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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Must be the shape of the glass?

  • chuckb5chuckb5 Posts: 7
    Someone mentioned a possible suspension change for 03. Is that based on what is currently being offered in Japan or what Subaru has stated? When are we likely to know what changes will be available for 03? I am going to purchase a Bean and not sure if I should wait or how long it will be before we know about the changes.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,970
    I washed the Titan this morning, went to church this afternoon, the roads are pretty wet from the melting snow,

    I only travelled about 8 miles round trip and there is so much crud on the back of the car you would think it had not seen water in a month.

    I will try the rain-x but this is something I have just learned to live with, no car is perfect and I guess this is the Titan,s Achille,s heel.

    Cheers Pat.
  • mfsbmfsb Posts: 17
    I'm thinking about buying an LL Bean not just for the extra power but because it has a timing chain, chain driven camshafts hydraulically tensioned vs belt. Would the chain be a BIG plus, so so plus, or should it not even come into the picture when deciding between the 4 and the 6? Thanks for any info.

  • wired1wired1 Posts: 45
    I'm looking for some buying advice. I've been researching the VW Passat and comparing it to the Subaru Outback. I live in Pittsburgh where the winters can be rough at times.

    I understand the inherent advantages of AWD as it exists in the Outback. How does the standard front wheel drive Passat handle in the snow? Is there a significant improvement with the AWD as it exists in the standard Outback?

    I'm not an off-roader...I'm looking for a reliable vehicle for getting to work and the occasional road trip.

    My thanks to all in advance.
  • 99gs99gs Posts: 109
    I purchased a Bean last summer and can tell you from a handling and feel standpoint it would be very difficult to go back to 2 wheel drive. The Passat is a really fine car, but the secure drive, smooth and quiet 6, and utility of the Outback won me over. Jack
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You may also want to check out this ongoing discussion: VW Passat vs Subaru Wagons. Good luck with your decision. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    Having had both the Passat and an Outback, I can understand the dilemma. Both are fine cars and the buzz I got from the Passat was fabulous.

    However, the Outback is dramatically better handling in sloppy conditions and snow. There is no way a 2WD can match the performance of an AWD.

    In addition, the added clearance means the Outback will push comfortably through drifts which the Passat will stick in. Here in Australia, the car of choice in any snow area is a Subaru, typically of an older mud-spattered variety.

    Have fun choosing. If you get the chance drive both on really poor dirt or mud tracks to see how the handling deteriorates. I find the Outback handling appears to improve as the conditions deteriroate. Strictly this is not correct but the differential inhandling quality becomes more apparent as other vehicles suffer dramatically.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Chuck: at this point, we're just taking guesses. We're not even sure Subaru will show the 2003 Legacy at the NY show. Given their history of slowly adding content, my guess is it's worth waiting to at least see the 2003.

    Bummer, Pat. At least you can rinse it and get most the stuff off, since it hasn't caked on.

    Bill: the chain will save you from changing the timing belt on the 4 banger, but the interval for that is a whopping 105k miles. So it's nice, but hardly a major factor. The H6 is smooth, relaxed, and luxurious. That's the reason to get it.

    Tom: I think the Outback compares more closely with the Passat 4Motion, and even then it has far more clearance and a VDC option.

    With the same tires, the Outback will eat the Passat's lunch in snow, no question about it. If you do get the Passat, at least consider getting both traction control and snow tires.

  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    I just asked this on the Legacy Problems&Solutions, but I think this might have been the better place... here goes:

    Does anybody know how to decode a Legacy/OB Vehicle Identification Number? I'm looking to figure out from the VIN what type of transmission a car has. Am looking for a used 5sp, and this would speed up the search.

    East Lansing MI
  • seayakkerseayakker Posts: 57
    Wow I just popped over to the link Revka posted (I too was one of those folks who had narrowed my choice down to a Passat or an Outback - Outback won hands down) & I'm amazed at the difference in tone between the posters here at Subaru compared to other forums.

    Seems to me that folks who have chosen Subarus, by and large, are intelligent, considerate & helpful with a healthy sense of humour. We're good people!! I think this should be added to the plus column for anyone considering a Subaru [grin]

    And I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone here who has been so helpful with the questions that have popped up for me - you folks are great!

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    While this may work better on regular roads, do not use RainX or any simlar product on the rear window if you will be driving on dusty roads. The Dust sticks like a magnet, and you are much worse off. I use RainX on the windshield, but not on the tailgate window.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It would help Pat in those wet conditions, though.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Here you go:

    11th position in the VIN -

    G or 6 = 5 speed

    H or 7 = Automatic

    Hope this helps you in your quest!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, Patti. I know the first character is country of manufacture. For Subaru, 1=USA, or SIA in Indiana, J=Japan, or Gunma.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    for adding that. It's interesting if you look at VIN's in parking lots to see where they were manufactured.

  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Steve/fibber2: If you want more on the connection between the Rover 215V8 and the Buick V6 e-mail me at the address in my profile and I'll forward you a Word document containing some interesting history.
  • Are all the US model Legacy/Outbacks manufactured in Indiana? I checked the web site of Subaru dealer for outback and the VIN number start with 4. According to #5056 1=USA. The forester and Impreza start with J. Anyway, can you get a US model Outback LLB which is manufactured in Japan?

    A. Chee
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    4=USA (Indiana) too. Unless Patti or anyone else comes up with otherwise.
    My VIN starts with '4'.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    All US legacies and outbacks are made in SIA, have been since ~'92 The H6 engine however is made in Japan IIRC.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I never liked the idea of doing it, unless there was serious runout that would not allow the pads to contact flat. Rather I have (asked, when someone else is doing it, or when doing it myself) gone with 'block sanding'. It can either be done with a coarse grit paper wrapped around a wood block, or carefully done with a grinder. It adds some texture to the rotor for faster pad seating, breaks any surface glaze, removes minor grooves. Just make sure to remove the rust ridge on the outer and inner edges as they can damage new pads if they ride on these raised surfaces.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Thanks, Will do so when I get back home.

  • kmartedkmarted Posts: 2
    I am about to finalize my car choice- either the Outback wagon with the 4 cylinder engine or the LLBean Outback with the 6 cylinder engine. The dealer I have worked with has made an offer for both cars that when compared to the invoice price are very attractive. II would like to hear opinions from those that have just purchased an Outback wagon with either engine. In particular, if you have the 4-cylinder, do you like that choice or wish you had the bigger engine, or if you have the 6 cylinder, do you find you really use all of that power or is it overkill. Was it worth the extra $5.0 k or so to get the larger engine. I live in Georgia and most of my driving is city and highway with some excursions to the hillier (I really can't bring myself to say mountainous since I lived in Oregon before coming to Atlanta) areas of N. Georgia, N. Carolina and Tennessee. Snow is not really a problem, even though the natives somehow turn it into one. I occasionally will carry a mountain bike or two, camping and climbing gear, and a passenger.
    Any information and opinions will be greatly appreciated.
  • oclvframeoclvframe Posts: 121

    Last year I test drove, and, had to choose between the 4 and the 6 cyl. IMHO there was no comparison when it came to smoothness and power delivery. I was sold on the Bean. I would have gone for the VDC but couldn't justify the additional cost.

    I too take the vehicle up to Bull Mountain, Tsali, or Dahlonega for riding my bike, but, I only cary one bike with the seats folded down. I haven't gotten the roof rack attachments for my old Yakima yet....some day.

    Bottom line is, test drive both. BTW I wanted auto...I live in Cumming and work at Tech, so I have long commute and stick just gets old after a while during bad traffic. If you are looking for a 5-speed, then the limited in a 5-speed might actually be a fun car to drive!

    Good luck,

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I had an H4 Outback for 2 years, and recently got an LL Bean. Both cars are great. The main difference is the level or refinement you get with the H6 engine, and that should be apparent with a test drive. The H6 also gets off the line faster, and really hauls in passing maneuvers once the transmission kicks down. But the main difference is in the feel and nature of the engines: the H4 is a bit raspy and sporty, while the H6 is relaxed and butter smooth.

    To me, the H6 was worth every penny.

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    As others are saying, the H6 makes the Outback a whole different car - more refined, smoother... It can really move, too!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have the four banger in my Forester, and it's a perfectly adequate powertrain. No sane person could realistically claim he needs more power.

    So of course, I'd get the six. ;-)

  • ochsskochssk Posts: 52
    We got the H6 (LL Bean). After putting up with my '88 4 cylinder 4Runner and '95 Saturn SL2 I swore I would never get 4 cylinder again (or a GM). We have yet to take our Bean up to mountains but I can't wait. The power is very smooth with the H6. I find myself flying down the freeway without even realizing it.
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 288
    Our family has both. 4 is great for a driver w/o passenger(s). Got the 6 because 4 is too slow getting out of busy intersections with the weight of 2 or 3 passengers. 6 has more zoom although you really feel the power only at higher revs i.e. passing on a hwy. The 6 doesn't zoom from a dead stop like you'd think a 6 would. Hate buying gas for the 6 as I use hi-test. Actually bought the VDC for the McIntosh system rather than the Bean.
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