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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback



  • I'm scratching my head at the one line/thought which has never entered my mind re: the '10 OB: "...our first reaction to it was, "That's a good looking car.""

    My first & continued reaction has been just the opposite, it's still not growing on me. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Glowing review indeed. They even loved the styling.

    I like the Legacy's styling better, in an Infiniti G37x sort of way.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I guess my old age is showing, as the Outback is the car I'd rather take on a trip. It's quieter, rides better, is more comfortable, and has many of the details better worked out. Plus, as it currently stands, it gets better gas mileage than the Forester.

    Not saying the Forester is bad, I just prefer the new Outback. :)

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    I found the ''09 outback a nicer trip car than the '09 Forester, mainly because of the lower road noise. The Forester is not bad wrt road noise ( it's the equal of the Lexus RS400h which costs $20k more), but the '09 Outback had less, and it seems the '10 is even better.

    Oregon has terrible roads (essentially tarred gravel) which are extremely rough and loud to drive over.

    The plan is to wait and see how the '10 Outback does during its first year, and possibly consider a trade to an '11 H6 mode ( no more first year Subarus! ). If the H6 then gets the CVT as an option that will be even better.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Dave: sounds like you think the Outback rides better but the Forester handles better? Would that be fair to say

    Essentially correct, except the 3.6 handling also seemed better than the 2.5i CVT.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're geezin' again.

    Just kidding. I totally understand. When it came to Sienna vs. Odyssey I choose the isolated, quiet ride of the Sienna over the better steering and feedback that the Ody offered. The driver may be happier in the Ody but up to 7 passengers will be far happier in the Sienna.

    That is our trip car, so the Forester isn't covering long distances, it's mostly for errands, commuting, and around-town stuff.

    I can definitely concede that point, though - Outback would likely be a better trip car, with its long wheelbase, bigger gas tank, superior range, soft ride, and noise isolation. It ought to avoid fatigue well.

    I only say "ought to" because I haven't driven one yet.

    For the opposite reasons, Forester is a better city car. Tighter U-turns, fits in smaller parking spaces, easier to parallel park, and overall just more fun, nimble, tossable. In traffic you sit up higher and that may even help you see traffic ahead.

    Sound fair? ;)

    I really gotta go drive an OB. CVT for sure.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Don't stop with the CVT, Drive the H6 too.

  • nwbearnwbear Posts: 20
    I'm considering buying my first Subaru, an '10 Outback. I've had first year Infiniti and Toyota products and they've been very good. From your comment you've had less than stellar luck with first year Subarus.

    Have you folks found significant reason to wait until the second year of production before buying a Subaru product?
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    Thanks for the comments and f/u to my post. You've helped me distill what I really like about the Forester over the OB, which are its skyroof, better looks, and better value for the money. I thought it handled cargo inside better than the OB does, so thanks for explaining how. OTOH, the OB's CVT and the mileage it'll return for freeway drivers like me are hard to pass up, though its disappointingly tiny sunroof is a REAL turnoff, and its year-one, Lafayette vintage causes me some concern. I'm not considering either a turbo or the 6, but it sure would be nice to move on from that tired 4AT in the Forester. So where does that leave me? Still deciding, though I've until 12-31-09 to make up my mind and sign on the dotted line.

    BTW, I saw elsewhere that early '09 Foresters had some initial production problems, but were worked out as the end of the run for that model year approached. How can I tell when a specific car was made and when production shifted over from '09s to '10s? Maybe I'll opt to save some buck$ by going for a leftover '09 after all.
  • asdf9asdf9 Posts: 26
    gmg I have a 2009 forester. Get the 2009. There is a big difference between the 2010 legacy/outback and 2009 legacy/outback, but the forester is just the forester. Mine has 15K miles and is great. If your on the west coast you probably won't need the AWD like me in new england, but the improvements are great from the 08.

    Plus you'll get a better deal with them trying to get rid of the 09's as you stated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Any v1.0 is a risk, less so with Subaru, but that's always the case.

    I had a 1998 Forester, first year, and it was great over the 9 years I had it. So I did it again - and got a 2009, first year for gen 3. So far so good.

    The 2005 Legacy did have a not-so-great crash test score for side impacts, and then the 2006 was quickly revised and scored a lot better. That's rare, though, I don't think that had happened with a Subaru before. Plus I'm sure they learned the lesson and did more testing this time.

    A small change I think is likely is the break-away mirrors. That's something they can upgrade easily and people are complaining about it.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Posts commenting on the 2010 first drive have been moved to the discussion that will be linked to the article later today.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
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  • nwbearnwbear Posts: 20
    I drove these two vehicles back to back yesterday and to my surprise I like the way the Forester drives much better than the Outback. The big difference is in the steering. The Forester's steering is quick and responsive resulting in predictability and a feeling that the steering wheel's directly connected to the road. The Outback's steering is downright lousy.

    It is completely numb on center, so much so that it was a chore to drive on a winding back road. There was also a bit of faith required when turning at a stop sign because I was never quite sure where the car was going to head until I stepped on the gas. On the freeway it's not nearly as noticeable, but once I became aware of it I was not enamored with the freeway handling either. The steering is so disconnected compared to the Forester that I'm amazed that the Forester and Outback are made by the same company.

    The Outback's ride is significantly better than the Forester. Quieter, smoother and more controlled. I do like the more upright cabin on the Forester better than the Outback. It feels larger and more airy to me. Even so, I'd be buying an Outback because of the better ride, transmission and fuel economy, but the disconnected steering is not something I'm be willing to live with and am dropping it from my list of possibilities. Who knows, maybe they'll fix it next year.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    The big difference is in the steering. The Forester's steering is quick and responsive resulting in predictability and a feeling that the steering wheel's directly connected to the road. The Outback's steering is downright lousy.

    I had the same reaction to the Outbacks and Forester I drove. I wouldn't quite call the Outback steering lousy, but I thought I was in an old Buick when generous steering input was rewarded by a near rollover feeling. I suspect most current Subaru owners will agree, but that does not necessarily mean the Outback won't sell to others who are used to driving Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Ford and Mercury. I felt like I was at the helm of my old cabin cruiser! :)
  • Took my 98 Legacy GT wagon to my local dealer for some service last week. In the show room was a Forester and the new Legacy sedan (don't know what trim level). I was taken aback, stunned, actually, by the Legacy. I was tempted to offer my condolences to the staff, but kept my mouth shut. My first reaction was 'homely', followed quickly by 'hideous'. I felt like patting it's head in sympathy for having to go through life like that. The lasting impression, analogous to seeing someone for the first time in 20 years. They once were sleek, athletic, attractive, now they're bloated, overweight, showing signs of steroid abuse. Pathetic.

    Outside the showroom windows you could see several 2005/2006 era Legacies. How the Japanese mid-size car segment has fallen, styling wise, in the last year or two. I also own an Acura TSX. When I saw the new TSX, I felt so sorry for that car (and that brand, TL, anyone?). Subaru has trumped Acura with this latest effort.

    Or is this all just symptomatic of the atrocious taste of the American car buying public? These same companies don't seem to be afflicting the rest of the world with these monstrosities (don't get me started on the new Outback...)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting, I'll have to pay close attention to that when I finally get in one.

    I almost did on Saturday. Took the Miata for an oil change, and the Subaru dealer was just down the street. I thought it would be quick, but they took nearly a whole hour. If I had known I would have gone and driven the Outback.

    Bummer that they didn't tell me it would take that long.

    I got 2 free oil changes from that dealer but it's hardly worth it. Took 2 hours door to door to complete the task. I can change my own oil in 15 minutes and never leave home.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm partial to the 05-07 Legacy and Outback but the new Legacy looks OK to me, better than the Outback anyway. It reminds me of the Infiniti G, more grown up, substantial.

    I know what you're saying, though. Japanese nameplate styling peaked about a generation ago. The prior TSX looks better. Heck, all prior Acuras look better minus that gigantic Transformers shield in the front. The Mazda6 is overdone, too, in fact I'll generalize and say the same thing about the whole Mazda lineup, especially with the big smiley face on all of them now (I got an 08 Miata and managed to avoid the new corporate grille). The new Fit is overdone, too. The Scion xD lost its character and gained a big blind spot. Let's not even mention the new Galant.

    Japanese styling peaked and has been dropping for the past few years.

    Oddly the Forester is an exception - I think the 2009 is the best looking yet.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Well said. I was cleaning the inside of my 2005 Outback 3.0R VDC this morning and kept reminding myself to do it more often since it certainly won't be replaced by the ugly 2010 Subaru truck. The Forester's good looks aren't quite matched by interior materials quality...thin carpet, cheap headliner, but at least the interior styling is good. Now if it had a reasonably priced bluetooth accessory it would be even better.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob's find, from another thread:

    • Sales of the Legacy line shot up by 34 percent to 2,340 units.

    • Sales of the Outback line, which includes the Legacy wagon, increased by 33 percent, to 4,971 units.

    • Sales of the Tribeca dropped by 10 percent, to 707 vehicles.

    Among Subaru's Japanese-made models, sales of the Impreza line grew by 41 percent, to 6,247 units; while sales of the Forester line increased by 36 percent, to 7,574 units.

    Forester still kicking asphalt but of course the newbies' availability is still improving.

    The Impreza is the real surprise - it's doing extremely well. In the past the Forester outsold the Impreza 2 to 1, and the Outback outsold the Forester. That was the case from 1998 all the way up to 2008 IIRC.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Impreza 5-door is the one that's kicking butt.

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Everyone has their own taste. I think the new Outback is much better looking than any previous one. The new Legacy is so-so, but the previous Legacy was blah...nothing to write home about (but then no one bought Subarus for their looks anyway). Speaking of the TSX, I think the new one looks more grownup and sophisticated than the previous one. Anyway, the proof is in the sales. The TSX is doing alright, and Subaru is on a roll.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I agree. I find it somewhat amusing that all the auto "design critics" here on Edmunds, etc. (less so on the Subie forums here, but it exists) always slam anything new, yet the cars do just fine in terms of sales.

    All you have to do is go any of the Edmunds blogs, and you'll see what I mean. Almost anything that is new gets slammed and trashed. It's useless to argue with these folks, so I ignore them.

    So maybe most of the carmakers really do know what they're doing, most of the time.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure it is, but the Forester has one body style to the Impreza's 2 and still outsells it.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    So maybe most of the carmakers really do know what they're doing, most of the time.

    I have commented that the market other than present Subaru owners may even prefer the soft ride of the new models. Of course that is domestic marque drivers only. :)
  • Yet Fuji apparently is losing money...

    FHI Losing Money

    Here are some take-away quotes, e.g.,

    "Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the Japanese maker of Subaru vehicles, yesterday posted a net loss of 19.3 billion yen (US$203 million) for the first quarter and forecast zero growth in U.S. sales this year."


    "The company, known for its compact Forester SUV and Impreza car, said its earnings suffered from a lack of new models, a stronger yen and weaker demand in major markets including emerging economies such as Russia."

  • Your point is well taken. Again, this is all personal opinion, obviously. But the qualities that attracted me to Subaru in 1997, and kept me interested until the most recent design iteration, seem to have been pretty much lost. They used to be distinctive, if slightly odd (to some) cars. Remember when they were called the Japanese Saabs, but reliable? No more.

    As for not liking anything new, I respectfully disagree. When the new 2005/6 models came out, I lusted after those cars, but my '98 showed no signs of giving up. I was seriously gonna go the new Legacy GT wagon route when the old one gave out. That was the plan. But no more.

    From where I sit, from the mid 90's on, they just got better and better. This last go round, something broke (in my mind). Like the engineers are all hiding in a corner some where while marketing calls all the shots.

    Of course, that seems to be selling, so if moving product is your only criteria for 'goodness', then I guess it's good for Subaru (but I've gotta be selfish here, I want a Subaru that's good for ME). Hence my wondering about the taste of the American market, since none of these companies seem to be doing this to most of the rest of the world.

    Honda was first down this road with the new Accord (although, while bigger than I'd prefer, I wouldn't call it ugly). Now Mazda has capitulated (Toyota was always there). Perhaps it's time for the Koreans to shine, they've been going from strength to strength recently.

    Sad, really, that's all. Or maybe I'm just a sentimental old fool. But from here on out I'm afraid it's the used market for me.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    I would call the new Accord homely. The Legacy sedan is not much better, but it is in keeping with current fashion. It will probably not stand the test of time, but most designs don't. Althought the new Outback is way too tall for me, it is a better balanced design than Accord and Legacy. Those who disagree, let's check back in 20 years. I'll accept whatever results.

    BTW, still think of Ford when they introduced the dowdy Five Hundred, opposite the Chrysler 300, saying the 500 would stand the test of time better. Not so. It looks even more ridiculous only five years later. Fail! The 300 is old hat, but not dowdy. It never will be.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think that article is well written.

    No new models? Hello? Forester was new. Impreze was semi-new and updated.

    Plus now they have a new Legacy and Outback.

    Then they talk about Russia? Japan is the #1 market and USA is #2. Those are the markets that matter.
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