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Ok, so I finally test drove an OBW today. It wasn't the one I actually set out to drive, that onewas sold, but I had found another dealer nearby that also had one, so that was my back up test drive.

It was an '07 2.5i A4. 65K miles, pearl white with tan cloth, heated seats, power drivers seat, aftermarket remote start. It was wearing what looked to be nearly brand new Michelins, and had both manuals and all the mats. Also the cargo shelf was in it's home under the hatch in the rear floor.

Other than a small chip in the rear liftgate under the wiper and a chip I noticed on one of the rear door edges, the paint was very good, no scuffs on the bumpers or rock chips on the hood. Interior was also very clean, obviously never smoked in, and very few spots on the tan carpets. All the little doors for storage and what not worked perfectly. Ialso like how the rear seats fold perfectly flat w/out needing to mess with the headrests.

They're asking 13.5K for it, and mentioned multiple times at how low they've priced it, and what a good deal it is, blah blah blah.

I dunno, while I realize it IS a good price as far as these go, it just seems high for a almost 6 year old car. Plus, while this particular car is certainly nice, while driving it, it just didn't feel like a "nice car".

It drove okay, the 2.5 seems fine off the line, and the steering felt tight. It seemed like it was most comfortable at 60mph on the highway, I had to dip into the gas a little more and make a conscious effort to get it to 70. My other car makes literally twice the hp and torque, so pretty much anything I drive is going to be slower, but I never thought "omg this is slow". It's perfectly adequate. I also didn't have any issues with the 4speed, on paper it looks antiqueted, but it's perfectly functional. I find the sport shift feature a little laughable though, I don't see where that would be needed.

Things I didn't like:

It felt small inside. I first sat in the passenger seat, and thought the legroom was a little tight. Much to my surprise, the seat was already most of the way back. I got a few more inches out of it, and still thought the front legroom was a little less than ideal for my 5'9 height. With the seat in that position, my knees were hitting the front seatback when I sat in the rear to see how that was.

Driver's side legroom was better for some reason, and I was able to sit behind that seat with no knee contact.

I didn't think the seats were especially comfy, you seem to sit ON them rather than IN them. Imessed with the power seat a bit, but never found a good driving postion. Theseats actually felt like they were just small. And I'm not a big guy....5'9, 165lbs...very average build.

The center console armrest is way too low. I was trying to figure out what to do with my right arm, as I usually keep my left on the wheel.

It felt light and a little tinny. Not a sh!tbox....but close.

(I wonder if I'm just used to American cars? This is the first Japanese car I've ever driven, maybe this is just how they are??)

It rode a little bit firmer than I'd have thought, which is okay, but it seemed to skitter a bit over larger bumps, such as sunken manhole covers or sewer grates.

QUESTIONS: While riding a bit firm, Ialso noticed it seemed to "float" a bit in the rear, specifically when I hit a dip in the road at 40mph. It seemed to damp it fine, but maybe the rebound control is lacking, which caused the float. It only did it for a second then settled down. Is this normal, or a sign of rear shock (or struts?) needing to be replaced.

I looked under it to see if I could see any oil or coolant leaks, and noticed two bolts partially unthreaded from what looked like the exhaust manifolds. They're evenly spaced from the center of the car, I'm wondering if a skid plate of some sort should be there? This one had no front skid, I could see all the engine and tranny bits from underneath. Is it missing something?

When accelerating briskly from a stop with the wheels turned somewhat sharply, but not on full lock, I could feel some...well I won't call it a vibration, but I definitely felt feedback of some sort from the drivetrain.

Ever take a tight turn under moderate power (esp in the wet or on sand) in a RWD car with a limited slip diff? You can feel the rear tires chatter a bit. It felt like that.

Is that normal?

So I was up front with the salesman, and told him I wasn't planning on buying that day, just doing research on used cars and the OB was on my list. So of course the sales manager came out after the test drive to talk to me. It wasn't bad, he only put a little pressure on me as far as "what will make you buy this car today". He could tell I wasn't in love with it, because he mentioned that since it's over 60K, it's passed its "2nd depreciation threshold", and that I could drive it for 15 or 20k and trade it and not lose any money on it. (yeah right, I should have him give me it in writing that he'll do that in two year!)

He also mentioned being able to find anything else I wanted at auction if I wasn't interested in the Subaru. They just want to sell me a car, not necessarily the Subaru. He also mentioned the Venza, but I told him I'm not afan of Toyota (and this was a Toyota dealer btw, haha).

Maybe if they can work on that price, but since they seem very proud of it already, I don't know how much leeway there is. Or maybe they'll give me a grand or 1200 for my Jeep. That would sweeten the deal.

Oh, almost forgot...here's the car:

Used 2007 Subaru Legacy 4dr H4 AT Outback Basic For Sale Near Providence | RI Used Toyota Dealer 4S4BP61C077340911

I will say it looks gorgeous in that pearl white color, and I'm totally seeing it with black wheels and dark rear tint.

Thanks for answers to my questions, and any feedback in general.
 

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Floaty feeling is the classic symptom description for worn out rear struts. 65k miles seems a tad early for that but I'd believe it.

For reasons I've never researched or understood, the drivers' seat goes back further than the passenger seat in these cars. It's just built that way. I feel cramped in the pass seat of my own.

Chatter in a tight turn could be a sign of torque bind. Driving lock-to-lock figure eights on dry pavement should not produce weird sounds. However, sometimes an ATF change is all that is needed to fix this. Many threads about it here.

There was a popular option to fix the center console armrest- it was a replacement lid with a telescopic thingy to let you "raise the roof" for arm comfort. A weird way to solve the problem, but it works. Standard equipment on limiteds.

No skid plates, but there are a few heat shields, and they can rattle an amazing ruckus in the right circumstances. Many people just remove them, grass fires be damned.
 

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I see I was typing this as rasterman was making his post.

That car appears nearly identical to our 2005 OBW, however our colors are not the same.

It sounds as if the rear struts may be gone, I have found with the OEM struts that they have a "baby-carriage" feeling from day one and zero miles. If those are the OEM struts, I find it very difficult to believe that they are still "good."

I have found that nearly every car I have owned, the OEM shocks and struts are typically shot after about one to two years and about 20K to 30K miles.

I think that price seems high, given the miles and the fact that it may need all new struts and who knows what else, once they replace the struts!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info.

Ok, so it needs rear struts. I wish I had mentioned that on the test drive, but it's easy enough to verify later on if need be.

The LTD console sounds great. I was talking to my brother, he just picked up an '11 Jetta Sportwagen today, and his center console telescopes up too.

(the car I actually wanted to look at today was an '06 LTD, I had posted it in my other thread. A year older, but I think a better value than this one)

I'll look up torque bind, and if I drive it again, I'll be sure to do some figure 8's.

I'll put tranny fluid change on the list of things they would need to do, along with rear struts (I understand the '04 struts are the way to go?)

I feel cramped in the pass seat of my Firebird, but if I get a 4 door, I'd kind of like all 4 of my passengers to be comfortable. Crazy thought, right? LOL


EDIT: Thanks for the info, Saint J, I feel the price is high as well. I would be more comfortable paying 11-12k for it.
 

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...along with rear struts (I understand the '04 struts are the way to go?)
The KYB GR2 part for 2000-2004 is a great way to go. Can't speak for any other brand. Tiny gain in ride height, but it's a direct bolt-up. I never actually noticed the extra height, but it has been measured by other members of this board.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kind of funny that KYB is the way to go on these cars. On my other car, my '00 Firebird, in that world KYB is referred to as "Keeps You Bouncing" because the GR2's for that car are comlete shite. I can attest to this, as I installed a set of rear KYB's that were worse than the 100k stockers that I took off. Shortly after I bit the bullet and paid 200 each for rear Koni's, which did the trick. The rear is planted and no more floaty feeling.

To be honest, I'm pretty bummed at my driving impressions of the OB. I was expecting to be wowed by, but intsead it's just kind of "meh".

I still see the car as suiting my needs, but now more as a beater than a 'nice' car.
 

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Kind of funny that KYB is the way to go on these cars. On my other car, my '00 Firebird, in that world KYB is referred to as "Keeps You Bouncing" because the GR2's for that car are comlete shite. I can attest to this, as I installed a set of rear KYB's that were worse than the 100k stockers that I took off. Shortly after I bit the bullet and paid 200 each for rear Koni's, which did the trick. The rear is planted and no more floaty feeling.

To be honest, I'm pretty bummed at my driving impressions of the OB. I was expecting to be wowed by, but intsead it's just kind of "meh".

I still see the car as suiting my needs, but now more as a beater than a 'nice' car.
Just goes to show you that a certain brand name doesn't guarantee anything. The last car I owned with a Bilstein suspension was a VW van. Not exactly known for their handling. :)

If you want wow, you could at least meet them halfway and try a 6 cyl or turbo with the limited package.

Sounds like you need to take a few more test drives, and not just in Subarus.
 

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I think I would be looking for a different car. As you stated you were expecting a knock of your socks feel ride from the Outback but they are not what they seem. We have one that just turned 60,000 and these are high maintanence, lots of issues car. If we had to do it over again we would not buy it again. The 05 to 09 year cars also experience the famous Ghost Walking issues which ours has. Run far away from this car. Thats just the way I feel about the Outback, sorry.
 

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I think I would be looking for a different car. As you stated you were expecting a knock of your socks feel ride from the Outback but they are not what they seem. We have one that just turned 60,000 and these are high maintanence, lots of issues car. If we had to do it over again we would not buy it again. The 05 to 09 year cars also experience the famous Ghost Walking issues which ours has. Run far away from this car. Thats just the way I feel about the Outback, sorry.
You know this is an "Outback" forum, right?

:lol:


Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you want wow, you could at least meet them halfway and try a 6 cyl or turbo with the limited package.

Sounds like you need to take a few more test drives, and not just in Subarus.
The one I had actually intended to drive that day was a LTD. I would do a six cylinder, but I can't find one. The turbo sounds fun, but I don't want to have to deal with all the extra expense. Plus I already have one fast car, I don't need another temptation to mod something else!

And you're right, more drives are in order. I actually haven't given up on Subaru, I want to drive '09+ Fozzie and see how that is. I don't know about interior quality, but at least that should probably adress my space concerns.

It's tough though...I want an AWD wagon, and there are only a few players in that market.

I think I would be looking for a different car. As you stated you were expecting a knock of your socks feel ride from the Outback but they are not what they seem. We have one that just turned 60,000 and these are high maintanence, lots of issues car. If we had to do it over again we would not buy it again. The 05 to 09 year cars also experience the famous Ghost Walking issues which ours has. Run far away from this car. Thats just the way I feel about the Outback, sorry.
Thanks for the honest opinion. I know there's some maint issues with these cars, but I was hoping I would like the car enough to not mind dealing with that. On paper it's everything on what, but in reality, eh, I don't know.

I think if I could find one in more of the 10K or under range I'd be more apt to buy it. It's not that much money, so I wouldn't expect as much out of it, I'd treat it more as a tool.

If handling really is such a priority, consider a Legacy wagon instead.
I thought the handing was fine to tell you the truth, and I actually don't care too much about that. Whatever I get is going to be a replacement for a lifted 15 year old Jeep, so unless I get a Peterbilt, pretty much anything I get going to handle better than that, haha. My issue was with space, or lack thereof, and the interior quality. A Legacy will have the same problems.

You know this is an "Outback" forum, right?

:lol:


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Yeah, and he has one. Nothing wrong with giving an honest opinion. Not everyone is going to like a certain car.


Oh, and my brother just picked up a '09 Jetta Sportwagen yesterday. I saw it today, and my first thought after sitting behind the wheel was "wow, this is a nice car!". I was never much of a VW fan, but that is a really nice car. I'll have to get him to let me drive it, that may be one to ad to thelist. Too bad it isn't AWD. Maybe 4Motion was an option on them, but 4motion probably sucks though anyway.
 

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Oh, and my brother just picked up a '09 Jetta Sportwagen yesterday. I saw it today, and my first thought after sitting behind the wheel was "wow, this is a nice car!". I was never much of a VW fan, but that is a really nice car. I'll have to get him to let me drive it, that may be one to ad to thelist. Too bad it isn't AWD. Maybe 4Motion was an option on them, but 4motion probably sucks though anyway.
VW had really nice stuff going up until the 2011s... they cheaped out so that they could keep the prices down and got killed in the reviews, everyone says they went too far. Honda drew a lot of fire for similar with the civic & accord recently.

I don't think subaru had a corresponding pull-back, but as we've all seen they never had a super nice interior to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This only applies to the Jetta sedan. The wagon is still on the old platform with the old, nicer interior.
Yup. Plus the wagon kept the independent rear suspenion, while the new sedan went to a beam axle. They also come standard with the 170hp 2.5 I5, while the base sedan gets the 2.0 (2. slow) 115hp motor.

He let me drive it today. It drove very nice, although if memory serves me right the Subaru drove just as nice. The VW's interior just feels nicer.

So the salesman called me today to see what my thoughts were. I haven't called him back yet, but I'm going to tell him I'm going to keep looking for now. However, I noticed a little while ago that they've dropped the price by about 500 bucks, to 12,995. I wonder how much lower they'd go??

If I got them down to 12k, does that seem a fair price for that car?
 

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As far as pricing goes that's always subject to area,specs etc but in my area(NJ)that would be very fairly priced from a dealership for a 65k 2.5l in good shape. Dealers obviously are always higher then a private party but I would think even so if you found something private party like it that it would be around 11k at least as I'd doubt you're going to find a relatively lower mileage '07 for less.
If you can get it for 12k I don't see much downside if the mechanicals are up to par.
I wouldn't get hung up on price as much as history and condition as that is really the key when buying used in any brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just an update:

After looking more into Jetta wagons (couldn't find one in my price range), the Nissan Murano (nice, but reliability and poor mpg came up as a big conerns in my research), and looking (unsucessfully) for a 3.0L OB, I finally found and test drove a Volvo XC70.

I'll be picking it up this week. :D

Pretty much as soon as I sat in it I knew it was the car for me, and the test drive proved it. Yes, it has 25k more miles than the Subaru I drove (for a slightly lesser price), but it drove like new. Tight as a drum with no squeeks or rattles anywhere.

The interior feel and quality, and then the ride and drive, gave me that "wow" factor I was looking for. The fact that this one is loaded with pretty much everything except sat-nav and rear child seats probably helps that feeling, lol.

The seats (both fronts heated/power, with plenty of adjustments and 3 driver memory settings) were uber comfy, it was like driving my favorite recliner down the road, and the interior felt very spacious. The car also feels very solid, like I could drive it through a brick wall.

It's an '07, the last year of this (the good) body style, and has side mirror turn signal indicators, defeatable stability control, which also turns off the traction control, which means I can spin the wheels w/out the comuter killing the throttle. Good for getting out of deep snow....or drifting! :D

Silver with dark charcoal interior, with the upgraded 17" wheels (wearing brand new tires).

Pretty much EXACTLY what I was looking for.

Granted, I might spend more on maint and upkeep, but at least I'll feel like a million bucks everytime I get into it.

And I'm not planning on taking it offroad, so the not-quite-as-capable-as -Subaru AWD system will be fine for me.

At least I won't be rolling the dice on head gaskets! No such problems with the Volvo 2.5T. With 236ft/lbs of tq at 1,500rpm, that thing moves off the line quite well! It surprised me when I drove it, it feels pretty quick.

Anyway, thanks to all forthe great advice and info, I hope there's no hard feelings that I jumped ship!

Ok, I'm off to buy some khakis and tennis sweaters...
 

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Glad you found something you like! I'm surprised you found the Outback "cheap" feeling though. That's one of the reasons I bought the car, it had the same high-end European feeling as my old Saab 900 did. I agree with the uncomfortable seats. I'm sure the Volvo's are much, much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
When I was looking for my outback (bought 3 weeks ago) the only other car I was interested in was the V70R, they are pretty hard to come by though.
Oh yeah, htose R's are awesome! Pretty much the ultimate sleeper. I found one when I ws looking, but decided against it because A) I already have a fast car and don't want something else I'll be tempted to mod, and B) I found that alot of the R specific parts to be very expensive, so I anticipated high maintenance and upkeep costs on the R. The 4C struts for example, would have been around a grand to replace.

Glad you found something you like! I'm surprised you found the Outback "cheap" feeling though. That's one of the reasons I bought the car, it had the same high-end European feeling as my old Saab 900 did. I agree with the uncomfortable seats. I'm sure the Volvo's are much, much better.
Well maybe "cheap" is a little harsh. It was perfectly fine, just didn't have the upscale feel I was hoping for. I think if I had found an LTD to test drive I would have had a better opinion of that. I'm comparing apples to oranges here, as I drove a base OB, where my Volvo is an Adventure Series, which has pretty much EVERY option. So we're talking about a car that probably stickered north of 40k vs. a car that was 25, 26K.

And yeah, the seats were amazing. They're actually known for having some of the best seats in the biz. And they're 8 way power, which helped me find the perfect driving position.
 
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