daughter just got a new 2006 OB 2.5 Ltd 5-speed. Metallic Silver/Granite Gray. She had originally wanted to wait for a 2007, but when they discontinued the manny tranny for the Limited, she decided to go for a leftover. Took a bit of scouting around to find one in a color she liked, but she's thrilled. And now she appreciates having a clean driving record (no tickets or accidents) since she's paying her own insurance. Dad floated her a 3-month bridge loan until her junior year "[USAF] academy loan" becomes available in February ($30K at one percent - no payments until graduation in May 2008 - what a deal!). USAA negotiated the deal, and will be the loan-issuer in a couple of months. She's a big-time skier (I think everyone at the academy is), and has been on many adventures with our 2K OB, so she's excited about having her new freedom (it's her first car ever).

    We're going over the break-in and other maintenace topics (and the owner's manual) while she's here for the holidays - I'll actually get to see it next Labor Day when she (in a nice turn of events) picks US up at the airport!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

    Ken in (WAY too much weird WX to describe here) Seattle
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Sounds great, Ken! I always like seeing what the next model year will bring before making a purchase. Good thing she was able to find one - a little rare, but probably not too difficult to find in CO (or in WA!). That's a very nice first car. :D
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Ken-

    Sounds like a great deal for your daughter.

    Congrats, by the way on her being in the USAF Academy. Many, many moons ago I tried to get into there but I wasn't "smart enough", although I was accepted academically at West Point instead. Unfortunately, due to an early childhood sickness I wasn't fit enough.

    Then again if I had made it I probably would not have met my wife nor the Subaru crew.

    Mark
  • One of the best benefits of being a military officer is USAA.
    They do a great job.
  • My 2005 Subaru Outback XT is coming up to the 30 month mark with about 20,000 miles. The ownership manual calls for a major service. It looks like oil, filter, air filter, antifreeze. I'll also spring for new windshield wipers all around. Of course the tires will be rotated as well.

    Questions: Am I missing anything? Were there any recalls? I've been servicing the car at my trusty local mechanic who I like. Would it be wise to use the Subaru dealer for this "major" service?

    Thanks folks and have a happy New Year.

    Bob in Valley Stream, Long Island
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Hi Bob. My advice would be to use your regular mechanic, or do it yourself. As long as you stick to the book and keep receipts, you will be OK. Sounds like you have been doing fine so far.

    Unfortunately, Subaru dealers often pad the major services with extra work and end up charging many hundreds of dollars too much. I did the 30K service on my 05 OB XT at home for about $50 in parts/fluids. Took a couple of hours.

    Craig
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The battery just died today at 2.5 yrs / 35,500 miles!! It has been fine until today, in fact I made several trips this morning and no issues. I stopped for gas on the way home and the car would not start again. I was able to get a jump and make it home, but it's definitely dead -- not charging at all. I called the Subaru dealer and they will not be able to get me a new battery until next Thursday because of the Monday holiday, so I may just break down and get a battery from WalMart then argue with Subaru 1-800 to cover the cost. The car is still under the 3/36 warranty and the battery should have lasted longer than this.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I need to read my manual but I thought it was not uncommon for batteries to carry a separate, shorter warranty than rest of the car. Maybe not??

    While not widespread, I have heard of batteries dying in the second year of ownership.

    If it is excluded from the bumper to bumper I would just bite the bullet and buy a new one. If it is not excluded, I think you would have grounds for reimbursement. I think it would be unfair to expect you to go a week without a new battery.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Believe it or not, Bob, I think wipers are covered 'til 36k miles under the wear item warranty, so you may ask the dealer to take care of them next time you're in their vicinity. Anyone else confirm/deny?
  • I can confirm to the extent that at either my 15K service or my 18K oil change, the dealer replaced my blades and the receipt carried a notation that it was warranty work.

    I'm also fairly certain that the battery warranty is outside of Subaru's purview.
  • New Subarus have a 3/36 bumper-to-bumper warranty. The 05's that burned up headlights had them replaced as well.
  • Hi all,

    I am suddenly shopping for a new car after being blindsided from the side in my old Accord on a highway - totalled as a result. I hadn't thought much about what I want. I may go back to the Accord, but am interested in comments on the Outback 2.5i as an alternative. I have a 50 mile highway commute a few days a week, and do some distance driving (1-2 hours each way) for work. Critical questions:

    What is the real world mileage like, particularly on the highway?
    How is the comfort for a tall person? I'm 6'2" and have some disc issues that lead to lower and neck back pain.
    How is it as a highway commuting car?

    The Accord was a good and cheap to maintain car, but I am interested in something a little less boring but with good reliability (I push cars to the 200,000 mile range) and safety - Outback a good alternative?

    Thanks,

    Phelps
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    I think the 2.5i would be a good choice for a 50-mile daily commute. I'd suggest you seriously consider the manual transmission (available on the Wagon and Basic Wagon, but not the Limited) for optimal mileage and performance. I've had the 2.5 manual for six years, and I'd estimate that you'll get mid- to upper-20s for that sort of commute, depending on your driving style and the particulars of the commute. I get lower 20s for around-town driving, and 30 plus or minus a bit for long-range highway trips. Reliability has been excellent (with regular periodic maintenance).

    Good luck.

    Ken in (sunny!!) Seattle
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I am on my third Outback. Good car all the way around, and compares favorably to Honda in many ways. You definitely should do a test fit though -- I am 6'1" and have the seat all the way back. I can see how it might start to get tight (legroom) for taller folks.

    Craig
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    You may note that Subaru seats seem hard at first sitting. Mine (on a model with leather seats) have proven excellent for my somewhat problematic back. I am 6 feet tall and do not have the seat all the way back in my Outback 3.0R VDC.

    With my six cylinder mpg is only ok; my previous four was significantly better in town.

    Expect excellent reliability similar to your Honda experience. My experience other than with a knock sensor problem on an earlier Legacy was zero problems. I do have the oil changed often.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    I'm on my 4th Subaru (2 Outbacks, 2 Legacies). All have been reliable, and are extremely safe. I can second the other comments about the gas mileage. My Outback 3.0R has loads of oomph, but gets low 20s mileage on mostly highway drives. While less than the 3.0, my Legacy 2.5i sedan has plenty of power and it's possible to achieve over 30 MPG with mostly highway driving and no stomping on the pedal. The Outback's heated seats may feel great on your back, too. :)

    Have you considered a Legacy 2.5i wagon? Virtually same as the Outback, but different suspension, no body cladding, and a few less features. If you're sticking to on-pavement driving, Legacy's a better handler and rider, I think. Rides a couple inches lower. Couple thousand less, too.

    In fact, you could get a Legacy 2.5i Limited (heated seats/mirrors, 6-disc CD, nice leather interior, huge moonroof, dual zone climate control, power seat, fog lights) for only about $500 more than a standard Outback. I guess that'd be my recommendation if you're doing highway driving all the time - go for a Legacy 2.5i Limited wagon - that much time in a car deserves some creature comforts. Oh, Legacy wagon is also rated 2MPG greater than Outback on the highway.
  • What is the real world mileage like, particularly on the highway?
    How is the comfort for a tall person? I'm 6'2" and have some disc issues that lead to lower and neck back pain.
    How is it as a highway commuting car?

    The Accord was a good and cheap to maintain car, but I am interested in something a little less boring but with good reliability (I push cars to the 200,000 mile range) and safety - Outback a good alternative?


    We had two 97 4 cyl OB wagons and now have a 05 Accord V6 and 06 Outback 3.0 wagon.

    I'm 6'2. Some people fit. Some don't. Take a lengthy test drive. Honda Accord seats (we have an 05) are really good and wider than the Subaru.

    A Legacy sedan is EPA 19/25, the Outback sedan 22/28. It's a relatively heavy car and has AWD, so they're not great on fuel economy compared to FWD cars. A V6 Accord gets better mileage and is a lot quicker and more relaxed on the highway in our use. Subaru only puts the 5 speed auto in the H6 and turbo models. The Outback is higher and more air passes underneath, so high speed highway cruising isn't conducive to good mileage.

    The 4 cyl is relaxed on easy highway cruising compared to other 4 cyl cars. Acceleration is worse than almost any other sedan on the road. The H6 is much more powerful and guieter, but doesn't get great mileage - I've had a few tanks of 26 commuting, but it's usually less.

    The 95-99 DOHC 2.5 engines had major problems with blowing headgaskets. A disturbingly high percentage of these vehicles blew their headgaskets but SOA steadfastly denied there was a problem. The dealer service managers know better. A Google search for "subaru head gasket problem" will put it in perspective.

    Now some of the 2000-2004 SOHC cars are also popping them. SOA has extended the warranty for the 2000-2004 cars to 100,000 miles for head gaskets but is still bitterly, harshly, endlessly, roundly criticized for the way they have handled this problem on enthusiast forums.

    By 150,000 miles you'll be doing a lot of maintenance. In fairness, AWD cars are heavier and more complex and will always cost more for maintenance. And the Subaru AWD system works well, with comparatiely few problems.

    I bought another new Subaru in 2006 (with the 6 cylinder engine) but this was in spite of SOA, who treats American customers like they're idiots.
  • I agree, SOA has a problem with these head gaskets, and they better come forward and fix/notify owners/etc. quickly. Just had my headgasket replaced on my 2003 Leagacy with only 42,000 miles! :sick:

    But, other than this one problem, the car has been relatively trouble free. So, still like my fourth Suby in 15 years!

    Mark
  • Have you considered a Legacy 2.5i wagon?

    Thanks for the detailed responses everyone! The Legacy would be a good option, but I hate Monnroffs (both because of the impact on headroom, and because it is simply a feature I dislike and never use.

    Phelps
  • If you want better gas mileage - get the Legacy sedan. Sedans will always get better MPG on the highway than an equivalent wagon due to less weight and much less drag.
  • The '05 Legacy 2.5i wagon base 5spd has been getting 29-31 in the summer and fall. Its been to the dealer for oil changes (they gave us coupons). A hitch on the back supports a bike rack and an occassional uHaul trailer (up to 2700 lbs, 1700lbs more than the Honda).
    Visibility is excelent in the wagon.
    Eh, I really can't think of anything bad to say about it. It used a little bit of oil the very first oil change but hasn't used any since. Bun warmers would've been nice, as would've heated mirrors/wipers maybe, but they are included in the next model.
  • If you want better gas mileage - get the Legacy sedan. Sedans will always get better MPG on the highway than an equivalent wagon due to less weight and much less drag.

    However, they are rated exactly the same from the EPA. I guess YMMV.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    The OB seats aren't the most comfortable ones. I'm 5'8" and I couldn't see myself fitting if taller. Make your mind because no one is going to fit behind your seat, not even my small 4 years old daughter. But then, nothing is better than a Subie for the snow, handling is great, and reliability is superior. Then, check a Tribeca. You can get an '06 for a big discount, has a really nice interior and everybody will fit on the front and middle seats. You're going to spend $400 more a year in gas, but in a nicer way.
  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 291
    I'm having trouble visualizing this -- I'm 6-3, with a 34" inseam and 36" sleeves, and I have my seat only probably about 2/3 of the way back (2007 Legacy). Similarly sized people can sit behind me easily. I also think the seats are very comfortable.

    I guess it speaks to the fact that the original poster really should take an extended test drive, if possible. You won't really know how you'll fit in a vehicle otherwise.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Anyone have anything to share with respect to Subaru's SI-Drive system introduced on some 2007 Legacy and Outback models? Specifically, the real-world effect on MPG, performance, drivability, "feel", etc... Do you consider SI-Drive a worthwhile feature or a gimmick?

    Thanks!
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    In the USA it's only available on the turbos.
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