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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they get 3 chances, then 3 strikes you're out, but it depends on the state.

    You actually had a broken timing chain, which was rare but not unheard of in the very early production H6.

    Call Subaru's 800 number and ask them to open a case for you. Get the case number and contact Patti at to make sure you get the red carpet treatment.

    Given this is a known issue I'm sure they have a fix in mind, but if not SoA can provide assistance and get it resolved. I see no reason why they can't, and hopefully from that point on your LL Bean will be trouble free.

    Give them a chance, and help out by taking the steps above so they have all the technical help they can get. I am confident they'll resolve it for you, and you'll have 4 years left on the powertrain warranty.

    This hits close to home because I am considering an LL Bean wagon for my wife. Please keep us posted and let us know if/when they come up with a resolution from you.

  • I'm sure this has been discussed, but I had trouble finding anything with a search. (Note to host: it would be nice if you could search a specific topic. My search returned results for all kinds of cars) How is everyone with an Outback doing on gas mileage? I am only on my second tank of gas, but my first tank only got 21mpg with half the tank used on the highway. That seems a little thirsty. I've even been trying to drive it easy. I heard people on this board imply that the gas mileage is worse early on. Why is that?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    For more feedback, you may also want to copy/paste your message into our Subaru Legacy/Outback problems discussion. In our problems discussion, you'll also find a direct link to Edmunds' Maintenance guide where you you look up manufacturer-recommended service schedules, TSB's (technical service bulletins), and recalls.

    To bzob- To add to ateixeira's notes, here's some Lemon Law information from Edmunds' which you may find helpful. Also, check out the Autopedia link, halfway down the page, which will direct you to State by State Lemon Law information. Btw, one interesting thing I found about the article was information about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act, a Federal Law that protects buyers of any product that costs more than $25... and "if your vehicle is not considered a lemon in your state, you may have another recourse." Hope this is helpful.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    I average between 21 and 22 with mixed driving; 27 on my one trip on the H6 VDC. It has improved about 1 mpg from my early tanks; I have 8k miles on it now. One thing to remember, the Outback is a pretty heavy car, about 3500 lbs over my prior Vovo 850 wagon and gets about the same mileage.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Your engine is green and will take a while to break-in completely. It'll only reach peak efficiency at 10-15k miles or so. Mine improved by about 2mpg after the first year.

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I've got an 01 Outback wagon (H4/5sp) with 20,000 miles on it. I have never gotten higher than 26 mpg on the highway -- and that was with the roof rack removed and speeds under 75mph. Usually, 24-25 is all I can get on the highway. City mileage is consistently 21-22mpg, and I tend to shift early (below 3000 rpms). I kept expecting the mileage to improve as the engine got broken in, but that never happened. It's been the same all year. I guess it's not too bad, but I expected a 4cyl car to get better mileage than this. Still, it bests most SUV's on the market other than the CRV (my girlfriend's CRV easily gets 26-27mpg in mixed driving). Oh well...gas is cheap. Incidentally, a road trip I took in August revealed how short the range can really be in this car with its 16 gallon tank -- with a full load inside, 2 bikes on the roof and some smaller items in the roof rack, I was averaging about 15-17mpg at 80-95mph from Nevada to Colorado. If you looked close, you could probably have watched the gas gauge sink.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    My H4/5-spd has about 23000 miles on the clock, and I consistently get 23-24 MPG in mixed driving. Best I ever got was about 27MPG on a long trip (car loaded up too), and the mileage has never gone below about 21 MPG.

    It's rare that I get to do enough extended highway driving to have reliable data to pass on. Between traffic jams and family "rest stops", I'm lucky if I can go 100 miles without stopping!

    If I could measure the gas mileage during the 65-75 MPH cruise stretches, I'm sure it would be in the 28 MPG range for the H4, which falls in line with data other people have reported on long trips.

    I got 24 MPG in my new Bean on the first tank of gas, which is pretty impressive considering it is a bigger engine and an auto-trans. I am expecting that to improve as the engine breaks in, and will keep track of the numbers as time goes on.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095

    First fifteen people in the chat door get a free Swix Knitted Ski Hat from Subaru!

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  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Leasing is all about, as I learned when taking MBA classes at night, alternative costs and uses of money.

    1) In your example of the cost of ownership of your Forrester, you missed some basics. For instance, you cannot just subtract selling price from purchase price. When you bought it, you paid tax on the full amount, and financed principle & tax at the going rate of maybe 7-8% for 4-5 years. When you sell it early (ie 39 months), you have to look at what you still own the bank, as you paid off interest first, then principle. You may or may not recover some of the sales tax, depending on your State, and the manner in which you sell it. And resale is money back at the end, but was outstanding during the term you used the car. You can not just subtract it unadjusted from the monthly payment. I am not going to take the time to figure it out, but it is way more than the monthly figure you showed, by probably at least $100.

    2) Why do you pay interest in a lease? Take a $25k car with a 60% residual. The base depreciation on a 36 month lease is $277/month. [ (25k x .4)/36 ] But that is not the total cost. The leasing arm (bank, finance division, etc.) bought that vehicle from the mfgr, and has to front the entire cost for 3 years until they collect payments from you, then sell the vehicle to collect the residual. Someone (you) has to pay the interest on all of the cash outstanding for 3 years until the entire transaction is completed. That is the 'money factor' calculation that gets added to the depreciation for the total monthly payment.

    3) There are other benefits, such as gap insurance coverage. With good credit, you can escape the security deposit, and sometimes some of the bank fees are negotiable. No need for a service contract as the vehicle is under warranty. You get a new car - change of taste, budget, needs, added features, improvements in safety - every few years. And as I said in the previous post, I got some of the leases at an incredible bargin when mfgrs wanted to move a particular car, still got the cash back rebates, and on my '97 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, a deal at the end when they didn't want it back as the auction price was way below my locked in residual.

    If I remember correctly, you work for a bank? Leasing is not as lucrative as it once was, but go ask someone in finance to run the numbers for you. It might change your mind.

  • In the almost 2 years I've had my 97 OB, I've only checked the mileage once. Highway trip, 60-65 mph, 28 mpg. 5 spd, 65k miles. I was pleasantly surprised!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually, no interest in my case because I paid cash up front. I did include taxes, too. $5200 plus $960 tax at 5% for the full amount became $6160 (my net cost if I were to sell today) divided by 39 months I've owned it works out to $158 per month.

    To counter point #2, what I'm saying is simply that a lease ought to work like renting an apartment. You do not pay 3 years of rent up front, or interest for it if you cannot pay up front.

    You're saying it's structured to the advantage of the leasing company. My point exactly.

    I work for the World Bank, not really a bank in the traditional sense. I am not at all a banker by trade, though I did study Finance in grad school.

    I'm sure there are plenty of cases where leasing works to one's advantage, but certainly not mine.

  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,969
    I agree with juice on this one, I also paid cash up front, also intend to keep my car until the wheels fall off.

    For me leasing is simply renting a car long term you do not own anything, this statement is probably more about pride than anything, but when I have something I would rather it belongs to me in total rather than a bank or leasing company.

    Now I am sure there are advantages to leasing but I sure as hell do not know what they would be for the average guy. I certainly know that if it is a company vehicle most of the lease can be written off to taxes.

    But on the other hand quite a few garages and body shops that used to lease cars for loaners are getting out it of as being not a good business proposition anymore so what does that tell you.

    Cheers Pat.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Stinky - I too also get a slight hesitation when stomping on it from a stop. Only happens the one time, then it's gone. I have to floor the gas at a dead stop for it to happen. I have the H4/auto. It feels like a plug misfiring which some have complained about before. When the Champion plugs were changed to NGK or another brand the hesitation was gone.

    Mileage - mine for the first 6 mos (0-10K) was 23.5 mpg in mixed country driving. Haven't had a long highway drive yet to get those numbers.

    OhioGreg - Mine is an auto in Winestone. I prefer a stick but the wife doesn't know how to drive one and I wasn't successful in convincing her to learn.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point, Pat, I tinker with my cars waaaaay too much to return it at the end of a lease. I've customized my Forester with so much stuff I don't have time to list it all.

    Most people keep their cars bone-stock, though.

  • If you used cash that you have on hand to purchase a vehicle instead of leasing ot financing, you have to consider the opportunity cost of that money.

    If you put it into a GIC or CD you may have got 6% on that money.

    On an other extreme, if you put $10,000 into Yahoo instead of a car in 1998 and cashed out in March 2000 you would be able to buy several cars. How's that for opportunity lost?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I knew you would say that. :-)

    True, however, consider this:

    Option 1: put my $20 grand into a Subie I'll keep for probably a decade.

    Option 2: lease the Subie and blow the $20 grand on a trip to Vegas! Yeah Bay-bee!

    Option 3: get a 5 year loan to buy the Subie and blow the cash on a European vacation.

    Option 4: your brother finds out you have $20 grand and borrows it. He may pay it back in 2035, who knows.

    Yeah, a financial advisor would have me invest it, but that takes discipline I don't have. Besides, we have investment accounts we're adding to little by little. So basically I put what would have been my monthly payments into the kid's college fund.

    Mind you, all this is my personal situation.


    PS I bought the car in August 1998. What if I had plopped $20 grand into a tech stock (the hot investment at the time)? I would have lost my shorts. I'd be driving a Yugo!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    is what drives all my financial decisions, or at least it should. For a car, it would come down to the issue of whether I want to 1) commit my money to a depreciating vehicle, 2) make an investment, or 3) have the cash to use for other things. So far, I have always opted for #2 or #3. With interest rates so low, it makes sense for me to commit Subaru Credit's money to cover the vehicle, while I put my own money to work. I have always come out ahead that way. Then again, I have never had enough cash on hand to buy a vehicle outright, so it has been the ONLY way to go!

    But seriously, you really have to be careful committing cash to a vehicle. A friend of mine bought an Explorer many years ago, paying cash -- about $32K. I told him it was a mistake, and at the time, Ford had some really low finance rates he should have taken advantage of. But no, he didn't want to pay the $2500 or so in interest that would have accumulated over the life of the loan. So, he sunk his $32K into the Explorer. Two years later, it was worth about $14K. No way he got $18K worth of use out of that car in two years either. Could he have done better by keeping the cash on hand or investing it? You bet.

    In the long run, you will save money by purchasing a vehicle instead of financing, but ONLY if you do NOT consider the earning power of money (ie, compare the vehicle purchase to the same amount of money stuffed in your mattress). If you use someone else's money to cover the car and put your money to work, I think you will always come out ahead in the end.

    As Juice mentioned, this is a personal situation, so my opinions might not make sense for everybody.

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Anyone notice that the front seat passenger foot room on the Subaru Outback is surprisingly limited. I am 6' 4" tall and driver's seat of an LL Bean is fine for me. But take the passengers seat and it is ridiculously cramped for long legs.

    Anyone else notice this?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, Fords drop in value like a rock falling off a cliff. Go price a two year old Windstar, and then a two year old Odyssey.

    Also, if the lease company is smart, and doesn't want to lose money, they'll have to charge you that $18 grand plus interest. Otherwise they are losing money. The payment would be about $800 for 24 months. Ouch.

    My money would be in a bank account earning 3%. Subaru didn't have any special financing for the Forester at the time (it was a hot seller), so my loan would have been 7-8%.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    my OB with cash from a stock option vestment. Unless I can guarantee a return of >7% on the cash I didn't want to add another monthly bill (I have monthly payments on my Sienna). I plan to keep this car for many years and give it to my daughter. Also, you need to consider the type of car you buy along with expected maintenance costs, fuel, insurance, etc. This is the first car I bought outright and during the signing ceremony if felt like something was missing.

  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,969
    You know what guys you will be a long time dead and having money in the bank will not make a blind bit of difference.

    On the other hand you could blow some money on a vehicle that gives you a lot of enjoyment, I know what option I would take, and it would not be sticking money in the bank for somebody else to pee up against a wall, investing is all very well but it is not the be all and all of it.

    Cheers Pat.
  • 99gs99gs Posts: 109
    I break car buying into two parts. Part one is buying a car. Part two is how you buy it. Too often dealers push these two parts together to create logic for financing.

    Part one: If you buy a car you are buying a depreciating asset. That's a done deal. You can't change that. No matter how you purchase the car it will go down in value.

    Part 2: How to pay for it? Any option other than cash is going to cost you more money. That is a given. The economic benefit you give up by putting the money in the car depends on how much risk you are willing to take. You could pay off credit cards and get a 15% guaranteed return, but who is going to make an argument that they would have gotten a net return higher than the cost of money or better than the cash rebate? It's all speculation.
  • I don't know whether it's just the way AWDs
    with Automatics shift but at times when I come
    to a rolling stop and then nail it to get
    up to traffic speed, the trans seems to shift hard
    with a moderate thump. Anyone else notice this.
    I have @26,000 miles on the OB. No other probs...
    Besides answering here, would appreciate if you CC
    copy of your response to
    Regards, BadSuvDriver
  • ob11ob11 Posts: 28
    Craig, Yes I do tend to short shift my vehicles. This is why I enjoy the manual tranny so much. I can shift early because of circumstances that I am driving in. If I have no need for rapid acceleration, or the road grade is such that the car will get up to speed on it's own, I run through the gears quickly with very light acceleration until I'm cruising. But when I need the power, I use it! That why I find it so humorous to be discussing 0-60 & 1/4 times! Drivability is the real issue! Years ago I had one of the first generation Dodge pick-ups with the Cummins diesel. Not much more horse power than the OB (175 I think) but over 400 ft.lbs of torque. That truck could embarrass a lot of today's sport sedans stoplight to stoplight.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yep that is a trait of the subaru ATs. At least on my dad's '97 Legacy, my uncles '97 Outback, and my cousin's '00 Outback, also on my '88 XT6 as well. This hard shift actually helps to protect the torque converter from premature failure because it isn't slipping as much. I wouldn't worry about it.

  • I have an 01 OB and experience the exact same thing. The service manager at my dealer explained the same thing Mike did. He mentioned the Subarus that actually come in for work (ie over 150K miles!) and are still on the original transmission. Small price to pay, I guess, for a trani that will last as long as we want to keep the car.
  • en5en5 Posts: 9
    I've posted a message about my problem with steering wheel vibration on my Legacy L wagon a while back ( see message#3059 ).
    Since then I tried many things like inspection and rebalancing of the tires, rotating them, inspection of suspension/bearings/struts nothing helped, the vibration was still there.
    At the last visit to my dealer one of the technicians suggested that maybe the axles are out of balance, so they replace both of them under
    warranty and it solved the problem.
    The dealer told me that sometimes these axles get out of balance on it's own, I didn't know that because none of my previous cars had problems with this.
    Too bad that it took me almost 7 months and countless visits to tire shops and dealer to finally solve this issue ( I have better things to do ).
    I hope that this info might help somebody in the future having the same problem.
    This whole thing decreased my trust in subaru quality a bit, I hope that this is the end of my problems, the car is only 17 monts old with 19000km on it.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Thanks for the info. My 2000 Outback still has some front-end vibration, even after I replaced the tires (also tried rebalancing and alignment). In fact, it is exactly as you described in your original post -- very inconsistent. I may poke around underneath the car this weekend, looking for anything obvious (ie, undercoating on a shaft or something like that) and then see if I can get the dealer to look at the drive shafts before I pass the car onto my father in a few weeks.

  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    I have an my02 otbw 2.5 auto. I get 22-23 all city ,25 mixed ,best highway was 27 not bad for a big 4 cyl with the weight of the outback. I leased my car ,I think I did pretty good . Traded a 96 honda accord owed 5k and got the dealer to give me 7200.00 for it ,but that down on lease and got 200 over invoice . Lease for 4 yrs at 279.00 month and will owe some were around 12,000 at end of lease . So when lease is up car will only be 3yrs old because it is a my 02 ,and with high resale value it should be worth more then I owe .If I bought car the payment would of been about 150.00 higher per month so I am putting that money in a IRA with 6% interest .

    mike k
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I feel a bit bad about getting us started down this path. While I have really enjoyed the interaction and personally think it is a very interesting topic, the Legacy/OB board probably isn't the right forum for two pages of posts on the value of money. If we really want to continue this thread, we should probably move it to a new discussion board entitled 'Lease vs Buy', or maybe to the existing 'Prices Paid' page. Anyone interested, or should we just let it die here?

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