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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am new to the Subaru universe but I set my mind on buying an Outback (maybe Legacy wagon). I have the following characteristics:

- Maximum price around 8000$
- As little maintenance as possible since I am a newbie
- Will drive it in snowy conditions but not really off road
- Power not a requisite but reliability of engine is
- Shouldn't look great but drive great
- Should last a few more years driving around +-12k miles/year
- Sun/moonroof would be nice but not a must

I see newer basic cars (2006-2008) with high mileage (around 120k) and older basic cars (2002-2005) with less mileage (around 85k), or I see older H6 cars with high mileage. Which should I prefer with the above needs?

Any help of you wizards is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Joris
 

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Fresh Out of Outbacks!
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14,499 Posts
With all of the 4-cyl outbacks, there is an expensive service interval due at 105k miles. So find the shiniest one you can with the lowest miles on it, to give you the most amount of enjoyment before that timing belt service is due. Then pay to have it done the right way. Generally better than finding one over 105k and hoping the last guy did it right.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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With that budget (and some hunting around), you should be able to pickup a nice Gen2 H6 with just over or just under 100k without a problem. I'd shoot for that!
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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I got my 2002 Outback L.L. Bean with the H6 for 7100 out the door with the tax tags and titles. I did get a little bit of a deal on it, but it is in good condition with 105,000 on it. They are good motors, less service required, and the cars have the moonroof, which is great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info so far!
So in general I see people prefer the H6 model for engine reliability and that extra bit of power.
While reading more on the different models it seems that the 3rd generation 2005 has a big upgrade on engine and other features over the 2nd generation 2004 or am I wrong?
Is it worth spending a few thousand more to get one of these or is it a bad idea to buy a first year new generation model?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found a 2006 H6 VDC Wagon with 120k miles for $10k. It is the best I found so far and I made an appointment with an independent mechanic to check it.

That should be a reasonable good deal or am i completely wrong?
 

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2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
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184 Posts
When it comes to reliability, just be aware of the potential for head gasket problems on naturally aspirated 4 cyl engines from the 1st and 2nd (and rumored in some 3rd) generation cars around 100k miles and above. It's not a guarantee that every car develops it, but then again there's no hiding the fact that we have an entire sub-forum devoted to HG problems.

If you can find a car that has had its HG's changed by a reputable shop, that ups the car's desirability considerably. Don't know where you are, but a budget of $8k here in CA will get you a 2nd gen in top shape, and a 3rd gen in good shape.
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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Based on your intended use, If you get a Legacy, you can probably get a nicer car for less money than the same equiped OB. But your price range is right in the meat of most of what is available right now. You should be able to find quite a few to choose from.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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6 cylinder is a great motor. be sure to replace both serpentine belt pulleys or bearings immediately. they fail all the time and need to be maintenance items. luckily they can be repaired in 15 minutes and for about $3 - $15 each.

i would buy the H6 vehicle listed above for $6,200 before spending $10k at a dealer, the dealers known nothing about the cars. they pick them up at auction or trade in and resell them for top dollar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On monday I will let it check by a real Subaru dealer who will do a full certified pre-owned check (152 inspection points) on it.
Depending on the results I will decide if I buy it or not. According to edmunds or cargurus that car should be worth around $13-$14k if the car is in a clean state, or doesn't that mean anything?
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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On monday I will let it check by a real Subaru dealer who will do a full certified pre-owned check (152 inspection points) on it.
Depending on the results I will decide if I buy it or not. According to edmunds or cargurus that car should be worth around $13-$14k if the car is in a clean state, or doesn't that mean anything?
IMO, Edmunds, KBB, and the like's retail numbers are a "pie in the sky," and I wouldn't pay that much...so it's good that it's under that! That said, many dealers put them out for those prices.

If I go by retail from KBB, Edmunds, or NADA, my 2004 Bean is worth anywhere between 10k and 11k, yet I paid $7300 private party one year ago when it was newer (obviously) and had about 15k fewer miles.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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that's not a bad price. my friends just bought a H6 VDC with 85,000 miles for $9,500 and that was a great price.

the 152 point inspections hopefully aren't expensive...they are over-hyped up and probably not worth whatever they charge for it. you can check boots, fluids, lights, tires, start the car, plug in OBDII scanner, drive it, and bushings and leaks in about 2 minutes and call it a "150 point inspection". nearly everything they check is going to check out fine.

also - dealers also have financial incentives...if you're buying from them, they want to sell the car...if you're not they could care less if they make it sound like a terrible deal..might even just push you over the edge to buy from them. there are good ones, but plenty aren't that good either.

i've sold cars and had people hire private companies to come do pre-sales inspections before they've bought from me (with %100 success rate so far). those guys seemed fairly okay, but i would prefer someone knowledgable with Subaru's that isn't a dealer or has some kind of stake in it.
 
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