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It looks like this is the year to get rid of my 98 Outback, but I'm looking for opinions on whether to get another Outback or switch to a Legacy. What does the Outback offer for the additional $1000, other than the "heavy-duty raised suspension"?

 

BTW, if I get a Legacy, can I still keep my 2Outbacks name?

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The outback is IMO a marketing gimmick. There are some differences mechanically. They have raised ground clearance and stuff. If you want handling....I'd say go for the legacy. If you find yourself offroad or like that type of vehicle....get the outback.

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We love our legacies...and prefer them over outbacks. However, if they don't do a lot of snow plowing in your area, then an outback may make sense for ground clearance if and when it snows a lot. Also, some older retirees who have trouble getting in and out of vehicles (like my parents because of knee and hip arthritis) prefer the higher ride height in outbacks and/or minivans because they don't have to bend down or climb up (like into an SUV) when getting in and out.

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The good news about the 05 outback is that even with that added ground clearance, it still handles VERY well, far better than previous models.

 

 

But, considering the price of the 05's, i'd go with a Legacy. Definatly get the turbo in either model.

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When I bought the 98, it had two advantages over the GT wagon I was comparing it to - extra headroom and seat heaters. Since the new Limited models have the bunwarmers and enough headroom (even with the sunroof), I'm leaning toward the Legacy. Not sure about the turbo though....I'll have to drive them both and see if I need it for my midlife crisis car.

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The OBWs usually also have some additional bells and whistles that may or may not be nice. Since I live in Wyoming, the extra ground clearance is enough by itself.

 

Does the regular Legacy have the Weather Band Radio? I always thought that was very cool, although not worth $1000 by itself, obviously. Heated seats are nice, but I could never tell if the heated mirrors or wipers actually did anything.

 

The other difference might be the LSD. I know the OBW has it, not sure about the Legacy, although I'm sure the Turbo comes with LSD.

 

From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I think the new OBW is gorgeous, as was the '96-'99 "bubbletop" model. Obviously, tastes on those matters are purely personal.

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