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Best year 2nd Gen to buy?

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I am looking at second gen outback 2.5L models, 5 speed. Is there a year that is considered to be the "best". I'm coming from fords so I am used to later years in a production run getting cheapened out, what was one a light on a door to illuminate entry becomes a reflector, that sort of thing.
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Usually the later ones in each generation are the best
 
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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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with any 15 year-old car, it's maintenance and repair history and its present condition are VASTLY more important than the model or even the BRAND.

shop carefully and don't worry too much about which year. Consider paying a soob-friendly shop to do a pre-purchase inspection. Indeed, finding a mechanic NOW might even get you a lead to a customer that is thinking of selling their 2nd gen car.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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definitely maintenance most important. how it was used how it looks and drives. then what you need from it what configuration, climate control or no climate , heated seats or no , leather or no . just things that for me as important as just car
 

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I like tacos.
 

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I think 2017 is a great model year to buy. 2015 being a no in my book. I wouldn't be jumping into the 2018 year one either. A 2016 wouldn't be bad but I still think 2017 would be the most optimal.
Too bad the OP is specifically looking at the model years 2000-2004. (Gen2) But I suppose your "new math" still may apply...we just need to bust out the slide rule and knock some years off your "likes".

BTW I like taco too, besides. It is Tuesday ya know. Everyone head to @eagleeye 's place.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Too bad the OP is specifically looking at the model years 2000-2004. (Gen2) But I suppose your "new math" still may apply...we just need to bust out the slide rule and knock some years off your "likes".

BTW I like taco too, besides. It is Tuesday ya know. Everyone head to @eagleeye 's place.
you can be the key master....and deal with jeremy piven types.

 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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I've got an 02 and an 03. Differences are minimal outside of the different powerplants under the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've got an 02 and an 03. Differences are minimal outside of the different powerplants under the hood.

For those searching later. If you get an 00/01 5 speed you will get a EJ252 instead of a 251, double check sensors and the timing kit when you buy one, slightly different setup. Also base models will have an external A pillar antenna.
 
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