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Hello Everyone, this is my first post here. We currently own a 2011 forester (wifes car). Iam in the midst of looking around for another car. I came across 2 ads, one was for a 2009 legacy wagon and the other was for an outback (both with 2.5 engine). Besides the height (outback higher), what are the difference's between the 2?
Our forester is okay, i find it consumes a good amount of oil, which i hear is comon for subaru's, right?
What i am looking for is a more quieter interior (find the forster a little noisy in the cabin) and a vehicle that handle's more like a car

Do these 2 cars have timing belt's or chains?
any particular issues to look at?
any reliability issues?
last thing...between the H4 or the H6 engine's which are the better of the 2?
thanks
fab
 

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Hello Everyone, this is my first post here. We currently own a 2011 forester (wifes car). Iam in the midst of looking around for another car. I came across 2 ads, one was for a 2009 legacy wagon and the other was for an outback (both with 2.5 engine). Besides the height (outback higher), what are the difference's between the 2?
Our forester is okay, i find it consumes a good amount of oil, which i hear is comon for subaru's, right?
What i am looking for is a more quieter interior (find the forster a little noisy in the cabin) and a vehicle that handle's more like a car

Do these 2 cars have timing belt's or chains?
any particular issues to look at?
any reliability issues?
last thing...between the H4 or the H6 engine's which are the better of the 2?
thanks
fab
Hi Fab, welcome to the forums.

The post above is a wonderful site which should answer any questions you have. That being said, I'll give you the quick and dirty on what you posted about:

First, I think that the Legacy Wagon was discontinued after 2008? The 2009 Outback is the last of the Generation 3 design. 2010 was a refresh year. Starting in 2010, the Outback 2.5's all had CVT transmissions. Starting in 2013, they moved from the EJ series engine to the FB series engine.

Yes, you're right, the Outback is higher up. It'll drive more like a "Forester" compared to the Legacy. The Legacy is lower, so it has a lower center of gravity, and holds the road a little better. The higher up the CG is, the more unstable the vehicle can be on roads (this does not mean that the Outback is not a stable vehicle, I'm just saying that the Legacy has a lower CG, so you can corner a little harder if you needed/wanted to.)

From what I've heard it's possible that the 09's still have head gasket issues that plagued Subaru in the 2000's. While they made several redesigns, they weren't fully "fixed" until they transitioned all vehicles with the EJ series engine to the refreshed line starting in 2010 (they used a different style of head gasket starting in 2010, I believe)

The Legacy is lower to the ground, which means it's also more aerodynamic. Wind noise should be less, but there are a lot of variables here.

The Outback has always been Subaru's "flagship" model, getting the newest tech and goodies first. So, look closely at the interiors and the accessories. One may have bluetooth, the other might not.

Personally, I think the H6 (this would be the 3.0R for the 2009 model year) is a more reliable engine, HOWEVER, it does require premium fuel (91/93). In 2010, Subaru changed to the 3.6R (EZ36 engine) and this is designed to run off 87.

You may want to widen up your search. Keep in mind the following things:

1. 2010+ Legacy and Outbacks have a CVT with the 2.5 engine. This has an extended warranty as a precaution.
2. The 3.6 models do not have a CVT (this was introduced in, I think, 2015.)
3. The 2.5 models DO have a timing belt. This must be replaced every 105k/8.75 years.
4. The 3.6 models do NOT have a timing belt. They have a timing chain.

Regarding your oil burning, Subaru can do an oil consumption test, but you are out of warranty now, so there would probably be a cost involved. I'd say to make sure that you keep a close eye on your oil, check it at minimum every 2 weeks or every gas fillup since you know it's burning oil, and consider changing your oil on the severe schedule.
 
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Good info in the thread already.

Legacy and Outback cars are generally regarded as quieter than Foresters, at least up until around the 2014 model year.

The 6-cylinder engine makes a lot less noise than the 4-cylinder engine because you don't need to rev it as high. Mind you, it will get every bit as loud or louder if you put your foot in it.

The 6-cylinder engine is offered with a 5-speed auto, and the extra gear gets you smoother shifts and even lower RPMs at cruise speeds. I'd go so far as to say this transmission fully qualifies the car as a comfortable long range highway cruiser. It was offered on cars with the 6 and the turbo-4 from 2005-2009, and then afterwards only with the new 6 from 2010-2014.
 
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