Last post on Aug 12, 2010 at 12:33 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Sedan, Wagon
#4 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [dweiler1]
Jul 03, 2008 (6:43 pm)
Subaru no longer offers a Legacy Wagon in the U.S. but you could get one used. So I guess you first need to decide if you are going new or used and if you want a wagon or not. For me a wagon is a no brainer and people are starting to wise up and realize that they make much more sense than an SUV for 95% of the people out there. You also need to decide if you want the turbo or not. If you want good gas mileage and want the car to last over 200k miles, I would skip it... don't even test drive it because you don't want to know what you are missing.
I own a 2006 Legacy Wagon 2.5i SE and my in-laws own a 2008 Outback 2.5i that I have driven on a long road trip, so I can let you know the differences. The Outback is more softly sprung but doesn't handle nearly as crisply as the Legacy. The body lean is more pronounced and it also has an annoying dead on-center feel in the steering on the highway. I am guessing the larger tires have a lot to do with this.
Most Outback come with nice winter weather options standard like windshield wiper de-icers, heated seats, fog lights, etc... They also have a nice protector on the top of the rear bumper that covers all the way to the edge which makes loading cargo less stressful. My Legacy wagon has a protector but it doesn't go out to the edge where it is most needed and I have scratches in my bumper paint to prove it. However the Outback is much higher which makes loading cargo more difficult.
Personally, I prefer the Legacy, especially after driving the Outback. The ruggedness is nice but I really don't like the looks and the ride is not my cup of tea.
#5 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [shrinermonkey]
Jul 06, 2008 (11:21 am)
I beg to differ on the turbo. I just sold my 94 Legacy Turbo with 150k miles, 10-15k of those were race-car driven, road race course miles (redline for 1-2 hrs at a time) and no repairs or rebuilds were done on it.
#6 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [paisan]
Jul 07, 2008 (10:40 am)
Yeah, as always YMMV. But I think a turbo adds a significant point of failure to any car and puts much more stress on the engine that will most likely affect longevity. More moving parts, complexity, heat, stress on engine and oil, etc...
Also your 150k is 50k short of what the poster was shooting for.
#7 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [shrinermonkey]
Jul 07, 2008 (6:25 pm)
True, however I put on a good amount of track miles about 10-15k track miles which are run between 4500-6500rpms for hours at a time and at speeds of 60-120mph, so those wear and tear miles are significantly more than that of a street driven car.
Car also ran like a top when I let her go at 150k, completely stock and never rebuilt.
Sure a Turbo in the past would decrease engine life but today that is just a fallacy, similar to that of "outgassing" of brake pads etc. etc.
#9 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [paisan]
Jul 07, 2008 (7:00 pm)
My 2005 LGT suffered turbo failure at 51K. I had changed oil every 3000- 3500 miles from new and don't abuse the car in any way.
There is a filter screen incorporated into the bolt connecting the oil line to the turbo. This is not a regular maintenance item (at least not to dealerships). I have read of many turbos suffering oil starvation and failure when this screen gets clogged.
If anyone can provide simple instructions on how to check this filter for the home mechanic, I'm all ears. Otherwise, as the dealer told me, we check the filter when your turbo fails. Count on a $1500 repair and loss of your car for a week when it happens.
#10 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [abz]
Jul 08, 2008 (6:30 am)
This is what I am talking about. Turbo's add numerous additional points of failure to cars, regardless of year. There were THOUSANDS of sludged up engines in modern VW's brought on stress from turbos. I know because I owned one... luckily I got rid of the car before I had any problems and used a larger oil filter and full sythetic oil every 5k miles.
So the idea that modern turbos don't affect engine longevity is a fallacy.
#11 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [shrinermonkey]
Jul 08, 2008 (5:37 pm)
And Toyota had Sludge buildup in their NA engines prompting one of the largest re-calls ever. So NA motors are not any better.
It's really luck of the draw when it comes down to it. I own an 05 LGT Wagon 5MT, and I track it and drive it pretty much on the edge for 59k miles so far and no issues to speak of. For every "Turbo Nightmare" story, there are tons of non-nightmares, we could revert to cars with manual brakes, manual windows, 2 speeds instead of 5 or 6, etc. etc.
I'd hazard to guess there are far more problems related to an automatic transmission than to turbos failing....
#12 of 23 Re: Outback vs. Legacy [paisan]
Jul 09, 2008 (3:57 pm)
My purpose in posting the details of my turbo failure is to try to encourage Subaru to do the right thing. If you check the LegacyGT website, the issue is not exactly rare. When my turbo failed, despite the fact I was more than 100 miles from home, the dealership insisted I provide copies of every oil change receipt over the history of the car before they would repair under warranty. When they thought they had a cash customer on their hands, they tried to feed me a BS story that the catalytic converter and short block were damaged and would also need to be replaced.
This is my third Subaru and I have loved them all. I would love to hang onto this car long term as I cannot find a single flaw with the driving characteristics of the vehicle. I am disappointed that Subaru will not provide periodic inspections of the banjo bolt filter/screen as a preventative measure, nor do they have any interest in replacing this screen with an easily accessible in-line filter.
Toyota eventually did execute a massive recall of their engines for the sludge issue. So far, I have several very nice letters from SOA urging me to change my oil every 3500 miles (which I have always done anyway). Subaru owners are some of the most loyal in the auto world. If SOA buries their head in the sand about the turbo issue, they are going to annoy everyone who gets stranded with a failed car, and the strong owner advocacy that Subaru enjoys will be destroyed.
I recommend Subarus wholeheartedly. Four of my friends bought LegacyGTs/Outback XTs on my reco. I will not recommend another Subaru Turbo until there is a fix or an acknowledgment of the issue.
I have followed your posts for years and respect you as a Subaru expert. The reason I finally moved from reader to poster, is that I hoped you might have instructions on how I could check this filter myself. My extended warranty runs out next July. I either need a way to maintain my turbo myself, or I am leaving the Subaru family.
Jul 09, 2008 (5:13 pm)
I am owner of 2003 VW Passat 1.8T and 2005 Subaru Legacy GT.
I see similarities between two sludge/turbo/engine issues.
VW originally suggested use of oils meeting VW 502.00 specification but it was not requirement. They ended up with plenty (I guess thousands) of engines that developed sludge because even though their OCI was prescribed 5000 miles the oil was not good enough. As a remedy VW changed the wording of the manual and now it states that oil MUST meet VW 502.00 spec, oil filter is now twice as big (if not 2.5 times) and 5000 miles is absolute maximum.
Subaru's (or maybe SOA) approach is different. Original oil spec stays the same (any 5W30 is good enough unless in hot climate then 40 weight oil is fine) but they halved OCI from 7500 miles to 3750. Now any turbo engined car requires "severe duty" cycle. In a letter available on mysubaru.com they suggest 30 sec cool down after driving, oil change before and after track event (somehow they do not ask for oil change pit stop).
I called dealer in my home country (Poland) and they change oil every 15000km (9000 miles) in Forester XT. I wonder how?
In both cases the problem is with oil starvation because some passages are clogged by sludge. In VW it is pick up screen and in Subaru it is "banjo-bolt".
In VW it causes engine failure and in Subaru turbo failure (unless failed turbo granades engine).