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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    will be a great car. They've got a lot of experience with AWD, turbo-engine platforms ;-)
    J/K Owen
  • radianradian Posts: 21
    I agree the new Mazda 6 sounds great. If it were available at the same time for not much more than the Legacy GT, than I would have considered it. It's actually just debuting at the Paris Auto Show, but it won't be available until mid-2005 (worldwide). Mazda is also not known for their timely release of cars, and the US doesn't usually get them first, so I'd say September or later of 2005 is when we'll see it.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    So after my first 100 miles of driving, some impressions:

    - The 5EAT is very smooth. I really need to concentrate to feel it shifting. I've been driving with a light foot for now but even then, it's quite responsive for daily driving.
    - The audio system, to this non-audiophile, sounds very good compared to my Forester. It's nice to be able to hear music at a comfortable level without having to crank it up past the wind and road noise. The subwoofer sounds more like a sub despite being the same under the seat type.
    - Gas milage is creeping up. The computer showed 11mpg when I first took delivery. After 100 highway miles, it's up around 18mpg.
    - Seats are super comfortable with the right amount of bolstering for me.
    - A few nitpicks: While the interior materials are great, I've noticed just a tad of sloppiness where the fabrics are tucked or creased. Areas that have caught my attention -- carpet under the seats (most people wouldn't even look there) and to a lesser extent, the headliner trim around the moonroof.
    - The cargo tray has a nice grippy surface that keeps items from sliding around.
    - The quicker steering rack is quite noticeable coming from a Forester. Lane changes on the highway are more of a flick of a wrist.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I took my car back to the dealer today to look at a misaligned trim piece- around the ashtray below the HVAC controls. The Tech said he's seen a few cars with the same problem. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this? After almost 2 weeks I've noticed only a few interior trim pieces a little loose- basically all of the ones they removed to re-do the side air curtain. The dealer is going to take care of them. Otherwise the car is very well put together.

    Took it up to 4000 rpm on the freeway today very briefly. It's very stable at high speed.

    Thanks for the info on the air filtration. My dealer also said the parts are not available yet.

    Ken- wow, 100 miles already? I just passed 350 over 2 weeks. I need a longer commute!

  • jchagtdijchagtdi Posts: 55
    I went to the Subaru website to request a brochure for the '05 Outback. About 30 minutes after I clicked "submit", I received a friendly email from my local Subaru dealer, Ertle Subaru in Stroudsburg, PA. The internet sales manager offered a test drive at my convenience, and explained that the MSRP for to OBXT LTD was $32,xxx, but their internet price was 1% over invoice plus tax, tags, and doc fee. While I did not ask what the doc fee was, I feel refreshed to see up front pricing information, and I am very impressed with their response time. There is no other Subaru dealer within an hour drive, so they could easily hold the line on pricing. I'm posting this so that other forum members shouldn't feel obligated to pay MSRP or above. There are many dealers who's focus is providing an excellent car buying experience, not squeezing their customers for as much money as possible.

  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Now is the Legacy GT wagon worth the $2.5K or so difference between it and the Forester XT? Hmmm...

    Just chillin' on the fence,
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I'll tell you, the Legacy is way more refined than the Forester, so that $2.5K improves the entire driving experience. Beyond that, it depends on which configuration of vehicle you want (sports-wagon vs. sports-SUV). Having owned a Forester and shopped for a Leg GT, I can see pluses and minuses to both. The main plus for the GT is the aforementioned refinment and another plus is the spectacular handling -- two things that are lacking in the Forester (which is OK, that's not it's mission).

  • monomono Posts: 26
    They do make 4WD Trucks and an SUV, but I agree, their experience is limited.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Mazda's truck is a rebadged Ford Ranger and the Tribute is a rebadged Ford Escape. I think Mazda makes some great cars but I know I wouldn't want a Ford sourced AWD system. Even one from Range Rover.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mazda actually does have turbo experience, remember the MX-6 and Probe?

    AWD they used in the 323GTX, remember that little pocket rocket?

    It's been ages, though. If they use the 2.3l it'll no doubt be based on the Ford block used in the Mazda3 and in the base Mazda6. They even make PZEV versions of that 2.3l for the Focus.

    carpet under the seats

    Ken - you make the OCD Club proud!

    beanboy: get comfy next to me. There's a lot more room on The Fence now that so many have fallen off.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I haven't noticed it on my Legacy. I'll double check, though. My commute is 30 miles one way and the dealership I picked up from was over 50 miles from home so the miles add up quickly.

    Did you have a Ltd model? I was wondering if you can check something. Between the driver's seat right edge and the center console, can you see a blue shielded cable bundle running down under the car seat? I was looking at that and wondering if it should be hidden better.

  • gentlegentle Posts: 7
    That is funny what you said about the gas mileage. I have almost exactly the same experience. When I got it with 11 miles on the car, the computer showed 11.2. now that I have about 95 miles on it, it is at 17.5.

    One thing I just noticed this morning. If I look down to the right of the driver's seat between the seat and the center console, there is a thick blue wire along the carpet. Is this normal? Does it go to the sub? If so, this seems a little sloppy. Any one else with the sub option notice this?

    EDIT: Guess you answered my question before I could finish typing it. Well done.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I swear there's an echo in here. You two must be describing the same exact wire.

    At first I thought Ken double-posted! Wow.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I thought so :-).

    Actually, it's not an easy question since the FXT could be cross shopped against an OBXT as well.

    As Craig wrote, the differences are pretty big. Sure, you have a similar engine and drivetrain (for the manual) but the product delivery is quite different. The GT adds a level of sportiness, elegance and sophistication on top of the FXT. However, it loses some of the utilitarian swiss army knife functionality in the process.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Hey Ken

    I do have a limited (I've never seen a regular GT here- not at any dealer in the NW) I will check and see if there's a wire there.

    I saw your pics- very nice. Looks just like mine except the wagon back. Good taste! ;-)

    My car had 20 miles on it when I drove it- it had not even been PDI'd, and they had just pulled off the plastic. I wonder where the other 10 miles went? Oh well, at least it wasn't test driven by a bunch of kids.

    I'll get back to you, Ken

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    LOL! We're in perfect synch! I guess it is the wire for the sub. I wonder why they chose such a bright blue color that can easily be seen through the space between the console and seat.

    BTW, you got a 5EAT too, right?

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Some of those miles could have been put on during transport if they had to move your vehicle from one area to another. But 20 does sound a tad on the high side.

    I wouldn't worry about it.

  • asuasu Posts: 1
    Just picked up a new silver/grey OBXT ltd this weekend. Been driving Toyotas for the past 14 years and don't think I will ever go back. Only put about 60 miles on the car but have only positive things to say. The few minor complaints (I also noticed the blue cord to the subwoofer) I have read about on this site are far outweighed by the performance, comfort, and versatility of this car... especially at the price. I got mine at Diablo in Walnut Creek, CA. Can definitely recommend them if anyone is looking to buy.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I've had the auto dimming mirror on all of my cars for a while. I don't really think it's any safer- in fact I notice more glare than the good old manual type. It's just convenient not to have to change back and forth. But I don't think it's any safer.

    I do like having the compass function, though.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I've pretty much been lurking for a while now on the new 05 models, without adding a heck of a lot to the discussion. I am debating getting an 05 to replace my 98 Outback this fall, but I am also considering getting an 04 Corvette convertible and keeping the 98 as a winter car. Tough decision. Regardless, I do remember the assistance you gave me a few years ago on the short block replacmements we got due to the dreaded piston slap. Thank you.

    I hope you have many enjoyable, trouble free miles with your new 05.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The autodimming mirror is really just a convenience, not a safety issue. In fact, I'd argue that an old fashioned manual one is quicker since you just flip it when you want to. I bought my Legacy with the mirror more for the novelty factor and the compass.

    zman3 -- Yes, I remember you! Thanks and hope you go with an 05! ;-)

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The auto climate control also uses a solar sensor on the dash to determine the HVAC settings. The sensor is that little gumdrop looking thing on the far corner by the passenger side.

    I don't know if previous AT models had this but there is an AWD warning indicator. The system warns you if it senses overly active AWD engagement due to tires of wrong circumference or low air pressure.

    The gauge sweep on the GT/XT can be user programmed to not happen on startup. Don't know why anyone would want to cancel such a cool feature, but it's there.

    Any other 5EAT owners out there? I'm noticing a brief moment of tranmission whine just before I come to a stop. It sounds like synchros engaging on an MT when you downshift. Anyone else hear it?

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    After just one day of not having my iPod connected through my car stereo, I broke down and purchased the Belkin Tunecast II FM transmitter. This is a new unit that uses digital tuner for the FM frequencies and allows up to four presets. It also comes bundled with a cigarette lighter adapter so that batteries (included) are not needed.

    I decided to use the batteries and connected my iPod to the center console socket using the Belkin Auto Kit. I then plugged the Tunecast into the minijack output in the Auto Kit (rather than into the iPod directly).

    The Legacy has a little nook cut into the center console allowing my iPod to sit out in the cupholder area.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised at the sound quality. I was expecting a weak, static filled signal, but instead I was getting a fairly strong reception. Obviously sound quality is not near playing from a CD, but it beats having to listen to radio.

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    I'm noticing a brief moment of tranmission whine

    beats my wife whining in the passenger seat
  • gentlegentle Posts: 7

    I was laughing to myself when I hit post and found you were asking the exact same question at the exact same time (give or take a minute). Pretty funny.

    Yeah, I got the 5EAT Limited. So far, I'm really happy with it. Maybe I need to go over the fit and finish a little more carefully. Just to see if I have any misalignments.

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    What does the E in 5EAT stand for?

    I have driven a manual OBXT and the dealer just got in his first Legacy GT with auto. I'd prefer the auto if it doesn't slow it down too much. What did those of you who have driven both find?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    What does the E in 5EAT stand for?

    Electronic, as in 5-speed electronic automatic transmission.

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Ken- I guess you got your answer about the blue wire. I don't have one, but I don't have the subwoofer, which makes sense.

    I was reading that they don't recommend chains on the GT. It seems like there's plenty of space to clear chains. Does anyone know if this will exclude cables?

    There is quite a bit of ground clearance on this car. I would think you could lower it and inch or two and still clear speed bumps with ease. I've had no problem clearing some very large speedbumps and steep driveways.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Ken: thanks for the continued observations, keep them coming!! Is the cable bundle bright blue or blue gray? The reason I ask is that a translucent blue-gray tape is often used to tape wiring bundles together under the dash of Subarus and would just be in a few isolated loops (and easy to replace or cover with black electrical tape). If it's bright blue opaque tape, it's likely covering the whole harness. I put a sub in my WRX and do not recall seeing any blue tape on the harness.

    Of course, I hope everybody knows that yellow tape denotes airbag/SRS wiring and should not be touched!!!

    Thanks for the iPod info too -- so should I try the Tunecast in my next Subaru? How does it compare to a cassette adapter? By the way, I was able to order a $90 harness to get a line in for the radio in my wife's TSX, which we are using for our iPods. It was pretty nice to have an easy solution for a change!! I really hope somebody comes out for an adapter for Subaru radios. Most of them do have some sort of interface jack that should be usable for line-in.

    Is the 5EAT whine related to the transmission downshifting?

    Another thing to look for -- the GT I test drove made a propellor whop-whop noise when parked and idling. Turns out it was the cooling fan. Not a very good sound. I'd be curious to know of other GT drivers notice it.

    Lee: 5EAT means 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Personally, I think the 5EAT is spectacular -- easily the best automatic I have ever driven and the first one that made me not want a manual! The manual transmission (5MT) in the Outback XT I test drove was not that impressive -- it was smooth and shifted well with a nice clutch takeup, but it was not anything special. The 5EAT is quite good however, so definitely give it a try.

    Alex: welcome!


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