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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback



  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Are the Outside mirrors breakaway designs?

    I'm under the impression they are required to be so by law. Usually there are shear pins. But that still means several hundred dollars for a bumped mirror that should have been folded when parked on a narrow street. I traverse one local street daily where there are mirror parts routinely found and many cars are parked with their street-side mirrors folded in.

    Perhaps most 2010 Outback purchasers will be suburban, small town and country-dwellers who don't care. Those of us in central cities will have to choose other models: Forester, RAV4,, various Hondas, VWs and Audis.
  • nwbearnwbear Posts: 20
    Perhaps I'm wrong, but don't replacement mirrors still have to be custom painted to match the vehicle? I broke a mirror on a Honda ten years ago and if I remember correctly replacing the plastic housing cost several hundred dollars just for parts. Since it was unpainted black plastic, having it painted was and additional $100+. The total a decade ago was nearly $400 not including installation and I ended leaving it broken because the repair was nearly a tenth of the value of the car.

    Even without body damage replacing a mirror should easily be $500+ these days.
  • I just spent $170 or so replacing a non folding mirror on my wife's '05 Toyota Matrix -- she clipped it in a garage and cracked it.... it came painted in the correct color and I installed it myself in an hour or less.
  • I can only assume that the cost of replacing a broken mirror would be higher if you also had ordered the Cold Weather Package since the outside mirrors are then heated.
  • jccinohjccinoh Posts: 9
    We currently own a 2009 Outback (love it) and (lease) at 2007 Chevy Impala. The lease on the Impala is up in about 6 months so we have started shopping around to get some ideas. We bought the Outback about 7 months ago and it was our first ever Subaru...and we love it! The solid feel, quiet ride and of course the AWD is great. Anyway, my wife and I are now heading back to Subaru to perhaps purchase another and become a 2-subie family. Prior to purchasing the Outback we also test drove a Forrester. I was wondering if anyone has ever owned both an Outback and Forrester and could give me some input as to which they preferred to drive? Any real difference in quality? Any experiance would be appreciated!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    A notable difference is place of manufacture: Forester = Japan; Outback = Lafayette Indiana assembly with about one half of the components from Japan or other foreign origin.

    If I remember correctly, Consumer Reports' historical reliability ratings favor the Forester over the Outback or Legacy. With neither heco en Mexico, both are a good bet.

    The Forester has the same passenger compartment room as the new Outback, but less cargo capacity and is shorter to park. A fully accesorized Forester is not much cheaper than a similar Outback. A stripped Forester is still a nice car at a very good price. The Forester has a less isolated ride than the Outback.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Forester may be a bit more fun to drive, but the Outback will be quieter and a bit more comfortable. The new 2010 Outback actually gets better EPA ratings for the H4 model than the Forester H4.

  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    Test drove a 2010 Outback and a 2010 Forester last weekend and really was impressed with CVT, which showed 2K RPM at 70 MPH. Too bad the Forester lacks it - or even the 5 speed AT or the H-6. But, the '10 Forester was much peppier than my '03 Forester.

    But I digress: what are the differences between the '09 and '10 Foresters? Same engine, tranny, output, etc. Anything else? I ask because I really LOVE the HUGE sunroof on Foresters and don't want to give that up for the Outback, as nice as it is. Talk to me!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    As to the '10 Forester? Minor stuff. New instruments with white needles, Bluetooth now part of the NAVI and the mic incorporated in the ceiling by the reading lamps, the X Premium comes with a standard power driver's seat, AWD badge added on rear hatch below Subaru name, there's a new color (sort of a dark orange); that's about it.

  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I have a '99 Lexus RX300. It has terrible AWD. I am ready for a new car and am considering the new Outback and the new Equinox. (By the way I couldn't consider the Outback before the recent upsizing.) Any thoughts?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    My experiences when comparing '09 Outback and Forester XT models is the Outback handled rough roads with less trauma than the Forester did. My hunch is the Forester has weak rebound damping (especially in the rear) which causes its wheels to "dance" over heavilly rutted surfaces like multiple road craters. The better damped Outback had no such problem.

    However, the Outback leaned a lot more in turns, and its turbo was far peakier and needed more revs to engage.

    My hunch is the shock characteristics will be the same for the '10 models.

    And as an aside:

    Any Forester fanatics out there have suggestions for shocks with better rebound damping than stockers?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Lots of concern expressed here about non-folding mirrors. Certainly it was a cost-cutting move, and folding ones would be preferable, but...

    having owned 28 vehicles over more years than I wish to think about, I have only broken one side mirror in all that time (my fault)...on an Oldsmobile Touring Sedan. My body shop was able to screw the plastic housing back on, fill the resulting holes and touch up the paint for very little $$. No one was the wiser when the car was traded in, and the new owner was pleased with car's condition.

    If you are so unfortunate as to damage a folding mirror, it is even more expensive to replace. I actually prefer power folding mirrors, but they would be even more $$ if they ever needed repair. Bottom line, if I like the vehicle, the lack of folding mirrors would never be a deal breaker for me. To each their own.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437 -for-everyone/

    They agree with is now one fine looking wagon. And while some may like the looks of the Forester better, the Outback rides much better and gets better mileage as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've always been a Forester fan, so I will step up to defend it. :shades:

    Truth be known, on paper the Legacy/Outback often do better, we thought the same when we got our 2002 Legacy L. But...ownership experience wasn't nearly as rewarding as either of our Forester, 98 or 2009. Not even close. My wife may even say her Legacy was her least favorite car ever, while her new 2009 Forester is her favorite.

    Some things are hard to quantify, but the Forester is just ... user-friendly. It has a tidier exterior size, you sit up a lot higher and can see everything and everybody, you feel like a King. The OB is higher than the Legacy but you're still not sitting on a King's Perch by a long shot.

    The new 2009 Forester is very attractive, the 2010 Outback, to my eyes, is not. I could get over that, I'm sure, but the Forester's styling is easy to love. The Outback has a great personality. :P

    Mind you it's not ugly, just not as attractive as the 05-09.

    Forget the EPA cubic feet numbers, the Forester has a box-shaped cargo hold and the Outback does not. Sure the floor is a tad wider and longer, only a tad, but the rear glass impedes so badly that you'll need to fold the seats to fit a single large box. There's no reason the hatch glass shouldn't be a FOOT farther back, seriously. Great floor space, awful cargo height. So you can pack things in, but when you try to close the hatch - DOH! Gotra re-arrange the cargo again.

    Good thing is has a cool roof rack with hidden cross bars. You'll use it often!

    Where did the cool dual moonroof go? One small one? That's it? This is an $800 moonroof compared to the Forester's $2000 stadium-like retractable roof.

    Night and day. $1200 value added, IMHO. The price is $2700 lower but factor in the moonroof and call it $4 grand.

    The folding mirror doesn't matter until your wife drives into the 4x4 supporting our car port. On the 2002 Legacy it was a white paint stain, on the OB it would be 5 of our $100 Subaru Bucks certificates down the drain.

    Gunma build quality > SIA in Indiana. Close, but true.

    Forester has a useable eBrake. For steep inclines, playing in the snow, etc. I would miss it.

    Angles of approach, departure, and break-over angles will be better on the Forester. Ground clearance is just the beginning. I'm sure the Outback's cladding will get caught up way, WAAAAAAY before the Forester's does. Park the OB and hike to where the Forester will take you.

    My biggest gripe, though, is that in the higher price class where the Outback competes, it's lacking the soft-touch plastics that you might expect. It's a tiny bit better than the Forester, perhaps, but the Forester compares better with other vehicles in its price range.

    Basically if I were willing to step up and pay $30 grand for a loaded Outback, as opposed to $25 grand for a loaded Forester, it's missing the things I would expect to get in that price range.

    That's not quite fair - it's not $30 grand, but you get my point.

    How much is a 2010 OB 2.5i Limited CVT? With a moonroof?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK so I looked it up.

    2010 Forester X 2.5 Limited pseudo-convertible: $25,185

    2010 Outback 2.5i Limited w/mini-Moonroof: $28,235

    So I'm looking at spending over $3 grand extra and still giving up the most visible feature I love about the Forester - that huge moonroof.

    I guess $28k is not a lot of money these days, I dunno. You could argue the extras it gets are worth it to some folks, but I'd still wait for the Forester to get the CVT and the best bits from the new Outback and get that instead, even if it takes until 2012 for the mid-cycle refresh.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    That's why they make so many different models...different folks are looking for different things. Off-roading, the Forester may win. But Rubicon doesn't interest me.

    You must realize the new Outback is 3" higher than the old one. And contrary to your eye, I think it is far more attractive than the old one. But the biggest appeal to me is the better ride and handling of the Outback (over the Forester). If you don't mind a busy ride, then that isn't an issue for you. And mirrors are an easy and cheap repair (and rarely needed, sorry about yours) if you get creative with your body shop.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Of course, Greg, keep in mind mine was a counterpoint to all the Outback love pouring out here. Gotta keep people honest. ;)

    I'm not talking about the Rubicon, I just want to know that my bumper isn't going to scrape the curb when I park at the mall, or when I drive over that big speed bump. These are everyday places where the Forester shines.

    The OB may be 3" taller but it still isn't up where the Forester is. People love SUVs for the high vantage point. I bet it's what they'll miss most if they move back to cars. Number one.

    I don't find the Forester's ride is "busy", as you say, but I have always simply preferred small vehicles with shorter wheelbases. They turn in sooner and feel more nimble to me.

    As for the mirror, aviboy might recall that I was a harsh critic of the previous-gen Mazda6 when it came out, because it lacked those also. To be fair, I think any shopper should at least be made aware of this. Honestly I think I've hit the mirror of every single car I've owned by mistake at least once. Probably twice on my 93 Miata.

    You may not recall it happening simply because no damage is done when they break away!

    I was the first to give kudos for the roomy passenger compartment and the ingenious cross bars built-in to the rack, search for my previous posts. But we can't just let them get away with cost-cutting and pretend we don't notice. They save 5 bucks, it costs us $500.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Outback will always be nicer and more feature-contented than the Forester. It's simply higher up on the Subaru food chain. So, yeah, it's more expensive, but you get more for your money. I think Elliott from NASIOC did a good job listing the Outback upgrades—and he's coming from a Forester.

    I know where you're coming from juice, but that huge moonroof is more a liability to me than a smaller one. On our Forester the moonroof way too noisy when open—so we never open it... I MUCH prefer the smaller moonroof on my WRX, as it's quiet and I get all the fresh air I need. Since we rarely use the rear seat, It doesn't matter to me if the rear passengers look up and see the roof and not the sky.

    In 2012, when the Forester gets it refresh, I bet Subaru will find a way to keep the Outback a few steps ahead of it.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Most buyers have kids. Especially people looking for a wagon.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    And with that in mind, the Outback is roomier than the Forester, both in seating and in the cargo area. The seats are wider, and there's more legroom.

    Here's a (long) video hosted by Dave Sullivan at the recent press event in Montana, and the specs are posted in there somewhere.

    There are several other videos from this event, which occurred about a week ago.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bookmarked it for viewing tomorrow. Will definitely watch that when I get time, thanks.

    In reponse to your post, though, I think the 09 Forester has more than enough space for our family of 4. If anything I would add length to the cargo area, not legroom, which is plentiful.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Keep in mind that your kids are small, so yeah, the rear seat room is fine. Once they become teenagers, maybe less so?

    The point I'm making is, as good as the Forester is in terms of space, the Outback is simply larger.

  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Just got home from comparing ride comfort, handling and interior noise. There were two winners:

    3.6l Outback Limited is a luxury ride in a class higher than any previous Subaru. However, handling was inferior to my present 3.0R VDC. Smoothness and silence equal that of premium marques. The seat was softer than previous Subarus.

    Forester Limited had ride quality very slightly worse than my 3.0R but great visibility and handling. Sound control was ok. Seat comfort was ok, but seating position might take a while to get used to. Interior design seemed better than the OB

    So the choice is between these two. The CVT sounded and felt like an old underpowered motorboat and handling, oddly, seemed inferior to the 3.6. All three of the new models have lighter steering and require less brake pedal pressure than my 3.0R.

    So it is a choice between a more sporting drive with space efficiency and value or a luxury ride that seems to have lost any sporting pretense. And then there is the non-folding mirror problem on the OB.
  • beachfish2beachfish2 Richmond VAPosts: 177
    I loved my '02 Forester, but now I'm spoiled by the open road (and up the mountain) acceleration of the '06 Avalon I've been driving. I don't do much in-town driving. A car that uses premium gas is not in my future.

    My problem with the new Outback? The headlights. Goodness gracious, did they give a design bonus to the person who could come up with the biggest, ugliest lights ever seen on the road? Whew, what a disaster. The word hodgepodge comes to mind. Maybe I won't be able to see them from behind the wheel.

    Does anyone know if the 6-cylinder Outback will be able to equal the 6.2 second 0-60 time of the Avalon XLS I have? It's only 268 hp and the car is huge, but it gets 27 to 32 mpg on the highway. Okay, 27 if you drive 70 to 80 like me and pass at will, even going uphill. :)

    And to think I drove an '86 GL 4wd wagon for 14 years and it only had 85 hp. I must have been more patient back then.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No test results yet, but I doubt 0-60 in 6.2. I'm guessing ~ 7.0 – 7.5 seconds.

  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    You ask about others with 2 subies. Well, we have 3, including my old 94 Legacy that my son now drives in college. My wife has a 07 Forester and I have an 09 Outback. While I like the new generation Forester, the lower height of the Outback is easier to load my kayak on the roof. Also, the Outback has more room for long items. I put a couple of 2"x6"x10' in the Outback last weekend (towel on the dashboard for protection). I don't want to do that often, but its nice to know it can be done in a pinch.

    The older generation Forester seems to have a steering wheel that is not as thick as my Outback's - almost as though one is for smaller (female) hands while the other fits large hands better. The wheel of the Outback feels better to me while that of the Forester feels better to my wife. I prefer taking corners a little faster in the Outback while my wife is content with point to point driving in the Forester. Its more important to her to sit up higher in her Forester. The 09 Outback is much quieter than the older Forester - don't know about the 09+Foresters. I prefer the Outback seats, she prefers her Forester seats. We think its a good his & her combo.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Again, different strokes...

    I've only hit one mirror in 28 vehicles owned. Given my questionable depth perception, I usually give myself more room when maneuvering through things, and I never park in a narrow parking space, as you are just asking for door dings.

    The difference in height between the OB (65.7") and the Forester (66.9") is negligible. The '10 OB is actually taller than the previous gen Forester. Both are too tall for me. I prefer to be able to wash and wax my vehicles where possible without having to get a stool or stepladder. Plus, I just like a lower center of gravity, because slowing and braking for corners is no fun. I'll never be one of those drivers who looks as if they are afraid they'll tip as they creep around corners...while uselessly applying (and wearing) their brakes when they are already going so slow they are barely moving. :P

    If I need something tall, I drive my F150 (whose top I can easily wax by standing in the bed). Otherwise its a car for me. Went through that SUV phase in the 1990s and became tired of always stepping up to get in, and not feeling as if the vehicle is tossable. Just different preferences...would much rather drive faster under the speed limit, than like most people, drive too fast for conditions in a straight line (risking disaster on the freeway) and then holding up traffic being pokey on the curvy two lanes.

    The Legacy at 59.3" is a tall sedan and right at the height limit over which I don't want to go. Moving the height up to 60" from 54" does have the benefit of greatly increasing leg room and volume, with more upright seating and all, so I can put up with it. Granted, the stability control systems have eliminated much of the "tipping" risk. But the taller you go, the harder it generally is on mpg...the OB gives up 2 mpg for that extra height over the Legacy.

    Once again, whatever floats yer boat...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dave: sounds like you think the Outback rides better but the Forester handles better? Would that be fair to say?

    Gregg: bring back the Legacy wagon, eh? Especially for the 2 extra mpg highway.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788 -for-everyone/

    I'm a bit surprised by this, as they pretty much gushed over this new Outback. It's not that they they are usually anti-Subaru (they're not), but it just seems that "Subaru Love" really connected here.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Got a chance to view that video, so now I'll comment on it.

    The seat heaters lost some settings, I saw just a high/low now. Forester has 5 IIRC.

    They did pare down the overhangs, which was a great idea. Cars101 has not yet measured approach and departure angles but I doubt they will match the Forester's 25 degrees for both, which is best-in-class.

    Also, the turning radius of the Forester is excellent, one of the things that makes it feel nimble. Here Forester wins, needing just 34.8 feet vs. 36.8 ft for the OB. This is one area where the OB actually is worse than its predecessor, surely due to the longer wheelbase.

    Length is still 188.2, so it only shrunk a fraction of an inch. It's 9" longer than the Forester, so I went looking for a payoff...

    43.1"/38.0" legroom for the Forester, 43.0"/37.8" for the Outback. Forester actually has more?

    I'll admit the Outback feels bigger, maybe it's the extra width?

    Cargo floor length with the seats in place pays off, OB has 40.25" and Forester only has 35.5" (measure up high though and the Forester wins easily).

    So for 9" of length you gain only half that amount in cargo length, but only at the floor. A boxier tailgate would have taken better advantage of the extra length.

    To see what I mean, grab a tape measure, and check the distance from the back of the rear headrest to the tailgate glass. I bet the Forester has an extra foot or so there. I should probably measure it. doesn't list that.

    Width between the tire wells is very similar, Forester is 42.2" and OB is 43", a fraction of an inch delta. The OB is 2" wider so again, good but could have been better.

    Surprise, Bob, EPA interior volume for the Forester is 107.6 cubic feet vs. 105.4 cubes for the longer and wider OB.

    OB does have more max cargo at 71.3 to 68.3, but I stand by my assessment that the Forester's boxy shape is more useful. Plus with the seats up it's a virtual tie, Forester has 33.5 cubes to the OB's 34.3. That's a rounding error.

    This is the space efficiency I'm talking about. The Forester is packaged brilliantly. You get a vehicle nearly a foot shorter, not as wide, yet inside you have 2.2 cubic feet extra space!

    Now the good...

    Let's see, increasing the fuel tank to 18.5 gallons was a great idea. Tribeca needs that badly. In fact I think this platform will make a wonderful basis for a new Tribeca, especially if they package it as efficiently as the Forester.

    Love that 8" Nav screen, I'd actually consider it, vs. the grossly overpriced 7" screen without even a backup cam on the Forester.

    I also love that they didn't use the word "premium" once in that presentation.

    Calling them out on a few areas where they cheated a bit:

    * they say prices are down on Limited but that's because the moonroof is gone!
    * they compare 2.5i gas mileage to some V6 and turbo competitors

    Seeing the OB next to the Venza I gotta admit, besides the ugly grille, the Toyota looks a whole bunch better. That's my opinion, though, because I think I've heard more "ugly" comments about the Toy.

    Also, the OB totally POWNED the Venza on the Hill Climb video.

    Again, though, the Forester's Hill Climb video was *far* more impressive.
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