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No question, the 2013 2.5 Turbo with 6MT and moonroof.

...hope springs eternal,

Looby
 

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Discussion Starter #7
my favorite outback is a 97-98 SUS.
second favorite , any 96 - 99 outback with an ej22 swap.
Why?
I like the 2000+ body style better & have. Heard the later ones had beariing issues?
I'm not concerned with resale value, just want reliable & comfy, being it will for the most Part be the wifes main car.
 

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Hi there!

I wanted an '07 or newer H6, since that was the first year to have traction control/stability control standard on the H6 rather than as an option. I had almost no luck finding an older VDC model, so buying an '07 made that easier :) H6 also doesn't have the head gasket issues reported on older H4s, and uses a timing chain rather than a belt.

'05+ have an aluminum hood (odd that they bothered, considering how heavy the rest of the car is). The H6 in the '05-'06 gained 50 HP over the 2000-2004. Mine's not a slug by any means. It's not a WRX STi, of course, but I've never once thought it was underpowered for any task I've asked of it.

Do they last? Mine has 404,000 miles on it. Not a typo. No, I didn't put those miles on it.

I like the 2nd and 3rd gen bodies (2000-2004, 2005-2009) the best, but that's really subjective.

This might help, or maybe just information overload:
Subaru archived models, options, prices, history- all models- 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006... 1969
 

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OK, so Now I'm thinking either really low milage 2nd gen or maybe a 3rd gen?
within those years are there best options model as far as reliability & off roading?
What models have the most luxury?

Its gonna be a manual trans for sure....
That leads you to a conflict right there.

Without question, the most reliable & cheapest to maintain engine is the 3.0L H6, as available in the '01-'09. Virtually no head gasket problems, no timing belt expense every 105k, and piles of smooth power available. Premium fuel recommended for towing/high load conditions, regular ok otherwise.

But... that gorgeous beast of an engine was never offered in combination with a manual trans.

The '05-'09 XT has the STI turbo engine, which also avoids the head gasket nasties of the base 2.5L engine. However, being a high performance turbo engine it does involve more expensive maintenance and once it does need rebuilding it will be a pricey rebuild. Available with manual and Limited trim in model years '05-'09. XTs got a few other goodies that didn't make it into any trim level with any other engine. Best power, worst MPG, premium fuel required period.

The base 2.5L engine is a decent engine with unfortunate head gasket leaks. Not every car will develop these, but quite a few have. Available with Limited trim and manual trans for '00-'05 only, manual option discontinued with MY06 onwards. Least horsepower, best MPG. The head gasket issue can be managed if you know what you're about. Once the car has the good new steel gaskets installed, you're probably set for life.

cars101.com for further details.

Also worth pointing out that all of the manual-trans cars '00-09 have almost identical VTD AWD systems. Traction-wise they are all about the same. The '07-09 XT adds VDC, Subaru's electronic stability control system. Great for higher speed travel on dirt/ice but it gets in your way for slow careful climbing/descending when you are very off road.

It's still possible to find new-old-stock aftermarket goodies for the '05-09, but they're going fast. Already gone for the 2nd gen cars but there are used ones to be had.

With your list of requirements I'd be looking for a 2004 2.5i Limited 5MT or a 2007-2009 XT Limited 5MT. The latter are highly sought after and fetch a pretty penny.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Buddy, there was a lot of good info right there & of course nothing is ever easy for me :rolleyes:

How bad is the milage of the xt compared to the others you mentioned?

& the reason it must be a Manual trans ( Trust me the wife & I prefer an auto trans for our Los Angeles traffic. :rolleyes: ) is because I like the option of maybe towing it behind the RV once in a while?

Maybe I'll just give up that part & realize I'm gonna have to tow the 6K lb Bronco around if I want to flat tow. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

So what if I would buy an Auto Trans car?
What options open up for us?

Thanks again.. :29:
 

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Thanks Buddy, there was a lot of good info right there & of course nothing is ever easy for me :rolleyes:

How bad is the milage of the xt compared to the others you mentioned?

& the reason it must be a Manual trans ( Trust me the wife & I prefer an auto trans for our Los Angeles traffic. :rolleyes: ) is because I like the option of maybe towing it behind the RV once in a while?

Maybe I'll just give up that part & realize I'm gonna have to tow the 6K lb Bronco around if I want to flat tow. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

So what if I would buy an Auto Trans car?
What options open up for us?

Thanks again.. :29:
XT mileage is extremely variable. You can get it down to about 11mpg if you burn winter blend grocery store discount gas on Ken Block track laps after using a remote starter to warm it up in the morning. (note: this is also quite fun; you get what you pay for)

You can get it up to about 27mpg if you hypermile it on long road trips never exceeding 55mph and not stopping the car until the tank is dry. Meaning no stops for traffic, traffic lights or pretty much anything.

Most folks tend to average about 19-21.

Having lived in LA while owning a manual trans car... I'll just say it, you're f*&%ing nuts to trade off an automatic for the occasional benefit of being able to flat tow it. If you're doing that tow every other weekend (25+ times per year) then ok I could see it. But anything less? SHORTCUT! Get a 2005-2009 3.0R Limited with the 5-speed auto sportshift and have a great day.
 

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Also, a 3.0R Outback on an aluminum car transporter ought to come in around 4900lbs. I don't know if you can buy a trailer like that for whatever your Bronco is worth sold... just sayin'
 
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