Last post on Dec 15, 2008 at 11:18 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
#25 of 64 Re: [xwesx]
Sep 11, 2008 (10:52 am)
Bridgestone Pontenza's, eh? I'll be sure to take notice because I believe in good tires - and I'll take your word on it. Maybe I can negotiate with the dealer when I'm buying my Outback if he has something better he can offer. Otherwise I'd be inclined to sell them rather than buy snows and switch 'em over twice a year.
The Outback I buy will be used mostly for around town errands and short excursions - except in the winter when I average about 700 miles/week - just going skiing. The jeep I'm replacing has M&S tires that I leave on all year round. It works for me because I do most of my driving in the winter and really need them for the places I go. The rest of the year the tread is a little too aggressive and they could ride quieter, but I don't drive enough miles when I'm staying close to home to wear them out prematurely. I've had these Michelins for two years and they still have more tread on them than most new tires.
And thanks for clearing that up about the stalling; I see what you mean.
I'm getting lots of input from people with Outbacks that will help me decide whether to buy a manual or an automatic. I'm still leaning towards getting the manual but my wife prefers an automatic. She has her own car so she won't drive the Outback much - just once in an while (and probably NEVER if I get the manual!). She's already told me that if I hurt my leg skiing I ought to consider how I'm going to get home with my manual transmission. This has actually happened before so maybe she has a point . . .
A lot of people have said that both transmissions and AWD systems are great in the snow and I know that dealers sell many more automatics than manuals so I'm keeping an open mind. Going to test drive one of each next week and make up my mind.
Thanks for your help.
#26 of 64 "Bridgestone Pontenza's, eh?"
Sep 15, 2008 (9:58 am)
There are good ones and bad ones.
RE960 AS are the good ones.
RE92s are the other flavour (I bet they give nice milage for the car manufacturer).
Summer RE050A PolePosition is another good one.
#27 of 64 Re: "Bridgestone Pontenza's, eh?" [krzyss]
Sep 15, 2008 (2:38 pm)
Do you know if any of these are standard equipment on the '09 Outbacks? Or even better - does anyone know what tires are standard equipment for '09 Outbacks? - Anybody just buy one?
#28 of 64 Re: "Bridgestone Pontenza's, eh?" [krzyss]
Sep 19, 2008 (6:59 am)
Krzys - thanks for clarifying. Yes, I am speaking specifically of the RE92A, which was standard equipment on both the 07 and 08. Bridgestone does have an entire line of Potenza-labeled tires.
I have some close friends who just purchased an '09 Impreza, and it has these same tires. I am willing to bet that the Outback does as well, unless they differ by region.
#29 of 64 Re: "Bridgestone Pontenza's, eh?" [xwesx]
Sep 28, 2008 (7:04 am)
I've heard that some of the 09s are getting Yokos? Vaguely remember hearing that.
Motorsports and Modifications Host
Oct 03, 2008 (5:27 pm)
This has been a great thread to read through.
The main reason I opted for the 09 instead of saving some Money on an 08 was because the 09 Limited is basically the 08 L,L,Bean edition with a nicer Stereo, 2.5i Engine and the VDC is standard on all models.
It's funny because I read how allot of People are weary of the VDC and afraid it might make the Outback behave in odd ways.
It does have an off switch so if this is a concern you can always turn it off.
I'd have loved a manual but due to a work injury I can't drive a Stick anymore but let me tell you this Car is superb in handling.
I have the 17" Bridgestone Potenza's on mine and when I opened the Manual Packet there was warranty packets on Good Year and Yokohama Tires so I guess it depends on where you purchase the Car and how the Dealer specs their Vehicles out when ordering them.
I haven't driven on Snow yet but so far the Potenza's seem to be a very grippy Tire.
If they prove to be as bad as People are saying they'll be off the Car before the next Snow storm, LOL!
A story about the VDC.
The other Day I was taking my Daughter to School, it was raining and the Outback was doing an excellent job.
I remembered that the Dollar Store close to my House had just sprayed Blacktop sealant about a Week ago and anyone who knows about Blacktop sealant knows how slippery it gets when it's wet.
I stopped off on my way Home and did a quick Road test in the empty Parking Lot.
From a standing stop I stomped the Accelerator to the Floor and took off like the Pavement was dry, not so much as a squeak from the Tires.
I then proceeded to do figure 8's and tight cornering.
I threw this Car all over the place trying to make it lose control but it never broke traction, not even close.
Then I did the Circle test and up until the Tires themselves couldn't hold on and the Car slid sideways, I never lost control, kept a tight Circle and never broke traction.
Then I turned the VDC off...
The standing stop test went well, the Car took off but I had to keep things going while the Tires kept slipping here and there.
It wasn't bad but it wasn't as in control as before.
The same goes for all the figure 8's and slalom's I was doing.
It was easy to keep the Car under control but I had to be more on top of things and the Tires kept slipping here and there.
At higher speeds the back end kept trying to break out from under me a bit but it wasn't horrible like the Car was at any moment going to spin around on me, I just had to be more aware of what was going on and how I was driving to keep control.
The Circle test really showed me I made the right decision because with VDC off the Tires would spin and I'd lose the Circle pretty fast before completely breaking traction.
That might have allot to do with the Potenza's and something I'm really going to have to watch out for when the Roads get really bad.
I've never been a big fan of Bridgestone Tires but these look like they have a pretty aggressive Tread design, only the future will tell.
I'd say the only difference between the Auto and Manual Transmissions in the 09 Outback is cost savings and how well you understand the dynamics of driving a Manual Transmission.
Other than that it's just a personal choice, I wish I could have got the Manual myself... :O(
I wish I could have had someone with a video Camera, it would have made a good Youtbe video, LOL!
The only other Person to see it was a guy unloading a Truck for the store and he was giving me some pretty odd looks... ;O)
One last thing, this Car is averaging over 28MPG and it hasn't been broken in yet.
#31 of 64 Re: 09 Outback owner [kentuckyranger]
Oct 03, 2008 (7:06 pm)
WOW!! I wish I could get a test drive like you just described. I'm so glad you took the time to write all that. I was really interested in what you had to say about losing traction in the circles and figure eights with the VDC turned off because this is where I would expect to find a big difference between a manual transmission and an automatic.
If you read my earlier post about this the manual transmission has essentially full time 4WD since the center differential normally splits the torque 50/50 front to rear. A viscous coupling will then adjust this split when slippage occurs. In contrast, the automatic is essentially FWD since the center differential normally splits the torque 90/10 front to rear. A variable transfer clutch controlled by electronic sensors then adjusts this split when slippage occurs. So what?
Here's what. Based on what I have read, the manual transmission should behave like a rear wheel drive car when it breaks traction (because the 50/50 split means the front end grips better - more weight - so it's the the back wheels with 50% of the torque that will start spinning first, slipping out of the turn and creating an oversteer situation. The automatic with the 90/10 split should behave like a FWD car and it will be the front tires that let go in the turn creating an understeer situation. You didn't say whether it was the front end or the back end that was slipping away in your maneuvers. Which was it??
I'm dying to find out - please reply at the earliest.
Oct 03, 2008 (10:58 pm)
From my reaserch I thoght I'd read where the 08 Outback with auto had a 60/40 split in power, now you have me doubting so I'm going to be checking back to make sure I was correct.
That was one of the problems with the 08 was the back end got loose in tight cornering on slipery roads because of the more aggresive power split.
During my testing with the VDC off it was the rear that kept trying to lose traction first.
Another very good feature with the auto that helps keep control of the vehicle on slick roads is the sport shift.
In sport shift mode you get to chose the gear that best suits your need and it keeps it there unless the computer senses you're about to over rev the Engine and only then will it shift.
It brings the control of a manual transmission very close to the automatic and really makes a big difference in low traction situations.
When the VDC is on the rear end slippage goes away.
Also, Subaru's VDC is allot more advanced than the traction control on other manufacturers Vehicles so there really is no way to compare them because it reacts allot differently than the others.
When it reacts it not only applies the brake to the wheel losing traction but it also adjusts throttle responce as well when wheel spin becomes too extream.
I used to have a 96 Saturn with traction control and it really pails in comparason to VDC.
Like I said about full throttle from a standing stop, it felt like I was on dry pavement and acceleration wasn't adversly affected.
VDC is so fast and intuitive there's no need to worry about poor performance when it's turned on in low traction conditions.
If you've ever driven a Car with traction control please forget the experiance and don't compair it to VDC, instead keep an open mind and give this system a chance to prove itself.
The best way to test it out is make sure to take a test drive on a crappy rainy day so you can see for yourself just how awesome this system really is.
Oct 04, 2008 (4:51 am)
Thanks for posting back so soon. In your circles without VDC turned on, it sounds like the front wheels never lost traction and rear end was wagging a little. This is what happens with FWD until the front wheels suddenly let go, creating the understeer situation I described - but this never happened to you. Does that sound right?
The 5-speed automatics (turbos and 6-cyl) have yet another AWD system with a planetary gear and variable transfer clutch in the center differential. This is the one which normally splits torque 45/55 front to rear (confused? - me too!).
Oct 04, 2008 (8:13 am)
Exactly, with VDC off the rear end was the one to lose traction first which is something I wanted anyway.
I never lost traction on the front end with VDC off.
After driving FWD Cars for so many Years I really like the traction but hate the fact that in a power or torque spin situation you lose control of steering.
I'd rather lose it in the rear end and keep the ability to steer.
This is the one thing about FWD that makes it so dangerous, especially if you're not prepared for it.
I've seen so many accidents out on the road over the Years where the only reason the car wrecked was due to the loss of steering due to a loss of traction in the front Wheels due to the fact it was a FWD Car.
In my research of AWD Cars I found that Subaru had changed the power distribution on the 08 Outback and the Person doing the article made mention of the fact that the Car would lose traction in the rear and made it sound like a bad thing, he must not be familiar with defensive driving techniques or basic physics because in the mind of this 22+ Year veteran of driving every conceivable combination of Vehicle, this effect is what's desirable, not a bad thing.
I'd have to say if you really don't want the VDC then save your money and go with an 08 because right now you can get one heck of a deal on one where as the 09's price Tag isn't as negotiable. Basically, With the VDC turned off on the 09, you're driving an 08.
They where offering VDC as an option on late 08 models but it's pretty pricey and this late in the season with the 09's out I seriously doubt you can custom order an 08 anymore.
I wrote a Blog about my Car:
This should give you some more insight on why I went with the 09 and help with some other info.
It's funny because I really concentrated my research on Outbacks but never knew Subaru had so may different versions of their AWD system.
I'd say a 45/55 split would be good on something like the Tribeca because of the Weight distribution but like I said before, anyone who knows what's going on and understands Vehicle dynamics wants the Rear end to be the first to go, not the other way around.
That's why in Rally racing and drifting the most important Tool in the Car is the emergency Brake, especially on an AWD Vehicle.
This stuff can be very confusing but there is a method to Subaru's madness; Somewhere...
It's funny how these so called educated reviewers, and I'm not slamming them, they really know allot more than I do about automotive technology.
But they're so deep into the Numbers and technical crap they forget and lose sight of the simplest things, like what makes a Car safer to handle.
I've read so many articles where they tout the 08 Outbacks lose rear end like it's something bad when in fact it's exactly what Subaru was shooting for...