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2005 LL Bean
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I came from a MkIV Jetta 5spd, and have had the OB ('05, 77K miles) for about 2 weeks.

Here are first impressions. Comments are welcome and encouraged, as this is a forum :):

The OB is not a Jetta.
I will say my OB is a rougher ride on the road. Maybe the 17" wheels and tigher suspension cause that. It's a little "bouncy" if you're in a turn and hit a bump. Though it's very stable. Steering effort is rather hard at slow speed, and I have noticed the steering effort diminishes greatly when pushing the limits, such as a clover-leaf on/off road on the interstate. Either it's the mature of the beast, or there's something strange going on. (I don't hear anything.)

Understeer is WAY less. (Tires contribute too.)

Didn't want an auto tranny, but if I could pick any car, I'd probably have garage like Jay Leno. Auto is jerky early morning, and slow to respond during quick acceleration. Haven't gotten used to Sport Mode, though I've tried. (it's the journey, not the destination. . . )

New brakes and rotors in front. Rear ones need pads. Brake effort is still on the high side. New pads in rear may help somewhat, I hope.

My job takes me to places where trucks venture, and the OB has been very impressive due to high ground clearance and AWD. One feature that makes this car a great fit for people who need trucks but don't want to fuel one.

Fuel Economy is very good for what you get: 6-cyclinder, ground clearance, AWD. I've put down the miles and it's been: 25.5 mpg, 24.25, 23.4 mpg, 22.5 mpg. (I measured with fill-ups, not the computer.)

Overall it's been good. Maybe I'm being picky about steering, brakes and tranny, but advice on such is greatly appreciated.
 

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2015 Carbide Gray 3.6R
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553 Posts
That fuel economy sounds good to me. I have been leaning towards finding a low mileage 3.0 LLBean lately, I just have to sell my current car first.

Like you, I see the Subaru Outback as a good all around car/truck/CUV/light off roader. It may not be the best at anything, but it'll do everything. :29:

Do you have any pictures yet?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,551 Posts
struts could be bad. I had a rear one out at ~64K. KYB is very popular shock/strut. Other people prefer to upgrade rear suspension, sometimes with bigger stabilizer bar.

a master cylinder brace, upgraded pads might help with the braking feel. (StopTech Street Performance pads are friggen awesome if you are really a 'spirited' driver, Centric PosiQuiet Ceramic are very close to slightly better than OEM for much less money) Was the brake fluid changed or air-bled? I guess the tires are decent?
 

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2005 LL Bean
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That fuel economy sounds good to me. I have been leaning towards finding a low mileage 3.0 LLBean lately, I just have to sell my current car first.

I babied the accelerator to get the good fuel economy, though that doesn't appear to the big factor. Best mileage was not on the interstate but actually on 55 mph country highways littered with a few 25 and 35 mph town "passing throughs."

1 Lucky Texan: I went to do another strut test while parked. I pressed down on the body panel right below the rear glass and discovered the panel is made of plastic and breaks under my applied pressure. :3: Anyways, now I'm looking at a plastic repair on my car I've had for one week. (yes, I've driven for two, but officially owned for only one) I was thinking a long set time superglue or epoxy. It's a V-shaped crack about 1 inch long, and still intact.

Brakes: Thanks for the advice. The front pads and rotors are new, so I'm going the brake bleeding route. Rear needs it, maybe I'll swap the new front to the back and put on better pads on front if it's all compatible. "Spirited?" I've driven road courses, and pushed it in the mountains. The OB probably won't make it to a road course anytime soon being an automatic, but I think I call for better braking for sure.

Tires are really good.

Most things I don't like at first, I end up liking later and vice versa. I'm hoping that's the case on the Sport Mode Manual.
 

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2006 H6 3.0R LL Bean wagon and 2000 H4 OBW
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453 Posts
Congrats on your purchase. We have a 2006 LL Bean, lucked into it a couple years ago. Had 15,000 on it when we got it and has 31,000 on it now. The lady did not drive it much, sat in the garage mostly.

The rear suspension on these have some design weaknesses and there are lots of deep discussions on it. Lots of differing opinions and options to improve it. You can read about it on the forum here;

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/81-wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/28368-2005-2009-outback-suspension-faq.html

We went with the 04 struts which firms the rear up quite a lot. An alignment with weight in the back also improves handling as the geometry of the back suspension is not the greatest. I had ours aligned with about 180-200 lbs in the back. More than I can go into here but you can read up on the first link and this one below. It is a lot to take in on the rear suspension. That is the only fault I can find with ours. The build quality on ours is incredible and the design is almost flawless other than the rear suspension. Truly is a wonderful car.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/30747-2005-2009-ghostwalking-abnormal-winter-handling-fixes.html

I had a 98 Jetta TDI by the way. Handled great. Ended up rusting out so I had to retire it. I miss the 41- 50 mpg...
 

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2005 LL Bean
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Here's my list:
1) Switch the brake fluid with ATE Super Blue (hate to see 1/2 a $35 can go to waste), bleed. Right now our minivan brakes better, no joke!!
2) Bleed the power steer if possible. I've never had to do that but this one calls for a try.
3) I don't have snowy conditions to really speak about, but poor handling, premature tire wear and the like may be reasons to look at rear suspension. The original owner of this car had some problems in the rear, so I need to try and find out what they did, and the condition of components.
4) Ask Santa for a Aux input kit.

People say the Subaru is a great car wherever I go. (They're rare-ish in S. Carolina) I can't comment on the great car thing yet, but I do know some materials are of less quality than the '01 Jetta.
 
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