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05 OBXT LTD 5MT
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
MT vs. AT

Hi everyone. Newbie here.

I've decided to buy a new XT Ltd, and I'm looking for some opinions.

I've driven manual transmissions for thirty-something years, and was considering buying an AT this time. Ya just get tired of shifting after a while, right? Realizing that a lot of it is personal preference, I just wondered about the advantages/disadvantages with this model. Also, if I go MT, is the short-throw option worth while?

I've enjoyed reading the many posts on this board, and they've been very informative. Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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2004 Baja Turbo
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106 Posts
Hey Charles,
I'm the same way,i've been driving a stick all my life.I did'nt trust an automatic,but that bumper to bumper traffic is killer on the left leg.So i traded in my stick for an auto,i figured if i had any tranny problems down the road that it would be covered under warranty.If it makes it through 3/36 then you still have powertrain warranty that will cover the tranny.If you keep your tranny serviced it should go the distance,i plan on servicing mine every 15,000 miles.There's alot of people that neglect there tranny service,i've serviced some that when draining the fluid it looked like what used motor oil looks like at an oil change.After the service the fluid does'nt look like it's been changed,by servicing every 15,000 miles you should be able to keep the fluid clean as well as the inside of the tranny.
 

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I just bought my XT 3 weeks ago. Before the purchase I went through the same brain damage about the AT vs. the MT as you are. I have always had a MT and I wanted to get an AT for the same reasons you listed. I drove the AT and I was really surprised at how it performed. Then I drove the MT with the short throw. I went back to the dealer and bought the MT. Hands down the best choice, no turbo lag and the MT is a blast. Also, they softened the clutch on the 2005 so you hardly even notice the tension. I can't tell you how much fun you'll have throwing this thing into 2nd (and 3rd) and winding it out. I drove up to Mt Saint Helens last weekend to watch it blow and the XT just hung on to those s curves. I think the MT made the trip that much more exciting.

good luck
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
Jroth said what I would have.

If you go with the MT (and I sympathize with the stop and start problem) go also for the short shifter. I've got one, and it is a blast.

And while they are rated the same, it appears that the MT is giving the better gas mileage.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,684 Posts
I like the way the MT can roll freely like a farm wagon, and is capable of bump-starting from a rolling start.

(Nice trick in a quiet campground early in the morning):D
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd 5MT Champagne
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2,715 Posts
While the 5EAT is excellent, I think the MT makes much better use of the turbo's power. Since you are going turbo, you must be looking for performance, and the MT will shave about 1 sec off the 0-60 time.
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
Sly's right. But watch out for that wicked short 1st gear! Half the time (under normal conditions), but especially if I get a rolling start, I'm off in second gear.
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd 5MT Champagne
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2,715 Posts
So Mudge, have you tried both with and without the short-throw shifter?

I find the regular shifter pretty good and I'm wondering how my=uch difference the s-s makes. Is it really worht the extra expense? How different does it really feel?
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
Well, the OBXT I took out on my lengthy test drive had the regular manual shifter, and it seemed just fine, but when we came to the short-throw shifter on the options list, I just got a nostalgiac pang for my old Austin-Healy Bug Eyed Sprite. I went for it, sight unseen and feel unfelt.

I enjoy the feel; it is notchier and offers a bit more resistance, but it is not tiresome. That said, I have not had the opportunity to use a regular shifter since the test drive, so I can't really offer a comparaison per se.
 

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05 OBXT LTD 5MT
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the input, everybody. I decided on the MT with the regular shifter.

My order has been placed with the factory for a lovely Atlantic Blue Pearl/Granite Gray Opal, and I can't wait!:D The dealer said anywhere from 4-8 weeks for delivery, just in time for a nasty Indiana winter.
 

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2005 Outback XT Ltd.
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23 Posts
Hey everyone, Iam new to the site. I bought my 05 xt ltd. (w/ MT/) about a week ago and love it! My short throw will be in in a few weeks and I will be able to give a full report on the differance between that and stock at that time.

hosscat
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
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5,112 Posts
Hey Chuck, may I ask what dealership you are buying for Outback from?

hosscat said:
Hey everyone, Iam new to the site. I bought my 05 xt ltd. (w/ MT/) about a week ago and love it! My short throw will be in in a few weeks and I will be able to give a full report on the differance between that and stock at that time.

hosscat
Hoss, thats a great idea and we'll all be awaiting your review. I know I will be at the very least ;) :D
 

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05 OBXT LTD 5MT
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53 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sure, Hero Boots. I'm buying from Speedway International in Indianapolis. It's only 2-3 miles from my home, and enjoys a fine reputation locally.

Hosscat, I'm looking forward to your review of the short throw, too. I decided to go with the stock shifter because they didn't have any short throws in stock for me to drive. I would consider ordering one later if I can get more info and try one out.
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
I had the opportunity recently to drive another '05 Outback MT without the short-throw shifter, and it felt really loose, to the point that I worried whether I was in gear. It means I've grown accustomed to the sts and would not give it up under any conditions now.
 

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VW R32
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5 Posts
I just had the opportunity to drive a new limited XT 5spd on Friday. I am currently driving a VW R32 with an HPA short shifter which is very short and precise, so when I drove the OBXT the major concern I had was the shifter feeling loose, and lacking precision. I never missed a shift so to speak, but did have to feel around for 3rd on a couple of occasions.

Btw.. I had a stage 3 WRX back in 2002, and I had a Kartboy SS and bushings in that car. The WRX shifter felt much more solid and precise in stock configuration than the OBXT's . It sounds like there is a factory SS avaialble...perhaps similar to the STI linkage set-up?

Anyway sorry for just popping-in new here and asking so many questions, but I am getting ready to buy a new car and it will either be the OBXT ltd 5spd or the Forester XT 5spd, and this is the best forum I have found to date for Outback XT info.

Thanks


Jeff
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,684 Posts
Hey, don't apologize for popping in, welcome!
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
N10S,

Yeah, no doubt. Welcome. Either vehicle sounds good to me. I shopped them both (Outback XT and Forester XT). It's really a question of your needs at this point.
 

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VW R32
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5 Posts
Mudge- To avoid being a thread-robber ;) , I will start a seperate thread regarding those factors. As far as the topic at hand, was the dealer able to get the SS fairly quickly for you?
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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2,408 Posts
Sorry for the delay; I've been following your other thread, though. Good assessments and observations over there.

As for the short throw shifter, I ordered my entire vehicle special, so I got exactly what I wanted. The shifter was part of the deal. Nonetheless, larger dealerships may have the shifters in stock to put on fairly quickly.

When I took possession of my XT, they put the old shifter in a box and gave it to me. I'm sure they'd do that for you, and you could convert back (at some cost, I'm sure) if you wanted to.
 

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2005 Outback XT Ltd.
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23 Posts
Short-throw shifter

Okay, I promised to give report on the "before and after" on the short-throw shifter. I just had one installed after about 3,000 miles with the OEM shifter.

It was a great improvement! However, after a few days, it just feels normal and the way it should for a sporty car. Good, but not as tight as my friend's Infiniti G35 Coupe short-throw. The throw distance feels to be about 1/2 to 1/3 of the OEM and much tighter.

The big question, is it worth it? It is all about your priorities. You know, needs v. wants. Nobody NEEDS this, but it sure makes the car more fun to drive!

I would recommend using it as a negotiating tool if you are purchasing new. Make it a final deal closer. Throw this in and I'll buy! (Along with getting new rubber, are they kidding with these tires on a car this good?)

Hosscat
 
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