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Whining about Outback


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#1 Outbackman

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 09:14 PM

Who else thinks that their Outback wagon should be more safisticated for the money?

I'm comparing my 01 limited outback wagon to my Wife's 01 Jetta.

Hood on Jetta supported with hydralic struts. Outback, manual prop.

Sunroof on jetta opens two ways, tilts or slides using same switch. Outback tilts only. I'd rather have that than the two sunroofs.

Rear windows on Jetta go all the way down. Outback only 3/4 down.

Heated seats on Jetta, 5 settings. Outback 2.

Of course I knew about this when I bought the car and I did buy it for the all wheel drive which I really like. If it weren't for the superior drive system I probably would not have bought the car.

Walt :-\

#2 SevenSisters

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 11:21 PM

You can use your Legacy to drive her back and forth to the VW dealer when her car needs repairs.

#3 brus brother

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 12:02 AM

You can use your Legacy to drive her back and forth to the VW dealer when her car needs repairs.

... in the snow!

#4 rweddy

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 07:37 AM

You can use your Legacy to drive her back and forth to the VW dealer when her car needs repairs.

Exactly!!! :lol:


The Jetta and VW/Audi for that matter have always been very unreliable.
Check out consumer reports year after year and you will see this to be true.
They do have some cool features, but they also have unusalbe back seats, are terrible in inclement weather, bottom out on small bumps, have terrible resale value, …….should I go one on???

#5 BlueTrain

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 02:52 PM

Who else thinks that their Outback wagon should be more safisticated for the money?

I'm comparing my 01 limited outback wagon to my Wife's 01 Jetta.

Hood on Jetta supported with hydralic struts. Outback, manual prop.

Sunroof on jetta opens two ways, tilts or slides using same switch. Outback tilts only. I'd rather have that than the two sunroofs.

Rear windows on Jetta go all the way down. Outback only 3/4 down.

Heated seats on Jetta, 5 settings. Outback 2.

Of course I knew about this when I bought the car and I did buy it for the all wheel drive which I really like. If it weren't for the superior drive system I probably would not have bought the car.

Walt :-\


let me get this straight... because of these little things you are unsatisfied with the car? any "real" problems with it.. motor problems? tranny problems?
i personally like a manual prop on the hood.. no hydraulic crap to go bad or not work in the extreme cold.. and "only" 2 heated seat settings? how many does a person need? hell who needs heated seats anyways...

#6 Scottbaru

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:21 PM

The Jetta and VW/Audi for that matter have always been very unreliable.
Check out consumer reports year after year and you will see this to be true.
They do have some cool features, but they also have unusalbe back seats, are terrible in inclement weather, bottom out on small bumps, have terrible resale value, …….should I go one on???

Consumer Reports staff have had a bias against Audi/VW since the unintended accelleration debacle. Audi winning the libel suit against them proved malicious intent, and deepened the mutual hatred. In their latest survey, Audi matched the average of Japanese vehicles, 12 reported problems per 100 new car owners surveyed. And those "problems" include gadgets that aren't built the way the owner would prefer. Cars with more gadgets tend to have more reported problems, even if the gadgets function as designed.

My adult daughter and I rode in the back of an A4q this morning. That's the smallest back seat in the Audi line, I'm not sure what's unuseable about it? My neighbor's A8Lq has a very useable back seat.

Terrible in inclement weather? I see my share here downwind of Lake Michigan and on my weekly 400-mile drives. I've owned a few quattros, there are two quattros in my driveway right now, I'd take either one over my Legacy in bad weather, no comparison.

Bottoming out? What?

Terrible resale? I looked for an awd wagon this winter, spent a lot of time on the internet, looked all over the country. Prior to that I helped find a quattro for a friend. I bought this Legacy because it was a third the price of a quattro or 4motion same year, mileage, condition. That was pretty typical. They don't start out a third the price.

The quattro is a better car with better conveniences. I've cruised at over 100mph in many different quattros, well over in some, they're consistently smooth, quiet, and easy to drive at those speeds. I wouldn't dare go that fast in my Legacy, it's unpleasant at 75mph. As Outbackman pointed out, the ammenities on the quattro are consistently more generous than on the typical Japanese car. If you slide under a quattro, you'll see typically heavier built suspension, brakes, and driveline compared to most Japanese cars. That sometimes makes them harder to work on.

Subarus are good cars not because they're so well built, it's because they're simple, they stick with tried and true concepts. There's less to go wrong, and they're easier to maintain. They don't have a luxury reputation, so people who buy them new aren't typically as picky about a clunky convenience item as long as it can be made to work. That helps them in satisfaction surveys.

I hope this isn't too unpleasant for devoted Subaru fans to hear, but bring on the flames. I've got a couple Nomex suits in the closet I haven't worn in a few years.

#7 BlueTrain

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:29 PM

Consumer Reports staff have had a bias against Audi/VW since the unintended accelleration debacle. Audi winning the libel suit against them proved malicious intent, and deepened the mutual hatred. In their latest survey, Audi matched the average of Japanese vehicles, 12 reported problems per 100 new car owners surveyed. And those "problems" include gadgets that aren't built the way the owner would prefer. Cars with more gadgets tend to have more reported problems, even if the gadgets function as designed.

My adult daughter and I rode in the back of an A4q this morning. That's the smallest back seat in the Audi line, I'm not sure what's unuseable about it? My neighbor's A8Lq has a very useable back seat.

Terrible in inclement weather? I see my share here downwind of Lake Michigan and on my weekly 400-mile drives. I've owned a few quattros, there are two quattros in my driveway right now, I'd take either one over my Legacy in bad weather, no comparison.

Bottoming out? What?

Terrible resale? I looked for an awd wagon this winter, spent a lot of time on the internet, looked all over the country. Prior to that I helped find a quattro for a friend. I bought this Legacy because it was a third the price of a quattro or 4motion same year, mileage, condition. That was pretty typical. They don't start out a third the price.

The quattro is a better car with better conveniences. I've cruised at over 100mph in many different quattros, well over in some, they're consistently smooth, quiet, and easy to drive at those speeds. I wouldn't dare go that fast in my Legacy, it's unpleasant at 75mph. As Outbackman pointed out, the ammenities on the quattro are consistently more generous than on the typical Japanese car. If you slide under a quattro, you'll see typically heavier built suspension, brakes, and driveline compared to most Japanese cars. That sometimes makes them harder to work on.

Subarus are good cars not because they're so well built, it's because they're simple, they stick with tried and true concepts. There's less to go wrong, and they're easier to maintain. They don't have a luxury reputation, so people who buy them new aren't typically as picky about a clunky convenience item as long as it can be made to work. That helps them in satisfaction surveys.

I hope this isn't too unpleasant for devoted Subaru fans to hear, but bring on the flames. I've got a couple Nomex suits in the closet I haven't worn in a few years.


i dont believe he was comparing it to a quattro system.. he was comparing it to an 01 Jetta...

#8 subie94

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:41 PM

yah what bluetrain said :-p

#9 Scottbaru

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:59 PM

The Jetta and VW/Audi for that matter...

I sympathize with Outbackman, the difference is obvious when you have one of each in the driveway. I disagree with rweddy's assessment of VW/Audi.

#10 732002

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 04:02 PM

My only complaint with my 96 OBW is doing the head
gaskets at 127K. I bought Subaru because it seemed
like it was a simpler car with less to go wrong.

Looked at a Audi 100 wagon. More money and did not drive
better then OBW.

If I got a VW it would be TDI for the mpg.

#11 Chef

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 12:52 AM

If I got a VW it would be TDI for the mpg.


Well put.

My friend has a 2002 Jetta. Frankly, what a disappointing car. It has a ridiculously small interior for a car its size, with lousy pick-up (just a base model mind you). The fuel economy is good. The ride is soft and the steering.. well... weird. Nothing stands out about it at all, except the ridiculous price for what you get. Which is pretty much nothing on the base model.

My 92 legacy wagon a near luxury vehicle in comparison, both in ride quality and amenities. Perhaps it's not a fair comparison, but i'd take a new legacy over a new jetta any day of the week.:-p

#12 skeet

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:41 AM

Care to elucidate on that a little?

I'd take either one over my Legacy in bad weather, no comparison.



#13 Scottbaru

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:12 AM

Care to elucidate on that a little?

(Pulling out the dictionary) The quattro is smooth and quiet at high speeds, the suspension feels solid through potholes and rapid lane changes. The Legacy is rough, it skips and stutters over bumps, the suspension feels less supple. "Bad" weather for me means crossing thick slush to get in the unplowed fast lane at 60+mph, to get around slower cars. The quattro's suspension handles it better. At slow speeds the anti-spin in the A4, and locking rear differential and torsen center on the 200, will muscle me through deeper snow.

#14 cannonball

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:21 AM

I don't think anyone here can knock Audi for it's smoothness or quattro drivetrain. My friends A4 is definitely smooooooth. I thought this was a VW/Legacy comparison. I think the OB is a better comparison. I don't have a problem cruising at 90 mph on the highway. And the ride is very comfy. Now if those dang Germans could master the electrical side of things.

#15 envy_petter

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:37 AM

Okay, I had to chime in...

First of all, I understand HOW it happened, but not WHY it is that Audi was brought into this equation. The original comparison was for an Outback and a Jetta.

Secondly, I saved about $10 large buying my '03 Legacy Special Edition Sedan. It is loaded up fairly well and I enjoy driving it. Not sure about the original post about the sunroof. To my knowledge, Subaru has NEVER made a sunroof that only tilted. I think that was an aftermarket addition. MY roof in my car is a tilt/slide (although I have to use 2 buttons, the HORROR!).

Lastly, there is nothing a Jetta has that could overcome the AWD in the Outback. Maybe you need those 5 settings for the heated seats when you are stuck in the snow.

There. I've said my peace.

#16 rweddy

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:41 AM

Consumer Reports staff have had a bias against Audi/VW since the unintended accelleration debacle........

I was asked to compare the outback vs a jetta, there is no available Quattro
option in the US.

But let’s talk about Subaru vs Audi.
First you state that Consumer reports has a bias against Audi, but then say how the rate them as good as Japanese’s vehicles?? So which is it?

Are Audi awesome machines? I totally appreciate them, they are wonderfully complex great vehicles. Would I take one as a daily driver? Only if I had lots of cash to burn. I drive 100 plus miles a day and there is not way I would depend on a vehicle like a Audi to last to 200k unless I was a certified Audi mechanic or had one ridding shotgun in my car!!

I have owned Audi’s and have lots of friends who own them today, ranging from Allroads, A4/A6 even a buddy who has a very rare S6. They are incredible machines but even the top Audi purists will tell you they are maintenance nightmares. They all trade them well before the warranty is over or get extended service contracts. My friends 03 S4 has averaged $3700 for every 6k service since brand new, this goes without saying all the small annoying issues that pelage the entire product line. Not a day goes by that someone in my office is not saying how a door light is out, or a power seat quit working, etc. Yes Audi has some great wiz bang features but they are problematic in nature for sure.

The back seat of the jetta/a4 is one of the smallest on the market, and most anyone will tell you this. I am not huge person, 5foot9 165 and I can only ride in my friend’s S4 for very short rides.

I would love to take a comparison from a Subaru AWD vs. an Audi Quattro system test. When Porsche needed AWD technology for its line who did they go to? Another German manufactor? No they went to Subaru. This speaks volumes about Subaru AWD system. My outback will handle just as well as any Audi until you throw in acceleration, then I get smoked, just need to get a 05 XT!!

Terrible resale? Yes I consider a Audi that costs 45k new and 4 years later can be purchased for 19k to be terrible resale. This is the same for VW, compared to Subaru especially in mountain states like CO Subaru’s hold their value very well.

And yes Subaru’s are well built and simple design. They are cheap to fix also. Even with the 2.5 HG issues, that is a relatively inexpensive fix, $1000 range, compared to Audi were any standard service cost well over that.

You are also comparing your views from your 99 bottom on the line Subaru. A base legacy come with not much that is very true, but compare apples to apples Audi vs limited model and there are not that many creature comfort differences.

#17 envy_petter

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:53 AM

I would love to take a comparison from a Subaru AWD vs. an Audi Quattro system test. When Porsche needed AWD technology for its line who did they go to? Another German manufactor? No they went to Subaru. This speaks volumes about Subaru AWD system. My outback will handle just as well as any Audi until you throw in acceleration, then I get smoked, just need to get a 05 XT!!


Are you SURE about Porsche looking to Subaru??? Porsche, Audi, and VW are all owned by the same company. If you find documentation of that, I'd LOVE to see it. It would be very interesting and a huge blow to Audi.

#18 rweddy

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 09:48 AM

Are you SURE about Porsche looking to Subaru??? Porsche, Audi, and VW are all owned by the same company. If you find documentation of that, I'd LOVE to see it. It would be very interesting and a huge blow to Audi.

I was told this by a porsche fan in the office, he had an artile about the porsche 959 and subaru. I will see if I can get it when he come in.

#19 BlueTrain

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 12:11 PM

(Pulling out the dictionary) The quattro is smooth and quiet at high speeds, the suspension feels solid through potholes and rapid lane changes. The Legacy is rough, it skips and stutters over bumps, the suspension feels less supple. "Bad" weather for me means crossing thick slush to get in the unplowed fast lane at 60+mph, to get around slower cars. The quattro's suspension handles it better. At slow speeds the anti-spin in the A4, and locking rear differential and torsen center on the 200, will muscle me through deeper snow.


hmm just a thought, but maybe you shouldn't be getting into the unplowed lanes at 60+ mph anyways.. whats the hurry? the slower cars are going to get there in one piece. but if we're talking ability to do that, hell my Loyale in 2wd can do that with no problems. but just because i can, doesnt mean i will.

#20 friendly_jacek

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 09:48 AM

I see it this way:
Subaru's headgasket vs VW's engine oil sludge in turbo gas engines.
Well, I will take the headgasket...
On the other hand, TDI is solid, but a tad slow.

Edit to include the newest VW sludge rule:
http://www.autosafet...id=151&did=1085

#21 Scottbaru

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 06:15 PM

First you state that Consumer reports has a bias against Audi, but then say how the rate them as good as Japanese’s vehicles?? So which is it?

They do ok statistically, but usually get a paragraph in the "cars to avoid" section. Statistics are subject to many biases, and CU is biased (the court seemed to think so).

there is not way I would depend on a vehicle like a Audi to last to 200k unless I was a certified Audi mechanic or had one ridding shotgun in my car!!

I'm on my third quattro to go well past 200k with little trouble. I've been active on two quattro forums for nearly a decade, and I think quality went down a bit in the mid 90s, seems to have improved the last few years. That got me nervous about buying another several-year-old quattro, so I'm giving Subaru a try.

You are also comparing your views from your 99 bottom on the line Subaru. A base legacy come with not much that is very true, but compare apples to apples Audi vs limited model and there are not that many creature comfort differences.

I'm actually very happy with my spartan Subaru. I chose it carefully for my extensive highway use. The OB should be less winter roadworthy because it sits higher and has wider tires. Sunroofs usually bring a little wind noise and weight. Power locks, seats, mirrors, and windows aren't much use on a 3-hour drive.

hmm just a thought, but maybe you shouldn't be getting into the unplowed lanes at 60+ mph anyways.. whats the hurry? the slower cars are going to get there in one piece.

In my decades of winter driving I've often found the left lane to be smooth and hardpacked, while the right lane is rutted and loose. I've been sideways at over 100mph on unplowed snow, when conditions are right it's not unpleasant. I wouldn't try that on public roads, I'm a fairly cautious driver, but I can't really stay behind the slowest driver I encounter in a 200-mile drive.

#22 rweddy

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 07:03 PM

I was not trying to blindly bash Audi’s; I think they are great cars. They have some of the best technology and fit finish I have seen on vehicles. They are beautifully crafted and are put together superbly.

But are they are not inline with Subaru in quality control and reliability. And of course like you stated they are more technological based so there is more to break, and when it does their parts cost way more than Subaru to replace.

:drunk:

#23 Scottbaru

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:10 PM

they are more technological based so there is more to break, and when it does their parts cost way more than Subaru to replace.

The 200 is one of the more complex cars I've worked on, fortunately I've replaced few major parts in it's life. I just put in a Bosch rebuilt alternator from my local Audi independent shop, surprisingly inexpensive. That shop will do my timing belt and various seals for about what I expect I'd pay for the Subaru. Less if the Subaru needs new idlers. They'll also sell me the heated door lock I need for $20, I'm putting it off.

My Landcruisers have a reputation for infrequent but costly repairs, but there are two Toyota service managers on my forum, very helpful on parts prices.

The most important issue on my car maintenance costs has become the quality of the car forums. I can ask a question about airbag deployment on my Landcruiser site, and responses will detail all the sensors and modes of the airbag system, with yearly changes. When I replaced all the seals on my axles I got many responses, with detailed lists of parts, which ones were optional, what tools I have to have and are nice to have, torques, pictures of tricky procedures, etc. Same on the quattro forum, step-by-step instructions, where to find parts, what other cars used that part. These are big forums, with lots of professionals and hardcore enthusiasts who might tear open a spare gearbox to take pictures for you. I'm waiting to see on this forum, maybe people who own newer Subarus don't have as much experience fixing them, that'd be good.

#24 rweddy

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Posted 07 April 2005 - 10:05 AM

The 200 is one of the more complex cars I've worked on, fortunately I've replaced few major parts in it's life. I just put in a Bosch rebuilt alternator from my local Audi independent shop, surprisingly inexpensive. That shop will do my timing belt and various seals for about what I expect I'd pay for the Subaru. Less if the Subaru needs new idlers. They'll also sell me the heated door lock I need for $20, I'm putting it off.

My Landcruisers have a reputation for infrequent but costly repairs, but there are two Toyota service managers on my forum, very helpful on parts prices.

Have you fixed pesky little heater hose on your cruiser yet?
That was a giant pia, I loved my 97 but could not justify a 12mpg vehicle with my 100 mile commute!!

Do you know any good forums for Audi, my sister-in-law has one and was looking for a good site for info.

#25 rizzo

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 10:55 PM

let me get this straight... because of these little things you are unsatisfied with the car? any "real" problems with it.. motor problems? tranny problems?
i personally like a manual prop on the hood.. no hydraulic crap to go bad or not work in the extreme cold.. and "only" 2 heated seat settings? how many does a person need? hell who needs heated seats anyways...


i agree with most of what you have to say... however, heated seats are nice. i just got my 03 outback sport. no real options... my girlfriend has a 02 jetta. i think she's got a base model with the stereo upgrade. things i like about hers that mine lacks... the dashboard light colors (green is just boring now), heated seats (although, i never used hers that much in the winter), telescope steering wheel (not just tilt), one touch up and down for both front windows (as opposed to one touch down for jsut the driver's window), auto-lock at 5mph+ and unlock when you open the door from the inside, dome lights on when you pull the key out of the ignition, the VW/audi key, rear disc brakes.

i almost considered a jetta... until i read about their history of electrical problems...

things about mine i like better... front seats have larger sides to hold you in place better. AWD, AWD, AWD. headlights turn off when car is turned off (i'm not talking the daytime running lights either, her car just yells at you when you leave them on). my car also seems a bit bigger in the "cabin". her trunk is also a *************** to close (the hydraulics or springs or whatever it is are too tight).

i'm glad i picked this car though... i feel safer in it than i do in hers. it just feels like it was built better. i never knew such love for a car as i do now...




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