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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • freddi1freddi1 Posts: 14
    We have a 98 Forester S, automatic we purchased used 12/00. We also have a 99 Outback SW (purchased used 3/02...see my shimmy problem posted previously). IMO, the Forester is lighter and less substantial feeling than the OB. It does not seem to have as much storage in the rear. The back seats are flat like boards. But, we love it! I picked out the OB for our second car because I wanted to be able to fit alpacas (they are llama-like animals, only smaller) in it for emergency transportation and also wanted to be able to fit our crate for our dog in it when she is larger. The OB drives like a car, feels like a car and being only 5' tall, I love the height adjustment on the drivers' seat. Having a longer wheel base makes a big difference in a smoother ride. It also seems to let less road noise in. If it weren't for the cargo issue, and if we could have found another used late model S, I would definitely have gotten another one. The all-weather package (up here in the Catskills) was the reason for choosing the S over the L. Either way, up here in the mountains I wouldn't have any car but a Suby!!
  • How about this memory teaser for the older among us? We had a few members tell us what cars are CURRENTLY in their garage, and a few give us some history.

    How about what cars have you owned, and how long did you own them. Obviously, a Subie has to be in there somewhere.

    Here's mine:

    1972 Plymouth Fury (ex-Philadelphia cop car) - 4 months
    1971 Chevrolet Vega - 8 months
    1972 Plymouth Satellite - 9 years
    1984 Honda Prelude - 10 years
    1979 Chevrolet Caprice Classic - 3 years
    1990 Mazda RX7 GTUs - 4 years
    1994 BMW 325i - 7 years
    1998 Ford Escort - 2 years
    2000 Honda CR-V - 6 months
    2000 Isuzu Rodeo - 1 year
    1991 BMW 318is - current
    2001 BMW 540i - current
    2002 Subaru Outback - current

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    '63 VW (first year with a fuel guage!) - 4 years
    '65 Honda CB77 Super Hawk - 2 years
    '68 Chevy Camaro - 5 years
    '69 Honda CL-350 - 1 year
    '70 Kawasaki Mach III 500 triple - 3 years
    '72 Chevy G-20 Beauville van - 7 years
    '72 Kawasaki 350 triple - 1 year
    '74 Austin Marina - 2 years
    '74 Honda CB550 four - 2 years
    '76 Honda Accord - 4 years
    '80 Honda Accord 4-door sedan - 4 years
    '81 Honda Civic Wagon - 3 years
    '84 VW Quantum (Wolfsburg Edition) wagon - 2 years
    '84 Honda Civic S - 2 years
    '86 Saab 9000 Turbo - 2 years
    '87 Ford F-150 4x4 - 9 years
    '88 Honda Accord LXi- 10 years
    '91 Ford Explorer XLT- 10 years
    '01 Subaru Forester S Premium - 1.5 years (current)
    '98 Ford Explorer XLT - 5 years (current)
    '98 Jiffy - 4 years (current, do trailers count?)
    '96 Subaru Impreza Outback - 6 years (current)
    '92 Honda Prelude Si- 3 years (current)
    '86 Honda HR214 - 16 years (current, do lawn mowers count?)

  • dhdunndhdunn Posts: 51
    Fred, thanks very much for your input!! You could have simply said, "Alpaca lot in the Outback vs. the Forester", but then again, you have better taste in humor than i do!! :)

    I do prefer the handling of the Forester, but that's not to say that I don't like the Outback. I drive an LS now (3.0 liter, 5-spd) which is so wonderful, but I have to let it go because of expenses. So, I'm concerned with the lack of pep of the Outback, but I guess I'd be getting used to it. Really, my kids will have a lot to say about the choice given that one can't go wrong with either here in the Rockies, and given that they will be sitting back there a lot. I sat in the Forester for a few minutes and thought I was going to have to get a butt replacement!! In any case, thanks for your posting. If it were totally up to me, I'd get the Forester. But it ain't, so we'll see what is expressed by the rest of the family.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,388
    If you rotate the tires front to back does it still shimmy? If no, I'd suspect the tires. If yes, have the alignment checked.
    Hope you find the solution.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I went through a similar decision process last year and ultimately bought the OB wagon rather than the Forester for space considerations. There is a fairly big difference in the amount of usable space in the OB compared to the Forester, particularly in the back seat. A good friend of mine has the 02 Forester and it really is a nice car, but the back seat is TINY for 6 footers such as myself. The Forester was about the same price as the OB, has the exact same drivetrain, similar features, etc. but was just too small for me. Subjectively, I prefer the looks of the OB to the Forester, too, but neither one's going to win any beauty contests. The 4cyl/5sp combo pull amazingly well...I cannot believe how well this car tackles mountain passes in 5th gear. My previous car required downshifting to 4th or 3rd to make it up over the Sierras, but the OB will pull it in 5th with no problems and stay above 70 mph. Off the line, though, it is a bit sluggish but not too bad.
  • errolcwerrolcw Posts: 3
    I just purchased a new 2002 Outback limited and discovered that the speedometer is about 6% off -- when the speedometer shows 70 you are really going 64-65 mph. I varified this difference and took the car back to the dealer for service. When they checked the speedometer against the computer they agreed, however, when comparing the speedometer against the ABS speed sensor they too got the 5.5 - 6% error. I have never had a car off that much. The dealer contacted Subaru tech support and was told that the speedometer could be off as much as 7%. We are now contacting the Subaru Area Rep. Besides being a nuisance, it also will cheat me on my warranty. Has anyone else had this problem? I checked mine with another car and also with my GPS. I would like to know if this is a pervasive Subaru problem or a problem unique to my Outback.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll bet the difference in weight does have to do with bumpers combined with what the dry weight definition is in different countries. I think the Holden Commodore SS w/ 5.7l V8 is about 300-500lbs ligher than the Catera with a 3.0 or 3.2 V6

  • dhdunndhdunn Posts: 51
    Thanks very much for the input!! I started off favoring the Forester, and then thought of the Outback, but then moved back towards the Forester. But, I'm actually now favoring the Outback for the space considerations, and because the back seat is very uncomfortable - I can't expect my kids to sit on a seat that I wouldn't want to sit on. So while I favor the Forester for me, I think the OB is mroe in line with the needs of la familia.

    Thanks VERY MUCH for the mountain driving information!!!! That is extremely pertinent to life in the Front Range area of the Rockies, as much of our family's play time is above 10,000 feet. How does passing go in the Outback? I currently drive a 3.0L 5-spd Lincoln LS which kicks butt in every possible respect, and I can't expect the OB to perform the same way. Still, I'd like to think that it's going to offer some good power when passing.

    Thanks again!!

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780

    When you have the tires / wheels balanced, make absolutely sure that they strip off the old weights first. I had a 'bounce' at highway speed, that only seemed to get worse with each balancing attempt. By try #3, I must have had 5 lbs of lead on each rim!

  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    Dave: I picked the OB, mostly because rear seat legroom was going to be less than needed for my growing family. Otherwise, for my use, the Forester would have sufficed.

    Freddi: Do you have factory or after-market wheels? If after-market,the center hole size on the wheel may be larger than the hub that fits through it. If the wheel isn't centered exactly on the hub, shimmy will occur - at what speed is variable. There are plastic inserts available to put in the wheel center so that they fit snugly centered on the hub & lugs. Happened with my 97 OB when I put non-Subaru wheels on it - bolt pattern & offset were correct, just the wheel center was too big.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    '72 Mercury Montego MX Brougham (used - '76 - '80)
    '79 Ford Fiesta (new - '79 - '82)
    '79 Datsun 810 (new - '80 - '91)
    '76 Ford F-150 (used - '82 - '94)
    '87 Chev Nova CL (aka: corolla) (new - '86 - '93)
    '90 Toyota Camry LE-V6 wgn (new - '90 - '97)
    '93 Toyota Corolla Dx wgn (new - '93 - '01)
    '97 Dodge Gnd Caravan Sport (new - '97 - '00)
    '00 Ford Windstar SE (new - '00 - '02)
    '02 Subaru OB wgn (new - '01 ->)
    '02 Honda Odyssey EX (new - '02 ->)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    '83 Dodge Ramcharger
    '74 Olds 98 Regency
    '86 Lebaron GTS Turbo
    '91 Ford POS Escort
    '97 Isuzu Rodeo
    '88 Subaru XT6 AT
    '00 Isuzu Trooper LS
    '91 Subaru XT6 MT

  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    '75 Honda Civic (got me thru school. Blast to drive)
    '82 Mazda GLC Sport (piece of junk)
    '83 Camaro Z28 (150hp! :( Can you believe that?)
    '85 Honda Civic 4-door
    '85 Dodge Colt
    '89 Accord Coupe
    '90 Civic 4-door SE
    '95 Nissan Maxima SE (very satisfying car overall)
    '97 Honda CR-V (current faithful reliable kidsmobile)
    '00 Prelude SH (6 months - returned to Honda on a arbitration buyback)
    '01 Acura CL-S (current)
  • kazanskykazansky Posts: 9
    my stereo (standard Subaru cassette with AM/FM) resets after even few minutes being turned off like I would disconnect a battery cable. Battery seems pretty decent - no problems what so ever. What could that be? Is it time to buy a new radio? Pls help.
  • freddi1freddi1 Posts: 14
    Thanks all for the suggestions on my shimmy! I'll try to keep you posted. Ms. Subaru-Freddi
    P.S. Sounds like we've got a lot of "mountain people" here on the site! ;-)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Where in the Catskills? My wife grew up in Monticello, with family scattered about mainly along the Rt 17 corridor (Wortsboro, Woodridge, Liberty).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dennis: sounds like a loose wire on the harness. You may have to pull the dash apart, but it's easier than it sounds.

    Speedos aren't linked to Odometers. Odos are usually more accurante. Car & Driver this month has an interesting article about that.

    Dave: I'm curious, why did you only keep the CR-V for 6 months? Is it because most Subie owners are named Dave, and you wanted to fit into the demographic? ;-)

    Why did I choose the Forester over the Outback? Primarily because to me it felt more fun to drive. It may be the shorter wheelbase or the lighter weight, but I just had a bigger smile on my face with the Forester (I was comparing 1998 models, BTW).

    At the time we had no kids, but we were planning on them. Space was not a big issue, and the difference back then was small, anyway.

    Last consideration was price. My limit was $20k, and the Outback was just over that limit, though with more equipment than my Forester L. But I paid $19.2k and had enough left in the target budget for my moonroof.

    Wait 'til May to see the new Forester. It's supposed to be bigger in the back seat, and have a more upscale interior.

  • paulsgtpaulsgt Posts: 30
    61 Ford Ranch wagon (bought when I was 14, sold when I was 16)
    1965 Corvair Monza Convertible (current) and (13) other Corvairs including America's first minivan, a Greenbrier.
    1979 Plymouth Horizon TC3 (VW powered - our first new car)
    1980 Honda Accord LX
    1982 Honda Accord Sedan
    1981 Dodge Colt (twin-stick) <- blast to drive
    1985 Plymouth Voyager <- DOG!
    1986 Honda Civic sedan
    1986 "Toyolet" Chevy Nova
    1987 Nissan Pathfinder (1987 - 1992) Indestructible, probably would run to 300,000 miles or more!
    1982 Honda Civic Wagon (Bought used)
    1987 Honda Civic Wagon (Bought used)
    1990 Subaru Justy <- Our First Subaru
    1992 Subaru Legacy "L" FWD Auto <- Great car but tranny went out at 74,000 miles
    1992 Mazda MPV AWD <- another dog.
    1995 Pontiac Trans sport Minivan - would have kept but it blew it's engine at 74,000 miles!
    1996 Acura Integra LS (1996 - 1999) <- Wife had a blast with this car!
    1999 Honda Odyssey EX (replaced the Trans sport)
    1999 Honda Accord EX Coupe V-6 <- My wife reminds me that she loved this car everytime she sees one.
    (traded both 1999 Hondas for the LL Bean due to changes in income 8-<)
    1961 Pontiac Tempest Safari Wagon (Museum piece, current)
    2001 Subaru Outback LL Bean (current)

    Cars purchased for my two daughters (I just like to buy cars)
    1984 Saab Turbo sedan "Rose" <- another car that was fun to drive!
    1991 Nissan Sentra SE <-great gas mileage even with 170,000 miles!
    1997 Ford Ranger X-cab, flare-side, 4-cyl, 5-speed (My current driver until my Daughter comes home from college the summer)
    1993 Saturn SL2 <- For my Daughter that turns 16 in 2-weeks (current)

    Paul in MN.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The bulbs are soldered in and the cold-soldered connections can be flaky.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    1981 Mustang Ghia I-6, 1986-1987
    1984 Honda Elite 125 scooter, 1987-1989
    198? Yamaha XT125, 1989-1989 (stolen)
    1987 Honda XL250, 1989-1990 (stolen)
    1980 Datsun 210, 1990-1990
    1986 Chevy Sprint, 1990-1991
    1991 Ford Escort GT, 1991-1998
    1994 Yamaha Razz 50 scooter, 1995-1995 (stolen)
    1998 Subaru Forester, 1998-present
    1993 Miata MX-5, 2001-present

    Ironically, both Hondas had engine problems. The Elite was air cooled, and the engine actually siezed. I rebuilt it and sold it. It was still a fun ride. The XL had the top end blow. This is why I giggle when people refer to "Honda reliability", thinking 100% engine failure by my experience.

    The Mustang was junk. The Escort gave me some problems, but the powertrain was Mazda and it held up for 107k miles, when it was totalled.

    The Datsun and the Sprint were beaters. I timed the Sprint well, because that's when gas prices were astronomically high because of Kuwait. 50 mpg at the time was nice.

    The Razz scooter was to get back and forth to the metro. I had it kryptonite locked, and would you believe they REMOVED THE WHEEL and stole the darn thing? I gave up on anything with two wheels after that, realizing I am jinxed.

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    While the OB/Forester may not have the same kick as your Lincoln, I have never experienced any "passing anxiety" in my OB trying to pass -- even with the roof rack loaded with bikes and the rear full of gear. Drop a gear or two and it moves. If you pass like my girlfriend does (leave it in 5th and creeeeeep past the other car) you may be disappointed. There's only so much 165hp can do!
  • freddi1freddi1 Posts: 14
    Hi Fibber2...We live on the southside of Belleayre Mtn. which is a NYS ski area. We are 38 miles west of Kingston and about an 1 1/2 hrs.(thru "back roads") northeast of Monticello.

    Our "claim to fame" around here is Margaretville!
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    1966 Pontiac GTO (Tri-power, Hurst 4-spd, 4.55 rear, 3 years)
    1968 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe (2 years)
    1970 Audi 100LS (15 months - went to SEA)
    1971 Audi 100LS (survived SEA, Euro specs, 3-1/2 years)
    1966 Ford Mustang GT Fastback (came with wife in 1974, still have both, only 78K original miles [car, not wife])
    1975 Audi Fox (back in US, 13 years)
    1977 Datsun B210 "Honey Bee" (won from WLS in Chicago after FM radio stolen from Mustang, 4 years)
    1986 Dodge Lancer ES (12 years)
    1979 Toyota Corona LE (bought from mom in 1988 when she gave up 5-speeds - at age 70 - for an auto Accord, had 35K miles - garaged - 4 years)
    1989 Dodge Caravan LE (turbo, 5-speed, 13 years)
    1997 Nissan Maxima SE (still have)
    2000 Outback Ltd. Wagon (still have)

    GTO was just plain hairy - lucky I survived at 16. Bought the Fiat because I couldn't afford to run the goat any more - Fiat was a blast! Audi had needed storage space - Fiat was not a long-term car to say the least. Euro Audi picked up with 2.5K miles - great car. Fox ended my affair with Audis - learned that lesson despite its longevity with us. Mustang lives in garage with antique plates and matching insurance policy. Datsun was dead reliable - and a rust nightmare. Lancer (turbo) was the best compromise in a crummy time to buy cars - did pretty well, actually. Corona was sweet - great ladies' car. Boss' wife bought it when we moved to Texas - car totalled a year later by a red light-runner in DC. Caravan was an excellent vehicle despite Chrysler reputation - and its untimely demise at 13 years and 115K with a broken camshaft. Maxima is best car I've ever had - bullet fast, dead reliable, and very fuel-efficient. OB just turned 20K - no problems save leaky sunroof.

    All cars were manual trannies except Mustang.

    Cheers from Ken in [snowy??!!] Seattle
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    ..but have had a total of 46 vehicles over 36 years, including several that were "company cars" and spouse's cars. I will not list them all; but includes 11 BMWs (including 1974 3.0 CS Coupe should never have sold), 1963 & 1977 Corvette, 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa, 1981 Audi 5000T, 1980 Mazda RX-7 plus 2 other Mazdas, 1983 Saab 900T, 1992 Nissan Maxima SE (super car), 2 Jeeps (1990 Cher. & 1993 JGC), 1977 & 1994 Camaro Z28's, 1987 & 1988 Mustang 5L, 2 VW's, 1 of each of Riviera, Century, Cutlass and Grand Prix (all forgetable), 2 Fords back in late 60's, 4 Toyota's of which we still have 1999 Solara SLE V-6 Coupe (super car), and 2 Subaru's including just got 2002 Impreza 2.5 TS, plus 6 others not listed. Obviously, I like cars; and have had an understanding spouse!!!
    Is there a cure for this problem?
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,976
    1939 Vauxhall 12 bought in 1956 when I was 14 years old.

    Cars owned in Ireland

    1947 Austin 10
    1949 Austin Devon.
    1953Austin A30
    1951 Austin Devon.
    1953Austin Somerset,
    1959 Morris Minor.
    1961 Morris MInor.
    1967 Vauxhall Viva.
    1973 Vauxhall Viva.

    Cars in Canada.

    1969 Cortina GT.
    1974 Capri 3 litre.
    1978 Ford Fairmont.
    1976 Honda accord.
    1979 Malbu Classic.
    1979 Honda Civic wagon.
    1979 Honda Accord sedan.
    1982 Honda Civic wagon
    1982 K car.
    1983 Accrd hatchback.
    1986 mecury topaz.
    1988 Honda Accord EXI.
    1989 honda Accord EXI.
    1991 Honda Accord ex sedan.
    1993Honda Accord EX wagon.
    2001 Subaru Legacy GT wagon (current)

    Quite a list.

    Cheers Pat.
  • rangerron7rangerron7 Posts: 317
    A dream car for an aging boomer like me.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    A week or so ago Steve and Paul mentioned "the interesting but rare 215ci V-8", later to become Rover's mainstay engine for 30 years.

    Just to prove the link between this engine and Subaru, I have both. My H4 5spd OB of course, and the Rover (nee Buick) V8 in my 1980 Triumph TR8 (see my profile). Interestingly both engines have exactly the same maximum bhp and torque figures, which shows you how far engine technology has come in the intervening 22 yrs. But of course the TR8 can still blow off a lot of cars because of it's extremely light weight and precise handling.

    This engine still lives on as the Buick 3.8L V6, which is the front 3/4 of the V8. I rented one in the summer of 2000 and had the opportunity to verify this visually. An ever-decreasing number of parts (e.g. water pump, oil filter, thermostat) are still interchangeable.

    It looks to me that the people on this forum go for just slightly "different" sorts of cars than the mainstream (why else would I have bought a yellow Pacer?). Perhaps this has something to do with us choosing Subaru, or perhaps it's just because we are interested in our, and by extension, other cars.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    74 Ford Maverick ("250 cu in" inline 6) Rebuilt engine at 60k for fun of it. Fairly reliable. Was parents
    86 Mustang GT 200HP/5spd - blast to drive, twitchy? rear end. Sold to "kid" who beat on it. :(
    86 Corolla 2 door/auto - girlfriend's car (now wife). Great car, especially in the city. Super reliable. Gave to mother in law who totalled it. Loved that car.
    92 Camry - 4cyl/auto The standard by which I judge cars. Traded at 180K miles for OB.
    00 Sienna - At 41K miles now. Silky smooth.
    01 OB 4cyl/auto - Still no snow to have fun with.

    P.S. - I credit my better half for "turning me on" to Toyotas. She purchased the Corolla at the same time I purchased the GT, without my help! She previously owned an Omni, and I think she kept dating me just to keep that POG going!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You be on a first-name-basis with Joe Lucas, the prince of darkness... BTW, do you know why the Brits like warm beer? They all had Lucas refrigerators.


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