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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He's pretty much decided he wants an Outback, but can't stand the ones with the silver panels on the sides.

This may be a silly question, but can those silver panels be removed, are they painted underneath, and what years had them so I can avoid looking for them?

Tried to figure this out myself, but to no avail, but the Sub knowledge up in here is unsurpassed. I think the LL Bean ones? But obviously more than just those.

Thank you in advance
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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You could just shop for a Legacy wagon. No plastic cladding. (but slightly lower than an outback.Like a true wagon.

The cladding can be removed, not sure about how to handle the clips. Others will know.
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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What is he looking to spend on an Outback? The Gen 4s start with model year 2010 and have no silver side cladding/panels. If he's looking to buy something a bit older, then yes, the cladding will be on the car. The LL Bean editions also have the side cladding. Perhaps he can learn to live with them if he likes everything else about the car(s)?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He's looking to spend ~$5K. And he absolutely says he will not get over his dislike of the cladding.
I wish I knew for sure how to remove it, cuz SO many have it.
I think even older OB's are great looking cars, cladding or not. But he's a teenager who knows everything - lol
 
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I may be a bit biased but Gen 3 should be looked at.
Yes. I see a lot of Gen 3 Outbacks in my area of SW Portland, OR. He'd want to make sure that routine maintenance was done, along with any major services the car needed in its history. Buying one of that vintage, though, I'd stay away from the models with the turbo; a 3.6 (six cylinder) one or one with the normally aspirated 2.5 would be fine. Additionally, I believe the 2009 Gen 3 is the last year one could get a 4EAT transmission. The Outback came with a CVT starting in 2010.

If he would be willing to spend a bit more, he should look at the Gen 4 (starting with the 2010 model year). He could probably find one for about $7K; they're great cars, notwithstanding transmission issues some of the cars have had. He'd need to ensure that the timing belt was replaced (these are zero-clearance engines, so a timing belt failure would be catastrophic), and that other suggested or necessary services were done.

Best of luck!
 
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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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My 2005 LLBean is a single color. Black
 
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'03 Base OBW 5sp; '12 Outback Limited
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Pretty sure the Gen 3's came with same as body color panels. I got my daughter an 09 in Seamist and while it had the plastic panels near the bottom of the doors they were also Seamist.

Otherwise, Legacy Wagons were one color as 1 Lucky Texan advised. Come to think of it, I believe the 04 Outbacks went to mono colors...they still have the familiar lower body cladding of that generation but it was now all one color. I was remember looking for an 04 5sp but after 6 months I gave up and went with a dual color 03.

Before I picked up my 03 Outback I too was not keen on the dual body colors but I have gotten use to it over the past 4 yrs to the point where it is no longer the slightest issue. Good luck with your search!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you guys, good advice all around - he is not an experienced driver - he is 16 and so far just has his permit.

We tested a Scion Tc last weekend, 5 speed, and when he saw what I went thru with shifting (it had shifting problems) he decided he wanted an automatic - whew.
 

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Thank you guys, good advice all around - he is not an experienced driver - he is 16 and so far just has his permit.

We tested a Scion Tc last weekend, 5 speed, and when he saw what I went thru with shifting (it had shifting problems) he decided he wanted an automatic - whew.
Funny, went looking for a decent 3rd car when the kids hit driving age and the first good car in our selected price range was an '01 Outback 5sp. Neither kid had any experience with a clutch at that point. My son almost said yes to driving it home, but backed out when it came down to it. Two weeks later he did a street skills driving course in that car, and did well. Daughter (twin) wanted nothing to do with it, or anything with a clutch.

Move forward a few years and daughter is in college, we decide to add a fourth car to the stable. '02 Rav4 this time, also a 5sp. Daughter suddenly took an interest in how to drive a manual. Now she doesn't like anyone else driving "her" car.

Now they are both one of the very few in there circles of friends who can drive a manual. You son would learn, if it was his only choice, and then he could drive almost any car on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now they are both one of the very few in there circles of friends who can drive a manual. You son would learn, if it was his only choice, and then he could drive almost any car on the road.
Good point, a bit like when I learned to fly it was in an OLD tail dragger (Taylorcraft) with several things screwy, ailerons rigged crooked, one rudder had to be held partway down (also crooked) and I was told if you can fly this you can fly anything - and I did, and bought a taildragger.

I'm glad I do know how to drive a stick, tho I certainly prefer not to at my age
 

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Good point, a bit like when I learned to fly it was in an OLD tail dragger (Taylorcraft) with several things screwy, ailerons rigged crooked, one rudder had to be held partway down (also crooked) and I was told if you can fly this you can fly anything - and I did, and bought a taildragger.

I'm glad I do know how to drive a stick, tho I certainly prefer not to at my age
Taildraggers are great, but I never flew one other than in straight and level flight. . . for me it was always tricycle gear planes.

I'm also glad I learned on a stick, but haven't had one since my '11 WRX.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Taildraggers are great, but I never flew one other than in straight and level flight. . . for me it was always tricycle gear planes.
They're squirrely! I had a Cessna 180 for 6 years, which had once been groundlooped back in the 60's. It was a 1953 Cessna.

They told me there is a saying about tdraggers - "there are those that have been groundlooped and those the will be groundlooped."

I'm lucky I never did it.
 
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Good point, a bit like when I learned to fly it was in an OLD tail dragger (Taylorcraft) with several things screwy, ailerons rigged crooked, one rudder had to be held partway down (also crooked) and I was told if you can fly this you can fly anything - and I did, and bought a taildragger.

I'm glad I do know how to drive a stick, tho I certainly prefer not to at my age
Older car will also help teach him how to wrench too. Just help my son do tie rods on the '01 today. He found the problem, asked my advice about what was wrong, did his own research, and did 90% of the work himself, using me for when a third hand was useful.

Fair trade for me as he was my extra last year, when we pulled my engine to do head gaskets & timing belt, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well - we bought him a 2005 Legacy wagon yesterday with the engine supposedly fully gone thru, head gaskets seals hoses plugs etc.

I didn't ever figure out the widespread use of the title Legacy, and I guess it's not really an outback, I guess it's a Legacy.

He's happy as a pig in - u know
 

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Well - we bought him a 2005 Legacy wagon yesterday with the engine supposedly fully gone thru, head gaskets seals hoses plugs etc.

I didn't ever figure out the widespread use of the title Legacy, and I guess it's not really an outback, I guess it's a Legacy.

He's happy as a pig in - u know
And the colors?
 
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