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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Congrats Alpha! Sounds like it will be nice. Enjoy.

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Funny - the square bars for the Forester are made by MontBlanc and they lock. They also work really well (very sturdy), but I don't leave them on full time since I don't need to haul stuff that often. In fact I've even left the factory racks off to cut down on the noise. Okay, it looks strange, but it really cuts down on he noise.

    Does sound like the Yakima's might be the way to go for the wife's 03 OBW.

    I know its early, but I'm really hoping they put a nav system in the 06's, or that someone comes up with a drop in solution for the 05's. That's the biggest missing link in the equation for me to purchase one. The other thing I don't like is the integrated center console - Ford/Mercury took a huge amount of heat for this when they did it in the Sable/Taurus line because if you don't like the factory sound system, you're going to lighten your wallet a lot getting a new system that fits.

    The last concern I have is the ability of the dealers to support the car. On a previous rant/post I highlighted the amount of insult my vehicle's suffered at the dealer, and can see it being a problem with the OBW-XT as well. Mechanically I think I know more about a lot of our Forester's and OBW's systems than the dealer does. Bad enough on a 23k and 28k car, but really scary on an over 30k vehicle.

    Another 0.02

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    As OBS owners, we're strongly considering the Outback for more room and basically cross-shopping it against the Highlander. A turbo 2.5 looks like a longshot at this point because of cost difference, mileage concerns, and spouse's environmental inclinations. As the alpha male, I had serious concerns about the base engine's power--particularly with our preferred EAT-- and decided, since it's a decison we have to live with for a long while, to rent a base Outback 2.5i from Hertz for a couple of days and put it through our routine.

    Not unexpectedly, I did not find the base 2.5 to have -more- "oomph" than needed, particularly from a standing stop, but I was pleasantly surprised that the car is not obviously underpowered either, particularly on the highway. The Sportshift, which I initially dismissed as kind of a gimmick, is extremely helpful in ironing out any hesitation in the standard EAT if one needs to "punch it" at some point.

    I intentionally drove on a few two lane blacktops in our area where passing can be occasionally hairy, and, while I'm sure the turbo would be preferable, I was able to execute fairly rapid passing using the Sportshift. I came away from the rental far less concerned with power/weight/acceleration issues than I anticipated.

    Other quick impressions for fence sitters (YMMV):

    1) Fit and finish--particularly for a first year model--was first rate. I passed on the '04 Forester because of some "squeek and rattle" issues, but could not detect any here on a rental with 2300 on the ODO.

    2) Base stereo was also considerably better than I expected and I'm fussy. I thought it sounded best with a slight fade to the rear speakers, and a bit less bass.

    3) Jury's still out on the seats. Although I found them improved over other Subies, I still thought the cloth was a bit hard. Maybe it's me.

    3) Minor annoyances--seat belt chime and lack of access with key through rear gate, which I found pretty odd. Imagine having a dead battery and needing to get at the rear spare.

    In any event, overall a very positive experience, and I'd recommended anyone who wants more than a test drive to try your Hertz outlet. If the transmission does "learn" from one's driving, the Hertz cars will be pretty confused though. :)
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    That's disappointing news on the Yakima towers. So that particular model doesn't use the standard lock cores from other Yakima racks?

    Hmmmm. I don't know if I would like to keep my bike on my rack if the towers aren't secure. I know for a fact that it saved my bike once. I had parked somewhere with my bike up top and when I got back, the thumb levers for the towers were up. Obviously someone tinkering with the rack while I was away!

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    That is surprising that the EasyRider towers do not take SKS cores. I also think locks are important (if not to protect the gear on the rack, to protect the rack system itself, which can get expensive).

    My DoubleCross towers work on the new OB racks, which is good for me, and they lock!

    Lumbar: there is an inside release for the liftgate which can be used in emergencies. I forgot where it's located, but it was mentioned in the owner's manual when I scanned through it briefly.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Alpha- congrats! Nice color. I probably would have taken one in that color if the dealer had one.

    Lumbar- I agree, I think the non-turbo engine is quite adequate. It's just not as fun. Better gas mileage though (on regular too)

    As for the Nav option, it wasn't a big deal for me. It would be nice to have, but I have a portable Garmin 2610, which does very well and has some key advantages:

    1. It's half the price or less! (about $750 if you look hard)
    2. It's got a remote (good for the passenger- I wouldn't recommend playing with it while driving!)
    3. It's transportable from car to car. Very useful if you travel and rent cars and don't know how to get around.
    4. You can program a route (for vacation) in your Mac at home (ok, PC too) and load it into the Nav.

    I think one of the car mags this month has an article on portable Navs and found they work quite well. The only disadvantage is the lack of dead reckoning- if you go into a tunnel or lose a satellite your GPS will stop working, but built in systems use the odometer and compass to figure out (for a short while) where you are. Now, it doesn't matter if you are in a tunnel, but if you are in the city you can lose the sat from time to time.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    When the 05 Leg came out, I was originally disappointed to hear that NAV and HIDs weren't offered.

    But thinking about 80% of my usage (commuting) I woudn't need NAV and as tom writes, it would be a better investment for me if I just bought a portable unit.

    As for HIDs, my last drive at night completely erased any want of HIDs. The stock lights are excellent.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I had thought about upgrading to the 2610 but decided to keep the SPIII.
    Reason, it can be battery operated outside the vehicle and I found that to be very convenient when venturing out on foot in a vactioning town/city not having to memorize the lefts or rights at which corner to get to where you last left the car.

  • rsq798rsq798 Posts: 35
    Yeah, but are they as bling??? J/k, if all I wanted was status, I would have bought a BMW or Audi. I agree with you totally. The stock lights are truly more than amply bright, and while NAV would be truly useful a couple times a year, a couple thousand is a lot to pay for those couple times, however bling. In fact, even the portable ones are still not worth the investment for me.

    Quick note on fuel economy - last week, I gassed up right before getting on the highway for a 20 mile jaunt through moderate traffic at 70mph average and got 26.7 mpg ave before getting off! Not my usual driving style, true (23.7 mpg ave), but an indication of what's possible. I have a GT with 2500 miles and no oil change.
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    It's nice to see that folks appear to have moved on from the angst of the IIHS test results. Just returned from another 180 mi.- mostly highway - trip (I'm over 3000 mi. total, in my first month) and I was constantly flashing on just what a terrific ride my 3.0 VDC wagon really is. This is really a driver's car - fast/quick, quiet and incredibly responsive handling. Still not a rattle or shake and the driver 'fit' seems to enhance the whole experience. Never once did I think about my 'vulnerability' to a side crash (to the contrary, I still feel pretty safe and secure). What I thought about - a lot - as, I whizzed by the traffic on the Mass Pike, heading west, was the pleasure of the ride. With all due respect to owners of '04 and older OBs, the whole experience seems like a great upgrade over earlier versions. I cannot imagine that anyone driving a 3.0, OB-XT or Legacy GT will come away with anything but enthusiasm and appreciation for the engineering and experience. I guess we'll see how the crash-test controversy plays out, but - in the meantime - feels pretty darn good to be owning/driving one of these cars.
  • goneskiiangoneskiian Posts: 381
    Alpha - Congrats on the i! I like that color as well, but went with silver for pure low maintenance reasons. Looking forward to your further impressions as you rack up the miles.

    As for my current mpg...I'm over 2500 miles now and the computer shows 23.4 overall. I've left one of the trip computers to reflect the odometer. I've calculated 22.74 overall average of all the tanks I've gone through. My best tank has been 24.18 and that had quite a bit of highway miles.

    I'm continually impressed with how quiet the ride is. My wife was driving one day and we're making our way onto the freeway and she says, "Oooops!". I ask what happened and she says "Well I was just going 70 in 3rd!" I didn't notice either. ;-)

    I'm also quite impressed with how quickly the AC gets the interior cooled down. Very nice considering how warm it's been here in the PNW this summer. I agree with Ken on the lights. I thought the lack of HID's would be a problem, but so far I'm very impressed with the lights.

    I'm also quite impressed with the stereo. It sounds great to me. And I don't know what everyone is so worried about as there is a replacement face plate that will allow you to change it out. I don't know if it's available here yet but I'm sure it will be. For now I've only seen it on the JDM Subaru accessories site.

    I do have a couple (very minor) nit picks. One is that blue cord from the subwoofer. Every time I look down and see it I wonder if maybe I could just take a razor blade and cut the carpet underneath it and tuck it through. I'll likely ask the dealership if they can get that under the carpet for me. The other is a very small rattle that comes out of hiding on only the roughest of freeway stretches here in the Seattle area. I'm not to concerned about this though as these stretches are VERY rough. Tom will know what I'm talking about (I-5 through North Seattle into Lynnwood both ways).

    Other thoughts:
    I will be interested in what can be done to hardwire an iPod into the system though. I'll keep tabs on how Ken, Karen and Craig do with their FM modulators, but I'd rather not go that route. I'm fortunate I guess in that I'm not totally addicted to my iPod yet. ;-)

    The manual tranny isn't the smoothest. I'm hoping it gets easier as it gets worn in, but I've ground 2nd (and maybe 3rd) a couple times when trying to get on it. I hate that sound! It's worse than fingernails on a chalkboard! It's likely my poor skills. I've always driven manual tranny cars but I don't profess to be an expert by any means.

    I too am a bit disappointed in Yakima not integrated the SKS lockable cores into these towers. That's part of the reason I haven't put them on yet. I'm hoping they'll maybe come up with a lockable alternative.

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    BTW, I should've mentioned that in a combination of city/highway w/some fairly fast driving we averaged about 28.5 mph by the computer and hit 30 after a road trip. YMMV literally.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Ian- I know that stretch all too well. All the roads by my house are very coarse also. I have two very faint rattles, not noticeable if you're listening to the stereo. One is in the driver's side B- pillar- it improved when the dealer re-installed that piece of moulding. It's on and off. There's another one on the passenger's side, but I can't quite place it. My guess is it's in the same B pillar on that side, but since I don't ride over there it's hard to place it. I'm going to put a few thousand miles on the car and then have my dealer look at them. This car is very solidly built- these roads put tons of squeaks and rattles in my Passat and even my Sequoia used to rattle over these roads.
    Ian, I did the same thing on the freeway, except 2nd gear. I looked down at my tach and noticed I was up at 5000 (oops!). Sometimes I think this car is too quiet. I haven't had problems with my shifter- as long as I'm not forcing it through the gates. I'll tell you more after I break 1000. Still considering the short shifter (but the techs at my Subaru dealership don't like it- difficult to shift)

    Ken- once again, I agree about the headlights. They are plenty bright for spirited driving at night. One of my favorite things about this car is being subtle. If I wanted to stand out I would have bought an M5. HIDs make you stand out and are just plain annoying to other drivers (ever get Hi beamed? You can't see a thing!)

    How much weight can you put on these racks? I would like to put my bikes and maybe a rooftop box from time to time.

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    It's nice to see that folks appear to have moved on from the angst of the IIHS test results

    i am not past the angst. the test results speak for themselves. subaru even had a second chance.

    i dont know what to add to the discussion so my posts on this have stopped but my angst lives on.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    No rattles in my LGT (yet--knock on wood). Maybe just a hint of the center console panels rubbing against each other. I was so used to hearing rattles in my 98 Forester that I catch myself holding my breath when I go over washboards! It's a solid vehicle, no doubt. Also, all the doors and gates close with a nice solid "thunk".

    If you can identify the panel, try putting a tiny amount of lithium grease on the fasteners to see if that reduces any friction related noise.

  • avizivaviziv Posts: 29
    Tom - You asked about the weight limit on the racks. I'm not sure about the Yakima but I asked Thule specifically about their system for the '05 OB and they told me 165lbs. This is substantial since it allows me to carry two sea kayaks - something many other cars, including SUV's cannot handle.

    Hope this helps,
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    for the well wishes, I will have a LOT more to say once the vehicle arrives.

    happy motoring,
  • avizivaviziv Posts: 29

    The OB's have many well known qualities and so I'm considering getting one soon. I need a car that can go off road occasionally, deal with snow and also carry two kayaks on it's roof. This seems a good fit. However, I wonder what you out there think of this car for carrying families in it? I need to carry a 7 and 4 years old kids in the back seat. We travel 2-3 hours several times a month. I know it's a very subjective question, but does your family feel cramped in there? Have you been able to fit a person in the middle between a car seat and a small booster seat? I know this car is for "5 passengers" but car seats limit the space for a 5th passenger - no? Any personal experience here would be appreciated.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    thanks for the info Avi. I'll probably get a set when they come out for my sedan.

    I'll trade you some info back.

    I have two boys- 8 and 10, and there's plenty of space for the four of us. But since both of my kids ride in booster seats- it is unpleasant for an adult to be between them for very long, although certainly doable if that adult is thin (and really likes your kids! ;-)! )

    The OB will definitely handle everything else you want out of the car. It all depends on what you want or need. To get significantly more space you'd need to get a minivan or a large SUV. I traded in a Sequoia for my legacy GT. I thought the SUV would be great for everything I did- camping, hiking, skiing- but in reality I was able to do the same things with my minivan- only more comfortably and economically (13mpg is no fun). It also meant living with a large car 100% of the time, to use it's capability 5% of the time. And parking a full sized SUV in my underground parking lot at work was a major pain! So I downsized, have a lot more fun driving, still have plenty of room for my family, and all of my costs have gone down significantly (gas, insurance, car payments, and maintenance). And I still have a minivan for the times I need a lot of space.

    By the way, I don't know how hard it is to load kayaks, but loading stuff on the roof of my SUV was a lot of work!

    Hope this helps ;-)!

  • frankwfrankw Posts: 22
    My OBXT now has about 1200 miles. I wouldn't call it a rattle but I hear very subtle, random "ticking" in the console area. I thought it might be CD cases bouncing off each other but it continued when I took them out. Your suggestion that it might be console panels rubbing sounds right.

    For some reason I really enjoy driving the car more than I did the X5 that I traded. The word "nimble" comes to mind. I still want to get better tires eventually.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Factory installed HIDs with legal bulbs work very well. Most of the bad rap or standout factor comes from aftermarket HIDs and/or illegal bulbs. If HIDs are available for your car you will like them alot.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Tom: That is about the best "switcher" story I have heard. I am glad to hear that you made a sensible decision! I think a lot of people are in the same situation you were in with a big SUV.


    I have gotten three kayaks on my Outback at once, a bike and a kayak on once occasion, and a kayak and a canoe on another occasion. No problem at all. Whenever possible, I try to run bow/stern ropes to the front and rear tow hooks as additional insurance. I don't think they are needed with a good rack system, but it's good to have an extra factor of safety.

    Most of the time it's me and my one kayak. I find the Outback is an ideal boater car.

    I have had kids and adults in the back seat, and never gotten complaints. I can see how it might be tight for big adults, but there is plenty of room for kids and smaller adults. Actually, I am 6'1" 235lb and I spent a couple hours in the back seat of my parent's Outback a couple of Christmas' ago with two other people in the seat. Not really a problem, and I noticed that you get a real cushy ride in the backseat. My parent's have an 00 Outback with the H4 engine and 5-speed, and it had no problems travelling through hills with 5 passengers.

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    being jealous of all you 05 owners! I am hoping the crash test results soften dealer pricing. Does anyone know the wheel offset and width of the OB and legacy?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I was just looking at the 17" wheels on my XT, and the offset is 48mm. I assume the width is 7", that would make sense for 225 tires and it's the most common width for 17" wheels.

    I still haven't sold my WRX yet, and am toying with swapping the tires and wheels over to the Outback, at least temporarily, to see how it affects handling. Onthe WRX, I have 225-45/WR-17 ultra high performance summer tires on 17x7 wheels with a 50mm offset. Bet that would transform the Outback quite a bit.... only downside is that the summer tires are noisy.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    the wheel width should be stamped on there too.

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    thanks for the response. I have 17x7.5 48mm offset wheels and I would like to mount them on the 05 legacy with 225/45's or on the OB (if wife wins) with a plus 0. Anyone try this yet?
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    I assume the width is 7"

    That's what the Outback brochure says.

    only downside is that the summer tires are noisy.

    And you'll be loosing ground clearance, recording more miles and driving slower than indicated, which may not be bad anyway :-) I'm sure you knew all that anyway.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    When I was at the dealer yesterday, I had them examine the "click" sound that comes right before I come to a stop. The shop foreman believed it was being caused by a solenoid that engages the shift lock. They noticed that the latch which is activated by the solenoid wasn't lubricated and tried addressing it that way first. They also noticed that the screws which hold the center console were a bit loose so they tightened them down -- probably from the port installation of the subwoofer.

    The click sound is somewhat diminished now, but not completely gone. It could be that I just have a noisy solenoid -- something that could be replaced on a future date. The subtle console "rubbing" noise, however seems to have disappeared.

    Anyone notice that the GT brake pads seem to generate more dust than previous Subaru models? I don't know if it's the larger rotors, but I do notice that my wheels get dirtier sooner than with my Forester. It's not anywhere near European car brake dust, but noticeably more than before.

    On my ride home, there is a long uphill where two lanes merge into one. A Miata was stopped next to me at the bottom of the hill last night and we just happened to start at the same time.

    I had my LGT in SPORT mode and gave it a leisurely 1/3 throttle application and started up the hill. Well, the Miata driver somehow thought I was trying to race him up the hill and cut him off because he redlined in first and chirped his tires in 2nd. When I noticed the ruckus next to me, I felt bad and in a act of self-restraint, I backed off the throttle and let him cut in ahead of me. I couldn't help but to chuckle at the thought of what if I went to WOT.

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    Still fighting the wife over OB/legacy. I use a tow hitch for my bikes and my next vehicle has to have a hitch. I don't see one offered for the legacy. Anyone fit an OB one?
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