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Discussion Starter #1
So I decided it's finally time for me to get another Subaru. About 3 years ago I had a 1989 GL-10 Turbo and I loved it. What I really want is an Outback that I can lift and use as a camping rig. I'm not sure what year to get but I know that I need it to be 2003 or newer dio I can keep driving for Uber, and it has to be a stick. Ice been sick driving and automatic for the past 2 years and, frankly, it's boring, I miss having a stick shift. What I'm looking for is recommendations. What should I look for? What's better, the 4 or 6 cyl? What year would you guys recommend I look for? Thanks for the suggestions.

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Gen 3 (2005-2009), H4 2.5 NA, [STRIKE]4 speed MT[/STRIKE] 5 speed MT. Make sure the head gaskets have been properly dealt with, or factor that into your offer.

If you don't want a one-off single year production unique engine, avoid the 2005 H4. And avoid the 2.5 H4 turbo XT altogether unless both you and the previous owner are meticulus with maintenance, and even then, you might have an issue arise that costs you $5k very quickly.

And there's nothing wrong at all with the Gen 3 H6 3.0R, except that it only came with a 5 speed automatic, no manual.

As with any vehicle in this age category, have it inspected by someone knowledgeable prior to purchase.
 

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Thank you for the suggestions. I really do appreciate it. So you wouldn't recommend going with a turbo? I've always heard that they had a lot of Maintenance that was required but the only turbo that I've ever owned was my 87 GL 10. I never had to do much on the maintenance for it but I also only drove it about 10,000 miles before I sold it. Gas is a little more expensive course but I didn't notice any real difference in the cost of Maintenance when I did have it. Also wanted to check on the suggestion for a 4-speed? I've test-driven a couple of Subarus from 2005 one of them was a sport the other was just the regular Outback both four-cylinders but both of them were paired with a 5-speed manual. Just wanted to make sure that I'm not missing out on something specific. And to clarify because I plan on using this for camping I do plan on lifting a little bit doing some work under the engine doing some work on the outside thinking about maybe putting on a snorkel that kind of thing

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Sorry, you're correct - a 5 speed MT was paired with the 2.5i NA engine. Various specs listed here:

Subaru Research Site- specs, prices, options, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.... Outback, Legacy, Forester, XV Crosstrek, WRX, STI, Impreza, BRZ, Tribeca

If you put on the word "turbo" in the forum's search feature, you'll find varied stories of woe, even for some owners who were v ery careful with maintenance. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just pointing out a common theme expressed by many XT 2.5i turbo owners.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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I believe the concern was something about the banjo bolt getting gummed up?
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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I believe the concern was something about the banjo bolt getting gummed up?
read this old epic thread about buying any gas guzzler turbo subaru used,....(plenty out lurking for you to invest in :flush:):

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/129066-potential-06-xt-purchase.html?highlight=arsenic


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and for the OP:

keep in mind: 2005-2009 have very little rear leg room.

2010-14 got bigger with a couple more inches there in the rear foot well. (handy for driving a Uber/Lyft,...or car camping).

sweet spot: outbacks of 2010-12 last of the EJ253 that came in manual.

vs. early FB25B/FB20: that may have come with manual, but also oil problems (extended warranty for 2011-15).
...easy to spot as the oil filter is on top by the radiator.

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and you might like Foresters. (front seats are like a impreza though,...hard / narrow. might need a pad).
the good ones of those are 2009-10, when they got a little bigger. (although 2006-2008 are OK too).
 
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