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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy a Subaru Outback for the first time. I am considering both new and used, and have several options. They all sound good, so I am having a real hard time choosing.

1) 2001 2.5, 140k miles, excellent condition inside and out, power accessories, 4-5k
2) 2009 2.5, 52k miles, excellent condition inside and out, power accessories, 19k
3) 2012 2.5 Premium, 10k miles, 25k
3) 2013 2.5 Premium, new, 26k

I would need financing for options 2-4, not for option 1. I plan to do some mild dirt road driving in the Nevada desert, though nothing hardcore.

Thanks for any insight,
U932
 

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140K is up for some expensive old car stuff being replaced.

If your solo - no kids or no need for hauling people in the back seat - scratch the 12 and 13 off the list. That leaves the 09 as the best option for someone doing solo or two person trips where back seat room isn't important.

The Gen4 the newest model came out in 2010. You can get a brand new one for around 25-26K. The interior seating space is superior to the older 09 and prior generation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, for the reply. I am indeed solo, so rear seating room is not that important, however, I've just been reading that the 3rd gen and older outbacks are known to have head gasket problems. Havign previously owned a car with HG problems, I would really want to avoid that. Also, is 19k for a car with 50k miles a fair price do you think? It's only 6k less than a brand new one.
 

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Thanks, for the reply. I am indeed solo, so rear seating room is not that important, however, I've just been reading that the 3rd gen and older outbacks are known to have head gasket problems. Havign previously owned a car with HG problems, I would really want to avoid that. Also, is 19k for a car with 50k miles a fair price do you think? It's only 6k less than a brand new one.
2000 through 2002 2.5's had a external HG leak - when properly replaced by skilled techs posed no more issues. After that the HG failure is no different than any other Brand it happens however the subaru engine by design is exceptionally strong and also very simple to work on. My Toyota HG failures all three were $8000 each time - full tear down new heads each time. With Subaru engines its a $1500 job and the heads never have issues given their crazy strong compact design.

One of the most common issues with blown HG's not counting flawed gaskets or assembly is simply poor oil change intervals and running the car exceptionally hard ignoring hot temp indicators etc. Take care of the car - pay attention to running temps on hot days under hard use and HG failure is pretty rare.

09 with 50K in very clean condition and proper maint history - run a carfax and have your local subaru dealer look up its service history with subaru via vin number. Yes they can do that - $19K is not a bad price.

If carfax shows it as a former rental - keep looking! Lots of 09's went into rental fleets and many dealers have gone out of their way to find them and put them on their used car lots - because they get them for cheap and sell them to subaru buyers who never think of a Subaru being a rental car.
 

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$19k is a little high for the '09, but it's not a bad starting point for negotiations. Is this from a Subie Dealer, Used Car Dealership or private seller?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The '09 is from CarMax, and apparently their prices are fixed - they won't negotiate with me.
 

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The '09 is from CarMax, and apparently their prices are fixed - they won't negotiate with me.
Tip I bought two used cars this past summer and sold one.

NEVER BUY USED FROM A DEALER OR "CARMAX!!!!!"

Single owner - all records - and you interview the owner you get a very good idea just what sort of life and history the vehicle has had. Dealers have zero idea and ask top price.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Back in '99 I bought a '98 dodge stratus with 10k miles from a dealer, paid a reasonable price (12.5k), and kept it for another 13 years. Maybe I lucked out, but it didn't seem like a bad purchase in retrospect. I saw the carfax for the '01 outback, and it was single owner, nothing funny on it either. Haven't seen that carfax for the '09, but I will ask.
 

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Carmax has the highest asking prices and will not negotiate. The only place in the world a business like that can work is in the US where people don't negotiate and rarely ever actually do their home work on what the real value of an item might be.

I wouldn't touch Carmax with a ten foot pole. Subaru built over 100,000 09's - the one Carmax has isn't the only one being sold.
 

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I'd avoid the Carmax option. Their prices are fixed or at least I've never heard of anybody getting a deal there. If you can find an 09 at a dealership it will be marked up pretty high but you can usually talk them down quite a bit.

I'd say if you're going to finance an can swing it, your best bet is to get a brand new one. Pick your color and enjoy yourself.
 

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Local credit Union's pending your credit rating are giving out pretty cheap used car loans. I got my dad a 4% loan for 20K this summer. Took us 2 months to find a super clean G35X with rosewood dash kit. Ended up buying from a small specialty shop which has 5-7 high end cars on their lot all clearly hand picked given all of them had no more than 60,000 miles - all had brand new tires put on by the shop - high end quality tires - all had new brake pads and all the cars were prior single owner with 100% full dealer maint history. We negotiated the price down $1000 which was good given they only had it marked up about $500 over comparable privately sold cars. For comparisons we looked at 4 dealer cars - all were in much worse shape - with very poor maint history and in most cases multiple owners etc. 2008 40K top of the line rose wood trim kit G35X single owner $22800! Fantastic car! Dad has racked up 15,000 miles on it!!! Loves it!!! Zero issues. Also not a car to get if you want to retain your zero speeding ticket record. Dad just got nailed for doing 55 in a 45 country road while passing a tractor. He's going to fight it.
 

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Just looked at an 09 with 94,000 miles for $15,000. It was at a used car lot here in town, they said they just did the HG.
 

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My own purchase was a 2007 Toyota Sequoia limited fully loaded 64,000 miles - single owner all records. Wife drove it into the back of a honda mini van - 13 pages of Toyota dealership replaced front parts, radiator,s - Lines - bumper - bumper brackets hood latch -etc. Full 100% dealer oilchange history. Super clean nice truck $22K. Dealers were listing the same truck slightly more mileage for 28K and they seemed to be leaving the lots at around 25K. Again no former history on the vehicles from the dealers.

The car I sold was a super mint condition all records low mileage Land Cruiser. Had a guy fly in from three states away after emailing all details and answers to him. Flew in picked him up at the airport. Drove it over the hill to the house paid me cash and drove it 14hrs home. Emailed me two days later saying the drive was great fantastic truck thank you etc.

Private sellers often have a good reason to sell them selves. Their vehicle has been well cared for and is worth the price and effort to sell it them selves.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, looks like CarMax is out. The '01 is from a Honda dealer, which also makes me skeptical. Thinking I will go with the new, the question is, where to get the best financing. I could get financing from the dealer but am a little hesitant.
 

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Just looked at an 09 with 94,000 miles for $15,000. It was at a used car lot here in town, they said they just did the HG.
Again - who did the HG and which gasket was used? Other wise talk is cheap and worth nothing regarding the value. Not to mention an 09 with HG issues I would highly doubt they did the HG - and if they did I would keep looking.
 

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There are some other things that make this car seem not ideal, but it was worth stopping and looking into. This used car lot has a good reputation. Do you know what was offered back in 09 as far as base, premium and limited goes? This car has the HK sound, some kind of sport shift gear as an automatic, heating elements under the wipers and aftermarket deeply tinted window film all around (illegal) but cloth seats. Is it a base model?
 

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There are some other things that make this car seem not ideal, but it was worth stopping and looking into. This used car lot has a good reputation. Do you know what was offered back in 09 as far as base, premium and limited goes? This car has the HK sound, some kind of sport shift gear as an automatic, heating elements under the wipers and aftermarket deeply tinted window film all around (illegal) but cloth seats. Is it a base model?
Edmunds.com will list the models and packages available then. A car with all the limited options with cloth seats would either be an odd ball custom order type car or raise some questions as to where the leather seats went and why? A mid level model has cloth and might have any number of higher end options on it.
 

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NEVER BUY USED FROM A DEALER OR "CARMAX!!!!!"
Absolutes seldom are.

I've never dealt with Carmax but I bought my 07 from a dealer. The car had one owner (who bought it from that same dealer) and the dealer provided a print out showing it had been meticulously maintained. It took some talking but I got a very fair price. The customer, faced with the coming 105K maintenance hit and failing clutch, chose to trade it in rather than fix it. The dealer did all the maintenance and put it up for sale.

The result was a reliable car, in very good condition, up to date maintenance all for as good as any private party sale I could find in the area.
 

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I tried Edmunds but the drop down for model only has legacy sedan as a choice for used. It is an odd ball car for sure. Just figured it out on cars.com, it is a special edition. Searched here and found a few owners. Frankly I am not as frightened of the HG issue as I am of the gas pedal assembly and the ghostwalking. Nobody ever died from a blown headgasket.

Maybe I can get mine fixed. Still looking for a Subaru specialist closer than Walnut Creek. If I don't find one I will have to head there.
 

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Absolutes seldom are.

I've never dealt with Carmax but I bought my 07 from a dealer. The car had one owner (who bought it from that same dealer) and the dealer provided a print out showing it had been meticulously maintained. It took some talking but I got a very fair price. The customer, faced with the coming 105K maintenance hit and failing clutch, chose to trade it in rather than fix it. The dealer did all the maintenance and put it up for sale.

The result was a reliable car, in very good condition, up to date maintenance all for as good as any private party sale I could find in the area.

07 was a very different used car market than late 2009 to current times. Today Used car prices on average have gone up about 20% in major markets the prediction was 30% in three years by the auto industry all due to the lack of used car inventory.

In 07 big dealers in many cases didn't even bother with used cars simply sent them to the auction. Today the really big dealers in many cases have moved all their new cars to the side lot and put their used cars in the front lot. Given they make considerably more money on the used cars.

The two Toyota dealers near me not kidding have over 100 used cars sitting on the back lot ready to be detailed and rolled forward. In 07 they sent used cars to auction every week, didn't even bother with em.
 
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