Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Legacy/Outback

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
Please continue your Legacy/Outback discussion

For past discussions, enter "Subaru Legacy
Outback" in to the Topic Search function in the


Wagons host


  • rumorrumor Posts: 13
    mrglick: I LOVE my 01 OB limited! Consider that
    my other car is a 00 RL only shows how impressed I
    am with the Subie. I have eagerly awaited the
    opportunity to drive an H6, and my dealer has
    just received 4 in. I hope to get to the dealer
    this week, but they are about 45mins away. I am
    concerned by the post from others that there is
    not much of a difference between the H6 and H4
    though. My reasons for considering trading in
    the H4 for the new H6 are the following...
    1) I am hoping for more towing capability
    2) more power
    3) a little more exclusivity (too many ltds around town)
    4) auto climate control
    5) and perhaps a quieter interior with more
    sound proofing

    if subaru offered factory installed xenon lights on the H6 I would buy today. My acura has them
    and they are incredible, and the aftermarket ones
    might come close in apperance, they are not even
    close in performance, plus the aftermarkets look to "wanna be" for my taste. But if I feel the H6
    is "better" than the H4 it will also depend on
    the trade difference before I buy.
  • mmmsmmms Posts: 25
    I am considering a 2001 Outback wagon, 4cyl. I really don't need the 6cyl although it would be nice however the price is questionable. My question is to those who own the Subie wagons is would they buy again and do they feel the 4 cyl is underpowered?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My dad has an Outback Limited, and there mere suggestion of a more powerful H6 made him laugh.

    He's more than happy with it, though he doesn't exactly drive like Mario Andretti.

  • mmms: We leased a '98 Outback. The last payment on the lease was this month (not withstanding the dreaded end-of-lease reconciliation).

    Before the Outback, we were driving a Pathfinder (my wife hated the Pathfinder). We absolutely fell in love with the Outback. AWD, style ... we feel it's perfect for our family's needs (young boy and overgrown dog). However the Einstein that designed the cup holders in the 98 Outback needs to go back to school.

    We find the power in the H-4 fine. And honestly I do not understand all the posts concerning lack of power ( We do have the 5 spd.

    As proof of our feelings towards the Subie, we are stepping up and PURCHASING the '01 Outback Limited.

    This decision was based on our previous 3 years experience with the Outback and all the wonderful information that is shared in these Posts.

    Good luck, I don't think you will make a mistake if you go with the Outback... Great Value, AWD, style, and a bunch of fun to drive.
  • jomamjomam Posts: 2
    I just picked up my 01 Legacy GT Wagon in Titanium Pearl from Paul Brothers in Herndon for a few $100 under invoice. (They beat Fitzgeralds price). No hassle, just went in and did the paperwork. Ben Greer was saleman. I ordered the car 10/26. Am pleasantly surprised by the color since we did not know how it would look (Same color as the bottom panels of the OB).

    Like previous posts I was also concerned about out of state purchases. I believe they must charge sales tax if they have dealerships in your state. FYI Fitgerald has a dealership in Chambersburg PA and in Florida. Also I hear they are high on service costs even though they quote low sales prices. That would not matter for those who do their own service or service elsewhere.
  • eb12eb12 Posts: 16
    I have only had my OB (5sp) for 2 months, but I think the H4 offers plenty horsepower for my taste.
    I have driven the H6 OB,I agree with the earlier post,It is nice but I am still very satisfied with our OB!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I have an 00 Outback with the 5-spd, and it has plenty of power, especially at low rpm. I wasn't as impressed with the auto, but it's not bad either.

    jomam: congratulations! Titanium is a great color.

  • I am trying to decide if I want the Limited or the base model Outback. I currently have a couple Yakima bike racks and a kayak rack and will buy a storage compartment. I'm afraid I'll need a fairing to cut down on the rack noise and it looks like it would go on top of the moonroof of a Limited. Also, is it wise to have leather seats if I'm going to be wet from kayaking or hiking?
  • ckfreund1-
    I have a 99 Limited OB. I hike and mtb a lot. And I live in Seattle. Never had any problems with the leather. I like its toughness against snagging. And mud wipes off easier than it does from fabric. And there's less dust when you flop into the seat. Smells good too.
  • ins23ins23 Posts: 17
    I recently purchased L.L.Bean and was able to drive H4 for couple of days (loaner from the dealership). Here’s my engine-only impression (comparing to H6).

    H4 power is adequate. Keep in mind that Subaru H4 is 2.5L and already has 165HP, so it isn’t bare bones. I was able to get the same acceleration putting every time 4000 rpm while H6 would do the same around 2500 rpm. That increased noise level in H4 but it still on acceptable level.

    Is it significant? Well, I like H6 (V6) characteristic, which is smooth and strong power across the all specter vs. H4 where there’s much more shifting and noise and things aren’t smooth or exactly strong. However again it’s adequate.

    Interior-wise there’re two major flaws currently in OB. Climate-control must be standard on all OB (can you find another 30K car without this option nowadays), and L.L.Bean and VDC should have optional navigation system.

    I still think that when prices come down, L.L. Bean is the best deal.

  • My wife was tired of driving the big rigs so off I went to find her a car that still had four wheel drive and some space to haul stuff.

    I agree that the H4 is adequate but only as a standard. The automatic sucks any pep out of the 4. I tried the LL Bean and couldn't bring myself to buy the H4. Sitting in Northeast traffic with your foot on the clutch gets old after a while. It was a big bucks difference and I had to go to a lease to afford it but this is the first time I don't have any buyer remorse. I really like this car. Maybe I'm just glad to be rid of my Exploder (Explorer).

    I also looked at the Passat GLS AWD at about the same price and I liked the LL Bean more. I don't do any real off road stuff but I jump a curb here and there and sometimes you have to find a creative place to park. I like the clearance in the OB. Besides being too expensive I felt the Volvo cross country is just another Fjord.

    I paid $28,750 and drove it home as a surprise to the wife later that afternoon. It's her car. Before getting to the deal, every salesperson told me that they weren't budging from MSRP. I got several on-line quotes and called around. I see from these posts in many areas they're telling the truth. I got the only LLBean this dealer had. I must have looked pretty pitiful for him to give me a decent deal and his last Bean.

    Now if only they would drop the price a couple of grand and add a fold away two seater bench in the cargo area to hold a couple of more rug rats. Then they would sew up this market.

    Reliability is yet to be seen but I've got a good feeling about this one (or maybe its just hope).
  • Get the 5 speed and you won't be disappointed.

    Nikita - the H6 is just that.... a Horizontally oposed 6 cylinder and NOT a V6.

  • I agree with Bit. My wife drives an automatic 2.5L. The car performs okay, but definitely not much better than my Ford Escort (88hp w/ 5 speed).

    Test drove a 5-speed 2.5L today. There are definitely differences. The 5-speed feels more responsive (no lag time) and controlled.

    However, I also notice that the Subaru gear stick is much more spring loaded and "sticky" than the Escort's. Maybe this is just because the Subaru is new and the Escort has 142kmiles?

    The 5-speed also has a normal 50/50 split of power distribution. The automatic has an usual 90/10 split until the computer decide there is slippage. I think the changes of a 5-speed breaking down is probably less than that of an automatic.

    If Subaru makes the H6 available with 5-speed, the Legacies can probably challenge other sport wagons (such as Volvos).

  • I think after 10k miles my shifter feels pretty smooth... certainly smoother than when I test drove the car. I like the feel now but I did order a short throw shifter just to make the shifting a little quicker.

  • S70, and am very happy with the Volvo. I saw a Subaru LLBean Outback recently at an Auto Show here in Charlotte, and am very impressed with the OB (except the fact that the hood still requires a metal arm to hold it open). Question for all of you Subie Doobies: of all the atributes of the Volvo that I like and/or dislike, the seats and the brakes in the S70, and the newer models, are excellent. The seats are the most comfortable I have ever experienced, even above the Mercedes, Infiniti. I can drive the S70 for 6-8 hours straight, and not have to squirm around to get comfortable, stop frequently to stretch, have back pain, etc. I had the same experience last week when I rented a V70 XCountry (2001). What are the seats like in the Subaru Outback? Can you owners make the same comment? My seats are leather. Also, the brakes are easily modulated, and stop short and straight. My impressions after renting OBs is that the brakes are squishy, and don't inspire confidence. I like the OB in both wagon and Sedan versions. Just looking for some input.
  • The '00 Legacy/Outback gets a (deserved IMHO) rap for having a squishy brake pedal feel. The key word there is "feel", as the brakes themselves are very very good, well engineered and extremely effective at stopping the car straight and sure. 4-wheel discs, anti-lock, yada yada. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Subaru has stiffened up the pedal feel in the '01 Legacy/Outback line.

    I've driven my cloth-upholstered Legacy GT on several long distance journeys. I do skootch around on the seat from time to time but I've never ridden in a car in which I didn't so that's probably just me. I don't think they're the finest seats on earth but they are good seats.

    I have 15K miles on my car. The shifting has definitely gotten smoother over time. The gas mileage has also improved about 4MPG. From what I hear elsewhere this is not unusual.

    Finally, I personally could care less how the hood gets held open. I don't need a gas strut or any other pricey gizmo; I'd rather that money stay right in my pocket :-) After all, how often does one have go under the hood of a car as reliable as a Subie?

  • fef1fef1 Posts: 6
    Does anyone know if Subaru has lifted the "stop sale" of hitchs to be port installed ? Tried to get this info from Patti but havent been successful. Thanks!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    At first, I thought the brakes were awful, especially coming from a sports car. After nearly 5 months of ownership, though, I don't notice it at all. There is a very nice linear region with good bite/feel once you get through the first part of pedal travel. I think the brakes are very easy to modulate and control.

    The shifter is among the best I've tried -- not as precise as the "toggle switch" unit in my Prelude, but definitely on par with Honda for feel. It has a nice smooth motion. Tak, the feel you describe is part characteristic of the shifter design and part a break-in issue. Your Escort may have a cable shifter, which is a different feel alltogether.

    I don't have any complaints about the OB seats, but they are certainly not the best around. The thing is, everybody has different tastes in seats, so it's a hard topic to talk about.

    Prop rod: no biggie, it works as advertised!

  • Thanks to Craig and others who responded to my shifter observation. I guess this is just because it is made with tight tolerance? BTW, the clutch (is it hydraulic?) also feels different from that of the Escort. The Escort has a cable-linked clutch w/ a lot of travel. Makes it easy to learn stick-shift 8). The Subaru clutch is more like that of a '92 Celica: shorter travel and more sporty.

    I am kind of surprised that there are this many Subaru owners with 5-speed.

    As far as the seats are concerned, they are comfortable enough for me. I used to have to drive to Mountain View every week during traffic hours. Driving the Escort, my back will ache during the last hour (out of 3.5 hours). When I borrowed my wife's Legacy, no problem at all!

    As a short person, the seats are a little too "deep". It wasn't easy to find a comfortable position when test driving the 5-speed. I'll probably add a cushion or something to help when I buy a 5-speed. *However*, even without any help, front visibility is still very good. The hood is relatively low compared to Camries and even Accords(!).

    Again, thanks to all who responded!

  • I don't know if Subaru is shipping hitches yet or not. I gave up on 'em a month or so ago and purchased a Hidden Hitch from 1-800-HITCH-IT. Less expensive than the Subaru hitch, arrived in 3 days, and looks easy to install (a project for the long weekend ahead, perhaps). The folks at HITCH-IT were courteous, and the whole transaction couldn't have been easier.

  • I rented a Volvo V70 last fall for a 7k road trip. I must admit the seats were superb. In fact we liked the car so much we went looking to buy one. We ended up with a 00 5-speed Legacy GT wagon and love it. This fall we took a 9k road trip in the GT and I must admit the seats were very comfortable. Many 5 - 10 hr days in the car and not a complaint from myself or my wife. But we both still think the Volvo seats were better.

  • tlbistlbis Posts: 25
    Have an '01 OB and the brakes are indeed better than the 2000 model. Very responsive.

    Our '98 OB brakes on the other hand have been spongy since day one.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,984
    Hi all, now that winter is around the corner it is time to winterise our cars,now I tend to be a bit fanatical about keeping My car in top shape.Iwould like to offer a tip for keeping the inside clean and dry through the worst that winter has to offer. just before the snow starts to fly I take about a half a day and remove the seats from the car I do a thorough clean up then I spread a sheet of heavy duty plastic down on the floor then I bolt the seats and the rest of the trim back in. I fold the plastic up over the rocker panels behind the plastic then put the kick plates back on. I realise this is a bit of work but I have found that even the winter rubber mats with deep edges do not work very well, rusty floors are not the only concern, manufacturers run wire looms under the carpets and several years of winter driving can cause all sorts of corroded connections I know this from bitter experience. I live in Ottawa Canada where we are up to our ears in snow for about 5 months of the year as well the city uses a horrendous amount of road salt so much so that they had to close the underground garages in several downtown buildings because the corrosive effect of the salt dripping from the cars had eaten right the reinforcing in the concrete and had also badly damaged the supports so if it does this to buildings think of the beating our poor cars take every day in the winter. anyway to end this rather long post I just remove the plastic in the spring and I have a clean dry sweet smelling car hope this information is of use to somebody.
  • I am VERY close to negotating for an 01 Bean or VDC. Would like to know what milage to expect using mid-grade gas vs premium. Also, how it runs on regular gas. Is the VDC really worth the extra money for the skid handling and radio etc?
  • ins23ins23 Posts: 17
    If money no problem, go for VDC. Extra active safety won't hurt anyway.

  • Hi all,

    On Tuesday my '01 OB Lmtd was delivered. Wintergreen 5spd. This is a tremendous car. I agree with Bit & others, the H4 + 5spd is quite satisfactory & enjoyable. I don't feel under powered -at all. If the H-6 was available in 5spd, we would have entertained it, but I'm not sure we would have spent the extra money -- given what you get in the OB Lmtd.

    As of now, the seats seem quite comfortable. We had a '98 OB for 3 years and I don't recall a problem with the front seats -- the back seats were little to hard for my liking.

    And one last word, as we were shopping for a new car we entertained the '01 Volvo XC. It certainly is a nice car -- however no true 5spd. And in the end, as we looked at all the OB lmtd had to offer, we just felt the 10k or so premium for the Volvo XC was not worth it. Just our opinion.

    Happy holidays.

  • Here is the SF Bay Area it virtually impossible to find a Volvo wagon with a 5 speed... believe me we tried. Even though the base V70 and other comes with a stick all of the dealers here order them fully optioned and with ATs. We would have ordered from the factory but it was too late in the model year... lucky us as we ended up happy owners of a Subaru GT wagon with 5 speed!.

  • ins23ins23 Posts: 17
    if you're shopping for Subaru in S.F. Bay Area I highly recommend Wayne Herron at Carlson Subaru, Redwood City. I thought that my Infiniti experience would be the best but Wayne proved that people matter not the make or dealership.

    I have no idea about the rest of folks on this dealership, but Wayne is the way to go.

  • Greg Gulbrandson is also very good. Unobtrusive yet helpful and friendly... I'll be inside if you have any questions and you can take any car for test drive without me..." Quite unlike any of the other dealers we visited including Volvo, Honda and Toyota. Plus Calsen's service department has been equally good.

  • My wife and I picked up our 01 Outback a couple days ago in Deep Saphire and we both absolutely love the thing. One question I have, though, is this: can I put lower profile tires on the wheels without affecting the speedo too much? The higher profile tires obviously lead to a bit more body roll in the turns, and I was wondering if I could combat this with wider, lower profile tires. TIA.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Wow, lots of new OB owners on these boards. Congratulations!

    The "error" in your speedo reading will be a function of the ratio of new/old tire diameters. For small variations, it's not a lot. You can use the equation:

    Verr = (Dold/Dnew)*V

    Here, Dnew is the new tire diameter and Dold is the old diameter. Plug in a velocity for V (say 55mph), and Verr will give you the "erroneous" speedo reading.

    Another option is to just get better tires of the same size -- you can step up to a performance tire with a stiffer sidewall. Michelin Pilot XGT-4 tires are a good match for an OB. The thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the OB's (lack of) handling performance comes from the suspension, and tires can only do so much. The stock Firestones are kind of sloppy, though, and roll a lot before taking a set. You can certainly improve initial turn-in feel with better rubber.

    I plan to upgrade to better rubber when it fits into the budget. The Michelin X-One and Pilot XGT-4 look like good bets.

  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786
    The tire roll problem does seem to vary quite a bit depending on the tires fitted. Your US spec cars are fitted with Firestones but those sold in Australia have Yokohama Geolander G040 tires which give very good performance. However, Subarus seem extraordinarily sensitive to variations in tire pressures, both rolling badly with underinflation and transmitting far more severe jolts through the steering if overinflated by even a couple of pounds. I had all four tires overinflated by about three pounds and was surprised by the dramatic improvement when I got the pressures right. An accurate new tire gauge is vital as petrol station air pumps are normally way out due to being dropped regularly.


  • what pressure do you use

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    How right you are. My OB is super sensitive to tire pressure. I had been running at 33F/32R because it gave me less tire roll, but the ride deteriorated dramatically, the steering got very floaty and imprecise, and every bump in the road rattled the steering wheel. I finally went back to 30/29, and the car rides and tracks a lot better. Overall, it's just better at the lower pressure, despite the tire roll. I'm hoping that by upgrading to a better tire, I can reduce the tire roll and still run at 30/29 for better ride/steering feel. Still, it's a little bothersome how sensitive the car is to tire pressure. A major quirk in my opinion. My last car was a whole lot more forgiving.

  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786
    I run the spec as recommended by Subaru at 29psi (200kpa). Handling improves dramatically. Fronts seem very sensitive if pressure is increased at all. Rears are less sensitive.


  • I didn't purchase from them but I did have my car serviced there while I was in the Bay Area. I didn't realize that my 7:30am "appointment" meant "first come, first served", and when I got to the dealer there was a line of people. I asked the service guy what was going on and he replied very curtly and just a bit nastily. I told him that I had never experienced anything like this - in PA, you make an appointment and your car gets done at that time, no lines with 6 cars in them waiting for service.

    Anyway, my car eventually got serviced and the guy called my name. I went out and he said, "there it is over there". I said, "where do I pay?" He said, "this one's on me, for getting both our days off to a bad start." That was probably the single best way he could have made the bad start into a good one, and I thanked him for it and told him there were no hard feelings whatsoever. Now I get a chance to pay the favor back by telling folks that their service people are overworked but very competent.

    So - Carlsen Subaru is okay by me.

  • I'm looking to buy a subaru. Still try to make decision between Legacy and outback. I have never drove either one before, sounds silly isn't it. But always want one. I have a toyota collora, but need more power vehicle to go on a muddy road. Would you tell me how you like your vehicle? I fould one OB '99 used with 35K miles and Legacy wagon '99 with 7K miles. Which one would you choose?

    Please help, Thank you.
  • It's a personal decision. The Outback is better appointed, it has 1" more ground clearance, and some versions have a limited slip rear differential. Other than that the differences are cosmetic. It sounds like the two cars are probably very close in price; it should be a pretty tough decision! Good luck with it and let us know what you do.

  • Hi all,

    Will be looking to get a 2001 OB Ltd in the San Diego area in the next month or so. We are moving from Sydney Australia and have decided on an OB as our new car, but still need to test drive, etc.

    It seems that manuals are very hard to come by in CA, which is undersatndable with the freeways and traffic...Anyway, any idea how long it takes to get one if they aren't in stock and if any of you are in SoCal or SD can you recommend a dealer?

    A dealer in Carlsbad emailed and said 6-8weeks to custom order...seemed like a long time.

    Many thanks,

  • Voyles: I have driven the 98 Outback for last 3 years. This was our first OB and we loved it. Last week we just purchased '01 OB Limited. We enjoy the extra clearance the OB offers us. You really do get a good view of the road. If all else is equal, I would go with the OB (less mileage). Are you entertaining a 5spd or auto?

  • Voyles: Sorry about the confusing message, it must be all this holiday cheer. I now see from your post that the OB infact has more mileage. I can't speak towards the Legacy wagon -never drove one but I am partial towards the OB -- it's a terrific car.

  • 6 to 8 weeks sounds about right for the US, "the land of the eternal middleman" . The dealers have to ask the regional distributor for the car and then it has to be delivered. IMHO the 5spd is worth the wait. it makes the 2.5L H4 motor really come to life.

  • Just bot an 01 LL Bean thanks to you people for your help. Winestone Pearl. Anyone who thinks the H4 is as good as the H6 needs to try them out one after the other. I did and the difference is VERY noticable.
  • Wigsindy, congrats, it's a great feeling isn't it.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Ditto on the congrats! Keep us posted as to how you like it.

  • ins23ins23 Posts: 17
    Do any of H6 owners notice climate control acting strangely? Or is it my perception? It blows pretty cold A/C air when set to 80F with outside temp is 50F. Any comments are welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
  • I can't speak directly about the Subie system but the climate control in my previous car had a temperature sensor mounted in a location on the dashboard that made it susceptible to being fooled by the sun's radiant heat coming in through the windshield. This made it blow cold air on some days when it was downright cold already . My solution was temporary and elementary; I turned up the temperature control until the air felt warm.

  • theobtheob Posts: 148
    Jason / Bargle,
    While I haven't purchased a Soobie yet, I have done some shopping. If you're willing to wait for an order, Suzanne Ramos at Shortline in Aurora should be able to order you one for $100 over (her) invoice. She seemed fairly helpful. Joe Cooley at King in Loveland can also give you a pretty good price as noted by royaguirre in an earlier post (or was it an owners conference). Your best bet on price may be either him or the people at Chamberlain in Greeley (lower cost structures). Was not impressed with the demeanor of the Inet sales Mgr at John Elway West.

    If you go to the Subaru site and enter your zip code in the little "Dealer Search" box in the lower right corner, you will find that there are 8-12 Subaru dealers within a 100 mile radius of where you live. You can also view the inventory for each dealer (in most cases).

    You'll find that all of the dealers in the Denver area have a $225 advertising fee built into their invoice price. There may be some additional charges built in that are over and above what you find on Edmunds, Chrome Car book, and CarPoint.

    We found the 2000 OB Ltd 5-spd a little lacking in pep on a hot August day with the A/C on at 5000ft when compared to our '91 Mazda 626 5spd. The thing that _really_ makes a difference in our rarified atmosphere is a turbocharger. I believe that the power drop-off is not as significant at altitude for turbo'd engines as it is for normally-aspirated ones. Regardless, pending an H6 testdrive, we'll probably order an H6.

  • Anyone know who rents Subaru's in SoCal. We're renting a car as we're relocating and thought we might as well rent an Outback as will most likely be buying one soon...


  • Here in San Francisco you can rent them from Hertz.

Sign In or Register to comment.