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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Subaru Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Subaru New Car Model GuideIn the lineup for 2005, Subaru remakes the mid-size Legacy sedan and Outback crossover wagon with a larger structure and pumped-up powertrains.

New trim variations go to the Forester SUV, while the compact Impreza series spins off turbo-charged WRX sports sedans and wagons inspired by Subaru's World Rally Championship (WRC) racecars.

All vehicles from Subaru carry an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that operates quite simply, as power from the engine moves directly through an electronically-controlled transfer case to whichever wheels support traction, with scant loss of energy or reduction in fuel efficiency in the process.

Subaru Outback
2005 Subaru Outback

Subaru developed the first crossover sport wagon with Outback, which works like a sporty high-hiked station wagon or dropped-down SUV. This five-door wagon uses the platform of the Legacy sedan but rides higher due to the elevated suspension. For 2005, the Outback grows up. Its structure expands to forge a larger vehicle with more room for riders. Mechanical hardware upgrades to create a responsive ride quality and there are high-tech electronic controls for steering and brakes.

The Outback has three choices for powertrains, each pumping more power. The base engine is a single-cam 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer producing 168 hp with a five-speed manual transmission. It fits in the Outback 2.5i and up-level 2.5i Limited. A turbo-charged boxer four-pack worth 250 hp goes to two souped-up Outbacks, the 2.5 XT and 2.5 XT Limited. Top trims -- the Outback 3.0 R L. L. Bean and flagship Outback 3.0 R VDC Limited -- tote Subaru's boxer six-cylinder unit that makes 250 hp through a five-speed SportShift automatic. With the VDC Limited, variable torque distribution (VTD) applies to the AWD system with a stability controller under Subaru's label of Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC).

Subaru Forester
2005 Subaru Forester

The chassis of a sporty coupe -- Subaru's Impreza -- underpins the agile Forester SUV. It was rebuilt in 2003 and earned optional turbo-charged power last year, with 2005 models showing four trims including a deluxe new 2.5 XS L. L. Bean edition. Entry issue Forester 2.5 X and upscale 2.5 XS plus new 2.5 XS L. L. Bean Edition carry Subaru's 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine that achieves 165 hp. The top model -- the Forester 2.5 XT -- wears a functional scoop on the hood and a turbo-charger and inter-cooler on the engine to push points out to 210 hp.

Different versions of Forester's full-time AWD system are used for manual and automatic transmissions. For the manual, a viscous-coupling device locks the center differential, while an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch works with the automatic. The electronically-operated four-speed automatic is optional for any Forester, while the five-speed manual is standard and includes Subaru's Hill Holder feature that blocks the wagon from rolling backward on a slope. The new XS L. L. Bean Edition shows a two-tone paint treatment, leather-trimmed cabin and self-leveling rear suspension. The Forester 2.5 XS has a monochromatic exterior and eight-spoke alloy wheels.


Subaru Baja
2005 Subaru Baja

This unusual Subaru crossover is part car, part truck and part SUV. It looks like both a car and truck -- the car up front and truck in back. Baja's front half comes from Outback and Legacy with a four-door cabin containing front buckets and a back bench. The truck bed crimps to 42 inches long, but it stretches to 75 inches with tailgate dropped and the cab's rear wall pass-through -- a 30-inch-wide portal dubbed the Switchback -- open. With the Switchback shut but Baja's bed extender in place at the tail, the bed reaches 60.5 inches. The Baja looks tough with a hiked suspension and the body layered in cladding, with optional rally lights and chrome bars lining the roof. The series expands to four models for 2005 with a well-equipped Baja, the Baja Sport, Baja Turbo and new Baja Turbo with Leather Package. The Baja and Sport draw from a four-cylinder boxer engine whipped to 165 hp with manual five-speed or optional four-speed automatic shifter. The Baja Turbo gets the 2.5-liter boxer four, where turbo-charging boosts output to 210 hp. It's easy to distinguish due to the scoop on the hood that marks a turbo-powered Subaru.

Subaru Legacy
2005 Subaru Legacy

The mid-size Legacy series in Subaru's 2005 line has been redesigned for a fourth generation of sedans and station wagons. Legacy's chassis is about an inch longer and the track is wider with revised chassis dynamics and new suspension settings to foster a smooth ride quality. Trims and powertrains are different too with a total of six models in the series now. Entry comes with the Legacy 2.5 i sedan and wagon, or plush 2.5 i Limited sedan and wagon. Each draws from a revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine with electronic throttle control (ETC) and 168 hp.

A step up in the series leads to the Legacy 2.5 GT sedan and the 2.5 GT Limited sedan and wagon, each packing a 2.5-liter four with turbo-charging and inter-cooling to drive output to 250 hp. All Legacy models use AWD equipment, but GT versions with the optional five-speed SportShift automatic transaxle have the VTD AWD system. All also contain more on-board safety systems this year, including side-impact air bags for front seats and curtain-style air bags in headliners above front and rear outboard seats.

Subaru Impreza
2005 Subaru Impreza

Subaru's compact cars ride on a chopped chassis from the Legacy series. Format variations include a four-door sedan and five-door wagon. This year the Impreza line promotes five different vehicles, with sedans cast as the 2.5 RS and new 2.5 RS Sport Package. A station wagon treatment goes as 2.5 RS Sport Wagon.

There are two variations for the Outback Sport, including a new Special Edition with a spoiler on the back gate and a leather-wrapped steering wheel in the cockpit plus premium audio gear with six-disc CD changer and a sub-woofer. The new Impreza 2.5 RS Sport Package sedan borrows cues from the racy WRX with body-color side ground effects, special performance bucket seats and a Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel. All Imprezas use a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine good for 165 hp with standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic now with new electronic controls.

Subaru WRX
2005 Subaru WRX

Subaru commemorates its trophy-collecting rally cars by producing sedan and wagon variations of the Impreza WRX, a small package with wide track and independent suspension plus turbo-charging of a horizontally-opposed engine tied to a close-ratio manual transmission and AWD traction. The WRX sedan and wagon use a 2.0-liter dual-cam boxer four with turbo-charger pumping 227 hp. The top version STi varies from WRX with equipment added to boost performance and handling.

Engine displacement increases to 2.5 liters and defines the most powerful four-pack in America, thanks to a turbo-charger and inter-cooler scoring awesome numbers to 300 hp.
All power channels through a close-ratio manual six-speed transmission developed by Prodrive. Subaru's driver control center differential (DCCD) enables the STi driver to manually manage torque directed to front and rear wheels for performance handling. Further, the STi uses a limited-slip differential in front and back for additional tire traction. All three WRX editions for 2005 gain aluminum lateral links on the rear suspension, with the STi rolling on 17-inch BBS alloys.