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1992 Honda Accord
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Discussion Starter #1
Before you say "yes of course!!!".

I have a 1992 Honda Accord (the only generation of Accord I really liked). Just replaced all the goods in the front, axles, cv joints, boots etc. It has 194k with plenty of life left. What gets to me is the rust problem, and the aging paint.

Well we just had our first snow here in North East Kansas and my friend lent me his 99 Forester. I fell in love with the way it murdered the snow! But, I really don't care for the "fishbowl" feel I get from riding in it though. :p

So my plan is save up $ over the year and by next fall/winter, buy a Subaru.

Any tips on which model to buy? What years? I'm trying to spend $5,000.00 or less on a decent one. Is this feasible? I really like the 01 Outback, but I've heard a lot about the headgasket problem. Is it really a huge deal?

Like I said, I've never owned a Subaru before, and honestly it would only be my 3rd car. After My 88 Ford Tempo, and my 92 Accord.

Any help and tips would be appreciated!

Thanks!!!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
mid to late 90's EJ22 is the best engine.

newer 2001+ vehicles - the H6 is awesome, timing chain, very little maintenance. 200,000 miles is cake walk.

if you can, avoid the EJ25D DOHC engines - that is all 1996-1998 EJ25's and 1999 Legacy, Outback, SUS

The later SOHC EJ25's are better.

$5,000 can get you a great Subaru. Colorado prices kind of suck though, very high for Subarus, not sure how Kansas is. H6's are starting to come down to that price range, i've seen a few go for close to that - in a year you should be able to find one. that's what i'd recommend. many of my friends are getting these on my recommendation.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
I agree with Gary...$5k might get you a decent 01 H6 around here (but probably not much newer)...I expect Kansas would be a bit lower than New England, but I'm not totally sure on that.

In regard to the H6:
2001 is the first year for the H6 in the Outback. Most H6 cars are high-end models with leather, heated seats, sunroofs, etc. I think in '03 they offered a "base" H6 with fabric seats and not too many extras. They are more difficult to find because they are relatively scarce compared to the fours, but I think they're well worth the hunt. The gas mileage difference between my '04 H6 and our three H4 Outbacks is pretty small.

This site may be helpful to you: http://www.cars101.com/outback.html (click through the years). All the information you could possibly want about each model year.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,618 Posts
what they said

IF you are a serious DIY gearhead, getting a 4 and putting the multi layer steel head gaskets in yourself should make for a fairly reliable car.
 

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1992 Honda Accord
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input everyone! I don't want anything older than a 2000 and ya, last night I looked around KS and found some decent looking Outbacks for around 4500-5500 with decent miles. And no I'm so not a diy gearhead. I don't know much about the mechanics of cars :( But I have a great mechanic that can fix almost anything I would dare say. Were any years better than others when it comes to headgaskets?
 

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1992 Honda Accord
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Discussion Starter #6
$5,000 can get you a great Subaru. Colorado prices kind of suck though, very high for Subarus, not sure how Kansas is. H6's are starting to come down to that price range, i've seen a few go for close to that - in a year you should be able to find one. that's what i'd recommend. many of my friends are getting these on my recommendation.
Kansas prices don't seem too bad from owner and corner dealerships, but we only have one official Subaru Dealer in Topeka, and the next one east is 30miles away and west is probably Colorado! lol After Topeka, Manhattan is like the last city until you hit Denver!

I've heard Subaru's are super popular in Colorado though. In Kansas they have a moderate popularity. The Japanese cars people love here lean more toward Honda's and Toyota's. Mainly for suburban dwellers...we don't have mountains or a ton of snow like you guys lol.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Were any years better than others when it comes to headgaskets?
The newer the better there. I've heard most issues were corrected for 2004+, but there are still plenty of reports of 3rd gens with failed HGs. Again, not an issue for the H6 (HG failures for that engine are very rare), or for the XT (2005-2009 Turbo H4 Outback).

If you can find an H4 where you know the HGs have been done, it could be a good bet. I hear the replacement gaskets aren't really prone to failure.
 
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