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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. So my 06 beater Prius with 311k miles had the cat stolen 馃槨 so I鈥檓 looking for a second car. I need awd (soft off-road for national park road trips), decent fuel economy, good reliability. Current car is a long range Tesla model 3 so I need something different. I also need it for 2-3x a week commute 90 miles to work round trip. Budget is 10k and I found a few examples on autotrader fitting my criteria. Finally I will let my parent drive this car so they can take road trips where their old car can鈥檛 reach.

Right now, 2015 outback catches my eye with higher mileage, 140k, since it has pretty good fuel economy, good height clearance, and big space. It鈥檚 also different from my main car. But I鈥檓 concerned about head gasket issues. I鈥檓 comfortable with oil change, spark plugs changes, shocks and brakes DIY . Is the leaky head gasket something I should be concerned about? It鈥檚 not something I would want to tackle since its requires more skill plus time than what I can work do. I鈥檓 looking for those with 2015 with higher mileages so owners with high mileage chime in.

My other awd choices seem to have questionable reputation, such as Jeep Renegade Trail hawk, Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Again we do lots of road trips and I always get bummed out I can鈥檛 go to certain areas cause of my cars low ride height and lack of awd or 4x4.

My last option is a Nissan Xterra which doesn鈥檛 scare me with its reliability but the gas mileage is horrible. It鈥檒l be hard to pay so much for gas.
 

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2017 Outback Touring
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You should be happy with that '15 OB, even with the high mileage. $10k budget ain't much in today's market for what yer asking of a vehicle.

A head gasket isn't the end of the world for these vehicles, but if the oil looks clean, no chocolate milk appearance, no foam on the filler cap, and there isn't a noticeable miss in the engine, you'll probably be fine. Keep it from overheating. There ARE test kits for head gasket symptoms, BTW. You might invest in one.

The forum will become your friend for all the DIY stuff you take on. From what you say you can do as DIY, you'll probably become a huge fan of these vehicles. Quite easy to maintain these pieces.
Enjoy!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh really, that鈥檚 a great tip the head gasket test kit!
Also any car I have in usually join forums and participate in the community.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Is the leaky head gasket something I should be concerned about?
Short answer: No. Head gaskets are a non-issue for the current generation 4-cylinder engine (FB25), which has been used in the Outback since MY 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow this is great info! Really appreciate it. I think I鈥檓 leaning towards Subaru given the better reputation than the Jeep. Plus better gas mileage for work commute is way better.
I鈥檓 assuming the 2015 forester is the same, 4 cylinder engines don鈥檛 have the issue?
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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MY 2011-2018 Foresters use the same FB25 engine as the Outbacks.
 

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I'd skip the xterra, I went from a Nissan Frontier to an outback and while I knew the Frontier's gas mileage was bad when I got it, it still frustrated me every time I had to fill up. The frontier was the first (and will be the only) vehicle I owned that got poor fuel economy. Never again, MPG matters to me.
 

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2017 Outback, 2.5L, Auto; 2018 Forester, 2.5L, Auto (for Mama); 2005 Baja, 2.5 Turbo, Manual
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What ammcinnis said. the head gasket issues were from an earlier model engine, not an issue with the FB series.
 
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