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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I'm looking at anything SUV-like because I actually use one as intended. Sedans have no practical use for me. However, I'm your typical girl and I don't have the slightest inclination of doing work on a car, ever. Being back in grad school, I thought I could go w/o a car, but that's really not possible, lol.

Sooo, I started looking at 02'-04' Nissan Xterra's which I quite like because I can fit anything inside it and so far, in my experience, they drive fine. The bad? They use a lot of gas. Now, if I was totally ignorant of gas price trends, I'd just ignore that issue. However, if I think of gas trends over the last decade, it's quite feasible that we could see $6.00/gal. tomorrow. That's my only reason for second-guessing purchasing one of these. On the positive side, Xterra's have little bells and whistles, making maintenance rather inexpensive.

Okay, so I found a 2002 Subaru Outback with 72,642 miles on it. It is a base H4 model. The head gasket thingies have been replaced in January. The car looks clean inside and out (in pics online). If I bought it, I'd be doing a distance-purchase and have it shipped to me.

My biggest concern? Maintenance costs. Any work would have to be done by a shop. I'm wondering if Subie's are good for people who don't work on cars? Or are they only reliable for those that do all of their own work?

I'm not foreign to car ownership. I had a VW Touareg which I loved driving. Yep, I'm familiar with high service costs. Most certainly, ha ha.

The Subie is priced at $7,400. Price sound good to you? It's a private-seller which is a major plus. They have a lot of service records on hand.

I'd love to get some advice from you manly-man automotive expert types out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Curiously, I also just found one in my location. It's a 2001 4 cyl. base model. 139k priced at $5,000. Is that mileage a bit too high or not?

I'm rather picky. I'm looking for something exceptionally clean. Like it must look garage-kept, not too many scratches/dings. I tend to be meticulous about maintenance.


---scratch this one...I am a stickler for a perfectly kept car and it was kept out. I've never not garaged my cars. Sun damage is brutal, imo. So, disregard this one.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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It comes down to which subarus. If I were you I'd stay away from the H4s. They have the second-highest maintenance costs. What you want to find is grandma's H6, 2001-2009. They were cheap to keep running in the first place and the dealers were pretty good about keeping all those grandmothers on the road.

True the H6 burns a little more fuel, but possibly not so much extra that it puts you off given the reduced maintenance expenses.

No matter which brand you were buying I'd say that long distance purchases and cars are a bad mix. Although Subarus are a bit regional in their distribution, you can almost always find something closer. It's worth traveling for an exceptional car; this one so far only rates 'good' by the stats you've posted.

Good luck!
 

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2009 2.5i, H4, Auto.
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With any car, make sure that you have a full maintenance history with it. 4 cylinder cars need to have a timing belt changed at 100,000 miles. If they cannot prove that the timing belt was changed, then look elsewhere. Also, pre-2004 4 cylinder cars are known for having issues with head gaskets. Looking for a 2005 or newer will reduce the chances of the HG blowing on you. That is why people recommend the 6 cylinder ones for lower maintenance costs.

A subie, properly taken care of is good for 200,000+ miles.

I would be nervous with that 2002 with a HG job. 70,000 is early for head gaskets to blow. It is also oddly low miles for a 11 year old car. The two things together are throwing up red flags for me. I would wonder if it was driven extra hard when it was driven. Being that it is also a distance purchase, I, personally, would look elsewhere. To me, it is questionable to start, I would not want to take the chance on a car like that sight unseen.
 

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Hey Verzasca. Definitely wanted to say get the complete vehicle maintenance history. There are scooby's out there, with owners who've taken good care of them; you just need to look hard enough. I recently purchased mine, after checking the VIN with Autocheck and Carfax as well as calling the service dept where all of the maintenance work had been done. Good luck!
 

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what city?

do you have a dealership or a good independent mechanic? (better if there's a soob-experienced mechanic in the area)

The issue is, shopping for a 10 year old car, it makes less difference what brand you're getting than the individual car's past care and present condition. Another reason to shop locally, is paying a shop to do a 'pre-purchase inspection' . It may catch a significant problem, allowing you to avoid an expense and keep shopping. Or, it may generate a list of minor issues you can use to negotiate a lower price.

When you say you use an suv as intended? do you just need cargo room or do you regularly drive on dirt/mud/snow/gravel?
 

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I'm not foreign to car ownership. I had a VW Touareg which I loved driving. Yep, I'm familiar with high service costs. Most certainly, ha ha.

I got rid of my 05 Touareg for my '13 Outback. Were you on Club Touareg forums? Your name looks slightly familiar.

I have to admit, if money were no issue, I would have Two Touaregs in the garage.....They are amazing vehicles....
 

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I have a very big family. The cars that have been over 200000 miles without a single issue were a Chevy, a Volvo, a Saab, a Pontiac, and a Lincoln. Not one mechanical issue on any. But the only one to get good gas mileage was the very nice fast sporty 28mpg AWD 2001 Saab 900s. You can prob get one for $2000. And they come in covertible. But no SUV or Subaru I know of made it there except for Chevy trucks with a 350 v8. Which getS real bad gas mileage like 14mpg. Sorry /:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay I didn't want to pop a link to the ad on this forum, in case someone out there wants to swipe the car. I'll lean towards assuming that you all already have one, hence are unlikely to pounce on it.

Here's the link:

Subaru : Outback base in Subaru | eBay Motors

for all I know the seller is a forum member here??? Anyone know anyone here loc. in New Hartford, NY with a minty green Subie like this?

Please take a look, you know you want to :) and deliver some opinions my way.

Oh yes, and **THANKS** for all the feedback so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got rid of my 05 Touareg for my '13 Outback. Were you on Club Touareg forums? Your name looks slightly familiar.

I have to admit, if money were no issue, I would have Two Touaregs in the garage.....They are amazing vehicles....

Why yes indeed I was on the ClubTouareg forums. True, I'd keep mine if $ was no object. I sold it very quickly. Sadly! I can see why you would get a new Subaru Outback. They're quite similar. Maybe the Subie designers stole some inspiration from the Touareg? Seriously. Just compare the interior layout or the exterior. The good thing about the Subie is its long-standing reliability reputation. Given that yours is a 2013 model you also get far better fuel efficiency which in this economy is kind of a necessity. We don't quite know if fuel prices might get volatile and spike to $6/gal. I've been looking at the new Subaru Outbacks myself. But, I'm in school, therefore not really wanting to make payments right now. And, I'm saving my extra cash for a nice trip to Europe this May.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would be nervous with that 2002 with a HG job. 70,000 is early for head gaskets to blow. It is also oddly low miles for a 11 year old car. The two things together are throwing up red flags for me.
Timing belts cost what to have replaced?


Do head gaskets chronically fail if they've been replaced? I've seen prices for repairs avg $1800.00

The ad claims that this car was owned by an 'elderly' couple. But, I wasn't born yesterday. Anyone can say that. Still, it's possible. Take a look at the ad link. The car does look clean.

Do know I'm coming from owning VW and previous to that a Bimmer and an Audi, so I'm familiar with high maintenance costs. I'm in school, so I've wised up and I'm looking for something reasonable. Plus, I drove a few Outbacks. I was quite surprised how nice they are :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what city?

do you have a dealership or a good independent mechanic? (better if there's a soob-experienced mechanic in the area)

The issue is, shopping for a 10 year old car, it makes less difference what brand you're getting than the individual car's past care and present condition. Another reason to shop locally, is paying a shop to do a 'pre-purchase inspection' . It may catch a significant problem, allowing you to avoid an expense and keep shopping. Or, it may generate a list of minor issues you can use to negotiate a lower price.

When you say you use an suv as intended? do you just need cargo room or do you regularly drive on dirt/mud/snow/gravel?
Maybe saying that I drive an SUV "as intended" needs elaboration? Basically, I need cargo room. I'd love more cargo room than even the Outback provides, but I can manage with it fine. This place (East TN) has real hills, mountains, and its fair share of weather and I want a car that handles tsunami rain, snow, and yes, mud. You will see my vehicle hauling kayaks, bikes, and dogs. Other than that, I drive fairly tame. I avoid brutal roads, bumps, and I keep my car in a garage. I like to keep it looking clean and new as long as possible.


Shopping locally for a *nice* used car here is a disaster, hence I quit looking in my location.

I'm in Knoxville, TN do you know of any good independent shops?
 

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The link you posted is gone....says car is no longer available...did you buy it?;)

We bought our first Subie about a month ago...well, MY first Subie, hubby's second. I've owned Jeep Gr Cherokees for years--and I do mean years--but with the cost of gas and all, we wanted to downsize. We have a large dog that we travel with, so a sedan was out of the question.

We wanted the 6 cylinder--the H6--and wouldn't settle for anything else. After searching for a couple months, we found ours....unfortunately, it's needed some work, but luckily my husband can do that.....;)

LOVE the way it drives, everything! Good luck on your search....I posted a lot here looking for advice, like you have, and everyone is WONDERFUL!!

Elle
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The link you posted is gone....says car is no longer available...did you buy it?;)

What? I just clicked it too. Nope, I didn't buy it. Funny thing is that the seller sent me an email about the car. Maybe they sold it? Okay, who sniped it?



Speaking of an H6

I love this one: (it's sold, of course!)

2001 Subaru Outback H6 For Sale In Matthews NC - Charlotte Auto Group Inc




As an afterthought, I want to know how on earth people drive in cars without TINTED windows???
 
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