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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    sduford: actually, you are incorrect. Only the XT Ltds are available in Canada. No base XTs. Instead, we have a base of the 3.0 VDC, called the 3.0R. However, I should have clarified that monotone is also available on the VDC 3.0R...did not mention because it is not on my hit list.
  • aveski,

    If expy02 does not take it, please send them to me! Many thanks.


    I'm not trying to steal your coupon... Getting in line just in case ;-)

    Anyone else with extra coupon booklet?

  • My test drive of an LL Bean Outback was an epiphany. Terrific fit for our family. Believe it or not what's keeping me from pulling the trigger is the radio. While I'm not an audiophile, it's clear to even a tin ear like myself that the sound is thin. What are my aftermarket options? I'm also disappointed that satelite radio is not an option. Has anyone installed an aftermarket satelite system? Seems bizare that I might pass on a car because of the radio, but it is a key feature for my enjoyment of the vehicle.
  • I would suggest adding the subwoofer/amp. I did, and it is certainly an improvement although still not a perfect solution. Getting a good balance of high/mid/lows is a struggle.

    Good luck
  • Yakima Racks are very reuseable from one car to the next by just modifying spacings or at most getting new Q-clips. The steelhead is a very good bike carrier, but some disk brake bikes may not fit and you have to move up to a viper.
  • Get the subwoofer it really helps alot.

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Last month I heard a news blurb on the radio that the Outback was considered one of the SUVs that was most apt to tip over. Can't remember the source but it was reported on New York's 1010 WINS. Not that I care about this because as far as I'm concerned all SUVs are a liability in this area if you drive it like a jerk.

    Anyone know anything more about this? Found it hard to believe because most other SUVs appear to have much higher centers of gravity. And this is in spite of the Legacy engine having been lowered and the track widened. Curious.

    I know this is old news, pardon me if it was already discussed.
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    I have some Subaru 16" steel wheels with 225/60/16 winters mounted on them for my mdy 00 Outback.

    I believe the tire circ./diameter are almost equivalent to the stock 17" tires that come on the 05 Outback.

    Anybody know if the steel wheels will fit (ie bolt pattern, clearing the calipers) on the new Outback? I know with the large brakes on the Legacy GT, it it is a no go.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try Crutchfield. I was looking for my Miata and found MP3 players for as little as $160-180, and that includes a harness for plug-and-play installation.

    If you are going to upgrade, may as well go MP3.

    designman: they rated the 2004 Outback (not the new 2005) as one the most likely to tip over in its class, but that's because they grouped it with cars.

    Group it with trucks and it's actually among the better performers. Common sense if you ask me.

    The info was outdated before it was even published, because that Outback is no longer sold.

  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    Arghh, I think you are incorrect again. Subaru Canada's website shows the base XTs and I test-drove one. Not sure where you got that they are not available in Canada...
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    When ranked against other cars, the Outback is the most likely to tip over. But when ranked against SUVs, it is one of the least likely to tip over. Everything is relative.

    There is no rocket science here. Look at any car car or SUV and based on the ratio of width to heigth, you can get a pretty good idea of whether or not it is tippy. For a true measure you would need to use the height of the center of gravity against the width of the car.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If they compared the older Outback to cars that would explain it, but I could swear they said SUVs which suggests the 2005. They also mentioned other SUVs specifically, I forget which ones exactly. It has no bearing on my purchase but I would be curious to read the source and criteria. General news editors can screw these things up. Thanks.

    Sduford... Not rocket science but science nonetheless. You can't make a statement like "most apt to tip" by visual observation. Protocol and parameters are needed. Visual observation doesn't tell you the height of the engine, weight, centers of mass and a ton of other things.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually it's too bad they didn't test a 2004 VDC, I bet you couldn't tip that over if you tried.

    Anyone have the link? I didn't even pay it much attention since like I said the info was outdated before it was even published. How dumb to test a discontinued 2004 model.

    I'm fairly certain is was not categorized with trucks. Ironically, the 2005 now will be, because it's registered as a truck. So don't be surprised to see the same articles next year toting the Outback as "least likely to roll over".


  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What's so hilarious? This is something that can be clearly measured unlike styling.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm just saying, the ranking depends only on your perspective.

    If you view it as an alternative to a car, well, it's raised up and of course it's more likely to tip.

    But I suspect most Outback owners were leaning towards an SUV, and ended buying something less likely to roll.

    Why is that hilarious? Because the headlines next year will tote the Outback as the safest truck!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    2004 Headlines:

    Outback most likely to roll

    2005 Headlines:

    Outback least likely to roll

    Dunno, I find that funny. But I have a strange sense of humor.

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I appreciate your sense of humor. I usually save mine for Bangle topics and the German Critical Mistakes thread.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry if I Bangled (*) the joke


    * Bangle: verb. To spoil; uglify; ruin a legacy of decades of beautiful cars with hideous styling cues that require 60 minutes of explanantion just so people "get it".
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Rollover testing....

    It is VERY subjective. The test driver decides how late to crank the wheel, before the cones. This is how they got the Trooper and Montero to "roll" v. other SUVs...

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Actually, in this test, subjectivity didn't hurt the Outback at all. The new NHTSA score is based partly on whether it tips or doesn't, which it didn't. It's a simple pass/no-pass grade there. Then the rest of the score is based on a simple mathematical computation of the height of the center of gravity vs. the width of the track of the vehicle.

    The old rating used to be based purely on the calculation, NHTSA just added the tip/no-tip criteria.

    If the 2005 had the same scores, it'd go to fourth place in the so-called "SUV" category. Though perhaps the mathematical calculation for the 2005's may push it down somewhat.

    But the tip/no-tip can be affected by how the vehicle is being driven. - namic

    As it is, I think even the revised NHTSA rollover rating is full of holes.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There you go, Outback actually gets 4 out of 5 stars, and it grouped with the highest performing group, Passenger Cars.

    And notice is says "NO TIP"!

    Sounds like a high rating, the media takes quite a bit of liberty, eh?

    The actual ranking is better than any pickup. Also, it would rank 4th among SUVs, ahead of any Honda and Volvo in that class.

    It's less likely to rollover than the Sienna minivan!

    Next year we'll hear the opposite, sensationalized headlines like "Subaru safer than Volvo".

    The real surprise from those ratings? The Escape actually tipped up!

  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Uh-hummm....don't think so, unless the 3 local dealers are wrong. All three say Outback XT available only in Limited in with Leather, moonroof etc.... The base XT with cloth is not available. If you test drove one, perhaps it was a loaner from the US? I certainly have not seen a base XT on any dealer lots, nor have I seen pricing for it. The Cdn XT MSRP is $44,325 for 5EAT, which is in the ballpark of the 3.0 VDC...hardly base XT pricing. Finally, I am staring at the specs for the XT in the 2005 Outback brochure for states Perforated Leather and Moonroof as stnd options...nothing about cloth. Perhaps you could provide the link that states there is a base XT with cloth interior in Canada, and hopefully provides Cdn pricing? Are you confusing the GT with the XT? Because the GT is available in non-Ltd. ie. cloth.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    NO TIP... guess this explains why the valets ignore me when I drive in with the Outback.

    (I got a million of 'em!)

  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    "Not rocket science but science nonetheless."

    That's why I said oit would give you a good idea, but you would need to know the CofG to make a really good asessment.

    When I saw the list of SUV "tippyness" ratings, I realized I would have got about 8 of 10 right just by looking at them. Check the list, then look at the cars, you'll see what I mean.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    These cars are so close it's hard to declare an absolute winner. Neither is a loser, as they are both winners IMO. It all depends on what your priorities are.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    C'mon guys, tip 'em a little, I used to valet park myself and I take offense to the idea that Subarus don't tip. ;-)

    In all seriousness I did valet park back in college, in fact a guy in an old Subaru once tipped me a $20! Tied for my best tip ever.

    Glad to hear the GT comes out on top in the opinion of MT (and JCOTY).

  • Whew! Finally caught up in here after taking the new GT on it's first road trip. We put about 3400 miles on it in 2 weeks. Drove from Seattle over in to Montana. We took it up over the Beartooth highway into the NE entrance to Yellowstone (10,950 foot high pass). Spent a couple days in Yellowstone a couple more in Jackson Hole WY and then through central WY (Dubois, Jeffrey City, Rawlins, Saratoga) to N. Central Colorado (Walden, Granby, Rand, Winter Park) to Denver. Then took the quick(er) way back from Denver through Odgen UT, Boise ID and back up through the tri-cities area of WA, Yakima, Ellensburg and home to Bellevue. Whew!

    How did the car perform? Pretty much flawlessly. I say pretty much because we had a scare in Rawlins WY one night. We had just finished a day of driving and filled the tank. After driving for a bit we stopped for dinner. After dinner we had the CEL come on and the the "Cruise" light start flashing. Unfortunately we didn't have the Owners manual with us as I had been reading it in the house before we left (oops), so we frantically tried to call my wifes sister to have her come to the house to read it for us. Of course we're both operating on a day of driving so we're a bit tired and not thinking real clearly. Then I remembered reading a discussion here on this board about how not tightening the gas cap can trigger a CEL and since I hadn't tightened it when we filled up I thought I'd try it. So I made sure it was good and tight and then I ran the car for a couple minutes (CEL still showing) before deciding to give it up and get some sleep. We figured if we had to we'd call the nearest dealership in the morning (about 100 miles away in Laramie). Fortunately that did the trick as neither light was on the next morning when we went to leave and hasn't come on again since. ;-)

    Another thing I noticed on the trip was that my door panels didn't match. I remember loading up one morning in West Yellowstone MT and looking at the drivers door. "Hmmmm..." I said, "That's strange. The driver's door has a cloth insert. I wonder what the others have?" Low and behold the drivers side rear door has the same cloth insert while the doors on the other side have leather inserts. Strange.

    Anyway, the dealership already has my matching door inserts on order.

    Last but not least is the most disapointing part of the trip. Somewhere along the line we took a rock to the very edge of the windshield and between Denver and Ogden on our first leg home it decided to crack. Fortunately it's in the very lower right hand corner of the windshield so you can't really see it while driving, but it's still a bummer to have to think about replacing a windshield that's only a couple months old. For the record, none of my or my wifes previous cars have ever had a windshield crack.

    Truly an awesome Grand Touring car. Very comfortable for long hauls on the freeway yet an absolute blast over the twisty mountain passes in Wyoming and Colorado. Of course the power felt quite good even at some pretty extreme elevations.

    Sorry for the long post!


    p.s. Oh yeah, mileage. Best tank was on the way from Jackson Hole to Rawlins WY on the way out with a pretty stiff tailwind (28.47 mpg) and only cruising at 65 to 70 mph. Worst was on the way back with that same stiff wind coming at us head on (23.81 mpg) and cruising at about 80 (speed limit is 75) and still getting passed quite often. The worst tank period was when we were driving around seeing the sites in Denver (21.56 mpg).
  • Welcome to all the new Subaru owners. I hope you enjoy your new rides as much as I do. Just be sure to thoroughly check out those new vehicles (see door panel reference in above post). ;-)

    Ken - If you haven't already had your windows tinted I'd recommend the darker 20% option. That's what I've got in my wagon and it's definitely NOT too dark. There is so much glass in this wagon that there's still plenty of light getting into the cabin. Besides, it looks soo sharp to have the silver wagon with the black wrap around windows.

    Road trip follow up...
    I don't know if I'm just getting used to driving the car or if it's the cooler weather we're having here in Seattle or if the engine is really loosening up now but it feels a bit more powerful than before I left on vacation. I'm at about 6800 miles now and opened it up a bit yesterday. Damn! This thing just goes!

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