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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some suggestions. I am trying to decide on a car to purchase. I am currently trying to decide between a 2005 outback with a 3 L engine and 129,000 miles or a 2010 Outback with a 2.5 L engine and 150,000 miles ( which is painfully slow ). Appreciate any feedback
 

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Sounds like you prefer the '05.
Since you are comparing two diffrent generations, you really have to compare all the features between the two as a comparison and not just the mileage.

I will say this: if you ever plan to put adults in the back seat, the Gen4 is much kinder to full size people than the previous models. But you have to put up with G4 quirks such as e-parking brake, CVT/torque converter woes...
But you do get the benefit of 5 years of newer technology.
 

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Thanks. I am also considering an 06 outback 2.5 turbo. Man I like the way they drive and if I am correct they don’t tend to have the head gasket issues.
 

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Thanks. I am also considering an 06 outback 2.5 turbo. Man I like the way they drive and if I am correct they don’t tend to have the head gasket issues.
True, few head gasket issues.

But they more than make up for it in turbocharger failures. That can get expensive, real fast.
 

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+1 above. Ticking time bomb if not properly maintained. Need a fat wallet.
 

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I was unaware that. Thanks. Is there’s any reason to think that the 2005 H6 wouldn’t wouldn’t go to 250000 miles?(It has 129,000) I am sure I can get there with the 2010 2.5.
At this point I am down to just wondering about longevity and expense of maintenance.
 

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With any used vehicle, much depends upon previous owner maintenance history. When it's 9+ years old, luck becomes a significant factor as well.

But if the 2005 150k H6 3.0R and the 2010 129k H 2.5 L were equally maintained, I would say the H6 probably has less wear and tear on it - that 21k difference would be a wash compared to the lower stress levels on the engine from the larger displacement. Also, higher initial purchase price tends to generally mean better maintenance habits - but buyer beware, of course. These are both used cars, maybe with unknown histories.

And yes, there are anecdotes here of members putting on 250k+ miles on both of these engines.

The H6 does need to be watched for overheating. The 2010 H4 still had a timing belt that needs periodic replacement; this one may be overdue. All of the Gen 3 models have some suspension quirks. Early Gen 4 had CVT issues, as mentioned upthread. Read up on all of this, get a pre-purchase inspection by someone knowledgeable, and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
With any used vehicle, much depends upon previous owner maintenance history. When it's 9+ years old, luck becomes a significant factor as well.

But if the 2005 150k H6 3.0R and the 2010 129k H 2.5 L were equally maintained, I would say the H6 probably has less wear and tear on it - that 21k difference would be a wash compared to the lower stress levels on the engine from the larger displacement. Also, higher initial purchase price tends to generally mean better maintenance habits - but buyer beware, of course. These are both used cars, maybe with unknown histories.

And yes, there are anecdotes here of members putting on 250k+ miles on both of these engines.

The H6 does need to be watched for overheating. The 2010 H4 still had a timing belt that needs periodic replacement; this one may be overdue. All of the Gen 3 models have some suspension quirks. Early Gen 4 had CVT issues, as mentioned upthread. Read up on all of this, get a pre-purchase inspection by someone knowledgeable, and good luck!
Thanks man!
 

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FWIW when ever I look for a used car (all my cars my family has owned are 9+ year old cars) I look for high mileage cars. Now keep in mind this was mostly always Toyota's where 300,000km isn't an issue if they were maintained, but my reasoning was as follows:
-rust is an issue around here, high mileage, newer vehicle typically means less rust
-high mileage almost always lowers the price no matter what brand of car
-high mileage driven each year typically means more highway miles and therefore the engine getting up to operating temps.
-high mileage means the car likely didn't sit much
-high mileage means less chance of condensation buildup in the oil while the car was driven.

In your case you are also comparing different engines and generations so more goes into that than simple mileage. I would say the H6 will typically last longer and be less stressed. I am very happy with my 4th gen 3.6R but they are not immune to issues either. If you know this and factor it in to the cost of the car then you won't be too disappointing down the road if you need to fix something fairly expensive
 

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Actually the Mileage is the other way around. The 2005 has 129,000 miles and the 2010 has 150,000 miles. Is there any reason to think that a 2005 still couldn’t make it to 200+ thousand miles?
As aforementioned, with pre-owned it is a gamble. Even if you were able to have a used oil analysis done, it can give some good insight, but still cannot tell you the whole story. As an extreme example, there could be a 5yo car for sale that has only 5000 miles. But the backstory is they were put on 1/4 mile at a time.
Lots of good tips offered up and I'm sure you have your own experiences too. The good news is neither of these cars should be very expensive (relatively speaking), but I understand it is still a considerable sum of money to put up.
Good luck!
 

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It's a wash I'd go with what you can ascertain from the seller or previous history.

Nothing else being known, and speaking only mechanically, the lower miles win the day unless you have a personal preference regarding failure modes, stranding, potential repairs.

Avoid the turbos unless you a german car enthusiast and accustomed to loaning out your wallet.
Both of the others can make 250k without blinking.

H6 has lesser chance of headgasket but it's more uncertain and/or $$$$$ if they do.

The H4 is an easier repair at about $2,200 and up depending what all is done. H4 also has timing belt maintenance - if you're paying a shop you're looking at $400 - $800 to have it done. Even if it's been done at 15 years old I'd be redoing it and installing a Subaru belt and new pulleys, bare minimum the lower cogged idler ($35). Those are often not replaced during a timing belt job but that lower idler is a necessity.
 

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Is there any reason to think that a 2005 still couldn’t make it to 200+ thousand miles?
Short answer, for a used vehicle, there are plenty of reasons why any individual car may not last to 200k. But generally speaking as a group, there are plenty of examples and many from members here - where the H6 3.0R has exceeded this mileage.

You know this engine requires premium fuel, right?
 

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Either car can make it to 250k and many people have already with those vehicles. Avoid the turbo for sure. Does one feel better to drive then the other? Do you mind putting premium in the H6? Honestly both might have some work needed however both can get you a lot of miles as long as they weren't previously neglected.
 

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I had a 2003 Outback H6-3.0 that the owner after me put an additional 254,000 miles on before it crapped out. I can assure you that he did not do a good job maintaining the car.

The 3.0L H6 has arguably the best track record of any Subaru engine as far as reliability and long term durability. One of the key things about that engine that many neglect is that 91 octane (or higher) fuel is recommended and I would strongly recommend it myself. The engine can run on 89 octane but it is laggy, 87 octane will cause a check engine light. 91 octane makes a huge difference and if you use higher octane (92, 93, 94, etc) the better it will run.

As has been mentioned this engine is sensitive to overheating and the fuel octane has a major role to play in that. Higher octane burns cooler 🔥

I also owned a 2010 Outback 2.5L for 8 years and 82,000 miles. The engine is a dog but it was a completely problem free car aside from the infamous steering wheel shake issue that was "fixed" but never fully went away. A lot of things started going bad right before I got rid of it. The power lumbar busted and it needed several things replaced like brake pads, headlight bulbs, tires, etc.
 

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Looking for some suggestions. I am trying to decide on a car to purchase. I am currently trying to decide between a 2005 outback with a 3 L engine and 129,000 miles or a 2010 Outback with a 2.5 L engine and 150,000 miles ( which is painfully slow ). Appreciate any feedback
Personally, I'd ask for a test drive again to your driveway or mechanic if you prefer. Check the engine compression. Depending on the type of guage you buy you will need a helper turn the key. Its not difficult if you've changed plugs in a subaru 2.5 before. Cant speak to the H6.

If the compression is consistant and high, or not, you'll have another clue as to their potential service life. No guarantees, but I always do this if im serious about buying.
 
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