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2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2005 Outback LL Bean Test Drive

Well folks, after hearing rumors that the 2005 XT's were going to hit dealers on the 17th I decided that after class today I'd go check my local dealer for any as I haven't been around since Friday. Much to my surprise they did have 1 LL Bean and even 1 Outback Sedan, that is a total shocker to me as I was told by many that the 3.0R's would be here until the end of the summer. That being said there was no news I had heard about the 3.0R's being in before the XT's, damnit Subaru hurry up and give me what I want! *Spoken like a 7-year old throwing a fit* :p

Onward to the review: After getting over the shock of the dealership having the new 3.0R's here are my first conslusions about the looks.

LL Bean- Did look very nice, it was the Silver/Graphite 2 tone. The dark wheels REALLY set this car off, oh how I want them now on my XT! It did look nice although I thought the color scheme made it look more like a Super-Sized Outback Sport.

Outback Sedan- Surprisingly enough I loved how this one looked! It was Atlantic Blue with a spoiler that really set this car off and made it look soo much better than the base Legacy next to it. The OB Sedan looks very studly with soo much groud clearance, also the rear bumper is higer than that of the OB Wagon which makes it look even cooler. Overall I was very impressed with the OB Sedan, far more than what I thought I would have been.

LL Bean Test Drive- I'll try to make this short with all the high and low points I noticed. It will be short because IMO this is no more than a fancied up improved version of my Outback which I really didn't feel was a whole lot better. Anyway what I did like was the vastly improved steering, it is soo much tighter and really did inspire confidence. Ride and handling were about the same, ride slightly worse but handling slightly better most likely do to larger wheels and lower profile tires. Seats where FAR more comfy and have very nice, higher quality leather than the 2nd gen OB's. The entire passenger space being much larger with more leg room for tall guys like me. And my favorite thing, the new sunroof... GOD IS IT AWESOME!!! I am honestly considering getting the XT Limited just because I absolutely cherish the sunroof as well as because the Leather is really nice as well! The biggest let down for me which I had thought would have been the thing I'd like the most is the improved H6-3.0 as well as the new 5-speed automatic transmission. As far as the engine don't get me wrong I thought it was great although it seriously lacked the low end grunt of the previous H6 like mine. I wouldn't even consider the engine now myself. The new 5-speed auto tranny was the biggest let down for me, it is a whole lot smoother than the previous 4EAT although its shift patterns and tendancies seem to fall right in line with those of the 4EAT. Certainly an improvement but it doesn't make any real headway, in my eyes, over the old 4EAT.

In conclusion, I myself wouldn't buy any 3.0R Outback. It is a major improvement over the older H6-3.0 Outbacks although not so much that I could justify getting a new one over the one I have now. In all honesty, if you were looking towards getting a 2005 3.0R Outback I'd actually recommend you just held off and got a late model 2004 Outback that I'm sure most dealers will have tons of still sitting on their lots for a while. The heck of a deal you could get on a 2004 IMO would far outweigh the great improvements you would be paying for with the new 2005 Outback 3.0R's.

For now I'll just wait until the 2005 XT's show up to pass final judgement on the true value of the new Outbacks.

Any questions? Of course please ask! :D

***{Hero Note} Please disregard all of my comments on the 2005 H6 engine and 2005 5-Speed Auto Transmission up to my first post on Page 2***
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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sunroof

Hi Hero,

Does the USDM version have tinted glass in the sunroof? I am very sad that they put such a low tint level in the sunroof here that you can't have the shade open except in the late afternoon, even in late autumn the glare and heat are unbearable after a couple of minutes.. I asked at the first service and they said there's nothing that can be done about it.. It truly is a Moon Roof in the Aussie version since it can really only be open at night.
 

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Jondalar
Could you get the sunroof tinted at all.Im actually considering an aftermarket sunroof my self and Im glad you pointed that out to .
I drove a 2.5 lux outback before I bought the 3.0R and loved the sunroof but I wanted the 6 cyl and couldnt justify the extra for the premium.the 2.5ltrs a little harsh but sounds a million dollars.
what i dont like about the factory sunroof is the 2 piece glass it looks a little like after thought.although it may be a neccesity with the roof shape.

As for the 3.0R engine, 5 speed auto .(The very reason I went for the 04 outback).
I have to disagree with the comments there ,very well refined you just have to be gentle on the throtle, it drives exceptionally well,I dont think it would beat my XR6 ute but low/mid range torque is great now that im use to it and Im finding Im moving my ute out of the way to get the 3.0R out any chance I get. Would easily tow my race car too with the torque it has.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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Discussion Starter #4
Yes the USDM OB sunroof is slightly tinted, 5-10% maybee? Doesn't really make too much of a difference IMO though as in doing its "tinting job."

jimmbo said:
As for the 3.0R engine, 5 speed auto .(The very reason I went for the 04 outback).
I have to disagree with the comments there ,very well refined you just have to be gentle on the throtle, it drives exceptionally well,I dont think it would beat my XR6 ute but low/mid range torque is great now that im use to it and Im finding Im moving my ute out of the way to get the 3.0R out any chance I get. Would easily tow my race car too with the torque it has.
I do agree that they are refined and an improvement although the new H6 lacks grunt and the tranny still doesn't shift at the best points IMO. Simply said, for how much the overall car was improved the drivetrain still lags slightly behind what I would have expected for a car of this calibre. Thats not to say its poor by any means, its just that my personal expectations were higher hence the somewhat harsh review on that aspect of the car. Far, far superior to the 2.5L Boxer-4 and 4EAT.

But the XT has yet to come, besides I think that will turn more heads as well as probably be the most popular Outback model.

Only time will tell...
 

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jimmbo said:
Jondalar
Could you get the sunroof tinted at all.Im actually considering an aftermarket sunroof my self and Im glad you pointed that out to .
I drove a 2.5 lux outback before I bought the 3.0R and loved the sunroof but I wanted the 6 cyl and couldnt justify the extra for the premium.the 2.5ltrs a little harsh but sounds a million dollars.
what i dont like about the factory sunroof is the 2 piece glass it looks a little like after thought.although it may be a neccesity with the roof shape.

As for the 3.0R engine, 5 speed auto .(The very reason I went for the 04 outback).
I have to disagree with the comments there ,very well refined you just have to be gentle on the throtle, it drives exceptionally well,I dont think it would beat my XR6 ute but low/mid range torque is great now that im use to it and Im finding Im moving my ute out of the way to get the 3.0R out any chance I get. Would easily tow my race car too with the torque it has.

Jimmbo I'm not a fan of the two-piece sunroof either, mostly because the front panel only tilts up at the rear, and when it does the wind noise is unbearable at more than 35MPH (60 km/h). I think the idea is to deflect the wind from entering the car, but it doesn't succeed. I find with this car I almost never drive with the sunroof open whereas previous cars I had with sunroof I used it more often. It might be possible to put tint film on it, but it would have to go on the outside or only cover part of the glass..

I love the engine, but I'm sure it would be better with either more torque at low RPM or a lower first gear. I am dead sick of getting beaten for the first few meters by anything with more then 3 cylinders and then having to floor the throttle to avoid embarassment.

I think the auto needs to shift faster, perhaps that's something they can reprogram at the next service.

Cheers,
Karl
 

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Hero Boots,

I think the new 3.0R and 5 speed auto set up is FAR superior to the old H6 and 4 speed auto. Moving from my old H6 to the new 3.0R is the best thing I've ever done as far as cars are concerned.

This car really flies and now that I've clocked up over 16,000kms (10,000m) it is nicely freed up.

Maybe the car you drove was still a bit "tight" and needed a few more miles under it's belt, but as for lacking low end torque I agree a little right off the line but really its a fleeting moment as you fly past that small rev band. If you really want to get off the line that fast, then I'd suggest a left foot brake and dial up some revs and then lift off the left foot.

Anyway, there is no comparison between the 5 speed tiptronic and the old power sapping 4 speed, I believe. The normal auto mode of the 5 speed is really aimed at economy and can shift a little slowly at times but can be coerced with a heavier right foot (but still far superior to the old 4 speed), but put it in the sports mode or tiptronic mode and it shifts much faster both up and down and is really alot of fun.

Having lived with the car for 6+ months you couldn't pay me enough money to make me go back to the old H6.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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Discussion Starter #7
I agree that the tranny was probably a little tight, it certainly felt that way. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt in that case seeing as how I neglected to notate that. It is light years ahead of the old 4EAT :4:

Subaru obviously tuned the new H6 for performance rather than utility, the low end is not nearly as good as the previous engine. It seems like the the old H6 was just a power upgrade to the 2.5L, but the new H6 is a whole nother ball game. Rather than just an optional engine for more power, it is a potent powersouce that packs a punch when you need it. The old H6 was great in the lower RPM's although lackluster in the mid to high ranges. Fairgoing on the highways but cannot hold a candle to the new H6 on the open road.

It does seem to be a shift from utility to sportiness, this was obvious to me as soon as I got on the highway with the Beaner. A good thing for Subaru, honestly though all this refined sportiness will be overcast by the XT more than likely. So yes it would be an overall improvement to the old H6 OB, but you have to consider that the sportiness they've adopted will be twarted by the turbo model. IMO I just don't fell this shift was in their best interests for the most part, it is obvious in that the XT has more power. If you want sportiness you go with the XT, unless you just don't like turbo cars which is feasible for a few although the price may not totaly justify it. I don't think Subaru should have traded of torque for horsepower performance in their H6 when they have a cheaper, better performing engine and model.

Sorry for the redundant rant :soapbox:
 

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I test drove the GT Liberty (Legacy) here when I was looking at the Outback 3.0R. The overall difference in performance was minimal at best and the 3.0R was much smoother than the GT, in fact off the line there was basically no difference. I couldn't see any reason to pay the extra cost of the GT over the 3.0R Outback and I liked the refinement of the 3.0R motor.

To be quite frank, I don't see why Subaru have brought out the XT in the Outback when they have the 3.0R. Now, if they brought out a 6 speed manual with the 3.0R, well thats another story!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
subah6 said:
To be quite frank, I don't see why Subaru have brought out the XT in the Outback when they have the 3.0R. Now, if they brought out a 6 speed manual with the 3.0R, well thats another story!
Lance you answered your own question, the XT is for folks who either want a manual transmission or can't afford to pay the high prices of the H6 models. Or the H6 models in the U.S. at least.

Buying an XT Ltd saves you about $1400 over the LL Bean, and if you don't want the XT Ltd you can save yourself about $2600 on the base XT that is without Leather and the Sunroof. You also have to consider that the XT will have a large aftermarket which it will share with the Turbo Legacy, a reason that many like myself would choose it ;)

But if/when they do bring about the H6, 6-speed combo (maybe very soon hopefully) I may very well jump on that if I haven't already bought a new Outback.

I've been thinking a little since the test drive, ya know I really don't have any problems with my Outback that makes me want to get rid of it other than the crap automatic tranny that is universally despised. I am seriously considering coercing my dealer into getting me a new one under warranty as mine really is crap. Here's the catch, I am willing to go out of my way (even financially to some extent) to get a new 5-speed auto tranny on my car. I wouldn't mind paying a few bucks for it, henceforth I would probably never get rid of the mighty Hero Wagon. And to think that I could retain my cars punch that I love so much while having a far superior transmission. The benefits would be enormous as I would likely get better MPG as well as having a transmission that is good where my current 4EAT is only mediocre at best. Have to wait and see how good my swindling skills are :D
 

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Hero Boots,

We don't get the XT Outback here at all and the only 2.5 turbo is the GT Liberty Legacy) in 5 speed auto form and no manual, yet. The only forms of Outback are the 2.5i manual (premium and standard), 2.5i 4 speed tiptronic auto (premium and standard), and the 3.0R premium spec and standard spec 5 speed tiptronic.

Over here the standard GT Liberty wagon is about AU$7,000 more than the standard Outback 3.0R, so there was the reason for me to not even consider the GT. The benefits of 3.0R outweighed the benefits of the GT being a slightly quicker car (and only slightly) and a little better handling.

I really like the versitility of the Outback and that beautiful 3.0R motor and 5 speed auto. I've never been happier with a purchase of a car.

With regard to your 5 speed auto in the H6, there will be issues with the computer to drive the auto/motor setup. Do you know if they'll be able to overcome these issues?
 

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2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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Discussion Starter #11
subah6 said:
Hero Boots,

We don't get the XT Outback here at all and the only 2.5 turbo is the GT Liberty Legacy) in 5 speed auto form and no manual, yet. The only forms of Outback are the 2.5i manual (premium and standard), 2.5i 4 speed tiptronic auto (premium and standard), and the 3.0R premium spec and standard spec 5 speed tiptronic.

Over here the standard GT Liberty wagon is about AU$7,000 more than the standard Outback 3.0R, so there was the reason for me to not even consider the GT. The benefits of 3.0R outweighed the benefits of the GT being a slightly quicker car (and only slightly) and a little better handling.

I really like the versitility of the Outback and that beautiful 3.0R motor and 5 speed auto. I've never been happier with a purchase of a car.
Understood, but when you started talking about he Legacy GT and then mentioned the USDM OB XT as to why it would be a worser deal I had to interject my thoughts based on the USDM Outbacks and prices. I can fully understand your Liberty GT vs. Outback 3.0R arguement in Australian terms although the Australian 3.0R prices (in comparison to your Turbo Subarus) are far lower than that of the USDM 3.0R prices as compared to the USDM Outback XT's. Two different markets of course and four different cars, similiar although quite different due to their respective markets.

I do find it surprising that the AU Liberty GT is higer than the AU Outback 3.0R, whereas its just the opposite with the USDM 3.0R's are higher priced than the OB XT's. Believe me, if I were buying an new OB in Australia I wouldn't think twice about buying a 3.0R Outback over a Legacy ;)

subah6 said:
With regard to your 5 speed auto in the H6, there will be issues with the computer to drive the auto/motor setup. Do you know if they'll be able to overcome these issues?
No I do not know, but I'm not even at the starting point at which they could even get me a new 5EAT. For now its just wishful thinking, but wouldn't it be sweet if it was done :D **** I already have a pretty friggin' unique Outback! But ya know anything can be done, but all that electo wiring crap certainly isn't my cup'o'tea :toothless
 

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subah6 said:
Hero Boots,

We don't get the XT Outback here at all and the only 2.5 turbo is the GT Liberty Legacy) in 5 speed auto form and no manual, yet. The only forms of Outback are the 2.5i manual (premium and standard), 2.5i 4 speed tiptronic auto (premium and standard), and the 3.0R premium spec and standard spec 5 speed tiptronic.

Over here the standard GT Liberty wagon is about AU$7,000 more than the standard Outback 3.0R, so there was the reason for me to not even consider the GT. The benefits of 3.0R outweighed the benefits of the GT being a slightly quicker car (and only slightly) and a little better handling.

I really like the versitility of the Outback and that beautiful 3.0R motor and 5 speed auto. I've never been happier with a purchase of a car.

With regard to your 5 speed auto in the H6, there will be issues with the computer to drive the auto/motor setup. Do you know if they'll be able to overcome these issues?
Hero boots
I thought Id just point out the the Aus spec liberty/Legacy is actually a 2.0ltr turbo auto only ,not the 2.5ltr turbo which is only found in the Aus line up at this stage in the XT Forester which can be had in the 4AT or 5MT.
It would be good to see the XT 2.5ltr turbo outback here but to be honest I dont know what it would do to the market for the rest of the line up or it may completly create a new market.We have nothing of this nature In Aus to gauge it with,though toward the end of the year Ford is releasing a FPV teritory turbo so we may see a whole new market open up yet.
If subaru are smart it may pay to sit back and see what happens with the territory then make there move from there.
 

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Ooops, boys, I made a big mistake, I think I said the GT was a 2.5 turbo (here in Oz) when I know it's not.

This, as you point out Hero Boots, leaves a big question as to why the US version Outback XT is cheaper than the 3.0R and here in Oz the Outback 3.0R is CHEAPER than the 2.0lt turbo (in Liberty/Legacy guise). Very strange indeed!

I wonder if we'll get the XT here, as the Forester has the 2.5 turbo as jimmbo points out. If it is substantially quicker it may be a proposition, but unless this is the case then it may not be that feasible.

I know that here in Oz the Outback 3.0R is considered by Subaru to be a flagship model to compete with BMW X5, Mercedes M and Volvo's etc. I think that the XT would open up a "new can of worms" as to what sort of image that Subaru wants for the Outback. With the refined nature of the 3.0R then the Outback can compete with these so called up scale European 4WD's/AWD's.
 

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FWIW my local Council newspaper just reviewed the Outback 3.0R, and the reporter thought the transmission and off the line response was perfect. They even described the transmission as "responsive" and the ratios so well chosen, they didn't see the need for a tiptronic/sportshift mode.

The test car also had a few rattles in the interior.

Lance, as I recall, the fact that the Outback 3.0R has self levelling rear suspension, while the Liberty GT doesn't, also influenced your decision.
 

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Losiho,

You're amazing! I'd forgotton that. Well done.

Yes, that was another reason for selecting the Outback as through my business I sometimes carry heavy items.

The self levelling suspension I believe is a great feature, especially for a wagon where people usually carry loads.

The decision at the time was also swayed to the Outback by the self levelling feature that the GT didn't have. I don't see why they couldn't put it into the GT wagon as well as having a more original suspension setup when carrying a load would be just as important for the GT as for the Outback but for different reasons. The Outback requires it for it's offroadability (to keep ground clearance) and the GT for it's handling aspect.

Another of the reasons for not going to the GT was the insurance costs for a turbo car.
 

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I picked the Outback because of my needs at that time to have the higher ride height allowing better entry and exit for someone in my family. The SUV thing didnt really come across in my mind, the RAV4 can do the dirty offroad work. I dont see how the beige interior will work will mud and sand. The Outback IMO is one of the best handling SUV u can get on the market.

The other benefits of picking the 3.0R was:

1. Cheaper insurance (by $300 ~ $400 AUD)
2. Reliability of NA engines vs Turbo (IMO)
3. Price & Value (compared XC70. ALLROADS etc)
4. Huge Sunroof (I honestly didnt know about the wind buffeting)

I don't want to sound negative and there are always strengths and weaknesses with products and its unfortunate that the Outback has these.

Torque: IMO the 3.0R does lack low down torque and its really obvious with the auto transmission in D with its non-aggressive shift points. In sports mode its alright and in manual mode it is willing to hit the red line where is in the D mode it won't. If you hit it in sports mode then the lack of toque wont be so obvious.

Rattle: yea its there though I give credit to Subaru for always doing something about it. But I really cant stand the BS that the customer service guy keep telling me that the car body flex and twists so its normal for rattles and squeaks. :twak: of course the bloody body flex and twists but I thought I paid 56K so I can have some refinement...

I have had drags with 528i (E39), 323Ci (E46), Nissan Maxima ST (A33) and the only car i beat was the Maxima due to driver error with too much wheel spin during take off. The results were with or without left foot brake and revs during take off. The car just doesnt have the torque as the other cars always get an edge on you at the start. But bearing in mind the car is still running in so I am crossing my fingers and hope the car matches the times that Wheels magazine produced.

I think I will go and test the GT again, I want to see if its worth it to trade up as there is no longer a need for the easier access in the back of the Outback nor the luggage carrying capacity of the wagon no more. But if Subaru can fit the 2.5 turbo in the GT I think it would be great. but just like the WRX I think Australia will probably stick with the 2.0.

Sometimes.. ppl buy SUVs for different needs....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well guys if you've happed to notice my note at the bottom of my first post these are my new comments of the new H6 and 5EAT. I went to another area dealer yesterday to see what they had in stock and they have an LL Bean as well. Having been there and test driving there before I knew that this dealer allows the longest test drives in the area. I took the Beaner out for an hour on a nice varied drive and thought I'd add a little bit more to my original review:

First off let me say that I think the reason the other Beaner I drove was a tad bit off in my eyes was that in my drive it didn't get totally warmed up as well as that drive only lasted about 10 minutes and now I realize that after taking it on a long test drive that I really didn't get to appreciate the drivetrain on the first drive. **** that was a long sentence! :D Well the second time around I found that the transmission performed FLAWLESSLY! Jesus this truly is one of the best tranny's I've ever used. I mean I would almost be half tempted to get an H6 model instead of an XT if it weren't for the price. I kid you not, I was really astounded at how **** nice the drivetrain is, let alone how awesome the car is by itself.

All my former review points are the same, I just wanted to express my new found appreciation for the 3.0R drivetrain that I was pretty harsh on in my original post. Paraphrasing what Lance (subaH6) had said before, you have to drive it for a while to really apreciate this car. I may not own a new one like he does, but after taking that long nice ride I certainly have a great taste for it!
 

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Loopy
Give your outback a chance to free up abit,when I picked up our car last week (9000klm not new) it didnt feel that torquey but Ive compared it to a few cars on the road now from the lights and it has the goods to take a few of the big family/sports sedans my manual vct xr6 ute is probly level pegged if not just a bit behind with it.
I think the reason it doesnt pin you in the seat is the fact the 5at is so smooth.
These cars are not pure performance cars as such they seem to have just the right blend of performance/comfort/style for its purpose,as a great family wagon.
You will be very happy with it.
If you want fast go a WRX STI.
 

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jimmbo said:

If you want fast go a WRX STI.
Jimmbo, I am giving the car a chance. I do enjoy driving it and as i said in my post its a nice car. I am just wondering if its fitting my needs that all.

I don't necessary wish the car is as fast as the WRX but the cars that I had drags with IMO are slow cars...(they are all autos as well) so it kinda annoyed me when initially ppl looked in awe at my car muttering things like... 'is that the 240+hp 3.0 engine? nice interior and the huge sunroof etc' and then when it comes the time to do the real thing the bloody thing just won't go... you see where my frustration lies. Its like the porsche being knocked off by a WRX.

But if its like for carrying kids, groceries and stuff then its alright and I am perfectly happy with it.

I am only grumbling and mumbling to keep the threads alive :D
 

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Loopy, as SubaH6 has said, Wheels mag achieved 0-100km in 7.6 seconds with the 3.0R. Wheels do their performance tests with half a tank of fuel and a passenger.

Your engine is still breaking in, give it time. There's no way any Maxima or 528i can break into the 7s for a 0-100km time.
 
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