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Thinking about a new vehicle to replace or add to my current 96 Outback. I drove both a 2004 H6 Outback and 2003 Toyota Highlander yesterday. I liked both of these vehicles, but I'm just going to offer some quick impressions on the Outback:

 

The H6 engine is a bit smoother and quieter than my 2.5, and has a bit more ooommmpphh during acceleration, but not as much as I had anticipated. While the interior is still very much the same as my 96 OB in terms of room, seating/view position, etc., I applaud the redesign/layout of the climate controls, and placement of the cup holders and heated seat switches. The OB was solid and firm in it's ride and control, and it was quieter in road/wind noise than my 96 OB - though I'd like it to be even quieter. The overall quality build inside and out is good and consistant with my expectations. I am curious how the 2005's H6 performance will compare to the current power plant - I was told by the saleman that the 2005 will have variable valve timing and 245hp rating. I do wish Subaru would consider whatever options are necessary to up the towing limit of 2000lbs - I know it has a lot to do with the frame/body design, tranny, brakes, suspension, vehicle weight, etc. and it all adds to the final cost of the vehicle - but this is one factor on why I'm also considering vehicles like the Highlander.

 

One thing that made me laugh - what's up with the plastic cover under the engine? Seems like it would be a pain to have to remove/reinstall if you need to do maintenance work - and plastic certainly isn't my material of choice to act as a protector/brush guard....

Can anyone who currently owns a H6 Outback comment?

 

Paul

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Hi,

 

Well I don't own an 05 but I do work in the Automotive field. The cover is mainly there as dress up for the consumers who rarely look under the hood. It also tends to keep the more timid "garage techs" out of messing with the engine.

How ever I did get to test drive an 05 GT limited and found it to be much more than I expected. Fit, finish, power, and "MSRP" price.

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The plastic cover under the engine is probably for air flow management. The air that goes under a vehicle can have as much effect on drag as the air going over the top. As the outback has more ground clearance than an average car, It's more of an issue, and smoothing the flow near the front of the vehicle is probably the most beneficial location. If I wanted a car with power for aggressive style driving, I would look at the turbocharged models that were available. The H6 has similar power ratings, but I believe the goal was to provide a more effortless driving experience, As prices have gone up on these cars, most of the competition has 6 cylinder power and Subaru reacted by adding the H6. They have stated goals of taking the brand upmarket, and the horsepower of the newer models is a prerequisite to move in that direction.

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I drove one here in Oz and the power was impressive although it felt a little heavy in the front (compared to my liberty) and it didnt seem to want to stop too well i think it was just the extra weight, but the finish was good as usual and I'd have one. :D

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