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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R, 2013 Porsche Boxster S
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about purchasing a "slightly used" dealer demo/loaner Subaru with a few thousand miles (4.5K to be exact). It is a bit cheaper and also comes with certified pre-owned warranty (7 years). The cost difference is about $2K between the demo and buying new.

Can anyone weight in on which option you would go with? Few thousand doesn't seem like much but the added warranty should help maintain resale value two or three years down the road.
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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If it was a demo I believe YOU should have the full 3/36 from when you bought it (in the case of one with 4500 miles on it that would be 40,500 miles for the end of the 3/36 and it was typically driven by a salesperson. The demo can still be sold as "new" because it hasn't been titled/registered yet, which is why you get the extra time and mileage on the warranty. A loaner is typically titled to the dealer so it can have regular plates on it, the in-service date (and the beginning of the 3/36) is the date the dealer "bought" the vehicle for use as a loaner.

The downside of buying either is that you have no history of how the vehicle was driven for those 4500 miles but I would go for a demo over a loaner based on who would have been putting most of those miles on it.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Premium, Crystal Black Silica, Pkg 15
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My 2011 is a former demo. When I purchased, there were some big inventory problems as the 2012's were starting to roll out. To take advantage of better financing, I went with the demo. It's been a solid car, but as mentioned above, sometimes I do wonder how the first ~2000 miles were put on the car. I can only picture someone going WOT from a stop because they're not used to the CVT and its tuning.

But, if something was wrong, it should show in that extended warranty of 7 years you mentioned. Otherwise if you're talking another 95k miles and 6 years later... I'm not sure it was a "Warranty" related failure...
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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My 2011 is a former demo. When I purchased, there were some big inventory problems as the 2012's were starting to roll out. To take advantage of better financing, I went with the demo. It's been a solid car, but as mentioned above, sometimes I do wonder how the first ~2000 miles were put on the car. I can only picture someone going WOT from a stop because they're not used to the CVT and its tuning.

But, if something was wrong, it should show in that extended warranty of 7 years you mentioned. Otherwise if you're talking another 95k miles and 6 years later... I'm not sure it was a "Warranty" related failure...


I would think typically customers, getting dealer service and used your car are like they dropped their 2010-2011 almost new outback off at the shop, and got the car you have now as a loaner to go out to the mall to see a movie....or a day at the beach or something.

or the same being driven by dealer employees as part of their pay. (the one I bought at let sales staff daily drive new cars home and for family use, but they had to keep them perfectly clean to sell with zero notice,...even though they could be driving the same thing for months).

maybe the only one that would take such a boring appliance :23: out to abuse it, would be some kid with a WRX STI that daddy bought them, and its back at the dealer for parts and work from driving it through a ditch.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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The whole point of buying "pre-owned" is so you don't take the initial depreciation. Granted, Subaru's don't suffer "drive away dive" in value like Chryslers, but you are getting the short end of that stick at only $2K off from new. And 4500 miles for a demo car is a LOT. That's a lot of stop-and-go and short, frequent trips: not ideal during break-in time.

Haggle that $2K difference away on a new one.
 

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Outback, 2018 Limited + Eyesight
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I wouldn't touch a demo with a ten foot pole. It could be one of Subaru's demo cars given out to journalist. Pushing a car to it's limit isn't the best way of breaking in a car. Not would I believe the tale the dealer tells.
We tend to think of a demo as a gently used car; babied and loved. It' possible nothing could be nothing could be ....
CliffotrdS
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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This begs the question: How important or critical is the break-in period nowadays?
Manufacturing tolerances have gotten much better. Typically, engines are run-in before they are even installed in cars on the production line. Materials are better than ever. Lubricants are better than ever.

I've never owned a brand-new car so I've never had the pleasure nor pain of breaking in a new car. All seven of my cars and four motorcycles I've owned have had unknown histories behind them but I have never had a major premature failure. Just lucky? Admittedly, I've never owned a ford or chrysler product but have had three Pontiacs and a Chevrolet.
 

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2017 Outback Touring Pearl White
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Both my current Subaru and previous VW were demos sold as "New" with the full warranty from my purchase mileage. This has caused me no concern whatsoever, but they both had ~800 miles on them, not thousands of miles.


Back in the 80s my parents bought a demo Buick and the Engine blew up within the first year. Was it a defective engine? Was is bad break-in? The world will never know. However, it was covered under warranty.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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This begs the question: How important or critical is the break-in period nowadays?
Manufacturing tolerances have gotten much better. Typically, engines are run-in before they are even installed in cars on the production line. Materials are better than ever. Lubricants are better than ever.

I've never owned a brand-new car so I've never had the pleasure nor pain of breaking in a new car. All seven of my cars and four motorcycles I've owned have had unknown histories behind them but I have never had a major premature failure. Just lucky? Admittedly, I've never owned a ford or chrysler product but have had three Pontiacs and a Chevrolet.
While I'd believe there is a lack of hard-evidence, the design and function of piston rings on cylinder walls hasn't changed much since inception: wear surfaces need to wear together to form a long-life seal.

It's like Li+ batteries: they have usage/recharge "memory". If you don't exercise it, you lose the capacity or ability later. If you don't exercise the engine, it'll never experience the full range. When you do push it beyond the range, it gets unhappy and causes problems.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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The words "pre-owned warranty" should make it clear that what you're buying would be considered a used car by Subaru. I'd expect more than $2k off the equivalent new car price for that, regardless of an extended warranty offer.
That's not exactly correct, simply because of the two different ways the vehicle are available.

A demo unit typically is NOT titled by the dealership. It's driven with a d-tag (dealer tag) on it. There are some write downs available on the car, but it is sold with a new car warranty when you actually purchase the vehicle, just one that may have 4 - 5,000 miles on it.

A service loaner IS titled by the dealership. It's driven with a regular plate / tag on it. These cars are sold to the dealership at a reduced invoice price by Subaru because they're part of our Subaru Service Loaner Program (SSLP), with the understanding (aka contract with Subaru) that those cars will be used by service customers for between 90 - 180 days, then pulled from the program and available to be sold as a Certified Pre-Owned car. The remainder of the new car warranty is still available on the car (so it'll still have 30 months / 30,000 miles of 'bumper to bumper' warranty left. The difference is that as a CPO car, instead of having the remainder of a 5/60 Powertrain warranty, it gets a 7 year / 100,000 mile Powertrain warranty.

Your biggest difference is that a demo would still qualify for new car (0% up to 63 months as of today) financing, the retired service loaner will NOT. Also, here in the Sunbelt, the demo would also get the complimentary maintenance through the Maintain the Love program, the retired loaner would not.

And no, you're really only looking at about a $2,000 difference between buying a brand new one at invoice and a CPO. That's really the difference in price.

Keep in mind this doesn't just apply to Outbacks, we also Foresters, Crosstreks, Imprezas, and Legacys in the SSLP program. A lot of times on the less expensive cars you're not saving more than $500 or so in buying a CPO.
 

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That's not exactly correct, simply because of the two different ways the vehicle are available.

A demo unit typically is NOT titled by the dealership. It's driven with a d-tag (dealer tag) on it. There are some write downs available on the car, but it is sold with a new car warranty when you actually purchase the vehicle, just one that may have 4 - 5,000 miles on it.

A service loaner IS titled by the dealership. It's driven with a regular plate / tag on it. These cars are sold to the dealership at a reduced invoice price by Subaru because they're part of our Subaru Service Loaner Program (SSLP), with the understanding (aka contract with Subaru) that those cars will be used by service customers for between 90 - 180 days, then pulled from the program and available to be sold as a Certified Pre-Owned car. The remainder of the new car warranty is still available on the car (so it'll still have 30 months / 30,000 miles of 'bumper to bumper' warranty left. The difference is that as a CPO car, instead of having the remainder of a 5/60 Powertrain warranty, it gets a 7 year / 100,000 mile Powertrain warranty.

Your biggest difference is that a demo would still qualify for new car (0% up to 63 months as of today) financing, the retired service loaner will NOT. Also, here in the Sunbelt, the demo would also get the complimentary maintenance through the Maintain the Love program, the retired loaner would not.

And no, you're really only looking at about a $2,000 difference between buying a brand new one at invoice and a CPO. That's really the difference in price.

Keep in mind this doesn't just apply to Outbacks, we also Foresters, Crosstreks, Imprezas, and Legacys in the SSLP program. A lot of times on the less expensive cars you're not saving more than $500 or so in buying a CPO.
Since the OP of this thread described the car as coming with a certified pre-owned warranty, by your description then it must be a retired service loaner. If Subaru's 0% new car financing isn't available for that vehicle, then that would be another reason not to get that car for only $2,000 less than a brand new vehicle, as the interest charges alone could negate much of that difference.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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If Subaru's 0% new car financing isn't available for that vehicle, then that would be another reason not to get that car for only $2,000 less than a brand new vehicle, as the interest charges alone could negate much of that difference.
Where's the choir that you're preaching to?

Seriously, I have this discussion with people all the time. Nearly all of them I can flip to a new car. But there are some people who simply refuse to purchase new, simply because every OTHER car depreciates such a huge amount when you drive it off the lot. They just can't believe that it doesn't apply to Subaru.

Also, it may surprise you, but there are people who don't qualify from a credit rating for the 0%. Thus their only hope is to get a pre-owned car because their credit union will approve them for a 4.99% on a pre-owned car, but their new car rate would be 7.99%. I know that sounds screwy, but welcome to financing cars.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R, 2013 Porsche Boxster S
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Discussion Starter #15
It came down to this: the color that I wanted was already sold on the CPO Outback, and I was able to chisel away a couple hundred dollars more off the price of a new one with the other dealership. When I factored in Subaru loyalty coupon, the difference between a new one and a used one with 5K miles was only about $1,200. Clear and easy decision for me: go with a new.

I still feel both options were worth considering, I just did extensive price shopping to get a great deal on a new one. For many folks the CPO with low miles can be a great deal, at the same dealership I was quoted $3.5K more for a new example over the CPO.
 

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While I'd believe there is a lack of hard-evidence, the design and function of piston rings on cylinder walls hasn't changed much since inception: wear surfaces need to wear together to form a long-life seal.

It's like Li+ batteries: they have usage/recharge "memory". If you don't exercise it, you lose the capacity or ability later. If you don't exercise the engine, it'll never experience the full range. When you do push it beyond the range, it gets unhappy and causes problems.
Personal experience: Most of the cars I buy are new. Some are used, and one was a dealer demo with 3,500 miles in 2015. THAT car was the best car and most trouble free of the 20+ that I've owned. One of the most trouble prone cars I've owned I ordered and purchased new in 2004. I drove it 175,000 miles of service plagued miles. It's a small sample, but I fear not the demo.
 

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2018 Outaback 2.5i Limited with eyesight.
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I've purchased dealer demo's before. Two times to be exact. One is my 3/4 ton plow truck and the other was car I bought several years ago. Both turned out to be great vehicles. As others have mentioned if they were driven by one of the salesman I would have fewer concerns over a "loaner". Just look the car over extremely well for any signs of wear, abuse or damages. If you find any of these issues make sure they can get them corrected for you if you're still okay with moving forward.

For me buying a demo allowed me to purchase the car I wanted at a significant discount. My truck was almost 5K below invoice and had about 4K miles. A previous car was a 1998 Dodge Intrepid ES (back in 1998) and was driven for 6K miles by the owner of the dealership. Paid well below invoice on that too.
 

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When I bought my '99 Durango in the spring of 2000, it was the demo unit and was used by one of the sales managers as a personal car. It was (by then) 6 months old and had just over 3,000 miles. It had all the bells and whistles for the time including the 5.9l magnum engine with block heater, limited slip differential and ABS on all four wheels - yes that was not standard at the time. Also, third row seat with rear a/c vents - again not standard until the next year model.

This was the closest to buying a new car for me as I had always bought used before. I suspect that it was meticulously serviced and cleaned to impress potential buyers and and any factory defects were fixed. It was the best car investment I've ever made. I also got the full factory warranty as I was listed as the first owner. I got a good deal on the price since the dealer was looking to replace it for the 2000 year model.

I owned the car until April, 2017 when I bought my Subaru Outback new. The Durango had 165,000 almost trouble free miles.

If you cannot afford a new car, I would highly recommend looking at the dealer demo provided you get a good financial deal. I would certainly haggle over getting more that just $2,000 off the new price.
 

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2018 Outaback 2.5i Limited with eyesight.
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One more thing to consider. Demo's, because they are still considered new will come with all factory incentives. On my truck there was also 5K dollar rebate I received so I actually ended paying close to 14K below the sticker price on the window after the rebate was factored in. No other dealership could touch this deal and believe me I tried like you know what. Basically I bought a 50K dollar truck for around 35K int he middle of the model year.

I would shop for the best deal you can find on a non-demo and try and get a few thousand below invoice on the demo. There seem to be many here who have paid at or below invoice on brand new OB's. So deals are out there to be had it seems.
 

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Service loaner

I just purchased a 2017 OB service loaner. Less than 3k miles, a substantial price reduction, and the balance of the factory warranty. Obviously, the cars can be abused, and I looked for that, but if it has problems I should know before the end of the warranty.
 
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