Howdy, Stranger!

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

Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • 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: 1,785
    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: 1,785
    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.

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    8.8sec to 60mph was their best time. Usually you can add 0.5 to 1.0 sec to get the real time. So probably mid 9-sec range. I believe they said 0.8 sec faster than the H4. I dont believe that. My guess is that its 9.5sec for the VDC -vs- 11.5sec for the H4. I think this is the same mag that reported that you could get a mid 5sec 0-60 with the could.....if you want a new clutch every other launch.
  • I am the proud owner of a 01 Wintergreen Outback. I just came back from a 1500 mile road trip to Las Vegas/Death Valley. My car performed flawlessly. Avg 25 mpg. My only concern is this car is a dog at any altitude over 3500 to 4000 feet. It hunts between 3rd, 4th going over any grade above 4000 feet. Left in 3rd it will hit 60 mph at 5000rpm. Thank god I live at sea level.
  • Unfortunatley it won't help you James, but another reason why the 5speed is so great. I've been to 11,000 ft and had no problem getting my 00 GT to purr right along.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I read one review where an H6 reached 60 in 8.3s and still managed an average of 26mpg (EPA is 20/27), which is an impressive combination.

    I've also seen some LL Beans no-dicker priced at $28.3k, several actually, at

    Fair enough, the hood prop rod is a cost cutting measure, and the spare is a donut, but we could just as easily pick on Volvo.

    (warning: rant ahead)

    For example, the seats are awesome but the head rests are ridiculously large and blocked my view. How safe it that?

    I also found the suspension floaty and anything but confidence-inspiring. The 215/65 tires may be at fault - pretty lame rubber. The auto tranny is so slow to react I had to tip it at 4000rpm to get a shift at redline, so I don't see the point of it, especially since the auto works fine by itself.

    Plus, over $35 grand and leather and a moonroof are still not included? And 18/22 mpg is dreadful compared to the H6 Subarus.

    You could argue Volvo is a luxury marque, but I could paraphrase a friend and say it's a Fjord. Plus it's based on the *very* unreliable S80, so the reliability will never touch what Subaru offers. If you disagree take some time to read what people in this Town Hall have said. They are quite vocal about their problems.

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    A friend of mine claims to have an offer on the table for $28 even for the LL Bean in the Orange County area of Southern CA but I dont know exactly where. He is thinking it over with a trip to Alaska of all places. If true and the Bean can be had at $28 or below, then the LL Bean mave have taken over the best deal title from the now defunct Brighton Wagon. Remember the Brighton? WOW that was a great deal. For either late 99 or early 2k it also had ABS. May have even had it before that but I remember seeing it then.
  • aps5aps5 Posts: 43
    I have just rejected the ML because of too many reviews about poor snow performance, and now I read that the VDC mechanism (which brakes spinning wheels) may be a problem on snow as well.
    See review:


    In addition, you can't defeat the VDC in the subie, like you can defeat the similar mechanism in the Mercedes ML. If the VDC detects spinning wheels in snow - will it slow the vehicle down? Anyone have one in snow yet?


  • smb7smb7 Posts: 2
    We had nearly decided on an Outback Limited, but during a test drive today, discovered we cannot put our son's car seat in the center back due to the 'ridge' down the middle. I've always thought that the center back was recommended, so I called Subaru for more info. Was advised that they can't recommend what brands of child seats will fit as they haven't tested them. What's the scoop on child seats and the safest location for kids to ride? We plan to have just one child, and would like to have the sides available for adults when we have visitors... (Can't get the built-in child restraint on the Limited; only on the regular Outback.)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Andy: Subaru says the traction control system is less invasive than most, allowing the AWD to work first, and only then will it interfere.

    Regardless, if you don't want the electronic babysitter, just get the cheaper H6 model and save $4000 canadian. Similarly, US customers can get the LL Bean and save a bundle.

    Sarah: sounds like you didn't get a very knowledgeable sales person. At least one without young kids.

    I believe the 2001s have the LATCH/ISOFIX anchors that mate with the new child seats out there. Tether anchors were available a few years earlier. You may want to purchase the new seats that are made for these anchors, or at least one with a tether kit.

    The middle of the back seat is the safest place. The trick is to push the child seat down into the seat very firmly, even if that means putting your knee into it to get it tight. Get help if necessary. Tight is right.

    Once you get the seat in firmly, the trick is to use one of those locking clips to hold the belt's length in place for future use (if you remove and have to reinstall the seat). In my case, I had to twist the belt base to make it shorter because it was at an awkward length for our seat.

    Then attach the tether, which tightens easily (and prevents the seat from moving forward in an impact).

    ISOFIX makes it all easier, but any seat should fit. You can even get help from a local fire department, or a Mercedes dealer, or even the store where you bought your seat.

    Pardon the rant, child safety is sort of one of my pet peeves.

  • Can anyone explain OB's Equipment flavors, such as
    RB Equip,
    RL Equip,
    GB Equip,
    GL Equip.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    Could you guys check two things for me that I forgot to do during my test drive?

    First: The 2k Outback Ltd. (and probably all the Legacy based models) has this annoying rattle when you close the door with the window down. Makes an otherwise great car sound cheap. If yours does it you know what I'm talking about. Does not rattle when you drive, just when you close the doors with the windows down.
    1) Roll the window down all the way on the driver and/or passenger side
    2) Open and close either door firmly with the window down
    3) Listen for a rattle or any indication that the window is banging around in there. The hollow rattle should be pretty obvious if its still there.

    Second: Some or all(?) 2k OB Ltd. (and perhaps other OB models but not(?) Legacy models) make this muted ticking sound when you turn on the defroster on cold days. The sound is like an expansion of the dash or something to that nature. Its our second winter and its still doing it. No better no worse. It makes the sound for about 5min and then goes away. You cannot hear it with the radio on and you really cant hear it if you put the defrost on high.
    1) Wait for a cold day (in the 32degF/0decC range)
    2) Turn on the defroster on low (1 or 2) after the car has warmed up a little.
    3) Listen for a ticking sound from the dash. In some OBs its really quiet and others its pretty noticeable. Ours seems to be medium.

    The first thing is far more annoying than the second. I want to know if they fixed the first one and if the second one is just restricted to the 2k model year. Small complaints really. Its a great car when you can complain about things like ticking noises and the subwoffer that dont affect driveability or ergonomics. The exact opposite of my now traded in Ford Contour.

    Please post your results.

    Thanks for your time
Sign In or Register to comment.