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Buying used - any suggestions? Sleep friendly

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Hello all, i will be buying my first Outback as soon as i find one that i like. I was first set on getting a volvo xc70 or a passat wagon but when i compared them to the outback it was a no brainer to pick the outback.

I am looking to finance to build my credit, looking to spend under $15,000, preferablly around $10,000 - $12,000 and i can put about 1/2 down payment since my credit is bad.

My question is i can get a 2008-2011 used with about 50,000 miles for around $15,000-18,000 or i can get one with about 80,000 - 100,000 miles for a 2001-2005 for around $8000-12,000 and i'm wondering mainly, if i get the cheaper one, will i have more problems with maintenance?

I see that subarus are pretty reliable cars, i'm just wondering if i buy a used one with around $100,000 i could be dumping $1000-2000 in the near future.

Also the plan is to drive it for 2-3 years, build my credit and trade it in for a newer outback if i liked the one i get now. So is there a better year or model that will give me a better trade in value in a few years?

Main uses:

Driving in cold weather in DC
8000 miles city a year
4000-10000 miles highway a year
will be sleeping in back on road trips!!!! - Better model/year/trim for this?!?

Thanks for the time and i can't wait to get my new (used) outback!
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· Registered
Fresh Out of Outbacks!
14,519 Posts
Get one with the 3.0L or 3.6L H6 engine for reliability. It is a better engine than the 2.5 in nearly every way. It does burn slightly more gas than the 2.5, but it has much less chance of developing expensive head gasket problems.

Your budget can certainly accommodate such a model in good condition without too many miles.

Be aware that the Outback made its biggest change ever between 2009 and 2010. The newer ones are larger and lots of little things changed too. Try a 3rd gen (2005-2009) as well as a 4th gen (2010-current) car to compare. In a nutshell, the 2009 and earlier are more carlike, but also more cramped. The 2010-up has more room, but comes with that looser, slower SUV feel.

cars101 is an excellent resource for info about all Subarus, use it to your benefit.

· Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
1,765 Posts
I would suggest a 3rd gen ('05-'09) simply because it's usually easier to finance a newer car. I'd get approved for as much as you can and throw your down payment in a savings account. You can then pay extra on the payment or keep it for unknown problems. Generally speaking a $8k loan is going to be the same rate as a $15k loan, given the same collateral/credit/term. Just make sure there aren't any penalties for early payoffs.

I think you are in the right ball park as far as price and mileage. I think at 50k, you don't have any worries with either engine, 2.5 or 3.x.

· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! I believe my credit score is around 550 right now, so i'm sure if i actually do get approved for financing, my interest rate will be very high. I am going to guess it will be 10-20%. I am worried that if i get a used outback, for say around $15,000 and i only put down $5,000, i will be owing the bank anywhere from $1000 to $2500 in interest, which just seems so high to me. I wouldn't mind putting down $5000-10000 to avoid getting it in the rear end when it comes to the interest rate.

I don't know if i can afford a 2010 or newer one, but i think i would like the bigger feel to the vehicle. I am tall, 6'2 and plan on using the back to sleep in quite a bit. Thanks again for the replies, back to work i go!

· Registered
2018 3.6 Outback Limited, 2013 2.5 Legacy Premium
537 Posts
I would have cash in the bank and pay interest. You gotta pay to fix credit unfortunately.

As for the .models, I love the look of 3rd gen outbacks but I went with the 2011 because I am 6'4" and I like the car to be a bit bigger for everything. Ive slept in mine and with seats scooted up all the way you can sleep well in the back. Nothing wrong besides the gasket issues on 3rd gen and if there was chances are they have already been fixed by the previous owner.

My recommend comes to the 2010 and newer and then maybe you'll just get to keep it for a while instead of trading g in again later.
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