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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm looking into buying a 3.0 Outback since they seem bulletproof, and I want a nice reliably daily driver. I'm finding bits and pieces of information here and there but I wanted verification of what actually changed over.

From what I've found on here and some other sites, early 05 had some weird wiring that didn't follow the rest of the years of that generation. Rest of 05-06 are unchanged. 07 got an early VDC trans. 08-09 got an even more revised VDC trans, Si drive, obvious cosmetic upgrades, and that's it.

Few questions for you guys.

Is the transmission in the 08-09 THAT much better to drive, worth spending up to 1,500 over an 05-07?

I had Si drive in my STi. It was neat, but that's about it. With the auto trans is it necessary since it controls the shift points and what not?

Besides the idler pulley, and radio/hvac unit, does anything else go wrong with these?

Anyone selling a 3.0 Outback wagon? :laugh:.


On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
27,901 Posts
cars101 has the changes listed in the books and fliers.

2005-2006 R with VDC do exists. but you have to look for the VDC off button on the left of the driver. no SI dial in those though.

2005 had a unique one year head rest in the front seats, that subaru upgraded in 2006 to get a better crash test.

06 3.0R JDM facelift SI Drive-shift paddles. 87 Brumby EA81 (Brat) 4MT D/R
609 Posts
Agree with getting a later 3rd gen 3.0R with S I Drive (shift paddles) and VDC - that's some of the reasons why I got mine.
Was keen on an earlier one 4 years ago but wasn't ready to part with 01 2.5 MT D/R Outback then but pleased in hindsight that I'd waited to get this later 3rd Gen one.

S I Drive (3 transmission modes + shift paddles) make it easier to drive and for selecting power and economy at the click of the sports sharp button on steering wheel and manually shifting with paddles without taking hands off steering wheel and eyes off road.

Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
4,110 Posts
My 2008 3.0R LL Bean does not have the paddle shifters but can still be "manually" shifted using the stick. I can feel a huge difference in power between the Si settings - i, Sport, and Sport sharp (#S), especially when needed for merging. I can also see a difference in my mileage between the settings.
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