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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback



  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    edited November 2010
    Reading some of these comments, I feel myself lucky w/ my 2010 Outback 4 w/ CVT. Power's adequate for me and no noticeable, let alone excessive noise from the tranny, either. At 2K RPMs, I'm usually doing around 72 mph on a flat surfaced freeway w/o any vibration at all; 2.5K at 84. Cruise-control gives me great mileage, 32+ on freeway and much smoother up and down hills than my previous Forester's CC. Only complaint is smaller sunroof, but then I had a Forester before and was spoiled by its.

    BTW, my sister, an RN who drives all over NW IN thru all the weather it has to offer, first turned me on to Subarus, and she's now in her third. I live in SoCal, too, and only get to experience its winter handling qualities when I go to the mts., but it really is the best car I've ever driven in snow, including heavy, 12"+ snow. Just make sure you get the winter handling package, as those heated seats and mirrors will really come in handy in and around Erie.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,910
    I doubt downshifting with the paddles will be an issue at all. You do have the CVT, and I am not familiar with that transmission enough to be able to say definitively, but the paddles are electronic controls so the programming should prevent a downshift that will cause damage or excessive wear.

    I used to have a '96 Outback with the 4EAT, and I manually downshifted with that all the time. I had it to 220,000 miles and while it had its share of problems, I never had any problems with the transmission at all.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    Since you asked for advice, here's mine:

    (i) A Subaru is probably a good idea. AWD is what they do, and you are one of the few people who can be said to "need" it. Don't underestimate a good set of snow tires will do for you in a front driver with decent ground clearance, though. AWD with all-season tires t is a travesty, IMO.

    (ii) If money is an issue, look carefully at what you can buy a new Subaru for. Unless you want to buy before winter, there are several options to make a new one more attractive. There is the VIP purchase program, which gets you a new car at (I believe) 2 percent behind invoice, so long as you belong to one of a number of outdoorsy organizations, like the Int'l Mountain Bikea [non-permissible content removed]'n, the American Canoeist whatsit, and a number of others. Including the American [non-permissible content removed]'n for the Advancement of Science, at least temporarily, but I digress...

    Also, there's the Chase Subaru card, which kicks 3% of turnover back to you in the form of $100 "bills" that you can spend on a car or maintenance or parts. I've got two -- one for the missus and one for me -- and they're starting to add up. The limit per card is $500/year.

    Do an Edmunds search for details on these programs.

    (iii) Buy it new. I don't believe you can save money on a used Subaru over a new one. They hold their value, and this is not good news on the used side. On top of that, they are somehwat finicky about maintenance, so once you get past 50k miles or so, you may have to play catch-up on your own nickel.

    It may well be that a gussied-up Limited is a good deal used, but for your garden-variety base models and Premiums, I don't see it. I gave up looking for used Subarus -- and Hondas, and most Toyotas -- years ago, because the savings aren't there.

    Yeah the payment is smaller, but now you're stretching it out to the 8th year of the car's life and have maintenance costs at the same time... no thanks.

    Good luck,
  • "They are somewhat finicky about maintenance..."

    Does this mean Subarus, once past 50K, tend to have things go wrong? Are the engines less durable, or the drive trains, or....

    While Volkswagen might not be the most reliable brand out there, I've only had three occasions to shell out more than $200 at a time for repairs: A timing belt/water pump change, new front struts and replacing a starter motor. All the rest has been maintenance I would have done on any vehicle. I realize every car needs work now and then, but do Subarus need more TLC more often?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    No, not "things go wrong" type of finicky.

    The 2.5 l boxers of some years were prone to head gasket failure, but I think that's been fixed, or 99% fixed... the new Consumer Reports has them rated very well since '04 or something.

    But they do have timing belts, at lest until very recently, and that's tow of them, and they have to be done. And the water pump while you're at it. I looked at a Legacy once, nice car but the owner was complaining about the high cost of maintenance when I called him about the car. That should have told me something.

    When I got to the car, it was leaking a little oil, why? Not happy with the quote from the dealer, he took it to a mom & pop repair shop, who didn't know to change a couple of seals while they were at it. Since I don't "do" oil drips, I was going to have to basically have the job done over, just because Cletus had decided to save fifty bucks. That was the day I stopped looking at used Subes.

    From your description, you will put 2xx thousand miles on your car over ten years. A new Subie will likely do that, esp. if you maintain it by the book. A Forester can be had, VIP pricing, for $20, and an Ouback for a grand or two more. It won't be the fancy model, but it'll have the important features, the safety stuff, and AWD. If you do your research on used Subaru prices, I think you'll find that on a "per mile" or a "per year" basis, you won't save any money by buying used.

    CNN/Money today has a feature about the "best resale value" cars, and the Outback is on it. They also have an article about the "record high" used-car prices.

    For a real-life example, even if it's a few years old and preachy, look at

    Some cars you buy new, some you buy used.
    Hondas, Subies, and most Toyotas you buy new.

    Cheers -Mathias
  • :mad: The "projector" low beam headlights on my 2011 Outback create an unacceptable dangerous condition which in my opinion is a serious design flaw which warrants a factory recall. If I had test driven this vehicle at night, I would not have purchased it. On hilly roads, the area illuminated by the low beams ends too close to the vehicle at a sharp boundary beyond which there is zero illumination. The "blind zone" can be as close as 20 feet away when the vehicle is facing an incline in the road. This condition forces the driver to use the high beams while too close to nearby drivers, both facing and from behind. I took it to the dealer. The service department said they were normal and there was nothing they could do about it.

    Any suggestions? I'm afraid this condition is going to result in an accident.

    Ranger Dan
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    Is this your first car with projector headlights? If so, it might well be normal. My wife's Toyota Venza has the same sharp upper cutoff, which is indeed very noticeable on up-and-down roads. It's annoying at times, but is now the standard in auto headlights. I'm fairly certain you can adjust the headlights up, but you risk getting them too high, which will blind oncoming drivers.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,910
    Yes, that's normal for projector lights. I agree that it is a sharp cutoff. My '10 Forester is much better than the Legacy/Outback in that regard, but it does not have the same style lights (I'm not sure why they would go with two different illumination modes, but that's for another conversation!).

    The best way to negate that problem, Dan, is to add a set of low beam auxiliary lights to fill in the weak spots on your projectors. You can usually find them fairly compact and in various shapes so that you can mount them discretely on the vehicle.

    If you adjust the projector lamps, you will blind oncoming drivers and get a lot of flashes, as those lights are very bright in their operational range.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Projector headlights..."normal?" Thinking of the visual impairment they impose on the driver as "normal" seems rather like considering the disability caused by macular degeneration (blindness in the center field of vision) as normal. I don't think I can get used to driving at night with a moving curtain of blindness that might be concealing a deer, a pedestrian, or a rock in the road as close as 20 feet away while using the low beams. The area illuminated does seem quite bright, but at a cost to the driver's distance vision that seems insane to me.

    And then there's the impact on nearby drivers. I was following my friend's car last night while I noticed the curtain moving up and down his rear view mirror. He said it was very annoying to him, like I was flashing my brights. Come to think of it, I've had the same experience on the road, both facing and being followed by cars that must have projector headlights.

    What a bogus engineering blunder these things are. Were they only tested on on an airport-flat test track before approval for use in cars? How many people have been killed because of them? How in the world could anybody desire such a driving handicap? What planet am I on??

    The dealer refused to aim them higher. I'm seeking solutions. Anybody? I will not keep this car if I don't find one.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    edited November 2010
    You might want to have an independent shop check your headlight alignment. Maybe your lights can be safely raised a bit and still not blind oncoming drivers. I doubt they can be raised much, though, and if you get them too high be prepared for lots of oncoming drivers flashing their high beams at you. You will still have the sharp cutoff. which will be apparent on up and down roads.

    There are also aftermarket bulbs and headlight upgrades. Perhaps some of these will make it better for you. I can't recommend any, but I know they are out there.

    If you decide to not keep your car, I'd say you better be prepared to test drive a LOT of cars at night, and also be prepared to compromise in other ways, because almost all new cars have projector headlights with a sharp upper cutoff. That is the new norm, as in "normal". If you do a quick internet search, you will see lots of people having the same complaint with lots of different brands and models. Consumer Reports includes a sentence or two on headlights in each car review, so you might want to start there.

    No matter what you do, don't make your improvement at the cost of oncoming drivers. I hate when an oncoming car has its headlights or foglights aimed too high, blinding me.
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Among the mainstream family cars, only the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord still have non-projector headlights. The rest (Camry, Sonata etc., most if not all European cars) have projectors.

    Consumer Reports routinely slams projector headlights for the sharp cutoff. However, they focus the light much better and are being universally adopted.

    I would agree that after-market ugrades are the best solution.
  • frenchguy007frenchguy007 Posts: 28
    edited November 2010
    It seems that Subaru Canada cannot get a reasonable price and availability for winter tires and rims. They quoted me close to $1,700.00 out the door (taxes in). Four tires were $1200 plus taxes. Of course they do not have stock so it is a wait. I am so disappointed in this car, so many steps back from my '08 Altima, let's see the list again.

    lousy bluetooth system
    No rear HVAC ducts
    No rear reading lights
    No courtesy headlights when you stop and leave the car at night (5 minute delay)
    No auto door locks
    Poor A/C system
    Front seats have no support and are uncomfortable
    Winter tires are hard to get in November in Canada!
    No one at the dealer or at Subaru Canada can differentiate the 3.6R model from the turbo, constantly being told that parts are available but end up being for the Turbo model that is not the same
    Satellite antenna is an aftermarket job glued to the inside front windshield (on a $35K car!)
    Car HVAC constantly reverts to recirculating air, makes the windows all humid.
    Emergency hazards are always being hit because of placement near the shifter

    Luckily this is a lease and I have less than two years left on it. Cannot wait to get rid of this thing, it is causing me so much grief, buyers beware!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm a bit puzzled - did you test drive it?

    Most of those things should have been readily apparent.

    The one I have most trouble with is the "Front seats have no support and are uncomfortable". That should have been obvious.

    For the next car ask for a longer test drive, some dealers will even let you keep a car overnight. Best of luck.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Winter tires are hard to get in November in Canada!

    Shocking!! Winter tires are already hard to get in New England and the snow hasn't even started.

    Why did you go to the dealer? Did you really expect them to have a good price on tires? Especially snow tires - in Canada - in November??

    If I were you, I'd check out tirerack or discounttire for options.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,910
    edited November 2010
    If I were you, I'd check out tirerack or discounttire for options.

    I second that. I know you're just leasing, but take a little ownership. :sick:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I ended up at an aftermarket tuner shop for the tires. This is a better option than paying customs brokerage charges and freight on US sold tires for Canada. As for the other stuff, I should have done a longer test drive, as they say; it's all in the details.

    In my opinion Subaru needs to sweat the small stuff a little more.

    One final note, once I actually took possession of the car (and after my test drive) the sales manager said to me, " when you first start the car make sure you let it idle for 60 seconds before doing anything". According to him the boxer engine needs that time to properly build oil pressure and therefore lubricate the engine properly.

    A cold start on my car has the engine revving at 2,000rpm for the first minute, sounds like a racing engine! It worries me about the longevity.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 123
    I own a 2010 OB LTD that I've had just over 1 yr. Got a nice surprise in the mail today. 2 $25 vouchers from SOA valid until 11/2014 for products or services at a Subaru dealer. This is for my patience & cooperation with the recalls of the last several months. Much appreciated!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Now I'm bummed my 2009 Subaru has been trouble-free, LOL.

    Happy Holidays!
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Yeah - so WAS mine, the best car I've owned in 40 years. Unfortunately it got totalled tonight on my way home from work (Annapolis) at the route 2/4 intersection. I stopped at a long line of stopped cars for the red light, but the young driver behind me in an Impala never slowed down and hit me going "at least 60" according to him. He admitted he was entirely at fault and did the right thing checking on me and the driver of the jeep into which my 09 Outback was driven by the impact.

    The Outback did exactly what it was designed to do - crumple and sacrifice itself to save me. I'm banged up and sore, but can't imagine what would have happened if I got hit from the rear while stopped with one of the cars I drove as a kid. My 69 VW? Yikes.

    Now I've got to decide on a replacement. I drive 110 miles a day and hypermiling my Outback, got 29.8 mpg overall since new. I like subarus but not the new ones and the 09s hold their value too well to buy used. Plus I'd never find one as nice or as cared for as meticulously as I did mine. That's about the lowest fuel economy I can accept for this much driving. I also have to decide on a new safe car or a less safe junker that I won't care about - because with this route, its only a matter of "when", not "if" you get in an accident, since I see them every day with a fatality about once every two to three weeks. My insurance agent tells me that MD route 2/4 is in the highest rating class for accidents and fatalities.

    I just bought an extended 5/100K warranty about 6 weeks ago from Don at Mastria - I guess I have to call & try to get a partial refund.

    The only lesson right now: don't fall in love with your perfect car, because it can be gone in an instant.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 123
    So sorry to hear of your accident, but glad you're OK. Just curious. Why don't you like the new Subarus? This is my 3rd (2010 OB LTD). Had 2 Foresters previously, but didn't like the redesign. So I looked at the new Outbacks. Wasn't wild about the looks, but all else was great, including MPG with CVT. Suggest you take a test drive of both the Forester & OB before you scratch Subaru off your list.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    edited November 2010
    Thanks Jeff,
    Yeah, I'm a big fan of subarus, and this was my fourth, but bought the 09 before the 10's came out because I was concerned about the roof racks on the new ones. I carried kayaks on my roof and the new '10 rack is a disappointment after using the better old standby. I also don't trust CVTs in general and really liked the sport mode of the old 4 speed AT for hills. The new Outback option packages don't make sense to me either - I was spoiled by my 09. The new 2011 Forester might be worth a look because of the new engine, but I guess at this point, I'm in mourning for the loss of my "perfect car" that I researched for years and bought when the outfitting and options made sense to me. The solution would seem to be to find a certified used 09 - but there are none that were maintained and treated so meticulously. I took a fair amount of abuse about the loving care I gave that Outback. Literally, it did not have a scratch or door ding on it (garaged at home and parked far away from others at work). When it was hit last night, it was cleaner than when I bought it new.

    It says a lot about a car that can be hit at a standstill from behind by a heavier car at 60mph+ and I was able to open the driver's door and get out, just a little banged up and sore.

    The route I drive is so dangerous that I'm leaning toward something safe that I won't care about when it gets clobbered. Maybe a POS Crown Vic. I see accidents every day and there are days it has taken me 4 hours to get home due to accident delays.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wow, that sucks. Glad you're OK, though.

    Forester is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Front, side, rear, and even roof impacts - good protection from any angle.

    That's about half an hour from where I live, I think the thing is those look and feel like highways but they're not - lights creep out of nowhere. The driver probably was inattentive and them came up on your red light...bam!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    The driver probably was inattentive and them came up on your red light...bam!

    Perhaps the replacement vehicle should be whichever one has the brightest taillights.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    I knew you were close to that area so I mentioned the exact location. The worst spot there is actually once you merge onto route 4S from 2S (which is 1/4 mile from my wreck). First you have to cross the two route 4N lanes to get to the fast lane of 4S with little merge area. Its crazy to have drivers merging into that left lane. That is the only place where I have ever seen a severed head in the road, from a Prius that tried to merge and was torn apart by a truck, killing both driver and passenger (his son). That is literally a nightmare commute.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    morin2, sorry about your car, and it probably is worth a look for a lightly-used 2008 or 2009 replacement. I wouldn't limit the search to certified used cars. The "certification" process is largely smoke and mirrors, and is more of a marketing strategy than anything else. Just look for a car in good condition. I'm guessing you know about all of the normal internet sites: in addition to Edmunds, you can look on and
  • I would suggest you use a synthetic oil (Mobil 1, Ams-Oil, Penzoil) :shades: in your engine. I believe you'll find this will provide the added protection you are seeking.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    edited December 2010
    I agree with the other posters here about the projector headlamps...they are different from HIDs which I have in my other car (CTS), but I certainly dont find them unacceptable, even on inclines...the beam is truely a focused beam..I find running with my fog lights on also fills in a lot of area...

    Not sure an aux set of low beams will solve your issue/ you describe it..beleive you problem is when you reach the bottom of an incline and then begin to climb it...the abrupt cut off of lighting ahead is your issue..correct?

    As was mentioned be prepared to drive a lot of new vehicles at night as most are coming with projector headlamps these days or be prepared for a higher end model with HID as an option....I do love the adaptive HIDs on my CTS!
  • nedlyjnedlyj Posts: 89
    The headlights in my 2010 Honda Odyssey (and my neighbor's 2007) are exactly the same as our new 2011 Outback. There may be a slight light-bleed on the Odyssey making it sometimes appear as if there's just a bit softer edge at the top, but the cutoff above that edge is the same. Side by side against a wall (which I've tested) the beam's top edge cut-off is just about identical on the two vehicles.
  • Legacy sales seemed to have softened slightly for 2010, but there are incentives now available ahead of the 2011 hitting showrooms.

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  • Can anyone tell me what the difference is between "Full Auto" and "Auto" on the climate controls? When I am in full auto I can have the unit control temperature and fan speed, however I can only get heat to my feet. If I change the mode to anything but feet the unit goes into "Auto" mode and in that mode my fan speed never abates unless I lower it myself.

    I am trying to understand what is "Auto" about that mode if I can ..."then manually control the system as desired"... Quote taken from the owner's manual
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