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Discussion Starter #1
Is it common for the steering to feel "light" or "vague" in the 2009 Outback 3.0R? I went from a Jetta Sportwagen to an '09 OB this summer and have been really, really unimpressed with the OB's handling. Unlike the Jetta (and my '02 Outback) the steering feel and response is very "numb" with poor feedback and road feel. I've had the front end and alignment checked and everything is within spec and in very good shape. I'm wondering if the handling issue/feel is related to the tires. The dealer I bought the OB from put some low-end Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring tires on it. I know they're generally not the best reviewed tires but I don't have the cash to cough up $900 for new rubber. Thoughts?
 

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I came from a 2001 Jetta, and '05 OB steering is heavy at slow speeds and really light at high speed.
Golf/GTI's get Car&Driver 10 Best frequently. The Sportwagen has that same DNA. I feel myself like singing Cinderella's "DOn't Know What you Got Till It's Gone."
 

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^thats funny, Cinderella... ;)
I also came from a jetta, a Gil for me and it was quite a change.
For me I was just tired of the turbo lag/cheap materials VW was using to produce the cosmetics inside the jetta. Everything was breaking! Just chinsy feeling.
Now I have a 09 OB and I'm looking to stiffen p the rear suspension to get rid of the boat feeling.
But you're right, "don't know what you got till its gone"!
Bottom line is subaru is better.
 

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We too came from a 2005.5 TDI that handled very nicely. Got rid of it because after 70K the parts were literally flying off of it and it kept leaving us stranded for stupid reasons. It was averaging about $800 in repairs every 6 months, and my wife bought it new and maintained it meticulously.

Sold it with 120K, and bout our 06 H6 with 60K.. So far other than needing a rubber boot, the subie has been great from 58K-88K. We'll see how she holds up for the next 50K.

I come from a long line of chevys. Other than the power steering feeling "heavy" at parkinglot speeds, I don't mind it.. The way I figured it is the outback is somewhere between a car and an SUV, and it holds the road accordingly. If you want it to handle more like a car, do a legacy suspension swap, which will lower it a couple inches and then add better swaybars and stiffer shocks.
Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Steering issues were caused by crappy tires and a bad alignment. New Primacy MXV4's and an alignment later, and all is well. Handles way better.
 

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I'm glad to hear that tires helped. I have an 07 LL Bean and I've been unhappy with the handling too. Like you said: vague and overly light. And that's compared to the Camry I had, not even a VW. My Outback came with new Fuzion tires on it. Although they are supposedly made by Bridgestone, I've wondered if they are the problem. It's an expensive gamble if they turn out not to be.
 
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