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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! I'm new to this forum, but not new to Subes. I've had a couple Foresters.

So here's the situation: I had a 1998 Forester, it got totaled. I bought a 2008 Forester new (2.5X sports), I loved it, but it wasn't very comfortable for long drives and regularly my ex-wife and I would load it (or her 2009 Forester) to the roof for a weekend trip. I live in Boulder, CO area, so altitude is a concern. When either was loaded we'd have to run em pretty hard getting up to the mountains. Both had head gasket issues. Mine started around 80k, hers around 60k. They just seeped oil. They also went through throw out bearings, hers actually failed around 70k, at which point we put new head gaskets in while the motor was out to replace the throw out bearing.

So anywho, we decided we wanted a bigger vehicle. No one makes what I really want (an XL honda element...sport utility van thing) So we bought a 2016 Tacoma double cab long bed. It's basically an off road van (just wanna be able to get to camp sites, so it's overkill) and bikes can fit in the bed, with gear, while my dogger gets the back seat. Tacoma's are $$ but with duel income and no kids, we could pay for it, and the house reno, so NBD.

A few months later we got divorced, and now I have the reno to finish and a truck payment. I've had it for about 1.5 years now, and I just can't afford to finish the reno, and pay for this truck, so I'm gonna sell it. Plus I honestly just like the SUV/Wagon format more I think.

So I liked my little forester, but I always wished for more space, and sometimes I wished for more power. Which leads me to the possibility of bringing an Outback into my life.

Thanks for reading all this crap

My top contenders (pretty much)
- Outback
- Highlander
- Pilot
- Sienna with a lift kit (kinda maybe)

The reason why I keep coming back to the outback is it just fits pretty darn well at being pretty good at everything!

So the reason why I'm here is this...I've had a lot of reliability issues with Subes. (2008 head gaskets, 2009 head gaskets, 2013 burn oil). All my friends have too, but damnit, the outback doesn't have competition IMO. When my buddy bought his 2015 Outback he was told the head gaskets were fixed.

So I figured I'd reach out to you guys and just see what you think.

I wanna stay around 15-20K, so I'm looking at 4th and a few 5th gens. My ideal feature-wise would be a 5th gen limited, with cloth seats, nav package, and 17" wheels, which doesn't exist, but you get the idea.

What would you guys do? 4 cyl. or 6 cyl.? 4th or 5th gen?

Are there certain years or details to steer clear of? Is the re-tuned CVT on the 5th gen worth the price adder?


Thanks alot and nice to meet ya'll!
-Clayton
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2010-14 H6,...with the last of the great 5EAT.

Thanks! So that's your favorite transmission? Like it more than a CVT option? What makes it great?

I'm still concerned about head gaskets and oil usage since I've had issues and my folk's 2013 forester uses oil and was caught in that recall. Has reliability in that regard improved?
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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4,605 Posts
Thanks! So that's your favorite transmission? Like it more than a CVT option? What makes it great?

I'm still concerned about head gaskets and oil usage since I've had issues and my folk's 2013 forester uses oil and was caught in that recall. Has reliability in that regard improved?
The H6 has neither of those problems, nor does it have a timing belt to change.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,194 Posts
Thanks! So that's your favorite transmission? Like it more than a CVT option? What makes it great?

I'm still concerned about head gaskets and oil usage since I've had issues and my folk's 2013 forester uses oil and was caught in that recall. Has reliability in that regard improved?
the 5EAT mated to the 3.6 is everyone's favorite in used. the best combination choices ever to come out of the company.
3.6 do not have head gasket problems. 256hp 247 torque. (read some oil consumption issues, but not that many and not sure if dealers were overfilling the oil in the first place just to tear the engine down at corp. expense,...2 marks on those dipsticks. the higher mark on them is like a 1.25 quarts over fill).

I hope your parents FB25B got a its engine fixed (new short block).

CVT extended warranty is for 2010-15 H4 cars,...so I guess it would suck if it fails and you have 100,001 miles on it.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,119 Posts
Thanks! So that's your favorite transmission? Like it more than a CVT option? What makes it great?
This depends what you want. If you are looking for great mileage and less maintenance, the CVT is better. The 3.6 in 2015 plus years the the high torque model the turbo WRX gets. However, it has fake shift points in some models and can not be performance driven in the same way as a traditional sport-gate-manual-auto.

The 5EAT is a traditional transmission. It is the best automatic transmission I have ever driven, or owned. Both of mine are now tuned through XRT (ecu) tuning. However, I had no real complaints about the slushbox before tuning. They are just better now. I always drive in sport-automatic mode. It shifts on it's own, however I can manually gate it and upshift, downshift...or hold gears. (after tuning, I never go manual unless I want to tag the rev limiter for fun, it's XRT-intuitive)

My 5EATs are mated to H4 turbo cars and I live at 5500'. The 5EAT and the turbo playvery nicely together as far as powerband and shift points.

XRT tunes cars with the CVT also, as far as I know, Ed likes the CVT.
 

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2017 OB 2.5 Lim/ 2005 STI 400 WHP
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272 Posts
I saw you mentioned gas milage. I drive about half highway and half stop lights to work. I have a 17 OB with eye sight. My life time average so far is 29.7 mpg. I just did a 400 mile road trip this weekend. About 100 miles on 2 lane roads about 50 mph, 150 miles at 65 mph and 150 miles between 70 and 75mph. Averaged 39 mpg.

I have noticed that while I love adaptive cruze control it's no wjere near as fuel efficient as your right foot

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys! Sorry...lost track of updates.

Great to know the H6 doesn't have the head gasket issue and sounds like seldom has oil usage issues! The more and more I think about it, the 6 just seems like the way to go. My 2008 Forester had the 2.5 with a manual and weighed 3100 lbs. I think that's about as slow as I'm willing to go. When it was loaded I just had to run the piss out of it.

My folks didn't get the block replaced, so they're just going to get out of under it unfortunately.

If I'm completely honest, I am looking forward to hooning a bit in the snow again (the truck just ain't great at it)...so a traditional AT sounds better if it's better at that. Which brings up a burning question. How does one hoon with an electronic hand brake?

The mileage on the new OB with the 4 is truly impressive. As much as I want that, I also wanna load it FULL and take it up into the mountains with ease.

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So I'm thinking from you guys at this point to go for a 2010-2014 H6...are there years to avoid in there? Certain packages or anything like that? Should I plan to replace the head unit or is the one with Nav not bad?
 
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