Subaru Outback's

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 10:25
ThreadID: 4546 Views:7001 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Hi people,
Want to know anything good/bad about the Subaru Outback. I know parts are expensive but how much would an oil filter, air filter cost???
I'm hunting down a new used car and i'm tossing up the pro's/con's of both the Mitsubishi Challenger and Subaru Outback.
The Challenger is similar to my Toyota Surf in size and offroad ability, but i've always thought the Outback was a nicely refined vehicle and very well finished off.
Any thoughts on the subject???
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Reply By: GPA - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 10:51

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 10:51
The Outback is a very nice car, however, it is an AWD - not a true off-roader. It does not have the ground clearance, or low range gears to do ANY sort of off-roading beyond gravel tracks and 'firm' beach runs. A good friend of mine has one and has yet to join us on any trips - as there is always a section somewhere that he would not be able to get through.
AnswerID: 18274

Follow Up By: Fredo - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 10:54

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 10:54
My understanding the Manual is Dual Range and the Auto version is not. Does dual range mean Hi/Low gearing???
FollowupID: 11459

Follow Up By: GPA - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 11:23

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 11:23
Yes, dual range means hi/low gearing... and certainly, the auto does NOT have dual range gearing... I am unsure on the manual - a quick search of Google will tell you.
FollowupID: 11462

Reply By: Member - Jeff - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 20:05

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 20:05
Getting rid of the Surf for an outback - certainly a big drop in ground clearance - but for Hwy miles, dirt roads and a bit of mud, plus the odd trail which you can carefully pick the way thru, then the Suburu is the way to go - very capable vehicle for the majority of dirt roads into state forests and national parks. But if you want to go to Fraser Is, Cape York along the Old Telegraph Line then you want the added ground clearance; but you probably know this. I sold my Subaru Liberty (ht adjust suspension model) and bought a Surf 97 model which has the Prado suspension and 3L turbo intercooled diesel motor - I went to Cape York and I am very happy with my Surf - hope you have been also with yours. If you still like the Surfs look at there is a 98 model Surf Limited in A1 condition for sale - I know the vehicle & the owner is scared of scratching it - has not seen any rough work at all - see photo at this site.
With my Subaru I found the parts expensive (as you know) I cracked a head - Subaru do leak oil from head gaskets but apart from that they are very good.
What are insurance costs like ?
Anyway good luck searching.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Nifold Plain, Cape York
AnswerID: 18307

Reply By: Member - Alpaca (SA) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:13

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:13
My personal treasurer has an outback and it is a very nice car. Unfortunately she thinks it is still a new car and is very restrictive as to where it goes. On the odd occassion when she's been asleep, it handles the dirt very well but the angle of arrival and departure are very restrictive. They {Subaroooo} claim it has the same ground clearance as a normal 4WD but the 200mm ground clearance is the same over the whole floor pan.
We recently went to the new Prado presentation and you have to go to the "Grande" to get all the standard bits on the std Outback.
It is a great car for your weekend mild getaways but for the serious stuff, I'll stick to my cruiser.
The Subaru diehards will tell you to put in a lift kit and they have crossed the Simpson. Don't know what model though.
Would we buy another one? It's only 3y's old but when the time comes, definitely yes.
AnswerID: 18316

Reply By: Member - Colin (ACT region) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:23

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:23
Parts are not normally a problem as they are very reliable - things like filters are available at the local parts place as for all cars. Just had Subaru replace the cam belt and oil pump seals in my Forester 100 000 kms - $330 (incld $180 labour) which I think is OK ? Outbacks are a liitle soft and have more overhang than early Subs or the Forester, so they benefit from a lift or longer springs. A sump guard is also a must. All manual Subaus have dual range. A friend has a auto H6 with lift kit and BF Good tyres which would suprise a lot of 'real' 4WD's ! If you really want some 'action' go for a auto GT Forester with stiffer springs and good tyres !!
Best not to compare Chalenger/Surf etc with Outback though, as they are totally different style of vehicle. If you only 'go bush' or camping occassionally then the Outback is fine, certainly easier on the pocket with fuel and tyres.
AnswerID: 18317

Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Apr 27, 2003 at 23:58

Sunday, Apr 27, 2003 at 23:58
I'd love to tell you about the trip across the Tanimi and into the high country with my old '82 subie. But I have done elsewhere. Royce
AnswerID: 18551

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 12:37

Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 12:37
Fredo, we have an Outback (for sale) and a Nissan Pathfinder. Both claim a minimum ground clearance of 200mm. But look underneath and you'll see a substantial difference. The entry and departure angles of the Outback are poor - I've tested them. The low-range in the manual does not offer very good reduction, but does make for some quick take-offs from the lights. If you're quick (with the gear shift and transfer lever) you can use it as a close-ratio 6 speed box.

Finish and standard inclusions make it a classy vehicle on road and it handles the dirt really well. The motor pumps out only 115 Kw but its surprisingly sporty.

The suspension is sporty but soft - can't carry a load for long without sagging (and then clearance reduces).

Its a great familiy car. The extra ride height also makes it easier to enter and exit than most modern family sedans. I really like like the safety features, especially the low-mounted, horizonatlly oposed motor (which will slide under the passenger compartment in the event of a major accident). But it won't take you "off-road".

You could do a lot worse for your money.Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 18583

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