2004 - 2005 Subaru Outback Advice
Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 19:54
I'm after some information on the Subaru Outback and while I have tried searching the forum
but unfortunatly the word "Outback" on an Australian 4WD site provides a lot of returns that aren't of use. While this isn't strictly a 4WD question (or 4WD car for that matter) I figure there may well be a number of Subaru owners here.
Anyhoo, the short version is we are looking at getting a new Subaru Outback. We think the current model 2.5i is a great looking car, has carrying capacity, AWD, suits our current needs and has the good Subaru name and safety behind it. What we and are trying to find out is the idosyncrasies of the series, particularly things we need to look out for or know, such as a 100,000k service costing $2,000 or things like that (made up example). We average 25,000kms a year in travel with our current Magna.
My wife doesn't know if she would prefer the manual or automattic, both of which have dual range (well the auto automatically compensates now).
Things we will do in this car:
Mountain travel (sealed roads)
Occasional long distance travel in short periods (1200k'ms in 16 hours)
Towing trailers with around 600kg load (I know the Outback is well rated for it)
Things we might do/would like to do with this car:
Get off the tarmac onto unsealed roads
Well travelled national parks
Off-road camper trailer into the hills (a dream, but so was a new car)
Just generally getting off the road every once in a while and hopefully doing some camping
Things we won't do with this car:
Serious outback trips
Hardcore off-road driving
Opinions on the current Subaru Outback would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for your time. For those interested a new 2.5i Subaru Outback manual runs a rec retail of $37,990 plus on road and dealer costs.
This Thread has been Archived
Reply By: Wetty (W.A) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:14
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:14
Not sure bout the 2005 model, but my brother has a 2002 and has had many problems with the transmission and engine (the engine was his fault for not checking the oil!) Tranny has cost him in the vacinity of $3000 and the pump inside it is still playing up. Other than that he reckons it's a great car. If it was me buying one though, I'd opt for the manual. . . .
hope this helps a bit. . . .
Reply By: Darc - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:17
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:17
Caravan and Motorhome magazine voted the Subaru outback 3.0R the best Tow Car for 2004. ( See Issue number 69, Yearbook 2004) Don't know whether the larger motor is the only difference but it may be worth a look. Price as tested $45,999. Came in ahead of Hoden Adventura, Kia Sorento, Subaru Forrester XT, Land Rover, TD5 Discovery and Citroen C5.
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:22
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:22
In that company are you really suprised though ?
Thats like a who's who of POS of the year award ( except for the other Subaru that is )
Reply By: Toasty - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:32
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 20:32
Thanks for the quick replies (love an active forum
I would love the 3l but SWMBO is not convinced on the extra price v's benefit, and it is also very unlikely we would ever tow anything above the 750kg unbraked load anyway (so little justification for the extra power).
Yup my research has shown the Outback has won numerous awards including being right up there in safety tests, although as per one comment I wouldn't know if the competition is real "competition" or not.
The manual is also my preference, $2000 cheaper and I just like the control a manual offers. SWMBO has grown accustomed to the automatic Magna, but cut her teeth on a manual beetle so is no stranger to one. The automatic also makes the tow pack slightly more expensive ($200) becuase of the need of the oil cooler, but that isn't about to break the bank.
Looking forward to more replies.
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 21:29
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 21:29
No need to worry as even in "real" competition the Outback performs first class !!
Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:18
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:18
why not get SWMBO to do the research then get us to comment !!! ure wasting ure time till she is on side...
Follow Up By: Toasty - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:55
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:55
Steve, oh she is on side, it would appear we are getting an Outback so no problems there. Just trying to decide on the manual v's auto thing, but that is something we can work out between ourselves
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 06:57
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 06:57
Auto. forget manual , it's 2004 mate.
Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 21:46
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 21:46
If I could get work to buy one for me instead of the XR6 I reckon I would have had one right now (if it had a Ford badge on it) Just read about softroaders in latest 4x4 and the Outback has the highest retained value (around 69%) which means lots less lost when reselling. Great car, great seats, go get one, it would be perfect for what you have planned.
Dont know about idiosyncracies, but i'd go get one anyways, IMHO they're that good. And hardcore offroad, hmmmmm, go see the guys from Aus4WD specialists in Melb and ask them for a 8" lift, rockcrawler gears, 38" Simex JT's and jobs right.
Follow Up By: Toasty - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:58
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:58
You make a very good point with the retained value you mentioned. I have been doing a lot of searches in redbook.com.au and no doubt about it the Subaru will give one of the best returns for the money come trade in time.
We're going hire-purchase so will roll it over in five years, and past Subaru's wagons over that timeframe do extremely well (dealer trade around $18,000) v's say a Magna sedan which is worth under $10,000 over that same period *sigh*
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 06:59
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 06:59
Last HP 3.0 I heard that was traded was done so for $35k with 9,000k and 10 months old. Owner paid 52K for it. The initial drop is steep but then they hold on.
Follow Up By: Toasty - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 07:44
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 07:44
That's 67.3% of the purchased value which is in the region of what they will drop first year. Real kick in the guts but as you say they hold on well after that.
Reply By: DD64 - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:23
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:23
Currently have the 3.0R. Reasons for getting an outback were similar to yours. Decided on the 3.0ltr as we'll be towing something around 900kg.
The dealer we purchased thru (Eblens SA) provides a list of current service charges so no reason not to receive this. Don't have it at hand but I think the 100k was around $800, minor services
Extremely happy with this vehicle to date (yet to tow with it or test it offroad). Did read a positive article on this model towing a range of campervans & caravans up to 1600kg on the Mereenie Loop
Follow Up By: Toasty - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:59
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:59
>>Don't have it at hand but I think the 100k was around $800, minor services
Fantastic info, thanks!
Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:33
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:33
Sorry no ifo about the outback, but just on subaru in general. My old man is on about his 6th, he does on average 160,000kms over 2.5 years and trades them in on another still under warranty. He a has only had a problem with one, a water hose broke
at 125,000kms, motor heated red hot, he let it cool, added water and just had to replace the hose. Not futher probs. He gets them serived every 10k and changes oil every 5k. He is wrapped with them.
Reply By: Wisey (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:40
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 22:40
do a search for Subi' clubs, I'm sure they will give you all the answers. Not trying too give ya the flick,,, don't get me wrong.
Had a friend travelling with us on the Bourke
trek along the Birdsville/ Windorah
track I think, Anyway the inner L gaurd came away while fording a long water hazard
. Consequently water washed over the motor and stopped him in the middle of the puddle. Got him out and dried off the electicals and all was well apart from having to rip off the inner gaurd. He bought another Subi' because it suits his needs. Just make sure you get good under body protection to compensate low clearances/ tall humps in the middle of tracks where many lge stones gather. Some tyre sizes are harder to comeby in the outback, eg Yoko" Geolanders, if they still run them.
Follow Up By: Toasty - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 23:03
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 23:03
>>do a search for Subi' clubs, I'm sure they will give you all the answers. Not trying too give ya the flick,,, don't get me wrong.
No problems there, I know what it is like to see threads like this on forums. I have tried a lot of the Subaru sites, but next to none of them have a forum
, let alone a useable one.
Also on the under body protection I have heard she is a mere bit of plastic as stock. If we start getting a little more serious with the off tarmacing (won't go so far as to say "off road" just yet in present company) it will certainly be on the upgrade list.
Reply By: Member - Richard- Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 23:16
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 23:16
Go and look at http://www.offroadsubarus.com/forum/
excellent site with lots of great info for Subarus.
Follow Up By: Toasty - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 07:48
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 07:48
Thanks Richard, hadn't found that particular site.
Reply By: DaveNJude - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 08:22
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 08:22
Can't comment on the Outback but we bought the latest Forester X 2.5litre Auto for towing a small ~950kg caravan. Had to be an auto for my wife. Our needs sound the same as yours.
After 25000kms of which about 10000kms has been towing I can say they are a great car. I have got used to the auto, great for manoevering etc and relaxing to drive. Economy is about 11l/100km towing which is reasonable.
I say go for it!!
Follow Up By: Disco200Tdi - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 10:05
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 10:05
We also have a forester auto with the 2.5 litre motor. Its nearly 3 years old with 30000 k's. Its not the most powerful car but for light towing it wolud be ok.
This is the wife's car and the olny towing I have done is to the tip. We have travelled to Kangaroo Island
and back from Melbourne
and it handled dirt roads well and returned about 35 MPG.
The only problem I have found is with tyres scubbing. This seems to be even more accentuated when fully loaded. Have to be regulary rotated to get a decent life out of them.
One more thing is that subaru dealer servicing seems to pricey.
Last service quoted about $800, got our local mechanic to do it for $380 using subaru genuine parts as required.
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:55
Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:55
Gutless though .
Follow Up By: Taize - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:35
Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:35
I owned a my02 2.5l outback for 3 years and found that it had more than enough power for everything I wanted to do - including towing. The 4 cylinder boxter engine is fantastic and I would purchase an outback again if it fitted my needs. they are a great car to drive and own.
Reply By: Member - Kevin (NSW/ACT) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 11:54
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 11:54
My wife has just traded her 1999 Outback for a 2005 3.0R Outback. Trade in price offered equated to 46% of original purchase price - not bad for a car that will be 6 years old in April. Should get the new car next week.
For all the things you want to do I think it will perform perfectly. Check the ball weight of the camper trailer as the car is rated to only 90kg ball weight without weight distribution hitch (then it is 180kg) - which defeats the purpose of an off-road CT somewhat.
Our campertrailer has a ball weight of 125KG (total weight about 1200 kg) so we won't be towing it with the Outback.
We tried both the 6 cylinder and 4 cylinder variants - the 4 cylinder 2.5i was, in our opinion, no better in performance than our existing 2.5 (which is pretty good) while the 6 cylinder was way ahead in the performance area, plus the 5 speed auto in the 3.0R felt much smoother to us than the 2.5i's 4 speed, and overall the 3.0R seemed quieter on the road. Creature comforts have been refined in the new variants and we felt the 3.0R offered a bit more in this area e.g. audio controls on steering wheel, better trim level.
No matter what the adverts indicate the Outback is only a smooth'ish dirt road vehicle - the front overhang really limit its ability on rougher tracks. I helped build the soft roader test track at the 4WD show at Queanbeyan last year using the Outback as the template vehicle and it performed pretty poorly, very prone to grounding the front plastic skirting where you would least expect it to do so. Well maintained dirt tracks/roads should pose no problem.
We had both become so used to the all wheel drive of the Outback that we were very suprised at the handling of some of the potential replacement vehicles we drove - all of which were front wheel drive only. They weren't bad - but the Subaru felt so much better.
We're looking forward to keeping the new vehicle for another 6 years, its the first time we have replaced a vehicle with another from the same stable.
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:56
Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:56
Yes but is that the real trade figure or a figure loaded with margin from the new car ?
Follow Up By: Member - Kevin (NSW/ACT) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 10:47
Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 10:47
Don't know the answer to that one - however the trade figure offered was pretty close to the top of the Red Book range for trade-in so we were happy with it.
Follow Up By: Lucky Vic - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:46
Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:46
It was a loaded price then , they are never at the top of the rec redbook price.
Reply By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:14
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:14
We also have a 2000 model 2.5l Outback and can strongly recommend them. BIG disadvantage as previously mentioned are the poor arrival and departure angles. It's stock standard and only used on non serious trips. Handles dirt roads excellently and very safe. We don't tow with it or use it for the rough stuff. Very well finished and if it ever wears out, we'd get another one. (Since it's only done 44000k's in 4.5 years, this could take a while)
Have a yota for the serious stuff so the subie doesn't get a hard time.
Reply By: Member - Mungo Explorer (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:02
Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:02
I've had one on loan for a few months, four years ago, and it was fine on good dirt roads. One thing I seem to remember is that according to the owners handbook, they come with a choice of wheels/tyres, and I had the smaller ones which made the ground clearance/angles a bit iffy. Don't know if they still offer the choice, but if they do it might be a good idea to go for the bigger wheels.
Reply By: Lucky Vic - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:58
Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 06:58
One thing I always find amusing about the Outback is the quoted ground clearance or 205mm or close to that . It is BS !!! . Put one next to a Prado with 210 and see how much real diff there is .
Playing with the figures they are.
Reply By: Toasty - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 13:55
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 13:55
Well we are new Subaru Outback owners (or will be in a couple of weeks when it shows up).
Took both the 2.5i and the 3.0R for a spin and while we certainly did like the power of the 3.0R it was unfrotunatly more than we really wanted to spend. And honestly the 2.5i wasn't exactly short on power (unlike the Mazda 6 wagon we also test drove, gutless) so for the price it's a good compromise.
We had also taken the Mitsubishi Outlander for a run and while it wasn't bad it was short on space compared to the Outback but also more interestlingly it was short of features in the cabin. No trip computer, no climate control and it also had somewhat of an "enclosed" feel to it. Still a nice car, but we felt the Outback was nicer.
We tried getting an 04 ex demonstrator but they had already sold out of those with their three day sale that started on Thursday and man was it still busy on Saturday. The good part with that is we are getting a car that will be stamped as 05 compliant which is good as it means the car isn't instantly a year old, which will be very important come trade in time in five years (if that's what we do).
Anyway, enough of my talk you probably want to hear numbers. The deal was for a Silver 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i Auto (standard) with tow pack and front mudflaps came in at a rec retail of $45,379AU on road. The changeover with trading our 96 Magna sedan with 206,000kms was $39,000. We had to work pretty hard for that deal, but the changeover figure we are happy with so how we got there isn't important.
Thanks to everyone for their advice, it was a great help and we can't wait to get our new SUBARU OUTBACK!!!
Follow Up By: Member - Kevin (NSW/ACT) - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 16:58
Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 16:58
We pick ours up from Fyshwick on 27 January and like you - can't wait!!
Follow Up By: Toasty - Thursday, Jan 20, 2005 at 07:38
Thursday, Jan 20, 2005 at 07:38
Yup we would be picking ours up from Rolfe in Phillip around the same date, except we will be in Tasmania
when in arrives *DOH!* It can just be a pressie waiting for us when we come back.
Care to share your deal, or don't I want to know? ;-)