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Discussion Starter #1
[Hey Guys! Question for you all…
Which generation Outback is the most reliable?
I’ve been doing a lot of research and things are starting tomerge.
Overall, I like the look of the Gen 3s but it seems as ifthe Gen 1s (specially 97-99 ones) are more reliable than any other Outback. Iwill say that I’m not interested in a Gen 5 because it’s outside of my budget.
They all seem to have the HG issues.
What’s the deal with EJ22 and EJ25 engines? Did they putthem in the Outbacks?
Also, due to my budget I’d like to find a higher mileageone(over 125,000 miles), so if you know someone…let me know. [/FONT]
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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in a new thread, ask for a Subaru-familiar shop recommendation near you.

2 reasons; you may want to pay a soob-friendly mechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection, might cost $100 but, could save you $3000 .

Plus, they might have a customer that has a car for sale.

any used car is risky and the brand/model means less than its prior history and present condition.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
Hey Guys! Question for you all…
Which generation Outback is the most reliable?
I’ve been doing a lot of research and things are starting tomerge.
Overall, I like the look of the Gen 3s but it seems as ifthe Gen 1s (specially 97-99 ones) are more reliable than any other Outback. Iwill say that I’m not interested in a Gen 5 because it’s outside of my budget.
They all seem to have the HG issues.
What’s the deal with EJ22 and EJ25 engines? Did they putthem in the Outbacks?
Also, due to my budget I’d like to find a higher mileageone(over 125,000 miles), so if you know someone…let me know.

If your research says a Gen 1 is the most reliable...find new research. The 2.5 DOHC in the 1996-99 Outback is one of the least reliable engines Subaru has put in an Outback.

What is your actual location and budget? Every era/engine/transmission has their weak points and part of life is knowing what you are getting into.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I'd love to have a gen 3 H6 with the 5EAT I think.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
I'd love to have a gen 3 H6 with the 5EAT I think.
I think that is the ideal wagon myself.

I don't like the 4th gen CUV feel, but you can still get a H6 with the 5 speed auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If your research says a Gen 1 is the most reliable...find new research. The 2.5 DOHC in the 1996-99 Outback is one of the least reliable engines Subaru has put in an Outback.

What is your actual location and budget? Every era/engine/transmission has their weak points and part of life is knowing what you are getting into.
I'm in Baltimore MD area and my budget is around $6,000.

I'd love to have a gen 3 H6 with the 5EAT I think.
What's a H6?
 

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I'm in Baltimore MD area and my budget is around $6,000.



What's a H6?
Inline engine = I

V shaped engine = V

horizontally opposed engine = H. (like a subaru or a porsche)

H6 = 6 cylinder subaru or porsche.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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These are all old cars. The best one to get is going to have much more to do with the actual car you find than which family or generation it belonged to out of the manufacturer's catalog.

The old 2.2L EJ22 was a fantastic engine. I think it last appeared in the Outback at the very beginning, 1996. The early 2.5, the EJ25D DOHC was terrible. The later (2000-up) SOHC was better.
 

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what do you want out of this car?

problem with a EJ22 ...pokey for modern highways in something about 3500lbs.. (although great otherwise)
 

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2019 Outback Premium 2.5 and 2016 Forester 2.5 Premium
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I had a 97 Gen 1 Outback for 10 years and 168K miles. Replaced a front half axle and a leaky heater core besides normal maintenance. I consider myself lucky, there were a lot of HG problems with that engine.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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IF you can find a 1996 Outback with the 2.2, I'd buy it. That chassis/generation shared many, many parts with the earlier generation, the Impreza, and Forester.

The EJ25D was a good motor, once you had the head gaskets replaced. And you didn't overheat it. At this age, good luck finding one that hadn't been overheated at least once at this point.

The gen 2 seem to be in the sweet spot for simplicity, equipment, and price. Parts are still pretty interchangeable between the models, don't require specialists to diagnose issues, and can be had cheap (the most pristine examples shouldn't break the $6k mark, regardless of where you live. I'm looking at you, PNW. Stop it.).

Gen 3 is a massive leap forward in interior design. They are coming down in price, even for nice examples, but you are also going to find the units that haven't been loved and the die-hard fans are starting to trade in and up, so buyer beware. Luckily, maintenance items (like wheel bearings) are easier to change than previous generations, so there's that...

Ideally, you need to make a list of must-haves and could-haves. Drive all 3 (or 4) generations and decide which you like best.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what do you want out of this car?

problem with a EJ22 ...pokey for modern highways in something about 3500lbs.. (although great otherwise)
A few months back I came across a picture of a white Subaru and it caught my eye. Ever since that moment I've been looking for a similar one. I do a lot of camping and off roading in my Tacoma and 4Runner but I'd like to have an Outback as another option. When I find a good one I'll keep it stock for the most part and will likely use it to drive around town and to local biking spots.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Discussion Starter #14
I'd look into a 2001-2009 6 cylinder.

These will be a 4 or 5 speed automatic depending on the era, no manual available. They do need premium fuel. City MPG is lower than the 4 cylinder option, but highway MPG is close to the same.

However, no timing belt, it's a chain that should last the service life of a non neglected vehicle. Head gasket issues are rare.

Subaru Outback research pages: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009... all years/models
A 3.0 would be nice but I don't want to deal with the premium fuel prices. Thanks for the link. Lots of great info on there.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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at least drive one for comparison

the H6 is GLASS smooth and has a ton of passing power on the highway.



but, a one-owner, well maintained/documented 4 cyl in great condition would trump even a moderately 'OK'-ish 6 cyl.

condition and prior care is your number one goal.
 
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