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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • radianradian Posts: 21
    While I would heartily recommend the Legacy GT Wagon, I think you and your wife need to drive one to truly decide. It will be very different from a 300M, possibly too different. You may also want to check out an Outback XT or L.L.Bean depending on whether you ever intend to go offroad. And if the Legacy is too sporty, there's always a Passat Wagon with 4Motion. I know it's a VW (if you're worried about reliability), but Passats seem to be the best of VWs in reliability. It might even have fold-down seats in the sedan.

    I'm fairly certain you'll love the Legacy GT, but never having driven a Subaru before I think you'll need to see it in person to see if it fits all your needs.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    This is one of the times I would recommend trying a Dodge Magnum or a Chrysler 300C for comparison with the 300M. Especially if you need room. Those two vehicles are HUGE!!
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Yes the magnum would be worth a look. The Legacy GT is sized between the Civic/Corolla and the Accord /Camry (92/96/102 cubic ft). The 300/Magnum and the old 300m are about 107 cubic ft. There would be quite a step down in size.

    As mentioned the Passat is another nice choice, it is just a tad larger than the Subaru, but still smaller than the Accord/Camry. The TDI Passat would probably be more reliable than the gas version (which itself is average), and at EPA 27/38 is very tempting these days. It has as much torque as a Legacy GT.

    To me the 4-cyl non turbo is the most attractive Legacy, but it is the slowest.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    75mph is 20mph higher than the EPA. Try doing 55-60 for a trip and I bet you'll hit or exceed the EPA rating.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Looking forward to test driving an AWD V8 in the fall, maybe I'll pickup a used one in 2 years when they come off lease and are dirt cheap.

  • ntk1ntk1 Posts: 57
    Went to the local dealer yesterday to look at a silver sedan. This is definately the color choice for me - the lights blend in very nicely and the lower part of the sides has just the right amount of emphasis. (and besides, I hardly ever wash my car and silver looks the least dirty). I am now waiting for them to get hold of a GT MT - will keep you posted
  • snowbirdsnowbird Posts: 120
    I am considering replacing my 97 Mercedes 420E. I am looking for:
    1. Comfortable seats and good (not stiff) ride on long journeys.
    2. Good pick up to merge into highway traffic and overtake.
    3. Go to Florida for winter so need more cargo space, but no "off-roading" at all.
    4. Good MPG.
    5. Good interior finish.

    Can anyone please help me decide which of the above 2005 models would be more suitable? Thanks.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Either one would be fine. You might also consider the '05 H-6 Outback. It has the same HP as the GT and XT you're considering. The H-6s have audio steering wheel controls, where as the GT and XT have shifting controls on the steering wheel, if you get the 5EAT.

  • ace1000ace1000 Posts: 151
    Regarding the importance of VDC, there was an article on stability control systems (ESC) in the May 11 issue of the Wall Street Journal. The person at NHTSA who is in charge of its rollover program "cites a Mercedes-Benz study that showed a 30% reduction in single-vehicle crashes, calling it [ESC] 'staggeringly effective.'"

    I've decided not to buy a Subaru until I can get the model I want with VDC. If my current car breaks down before Subaru offers VDC on the Legacy and Forester, then I will get something else.
  • salbaby1972salbaby1972 Posts: 165
    My wife and I stopped by a local dealer in LA and we saw the new Outback and Legacies. The Outbacks look very nice. They only had the 2.5i models in 2 tone paint. My wife was very impressed with interior in the Limted and non- Limted.

    They had a 2.5i Legacy Wagon which was nice, but not as nice as the Outback. The interior was nice in cloth but we are looking for the Limted packs.

    We are still waiting for the GT and 3.0R s to come in.

    I can't wait for a test drive and to see how it stacks up against the Mazda 6 wagon.

    Teh Atlantic Blue looked darker than in the pics. Also we saw a Crystal Gray and silver cladding Baja which was very cool.
  • snowbirdsnowbird Posts: 120
    Thank you, Bob, for your input. I hope to test drive all 3 models shortly. Do you know if any model has a firmer or softer suspension than the others? I don't like bumpy rides on I-75 all the way to Florida, especially during construction. Thanks.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I will have a good idea come Monday, as I will be driving them then. :) I really don't think you have to worry.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I crawled around an Outback Limtied and i sedan. Seemed very nice overall. Rear seat legroom was tight IMHO but they did a nice job semi scooping out the back of the front seats for more knee room. The rear would not be a place for 3 adults on a long ride. The headliner was very high quality.

    As expected, I did not like the 2 piece roof. It is huge but didn't have a tilt feature that I could find. The light tan - almost white - leather may be a maintenance issue for some IMHO.

    On a side note: it was hot today in Boston (appx 95 degrees at the dealership). While sitting in the back of the Outback I discovered the child safety locks were on. I was really careful climbing over the console in order to get via the front.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    That is one nice thing about manual windows. You can always roll the window down and open the door from the outside. What price progress? : ^ )
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I sat in a 2005 Subaru Outback today! I was running errands and swung by the dealer, I was surprised to see them!

    They have about 5 - all basic, non turbo models. The new interior is GREAT. As nice as my 2003 Honda Accord, maybe even up to a low end Acura sedan like the TSX.

    Even the base models had 4 stage heated seats, firm bucket seats and classy interior materials. Quality grains and a nice headliner, unlike cheap Nissan. Real metal or convincing plood (plastic wood). This is the best interior by far of any subie. Our LL Bean has a great interior now but the wrx and forester are a little weak in the interior dept in my opinion.

    Size wise, the Forester is bigger in front. These have plenty of room in the driver's seat, more than our OB LL Bean. Passenger front seat is small though, not much improvement there. Comfy but not stretch your legs comfy for me. If it's a stick, I'd always be in the driver’s seat anyway!

    Stylistically, I like the subtlety of the legacy. Little things like the roof rails are low profile. I also like that the cars are offered in monochrome colors. I also like that tires are raised black letter, not white letter.

    Looking forward to an XT or GT turbo test drive!
  • j3studioj3studio Posts: 27
    Thanks everybody for the feedback! One more question (for now) ...does anybody have any good pictures of what Regal Blue Pearl looks like?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Looking at the specs, limited editons of the Outback XT and Legacy GT seem to add $2500. For this you get leather power seats and dual sunroofs. That seems high for what you are getting. Am I missing something?
  • aveskiaveski Posts: 7
    I looked at some at a dealers today. Very nice, but for what I just paid for my 2004 Outback I'll have to content with that for the next few years. I'll send a report on my Outback soon.
  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55

    I just joined Edmunds and this is my first post. So, if I make a posting boo boo, I hope you'll understand.

    Yesterday, I drove a new Outback at Carter Subaru in Seattle, WA. I took some pics; here's a link to my gallery. Just click the gallery to enter:

    It was a base model Outback with the non-turbo four. My current car is a 2002 Audi A4 (6Sp, 3.0) so that's my basis of comparison.

    My impressions:

    In general, I liked it. Since I'd never driven one and since it had the base tires, wheels and suspension, I didn't push it, but I thought handling was quite good. The steering was VERY precise. And the turning circle was very short.

    I drove on I5 at about 70-75 MPH. If you've been on I5 in Seattle, you know that it has ruts and is fairly rough. The straight-line stability was top-notch! Much more stable than my Audi. And it is actually quieter at freeway speeds than my Audi. (I didn't expect that.)

    They also had a Legacy wagon. I liked the looks of the Outback MUCH better. the Outback had a more muscular appearance. More "heft", I guess. Very nice looking - front, back and sides. The Outback wheels are very attractive. The pics I've seen before don't do them justice. I hope my pic does.

    The ride was quite supple. Of course it had the soft, base tires. I'm looking forward to testing the XT to check the ride (and handling).

    Overall, I thought the quality was quite good. Fit and finish was very good. Material quality wasn't quite as good as my Audi, but pretty close in most areas. Of course the Audi costs about 20% more, so it should be a bit better.

    With one exception, I'm happy with the quality. The exception is the seats. I found the seats in the base model to be a little uncomfortable in the upper back area. And the fit and finish of the leather seats in the Limited model weren't as good as I'd like to see. The seams were OK, but some weren't straight. Since I have a back problem, I'm picky about the seats. I'm hoping that the XT seats will be better.

    One oddity that I found was that I liked the Moss Green color combination on the Limited much better than the blue base model that I drove (both are in my image gallery). IMO, it's because the newer Outback looks better with light over dark (Moss Green) versus dark over light (base model). I expected the reverse.

    Overall, I liked the car a lot. Assuming there aren't any major gotcha's with the XT and the seat is comfortable, I'll be buying an XT w\5AT.



    (Now I hope this posts correctly.)
  • iluvsubaru2iluvsubaru2 Posts: 56
    I was wondering if you found the 2005 OBs you looked at had more headroom than the 2004s. I drive a 2004 Forester and found it's the only Subaru I could fit in with a moonroof. IMHO anyone taller than six feet isn't going to be comfortable in the previous generation OBs with moonroof. I was hoping third generation OB would finally give us six footers a break. Did you compare 2004s with the 2005 OB?

    Waiting for my dealer's 2005 to see for myself but if if you'd been there and done that I'd be grateful for a reply.

  • iluvsubaru2iluvsubaru2 Posts: 56
    I'm with you on the VDC issue. I've driven VDC as well as other yaw controlled vehicles on ice and snow. There is no comparison to those without it. The only exceptions might be for elite drivers: skilled, attentive, very fast reflexes. And lucky. They will need luck to deal with what they can't see, such as the black-ice I test-drove my first OB VDC (very big and empty parking lot). I could not "lose control" as I did one emergency manuever after another. Could not spin-out on the Fish Hook and Double Lane Change manuevers, two common tests that can measure the risk of two vehicle and single vehicle collision.

    I'm disappointed in Subaru for offering VDC only on top trim OBs. It's a policy that's as indefensible as offering side air bags only on luxury trim lines and let the rest of their customers risk head-injury and death if they get T-boned or rollover. Why should they have to buy moonroofs, leather seats, premium sound systems to buy what is rapidly becoming routine safety equipment?

    I have owned the first and now own a second generation Forester but I will migrate to other automakers if I find a comparable vehicle that offers electronic stability control.

    PS: Those who think AWD is enough understand neither AWD or Electronic Stability Control (all you elite drivers out there excepted:-)
  • michael2michael2 Posts: 31
    i'm fortunate to have a cousin who owns a subaru dealership, so this evening i'll be ordering a 2005 legacy gt limited turbo sedan, by phone, atlantic blue pearl.

    from what he tells me about it ,it's quite a step up, o-60 in 5.9 seconds. i'll be trading in my 2000 gt limited sedan, wit 77000 completely trouble free miles.

    i post the deatils of the deal when i have the info.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Jake - the headroom was better BUT I sat in a base outback without moon roof. I will have to try a direct comparison for you.

    In the legroom department, I would have to say the Forester is still king, though these new OBs are roomier.

    I have heard it said that manual seats provide a grater range of adjustment than powered ones. There were no Limiteds on hand to test this out, but it has me thinking that a cloth seated GT non-limited, or XT non-limited might be the way to go for tall folks.
  • zoomer1zoomer1 Posts: 42
    You are right on! As one who has been bemoaning the fact that Subaru decided to nickel and dime VDC--on a $25K-$28K car I a am glad to see that even Edmunds said that SOA should have included Stability Control in their cars (at least made it an option)...other publications are following suit with the same lament. Reviews are very positive overall--good to see that. Disappointed about the MPG though. I agree with you that those who think AWD is enough.....don't know better....
  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55
    I drove the Outback last Saturday - a base model. (See my other post.) But I did sit in an Outback Limited with the sunroof. The salesman told me that the front portion of the sunroof tilts up. I didn't try it though.


  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    The salesman told me that the front portion of the sunroof tilts up. I didn't try it though.

    The switch for the roof only seemed to have two postions - it wasn't marked so I presumed open/close only. I know the front part tilted up when the back was open but most have a tilt feature so the back tilts open for ventilation in hot parking lots.
  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55
    It would seem logical for the switch to tilt up the front portion first, followed by the sliding portion. Has anybody tried this?


  • dwcoloradodwcolorado Posts: 10
    Add one more person wishing Subaru provided stability control across all the models.

    Stability control is important enough for me that I'm now seriously considering the competitors that do have stability control standard or as an option (1.8T A4/Passat most likely). The XT/GT sounds like it would have won hands down with stability control, but without??? Just waiting for the GT/XT's to come in so I can do a one day test drive marathon and make some decisions.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Am I alone in prefering the clean styling of the Legacy to the Outback? The lower ride height also equates to better cornering, an observation also made by the Edmunds testers here.

    Ideally, I'd drive an Audi or BMW (minus the German reliability woes). Or a WRX with a little more cush and a little less rally inspired styling. Maybe the Outback appeals to someone who would drive a Volvo cross country (minus scandanavian reliability woes).

    Audi, BMW, WRX, Volvo wagon are all nice cars, depending on mood. I am hoping Legacy GT will add a dallop of performance a la Forester XT or WRX to a well thought out family vehicle.
  • goneskiiangoneskiian Posts: 381
    Nope, you're not alone. ;-)

    While I do like the new look of the Outbacks the Legacy is just "cleaner" looking. I also agree that the lower ride height should improve it's driving dynamics.

    There's a great review of the new Outback at:


    p.s. Juice and Bob should be back from Las Vegas by now. Anybody know where they're posting their impressions?
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