Subaru Outback Satellite Radio Questions

wcc1968wcc1968 Member Posts: 17
Im looking at vehicles right now (begrudgingly) and the Outback is one of them.

Im told they come with XM and no option of SIRIUS.

Is this true? If so, how much of a pain is it to switch the XM for SIRIUS?
I dont want XM.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Get a Forester. ;)

    They come with an option for Sirius radio from the factory.

    Weird, I know.
  • wcc1968wcc1968 Member Posts: 17
    I dont like the Forester.

    I find it so stupid Subaru does this. WTF? Did they do some sort of research that said people interested in Forestoers would prefer SIRIUS to XM? And vice versa for Outback?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We had a Forester and still own a Legacy, trust me the Forester is more fun. ;)

    I doubt it would be easy or cost effective to switch, though you could just use a portable one with an Aux input.
  • wcc1968wcc1968 Member Posts: 17
    Why is the F more fun???

    I hate its styling. And not super crazy about the Outbacks to be honest.
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    According to the Cars 101 website, the 08 Outback is wired for both XM and Sirius. The 07 is XM only.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Shorter wheelbase, lighter, more tossable.

    I tried like crazy to get my wife to trade her Legacy so we could keep the Forester but she's the boss. ;)
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    My Subaru dealer is quoting $250.00 to install an XM tuner in my new 08 Forester.

    Does anyone know what the OEM radio comes in the 08 with the Premium package?
  • 14ersco14ersco Member Posts: 3
    Sirius is not yet available on the 08 Outbacks that are on the dealer lots in my area, but the Subaru dealer from whom I am purchasing my Outback is special ordering the car with only the options I want - including Sirius. :)
  • artourartour Member Posts: 22
    I got my dealer to order & install the Sirius package into my '08 Legacy. The radio that comes in the car is ready for a plug in of the XM or Sirius pack. I like the fact that it's part of the radio now, not an add on stuck on the windshield or elsewhere, but the music data does not scroll, it just sits
    there with around 10-15 characters. I think that my dealer is
    somewhat of an idiot (collectively, the management & svce mgrs.) I asked for my old Sirius add on from my trade in to be removed and returned to me and they just cut the wires & tried to give me the head only. They wound up paying me for the radio.
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    After much research, thru XM senior tech support, Crutchfields, and Subaru of America Customer Support, it appears that my dealer really blew it when he offered to and "installed" XM in my 08 Forester. It simply could not be done to work through the factory-installed Sirius console. The 09 Foresters will, in fact, permit either one, but that may be academic, as a result of the expected merger. After-market really sucks for satellite. So SOA is paying to have the XM after-market removed, and Sirius installed at no charge. BTW: XM tech support told me once the merger goes thru an original subscriber of one service will be able to choose whatever they want from the other service, and that they are already working on this to make it happen.
  • jimmyraypjimmyrayp Member Posts: 3
    Am about to purchase a 2008 Outback, which is "Sirius compatible" and got a quote of $500 from the dealer to install the Sirius pack. This seems high, but I really have nothing to compare it to. I wondered what you paid for installation in your Legacy. Thanks much.
  • artourartour Member Posts: 22
    I bargained down to $250 for the radio (installed) and $150 for the rear view mirror/compass/home link (installed).
    Having the Sirius radio build in is all around neat but it doesn't scroll, which sucks.
  • jimmyraypjimmyrayp Member Posts: 3
    Very helpful, appreciate it. Thanks again.
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    The XM was uninstalled and the Sirius installed last week as promised by the dealer. Activated and works great. Agree that it sucks that the screen does not scroll. But, since the radio and the install were at no charge, I am not complaining. Digital satellite sound is a whole new world compared to analog FM. Sirius tech support also confirmed the XM merger will be done by 1/08.
  • jdljrjdljr Member Posts: 11
    I don't mean to sound dumb with my question, but I just purchased an '09 Legacy 2.5i SE. On the sticker under standard features it says "XM/Sirius Satellite Radio Capable". I thought what this meant was that it had XM all we had to do was call XM and subscribe, but now I'm wondering if we have to purchase something additional (receiver) OR, do we already have a built-in receiver?? I'm thinking I may have to have something additional. Thanks in advance for any replies.
  • jimmyraypjimmyrayp Member Posts: 3
    As you guessed, you need to buy a receiver and it costs maybe $400. You should also ask about receivers that will work with both XM and Sirius now that they have merged. The dealer should know about this.
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    "capable" means there is a wire cluster behind the dashboard with the plugs ready to go into a satellite radio. There is no radio. Last August 07 I demanded that the dealer install a factory-built Sirius into the dash, which he did at no charge to prevent me from canceling the deal. There was also a factory-installed upgraded sound-system included at the time. DO NOT buy an after-market radio. I bought a 3-yr subscription @ 9.95/mo.
    After 13 months, I can say the satellite radio is the best thing about my 08 Forester. With 27K miles it runs like on Day #1, and I still get 30mpg highway.YMMV. There have been ZERO problems. My best car ever. :)
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    I've bought several different receivers and there cost is as little as $30 for some models. You can price them here
  • altimatealtimate Member Posts: 74
    I just picked up my Legacy today with XM.

    If you by another receiver (for home or carrying around) do you have to pay a separate monthly charge or is it covered by the original monthly fee.
  • jdljrjdljr Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the info, re: capable vs ready. Yea, it was pretty much as I figured, and I called the dealer to ask what I needed. I was told I need an XM kit, and it costs around $450. Now, I know I can get an aftermarket, dash/windshield mountable receiver, but I prefer not to have something like that since the car has built-in capabilities. I would rather have it all built-in and have the XM info scroll across the in-car stereo screen rather than something suctionable to the windshield. Are there any alternatives to the dealer's $450 kit that would utilize the car's built-in feature? Is the price for the dealer's $450 kit negotiable? I don't even know if that includes the labor to put it in! And I would presume that doesn't include any subscription to XM, too.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    It's just $6.95 per month for additional receivers up to 4 I believe.
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you can listen thru your computer sound system by logging into their website. You won't get every channel, but you will get most. And they are included in your car subscription at no charge.
  • mourghanmourghan Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2007 Subaru used, and there is a 'sat' button on the radio. How do I go about activating this? And will I need to have an antena installed?
    Sorry if this is somewhere else on the fourm, but I couldn't seem to find the answer to this exact question. Thanks! :shades:
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    This is to access the Sirius channels. You need to upgrade the entire radio to (and buy a subscription to ) Sirius. It will include the antenna attached to the upper right inside of windshield.
  • tpatcomcasttpatcomcast Member Posts: 3

    I've been using a sirius sportster model, my wife bought me an installable kit for my legacy

    the dealer installed it, but I'm looking for some of the features the sportster had...where's the 'memo' key or the 'band' key? are they not included in this kit? are they hidden somewhere in the radio features?

    any help is appreciated. :confuse:
  • m287668m287668 Member Posts: 2
    I'm trying to figure this out too. The dealer told me that I had to have the radio switched out, but there's a SAT button right on the radio of my 2009 "satellite ready" outback? It doesn't make sense?
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    "Satellite Ready" means the wiring harness is in the back of the dashboard. You still need the satellite radio "tuner" and windshield-mounted antenna to complete the process. After 18 months, my Sirius satellite is used 4 hours every day. :)
  • m287668m287668 Member Posts: 2
    I'm thinking that this is all I need. Has anyone else attempted to activate a "satellite ready" ready with this?
  • parent1parent1 Member Posts: 11

    I'd like to install the XM satellite radio tuner into my 08' Outback 2.5i. To save money, I plan on doing it myself. If there is anybody that has done the install themselves (rather than dealer), can you share your experience?

    Two questions in particular:
    1) Where is the best place to by the XM reciever? It appears that you can buy a Outback specific version: link title or a generic one from XM link title (which I assume you would need an adapter to connect to the head). Can anybody explain the difference?

    2) Any unexpected SNAFU's I should worry about while doing the install?

    Thanks for any comments and suggestions.
  • ctkatctkat Member Posts: 4
    In Nov 2009 I ordered a 2010 Legacy. I told the salesman that I wanted XM radio. The car took over 3 months to come in (after March 1), and picked up the car on March 6, 2010. There was no XM in the car, and the salesman apologized that he believed the car came with the radio, but in fact it was only satellite capable. How he tells me that for "about $500 plus discounted labor" I can have the radio installed. This seems ridiculous to me, as well as expensive. The Subaru website has the radio for $398 at time of purchase, and I think I should pay no more than that. I also purchased the navigation system so Subaru strongly suggests that they do the install. Comments?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2010
    I agree - this was their mistake so you should not have to pay labor for it.

    Do you have it somewhere in writing that XM was supposed to be installed? Ask to speak to a manager. If the dealership is not responsive call 800-SUBARU3.
  • tomcranertomcraner Member Posts: 2
    Did you purchase the xm tuner mod and have it installed. If so and where did you purchase it from? If So what is the part number?
  • tomcranertomcraner Member Posts: 2
    I have seen detailed instructions on the installation of the XM module in the Outback. I lost the url due to a computer crash. Have anyone of you seen it? Looking for a source for the XM receiver module.
  • jennie3375jennie3375 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone figured out how to get the name of the song and artist to scroll on the radio read-out when using Sirius radio. It scrolls when in FM radio mode.
  • mnuge68mnuge68 Member Posts: 2
    I have the same exact problem. I had the radio replaced once and been on the phone with Sirius many, many times. I have not gotten and answer. It is very frustrating.

    My Ipod touch scrolls and my FM scrolls, not the Sirius which I use the most!
  • mnuge68mnuge68 Member Posts: 2
    I have the same exact problem. I had the radio replaced once and been on the phone with Sirius many, many times. I have not gotten and answer. It is very frustrating.

    My Ipod touch scrolls and my FM scrolls, not the Sirius which I use the most!
  • zenprofitzenprofit Member Posts: 12
    I have spent many useless hours on the phone and emailing the Customer "Service" team at Subaru US HQ. They are clueless. The problem lies with the cheap satellite tuner that was specified by Subaru to meet the absolute minimum Sirius XM requirements. These people couldn't care a rat's butt about our complaints. They have no plans to change it either.


    YOSHIO HASUNUMA - Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer

    THOMAS J. DOLL - Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

    TIMOTHY J. MAHONEY - Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

    TIM COLBECK - Senior Vice President, Sales

    Their email addresses follow this format:

    [email protected]

    Tell them that you have looked at Sirius in other comparable Japanese vehicles and they are all better and that you will never buy another Subaru again if they don't fix this. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    edited June 2012
    How can you tell if your Subaru has Sirius radio? My 07 has a button for sat. radio. but it does nothing

    bought the car used. Prev. owner thought it has Sat. radio but he never used it.
  • cincinnati_dancincinnati_dan Member Posts: 12
    Your 07 stereo may be set up for satellite radio, but you need a subscription for it. My 2012 Outback came with 3 or 4 months of free service, but after that I have to pay for it. If I don't, mine will also do nothing when I select it.

    I think all, or most, vehicles set up for satellite radio have a short stubby antennae type thingy on the roof. It does not stick up very far.
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