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2003 LL Bean 120k
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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at a couple of outbacks and need some feedback please.

#1 2006 limited, in the northern VA erea, 4 cyl auto, 121k, $9,000

#2 2003 LL Bean, in AR and always been in AR, H6 auto, 124k, $8750

i am going to buy one of these cars but was just wondering from those who have had both styles if they liked the 3rd gen better than the 2nd gen.

i have owned a 2000 limited and loved it.

thanks Dar
 

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'07 OBXT Ltd. 5EAT, Charcoal Gray; '70 Chevy K10 4X4, 396c.i., lifted; '63 Pontiac Tempest, 326c.i.
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To me, the GenIII seemed more refined than the GenII. The interior appointments were a step up, and the body more streamlined. There was noticeably less road noise. I'm not familiar with what you get with the limited vs. the LL Bean, but if I'm not mistaken, the Limited includes all of the bells and whistles they had to offer that year (and with/without Nav.) The one thing with the LL Bean you listed is that it is an H6. You will be happy to have that power when you load that car down.

I am happier with my GenIII vs my GenII. But that's highly subjective.
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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For any high mileage vehicle that has been in the east, you need to be really REALLY concerned about rot caused by caustic road deicers.

Even that car from Arkansas may have some serious rust..... for an older car (more than a couple of years old), I would look for cars that have been in the southwest states.

That probably wasn't what you wanted to hear, was it?

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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01 LL Bean
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I am looking at a couple of outbacks and need some feedback please.

#1 2006 limited, in the northern VA erea, 4 cyl auto, 121k, $9,000

#2 2003 LL Bean, in AR and always been in AR, H6 auto, 124k, $8750

i am going to buy one of these cars but was just wondering from those who have had both styles if they liked the 3rd gen better than the 2nd gen.

i have owned a 2000 limited and loved it.

thanks Dar
Dar

The 3rd gen cars of which the 2006 is are associated with some problems:
Look up ghost walking on this site.
I've heard about turbo failures.
Look up head gasket failures in the 4 cylinders.
4 cylinder requires timing belt service.
Look up lower MPG ratings in the 3rd gen cars.
17 inch tires likely more expensive replacement.

I own 2 2nd gen outbacks. Both have the H6.
I am completely sold on the H6 and will only buy an outback with the H6. That is part due to increased power, part due to lower maintenance cost.

In short, the 3rd gen looks nicer but comes at a cost. I believe the price is a little high on the 2003. Not saying the seller cannot get that price, but you most certainly can get a 2nd gen H6 with that mileage at a lower price if you look around.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Dar

The 3rd gen cars of which the 2006 is are associated with some problems:
Look up ghost walking on this site.
I've heard about turbo failures.
Look up head gasket failures in the 4 cylinders.
4 cylinder requires timing belt service.
Look up lower MPG ratings in the 3rd gen cars.
17 inch tires likely more expensive replacement.

I own 2 2nd gen outbacks. Both have the H6.
I am completely sold on the H6 and will only buy an outback with the H6. That is part due to increased power, part due to lower maintenance cost.

In short, the 3rd gen looks nicer but comes at a cost. I believe the price is a little high on the 2003. Not saying the seller cannot get that price, but you most certainly can get a 2nd gen H6 with that mileage at a lower price if you look around.
A 4-cyl Limited is not necessarily an XT, and as such would not have a turbo.

Gaskets, TB & ghostwalking are all valid concerns.

Davies makes a good point about corrosion.

I'd favor the 03 for everything except looks, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

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2003 LL Bean 120k
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Discussion Starter #6
John... i do realize the southwest cars would be the best for the rust problems, and unfortunitly i have an almost unrealistic criteria of colors and options i wan't, so that narowes sown the options of where the car can come from, as the south west is not a common place for an outback in the first place, i did find one that i was looking at in AZ that spent it's life 10 miles north of San Diego, but had been in a wreck at one point.

i am looking at carfax to see where the car have been and if there has been any wrecks.

as with the price of the 03, i agree they can be found for less money but not with the color, options, and where it has been, there are tons in the north east, but i bought a truck for my daughter in Chicago and i will never do that again.

the problem is i have sold my 03 TDI and the guy that bought it gave me a couple of weeks to find a car before he takes mine, (that was nice of him)

so i have no limit on traveling to get the car but i do have all these options and colors that i wan't.

thanks for the thoughts on the H6 i had the 4cyl in my car and had no idea the H6 was really a lower maintinance engine.

keep them comming and i thank you.


by the way i do like the looks of the 2nd gen the best.

Dar
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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do you need towing/hauling power or do you value economy over all?

if things were equal - I might lean a little towards the H6 (I may be biased) but, on older cars, things are rarely 'equal'.

I'd also encourage you to get a pre-purchase inspection by a soob-experinced mechanic. even if you need to ask for recommendations here for mechs. in the cities where the cars are located. The past maintenance/repairs and present condition of a used car mean a LOT more than the car model's general reliability as a group.
 

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Just to mention it- I went from a 1st gen to a 3rd. One of the reasons I switched was that I wanted more modern safety features. The 3rd gen cars have airbags all over the place, and the doors and other parts of the structure were re-worked to pass more recent crash tests.

I know the 2nd gen cars have front airbags for driver & pass but not sure about any others.

Really hoping I never use the feature. :)
 

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Don't buy a car with 95,000+ without actual receipt proof that the timing belt was done by a proper shop!! If it hasn't then deduct $1000 from the asking price
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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Dar

The 3rd gen cars of which the 2006 is are associated with some problems:
Look up ghost walking on this site.
I've heard about turbo failures.
Look up head gasket failures in the 4 cylinders.
4 cylinder requires timing belt service.
Look up lower MPG ratings in the 3rd gen cars.
17 inch tires likely more expensive replacement.

I own 2 2nd gen outbacks. Both have the H6.
I am completely sold on the H6 and will only buy an outback with the H6. That is part due to increased power, part due to lower maintenance cost.

QUOTE]

all very valid reasons.... other than the turbo not applicable here.
HG, Timing Belt Are pretty hefty repair/maintenance bills. Add GW to it...
Everything point to the H6. Only cons on the H6 is premium gas and lower mpg....
You probably get better resale value on the H6! (if that comes into play at all)
 

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01 LL Bean
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Only cons on the H6 is premium gas and lower mpg....
You probably get better resale value on the H6! (if that comes into play at all)
Do you guys think the H6 requires premium? Don't mean to hijack the thread, but it is related and the type information the op would be interested in I believe.
I do not run premium on either of my H6's and have not suffered to my knowledge.
 

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Gen4 OB H6 (3.6R) does NOT need premium gas for sure.
On the Older Gen H6 OB, Premium gas was recommended?
Do you live in High elevation? maybe That's why you didn;t see any effect on your H6 engine?
 

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Do you guys think the H6 requires premium? Don't mean to hijack the thread, but it is related and the type information the op would be interested in I believe.
I do not run premium on either of my H6's and have not suffered to my knowledge.
The old 3L H6 is for sure a must have premium fuel for any sort of hot weather or hard driving use. Subaru lists this in the owners manual and a few years back a very cool write up was done with a heat infra red camera pict of it under load. They explained that the way the engine cooling system worked the old H6 developed hot spots which caused pre ignition of the fuel if you ran less stable lower octane fuel. That is why Subaru redesigned the H6 the new 3.6 was designed to get rid of the premium fuel need - and address the lousy mileage people were complaining about.

A large reason for this was due to the Beating Subaru took over the lousy mileage and premium fuel needed for the Tribeca which Subaru was trying to make into their flag ship product. The OB rarely sold with H6's so that was not much of a bother / concern of Subaru for the OB.

Heck many Subaru dealers don't even stock H6 models on their lots = they will order them but they rarely ever ask for them to have on the lot.
 

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Do you guys think the H6 requires premium? Don't mean to hijack the thread, but it is related and the type information the op would be interested in I believe.
I do not run premium on either of my H6's and have not suffered to my knowledge.
Lots of other threads on it, but the bottom line is that the engine computer will adapt to 87, and the car will run ok. You're likely to take a mileage/performance hit, but you may not notice it due to driving style.

It's up to you to do the math to figure out which is cheaper per mile.
 

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2003 LL Bean 120k
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Discussion Starter #15
So am i reading this right, does the H6 have some of the same HG and timming belt problems as the 4 ? ?

I did a one side head gasket on the 2000 i had back a few years ago at 129k and sold it at 192k with no other problems. did i just get lucky ?
 

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It has chains not a belt.

No issues with HGs that I've read of.
 

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Nope, the H6 never had significant head gasket problems, and they use timing chains instead of belts. Chain failure is exceptionally rare... Those H6 engines are tanks.

They do have issues with one of the accessory drive belt idler pulleys, but it's a cheap easy DIY fix.

The only downside of the H6 is that there are almost no performance upgrades available for it, where there are many more options for the 4-cyl. If you can live with that, it's a fantastic engine.
 

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So am i reading this right, does the H6 have some of the same HG and timming belt problems as the 4 ? ?

I did a one side head gasket on the 2000 i had back a few years ago at 129k and sold it at 192k with no other problems. did i just get lucky ?
H6 has a timing chain with no recommended replacement interval to my knowledge.
H6 is not known for head gasket trouble.
I live at 1590 MSL altitude but it is currently at 610 MSL altitude. I run regular 87 octane and have not experienced detonation. Some of the more experienced guys on here indicate that may be an issue for some however.
 

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H6 has a timing chain with no recommended replacement interval to my knowledge.
H6 is not known for head gasket trouble.
I live at 1590 MSL altitude but it is currently at 610 MSL altitude. I run regular 87 octane and have not experienced detonation. Some of the more experienced guys on here indicate that may be an issue for some however.
The engine management system will retard the timing to avoid pre ignition of the fuel - the result is an engine that is not really running to its full potential - hot temps - high speed driving and climbs all where engine temps are run a little warmer and the engine is being pushed a little harder simply increases the pre ignition of the lower octane fuel. Once the pre ignition hits a point where the engine can't dial back its timing then you start getting engine damage and lots of issues.

Driving style - location and loads play a big role in this. A flat lander might run the cheapest lowest grade fuel in their H6 for 180,000 miles with no problems - someone who does road trips to Colorado during the summer might actually have issues if they don't switch to the more stable higher octane fuel etc. All depends on your use and your driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I want to thank you guys for all this helpfull info, i am getting all my ducks in a row for the purchas of the 03 outback LL Bean.

i feel much better about the H6 as i didn't know much about it, as for performance we were happy with the performance of the 2.5 so i can't think of any reason we would not be happy with an H6.

i am at 446 ft above sea level :29:

i will only haul a 13.5 ft kayak on the roof, there will be no towing, i have a 375hp/765ft lb 1993 cummins for that.:D

again thanks for your help and patience with a somewhat newB.


Dar
 
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