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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    LOL. Oh well. Were you posting a link to a non-Edmund's forum? Unfortuantely, that's verboten around here...

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I've had luck selling lightly used tires to a local tire shop before. Sometimes they will get a customer with AWD and one bad tire that is looking for an alternative to replacing all four.

    But, yeah, it's unfortunate the stock RE92As get such a bad rap. They're okay for OE freebies.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    True, while SOA could simply import a model, that still adds costs to them. Subaru would still need to submit it to various tests, carry the burden of a unique inventory number as well as consider spare parts and aftermarket service as well. Adding a model or option isn't as easy as one thinks.

    Isn't the model that we are talking about (3.0 H6 with 5EAT in the Legacy GT body) already available in near identical form in the Outback variant (Outback LL Bean/VDC etc) ? What additional spareparts and aftermarket service are we talking about, that cannot be managed with existing infrastructure ? :confuse:
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I think he was talking about a 3.0 mated to a 6-speed imported from Japan. But even in the case that the parts were all available here, there still are costs associated with carrying a distinct model/option combination -- administrative, advertising, etc. There's a reason why manufacturers of any type of product limit the number of possible combinations.

  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    If SOA was concerned with the costs of carrying different models why did they offer new colors this year? There are now seven Outback models and seven Legacy models. They include an XT wagon with manual shift and an LLBean sedan.

    The issue is does SOA marketing understand what customers want. Do you seriously believe SOA will sell more LLBean sedans than they would manual shift Legacy GT wagons?
  • satire2satire2 Posts: 22
    "The issue is does SOA marketing understand what customers want."

    Interesting question.

    Now take a good look at the styling of the Tribeca. Well?

    In addition, look at Legacy color choices the last few years. Color can and should be such an area of relatively inexpensive joy for both manufacturers and car buyers, and yet Subaru acts as if there were an international pigment shortage.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think it's also a matter of what sells the best, and what they can get the most profit out of. Historically, the Outback models far, far outsell the Legacy models. So I am not surprised to see some cutbacks on the Legacy side to free up more production for Outbacks (and have no doubt whatsoever that LL Beans will outsell Legacy wagons). It makes sense from the business side.

    My gripes are lack of 5EAT and VDC in lesser models, and lack of exterior colors paired with the darker interiors. Subaru seems to have concluded that everybody wants a beige interior and doesn't mind the aging 4EAT and lack of stability control. You can buy entry level cars from other makes with 5-spd autos and stability control. To have these absent on the majority of the Legacy/Outback line is really pathetic.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    So I am not surprised to see some cutbacks on the Legacy side to free up more production for Outbacks (and have no doubt whatsoever that LL Beans will outsell Legacy wagons).

    Sorry, I believe he mentioned Outback LL Bean Sedans. If there is something that sells worse than the Legacy wagons, those would be the Outback sedans. So the point was that they increased production of the wrong vehicle type.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,096
    I saw an Outback LLBean sedan last week.. Not a good look for a sedan..


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  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I guess the real comparison should be why they offer the 5-spd manual in the Outback XT wagon and not the LGT wagon. And that we don't know without some inside reasoning from SOA. But my guess would be that sales of the 5MT XT wagon versus the 5MT LGT wagon justified it.

    Of course, you can't get an Outback 2.5i Ltd or Legacy 2.5i Ltd with 5MT anymore either -- only the base models of each line are available with 5MT.

    Either the market has shifted even further from demanding 5MT, or their supply was constrained. Either way, Subaru is clearly picking and choosing where to offer that option compared to years past when only the H6 models were not offered with 5MT.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've always felt that the H6 better matched the character of the Outback, since it's supposed to be an SUV alternative and most of those have sixes.

    For the Legacy, the turbo is more of a match.

    So I think it would make more sense to limit powertrains that way, vs. not offering a Legacy GT wagon with a manual trans, or dropping non-Limited models.

    They shuffle the lineup every year. Don't like the 06s? Wait for the 07s. Don't like the 07s? Wait for the 08s. They always change.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I did too and I agree. Looked very strange.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Sounds to me that they're trying to doing both -- save costs by cutting powertrain combinations while also adderssing market trends. The LGT wagon 5MT probably didn't meet their expectations in year 1. Also for the 2.5i Ltd range, most shoppers probably don't even consider manuals anymore. I just wonder how much longer until they nix the 5MT OBXT.

    The unfortunate thing is that other makes in the 2.5i Ltd range now offer 5-speed ATs w/stability and the OBXT/LGT range offer some form of 6-speed MT w/stability.

  • satire2satire2 Posts: 22
    To be perfectly honest, I can't see the point in any Outback.

    To take a fine road car, jack it up, compromise its handling and safety, slap vinyl on its sides, is juvenile and tasteless.

    Of course it sells, though. This is America!

    The only possible point to any Outback is ground clearance. And no one needs extra ground clearance unless they live at the end of an unpaved, unplowed fire road.

    This is in no way a comment on Subaru. All manufacturers have responded to the SUV craze. If they kept making and selling intelligent cars, as they did before they discovered marketing, they'd be out of business in the U.S.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Save your criticism for SUVs, where it's justified -- the Outback is a far more reasonable vehicle in my opinion. I chose an Outback over a Legacy for off-road capability and driving in deep snow, two situations where the extra ground clearance is beneficial.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    I agree. I can certainly see the utility of the Outback, for folks who need more ground clearance, especially here in Minnesota. Moreover I believe it is the Outback (wagon) that pays the bills within Subaru to a large extent, in addition to the contribution from the Impreza line.

    I strongly feel that the real reason why the Leg.GT does not sell is because Subaru has done nothing for it in the way of advertising its capabilities. Any surprises that non-Subaru-afficionados are unaware that such a vehicle exists in the Subaru lineup ? If you don't know about it, would you seek it out ? The lame generic Japanese styling of the front-end don't help matters either. :(
  • I've been looking for these times everywhere on the web but haven't found them. Does anyone know what the typical 0-60, 45-65, and 1/4 miles ratings are for the 175 hp Legacy?
  • At least Subaru offers some interior color choices!

    VW and Mazda seem to revel in black interiors, which heat up terribly in hot climates and endlessly fog windows. Ditto most other performance oriented cars.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    "At least Subaru offers some interior color choices!"

    I think you are joking. Subaru did offer interior colour choices in 2005. Since then outside and inside colours are married together.

    VW loves black for value edition Passat but anything higher has a choice of 2 or 3 from black, gray or beige or "Leather Latte Macchiato" (coffee?).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The side cladding isn't useless as you might think.

    The lower doors on our Legacy have two dents on them that cladding would probably have prevented.

    My Foreser has cladding and can take 10 times the abuse that our unprotected Legacy can.

    Trust me, it is NIGHT AND DAY. Tough and durable vs. thin paint and automatic permanent dings to the sheet metal.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Good point Juice. My previous Outback had dings around the wheel arches. My 05 has cladding around the wheel arches and just has paint scuffs -- no dents. I was surprised how many dents are picked up in that area, and also how effective the cladding is at preventing serious damage. I'll take a paint scuff in plastic over a dent in sheet metal any day!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Another amen. My old Legacy wagon suffered a large wheel arch dent from a runaway lumber cart in a Home Depot lot. And the extra ground clearance of the Outback is great in my unplowed alley every winter. The cladding on the 2005 and later models does look better than it did previously though.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,860
    Speaking of ground clearance, that is the one thing I lament about my '96.... it needs more! Granted, I do live at the end of what, in the lower 48, would probably be rated as an unplowed logging road, but there are times when my car gets high centered due to excessive snow/slush depths. They are rare enough instances to be tolerable, though, as the car tends to be fairly tenacious. :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I totally agree that the 2.5i enginge is perfectly adequate for almost any driver and will handle any normal driving situation. The desire for more an more power at the expense of fuel economy baffles me. I find it funny that people view 175hp as "inadequate" when similar cars not that many years ago had far less and the roads and speed limits were the same. I have been perfectly happy with my 2.5i wagon with an automatic transmission and have never needed more power.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    And I will serve as the dissenting voice.

    I now have an 06 3.0R wagon. Previous to that I had a 98 OB with the 2.5L and auto tranny. I found the 98 to be fine out of the hole in city driving, but if I needed to merge onto a freeway from another freeway, I found the acceleration to be inadequate. I don't know what the real world mileage is on the current generation 2.5L OB's, but I have lost on average 1 MPG between my 06 compared to my 98. In purely freeway driving my 06 actually gets better mileage. So in my eyes, it is coming without much of a mileage penalty since my 98 is my measuring stick.

    In my opinion speed limits have very little to do with the desire for power. It let's me get up to speed quicker, which is important to me. It is not about going faster on the high end. Also those roads that are now the "same" actually have more traffic which makes me appreciate the quickness of my new car even more.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the power from the 2.5i is perfectly adequate for my purposes. What I am not happy about are the denial of features like a better AWD system, a rear LSD, better brakes, TPMS etc., to cars equipped with the said engine. Given the above features (at the very least the better AWD system), I would be happy with the 2.5i engine.
  • Unexpectedly back in the market for a wagon that will last a long time (30,000+ miles/year), be fun/comfortable to drive and makes me feel/be safe in winter New England driving. Last 3 vehicles: 99 Volvo XC70 (great drive, huge repair bills), 2005 Subaru Outback VDC (fun/great vehicle, felt a little small-ish as the miles piled up) and Acura MDX (nice ride, lots of toys, pleasant/comfortable but kind of dull - and, oh yes: what was I thinking on mpg??!!).

    Looking to get smaller/better mpg, but have expectations - again: fun,comfort, safety and some of the 'toys'.

    Hope to act soon. Right now, looking at leftover 2006 Volvo 70R (reliability/repairs??)...2007 Subaru Outback XT (lots of fun to drive, now has VDC and a few tech upgrades new since 2005)...VW Passat (reliability?)...9-5 Sportcombi (what-no side curtain airbags??)...and, 9-3 Sportcombi (biggest concern is lack of AWD - even with stability control, will it match the other awd models in the huge amount of winter driving I do?).

    All thoughts and experiences will be much appreciated.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Hey Richard,

    You might also want to look at the Acura RDX. It's got more passenger space than the Outbacks, but less cargo space. It's a pretty nice vehicle, drives and handles very well, and ought to have real world gas mileage similar to the Outback XT (warning though, for intense city driving RDX owners are reporting MPG in the mid teens). If you like gadgets and don't mind spending more, the RDX tech package is probably appealing.

    I have an 05 XT, and it's been a great car. The LL Bean Outback is a great choice too. With VDC and other upgrades, I wouldn't mind an 07 myself (the 07 XT's MPG improved a bit over my 05 model). But, the 07 won't be hugely different from your 05, so it might not be as exciting to you as other vehicles.

    Seriously, I would stay away from the Euro cars you mentioned -- I have not heard great reports about reliability / maintenance costs with Volvo, VW, or Saab in recent years. Saab would be the best among those, but as you mention the lack of AWD is a concern. For my ski trip driving, I feel much better having AWD myself.

  • Thanks for the incredibly quick response, Craig. Been out of this for a while, but keeping track of the forums.

    Test drove the RDX, last week. Impressive technology and interior design, also pretty comfortable. Frankly, I thought the ride was a little harsh. Mileage-wise, not sure that I would be moving forward, as I fully expect gas prices to rise steeply, again, in the near future. And, I have also been reading about the mpg concerns.

    Drove the XT - the attractive new, darker gray. Seemed smoother, quieter than the RDX, expecially on the highway. Maybe not as roomy, but not too bad. And, really great performance.

    Really think the RDX mileage is roughly comparable to the XT? Actually, I was not that happy with my VDC mileage - 80mph on the Mass Pike and rarely broke 20mpg.

    Interesting that you like the Saab better than the Volvo and VW. Really like the look and drive, but wonder about some of the techie omissions. And, there is the lack of AWD. Drive all over MA, all winter, and lots of ski trips, too.

    Getting older, but these decisions aren't getting easier - especialy, with a soon-to-be 16 year old providing expert, selfless advice! (He'd do anything, if we would buy him a used WRX!)

  • Right now, looking at leftover 2006 Volvo 70R (reliability/repairs??)...2007 Subaru Outback XT (lots of fun to drive, now has VDC and a few tech upgrades new since 2005)...VW Passat (reliability?)...9-5 Sportcombi (what-no side curtain airbags??)...and, 9-3 Sportcombi (biggest concern is lack of AWD - even with stability control, will it match the other awd models in the huge amount of winter driving I do?).

    The XT doesn't seem to get great mileage, although with the SI-drive that may have improved. But for high highway driving the H6 is still tough to beat.

    I'd say the #1 vehicle cross-shopped with the OB wagon nowadays is the new Toyota RAV4 - don't know about MPG. Once you open the Crossover/SUV door you can add the Nissan Murano, Toyota Highlander, and Tribeca. The new Honda CR-V is bigger as well.

    I drove a co-workers new Volvo XC70 and found it to be ponderous, but roomy and lots of bells & whistles.
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