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I hear people talking about first, second, third generation outbacks...

what are the differences and what model years do they refer to?
 

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MY99 3rd Gen Outback GX, 2004 Lexus RX330 Sport Luxury
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Well, this can get kind of confusing, considering that the Outback is based on the Legacy.

In a nutshell, the "original" Outback (roughly 1996-1999, depending on the market) is based on the 2nd generation Legacy. The 2nd gen Outback (from 1998 in some markets, 2000 in the USA) is based on the 3rd gen Legacy. The 3rd gen Outback, based on the 4th gen Legacy (which has not been released in North America yet) is from 2004/2005.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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Actually, I've heard that the first Outback, 1996, was just a trim level option of the Legacy wagon, and did not yet have the raised suspension.
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
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The First Generation USDM Outbacks: 1995-1999


Second USDM Gen: 2000-2004


Third USDM Gen: 2005+


Technically, some of the earlier Outbacks (like the 1995 model) by today's standard were not true Outbacks. They were just rebadged Legacy wagons, IMO it was more of a gimmick Subaru used to sell cars.

Of course most of the rest of the world gets the new Subaru models usually a year before the U.S. does, henceforth I went by USDM Generation model years.
 

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In general, you associate the "generation" with the model it's based on. So technically there is no 1st generation Outbacks. They started with the 2nd generation legacy. So you have 2nd Gen Outback/Legacy and 3rd Gen Outback/Legacy.

-mike
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
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AZP Installs said:
In general, you associate the "generation" with the model it's based on. So technically there is no 1st generation Outbacks. They started with the 2nd generation legacy. So you have 2nd Gen Outback/Legacy and 3rd Gen Outback/Legacy.

-mike
That is true to an extent, although the original subject was based on the Outback specific line of the Legacy model. For 2005 in the U.S., the Outback will distinguish itself more from the standard Legacy model which it was originally based. They will probably grown into two completely different model lines soon enough I'd wager. Besides, most people associate the Outback more with Subaru before they even recognize the Legacy mainly because of Paul Hogan's commercials. The Outback may technically be a "Legacy Outback" but no one really differentiates between teh two. Either way works though:D

Its kinda like the Trans Am and the Firebird. Everyone knows the Trans Am is the studly performance version of the Firebird although no one ever refers to it as the "Firebird Trans Am." Most people I know talk about the Trans Am itself and then talk down from the Trans Am to the Firebird.
 

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True True, but the chassis code is really what should be referred to, which would show that the Outbacks are really the 3rd gen. It would be difficult to refer to the 2nd gen outbacks as 3rd gen legacies. For bolt-on parts, I'd promote that they are in line with the legacy generations just so people don't get hosed on parts.

-mike
 
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Here is the information on chassis codes. I was asked today what my chassis code was and had no idea where to look. I did a google search and found a quick way to determine my chassis code --- it is the 4th, 5th, 6th position of your VIN. My 4th, 5th, & 6th position reads BP6 which means 4th generation wagon with a 2.5 block AND it works -- I own a 2006 Outback 2.5 XT turbo ----

North American market release schedule

North America usually releases its models two years after Japan does, due to the fact that all Legacies for the North American market have been built at Subaru of Indiana located in Lafayette, Indiana since around 2005.

Generation I: 1990–1994
Generation II: 1995–1999
Generation III: 2000–2004
Generation IV: 2005–present

Chassis codes

Generation I: BC - Sedan, BF - Touring Wagon (High Roof) BJ - Wagon (low roof)
Generation II: BD - Sedan, BG - Wagon
Generation III: BE - Sedan, BH - Wagon
Generation IV: BL - Sedan, BP - Wagon

(other similar chassis codes exist for VIN numbers in the North American market. These chassis codes are almost universally recognized for the models they represent worldwide.)


More info can be found on http://www.answers.com/topic/subaru-legacy

Dave
 

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'03 H6 Outback, 2" body lift, HD springs, racks, tint, +50's, SubaXtreme Sumpguard & bullbar
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It gets a bit confusing when on forums.... :confused: What you guys call a 2gen (2000-2004) is, for us in Australia - and I think JDM, a 3gen (1999-2003)!

Gen3 for USDM started with '05, but started in Australia as Gen4 in 2004....

You just have to be specific when posting as to what year it is....

Good luck, cheers...
Garry
 
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