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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I'd like to take a look at the new Legacy/Outback rain gutter design. I had to replace the gutter on my 02 wagon when I scratched it up with lumber. It's a pretty neat design -- almost perfectly concealed. There is a regular looking rain gutter channel stamped into the sheet metal, and then the black gutter trim (which appears to be stainless steel covered with rubber/plastic) goes over that. It attaches from the underside of the door opening (with screws) and then the rubber gasket and weatherstripping for the glass opening snaps into it.

    I'd have to look at the new cars to see what the gutter trim looks like and if it could be the source of leaks.

  • jwatsjwats Posts: 72
    We are planning to pick up an O5 Legacy GT 5MT limited wagon tomorrow--but nothing goes perfecly:

    1. Even though we had agreed on price and accessories, a "short throw shifter" was added at last minute which has a MSRP of $300+ and a cost of $221. It is not something I particularly want or would pay for, but it is not practical to remove it.
    a. Should I pay for all, part or none of it at their cost? I am pleased with the deal so really don't want to blow it up over a small point.
    b. Is there any risk this could depress future value?

    2. We had agreed on a dog restraint--the wire barrier that fits in back of wagon to keep dogs in their place. The dealer says this accessory is not available yet it is listed on the Subaru site as an accessory. T_LTD_WAGON&command=overview

    Can anyone shed light on this?

    Thanks in advance for your help

  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55

    You say they added it at the last minute? Frankly, I think that stinks. I know you don't want to blow the deal, but if it was me, I'd walk immediately. If the dealer did this, is there something else they are hiding?!? If you have another dealer fairly near, I'd wander over there.

    If you are leasing, watch out! Dealers have all sorts of tricks they can pull.

    Good luck,

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I'm not understanding -- did you order the car, or is it a vehicle already on the lot? Was the shifter already on the vehicle, or did the dealer add it??

    If the shifter was already on the car, then it's up to you to decide if you want that car or not, and I would not expect the dealer to remove the part. If they added it without your permission after you agreed on the vehicle, then you should make them eat the cost.

    Since the cars are so new (many accessories not yet available to dealers) and the short throw shifter is usually a port/factory installed option, I am guessing that's the way the car was built from the factory. In any event, you can tell by looking at the window sticker.

  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55

    You say they added it at the last minute? Frankly, I think that stinks. I know you don't want to blow the deal, but if it was me, I'd walk immediately. If the dealer did this, is there something else they are hiding?!? If you have another dealer fairly near, I'd wander over there.

    If you are leasing, watch out! Dealers have all sorts of tricks they can pull.

    Good luck,

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I don't believe the STS will harm resell value. What's more important is if it's an option you want. I'd push back on the dealer and have them find you a car without the STS installed. Or, have the dealer give it to you at no extra cost or replace it with a standard shifter.

    Also, STS are a trade off. For shorter throws, you'll get some amount of increased shift effort (due to the shorter lever) and added vibration and noise.

  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    I tried to order an armrest extension, and they can't find it on the dealer's computer system. I even showed them the picture. The parts guy said to try back in a few months because perhaps they just aren't yet in production. Seems kind of backward to me...cart-before-the-horse kind of thing :-)

  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    BTW, anyone know if it's feasible or even possible to replace the standard steering wheel with the leather-wrapped one? I've tried various wheel covers and none work well...too slippery or too think. Just wishing :-)

  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Anyone know of a reputable aftermarket sunroof/moonroof installer in the Phoneix area?

    thx! -Karen-
  • michael3michael3 Posts: 1
    With trade in of my 2000gt limited I got a final price, tags,tax,etc. of $22,000 on a gt limited sedan with 5 speed auto. I would appreciate a comparison with prices other participants are being quoted, my 2000 has 79,000 miles, excellent condition.Is this a good deal?
  • jwatsjwats Posts: 72

    I put a deposit down on a specific car the dealer knew was allocated to them about 6 weeks ago. It had a bit more equipment than I really wanted, but the deal was good and the color was my preferred one. I received a call on saturday indicating the car had arrived but that the factory had installed the STS even though that was not listed on the equipment the car was expected to have. Of course, I could refuse the car, and will ask, but then I will probably go to the back of the line and wait for preferred color and equipment. Does anybody know if the favorable reviews have tightened pricing yet? I think my deal is excellent because the price is less than $1,000 over dealer invoice and trade in allowance was $1500-2500 over other offers--I frankly doubt they would do that deal today. but who knows?
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    Michael3, you need a little more info in there buddy, how can anyone do a comparison if they don't know how much you were given for your car and how much the dealer sold the new car for.
  • snowbirdsnowbird Posts: 120
    I am with you there, Karen. It seems that car salespersons are very keen in "pushing" for a sale, but lose interest quickly over small accessories. I also find the armrest extension essential for long journeys. Hope someone can help.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,354
    Test drive the car with the STS to see if you even like it (better or worse). Certainly ask what they will do, but if you have a real strong deal (so they can probably sell the car for more) don't expect much, other than the STS at cost (about $220?). I wouldn't lose the deal over this, especially since it doesn't seem the dealer was playing any games, and probably won't make an extra dime off of it.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    My advice to you is to test drive the car and make sure you like the short throw shifter (I have enjoyed the one on my WRX). If they don't eat the cost (and I have a hard time believing they would blow the deal over $221) maybe offer to split the $221 cost of the shifter with the dealer. That's what I would do (assuming I really wanted the car bad).

  • bookemdanobookemdano Posts: 55

    You say they added it at the last minute? Frankly, I think that stinks. I know you don't want to blow the deal, but if it was me, I'd walk immediately. If the dealer did this, is there something else they are hiding?!? If you have another dealer fairly near, I'd wander over there.

    If you are leasing, watch out! Dealers have all sorts of tricks they can pull.

    Good luck,

  • catherine9catherine9 Posts: 31
    Do you think this airbag problem will be an easy one to fix, one that any local dealer can handle? Sounds like a pretty serious flaw if they don't re-install it correctly.
  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Here are a few recent 2005 Legacy/Outback reviews I have discovered online. I have found them helpful in some ways, even though there are always conflicting opinions. Most are from formal publications. Some may require a login scheme to access, and others will likely contain advertisements (aren't we used to that by now ? :)

    I spent a couple of frustrating hours trying to get the forum system to post the links correctly, but many were too lengthy. Thanks to Karen S. of the Edmunds forum for suggesting the “Make a Shorter Link” website.

    Please feel free to share other resources you may have found as well -- either online or in print form. As more new models show up at dealers, there will likely be more reviews published. The more information, the easier the choice is!Enjoy! -Karen M-


    2005 Subaru Outback 2.5XT Limited (Car and Driver, July 2004):

    2005 Subaru Outback - Crossing over comes naturally – even without the help of John Edwards (

    2005 Subaru Legacy -- Refining the core of the Subaru brand (The Car Connection):

    2005 Subaru Outback: Reviews & Specs (Edmunds):

    2005 Subaru Legacy: Reviews & Specs (Edmunds):

    2005 Subaru Outback (Yahoo):

    2005-2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT (

    2005 Subary Legacy At-A-Glance (

    2005 SUBARU LEGACY® 2.5 GT (

    2005 Legacy GT Sedan and Wagon Image (

    2005 Subaru Legacy Outback (

    2005 Subaru Legacy and Outback -- Listen to the Voices: Subaru ups the ante with more horsepower in the Legacy and Outback (AutoWeek):

    2005 Subaru Legacy -- All-new design brings refinement and power (New Car Test Drive):

    First Drive: 2005 Subaru Outback (

    New Car Pricing & Reviews -- 2005 Subaru Outback and Legacy (Consumer Guide):

    Paradigm Shift: First Drive: 2005 Legacy & Outback (

    Preview: 2005 Subaru Legacy and Outback (

    Road Tests: First Drive -- First Drive: 2005 Subaru Legacy and Outback -- Passing Up an SUV Has Never Felt So Good (

    Scruffy Subaru grows up (Toronto Star):

    Subaru unveils brand new Legacy (

    Subaru Cars and SUVs (

    Subaru remains a trailblazer (

    Subaru Legacy: Weird and wonderful (

    Subaru can broaden base with new sedan (San Jose Mercury News review -must log in first):
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Are you THE Karen that had (or still has) the Forester links website?

  • pon1pon1 Posts: 196
    Any idea how much higher the seating position is in the new Outback, compared with the GT? I drove an OB on the weekend but havent seen a new Legacy yet. JP
  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    Ken, yes, that's me. I traded in my beloved '99 Forester for a little more leg room (94-year-old grandma had trouble getting in and out). I still have the old links, but haven't updated the site for a long time, and don't have it up and running at the moment.

    Karen M.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    As far as seat height, I think the whole car is taller, but the seat itself is pretty much in the same position. At least it felt that way.

    Patti: thanks for the VIN decode post, I bookmarked it!

    kmartin: same to you, thanks for the reviews post, also bookmarked that!

    These folks invest a little time to help us all, and I appreciate that kind of stuff. :-)

    Leather steering wheel covers? I have one on my Forester, it was so good that I actually had it on my previous car for 7 years and moved it to my Forester, 6 more years and I still love it! 13 years and no wear that you'd notice. Wheelskins IIRC. You'll find them on-line.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keeping in mind that we were in track conditions with broken-in cars, I did not notice the automatic lagging much behind the MT5 models. In fact it felt just as quick in transitional driving, plenty of power on tap and quick responses.

    The manual with the new dual mass flywheel felt wonderful, but the auto seemed very smart. Perhaps it had adapted well to the track after a few laps, but I have absolutely no complaints, in fact I think the tranny is one of the biggest improvements.

    Or the turbo engine.

    Or the steering. Man, the steering is awesome.


  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Karen: So it is you! All the links, the mention of Phoenix and a Forester rang a bell. Thanks for having that Forester website, BTW. That was a great resource to us owners back in the good old days. I probably still have it bookmarked somewhere -- kmartin/amug or something like that.

    juice: Are you slipping off the fence? ;-)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Naw, for now I'm house poor. Maybe in a year or two...

    But personally, I watch my kids beat up the interior and think a Forester XT, as a budget performance buy, might be a better fit.

    If it were for my wife, a GT Limited Sportshift, though even then I'd be scared of her piling up speeding tickets. Might just make it a base Legacy 2.5i Limited automatic.

    When the fundage is better...

  • joajoa Posts: 8
    I looking to possible buy a new '05 Legacy 2.5i also in the Santa Cruz/San Jose area and wondering if anyone can tell me the prices paid in this area. I got email quotes a couple thousand above invoice. Can you get an '05 for close to invoice? How are the sales people at Sub of Santa Cruz? Has anyone used the Costco buying program with the '05 Subaru's. Sorry for all the questions, I really like the new Sub's but may have to settle for an '03 or '04 because of price and the options my wife wants.

    Thank you all in advance,
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Unless you have some IMBA discount (requires 6 months of being a member), you probably won't find any 05 models selling at invoice since they just started rolling into dealer lots.

    I'm buying a Legacy GT and when I checked a few weeks ago the dealers were asking the following:
    Carlsen: MSRP non-negotiable
    Stevens Creek: MSRP+3K negotiable
    Santa Cruz: Invoice+1K

    Try broadening your search also. Walnut Creek/Diablo and Marin Subaru are also known for pretty good prices.

    Things may have changed so the best thing is to visit or call them. Carlsen and Santa Cruz are no-haggle dealers so they will quote accurate prices over the phone.

    If you don't absolutely have to have an 05 model, you'll probably find screaming deals on the 04s. I'm sure you could find prices BELOW invoice on any 04s left on dealer lots.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I finally saw an 05 Outback at a local dealer -- they had two 2.5i models in stock. One was unlocked and I spent a fair amount of time looking at the car.

    First, there are absolutely *NO* rain gutters!! What was a rain gutter on the 00-04 model is just a piece of trim on the 05. There is absolutely nothing to divert or channel water that may be running down the side of the roof over the doors. I'm kind of shocked by this. Even cars with aircraft-style doors have concealed gutters! There's absolutely nothing to stop drips in the new Outback. You're gonna get wet!

    The window gusset and seal are the same design as the previous generation, so we still have potential for noise issues. However the mirror is contoured and shaped in such a way to make me believe it will have lower drag and be quieter (I'm an aeordynamics/aeroacoustics researcher for those that don't know).

    The headliner material everyone is raving about is actually the same stuff that's on the 03-04 Forester, a coarsely wovern cloth. If you've seen the Forester, you'll know what I mean. As I've seen mentioned, they carry the cloth down the A-pillar in the OB which seems like a bad idea to me. The car I sat in already had stains and fingerprints on the driver's side pillar cloth.

    A lot of the interior design cues are similar to the 03-04 Forester. Compared to my 02 Outback, the new Outback interior seems to be at a 7/8 scale. All the interior stuff -- switches, buttons, the steering wheel, the steering wheel hub, the auto-trans shift knob, etc... is smaller than on my 02 model, like the interior has been scaled down a smidge. This gives the interior a much different feel independent of the design changes.

    Subaru was clearly trying to impress with the interior, which looks great. It feels pretty good too, thanks to the use of special textures and coatings. For instance, the door pulls have a micro texture to make them feel like grippy rubber even though they are hard plastic.

    There is more room for the driver in the 05 compared to my 02, and I was able to get comfortable quite easily. Seats were nice but the lighter cloth color, coupled with the material, looks like it would stain easily. The bolster material reminded me of a pair of light-khaki pants.

    The switchgear looks nice, but is not up to the quality you get in a Honda or Acura. There is a lot of slop in the climate control knobs (2.5i has manual CC) for instance, and they take a lot of effort to turn. Honda/Acura knobs are usually very precise feeling and easy to turn in comparison.

    Another gripe: the power lock button still gets pushed UP to lock and DOWN to unlock. Maybe Subaru figured all us brainwashed OB owners are used to the reverse convention by now!

    I saw a few interior defects -- the lighted trim ring around the ignition was loose (actually falling into the column) and the piece of carpet inside the center console bin was cut in reverse -- the adhesive side was facing up with the finished side facing down! Due to the asymmetry of the bin (with 12V outlet) there's only one way it fits in and it was definitely wrong-side-up in the car I sat in!

    There's a kludged-looking piece of velcroed carpet that covers the floor right in front of the front passenger seat. It looks bad, but hopefully won't get noticed too much with floor mats in place.

    Exterior fit and finish and paint looked great. The 16" wheels on the 2.5i are not that attractive in persion. The roof rack side rails are not as beefy or useful as the ones on the 00-04 models, which is disappointing. Much less range of motion for the crossbars. My guess is that this is due to the fact that the rails taper quite a bit front to back, and the front and rear cross bars are probably different widths (so they have a limited range).

    Overall, nice car, I'd sure love to have one! I'll have to take a test drive someday (will wait for an XT 5-spd).

  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Atlantic Blue with Black Interior.

    Only problem is a small dent on top of hood to far right of air intake. Two little knicks out of paint. Not real bad but can be seen at just the right angle.

    As you know hood is aluminum and I'm going to point out to dealer to see if Dent Doctor can get it out. Touch up paint will make it unnoticeable with the dent out.

    Pain in the back side, but with all the crap on the roads anymore it's no wonder. Even the invisible bras will not stop some of the items that make dings and dents.

    Only option on it is the auto dimming mirror. After you have had one of these you will never be without one. I'm going to add the perimeter alarm next month, real easy add on to the existing standard alarm.

    This unit was re-trucked from a dealer in New England to Florida so I had an extra $300 to foot, but all in all got a decent deal with tradein of 2002 Outback VDC Sedan with 59,000 miles on it. All my miles are from home to work via Interstate 95.

    I know the dealer will work with me on the dent - again not big just noticeable on an otherwise flawless finish.

    I've owned Subaru for several years in the mid late 80's and went back to them in 1998 and now nothing but Subaru will do.

    Without question the 2005 GT Limited Sedan ranks up there in the quality and has more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at.

    Only thing missing is the radio does not have weatherband. I know Subaru is trying to go upscale, but IMHO they should have left the weatherband in.

    The vehicle had 76 miles on it when i picked it up. I know every salesman in the dealership had taken it "around the block" once - and wouldn't surprise me at the dealership up North. I'm know that you can't do that much damage to a new vehicle in that few miles unless you were drag stripping it and I know the salesmen didn't horse it that much.

    Did a ton of research before purchasing. Only two things that concern me with the fact I put 25,0000 - 30,000 miles on a vehicle a year.

    1. Timing belt to be replaced at 105,000 miles

    2. The tires that come stock are rated at 160% wear factor at a popular online tire seller. Bridgestones are about $600 a (4)set. - for the original equipment tires (RE92) - but the RE950s are rated at 400%. Harder rubber not as good or??? Any thoughts anyone. Will let you know more when I have 1000 miles on it and ready to rock and roll.
    We have a 2004 Forester XT Auto (Have the two car payments to prove it too) and I think the GT will be a little faster than it is once over the 1000 mile breakin.

    The ride is really really nice too. I think This car is a real winner for Subaru.......................
  • grove4grove4 Posts: 95
    I have a silver 05 gt limited 5sp.Funny thing is we also have a forester xt like you.I know you will enjoy the car very much.One thing is the car is really nice on the highway which is good for you with all those miles you put on.I think the legacy is quicker than the xt especially from a punch.I also liked the weatherband.Too bad.You know the radio in the xt sounds better to me than the new legacy.Really though I dont turn it up real loud plus the gt is so fun to drive it makes up for it.
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