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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks!

I have loyally held on to my first car, a green VW Jetta sedan 2001 year model. It held up quite nicely all these years. It only has 67000 miles on it. However few things changed:
1) I have 2 kids now and even though they are skinny kids, even they are having trouble getting in and out of it car pool..too tight..
2) not enough storage: for driver or passengers

Most important however is that because of its age, the service technicians at the local VW dealership are saying I should change the Timing belt (1k) and few other things that round up the cost of repairs to 2k,including the timing belt. I believe he said there was a crack on the timing belt.

I have been researching my replacement vehicle, as much as it hurts to let go of my first car. I confess I h avent looked at all the makes out there. I test drove VW Jetta Wagon, the 2.2(?) litre Subaru outback and BMW 3 series (I think). As impressive as owing a BMW is, I am positive I will have buyer's remorse at spending that much money. VW wagon was tiny compared to Subaru Outback. So I decided finally that I will go with Subaru OB. The issue now is, they dont have many of 3.6L cars that I want around here. And the nice guy at dealership said the 2014 model is coming soon. I am in a dilemma:

Should I shell out the 1k to get the new timing belt, even though my car is still running fine and wait till I can order the 2014 model? I know there is no crystal ball, but will getting a new timing belt increase the trade-in value of my car anyway? If so, I will get it done and wait for 2014 OB model. If it wont help with the trade in value, I am tempted to risk getting stranded than shell out that much money.

The reason I want to wait for 2014 model is I am hoping they will have a power lift gate! Other than that, I fell in love with the model.

Please help a gal out with some kind advice!
 

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'13 Outback 3.6R Limited
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352 Posts
check here.... Most likely the Outback will not be redesigned until 2015MY. In which at that time may have the power lift gate you desire.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you catric69..I just checked autotrader.com and there are actually no 2013 OBs out there that fit my bill: 3.6L and with rear entertainment system within 200 miles of my city. The dealership guy told me I cannot order one anymore from factory. So I guess that leaves this question: will getting the timing belt replaced increase the trade-in value of my current car?
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Thank you catric69..I just checked autotrader.com and there are actually no 2013 OBs out there that fit my bill: 3.6L and with rear entertainment system within 200 miles of my city. The dealership guy told me I cannot order one anymore from factory. So I guess that leaves this question: will getting the timing belt replaced increase the trade-in value of my current car?
Nope. Whoever sells it next will price it without regard to maintenance needs. They stand to pocket more if they don't have to pay you as much.
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R - Graphite Grey
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At only 67K miles, most cars don't need a new timing belt. They should go 100K or more. Small checks and cracks are normal as the belt ages. $1K for a new belt is insane. Trade it, as is.

Is the rear entertainment system a dealer-installed option or factory-installed? The description for it mentions "the replacement headrests", so I'm guessing it's dealer-installed. Find the color/trim you want, and have them put in the entertainment system. (If installed at time of purchase, it's covered under car warranty. Installed later, only 12 months. Ask dealer.)

I just got a 2013 OB 3.6R and had to drive 300 miles to get it. Subaru wouldn't give any details on the 2014 other than "no changes", and didn't have any details on when they would be available. The local dealer was more than willing to take a deposit, but when I asked them to "show me" the order details, they couldn't. Because Subaru isn't taking the orders for 2014's yet.

Good luck!
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i
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112 Posts
I say wait, because If I could of waited I would want
a Subaru Outback with DIT 2.0 or the DIESEL BOXER ( i doubt we will see the DIESEL)
but the engine and power train from the 2014 Forester should find itself into the Legacy/Outback line.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i LTD / Auto
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You'll gain plenty of room upgrading to the OB. I have two kids, 9 and 12, and the back seat is plenty big. Skip the entertainment system and buy 'em a tablet or two.

Don't even consider the 3 series BMW. Way too small and even so, the badge is not worth the price or the long term costs to maintain the car.

You'll be happy with an OB. Why not get the 2.5i and be that much more economical?
 

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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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Want to echo a couple of points.

Your Jetta shouldn't need a timing belt at 67k. And if you have a VR6 in it, it has a timing chain that shouldn't need to be replaced, ever.

A BMW 3 series is no bigger than the Jetta. And only if you plan on buying a brand new BMW and keeping it for only 4 years (free maintaince window) it isn't worth it to keep long term.

You may have no choice but to wait for the 14's. If you can't find what you want in a 13, wait another 3 and a half weeks, then custom order your 14.
 

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2012 Legacy 2.5GT-L
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The '14 Forester has a power rear gate in some trim levels. Odds are the '14 Outback will have some minor tweaks relative to the '13, but since the '13 was the mid-run freshening, I wouldn't expect much for '14. (maybe some of the SAP features trickle down to the limited, maybe the center brake switch, maybe some changes in audio, but other than that, I wouldn't expect much)
 

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As for your timing belt, you might find a better price at another shop. Ive driven timing belts with numerous superficial cracks with no issues and have gone many miles and years beyond the mechanics advice with them. If the belt has a deep crack or is gouged then you have a structural problem with the belt and it should be changed.

Not sure why you need the 3.6 engine, Ive never been dis-satisfied with my 2.5. Even my 2001 forester with 220,000 miles has plenty of zip and passing power with its older 2.5.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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Your requirements thus your choice on what size engine works for you. Frankly the CVT and 2.5L were way too buzzy for us and inadequate for our needs. Might be fine for others. I am looking at a 14 Outback and Forester but if I hear about the 15 Outback and it looks better (2.0 turbo engine power lift gate, etc) I will wait for them.
BMW is your call. I know a **** of alot about them since I have owned 20 of and still own 2 of them and have done all my own work to include pulling the cylinder head for friends. If you value the driving experience I know of no car that does the job better to include Porsche and Ferrari which I have owned and driven. But BMWs are more expensive to own and operate. Virtually any German car will be because that is the German philosophy. I have never experienced in 20 cars excessive cost but again I do my own work.
I like the Outback so well I am selling my BMW M3 and going to just one BMW. Life style changes drive most of that but having a friend with a 12 Forester and then driving both 12 and 13 Outbacks the comparison was easy. The Outback won everytime.
Whichever model Outback you choose you will be happy with I am sure but do yourself a favor and drive all of them at speed on the interstate for a while. No not 5 miles but at least 20-30 miles. Then see if that appeals to you. I am glad we did as we just could not put up with the buzzy sound of the 2.5L at speed while it doesn't bother others at all.
Good luck with your choice.
 

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'15 Forester 2.5 CVT
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Thank you catric69..I just checked autotrader.com and there are actually no 2013 OBs out there that fit my bill: 3.6L and with rear entertainment system within 200 miles of my city. The dealership guy told me I cannot order one anymore from factory. So I guess that leaves this question: will getting the timing belt replaced increase the trade-in value of my current car?
Don't wait for '14. The 3.6l is likely to be dropped. 2.0l Turbo is the future of beefy engined Subaru cars. If you really want to get a H6 3.6l, buy now.
 

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2014 2.5 Outback Premium CVT 72,000 mi (previous: 2012 OB 2.5 base 6-MT, totaled at 73,532mi)
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Go to VW Vortex to research failure modes on that year TB. Typically, a bearing in a roller or pump gives up and shreds the belt. If theres no bearing noise and the crack in the belt is superficial, then wait. If you want to sell it privately, you should change the belt and all the rollers. If you trade it in, don't do anything.
 

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Don't wait for '14. The 3.6l is likely to be dropped. 2.0l Turbo is the future of beefy engined Subaru cars. If you really want to get a H6 3.6l, buy now.
From what I have read this will not be until 2015. The 2014 model is expected to be basically the same as the 2013.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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From what I have read this will not be until 2015. The 2014 model
is expected to be basically the same as the 2013.
Subaru of Germany dropped the 3.6R starting in 2013. It's also absent
from UK, Switzerland, and some other places, but I don't know when it
was dropped, or whether it was ever offered in those markets.

...
 

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2013 2.5i Outback Limited
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Don't give up on finding a 2013 that meets your requirements. My salesman searched all up and down the east coast to find one for me (2.5i Limited, #18 option package, PZEV in a color I liked). It should be here by mid week!

Update: Picked it up this afternoon (April 8th), fresh off the truck from Pennsylvania!!!!!
 

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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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Subaru of Germany dropped the 3.6R starting in 2013. It's also absent
from UK, Switzerland, and some other places, but I don't know when it
was dropped, or whether it was ever offered in those markets.

...
I can't honestly say I'd put too much weight into what other markets are doing with regards to the future engines in the US. They always have stuff that we don't and vice versa.

The US market is a beast unto itself.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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I can't honestly say I'd put too much weight into what other markets are doing ...
Fair point, but the same trend appears to be operating in the US market, too.
For example, Mazda just dropped the V6 engine option from their "Mazda 6."
Great deal! Lose two cylinders and nearly 100hp -- save $500 off MSRP.

...the zoom-zoom done zoomed away,

Looby
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all so much for your insight. To address a few issues raised:
my VW Jetta is 4 cylinder with a timing belt..not a chain, i think..i will take it to another mechanic to get a second opinion on just how much mileage I can get out of it and how much can he replace it for. I will not sell it privately..too much hassle for me.. will trade it in. Yeah BMW is out of question, from sheer philosophical point of view: I will never use all those features. Now in an ideal world, I would have loved to buy a LandRover LR4..I just love its front grill, the panoramic roof and wide windows (which is why I test drove VW Wagon too). It just stands out, which I what I like. But its fuel consumption, and apparent lack of reliability and of course price with the features I cant do without, It is out of question too.
I dont think I am the kind that will change cars often, which is also the reason I want to get top of the line now with all bells and whistles. I bought my Jetta with very few add-on features due to financial considerations, but I can afford to go a bit of luxury a bit now. I would like to have more power than I did with my Jetta, so I really do want a 3.6R.

Someone mentioned getting the kids tablets instead of rear entertainment system: I am intrigued..what do others think of this idea? my kids are 8 and 4 right now.

So whether to wait for 2014 or get a 2013 now really depends on how much risk I am taking with the APPARENT timing belt issue..
 

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2013 Outback Wagon Premium, 2.5i, 6 speed
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The biggest "Risk" IF your belt were to fail, is that your VW engine is an interference engine. In other words costly to repair if it failed while running. I would have to agree with some of the group that the belt may be OK but I would also look for a second opinion on belt replacement costs!
 
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