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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

I am looking at an 02 Outback with the 2.5 and it's a 5 speed (love 5 speeds). It looks pretty clean, but it has 197k miles on it.

KBB says its worth around $3600. That's about what theyre asking, however, I obviously would be looking to pay less than asking price.

Anyways, what are y'alls thoughts on purchasing one of these at that price, with that high of miles on it? My first thought, is the 5 speed is a good thing, because if a clutch goes out it is way cheaper to fix than an automatic trans. Other than that, the only thing I know is that the 2.5 is supposed to be a great motor.

So, what say ye??
 

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Hi all -

I am looking at an 02 Outback with the 2.5 and it's a 5 speed (love 5 speeds). It looks pretty clean, but it has 197k miles on it.

KBB says its worth around $3600. That's about what theyre asking, however, I obviously would be looking to pay less than asking price.

Anyways, what are y'alls thoughts on purchasing one of these at that price, with that high of miles on it? My first thought, is the 5 speed is a good thing, because if a clutch goes out it is way cheaper to fix than an automatic trans. Other than that, the only thing I know is that the 2.5 is supposed to be a great motor.

So, what say ye??
Find out if the clutch was done under proper use they run about 160-180K max then either the throw out bearing starts to let go or the clutch is done. Proper job at the dealer is new plate - new clutch new throw out bearing $1200-$1400 dealer job.

The 2002's were at the tail end of the faulty bad design HG issue - find out if Subaru replaced the HG and when.

197K lots of stuff is worn out. My 2001 5spd had 180K on it when I sold it for $1200 the dealers would only give me $1100 for it - all records 100% working clean car.

I wouldn't give them more than $1800 for it especially if they can't show that all the clutch parts were replaced if the clutch was done or that the HG's were replaced by Subaru.
Wouldn't touch it for $2500 needs new struts shocks - bushings on the suspension, might need a new center bearing support on the drive line to the rear diff mine was starting to get sloppy at 180K. They are dreaming if they think they'll get more than $2000 for it
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Find out if the clutch was done under proper use they run about 160-180K max then either the throw out bearing starts to let go or the clutch is done. Proper job at the dealer is new plate - new clutch new throw out bearing $1200-$1400 dealer job.

The 2002's were at the tail end of the faulty bad design HG issue - find out if Subaru replaced the HG and when.

197K lots of stuff is worn out. My 2001 5spd had 180K on it when I sold it for $1200 the dealers would only give me $1100 for it - all records 100% working clean car.

I wouldn't give them more than $1800 for it especially if they can't show that all the clutch parts were replaced if the clutch was done or that the HG's were replaced by Subaru.
Wouldn't touch it for $2500 needs new struts shocks - bushings on the suspension, might need a new center bearing support on the drive line to the rear diff mine was starting to get sloppy at 180K. They are dreaming if they think they'll get more than $2000 for it
Thanks for the write up. Wish you had one like that for 1200 now... Our local CList is full of 96-02 Subarus for 2500+ with high miles and beat to heck. They sell, and KBB supports the value. If one popped up for 1200 it wouldn't last 2 hours.

I'd love to find a good one for around $3k but from what you're saying, that's going to be a tough find huh?
 

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Thanks for the write up. Wish you had one like that for 1200 now... Our local CList is full of 96-02 Subarus for 2500+ with high miles and beat to heck. They sell, and KBB supports the value. If one popped up for 1200 it wouldn't last 2 hours.

I'd love to find a good one for around $3k but from what you're saying, that's going to be a tough find huh?
$3K budget look for first year Matrix or Pontiac Vibe then put some good snow tires on it.

I wouldn't touch a subaru that old for that price they need far to many things Timing belts - clutch - shocks - HG etc. Cuz you know the former owner hasn't done it 99.9% of the time.

The Matrix running the Corolla engine has a chain doesn't need anything. My brother has 220K on his zero issues will probably put 400K on it before it needs anything. When your budget is small and income is tight stick with cars that don't cost you much! An old tired Subaru is going to cost you before its reliable and had all the old crap needing to be replaced - replaced. If you work on your own cars and can do this stuff then the subaru might be the right choice. Though I'm not getting that vibe from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm. I'll take your advice, I'm familiar with the Vibes/Matrix cars.... Tough find at that price. People don't sell those.

Won't need the snow tires here in NC though, thank God, left that behind in Indiana.
 

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Hmmm. I'll take your advice, I'm familiar with the Vibes/Matrix cars.... Tough find at that price. People don't sell those.

Won't need the snow tires here in NC though, thank God, left that behind in Indiana.
Then I wouldn't be looking at old Subarus with your budget. I like Subaru but the old subarus are all tired and seen lots of use just the nature of the owners who have them.

No snow small budget - stick with Toyota's. They run Chains in their engines and you need to basically run them with no oil before you destroy them. My neighbor drives about 75K year for his personal business. He buys used Camry's with 100-150K on them and drives them till they have around 400K before he replaces them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Then I wouldn't be looking at old Subarus with your budget. I like Subaru but the old subarus are all tired and seen lots of use just the nature of the owners who have them.

No snow small budget - stick with Toyota's. They run Chains in their engines and you need to basically run them with no oil before you destroy them. My neighbor drives about 75K year for his personal business. He buys used Camry's with 100-150K on them and drives them till they have around 400K before he replaces them.
Well Camrys and Corollas are no fun! For once I've got a budget more than 1500 and I'm looking at boring Yotas? I always put the wife in good stuff and wind up with beaters. Was hoping for something with a bit of pep and fun...
 

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Well Camrys and Corollas are no fun! For once I've got a budget more than 1500 and I'm looking at boring Yotas? I always put the wife in good stuff and wind up with beaters. Was hoping for something with a bit of pep and fun...
The matrix is faster than my 2001 legacy GT Limited 5spd. Subarus were never fast nor did they get good mileage. 25mpg with the 2001 was the norm.
 

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Counter opinion: Yeah look at old Subarus... but look at older ones. The 2.2L engine in the '95 and earlier is legendary for reliability and low cost of operation.

The 2.5L engine that came after offered a nice boost in power and a reduction in emissions, but that didn't come without a price, and it's one most heavily paid on those early 2.5s with the most miles now.

If you want to do Subarus on the cheap, start by figuring out which ones really are cheap to run.

And to answer the OP's question- the 4-speed automatic is quite sturdy, and in reasonable supply as a used component when one fails. The 5 speed manual is also quite good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Counter opinion: Yeah look at old Subarus... but look at older ones. The 2.2L engine in the '95 and earlier is legendary for reliability and low cost of operation.

The 2.5L engine that came after offered a nice boost in power and a reduction in emissions, but that didn't come without a price, and it's one most heavily paid on those early 2.5s with the most miles now.

If you want to do Subarus on the cheap, start by figuring out which ones really are cheap to run.

And to answer the OP's question- the 4-speed automatic is quite sturdy, and in reasonable supply as a used component when one fails. The 5 speed manual is also quite good.
Interesting counter point... I drove an Outback on a test drive or two a couple years back, and that AWD made it feel like it was so well planted and that's had a Subarau on my mind since. Obviously with a 3k budget, I'm not talking speed or muscle, just hoping for some thing reliable, peppy and fun to drive.
 

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Interesting counter point... I drove an Outback on a test drive or two a couple years back, and that AWD made it feel like it was so well planted and that's had a Subarau on my mind since. Obviously with a 3k budget, I'm not talking speed or muscle, just hoping for some thing reliable, peppy and fun to drive.
Subaru has used a few different AWD systems over the years, but functionally you'd have a hard time feeling the difference between their 1993 setup and their 2013 setup from the drivers' seat.

I encourage you to learn more, and maybe you'll find one that satisfies the budget and the AWD desire.
 

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Another word of advice: Avoid VW Syncro or Audi Quattro at this price point. Not the best on maintenance and reliability.

This is from the mouth of an ex-VW owner (of 20+ years)! I am also a moderator on a large VW forum. So I can watch the good/bad experiences happen over there.
 

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Another word of advice: Avoid VW Syncro or Audi Quattro at this price point. Not the best on maintenance and reliability.
Ha, it would be insane to try either of those with budget restrictions!

I'd say any AWD is too much when going for short-money wheels. Get something really cheap and put some snow tires on it, you'd probably come out ahead.

But if you really want a Subaru, stick to the truly cheap ones.
 

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Ha, it would be insane to try either of those with budget restrictions!

I'd say any AWD is too much when going for short-money wheels. Get something really cheap and put some snow tires on it, you'd probably come out ahead.

But if you really want a Subaru, stick to the truly cheap ones.
The Impreza probably offers the best value for the Subaru dollar regarding used prices. The Impreza didn't get the SUV label like the Forester that drove up value - same thing took place with the Legacy wagon vs OB. The legacy wagon value and price jump when it was tagged with the SUV label in the OB format.
 
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