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2005 Subaru Outback XT Limited 5MT
225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I know I posted recently about an 06 WRX I was looking at however I passed on that due to some red flags. I have another opportunity though. 03 WRX WRB with mods I will list in a moment vs my 05 OB XT

I'm keeping in mind 1 Lucky Texan's words of devil you know vs devil you don't but still.

Current setup. We have an 03 Forester NA that has about 187k miles on the body but 60k on a new engine that is our main daily. The other semi daily is my OBXT with 93k on it.


Whiteline RSB
AVO Rear Endlinks
AVO Braces for the rear
Invidia Catless Uppipe
about 1500 miles had new NGK plugs, Gates timing kit plus water pump done
New OEM Oil pump
about 15k on the KYB rear struts
New Green Stuff pads and EBC rotors for all 4 corners
Kartboy STS

So someone offered me a trade because he wants a wagon for the expanding family (I have a 4 year old and like the space but again we use the Forester mostly)

the trade option:

03 WRX sedan 145k

Drilled and Slotted rotors
Upgraded struts
catless downpipe
JDM v7 Headlights and Scoop
Cobb intake and Accessport
04-05 taillights and bumper

Since 117k
Timing belt
Water Pump
Front Axels
O2 Sensors front and back
Cam seals
Struts springs at 132k Pedders
Valve cover gaskets at 127k
New bushings and bolts for rear control arms

Would you make the trade? Now my OBT has some hail damage too but it's to the hood roof and passenger side. Can't really see it unless up close or at the right angle.


05 Outback LLBean
60 Posts
I just sold my '02 WRX wagon a couple of months ago and replaced it with a 3.0R LL Bean (and a Miata) so I can do some comparison for you.

My WRX had about 130,00 miles on it when I sold it and I kept it in really good shape. I had KYB's and Swift springs with a set of Hotchkiss F&R sway bars. My goal was to replicate the Whiteline sping rates on both the coils and sways. The car was a blast to drive on twisty roads. Extremely responsive in both the engine (stock except for StI catless downpipe) and in suspension. It was absolutely a joy to drive aggressively. The car, when stock (as it was when I bought it) had horrible terminal understeer. It would do nothing else. Changing the spring rates absolutely brought the car to life. You could balance it between oversteer and understeer with the throttle and communication through the chassis and steering was fantastic. The car felt very light on it's feet but the controls had very satisfying weight to them as well Even with the stiffer springing, it was still great in snow. The wagon is amazingly versitile as well. I could haul wood panels, 2x4s, furniture, a barbecue, bikes... It is really a great platform. The bugeyes have the best seats I've ever experienced in a Subaru. I had it for nine years. So why did I sell it? Well, it was still a compromise. As agile as it was, it's still not a sports car. It's tall, it's front heavy, and to get it to move like it did, it's ride was a bit harsh and loud. It wasn't really a sports car and it wasn't really a great wagon (it was a good wagon) and my passengers never like riding in it. Reliability wise, it's bulletproof, just like all Subarus are. Do maintanence, replace timing belt, turbo and clutch at about 100,000 miles, drive forever.

What I've found with my Outback (which is an auto, a compromise for the wife) is that it feels much heavier than the WRX (which it is), it has the same understeer in all conditions that the WRX did stock, it's never going to be as agile nor as responsive to throttle. But there's alot more space to haul stuff, more space inside for passengers and I don't have to make excuses for the bang over broken pavement that I did with the WRX. The outback is FAR less fun to drive but it's a better wagon.

On a side note, the Miata is a much better sports car than the WRX. Low weight, low to the ground, small, instant throttle and chassis response and a convertible. Just generally more fun.

So what's right for you is up to you. What do you want out of the car, what's important? I'm happy to answer any questions you have.
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