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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+

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Comments

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Most OE tires are almost always going to be okay at best. Why? The manufacturer is trying to appeal to a wide range of driving needs with a cost-effective model.

    The comments at Tire Rack also need to be taken with a grain of salt due to the old vs. new syndrome. Many posters will comment on the performance of their brand new tires vs. their outgoing old tires. Of course the new ones are going to perform better!

    Stability control usually employs a series of motion sensors and the vehicles brakes to correct under and oversteer situtations. For example, a car is entering a corner too fast and begins to push the front out to the corner. Stability control will apply more brake power to the outside wheel. AWD is not a prequisite for this to happen.

    Ken
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    >>>>
    As I had mentioned before, neither juice nor I had an opportunity to drive the GTs under "normal" driving conditions at Vegas. Today I was able to do that. Interesting tidbit: I accidentally exceeded the red-line in the GT in 2nd gear, only to find out that there is some sort of engine cut-off, as the car started bucking violently
    <<<<

    that is normal driving????
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    No that wasn't, but I was able to drive it on the street, under normal driving sitauations. In Vegas, I drove it on the track&#151;flat out. This time, with the exception of that one incident, I was able to see what's it's like to "live" with.

    Bob
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think we're all going to tease you about this for a long time! (especially since some of us have done the same thing).

    SO what else do you do when "living" with cars? Four-wheel drifts?? :-)

    Craig
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    you've got to expect some, 'what'll she do?' kind of driving to creep in there somewhere. I don't want to leave the impression that I was out solely to abuse the car&#151;and most certainly not with the sales guy right next to me. So did I run it through the gears a few times? Yeah, but who wouldn't? I was really much more interested in, is this a car I wouldn't mind making 60 car payments on; and the answer is most definitely yes.

    Bob
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I had a chance to finally drive a Legacy GT Ltd Wagon 5EAT that had been PDIed. My local dealer had a silver wagon no their lot and I took it for a short test drive.

    The most memorable experience on the test drive was how flat the wagon cornered. I took a freeway on ramp fairly fast and was amazed at how little body roll there was. Steering was awesome too, as juice mentioned. The vehicle just felt incredibly planted.

    I did also notice that the 5EAT, when given gas suddenly seems to wait for a second or two before it surges forward. I don't know if this was the back pressure thing or just a TCU that's learning, but I did wish that power kicked in a little sooner. Once it was on it's way there was nice strong delivery of power. I believe leaving the selector in Sportshift mode didn't change it much.

    I wanted to try a manual, but all the 5MT models were sedans and they were in the process of having the side airbags retrofitted.

    Right after the Legacy GT test drive, I headed over to the Infiniti dealer to drive a G35 sedan. The advantages of a 3.5L NA engine was quite apparent as even the auto felt quite peppy down low. The brakes were also very communicative and felt solid -- more so than the Legacy.

    However, the G35 overall interior and exterior wasn't to my taste. While some parts like the seat leather seemed very well done, there were parts of the vehicle like the carpeting in the trunk space that just didn't seem right in a +30K vehicle. The Legacy seemed much more tastefully done. Also the G35 (without optional sport package) didn't corner as flat as the Legacy GT.

    So, bottom line -- I can't wait for my GT Ltd. Wagon to show up! I'll have to try a manual before I take delivery juuuuust to make sure, though.

    I'd love to read a car magazine review on just the GT. I wonder if C&D would do a comparo against other sport sedans or wagons.

    Ken
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Thanks for the comparison. Even though they are fairly different vehicles in my opinion, I plan on cross shopping the new Outback and the G35x.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob "rev limiter" Holland! ;-)

    It does rev freely and quickly, though. Even if it had been an automatic, they do rev to the redline before shifting.

    As for that auto, Bob, I guess the "adaptive" tranny really works if you noticed a difference from that dealer model to the broken-in one that we drove in Vegas.

    Lesson learned: drive 'em hard so the adaptive tranny wises up! It's up to you!

    Good to hear that you thought the moonroof was quieter. Must be nice to drive with it wide open! We didn't get to try it because conditions were so dusty in the desert.

    Beach experience? Yes, in my Forester. These comments should apply because:

    1) I have the same viscous coupling in the manual tranny Legacy and Outback

    2) I use the same tire size as the 2004 model, 225/60R16

    I aired down to 18psi and drove all over the Outer Banks. The key is to drive smoothly, and not stop on the soft (quick)sand, where you might sink. I was able to climb some moderate inclines, basically a ramp to get onto the beaches.

    Never even close to getting stuck. My ground clearance with those tires is about 7.8", so a new Outback will do even better. Wider tires float better on sand, keep that in mind. OB is a little heavier, though.

    The 2005 is lighter and has more clearance, it should do very well.

    I've also had the Forester in the Pine Barrens, that was fun. Again, aired down to 18 psi and drove around on sand/dirt/mud and even did some small water crossings. Basically more than 99.9% of the population will ever do in their SUVs.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Beach:

    http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4291908527&p=4258247262- &idx=3

    Pine Barrens water crossing:

    http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4291908527&p=4248509236- &idx=15

    Impromptu "Hay Ride" at the Apple Orchard:

    http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4291908527&p=4243265717- &idx=17

    You might need to register with ImageStation.com to view those pics.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    As for that auto, Bob, I guess the "adaptive" tranny really works if you noticed a difference from that dealer model to the broken-in one that we drove in Vegas.

    To be honest juice, I just don't remember. I was a little disappointed however, that my latest test drive didn't shift as fast in SportShift mode as I had hoped. Was it slow shifting? No, just not fast shifting.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if that too can be learned, if the tranny will shift more quickly if it senses that the driver likes to drive hard and hold the right gear for turns and such.

    Unless they brought "ringers" to the track....LOL.

    But no, even if they had ringers it would be for the PRESS, not their own dealer body, which has to sell them.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    at turbo 5EAT turbo GT or XT with the shift buttons, to see if they shift any faster.

    Speaking of turbos, my sense is the 5-speed manual is still the hot set-up. A few who have reported driving 5EAT turbos have mentioned a flat spot around 2500 rpm, and may also be a tad slow off the mark until the turbo spools up.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I didn't really sense that on the infield track. Then again it probably wasn't below 2500 rpm for long!

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,724
    you need to drive one again. The track drive, while loads of fun, didn't give us any sense of what the car is like on a day-to-day basis.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Noooooo, way too tempting. I don't have that kind of self control! LOL

    -juice
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    i know better than to start driving cars unless i can buy it, so i limit myself to research only....
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Bob:

    I wonder if the 5EAT TCU for the OBXT and Legacy GT are programmed differently. It would be interesting if you got to drive the Legacy GT in everyday situations too.

    In any event, I don't doubt for a second that the manual is going to be more fun.

    Ken
  • ace1000ace1000 Posts: 151
    Maybe a picture will further the clarification. Each tire has a maximum amount of traction that can be used three ways: forward motion, lateral grip, and braking. Picture a tire with three arrows (vectors) going forward, sideways, and backwards. Increasing the traction or length of the arrow for one of these reduces traction or length of the arrow for the others. For example, accelerating or braking in a curve reduces lateral grip and lowers the speed at which you will begin to slide sideways.

    4WD works on the forward arrow and the lateral arrow while accelerating; stability control works on the backwards arrow and the lateral arrow while decelerating. The best AWD systems will redistribute the torque among the wheels to give the best forward and lateral grip while accelerating or maintaining speed. Stability control reduces the distribution of torque by braking or total torque by cutting engine power to give the best lateral grip and directional control while reducing speed.

    AWD is not good enough by itself. Consumer Reports showed this in its tests of the Subaru. Without VDC the the car did not show good emergency handling; with VDC it was stable in the emergency avoidance test. Subaru seems to have one of the best combinations of AWD and stability control in the VDC Outback, and rather than raising the bar and making this standard or available for all models, it limits the combination to one model. Subaru runs the risk of losing a competitive advantage if other cars make this combination available to cars in the $20,000-$30,000 price range before it does.
  • yankee617yankee617 Posts: 36
    Juice: Thanks for the comments on Beach Driving a Forester.

    I found this December 2001 discussion of using the Outback on
    oversand trails and the collective wisdom there said "Don't do it".

    http://reel-time.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24268&highlight=o- - utback+oversand

    I guess this is such a small part of how I will actually want to use
    the car that I'm not going to get hung up over it (or the tire issue)
    now. Instead, I'll just proceed toward my final purchase decision.

    Candidates are:

      1) '04 H6 35th Anniversary
      2) '04 H6 LL Bean
      3) '05 H6 LL Bean

    I originally was excited about the new XT Limited... but the air scoop
    turned me off both aesthetically (I like to be more understated) and
    in terms of the added hassle of clearing off the snow & ice.

    Yan
  • jchagtdijchagtdi Posts: 55
    Exceeding the redline is very easy to do in a turbo boxer..more so than in any inline or V style turbo I've ever driven. Does this have more to do with the engine layout or the boost level? I just remember my first drive in a Forester XT manual. 0-redline= the blink of an eye.

    Can someone compare the engine dynamics of the Forester XT and the Legacy GT? The XT is just plain diabolical. I'm hoping the GT motor is just as nasty but more refined...
  • salbaby1972salbaby1972 Posts: 165
    I also too like to be understated, but today at work I burned a bag of microwave popcorn. I like to be under the radar sorf-of-speak, buttoay I got noiced in less than 4 minutes. Smoke was everywhere! To make things worse, our building HVAC was down.
     
    I guess computer programming and poping popcorn don't mix.

    FYI, microwave popcorn must be attended at all times! Wooops... :)

    04s ARE Good Deals!
    05s VERY NICE!

    You won't go wrong with either...
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Anybody going to their local NE Soobie dealer tonight? Looks like their is going to be some event for the new Legacy starting at 5:30...

    -B
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,035
    I saw one ad on TV about 2 weeks ago about it. Their website has no mention of it.

    Did anyone else see the review in the Boston Globe?

    http://www.boston.com/cars/articles/2004/06/13/sensible_subarus_g- et_a_dose_of_daring/
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yan: I think back then the Outback had 6.8-7.3" of clearance, the new ones have a good deal more and they're 180 lbs lighter, which lets them float better.

    If you're going on sand and you're concerned, go for the 2005.

    Be prepared for some dumb looks.

    -juice
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I pretty much echo everything juice said about driving in the sand. I had my Outback Sport in the NJ Pine Barrens the same time as juice, and didn't have any problems.

    I also had a fishing permit for a beach in NJ and used to drive it there regularly. I got stuck the first few times (20 psi's), but didn't have problems after airing down to about 12-13 psi's.

    I just picked up an '04 fishing permit for my XT and didn't have any problems a few weekends ago. Actually, I was pretty impressed when I was in some deep sand without any tracks. I saw a Chevy ZR71 pick-up that was digging himself out. It didn't look like he aired down.

    If I were in your shoes, I would go for the '05 Beaner based on the assumption that the 45/55 "default" torque split between the wheels might be better for the sand. juice and I both have manuals with a normal 50/50 split. Although, the AWD won't be in "normal" mode while you're in sand anyway. :-) The increased ground clearance and wider tires will be a plus as well.

    I'll try to get some pics the next time I'm on the beach.
    Oh, here are some pics of my OBS as well as a lot of other Impreza's in the Pine Barrens.
    http://www.isuzu-suvs.com/events/pb02-17-02/pics/index_6.htm

    Here are some pics of juice and lark6 in their Foresters:
    http://www.isuzu-suvs.com/events/sia_trail/SIA_Trailride-pics-01.- - html

    -Dennis
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    RE92s - the ones on the WRX have a wear rating of 160 AA (tirerack). Mine lasted over 30K miles. They have a very good highway ride and are relatively quiet. They handle competently and were good in rain from my experience. When worn down, are not nearly as good in rain, but this is common with most tires. Very good highspeed stability.

    Auto Tranny - tend to agree with Juice on this one. Testdrove an auto WRX which initially seemed weak. Testdrove the same car a couple of weeks later, and was MUCH MORE livelier. Auto needs to adjust to your driving style!!!

    Legacy GT vs. G35 - expect these cars to accelerate similiarly and handle similiarly with the GT being slightly faster and corner flatter. If you drove the auto, the auto might not have had time to adjust to your driving habits. Testdrive a manual, then report.
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Actually I just received an invite to an event at my service dealer (Flemington) for next Friday night. Unfortunately, I have a 25th anniversary surprise dinner for my co-worker. If someone wants to go instead, let me know.

    Mark

    -It's probably a good thing-otherwise I might be tempted to come home with a new car instead of waiting.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Man, brings back fond memories. That weekend was a hoot. We went right after 9/11, too.

    The BRAT actually crossed that mud pit successfully, remember? The guy in that XT6 was nuts!

    Any how, it just goes to show that for 99.9% of what you'd need, Subies are more than capable. Anything more capable will just get more stuck in more challenging situations. That Monty with the mud tires got caught on the following trip and only a tow truck could get it out.

    -juice
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Mr. Healey can't drive,... maybe?

    -Dave
  • wtcwtc Posts: 4
    I just purchased an atlantic blue 2005 Outback XT for about $1700 below MSRP from Condrin Subaru in Altoona, PA.

    Perhaps as time goes on I'll be less enthusiastic, but my first impressions after about 350 miles of driving are very positive.

    MPG &#151; I tested gas mileage today by driving &#145;normally&#146; (steady gradual acceleration, close to speed limits) along a rural highway. Speeds ranged between 45-65 with an average of a bit below 60. Over 72 miles the trip computer indicated an average MPG of 25.2. I checked the accuracy of the computer when I filled the tank for the first time and found it to be exactly on the mark. After this controlled measurement I drove another 150 miles or so on a variety of small back country roads as well as high speed limited access roads. This included a lot of stop and go driving and some moderately fast acceleration, and also use of the manual shift option. The overall MPG average for the whole trip was 23.5. Since the car now has a total of only about 350 miles on it, these MPG results seem quite respectable.

    Concerning the USA Today review which said: the turbo four vibrates remarkably at idle, cackles and grumbles at low speed ... and stutters and jerks during moderate acceleration … The ride is bouncy&#148; &#151; this does not match my experience at all. I find my XT Outback to be both smooth and quiet, almost as good as our 2002 VW Passat V6 which is quite refined. I did notice a slight stutter (but no &#145;jerks&#146;) in moderate hard acceleration up hills, but this did not seem significant to me and in part may have been caused by Pennsylvania&#146;s infamously uneven road surfaces. Similar to the Passat, the XT is quiet at idle and smooth and quiet at highway speeds up to 80. I have no complaints here.

    Since this is the break-in period I have avoided really hard acceleration and have kept the engine below 4000 rpm, but it is obvious that this car has plenty of power and it should more than satisfy all but the most aggressive drivers. There is some moderate turbo lag at low speeds but this is less pronounced than is the case with our Passat, and is not a problem for me.

    Concerning the interior of the vehicle: for me the seats were comfortable over about 7 hours of driving (with some stops), though I am only 5&#146;8&#148; tall so this might not be the case for much taller drivers. I&#146;m no audiophile, but the sound system seems very good, a bit better than the basic system (not Monsoon) that we have in our Passat. I like the 6-CD changer and find the buttons to be intuitive and well-placed. I have not tried the radio yet and I wish there was a satellite radio option. For that matter, I also would like an option for a GPS navigation system available this year as well.

    Overall finish and details seem excellent and I have so far not discovered any defects in workmanship. I have not yet encountered the problem reported by some of rain water dropping on me off the top of the door when I exit the car. I test drove three 2005 Outbacks in a steady rain last Saturday and noticed this problem only once, although I was in and out of these cars at least ten times. The one time I was hit by water it was only a couple of drops.

    I was also considering buying a Passat GLX V6 (for about the same price with heavy discounting) but decided to go with the Outback for several reasons. First, we already have a Passat so getting a second one was not very appealing. The Outback XT is not quite as refined as the Passat but is more fun to drive and,in my opinion, better looking than the Passat (which I like a lot). Finally, there are the intangibles. When I was test driving the Outback I pulled off to the side of the road to check out the audio system. As I did so, a couple of young women walked by and one of them gave an enthusiastic &#145;thumbs up&#146; sign. I can assure you this was not directed to me, but rather was her assessment of the appeal of the Outback.
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