Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
18 horizontally opposed cylinders of fury
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently picked up a leftover 2003 Outback H6-3.0 sedan.

I wanted an understated, well-equipped, AWD sedan with decent power. I had kinda settled on the Audi A6 with the big engine (very decent power- 300 HP, 4.2 V8) so for my budget I was looking at 2-4 year old cars with 20-50k miles. I read some unsettling stories of post-warranty reliability & repair costs on Audis & decided to consider an Outback since I could get a new car for the cost of a used A6.

The contrast cladding on most Outbacks was too bold for my taste, so that eliminated many color choices. For 04, of course, they offered less "contrast-y" two-tone combos & more monotone models, & the badges were toned down to chrome too. My local dealer had 2 sedans- both H6 non-VDC cars- a white 04 w/ moonbeam cladding & beige interior, & my 03 in titanium pearl monotone w/ grey interior. This color combo is very appealing.

The 04 brochure shows this combo in the H4 model, but if you want titanium exterior & H6 you can only get beige interior. I would have liked VDC & McIntosh audio, but those options- in addition to being a sedan, in stock, in a color scheme I liked- just couldn't be found. They had about 80 wagons, & only a couple were VDC. A number of lucky factors came together to help me get about 20% off original sticker, so here I am!

So far, very few complaints- gear changes are occasionally clunky & MPG is disappointing (I'm using premium). The biggest issue is the factory tires- they might as well be racing slicks when there's snow on the roads. I can't believe they advertise Outbacks as cars that "go almost anywhere in almost any conditions" then equip them with *dangerously* lousy tires. I suppose I'll change them before next winter.

The Outback lets me semi-retire my 91 Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Its the limited edition Galant with turbo, AWD, & 4-wheel steering, one of the best sleepers ever. I also have a couple of 80's AMC/Renaults- a nice little convertible & a GTA waiting to be resurrected.

Having owned the VR4 & being happy with the Subaru so far, I am *very* excited about the upcoming turbo Legacy/Outback!!
 

·
Registered
2003 Subaru Outback 2005 Ford Ranger
Joined
·
350 Posts
Welcome to the board. The pics look great. Gas mileage has been a hot topic lately. Also, I'm sure there will be a few people that agree the stock tires suck. Enjoy the car and welcome!:) Oh yeah, almost forgot... I'm excited about the all new turbo Outback as well.
 

·
Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
·
6,684 Posts
Holy smokes, a fan of AMC and Mr Ed!

My first car was a 1973 Hornet hatch with a 360-2bbl and a trailering package :D

A-uhh, welcome to the board



Our family had a 1969 Renault 16 with a 4-on-the-column just when I was learning to drive.

 

·
SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
·
5,105 Posts
Mr. Ed, Welcome and glad to have ya!

Its great to see yet another person who has looked around for those higher end cars but eventually got an Outback or a Subaru due to THE FACT that with the higher end brands you don't always (actually rarely) get the quality and reliabilty you think you'd pay for. Sad but true how too many people buy cars by the nameplate instead of actually getting whats best for them. Not saying that Subaru will fill every void, but there's far too many SUV and sports sedan buyers who would fit far better in an Outback or Legacy GT rather than an overpriced Euro sedan or a gas-guzzlin', minature school bus SUV.

BTW, I love your car! It is the sedan version of my OB Wagon with leather and a few other goodies. Hey do you like the wood steering wheel in your car?

As far as your complaints:

1. Subaru's automatic transmissions are heavy duty and not the smoothest out there. Sorry, but don't expect too much :)

2. Gas mileage is usually lower with AWD cars, thats just the way it is.

3. EVERYONE knows that the stock Bridgestone RE-92 tires are about the worst tires God has ever created. I would almost rather drive on my rims alone than on these tires, well maybe not but they're still pretty bad.

That was all FYI stuff, I'm sure you probably already knew most of that but just in case. Here's a few solutions for you though:

1. In about 600 miles I'm putting Mobil 1 synthetic ATF in my Outback and hopefully like many have told me it will significantly improve transmission performance and shifting.

2. We are always trying to figure out ways to improve gas mileage here on the board. Check around the boards and many people here have done different things to help improve your MPG.

3. Tires have been a hot topic of discussion here on the board lately. Go to either the General section or the Performance section for more info.

Cheers,

Kevin :D
 

·
Registered
18 horizontally opposed cylinders of fury
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Good find on the Mr. Ed picture :D The Renaults were wonderful little cars with a lot of clever engineering, but they had a strict maintenance schedule which the average US car owner ignored, so they broke down, so they developed a bad rep.

I hear you on high-end quality. Did you see those recent initial quality rankings where Benz has tanked? There's 2 reasons for that- their customers are very sensitive & discriminating & more likely to report problems; and they filled their cars stem-to-stern with computers before they were thoroughly tested & now some of the telematics & other wacky integrated electronics don't work right.

If the tranny lasts 200k (which they routinely do) I'll accept a few clunky shifts!

I'll keep an eye on people's experience with synthetic ATF. I know some imports are very picky about their ATF- my convertible requires Dexron 2 (a little harder to find) not 3 or 4 (even though they are supposed to be backwards compatible) or a synthetic version. Many 80's Renaults have been junked for autobox problems, which were usually caused by refilling with the wrong fluid. Mine still works perfectly with 106k on it.

The wood & leather steering wheel is a real joy to look at & grip. A high-class addition that helps me overlook all that other fake wood. lol :D
 

·
Registered
18 horizontally opposed cylinders of fury
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Oh yeah, I got a chuckle yesterday- the OnStar people gave me a call (I've had the car about 6 weeks) to see if I had any questions about the system, to remind me that I have some complimentary calling minutes to use, & to let me know my car's phone number!!

I guess it makes sense, if you can call out, other people can call in.
 

·
OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
Welcome Mr. Ed.

I'm still just an HM (honorary member) because I'm waiting for the '05 OB-XT:)

Nice pic.
 

·
SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
·
5,105 Posts
MrEd said:
The wood & leather steering wheel is a real joy to look at & grip. A high-class addition that helps me overlook all that other fake wood. lol :D
Now Mr. Ed thats not what I wanted to hear! :14:

Now if you would have said something to the likeness of, "I hate it and I'll gladly trade it to your for your all leather steering wheel" I would have been much happier! ***Look as some of my posts and you'll understand ;)*** Ya know, on top of that you make it sound even better when you compare it to "all that other fake wood." :D

Now I just hope that Brian doesn't find his way in here cause I'll be > :cursin:

Curses, even worse than that, you also get OnStar! I love my car but certainly got shafted on these two things that were supposed to be on ALL 2003 H6-3.0 Outbacks according to Subaru.

mudge said:
I'm still just an HM (honorary member) because I'm waiting for the '05 OB-XT:)
"Just" an honorary member? Oh come now Mudge, when you get an Outback XT you'll be everyones best friend :D Everyone's gonna want a ride in your hotrod wagon! Hey at least you contribute o na regular basis, thats alot more than many Outback owners here do. Not trying to badmouth anyone though, every member is a valued member at Outback.org ;)
 

·
Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
Joined
·
6,186 Posts
Kevin, MrEd just put his steering wheel in the classifieds!!!1:eek: :20: Oh my I had to. He He. No really though, Kevin, how would you feel putting your hands on wood every day:moon:
Ha Ha. Brian
 

·
SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
·
5,105 Posts
bheinz57 said:
Kevin, MrEd just put his steering wheel in the classifieds!!!1:eek: :20: Oh my I had to. He He. No really though, Kevin, how would you feel putting your hands on wood every day:moon:
Ha Ha. Brian
Brian...

YER DUN!!!

:behead:

:D
 

·
Registered
2000 Outback 2.5L
Joined
·
61 Posts
Mr.Ed

I was deciding in between a Subaru and Audi as well. I was coming from a VW Passat 4Motion and wanted to stick to AWD. After talking to my mechanic and looking too consumer reports I narrowed my choices down to a Subaru. The Forester was one of their top three cars for buying used. I must say though, I do miss the AWD performance of the 4Motion, the Outback AWD just isn't up to par in that category. Audi's and VW's get poor scores for their electronics and my mechanic had mentioned the same thing. Our Jetta's cruise control has gone out, $300+ dollars to fix. Anyways, welcome and good choice!:29:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Welcome MrEd. Nice looking ride!
 

·
Registered
18 horizontally opposed cylinders of fury
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the welcomes!

Considering all the choices for car color, cladding color, & interior color (& the not always logical combinations of these 3, along with engine choice) over the past two years, I think I got the about the best possible combo... but I'm sure my opinion is highly biased :D

Its the first warm spell (mid 50's, yay!) of the year, so I'm heading outside to wash the car this morning. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Another new owner here...a 2004 Outback 35th aniversary edition. The A-4 was too small, the A-6 too expensive, and the Passat didn't have that much more to offer. So for $23,500 we got the Subaru. A great deal, and loooong night negoiating at the dealership, but it was worth it. Drove it up the Pacific Coast Highway last week..best drive of my life !!

Now what's the occasional screaching sound coming from under the dash ???
 

·
Registered
2004 35th Anniversary Outback - H6
Joined
·
164 Posts
mikejt54 said:
Another new owner here...a 2004 Outback 35th aniversary edition. The A-4 was too small, the A-6 too expensive, and the Passat didn't have that much more to offer. So for $23,500 we got the Subaru. A great deal, and loooong night negoiating at the dealership, but it was worth it. Drove it up the Pacific Coast Highway last week..best drive of my life !!

Now what's the occasional screaching sound coming from under the dash ???
wow $23,500 thats cheap.. that was new?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Yep, brand new....it had 12 miles on it. It got real ugly with first the salesman, then the sales manager. At one point I left and came back an hour later to let them think it over. Took a total of 3 and a half hours, but I got my price and financing. The entire time not a single other customer came in the showroom....I pointed this out to them a number of times...I was the only one who was going to buy that car that day. Wouldn't want to do it again, but at the same time it was kinda fun.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Not a bad choice in avoiding the A6. I replaced my old Accord with a 2.7T in '00, and while I love the car, it has been a reliability nightmare. In addition to a broken water pump stranding me in Waterville, Maine, I've had numerous costly electrical problems. As much as I like the looks, power, shifts, and handling of the vehicle, I think I'll be replacing my '97 CR-V with a 2.5XT, instead of the A4 Avant I planned on, this spring.

Out of curiousity, what is special about the 35th Anniversary OB?
 

·
SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
·
5,105 Posts
Dru690 said:
Out of curiousity, what is special about the 35th Anniversary OB?
Badges, thats all! :)

mikejt54 said:
Yep, brand new....it had 12 miles on it. It got real ugly with first the salesman, then the sales manager. At one point I left and came back an hour later to let them think it over. Took a total of 3 and a half hours, but I got my price and financing. The entire time not a single other customer came in the showroom....I pointed this out to them a number of times...I was the only one who was going to buy that car that day. Wouldn't want to do it again, but at the same time it was kinda fun.....
Let me tell you all something, as being a former salesman myself I have great fun screwing with the average "Joe Blow" car salesman. Their logic is so easy to pick up on a defeat, the desperate and/or young ones are the most fun to piss with :D Maybe I'm just a nut but I actually find it somewhat entertaining, that is the antics of the average salesman and/or sales manager, etc.

Just remember folks, when buying a car the saleman or manager is not there to be your friend, help you out however they may, "go to bat for you," etc etc etc! Their sole purpose is to sell you a car and that is what they intend to do and do their best at. For me throwing them off their game is what is fun, well if you ever want to buy a car contact me and I'll show you my car buying mettle and help you out ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Wise words indeed. "I'll do everything I can for you". "You're getting the best deal I've ever seen". The check is in the mail
 

·
Registered
2004 35th Anniversary Outback - H6
Joined
·
164 Posts
Hero Boots said:


Badges, thats all! :)

dont forget color too on the 35th
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top