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Legacy GT Ltd vs. Outback 2.5XT


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Hi All,

New to the forums, have been reading for a few days gleaning information. You all seem very knowledgeable, so I wanted another point of view on this comparison.

My husband wants an '05 or '06 Legacy GT Ltd Wagon. We live in Northern California, and there is not a huge surplus of these (as most of the dealers don't really order many, since they are not big sellers here).

However, there are a ton of Outbacks around, meaning there is probably more room to negotiate.

I did a comparison of the Outback 2.5XT Ltd vs. the Legacy GT Ltd, and there don't seem to be many differences other than the greater clearance on the Outback (which I personally think would be a good thing for the snow), and the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) which is standard on the LGT, and an additional option on the XT.

I know this is a Legacy GT forum, so you all are going to be biased towards the LGT, but I was curious if there are any other factors to be considered between the two, or if my assessment seems fair?

Thanks for your help!

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Do you ever go camping...in the mountains...fishing, hunting...haul heavier things ? Or maybe you live in an area where snow plows come after the snow has melted ? Then get the Outback.

 

I really cannot help with the VTD issue...that must be something people with automatiks should talk about. I am a manual tranny boy. Otherwise...the cars are pretty much the same.

 

Great to see that the Lady has the initiative to join the forum and not the husband. I guess I know who wears the pants. Welcome to LGT !

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stock for stock, the handling on the LegGT will be better than the Outback, as it has lower centre of gravity, lower sidewall tires, bigger anti-sway bars(?).

 

Now, a lot of people will chime in and say that all this can be changed on an OB and it will then perform 'as good as' a Legacy, but if you don't want to modify the car, it's something to consider.

 

Obviously the OB is designed for more rugged, utilitarian travel, and the Legacy is much more for on-road conditions.

 

I am torn as I love my car to handle as well as it can and sweep through corners with confidence, but thinking back, and seeing some really sweet looking OB's on this board, i might have gone the OB route, and just put on better tires and a bigger rear anti-sway bar.

 

-Blasting around off road on my In-Law's farm would be a lot less stressful! For what it's worth, they own two Outbacks. A 2004 3.0 H6 (super nice car!) and an '05.

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As a current Legacy GT owner that is really a closet Outback fan, I'd recommend sitting down and thinking long and hard about your past, present and future driving habits. When I was shopping for a new car I spelled out exactly what I wanted in a car, the type of driving I normally do, location, etc. I knew I wanted a sporty-car but also knew I needed space to haul all my crap. I also knew I wanted a manual-tranny and wanted to spend around $20k-25k. The Legacy seemed like the perfect car for me at the time and I still feel as if I made a great choice and want to stress you can't go wrong with the Legacy.

 

However, What I failed to take into consideration was my interest in the outdoors and how I'd find myself driving in environments the Legacy wasn't really made to handle (due to it's large wheels, low profile tires, somewhat low ground clearance). I had also forgotten just how bad the potholes are here in the states and how much those low profile tires dislike road inperfections.

 

If I could do it all over again I probably would have went with the Outback XT strictly on the basis of my interest in the outdoors. But, I don't think you need to be into the outdoors to appreciate the Outback's added ground clearance/smaller wheels. For example, I've scraped the front bumper on my Legacy quite a few times due to some poorly designed street curbs since it sits so low and I've bent a wheel/popped a tire after hitting a deep pothole. Might not have happened with the Outback.

 

One downside to the OutbackXT is the price vs the LegacyGT. You certainly pay a premium for that added ground clearance and it wasn't something I could afford at the time. If price is no issue, more power to you.

 

I think you'll be happy with which ever car you choose and I can't say enough good things about the LegacyGT. It's still very enjoyable to drive, I get compliments on it every once in a while and love the convenience of a wagon. Just be sure and get a manual...you'll be glad you did :)

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As a current Legacy GT owner that is really a closet Outback fan, I'd recommend sitting down and thinking long and hard about your past, present and future driving habits. When I was shopping for a new car I spelled out exactly what I wanted in a car, the type of driving I normally do, location, etc. I knew I wanted a sporty-car but also knew I needed space to haul all my crap. I also knew I wanted a manual-tranny and wanted to spend around $20k-25k. The Legacy seemed like the perfect car for me at the time and I still feel as if I made a great choice and want to stress you can't go wrong with the Legacy.

 

However, What I failed to take into consideration was my interest in the outdoors and how I'd find myself driving in environments the Legacy wasn't really made to handle (due to it's large wheels, low profile tires, somewhat low ground clearance). I had also forgotten just how bad the potholes are here in the states and how much those low profile tires dislike road inperfections.

 

If I could do it all over again I probably would have went with the Outback XT strictly on the basis of my interest in the outdoors. But, I don't think you need to be into the outdoors to appreciate the Outback's added ground clearance/smaller wheels. For example, I've scraped the front bumper on my Legacy quite a few times due to some poorly designed street curbs since it sits so low and I've bent a wheel/popped a tire after hitting a deep pothole. Might not have happened with the Outback.

 

One downside to the OutbackXT is the price vs the LegacyGT. You certainly pay a premium for that added ground clearance and it wasn't something I could afford at the time. If price is no issue, more power to you.

 

I think you'll be happy with which ever car you choose and I can't say enough good things about the LegacyGT. It's still very enjoyable to drive, I get compliments on it every once in a while and love the convenience of a wagon. Just be sure and get a manual...you'll be glad you did :)

 

+1, very nicely said. But for the tires issue, just get better tires. But do youself a favor get try to get a full size spare. You can find great deals here and ebay for that. And you know the manual is not even an issue with the 06 wagon models. But welcome to the forum.

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Thanks for all the feedback. It seems like what you guys are saying rings pretty true with what I was already thinking.

 

My husband wants a manual, and I want a car with good ground clearance since we go to the snow, and camping a lot. However, he is in love with the LGT, so I think I just need to get him to test drive them one in a row. Then, I just have to find one that I want for the price that I want. :)

 

Strike that, find one that my husband wants for the price that I want.

 

Thanks again guys!

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They are the same car. The only real difference is ground clearance and the front bumper/fender flares. In a straight line they are as fast as the other, tho the LGT has better handling (center of gravity, etc).

 

Either way get a manual. Turbo + Auto = tons of lag. Not fun. The LGT/OXT clutch catches quickly and is very easy to drive (if you are not familiar with manual transmissions).

 

Here is my Father's Outback 2.5XT 5speed...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v378/D0WNxSH1ft/Misc/outback.jpg

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I have owned two Legacys, the first was a 2001 GT and the second was a 2004 Legacy Special Edition (which was almost exactly like the 2001 GT). Between the two I drove them about 150,000 miles. I sold the 2004 anticipating selling my 1991 Chevy 4x4 pickup and getting a Honda Ridgeline. After using the pickup as a daily driver, I've decided I don't want to be driving up in the air and I started looking at other vehicles. After looking at the VW Passat (way too expensive), Audis, Acura RDX and Mazda CX-7, I'm back at a Subaru Legacy GT. I want the 2007 for the new features (SI drive, ipod aux stereo input, colors). After owning two and going on three Legacys, all you really get for about $2,000 additional cost for an Outback is: 1" higher ground clearance, a rougher ride, poor handling and extra plastic panels on the doors and bumper. The Legacy is a much smoother vehicle, very precise handling and a more solid feeling vehicle. I live in Truckee, CA and work in Reno. We measure snowfall in FEET not inches at our house. I can have three feet of new or packed snow at the house, ice on the highway, slop on the Interstate, water in Nevada and dry roads in Reno (all in one drive to work). I have never run studs but do use snow tires. I have driven through 2+ feet of unplowed snow in the Legacy and I don't think the extra inch would do much good in an Outback. I have driven off-road in sand and light rocks in my first Legacy. The 1" of clearance would help only in rocky conditions (and not really much). I have seen an old 90's Legacy driving up Ophir Pass in Southwest Colorado as we drove down it in our Jeep Grand Cherokee, the road was very rough (rocky) and quite steep, it really is something you would want a full on 4x4 with low range to drive. The girl and her dog seem to be having a nice time driving her Legacy wagon on that road.
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If your husband insists on a manual, that limits you to 05 LGT wagons since there is no manual avalible on the '06. You can still get a manual with the 06 XT, however.
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I live up here in the Puget Sound area and settled on being the proud owner of a 05 LGT Wagon. I decided on the LGT because 90% of my driving is on clean paved roads and thought that 10% of my snow/dirt driving was not worth the loss of performance in the Outback.

 

That being said, I have been researching going with a +1 tire size as a way to "quesi-morph" the LGT closer to an Outback for handling the snow and dirt roads as I am playing in the mountains most weekends. My theory is that it will gain me a little bit more rim protection.

 

Anyone else out there done something similiar? I've read the tire sizing threads and such, but just wondering if anyone else has gone with bigger tires for rim protection and if so, how big? The preverbial question of AS Tire recommendations?

 

Cheers,

Mike

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I find myself in the same situation as the new member, but only because I can't find a '05 LTD GT Wagon in 5MT. I'm told again and again that the only difference is the suspension and clearance. Is the Outback any "smoother" a ride? Also, can all the engine mods available to the 2.5 GT legacy be done on the outback 2.5 XT?
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You can't go much larger in tire diameter on either the Legacy or Outback, there's very limited clearance from the spring perch.

 

The Outback is a lot softer than the Legacy, the powertrains are pretty much identical - the Outback has a different final drive ratio to compensate for it's larger diameter tires.

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Hi Kaffwynn,

 

Have you read this thread on the Outback page?

http://legacygt.com/forums/subaru-outback/34964-after-owning-outback-would.html

 

If you want to manual you only get an OBXT; as it has been said before.

 

We wanted an LGT, but they were all sold in black/black, manual wagon, so we went with an OBXT and now love it. A change of tires (mandatory on either LGT or OBXT) and add an inexpensive swaybar and you are going to be happy.

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UPDATE:

We decided on the Legacy GT, Ltd Wagon. My husband's argument was that we only go to Tahoe 6-7 weekends a year, and that we really wouldn't be taking it seriously off road. That being said, he would rather have the better ride quality for the rest of the time, as it will be his daily driver.

So far we love the car. We got it black on black, which I think makes the wagon look pretty sleek. We ended up buying it from Carlson Subaru in Redwood City, and had a very pleasant experience. Probably the best car buying experience I have had. Already had my internet quote before I walked in the door, and had the whole thing wrapped up in an hour and a half.

Thanks again for everyone that gave input on LTT vs OBXT!

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6-7 weekends is quite a bit. when i bought my subaru last year they gave me 2 season passes to Kirkwood. see if that offer is out there. where do you snowboard at? oh congrats!

 

carlson is a great place. service dept is top notch. the best part about carlson is they have a starbucks coffee grinder.

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Sframs: That's interesting about the Kirkwood passes, as we were considering the combined SugarWood pass this year. Although, I think it is probably too late to cash in on that kind of deal, being that I already purchased. :)

 

The past few years we've been getting passes at Flatstar (Northstar) since our friend's cabin is in Truckee and it's the most convenient. I think this year, we might just not get passes and leave it open (since we'll have more ability for day trips with the new car, and don't have to go where the cabin is).

 

I can't wait for our first big dump, and not having to deal with chains. Yay!

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Congratulations on that new LGT!! I'm starting to get antsy to get mine. I plan on an '07 - looking forward to the SI-Drive, the AUX audio input. Probably going to order the Diamond Gray Metallic, I saw an Outback in that color and I WANTED it. I later found out they will be putting that color on the 07 LGT's so that should do it. Since you come up to the Tahoe Area 6 or 7 weekends, you may want to consider shoeing you LGT with Dunlop Wintersport M3's. I've had them on my two Legacys for the four years I've lived in Truckee and the combo is much better than all season tires. No slip, all grip, right through 2 feet of snow, corners great on snow pack and ice.
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Congrats indeed. I've had my '05 GT wagon for just over 3 years now and I'm still loving it. Take it up to the mountains here in the PNW a few times a winter for skiing and it does just fine. I'm sure it will give you many happy miles!

 

Cheers!

-Ian

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am also in Northern California (SF Bay Area) and am trying to decide between the LGT and the OBXT for 2007. I know there are several other discussion threads on essentially the same topic. Here's my thinking so far:

 

My "must-haves" are 5EAT/auto and wagon, so that narrows down the choices quite a bit (thanks SOA! :-P ).

 

In favor of the LGT:

I prefer the styling of the LGT and the generally better handling (lower center of gravity, low profile tires, bigger brakes, etc.). It may also be the contrarian in me, but I also like the fact the LGTs are fairly rare, especially around here. In my mind, the LGT is just a little sleeker and a little cooler than the more mass-market OB. I associate the Outback with just a touch of "cheesiness" (due in no small part to those Paul Hogan commercials). The LGT is, of course, about $1k cheaper, though that's not a deal-breaker.

 

In favor of the OBXT:

Higher ground clearance (mainly for speed bumps, driveways, etc., since I don't plan on any off-roading), factory-tinted windows (to help keep the kids in the back cooler; in my mind factory tint looks better than aftermarket, and I'm not interested in tints that go beyond the legal limits), VDC available in the wagon, champagne exterior paint.

 

95% of my driving will probably be on dry pavement. I only plan on 4-6 trips up to Tahoe during ski season, but even then I won't really be venturing off-road. If only Subaru made VDC available for the LGT wagon. I know many people don't like it, but I believe it is a worthwhile safety feature.

 

Or should I wait for 2008 or beyond and let SOA make the decision for me? Are they seriously going to stop making Legacys? Should I buy one just to do my part in keeping the Legacy nameplate alive and hopefully convince Subaru to continue producing them? Any word on if/when a hybrid powertrain will be available in a Legacy/Outback wagon? I'd buy that in a heartbeat.

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Kaffwyn

 

it's the best driving thru snow with no chains. the drive up to tahoe is smooth. good luck with the upcoming snow season. getting back in shape as we speak.

 

it couldn't hurt to ask if the dealership has season passes. i asked after the fact and they gave me two season passes.

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