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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • bruce3bruce3 Posts: 13
    I have had my Legacy GT Ltd. Sedan for 750 miles. I second many of the comparisons. The 5M is quieter than the 5EAT. I specifically compared this car to the top end BMW 330XI and it blows it away in performance and even comfort is better. I have the short throw shifter and it is really smooth and quick. You are right that the 2.5T is a speeding ticket waiting to happen if you don't pay attention. Mileage is getting better, 25 in mixed city/highway, but then I coast a lot since the car rolls so effortlessly. I also agree the only thing I really miss from my Volvo S70 is the memory seat. But then it is a good excuse to keep anyone else from driving the car.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Our brand new Legacy 2.5i 4EAT sedan (Regal Blue, Emissions, w/auto-dimming mirror/compass and rear spoiler as only options, MSRP 23,338, paid invoice) is nearing the 200 mile mark. The car, overall, is simply awesome.

    Im really amazed at the no-compromise balance between ride and accurate, bordering agressive, handling. The Legacy simply commands the road. Its tough keeping revs significantly below redline, espeically with SportShift feature, simply because the engine revs so smoothly and fairly quickly. Ours feels stronger (Im sure its all in my head, lol) than the Legacy 2.5i that I test drove in late May, and the power available is more than adequate for everyday needs. If anyone decides to test this configuration, Id put the 0-60 right at the 9 second mark, fine given the decent fuel economy. My parents are totally enamored of the vehicle, as well (good, since this is actually my dads car), and we all share very high regard for the ergonomics and materials appearence and quality of the interior. The car frekin rocks!


    There is definitely an issue with the rear defogger. Any time it is activated, the stereo loses reception, almost completely. All static, no music. Very uncool. If anyone has had a similar experience, please advise. Might there be a TSB? We have other cars with rear window glass embedded antennae, and this has not been an issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Still, overall, no regrets. This car is awesome, and the Regal Blue is a PHENOMENAL color. (Atlantic was the original plan, but after seeing one side by side with the Black and the Regal, there was no contest).

    Happy motoring!
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    No offense taken. An H6 Turbo??!! Too much hp for me, too.
  • movedormovedor Posts: 65
    mylegacy wrote:
    movedor: The 2.5 turbo is a torque monster with a very broad and flat range. However, getting a car rolling with just the clutch is do-able even with smaller engines. I used to do that with my 98 Forester all the time in bumper to bumper traffic.

    Yes, I know. But the way I learned to drive, it was a old car with 60hp, which always required gas just to get moving. That became a habit. When I test drove the XT, I thought of not giving any gas just to see if it would work.

    ateixeira wrote:
    movedor: check out an XT that isn't a limited, and just get an aftermarket stereo for a couple hundred bucks. You'd only be giving up the memory seat. Nobody's perfect!

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I think with an aftermarket stereo the console wouldn't look good anymore. MP3 is just a nice to have to me, now memory seats are a must for me. As you pointed out, manual seats are quicker to adjust than power seats. I was expecting that at $29K a good car would have memory seats.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    its like computers. one can never have too much power
  • timo1745timo1745 Posts: 58
    I posted this on Thurs or Fri, but can't seem to find my post (my apologies if this is a dup):

    As a 'car guy', I'm embarrassed to ask this, but does the new 2.5L turbo motor have a timing chain, or a timing belt?

    Also, does anyone run synthetic motor oil in their new '05 Legacy GT or OBXT? Any recommendations of brand and weight?

    Many thanks!

    Tim G
    '05 OBXT Ltd (taking delivery at end-of-month)
  • saywhatsaywhat Posts: 63
    Hi folks;
    I just bought a 05 legacy GT turbo auto sedan and I have read where some reviewers complained about the auto shifting too frequently etc., but they wrote that this problem can be solved by leaving the auto in sport shift mode. My questions to all you very knowledgeable people is, Can I leave the transmission shift in sport mode all the time? And if i do, can i use the shift buttons on the steering wheel to shift through the gears or will that put me back in normal driving mode. And what are the good or bad points about doing this. I am picking up the car Monday,Aug.16. Thanks for your anticipated input.
  • doug1doug1 Posts: 37
    I'm just about ready to pull the trigger on an Outback XT purchase. Would anyone else have an extra maintenance coupon? My e-mail address is d_b_elliott at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You can leave it in Sport mode, but you will use more fuel, and you will most likely soon tire of all the high rpm driving. If you hit the steering wheel shift buttons (or gear shift fore or aft) while in "Sport" mode, you've then put the vehicle in "Manual" mode, where you have to manually upshift and downshift, just like if you had a manual transmission.

    I would leave it in the normal "Drive" mode until you get a better feeling for how this transmission operates. Experiment with "Sport," "Manual" and the normal "Drive" modes, and see which works best for various driving conditions, and which you prefer.

  • gxb159gxb159 Posts: 46
    I just cracked open the all weather floor mats and put them in my 05 OB. I am trying to figure out is the dealer gave me the wrong set or not. I set them on top of the factory carpet mats and they rubber ones are much smaller by about 3 inches or so. I assumed the all weather ones would cover the same if not more space the the standard mats. My hope is that they mistakenly gave the me wrong pair from a smaller car. Before I drive 30 minutes to the dealer to ask, I thought I would ask everyone here.

    Does any one else who has the mats experience the same issue? THANKS!
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The gears shifting too frequently in normal Auto mode is really a function of how much the transmission adapts to one's particular driving style. In normal mode, the TCU is trying to achieve the best fuel economy possible given your inputs. The harder you drive it, the more it will start to delay shift points.

    Leaving it in Sport mode has no ill effects other than less fuel mileage as Bob pointed out.

    I find that I do most of my driving in normal as my transmission has adapted to my particular driving habits. I like the fact that in normal mode I can use the steering wheel buttons to momentarily downshift and it automatically goes back.

  • rossmrrossmr Posts: 13
    have had my 05 3.0R OB wagon for a month and 1000 miles. love it - first subie - coming off of a blazer that was costing me an arm and a leg in repairs.

    couple of ?s - my service dept wasn't very helpful. the car came with factory crossbars on the roof rack, do i have to buy the round crossbars to use the bike racks? can i still use the sunroof with bike rack installed?

    also, anyone have any experience with the pet divider for the back? seems pretty expensive, is it custom for the OB or just a generic unit you adjust?

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Timing belt.

    You can certainly run synthetic oil. I may do this myself, however it is about 3-4 times more expensive than regular oil. I like Mobil-1, and used it in my WRX. As for the viscosity, use the chart in the owner's manual to decide. I will stick to 5W-30 in my OB XT because the temperature range covers me if I go skiing in cold weather. Last year, I hit -12F weather in Snowshoe West Virginia with my old Outback! That would have been too cold for 10W-30.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I leave my OB XT in sport mode all the time now, and still get 21-23 mpg (same as when I left the transmission in regular mode). Admittedly, I at only 1250 miles and don't have enough data on gas mileage yet. All I can say for sure is that leaving it in sport mode has not hurt my MPG.

    The main benefit to me is that it holds 1st gear a little longer and is more responsive about downshifting. If driven "sanely" the sport mode feels a lot crisper than normal mode but is perfectly acceptable for everyday driving. In my mind, this should be the default behavior for the 5EAT!!

    If you do use the shift buttons while in sport mode, the transmission goes into manual mode. However you can get back to sport mode by flicking the lever right and left again. Actually, it's more like a tap than a flick!

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Yeah, they are smaller than the carpeted mats -- about 1" all around. It was like that on my 02 Outback as well.

  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    Congratulations, Mike. Also have 3.0R (VDC) wagon. 4200+ mi. and a truly terrific driving experience. Fast, quick, stable, quiet.

    On the crossbars: I'm using the Thule system from my Volvo XC. Works fine, though I had to cut the cross bars down a bit, since the car is a little narrower, especially toward the rear. If you have bars from your Blazer - and you plan to cut them down a bit - make sure that you take into account the different width of the roof toward the front and the back.

    If you don't have a set that you can transfer, you can buy the Subaru (Yakima, I think) accessories or any other brand that fits the rails - which Thule does. Or, you can probably try adapters to fit on the factory cross bars. Seems like the bars can hold 100+ lbs., so 2-3 bikes shouldn't be a problem.

    I have had no problem with the sunroof and the bike rails. In fact, since the roof rails are actually a bit further back than they were on my Volvo, they do not overhang the sunroof on the Subaru as much as they did on the Volvo. No interefernece with the front part of the sunroof at all. And, no interference with the rear liftgate when it is fully open.

    Good luck.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Only the 3.0 H-6 Subarus have timing chains. Frankly I wish the H-4s did have timing chains. Maybe with the next engine update they will get one. I sure hope so.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Actually, I have found that Sport mode emulates my previous 5MT shifting pattern (upshift between 3-4K rpms) more than Normal mode. When I want to be zipping from stop sign to stop sign, I just leave it in Sport.

    Since I've been happy with my milage in Normal (23-24mpg) I've been a little relucant to leave it in Sport too much. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
  • saywhatsaywhat Posts: 63
    Many thanks to Bob (rsholland), Ken,and Craig for your help on leaving the gear shift in SPORT MODE. When I asked the salesperson the same questions, he gave me an answer that was completely wrong, and being an old Trailer Truck driver, I instinctively knew what he was saying wasn't true, that is why I posed the questions on this forum. You people should be on Subaru's payroll, thanks again.----- Bob
  • Saturday I test drove a OB Turbo. Love at first drive. Even fit my 6'3" frame (just). I was sorely tempted to buy on the spot. But I figured I would wait for NHTSA or IIHS results.

    Little did I know (miss a day at and you miss a lot) IIHS had already tested a Legacy.

    I was euphoric with expectation when, after my test drive, I hit the IIHS website to review the results. I'd earlier heard SOA recalled OBs air curtains but discounted it, assuming it was caught by SOA QC. No idea then it was the IIHS not Subaru who first found this potentially fatal flaw.
    I'm disappointed by the IIHS test results. While there's much we do not know, we do know Subaru's failure to meet it's own crash saftey benchmarks (established in 2003 with the Forester) puts in question commitment and/or capacity to deliver on core values of performance, quality and safety.
    I'm hoping SOA offers IIHS an OB for testing. An OB with better SABs (as 2nd gen Foresters have) in addition to side curtains. Acknowledge failure and do something about it. Now, not in MY 2006.

    I will not buy an OB until it is able to meet or exceed the same safety standards Subaru achieved in the 2003 Forester.

  • dmbst68dmbst68 Posts: 50
    The 2005 Legacy (both the 2.5 Ltd and the 2.5 GT Ltd. in automatic transmissions) are on my list as possibilities for my next car. The only thing I don't like about the 2.5 GT Ltd is the wheel size...215/45 on 17" rims and Z-rated. Isn't this overkill? Is anyone going to honestly drive this car at near warp speed 99% of the time? In snow, I don't need near racing slicks...I need normal tires.

    My question: Can one get Subaru 16" rims for the 2.5 GT Ltd, specifically those that are on the 2.5 Ltd? Would a dealer swap these out?

    Normally, one can go down 2 speed ratings without affecting stability. has "H" rated 215/45 R 17's for < $100 each. Can you go from "Z" to "H", or is that a no-no?

    thanks ...
  • rsq798rsq798 Posts: 35
    I was thinking along the same lines for a set of winter wheels. I looked on Tire Rack but they only match 17" and 18" wheels for the GT. And if you look at the brake calipers, there doesn't seem to be much room to go down in size.

    But, I was wondering if it would be possible to go down in width for a set of winter wheels. Anybody try this before?
  • timo1745timo1745 Posts: 58

    In my humble opinion, I wouldn't swap out the GT's 17" tires/wheels for a smaller size. Reason being, the GT has larger brakes (which may or may not accommodate a 16" wheel--I don't know), and **I believe** a slightly stiffer suspension than that of the 2.5i Ltd (the GT Ltd also weighs about 100 lbs more than the 2.5i Ltd).

    My point is, the GT was designed for a 17" tire/wheel combo to accommodate it's additional horsepower and consequently different handling characteristics than the 2.5i. For anyone who's ever changed down from a WR or ZR-rate tire to an HR (presumably also with a higher aspect ratio, e.g., "taller" sidewall), you'll notice substantially more flex in the tire's sidewall, even during "normal" speeds. Rather than taking my word for it, maybe drive a 2.5i and see if you can feel the difference.

    Fyi, there are better tire deals to be had on than what you've posted...for example, I routinely bought Kumho and Sumitomo tires for my '88 M5 (as well as my current and last several BMW 5-series cars) in size 235/45/ZR-17 for at/less than $100 each. Not sure how fast you go through tires, but if you do the math, I think you'll find the difference in cost long-term really doesn't justify dropping a wheel size and truly 'down-grading' your car's handling.

    Again--just my $.02. Hope that helps.

    Tim G.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    If it's ride quality you're concerned about, I wouldn't worry about it. The ride is quite comfortable. I guess the RE92s are not terribly stiff. These days you can get low profile 17" wheels on Mazda 3s, 6s, Altimas, etc (I don't think you can get a camry though ;-) ) So they are becoming commonplace. I remember when 60 profile tires were low! I don't think the ride is any worse than the LL Bean OB loaner I had this week (minimally stiffer).

    I also agree that you probably can't go down because of the size of the Brake rotors. They're bigger in the GT.

    Dropping speed rating from H to Z means you have to stay below 130mph ;-). In normal driving I doubt it will affect stability.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I gave in and had the short shifter installed. It's quite nice, better than I expected. It's still easy to shift (easier than the STi short shifter, IMO) with significantly shorter shifts. Nice and crisp and precise, whether driven leasurely or aggressively, with minimal increase in effort. I hesitated to have it done because there's nothing really wrong with the standard shifter. Subaru has done a nice job with this transmission. It's definitely on par with anything Mazda or Honda has put out (2 companies who make great trannies)

    deanie- the all caps is blinding! ;-). I tend not to buy first year cars, but because I knew this one has been in production in Japan for a year I would be better off. I'm sure they will fix some of the kinks from this factory in Indiana, but some of us don't have the luxury of waiting (or the patience!)

    Anyway, you could lease now and then trade up for a Legacy STi in 3 years. ;-)

    I was very glad to be back in my GT after having the loaner for 2 days. The driving experience is night and day! One thing I noticed is that the Bean had Onstar. Is Subaru not offering it anymore? It can be quite useful.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    FWIW, the 05 Camry SE V6 wears 215/55 R17 Performance tires as standard (not sure of the brand), with All-Seasons of the same size as a no-cost option.

    Happy Motoring,
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Like others have mentioned, the 17" wheels are necessary for the GT to clear it's oversized brakes.

    I've found that the ride on the stock tires to be fairly comfortable. It's firm, but definetly not punishing. The stock suspension is mildly tuned for a bit more sporty driving. Take a test drive and check it out.

    Keep in mind that tire "speed" ratings are not just about the speed you travel at. I've heard many misinformed people say, "well, I don't drive faster than 90mph so I only need S-rated tires". The higher the rating, the less sidewall flex and the greater ability of the tire to withstand heat. With lower profile tires, these two characteristics are a must.
    With higher ratings, you're getting better performance at all speeds, not just a higher maximum speed.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    could not have said it better myself!
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I had to buy some lumber today, and finally got around to mounting racks on my new OB. My old Yakima Double-Cross towers fit OK, but not great. So, I bought a set of the Low-Rider towers ($129) and tranferred my SKS lock cores over. The Low-Riders do fit better on the 05 side rails and they look better too -- lower profile. I also got new crossbars, as mine were about 10-15 years old and pretty beat. So, that was about $165 of rack hardware to carry $35 worth of lumber!

    While I was tying my lumber to the rack at Lowes, a couple came over and asked me a bunch of questions about the new Outback. They seemed really interested in the car.

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