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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short I’m torn between a 2011 Forester premium and a 2005 Outback limited. I owned the forester before I bought my truck. My parents decided to keep it for my little sister instead of me trading it in. I’ve been planning on purchasing it back off of them to keep miles off my truck and to drive around in the snow. The problem is I just have to find a car for my little sister.

I found a 2005 outback with 92,000 miles that’s in good shape for sale. I went to look at it and found out it was a stick. That put a damper on the plans to buy it for my little sister however my dad thinks I should buy it for myself since I’ve wanted to learn to drive stick for a while now especially since he got a Mustang that’s a stick and I refuse to learn how to drive stick in that.

A little back story on the forester. My mom bought it new in 2010. We’ve had the valve cover gaskets resealed 5 times and the short block replaced at 92,000 miles. It now has 120,000 miles on it and is in need of new exhaust, suspension components, spark plugs, and tires. It also had the lift gate replaced because someone backed into it.

I went to see the outback. Of course I couldn’t drive it but I looked it over had the owner take me for a ride in it and talked with him for an hr or so to get the history. He’s a retired Subaru mechanic. He bought the car from friends of his with plans on fixing it up for himself. He put new brakes, brake lines, tires, a catalytic converter and o2 sensors on it. Then he had both his knees replaced and found out he can’t drive stick anymore so he put it up for sale. It still needs the a/c fixed, and the timing belt done. Based on the reputation of the ej25 I feel the head gaskets should probably just be replaced at the same time.

With that said. What would you choose and why?

Thanks
 

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I would choose the forester. It's going to be newer and you know all the repair history on it. The outback will also need suspension work. Just due to the age of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That’s what I’m leaning towards since it’s familiar. My only concern with it is it’s starting to whine and there’s a subtle hesitation under load with the torque converter unlocked. I’m hoping it’s fuel related but fear it could be related to the torque converter.
 

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I'd skip the Forester for 3 reasons:

First gen FB25
Auto trans (The SH have a bad habit of eating converters)
Worst chassis for the Forester (dynamics and stiffness)

The 5MT in the OB should last you the life of the car and it sounds like the brake line recall has been "addressed". The BP chassis is a great cruiser, shares many parts (more than the SH Forester) and the EJ should be a better long-term engine.

The Forester sounds like it's time for major maintenance on something that is still depreciating. The OB is about at the bottom for depreciation.

Plus, the OB is a nicer ride, more room, and tons of them out there.
 
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