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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The H6 still uses the (proven) 5EAT. The CVT, right now, is only offered on the H4 models.

  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    I saw a'10 Outback at a dealer over the weekend. What an abomination. It was parked next to a Tribeca, and it looked almost identical.

    Subaru has made a habit of making each succeeding generation of a model fatter and more bizarre looking. The dealer told me he thought they had priced themselves out of their traditional market now, and had to add useless bling to compete with all the other cars with useless bling.

    It looks to me like Suzuki is slipping into the rugged, reliable and economical slot formerly held by Subaru. Here's hoping they can come up with a mid-sized AWD to complement the SX4, which is selling very well here in Colorado.

    I'm looking for a great deal on an '09. If I can't find one, I won't be buying a new Subaru any time soon.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Looks are purely subjective. The new 2010 Outback is clearly a better car where it counts.

  • I was under the impression that the cars were actually cheaper across the board than their predecessors. At least the sedans seem to be. Based on what I've seen they are pretty competitive with Toyo/Honda/Nissan offerings, but have AWD. The size increase has helped greatly with the interior room, which, as a tall person, eliminated Subaru for consideration with the earlier model. I looked at the 2.5 Limited sedan and thought it was pretty nice for $24,500. Only issue I had was the hard plastic on the top of the dash - Subaru should have gone soft touch on this part.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    I'm looking for a great deal on an '09. If I can't find one, I won't be buying a new Subaru any time soon

    Be sure to look at the Forester too. It has better back seat room than the 2009 Outback! And the styling is to my eye more pleasant.
  • freeneyfreeney Posts: 1
    Just drove the 2010 Legacy and came away impressed. CVT is smooth and consistent. The cabin is quieter than prior Legacy models (though no mid-size car I've driven compares with the new, coffin-silent Malibu). The Legacy ride is reasonably firm but not harsh. The ergonomics suited my 6-foot frame to the extent it isn't hard to imagine driving a long distance and getting out feeling fresh. Shorter people will crane their necks to see out the back, though. Ingress and egress is probably best-in-class.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Royal Moore Subaru of Hillsboro OR was cordial as they let me take a closer look at the '10 Outback 2.5i Premium today.

    The exterior suggested a melding of '09 Tribeca and '09 Forester but with its own uniqueness. The lower door cladding appears designed to keep snow off the interior trim.

    There was a lot of room inside, far more than the '09 Outback. I didn't have to duck to get past the roof rail, and with the driver seat comfortably positioned, there was plenty of toe and leg room in the rear seat. There's soft trim on the upper door molding, and some brushed trim on upper console. The instruments and controls were easy to see and reach. The cargo area reminded me a lot of the Foresters, but there was more room, and a big HarmonKardon subwoof in the rear right corner.

    By comparison, the '09 Outback, with front seat set the same, had virtually no toe room and very little leg room.

    As I was not buying anything, I didn't ask to drive it.
    But I am very curious as to how that CVT improves the passing acceleration as well as fuel economy (some reports suggest 0-60 acceleration has improved to around 8 seconds).

    Still, in all honesty, if the '10 Outback design had been around when I compared '09 Forester to Outback, I may have ended up with the Outback. :shades:
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    I wouldn't exactly call the CVT "new." One of the first applications of a CVT was in a motorcycle in 1910 in England. In 1923, the Brits offered a CVT in an automobile application. However, the first mass produced application was by DAF in The Netherlands in 1958 for their DAF automobiles.

    In 1987, Subaru introduced the Justy in Japan with an ECVT (electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission). And, in 1989, the Justy became the first car offered with a CVT in the USA.

    Thus, CVT is not new technology.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    CVTs are actually older than you think—much older...

    Leonardo da Vinci, in 1490, conceptualized a stepless continuously variable transmission.

  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    Yes, I was aware of Leonardo da Vinci's design, but I only wanted to refer to the "modern era" - if you will.
  • On the surface it's very surprising that the CVT could achieve significant fuel savings over a manual transmission. Usually automatics come at a lower savings, not higher, when compared to manuals. But one item in the specs listed on cars101 are the front/rear power distribution ratios. With the 6-speed manual "symmetrical viscous coupling 50/50 front/back power split" is listed. With the CVT "constantly varying front/back power split 90/10 front/back power split" is listed. I wonder if this difference in ratios allows the CVT-based engines to send less power thru the driveshaft and rear differential, a path which may offer inefficiencies over power that is directed to the front wheels?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The CVT uses the same AWD as did the older 4-speed automatic (4EAT), with the same front/rear power splits, and still gets better gas mileage.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Saw it on TV last night. The theme was hand-me-downs, as in the younger child always getting stuff from older siblings and/or parents. Finally, towards the end the parents get a new Outback, and their old Outback gets handed down to this kid, suggesting that the kid will also get this 2010 Outback someday.

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    As has been said, the CVT is not new. I have had it in a Civic 97 HX and a 04 Audi A4. In terms of smoothness., power, & fuel efficiency the CVTit beats the snot out of any other transmission I have had. I love shifting a good manual (e.g. typical Honda, even Subaru) but fact is that the CVT is simply a better transmission. I never had any issues with mine & am not aware of problems with any manufacturers . Yes there are not millions & millions of them out there with 100,000 plus miles, but so far they appear to be very reliable.

    Because of the fact that the CVT almost instantaneously takes a engine to its peak horsepower & torque & then stays there until one lets up on the gas, it sounds & feels odd.. But nothing does the job as well & it in 5 -10 years everyone will be used to it. I am still bemoaning the fact that the 2010 Forester does not have a CVT & may well buy a Outback instead solely for that reason.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Had everything but NAVI. Since I had already driven two 2.5i models, and an Outback, I was more focused on the 6-speed tranny.

    ...And it's a sweet unit, indeed. I don't understand what the complaints were from (some of) the media. I found it to be a really good shifting unit. Yeah, it's a little notchy, but I like that.

    I was also particularly impressed with the large center armrest and the relationship it had with the shift lever. It was just so natural to rest your arm on it while shifting; really good ergonomics there.

    As some of you know I'm a big fan of the gear indicator, which this car has. 5th and 6th gears are so close, you could easily forget what gear you're in, and this little touch is really appreciated, at least by me. It's interesting that the gear readout does not show when the clutch is pushed in. So, if you're at a stop light with the clutch in, it doesn't show.

    My drive was limited to some interstate and city driving. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to find some windy roads, as I would have liked to have seen how it handled those roads. Ah... another excuse to go and drive one.

    Compared to my '09 WRX, it is much more refined, very quiet and softer riding (but still firm). Well, it is a "GT" after all. It will make taking trips really something to look forward to, as it's a great highway car. My WRX feels and is faster, and in that respect I'm a little disappointed in the GT. I can't help but wonder what this car would be like with a 3.6 turbo.

    And yeah, the seats need better side bolstering—especially if it's to be a true grand touring sedan. Oh, that e-parking brake? It does feel weird with a manual tranny. Not sure I like with a manual?

  • Bob,
    Having driven both transmissions (6-speed and CVT) and also you being a fan on a good manual what would/will you now get if you were/are buying a 2010 H4 Outback? How did the acceleration feel and which accelerated faster?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Tough question. I think I'd get the CVT, only because—for this kind of vehicle—I think the CVT makes more sense. The Outback is not a sporty car, whereas the LGT is, and the 6-speed makes more sense for that model, I think. Also, I have not driven a non-turbo 6-speed, so I can't address the acceleration aspect of that powertrain combo. Having said that, if you really prefer shifting for yourself, the 6-speed manual I think will be fine—if you can find one, as I suspect those models will be hard to find.

    Also, I'm used to driving a WRX. So when I get into my wife's '01 Forester automatic, it seems dog-slow to me.

  • jhdjhd Posts: 20
    Nissans has been using CVT"s starting 2003 (or 2002) model. There were tranny problems reported, more back few years ago. I looked at Altimas and CVT was what turned me away as far as reliability. Not much towing capacity neither. They even tell you not to drive it on the highway during the first weeks. Once you wear out a groove in the pulleys, you are done. No replacement parts with exception to valve module. Other then that, the whole tranny needs to be replaced ($8-$9k here). Then the MINI tranny issue just popped up a couple of months back. $11k for replacement, many cases reported, there was a program about it on TV. So I decided to buy 2009 Legacy with 4 auto. Picked it up yesterday, it is looking to be a great car.
    I heard that 2010 Subaru CVT is of a chain type, different then Nissan. Hopefully they designed out the troubles (that they know of).
    On the other hand, I have always been too conservative, so take it for what is worth.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Subie CVT chain belt is made by the same company that supplies CVTs to Audi. I don't expect any problems. Having said that, I'd probably opt for an extended warranty, just in case something does crop up.

    As to towing, the CVT-equipped Outback is rated to tow the same as last year's 4EAT Outback.

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    We plan to replace our 04 A4 & 03 Forester XS in the next couple of months with one car that will be primarily the wife's and our travel / hauling / towing / winter weather car. (Our second car will be a recently acquired used Honda Del Sol which I will be my daily driver / econ- car). The O9 Forester has been prominate on my radar since introduced. More recently the Outback (thanks to the improvement in performace & mpg that should result from the new CVT) and the Jetta Sportwagen Tdi (thanks to 40+ highway mpg) have also entered the fray.

    On the way back from a great family weekend we decided to stop by & look at size up the three candidates at an automall about 20 miles from our city. We agreed to only kick tires & not drive anything today.

    1st stop the VW / Mistubishi lot. Only a couple of sales people there, no customers to be seen anywhere. The Jetta Sportwagen Tdi looks sharp, felt good - somewhat similar to the our A4 - & certaintly would seem to be the least expensive to purchase with leather (acutally a hard to tell from leather vinyl material) & drive. But it does not have much ground clearance (about 5.5") & it simply did not seem like the practical choice for towing a 2000 lb bass boat or taking it on rough, rutted forest service roads to ge to hiking trails in the Pacific NW.

    Next stop the Subaru dealer across the street. About 3 customers were looking at cars as we pulled in. The 1st thing I noticed was a person from our neighborbod was negotiating her trade on the 2010 Outback Ltd on the showroom floor (they also had a 2010 OB Premium on the lot). We went to look at 2010 Forester Ltd only to be quickly told to back off by another sales guy as he was getting the keys to take it for a test drive. Went to look at a O9 Forester Ltd & there was a couple expressing interest in it!

    After looking over & sitting in both models, my wife liked the Outback better. Prefered the smaller moon roof & interior roominess / appearance and & exterior appearance. The seats were indeed very comfortable on the showroom floor & I have not doubt the car will be a very pleasant ride. I was surprised that the armrest in the new OB did not extendable like that in the new Forester. While visually the cargo area in the new OB looks bigger apparently it is is only marginally larger (according to measurements on then that of the Forster. So it looks like the OB placed more emphasis on passenger room than cargo room.

    As for me, the increased passenger space & comfort of the OB is appealing to us 60 year olds.But the biggest draw for me on the OB is the CVT & approximately 20% greater fuel efficiency. I suspect that will be a favorable factor 5 -10 years from now when it comes time to sell it & gas prices are presumable significantly increased. That said, I still have a soft spot for the Forester - I like the idea that it is a bit smaller, has a smaller turning circle & presumable will feel a bit crisper & lighter when taking it into a tight corner at speed or pulling out to pass. It will take a 20 mile test drive to really compare the comfort & handling of the two. Plus I will reading professional reviews and watching forums such as this looking for trusted opinions.

    Two months ago, I thought purchasing a new 09 Forester shortly after the 2010s were introduced was inevitable. But with no incentives and only a few 09 Forester Limiteds available, the alure of an O9 Forester is fast dimming. We have $900 Subbie Bucks & can't get any more until end of August. But then I can rack up $500 more pretty quick with business purchases. So I think we will probably we ready to deal in September & hopefully some of the pent up demand for an updated OB will have cooled down.

    When the sales guy said he could give me a good price on any of them I informed him that we had the VIP plan & my starting price would be 2% below invoice he noticably got quiet. I am not sure if I was wise to disclose that so early, but it seemed to take a little wind out of his sail. He actually asked me not to tell others about the VIP plan !

    By the time we left my neighbor's was smile was bigger than when we came in & the folks that looked at the 2010 Forester we talking trade-in values. I would have guessed folks would be looking for deals on the 09s, but at least for the hour we were there, the 2010s were all the rage! So,in NW WA, people are buying Subarus & not just last years left overs. It looks like Subaru a great time to be a Subbie salesperson & that SOA may finish the already record year real strong.
  • sevenseassevenseas Posts: 44
    No 2010 Outbacks at the local Long Beach Ca Subaru dealership. They are expecting them in two weeks. But what is the VIP plan?
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    The clutch indicator light wasn't included in the Subaru as that function was already included in the operator's leg-brain sensor. Prior to, and in communion with, Subaru's involvement in the matter. And the gear position in indicated by the equation = [(your right hand's position in space) + (your memory)]. If these abilities are beyond your capability, there's a fine automatic trans as well.

    You may think this "over the top" and "undeserved". Unless you've over 40. Shame on you for asking the rest of us to pay for a light that tells you where your left foot is.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    A clutch light? I never asked for that.

    Yep, I'm well over 40, and judging by your post, probably have been driving a stick-shift longer than you have been on this planet.

  • dbtdbt Posts: 298
    And the gear position in indicated by the equation = [(your right hand's position in space) + (your memory)].

    This may be news to you, but some of us drive with our right hand on the steering wheel. Maybe it's just something you pick up when you turn 40 ;)
  • my trusted indep. shop that specializes in Audi/Porsche/VW (and has worked on my Audis for 12 yrs.) said that there have been a lot of problems with the Audi CVTs, so this does not give me a good feeling about the Subaru CVT on the OB.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    a lot of problems with the Audi CVTs

    That's what I found with web searches, but it is possible that those CVTs were earlier ones with the 5 plate rather than the 7 plate clutch which was in later models. Who has up-to-date information?
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I am all ears to hear more about CVT problems. Apparently my great - but limited - experience with two CVTs (relativley low mileage ones at that) may not be universal. Can someone illuminate us regarding the pluses & minuses of 5 plate clutches CVTs vs 7 plate clutches CVTs & which one the OB has? This is such a great place to share & learn -- thanks! :)
  • One issue my wife and I have with the 2009 Outback is the lack of a center overhead LATCH hook. As a result you can't mount a child seat in the center, the generally preferred location. With the 2010 Ouback being wider can child seats now be center mounted using the LATCH system?
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    Hey Bob. Thanks for the post - your are always informative. I had just gotten home from a grueling 450 mile drive late Sunday night when I read it. It was well after 1:00am when I was trying to wind down from the drive that I wrote my reply. My apologies. Of course, I get it now. You wrote "It's interesting that the gear readout does not show when the clutch is pushed in." It read as if you'd complained about the lack of the light showing the condition called "when the clutch is pushed in". (my eight-grade English teacher would have red-inked that one and suggested the word "while" for "when". But that was 1967, as was taught by the Urasuline Order in NE Ohio)

    For the record, is top gear to the right and up, or down? How long were the throws? I too find the center-armrest-to-shifter arrangement can make or break the pleasure of a particular vehicle's driving. I loved my '99 Pathfinder for that, and the fact that resting my hand on the shifter knob while in 5th put the radio controls a finger-length away.

    For the record, I've owned over 35 cars & trucks, more than half of them were stick-shift, and none of them had a light to tell me what gear I'm in. Not sure I'd use it if I had it. I always put the shifter in neutral and then let out the clutch while at stoplights of any appreciable length, anyway. Force of habit, I suppose, having replaced a few throwout bearings in my time.

    Keep the posts coming, Bob. Let us know if you spring for the Legacy GT.
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