Last post on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Sedan, Wagon
#432 of 1296 Re: Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override [eps105]
Sep 18, 2009 (1:43 pm)
Elliot... you have provided some great insights while I have been researching the 2010 Outback, and I greatly appreciate your assistance! I hear your concerns with the Nav... we have spent time debating this before and is one of the major reasons that I have made the decision to purchase a 2010 Volvo V50 R Design over the 2010 Outback 3.6R. Below are a few more reasons for my decision...
1. The Outback has lost its "fun to drive" element with the new design. I actually received a 2009 Legacy 4-cyl as a rental car last weekend... I found it a much better experience than the CVT and averaged 31MPG. I guess I just don't like the engine revving of the new 4-cyl.
2. Although the Subaru, even the 3.6R, is a lower cost vehicle than my current Acura MDX, The mileage does not really improve much. I am concerned that gas will eventually head back up and want my next car to be "fuel efficient".
3. Subaru continues to be behind in its technology offering... no keyless drive (available on Toyota, Nissan, etc... not just luxury brands), poorly functioning Nav, integrated media, etc.
4. Front seat support & comfort... I just prefer the offering of the luxury brands in this area. As I age, this becomes of greater importance.
5. Resale value... as the gap between the bottom and upper end of the Subaru range continues to increase, I worry about resale of the 3.6R Limited. Back in 2007, I only saw average return on my '05 Outback 3.0 VDC, which is one of the reasons that I went back to the Acura.
Don't get me wrong, the Subaru Outback is a great VALUE. I am just looking for some additional capabilities and am willing to pay for them. Back in 2004, when I purchased my 2005 Outback 3.0R VDC, Subaru and the European Sportwagons really offered a similar product, with the Subaru costing thousands less. Now the product offering and ammenities have split significantly. Clearly Subaru is out of the business of "playing" on the edge of the luxury sportwagon market.
A comment on the Volvo Nav System... Volvo has done a nice job working with Garmin to develop a dealer installed portable Nav system. The Volvo Garmin Nuvi installs to a permanent bracket to the center channel speaker grill on the dash. It uses the car's electrical system for power and an installed antenna and drive sensor for better reception and dead-reckoning capabilities. This is one of Garmins top of the line models. Volvo has tested this product and installation for viewing safety and ergonomics and even includes Garmin Traffic and Weather Service for the life of the GPS. This Volvo Garmin Nuvi GPS costs about $850 installed. About $300 more than the same true portable model and $1500 less than the Volvo factory installed option, which is not as advanced as other manufacturers. If you purchase a separte charger and mount, the Volvo Garmin Nuvi device can also be portable. Volvo may have hit the mark with this product concept, blancing the "installed" positives of factory and costs/flexibility of portable. Perhaps Subaru will develop such a concept sometime.
Anyway, I am still a Subaru owner at heart and really wanted the chance to own another Subie. Not to fear though... I am a high-mileage driver and replace cars every 2-3 years. Hopefully next time, Subaru will have caught up with the masses with technological options and will offer a diesel in the US market.
Enjoy your new Subaru!
#433 of 1296 Re: OEM Continental ContiPro Contact tires - likes, dislikes, swapouts [eps105]
Sep 18, 2009 (3:00 pm)
I know what you mean about tirerack. It seems that every time I've researched a tire it is nearly 50/50. Some people hate a tire, others love it. I'm not real sure what all that time and effort reading all the tire reviews ending up doing for me. Not much help for you.....just a comment.
#434 of 1296 Re: Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override [ssminton]
Sep 18, 2009 (4:38 pm)
ssminton, Interesting story and a nice tangent... although I was hoping to get my questions answered, not be told why I shouldn't have bought it in the first place. LOL
#435 of 1296 Re: Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override [eps105]
Sep 18, 2009 (5:23 pm)
Too bad, Elliot. Muahahahahahaha!
#436 of 1296 Re: Outback vs. V50 R Design
Sep 18, 2009 (8:10 pm)
The Volvo V50 R Design is interesting, especially for me since a manual AWD in premium trim is said to be available for 2010. But I when searched the mid-Atlantic area I found plenty of V50s but only a few V50 R Design automatics and no manuals. Additionally the MSRP for automatics in premium trim is $38K. With the limited selection you're left with little room to bargain. And to really match up to the Outback with regards to interior space you'll need to step up to the V70 which loses your AWD capability. For myself I'm currently considering an offer for a loaded Outback 2010 manual for $26.5K plus TTL. It may not be as sweet as a V50 R Design but it fits the bill.
"... I have made the decision to purchase a 2010 Volvo V50 R Design over the 2010 Outback 3.6R. ..."
#437 of 1296 Re: OEM Continental ContiPro Contact tires - likes, dislikes, swapouts [m6user]
Sep 19, 2009 (6:14 am)
From tirerack - I found the Outback owners give best ratings to General Altmax HP ... check it out.
#438 of 1296 Re: OEM Continental ContiPro Contact tires - likes, dislikes, swapouts [bigdadi118]
Sep 19, 2009 (12:07 pm)
I have the General Altimax RT on my '06 Chevy Impala...by far the most disappointing tire I have used in the past 20 years. The RT is basically a non-directional version of the HP. Terrible treadwear, horrible winter performance, poor traction on wet roads. After 20,000 miles of driving, they are down to 6/32 tread depth remaining on all four tires. Wear is even, but they are wearing quickly.
I have been considering a 2010 Legacy 3.6R, and the OEM tire is the Bridgestone Turanza EL400...a very poorly rated tire.
I would have no issues with the Conti model on the Outback, and wish they used that tire on the Legacy 3.6R.
#439 of 1296 Observations on 2010 Outback
Sep 19, 2009 (5:17 pm)
I test drove a 2010 Outback 4cyl CVT Premium model this weekend and thought I'd post my thoughts here. For reference, I have never owned a Subaru, any my only experience with any Subaru was with a test drive of an Impreza wagon about 7-8 years ago. My current vehicle is an '02 Toyota 4Runner Sport Edition. In the past I have owned Honda, Toyota, and Mazda models. So my only point here is that I really had no specific expectations of the Outback, other than to see how it stacked up against vehicles I've owned or driven in the past. I really am looking for a 4Runner replacement with significantly better mpg, more comfortable ride & seating positions, but with close to the same utility as my 4Runner. That's how I came to consider the Outback.
First, the car looks better in person than in pictures, although the grille isn't very attractive. So I have no real problems with the look, though as others have mentioned, I do tend to have an affinity to a more wagon-type design. This car really straddles the fence between wagon & suv, seeming a little more suv-like to me. I checked out the interior in the showroom, and was actually quite impressed with the general quality of interior materials and design. There is a good deal of storage & cupholders, comfortable seats (though the seat-bottom may be a little short for taller drivers), plenty of room in the back seat, and behind the seats. It is wider than my 4Runner, with more legroom, shoulder room, and headroom. It's probably just a bit shorter though, mostly noticed behind the rear seats.
Somebody mentioned earlier about it being hard to see out the rear window. Yeah, I see what they mean (rear headrests interfere, and the rear window isn't that big), but it's not that big a deal to me personally. As for the window tint, yes it is dark, but I think it's OK -- gives good privacy and blocking of sunlight. I drove it on a dark, rainy day and saw no problem with it. However, there are a couple of things that I did not like at all. First, the sunroof is soooo TINY! Honestly, what's the point in having one if it's the size of a mail slot? The Forrester's sunroof on the other hand is huge (which I much prefer). Second, those mirrors not being break-aways is so stupid. I pretty much expect to see that on every car & truck nowadays, except for perhaps the cheapest economy cars. There is no excuse for that and it really bothers me because I use that function on all my cars quite frequently. I like to fold them when driving up to an ATM, a mailbox....any drive-up kind of thing, and also when parking in my carport, to give a little extra room and protect them. I've lost a mirror before when a friend backed my Civic out of a garage and snapped off the mirror. That is NOT something I ever want to worry about again.
Now for the actual test drive. I drove approx 5 miles on winding and mostly smooth 2-lanes (no highway driving). I was concerned if the 4cyl/CVT combo would offer enough performance. Well, I'm happy to say, yes, I think the performance is totally acceptable, including both acceleration & handling (but remember I'm comparing to a truck-based sport-ute, so I would expect it to be better. Now, it doesn't handle like my Mazda Protege5 to be sure, however, for what it is I felt it handled the rain-soaked curves of a winding road (speeds of 35-60mph) just fine. It always felt secure to me. And I have to admit, I really liked using the "manual" mode paddle shifters, too. Now, my one beef with the car that really surprised me was the thrash of the engine at 4,000+ rpm. Wow, this thing can get loud, yet with normal cruising/driving, it seems quite refined. But mash the pedal a bit and raise the rpms, and suddenly this thing seems a bit cut-rate. Maybe that's just the nature of that engine, but that really surprised me. My 4Runner is quieter (though it's not quiet either). So if you drive an Outback gently, it will sound just fine, but it suffers from split-personality at higher rpms and that noise enters the cabin in a big way, drowning out any kind of road or tire noise (there wasn't much of that though).
One last thing. After looking over the interior closely, I asked to look at the Forester interior. I compared the Outback Premium (cloth) to a Forester Limited (leather). I have to say, I thought the Forester's materials looked inferior to the Outback. Not that it was bad, but it just didn't measure up to the Outback. Also, the Forester felt a little narrower/tighter than the Outback, though it had tons of head room and excellent visibility. I did not test drive the Forester for comparison though.
I guess my final thoughts are that this is an attractive enough vehicle outside. The interior is very nice (I'm not into techno-gadgets etc, so can't answer to that part). The performance is pretty much what I'd expect from this type of vehicle, even a bit better than anticipated. The price is competitive. The econmy (22/29) for the 4cyl/CVT is excellent, especially considering the AWD. I was just let down by the lack of refinement in the drivetrain at middling and high RPMs, in addition to an inferior-sized sunroof (very important to me), and lack of break-away mirrors that should absolutely be standard. I'll have to test drive more competitors over the coming months to see how they stack up. I'm in no hurry to replace my 4Runner, but at nearly 170k, I suppose in time it will be necessary, plus I really want a more car-like ride again while keeping the utility of the vehicle. The Outback is still in the running at this time.
Sep 19, 2009 (9:58 pm)
I went in thinking Outback and came out thinking Legacy GT.
First I drove a 2.5i Outback Limited. I was expecting too much
drive train noise, but it didn't really bother me that much, not
coming from a quiet luxury car. You could hear the whir of the
CVT sometimes, but the engine covered it much of the time. I
was expecting a lack of power, but it wasn't really struggling.
Coming from a WRX, I was expecting to be underwhelmed. But what
car with the passenger space of the Outback drives like a WRX?
I used the paddle shifters with the car in "D". They do "shift"
in D and are useful for passing. The car took itself back to D
eventually. I didn't use them much in "M", so I'm not sure what
the difference is.
Then I drove a 3.6R Outback Premium. (I want a Limited, but at
this point, I just wanted to try the other power train.) As I
turned out of the lot I knew I liked it better. The power and
noise were nicely improved. 'nuff said. The 2.5i is out of
Then I drove the Legacy GT Premium. I really like a stick shift.
It is "notchy" and not as smooth as some, but still more fun than
an automatic. I'd probably like it just as much with the H6. (I
don't know why they have both the H6 and the turbo, with similar
HP and torque.) I also liked the handling better, though I'm not
sure why. Is it just the lower stance, or is the suspension
If there was an Outback Limited (or better, a Legacy Wagon --
just remove the cladding and the clearance) with the stick and
the H6 or turbo, I'd have an easy choice.
As it is, it's Utility vs. Fun. For me, the pros & cons of a
Legacy GT Limited vs the 3.6R Outback Limited are:
Pro: Fun to drive.
Con: Premium gas, less rear headroom, less cargo space,
no hatch, no roof rack
How many times a year do we *need* the utility of the wagon?
How many times is enough to buy Utility instead of Fun?
I'm 6'5" and severely headroom challenged. The Outback &
Legacy are standouts in headroom, especially in the higher
trim levels, thanks to the option of not getting a sunroof.
We need good rear legroom, too, for a rear facing car seat.
I was having trouble finding leather & Limited-like-trim
with our space requirements. I had given up on a stick and
#441 of 1296 Re: Observations on 2010 Outback [autohound1]
Sep 19, 2009 (10:11 pm)
I've seen a lot of talk about the Outback now being an SUV or SUV-like, rather than a wagon. I don't get it. For example, the Taurus, the Avalon, the Suzuki SX4, and now the Legacy are all tall sedans. Seems there is a market for that now. But, when you make a wagon out of tall sedan, it will be taller than most other wagons. However, the Outback is still what it has always been: a Legacy wagon raised a couple of inches with cladding added to make it a bit more butch than the normal Legacy wagon.
That stuff sells. That is why the Legacy wagon (whose body looks exactly like the Outback, but only a bit lower on its suspension) is no longer sold here. Americans like the tall look in wagons, CUVs and SUVs. But the OB is still a Legacy wagon raised up a bit. It is not an SUV. Neither was the Audi allroad (but most people were not fooled by Audi's attempt to simulate an SUV).