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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The proactive portion of Subaru's VDC system lies in the fact that it is coupled with the underlying AWD system (VTD).

    Most ESP programs simply use the vehicles brakes to correct under/oversteer situations. Not all ESP programs are created equal and in many overly conservative programs, the use of the brakes, not surprisingly slows down the vehicle (hence some car testers turning off ESP to achieve the best lap times).

    With VDC, the system will try and correct over/understeer by transfering power as well as applying brakes to individual wheels. The result is advertised to be less intrusive than a ABS-only ESP program.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Rusty, I think Ken summed it up quite well, both in terms of the engines and handling. Ken owns a new '05 GT Limited wagon with the 5EAT. He knows what he is talking about. Also, being lower to the ground means a lower center of gravity. So that, and the suspension, tires and steering changes all add up to one superb handling car. One other thing the GT has is bigger brakes too.

    When I say "linear" I meant even and predictable. There is no sudden surge of power at any given rpm, unlike that of the turbo.

    On the flip side, if you're more of an "outdoorsy" guy, the Outback may be the better choice. It comes standard with roof rack cross bars and a rubber trunk mat, which are optional on the Legacy. Also the HD raised suspension and larger tires do have an advantage on marginal roads or traction.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I was almost T-boned (my brand new GT LTD, crumpled up flashed before my eyes) when a car came out a side street without stopping (they ended up stopping almost and entire carlength into the lane I was just in). Thank God for the quick steering! It was a narrow street so I had to turn quickly and turn back before hitting a car parked on the other side. No way I would have made that maneuver in a Camry or an Accord.
    The quick steering is very nice. And I didn't have to test out the side airbags. ;-)!

    I think active safety has to be at least as important as passive safety (CR rates the safety of cars on based on both active and passive features) which places these cars far above their Honda and Toyota competitors. Maybe the Altima comes close.

    BTW, saw 2 GT sedans today- one silver, one atlantic blue, both with spoilers. Very nice looking, I might say. ;-)

    Drive carefully

  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    Many of the existing rail systems from Thule and Yakima will most likely end up being approved for the 2005 models. Just because it fits does not mean that it should be used. Give it another month and both organizations should have fit guides out for the 2005 models. Thule will most likely approve their new 450 food. Existing rail ride systems will also probably be approved. If you choose to use an existing platform, do so at your own risk. Neither Thule or Yakima will back these "untested" applications.
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    With all the posts over the past month, I was concerned on what my mileage on my VDC would be. So far, I am happy. With 1300mi, I seem to be getting 18 (purely around town, short distances), 21 (2/3 rds stop and go), and 26 (highway). I am amazed at the large range but am impressed by the highway numbers.
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    Sure wish I were getting 26mpg on the highway!! Bset I've done is a around 22. Must be that I'm driving too fast??!! I'm at 3100+.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Krzys: yes, like I said, drop the throttle in a turn and VDC will shift power to the front wheels since it effectively *predicts* the weight will shift forward so the front wheels will do the engine braking safely.

    Smart, eh?

    ESP will react after the weight shifting and you fishtail, hopefully quickly enough to catch it (good luck!). I dropped the throttle too quickly on my Miata and did a 180 quicker that I could say "whoops".

    Is ESP quick enough? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Is VDC quick enough? Yes, because it shifts power to the front axle and behaves like a FWD car in that situation (understeer), so you don't wag your tail. There is stability control on top of VTD just in case, but you might not even need it.

    Another situation - say you're pulling up a pair of jet skis on a wet boat ramp. Hey, live a little. Let a guy dream.

    Any how. The VW starts with the default power split. Weight shifts to the rear so it's likely the front wheels will spin. The torsen may actually be useless here if there is no traction to the front tires, but ESP will use the brakes to shift up to 67% of the power to the rear axle. My guess is you'll hear a little wheel spin. The sytems has to make a mistake first, then it can correct it (albeit quickly).

    The VDC has sensors and knows you're going uphill, so it has already sent power to the rear axle, up to 100%, since it doesn't have the limitation of VW's system.

    You pull up the ramp without any drama, quietly, no wheelspin. It doesn't have to make a mistake before it can correct it.


  • rsq798rsq798 Posts: 35
    Other than my next door neighbor who bought his at the same dealer as myself, I haven't seen any other 2005's of any model on the road since I bought mine. What about other people?

    On one hand, I do enjoy having a car that no one else, but on the other, I would like seeing sales pick up at some point. I seem to remember a couple years ago seeing more RSX's by this point after they were introduced.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I see them all over the place here. I was in Dewey Beach, DE, and saw 3 in a matter of seconds. More recently I went to Milford, CT, and you couldn't throw a rock and not hit one.

    As usual demand is regional, though.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I've been seeing quite a few recently, Legacys equal to OBs, interestingly enough. The Pac NW is mostly OBs. Also interesting is most of the OBs i've seen have been black. I don't remember seeing any black ones prior to the '05s.

    I didn't know the 2.5i had a dual exaust too. Unless you see the hood scoop or the wheels, it's hard to tell them apart at a distance.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's that "trickle down goodness" someone mentioned above. I loved that catch phrase. Subaru should put that in its advertising.

    But then it would be hard to justify why a VDC costs almost double what the 2.5i costs.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I haven't heard much on demand for the 2005's. Are they meeting Subarus sales expectations or are they falling short due to the much discussed price points?

    Just curious.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Legacy sales just had a record July. Could be they cleared out the 04s, but they had to have a lot of 05s in there too, to break a record.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    there are a lot more Legacys, especially turbos, now on dealer lot than in the past. SOA must have revised the Legacy-to-Outback production ratio this year. I think that's great. I was worried that Subaru may still only produce just a trickle of Legacys, and that's not the case this year.

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    I have only seen about 4 new Outbacks, which is surprising low for the number of Subarus in NH.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The July sales split did have more Legacy than before, but the Outback is still outselling it by far.

    It used to be 3 to 1, though, now I bet it's more like 2 to 1.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I love statistics:

    In 07/03 appx 71% of all Legacies sold were OB's

    In 07/04 appx 68% of all Legacies sold were OB's.

    My calcs based on numbers.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    75% would be 3 to 1, so I was pretty darn close.

    67% would be 2 to 1, again almost exactly.

    What do I win? LOL

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    What do I win? LOL


    Edmunds Retail TMV trade on your Forester and Miata on an 04 Odyssey at Invoice.

    Welcome to the dark side.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    We take delivery of our Legacy 2.5i 4EAT on Tuesday! The dealer lot has VERY few 2.5i models. There were two 2.5i Limiteds, the rest were GTs, with more GTs than GT Limiteds. (Im speaking only of sedans, btw).

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I really love the vehicle. One thing that is going to take some getting used to is the quaking idle when cold. Our Camry's 2.4L VVTi engine is smooth as silk. And for what its worth, that is an exceptional machine for its intended purpose as well, despite that people routinely deride it for the lack of excitement<IMO. For $21 grand (LE plus Side Curtains), you cant find a better combination of comfort, quietness, efficiency, ride, room, safety and reliability. The Accord certainly has a handling edge, but the Camry is a lux ride.

    PS- Our Sube is Regal Blue. Damn, that color is GREAT on this car. For me, its gotta be the Regal, the Black, or on the GTs... that is a great red... whats it called?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    So far, I've seen only 1 2.5i wagon and one OB XT wagon on the road. No other GTs to be seen here in the Bay Area.

    Hey, I contributed to that 68% in July! :-)

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I'm still driving the only one I have seen locally!! The local dealer has all the same cars in stock that I looked at over 3 weeks ago. So it would seem like they are not moving in this area.

    I'm at 953 miles, 20.1 mpg avg. I did a little preemptive sportshifting to get ready for the party at 1000 miles. WOW! Nice to have a fast Outback.

    I do hear a variable hum noise from about 45mph on up (but no vibration). Hopefully it's a wheel/tire out of balance (or perhaps the tires are that noisy). Part of me suspects a bad wheel bearing but that would seem low probability. Given my previous experience with Subarus coming from the factory with unbalanced wheels/tires, that seems more likely.

    Believe it or not, I was going to take the car to Firestone to have all the wheels balanced, but they cannot do a dynamic balance on wheels with stick-on weights!! Huh?!? They could do a static balance, but that would likely be much worse than the factory balance job. So, I am in search of another tire shop. My local Subaru dealer has never done good balance jobs, so I am not going there.

  • Hi everybody,

    Hope your Legacies and Outbacks are going well.

    I have just hit 1200 miles and averaging about 18-19mpg overall. High of 25mpg on a 300km round trip at 100km/h. Low of about 16mpg round town driving.

    Car is proving good with no issues, except a few (expected) marks on the taupe upholstery.

    A couple of points/questions. An Australian 4wd magazine called Overlander tested the Outback 3.0R (without VDC) recently and highlighted that it performed well on sand (due to light construction), but that it was not so good on rough trails because the car would cock diagonally opposite wheels which created wheelspin. I thought modern cars could distribute torque to individual wheels if necessary, but I guess I am wrong?

    Does VDC solve this problem?

    Secondly - someone posted recently to point out a blind spot - so despite looking in your mirrors, a car behind you to your left or right stays out of sight. I know this is generally a problem in cars, but I too have noticed this as a specifically bad problem in the '05 Outback. You really need to do a full swivel around and triple check your rear three-quarter before you change lanes. Can make ducking in and out a bit slow or risky, depending on your driving approach.

    FYI - the result of the article mentioned above - "If you really want a sporty and fun drive, the Outback is the only choice. The Outback also offers refinement, excellent fit and finish, is handy in town and tours well." But they note poor touring range, generally an issue in Australia where any trip into the outback does require 1000km fuel capacity. The winner was the Toyota Highlander (again). "No, we don't like its uninspiring on-road dynamics, but it offers excellent drivetrain refinement, good practicality, impressive build quality and solid performance."

    So no difference there to other tests, then. I think the Highlander is ugly and boring to drive, so we didn't even bother testing it.

    Finally - anybody taken their '05 Outback off-road? We have been on some muddy trails, but nothing worse than deep bumps I guess. Fun on the slippery clay roads we get here though!

    - Aussie Outback
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    FWIW - I stopped by my dealer earlier this week to do a test drive for the $25 VISA award. They're one of the highest-volumne dealers in the Chicago metro area and they had almost no '05 Leg/OB inventory in stock. So either they sold what they had or ???. Anyway, I decided to hold off on the test drive until a Legacy GT Limited is available.
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I am still on the lookout for the XT Ltd 5-speed for a test drive in the NH area. I want to drive it compared to the VDC but all dealerships have is the auto.
  • ryanl1ryanl1 Posts: 55
    I know my dealer sold 3 GT LTD sedans including mine and I've only seen one 2.5i wagon on the road.Supply is limited in the Pacific Northwest.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Well, let me relate my experience -- there's almost no benefit to the 5spd MT on the XT in my opinion. Used to be that the autos were kind of dogs and the MT had better performance and got more out of the engine. I would say that's not the case on the XT models. In my opinion, the only reasons to go with the MT on an XT are: 1) save $1200, 2) you really-really like shifting gears.

    I thought the MT shifter on the XT was very good, but not fantastic (say compared to the shifter on my WRX or a good Honda MT). In contrast the 5EAT was really impressive. As someone who has always preferred MT, it was kind of interesting to gravitate towards the 5EAT. I'm glad I went that route.

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