Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2005 Outback XT Limited with the 5MT back in October. CARFAX says I'm the 4th owner.

It's at around 104,500mi, so the big 105K is right around the corner.

Had the banjo-bolt replaced, and HID low-beams & fog lamps installed. Front ball-joints replaced and an alignment. The rear sway-bar bushings are worn-out. The windshield needs to be replace too.

Had been thinking I would drive this car forever, but then I drove my wife's 2013 Acura RDX AWD up to MN and back. 16 days and ~2500mi.

Now that I'm driving the OBXT again, it doesn't seem nearly as great as it used to. Rattles and noises all over the place. Harsh suspension. Peaky, unforgiving powerband.

It's got me thinking maybe I should be driving something else, but I'm really not sure what. Any suggestions?

I really like the concept of a smallish, wagon / CUV, with decent acceleration.

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking maybe a 2007 or so Lexus RX 350, or maybe a 2009-2010 Outhack H6. I used to think I wanted a WRX wagon, but now I'm not so sure.

Anything out there that I might be overlooking?

Another option I've kind of toyed with is to get my wife a new Honda Accord / Acura TL, and just drive her hand-me-down RDX.
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
Go check out the ZDX. They get looks, and they drive nicely on pavement.

I don't consider their AWD to be half as good as Subaru, but the rest of the car is awesome compared to most Subarus.
 

·
Banned
2007 Outback XT Ltd
Joined
·
847 Posts
Go check out the ZDX. They get looks, and they drive nicely on pavement.

I don't consider their AWD to be half as good as Subaru, but the rest of the car is awesome compared to most Subarus.
The Acura SH-AWD active torque system is VERY high tech and better than Subaru's systems, except perhaps for the WRX STI with it's adjustable center differential bias.

SH-AWD adds greatly to the sporty feel on twisty dry roads - the car corners as if it were on rails with no under- or over-steer - and it is _supremely_ capable in nasty weather with proper winter tires - not performance All Seasons.

I have a 2010 TL SH-AWD and also a Gen 3 OB XT Ltd, both wearing the same snow tires, both with TC and Stability Control. I would pick the OB when the snow was deep and rutted to avoid dragging the air dam and undercarriage, but I would pick the TL any other time.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/2013-acura-tl-tech-hands-on/

If Acura were to put this system and a more powerful motor in their beautiful TSX Sport Wagon, I wouldn't own any Subaru.....

The TL is a wonderful car and my wife and I actually like the look. I don't care for the ZDX styling and height, but these cars are very satisfying and comfy, low maintenance and uber reliable, and that jewel-like 3.7 V6 is smooth, torquey and has a very nice kick when the VVT comes in above 4500 rpm. I opened up my air box with some small holes and there is a delightful intake moan as the revs rise - very sexy!

If you want a manual transmission, the TL SH-AWD may work for you. It has an excellent six speed and the cars don't sell well. In 2011 we found a like new car with just 7000 miles on it and paid $34K out the door, taxes and everything. No way would we have considered paying $43K for a new one.

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...bodyStyleCodes=SEDAN&captureSearch=true&Log=0

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
Joined
·
276 Posts
BMW 328xi wagon? My brother bought a used 328i sedan for a reasonable price. If you're scared of a wrench though, don't do it. BMW charges quite the pretty penny for their service centers.

Of course, the cheapest option is to get your Outback back into shape. Also, realize that you can't always have the latest and greatest.
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
Anything to the new Passat wagon? I like the new shape, haven't been up close to one yet though.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been watching previous seasons of Top Gear UK on Netflix.

I guess that, combined with driving my wife's RDX exclusively for a couple weeks on that road-trip, just got me thinking maybe I'm missing out on something.

It also seems like this used 2005 OBXT Limited has been kind of a money-pit fixing stuff the previous owner never bothered to. And at 104.5K miles, the expensive 105K service is coming up fast.

From "the grass is always greener" perspective, the maintenance-free Lexus RX 350 was starting to look pretty appealing.

I was expecting replies along the lines of the Volkswagon Golf GTI, Mazda Speed3, Hyundai Veloster, Mazda CX-5, Hundai Tucson / Santa Fe.

With that said, I saw an awfully nice STI today, but the new ones are more than I want to spend and the used WRX's I've found seem pretty beat up.
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
I was expecting replies along the lines of the Volkswagon Golf GTI, Mazda Speed3, Hyundai Veloster, Mazda CX-5, Hundai Tucson / Santa Fe.
While I like several of the cars in this list, I would never think of any of them if someone asked about a "fun small wagon or SUV"

Possible exceptions for the Mazda 5 & the Tucson- possible because they're the right shape but I didn't think either was fun.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback Limited 2.5i
Joined
·
114 Posts
For $3K you could fix your bushings and windshield, change your water pump, timing and other belts, detail it, upgrade your stereo to something as nice as the Acura (lots of closeouts on Focal and Polk speakers this time of year), and install some dynamat to cut the noise and fix the rattles, and upgrade to some nicer tires.

And you'd still have cheap insurance and little further depreciation, and peace of mind from having a beater.

Of course, the new Accords are really comfortable and very safe, plus get close to 40mpg highway. The EX-L model might as well be an Acura. The '14 forester comes out in spring. Finally the '14 Mazda 6 might make in wagon form to the US. The diesel model looks most interesting (summer) - will probably get over 50mpg highway and have a 6 speed manual available too.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the cheapest option is to get your Outback back into shape.
Yeah, that's probably what I'm going to wind up doing.

It's really not a bad car. I think I'll be happier with it once I get the windshield replaced & windows tinted.

It just lost some of it's charm after spending ~$1500 to have the front rotors and brakes replaced, front ball-joiints replaced, front spindle replaced, alignment, and HID's. Then probably another $1K easy for the 105K very soon.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Anything to the new Passat wagon? I like the new shape, haven't been up close to one yet though.
Thanks, that's the kind of reply I was looking for -- I didn't even know there was a Passat wagon. :eek:

I haven't heard great things about (modern) Volkswagon reliability though.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you want a manual transmission, the TL SH-AWD may work for you. It has an excellent six speed and the cars don't sell well. In 2011 we found a like new car with just 7000 miles on it and paid $34K out the door, taxes and everything. No way would we have considered paying $43K for a new one.
The TL would be for my wife, and she'd want the automatic.

We don't really have a problem with buying used. All 3 of my vehicles (2003 Tundra, 2004 Astro Cargo, 2005 OBXT) were purchased on Craigslist.

As I mentioned, coming from the 2005 OBXT, I really liked the RDX.

My wife hadn't been particularly happy with the RDX and kept lamenting the loss of her 2003 Accord EX-L.

After driving my 2005 OBXT for ~2wks though, she suddenly appreciates how great the RDX really is!
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Possible exceptions for the Mazda 5 & the Tucson- possible because they're the right shape but I didn't think either was fun.
I mentioned the Santa Fe because it's now offered with a 264HP turbo.

I'm curious to see what the 2014 WRX wagon (if it's offered) looks like.
--
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the cheapest option is to get your Outback back into shape.
We paid extra for lifetime "free" oil-changes on the RDX and a 7yr/100K mile warranty.

So we're probably going to keep it for (quite) a while. We had our 2003 Accord EX-L for 10yrs. Up until 2011 I was driving 1991 Legacy wagon w/~187K miles.

Off the top of my head, my choices are:

Just drive the OBXT
Swap the OBXT for something else (up to maybe $20K) for myself
Swap the OBXT for something else for my wife, and inherit her RDX
Dump the OBXT and just drive my truck
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
I mentioned the Santa Fe because it's now offered with a 264HP turbo.

I'm curious to see what the 2014 WRX wagon (if it's offered) looks like.
--
I know hyundai has done some new high performance engines but didn't know they had one in an SUV yet. I'm slow to trust Hyundai with anything other than cheap, despite their recent improvements and posturing.

Does the santa fe share platforms/parts with anything else? Any aftermarket uptake on it?

I am a Hyundai fan, we have one in the family. But what I like about them is that you can buy the cheapest model with the cheapest trim and give it the most basic by-the-book maintenance and have basic transportation for a long time on little money. I don't look to them for fun, nice, easy, fast or any of that. So far the deal works great on these terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
Not exactly a newer car at its age and model version. The OB in that generation wasn't really a luxury vehicle like the Acura Badged stuff either.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not exactly a newer car at its age and model version. The OB in that generation wasn't really a luxury vehicle like the Acura Badged stuff either.
Yeah, I was just thinking today this 2005 OBXT is already 8+ years old.

To be honest, I hadn't previously looked at Outback's from that era, but it's my understanding the OBXT Limited retailed for around $32K back in 2005. That's not cheap.
--
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring w/EyeSight
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am a Hyundai fan, we have one in the family. But what I like about them is that you can buy the cheapest model with the cheapest trim and give it the most basic by-the-book maintenance and have basic transportation for a long time on little money. I don't look to them for fun, nice, easy, fast or any of that. So far the deal works great on these terms.
I'm right there with you.

My grandpa bought a Hundai sedan (Accent maybe?) before he passed away. Probably late 1990's to maybe 2000. My grandma quit driving, so now my sister has it. It just keeps going and going and I don't think anything has ever been done to it.
--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
I'm right there with you.

My grandpa bought a Hundai sedan (Accent maybe?) before he passed away. Probably late 1990's to maybe 2000. My grandma quit driving, so now my sister has it. It just keeps going and going and I don't think anything has ever been done to it.
--
Those early Hyundai cars were a mish mash of older proven tech the shop techs anytime we got one on trade at the Saturn dealer always would have a competition to see how many parts they could identify as being from GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota etc. Regarding design etc. My understanding of it was that in the early years Hyundia licensed rights to use old designs that were more or less being phased out by the major Auto companies or had already been retired. They simply cherry picked the old proven systems and parts and built cars out of them. Not really a bad idea if you think about it.

Today however Hyundia has its own engineering group all their engines and systems are more or less their own designs.
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
Not exactly a newer car at its age and model version. The OB in that generation wasn't really a luxury vehicle like the Acura Badged stuff either.
It still isn't! I think the closest they ever got to building the same car was the 2005 TL vs. the 2005 Legacy GT. And those are still plenty different cars.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top