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  1. #1
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    OT: Any Subaru owners want to share their opinions?

    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks
    Last edited by mtnpat; 01-04-2005 at 06:40 AM. Reason: jus cuz

  2. #2
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    Pretty hard to beat the Subaru in this catagory. Who else has as much all wheel drive experience? In our little mountain town it is the AWD car of choice. The people keep trading them in for new ones too.
    We had an 85 4WD wagon that we just abused. Finally sold it and it was still running good.
    Check consumer reports too.
    Unless you really need the pickup bed I would just go with the Forester or Outback.
    Have fun!

  3. #3
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    I have an 02 Impreza RS which I drive the hell out of. It uses the same 2.5 engine. I've put 65K miles on it since I bought it in July 2002. Over 30K of those in the last year. So far the car has been absolutely trouble free and needed nothing more than oil changes. The only repair I've done is clutch replacement due to normal wear. I'm getting about 26mpg highway mileage with Thule roof racks and fairing installed. I doubt it would let you down.

  4. #4
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    You will not find a car that is better than a Subaru in this category (longevity). My family and friends have owned Subarus since 85 (some of them were late 70's cars) and the only complaint I have ever heard is that the "visors feel cheap" - seriously. You can rack up the miles on them and they will just keep going. Plus, if you happen to live in a state where it snows (I live in CO) - they are awesome snow cars.

    My .02 is that you will not regret it if you pick one up.
    Last edited by s1ngletrack; 01-04-2005 at 08:45 AM.

  5. #5
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    I wonder if all three incarnations of "Singletrack" own Subarus?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks
    our '98 outback blew the headgasket in '02 or so, but it was covered under warranty (i think they had an issue w/ some of the gaskets). luckily for us, as teh engine block needed replacement. we didn't have a ton of miles on it, maybe about 50K at that point? we sold it in '03 when we went to ireland, and my step-dad still has it. he is more than happy w/ it.
    We are to blame because our culture has come to value two qualities above all else: “cheap”, and “more”.

  7. #7
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    I drove a 85 Brat for 250K with irregular oil changes etc.. Sold it when the clutch started to go out after 250K awesome vehicles! I'll be buying a Baja when it's time to get rid of my current vehicle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hfly
    I wonder if all three incarnations of "Singletrack" own Subarus?
    There are 3 of us? I'm familiar with the GJ singletrack (he called me a 16 year old - confused years riding with age in my profile - and thought I jacked his name - I actually just picked mine because I've been using it on my e-mail accounts for the last 6 years or so) he seems like a nice guy. I didn't realize that there was another - we must find and destroy the imposter.

    I don't currently own a Subaru, I happened across a smokin' deal on a 4 Runner when I was looking for a cars. However, my fiance drives an '05 Forester XT (the super fast turbo'd one), and my next car will be a WRX wagon.

  9. #9
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    From Subaru Capital of the US, I don't know anyone here who dislikes subaru and I know around 10 people personally who own them....well except for one person who is now unhappy that Subaru reclassified them so they could reduce the mileage on the new turbo versions! --but she still likes her outback.

    People are so fanatical about Subarus here they are willing to wait in long lines at the dealer for service..I guess that says a lot!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    thanks
    My wife and I bought one of the last '04 Legacys this summer, largely because of Subaru's reputation and substantial evidence from friends about reliability and snow-worthiness. We've been very happy.

    One thing though: Our car is mechanically similiar to what you're looking at, and well, the gas milage has never been too close to 28. The best we've had is 24, and usually 22ish, even on the highway. Granted, I drive at 80+, but unless you typically get near the EPA's fuel economy ratings for a car you might be looking at less.

    With the 30k you drive a year, thought you would want to know.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  11. #11
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    First time Subaru owner here...

    and it's been a good experience so far. The driveability in bad weather is fantastic. The grip the AWD provides makes rain-slick roads almost feel dry (Skip Barber alumni, so it's natural that I've experimented with the limits of grip ) The only points of contention have been the head gaskets which were replaced under warranty with less than 30K miles on it and the way it eats through brakes (this may be attributed to either my Skip Barber training or the stop and go commute I have on I-80, probably both). I would buy again, oh yeah and I did this one through the program IMBA has for members to save some $$.

  12. #12
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    good feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoToo
    The only points of contention have been the head gaskets which were replaced under warranty with less than 30K miles on it and the way it eats through brakes
    This is the kind of feedback I need. Can I ask what year and model you have, that needed the head gaskets replaced?

  13. #13
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    Had a Legacy in the 90s. Good cars, nothing flashy. Maybe they have redesigned it, but if not, make sure the rubber boots protecting the front drive axles get replaced when needed... otherwise you're in for a more costly replacement. No other problems.
    Last edited by roadiegonebad; 01-04-2005 at 09:51 AM.

  14. #14
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    2000 Legacy Wagon

    I bought a used 2000 Legacy wagon with 62,K miles with the same 2.5 single overhead cams motor as the latest motor. It sprund an outer head gasket leak at about 75,K miles after a heavily loaded trip to Utah with some 100+ degree temps carrying 4 mountain bikes and riders and travel and camping gear. My ace Subaru mechanic suggested I try Bar's Stop Leak first because the symptoms appeared to be an outer head gasket leak (no mix of oil and water). It sealed the leak after a few drives. (whew!)

    6 months later there was a recall for 2000 - 2002 models for a head gasket outer leak. The dealer poured some stop leak (sourced from Chevrolet with a Subaru sticker on the bottle), and raised the warrantee from 60,K to 100,K for failure due to the issue "as long as the fluid levels are kept up" <- phony warrantee (!!!) .

    But my motor has held up since, but I haven't really tested it under load in 115 degree temperatures to know for sure. Subaru may have replace the gasket in newer models with a better one.

    It does get 28 mpg hwy about 20 - 22 around town. It drives very nice with sufficient climbing power (not quick accelerating) and handles corners very good at the limits with some under-steer/push overall.

    My ace Subaru independent mechanic says the many of the '97 - '99 2.5 double overhead cam motors had head gasket failure problems after 60K miles. He said nearly 50% suffer failure requiring major rebuild by 120,K miles.

    Prior to '97 year Legacy models were bullet proof. And I had a '91 Legacy wagon previous to my current one which I bought at 145,K and drove to 207,K needing an auto tranny replacement or rebuild (I bought a used one for $2,K installed) at about 170,k. Front half shafts need replacement about 120K miles. No timing belts on the old model.

    I also had two different '84 GL 4x4 wagons which were completely reliable, well one chewed a manual tranny/diff at about 150K miles.

    I've lost some luv with Subaru after my head gasket scare. But it is a lot of car with 4x4 drive for the money. I'm sort of eyeing the new Saturn Vue 4x4 with the Honda VTEC to sit up higher in the sea of oil guzzeling terrorist support vehicles (SUV's) and still get good mileage and better performance than Subaru and plastic side panels (I hate door digs!).

    - ray
    Last edited by derby; 01-04-2005 at 10:26 AM.

  15. #15
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    Love mine

    Last summer I traded in my 02 Passat for an 03 Outback. We were spending alot of time in the mountains and the Passat was taking a beating with all the dirt. The Subie is a little under powered though. Traction control is amazing. My biggest gripe is the burning smell that comes from the engine after driving. It is much more noticeable after steep climbs. I took it to Subaru twice. They ran a diagnostic check using their computers and found nothing wrong. Anyone else experience a burning smell?

  16. #16
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    As far as long term reliablity, which hasn't really been touched on yet, We have a 97 Impreza (2.2 motor though) with well over 160k. We've gone through one clutch(at about 70k), and are about to replace the tranny. The motor was replaced, but that was after a freak accident of throwing a rod(something our dealer said he had never seen, and he ralley's his cars). I LOVE this car. If I didn't like it so much, I may be hesitant to spend the $$ to replace the tranny. It handles quite well on the twisty roads around here and simply can't be beat in winter. Like lidarman said, it is the car 'de choice in my town. People keep trading them in on new(er) ones.

    I also own a '90 Legacy(been a lemon though), and I can't wait to get rid of it. I most likely will be replaced with another Subie though...
    Just a regular guy.

  17. #17
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    Sorry about that...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    This is the kind of feedback I need. Can I ask what year and model you have, that needed the head gaskets replaced?
    It's a 2002 Outback with the 2.5 liter 4 cyl. I started smelling a sweet burning odor and it turned out to be coolant leaking from the head. I did some research and found that many owners were having a similar problem. As I said, the car was repaired under warranty and I haven't had any leaks since (about 44,000 mi. on the odo now). Hopefully this problem has been corrected with later models.

  18. #18
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    See my post below...

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyinNY
    Last summer I traded in my 02 Passat for an 03 Outback. We were spending alot of time in the mountains and the Passat was taking a beating with all the dirt. The Subie is a little under powered though. Traction control is amazing. My biggest gripe is the burning smell that comes from the engine after driving. It is much more noticeable after steep climbs. I took it to Subaru twice. They ran a diagnostic check using their computers and found nothing wrong. Anyone else experience a burning smell?
    It may coolant leaking via the head gaskets...

  19. #19
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    I have a Subaru Outback, 2001, its great. Bought it with 17K miles, now it has 80K so I have really piled the miles on. No problems at all. Gas milage is 28 mpg on the highway, less in the city but usually 23-25. If i needed a new car and money was no object I'd get either a turbo version or a WRX.

    For me a Subaru has been key as I transport my bike in my car - with the front wheel off my bike fits upright in the rear - I have a mount on a piece of wood that fits in the back and it works nicely. I rarely have the rear seats up.

    Kelly, sometimes mine has a burning smell after climbing as well. But so does my bf's GTI.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyinNY
    . Anyone else experience a burning smell?
    My mother-in-law has a 99 Legacy and she's been complaining about a burning smell recently. Haven't heard if the cause has been determined.

  21. #21
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    1998 Subaru Forester owner here...actually my wife's car. We bought the car from my mother -in-law w/ 39K and it now has 78K.

    The only thing other than oil changes have been the head gasket/crank seals/timing belt at 72,000 miles. $470 bucks. According to our mechanic, ALL subaru's have this problem and will be serviced anywhere from 15K to 150K. Basically, he said if subaru's didn't have the seal/gasket problem...he'd have to pick other cars to service instead.

    We average 22-24mpg city and 29 hw. I'm in N. Colorado and Subaru owns this state as far as i'm concerned. If we were to buy a newer Subie - we'd pick up the turbocharged Forster. The WRX guys in this area said that's the subie to get because you get double the room and can still mod the snot out of them.

    Hope that helps.

    Brett
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    we'd pick up the turbocharged Forster. The WRX guys in this area said that's the subie to get because you get double the room and can still mod the snot out of them.

    Brett
    I'm familiar with a bunch of the mods - but the fiance's '05 Forester XT was a rocket out of the box. My normally mild mannered chick took to blowing the doors off of kids in their "Fast & Furious" wannabe cars less than a week after picking her car up from the dealership. It's only got slightly less cargo room than my 4 Runner. She objected when I initially mentioned the car, saying that it looks like a "mom mobile" (in spite of the fact that it's all black w/ black leather interior and tinted windows) - it's taken a few months, but she's finally realized that it's more of a thinking person's SUV than a grocery getter.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    If we were to buy a newer Subie - we'd pick up the turbocharged Forster. The WRX guys in this area said that's the subie to get because you get double the room and can still mod the snot out of them.

    Brett
    Too bad the Foresters are still ugly... that extra utility would come in handy. I'm leaning towards the new Turbo WRX'ed engined Outback but wishing it was just a bit bigger.

  24. #24
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    subie

    My parents had a 80's GL turbo, racked up 120k, went through 3 timing belts. We have a 1994 Impreza with 96k, runs great, although not completely problem free. Engine seal leak at 70k (probably crankshaft seal) cost $700 to fix cuz since they were in there, we had the waterpump, idler wheel and timing belt replaced too. Normal stuff like cv boots, brakes and front wheel bearings at 95k. Still drives and runs perfect and the AWD is fun to drive in the twisties. Oh and eats through tires and you're supposed to keep ALL tires the same depth, within 2/16th" of each other. So If you blow one tire, you'll prob. have to get a full set or have the exact tire shaved to match.

  25. #25
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    I've had several:

    My wife is currently driving a 99 legacy GT, with the 2.5 and a 5spd manual tranny. Been pretty good, we had an oil leak at around 60K, they replaced the cam seals, (while they were in there, I had them do the timing and water pump, and it needed an idler pully as well) and they replaced the rear seal on the motor. The rear seal was NOT the rear main seal, but another seal, not sure of it's function. This required pulling the motor to get access. The service from the local dealer was crummy, they really didn't want to fix the problem, and it took 4 or 5 return visits for them to finally get it done.

    Having said that, my wife put on 65K miles in 1.5 years, and the car has been great. If you're at all inclined, the brakes and rotors can be swapped in about an hour for all 4 wheels, at a cost of about $500 or so. The milage only approaches 28 when you can run the car with the cruise on, around town it's closer to the 22-23mpg others are reporting. Oh yeah, the stock potenza tires suck too, plan on replacing those and being much happier all around. The bajas come with bigger, AT tires, so maybe that's not a problem for that model.

    I've had several others as well, early 90's with the 2.2 liter motor, all went 175K plus in milage, with only regular maintenance issues.

    Plum

  26. #26
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    Good job! Love Our BooBaru Baja

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks
    I don't know about real longevity but we have a 2003 Baja with the 2.5L normally aspirated with about 30,000 miles already. Not a single problem with the car at all. We absolutely love it. We get about 27 highway, 23 city without bikes on the roofrack. About 24 highway with them up there blowing in the wind. We carry the bikes on top and use the bed with cover as a big trunk. This is our second Subaru and we love it. We sold our old 88 Justy (made by Suzuki) at 88k miles so it really doesn't count. I will say that about everyone I know that has or does own a subaru loves it. I know a couple of folks that regret selling theirs. The 2.5 isn't the peppiest thing out there but does just fine, it's just geared tall to help mileage so a drag racer it ain't. But I don't think you really need anything more powerful. The thing is great in snow and gets lots of looks when we're driving around. I can't wait to pay this one off to get one of my own since the missus drives it to work during the week..
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  27. #27
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    Check Consumer Reports. . .

    After our older Outback got run off the road and totaled this summer, my wife and I knew we wanted another Subaru, but werent' sure which one.

    A friend who's a Consumer Reports enthusiast loaned us their car buyer's guide so we could compare models.

    In general, most of their cars got great ratings for everything, including reliablity (which matched our experience with the Outback). The Baja, though was a marked exception to that. Consumer reports' reveiw of the Baja indicated that even they were puzzled by that. The Baja would seem to be the same car as the Outback, but with a different cargo area, and the Outbacks had high reliablity and customer satisfaction. The Bajas were reportedly having all kinds of trouble.

    However, this report only included the first year of the Baja. I would hope they've worked some kinks out. Maybe they've got updated info on this somewhere.

    Good luck and enjoy your new vehicle.

    (For what it's worth, we ended up getting a base-model '04 Baja and we love it.)

  28. #28
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    We have a 2002 Forrester with 45,000 miles on it. These are the problems I've had with it:

    -The "hydraulic timing belt adjuster" went on it at about 7500 miles. It was repaired under warranty.

    - I sometimes get a slight backfire or "pop" out of the exhaust when I shift gears. Don't know what this is - the dealer tells me that they hook it up to the diagnostic device and can't find anything wrong with the way it's running.

    - White smoke out of the exhaust sometimes when I start it - for example, if I start it up, move it 5 feet (out for the garage for instance) then start it up again 5 minutes later.

    - I also get "the smell" others have talked about - but only after some serious snow-bank bashing. :-)

    Given these issues I'm not sure we're going to hang onto for a long time. I like the car but I worry that these small problems are an indication that it will have major problems down the line.

    Later

  29. #29
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    Go for it...

    ...but if you are a high mileage MPG-oriented driver stick to the N/A powerplants. The turbos, especially as they tend to influence you throttle habits, get poor gas mileage. Some may argue "...not if you keep the RPMs below 3K..." - but what is the point of that...the turbo barely begun to spool up...

    I've been toying with the idea of trading in my lightly modified 02 WRX Wgn for the new Legacy GT or Outback XT. Either of these will have more room that a Forester and will be faster than an Forester XT as they both run a more powerfully tuned version of the WRX STI 2.5L w/ blower. Unless you really need the ground clearance of the Outback - which beats several SUVs BTW - go with the Legacy. Lighter, faster and with the same internal dimensions as the Outback.

    If you are performance oriented I don't think it's worth the time to modify a Forester or Outback due to the primary limiting factor - a higher COG.

    If the 05 Legacy GT 5MT had been available when I bought my WRX I would have taken the Legacy all day, every day. Bigger, more refined, and more powerful. That said, my WRX is an absolute blast. Nothing better than killing krautmobiles with a little ricer sporting loaded bike racks.

    There's not another brand I'd consider for year-round MN driving.

    Sean
    Professional Amateur

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    I don't know about real longevity but we have a 2003 Baja with the 2.5L normally aspirated with about 30,000 miles already. Not a single problem with the car at all. We absolutely love it. We get about 27 highway, 23 city without bikes on the roofrack. About 24 highway with them up there blowing in the wind. We carry the bikes on top and use the bed with cover as a big trunk. This is our second Subaru and we love it. We sold our old 88 Justy (made by Suzuki) at 88k miles so it really doesn't count. I will say that about everyone I know that has or does own a subaru loves it. I know a couple of folks that regret selling theirs. The 2.5 isn't the peppiest thing out there but does just fine, it's just geared tall to help mileage so a drag racer it ain't. But I don't think you really need anything more powerful. The thing is great in snow and gets lots of looks when we're driving around. I can't wait to pay this one off to get one of my own since the missus drives it to work during the week..
    thanks for the info

  31. #31
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    have a 1997 outback wagon with the 2.5 motor

    About a year ago @ 70,000 miles the car started blowing coolant on a road trip to New Mexico. Turns out the Head gasket's were shot. Seems to be a fairly common problem with the early 97-99 motors across the globe but subaru is not taking responsability. Some people have this problem others cars seem to be fine. The day i had the problem diagnosed at my subaru only mechanic, three other outbacks were there for head gasket repairs The newer gaskets used after 99 seem to have remedied this prob. After the fix my car is fine. Approaching 100,000 miles and no real issues, as long as you stay on top of the regular scheduled maintainance. This is the best snow/awd car I have ever driven. Mileage aint so great though, I average 20-24.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    My mother-in-law has a 99 Legacy and she's been complaining about a burning smell recently. Haven't heard if the cause has been determined.
    subs are notorious for a little teeny leak that drop teeny tiny drops of oil onto the exhaust manifiold. Any good wrench familiar with subs should know that. A pal who is a subaru master mechanic told me that, and my regular guy knows it too. They can fix it when they do the 90 or 100K service with new timing belt.

    Driving a 95 legacy that I bought last year with 85K on it.

    formica
    Last edited by formica; 01-04-2005 at 02:02 PM.

  33. #33
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    Suby #1 was an 88 GL Wagon. Had 236,000 miles on the odo when I sold it ( I just got tired of it and later regreted selling when I started to miss the little feller) It had the original
    clutch in it when I sold it and drove fine.

    Suby #2 was a 2000 Outback that we leased. Had a baby and traded cars for financial considerations. Can't comment on it except to say I wish we could have kept it.

    Suby #3 is a 1997 Legacy wagon with a 2.2L 16V engine, currently in the stable and has 187,000 miles on it, original clutch, seviced somewhat regularly. Love it, keeping it until it dies (which might be a while).
    Calling out from the Land of the Riding Hillbilly.


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  34. #34
    ali'i hua
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    03 WRX waggon

    and I love it! almost 2 years old, almost paid off (april) and at 37k, just got a new set of tyres for it. havent had any issues, and the subie dealer i got mine from is great to work with. oh- grat for long (1000+ miles) road trips at high speed. made it to salem oregon in 14 hours from southern california (80 miles from the US/mexico border)

  35. #35
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    If you want a truly bulletproof motor in a 4wd vehicle I would strongly recommend the honda element. Other than a slightly rock prone windshield it has been flawless for us. plus theres no timing belts to change as honda went to a steel chain on the latest incarnation of the accord motor.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    ...but if you are a high mileage MPG-oriented driver stick to the N/A powerplants. The turbos, especially as they tend to influence you throttle habits, get poor gas mileage. Some may argue "...not if you keep the RPMs below 3K..." - but what is the point of that...the turbo barely begun to spool up...

    I've been toying with the idea of trading in my lightly modified 02 WRX Wgn for the new Legacy GT or Outback XT. Either of these will have more room that a Forester and will be faster than an Forester XT as they both run a more powerfully tuned version of the WRX STI 2.5L w/ blower. Unless you really need the ground clearance of the Outback - which beats several SUVs BTW - go with the Legacy. Lighter, faster and with the same internal dimensions as the Outback.

    Sean
    I agree with the MPG comment. My wife has an '04 Forester XT, and it gets 20 or so MPG. The cargo area could be bigger, but its big enough for the 2 of us. The Legacy and Outback have more power than the Forester, but the gearing is different, so the Forester is still faster. We would have considered the Legacy GT or Outback XT, but they were not in showrooms when we got the Forester last Sept. So far, short of using a quart of oil every 3k miles( dealer says that's normal, BS), the Subaru has been flawless. Ours just hit 26k miles today.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    ... I've been toying with the idea of trading in my lightly modified 02 WRX Wgn for the new Legacy GT or Outback XT. Either of these will have more room that a Forester and will be faster than an Forester XT as they both run a more powerfully tuned version of the WRX STI 2.5L w/ blower. Sean
    Really? The Outback and Legacy have more room than the Forester? Are you talking about cargo room? I woudn't've expected that. Now if they just had a third seat it would be a done deal. We're down to five in the family now but my wife still wants something with 7 passenger seating. We like the Ford Freestyle but I wish it came with a blower. .... or, better yet, the new V-8 that Volvo (Ford) is putting in the XC90 based on the narrow angle V built by Yamaha that was in the old Taurus SHOs.

    Informative and concise write-up btw. Sounds like you know your Subarus

  38. #38
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    I own this thread.

    Subaru: All we'll drive!
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  39. #39
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    200k+ og miles on these Ru's

    Horizontal Opposition
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    Last edited by singletrack; 01-04-2005 at 03:38 PM.

  40. #40
    a dad
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    the head gasket thing was a problem on the 00-02 (and older ones) but that has been fixed from what i read...if you buy a used one just make sure they did the wp-99 recall (coolant additive for those years) before it had too many miles and there shouldn't be any problems...i have an 00 outback with 86k...great car....uses regular unleaded instead of premiem like audi's...not fast but fast enough
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  41. #41
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    Mmmm Brat

    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack
    Subaru: All we'll drive!
    That Brat is sweet. I want to restore a Brat so bad.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by s1ngletrack
    There are 3 of us? I'm familiar with the GJ singletrack (he called me a 16 year old - confused years riding with age in my profile - and thought I jacked his name - I actually just picked mine because I've been using it on my e-mail accounts for the last 6 years or so) he seems like a nice guy. I didn't realize that there was another - we must find and destroy the imposter.
    I have since realized the error of my ways. My bad.

    Since I'm Joel and you're Josh, and we're both in CO, we should make our avatars similar just to fvck with everybody.

    But yeah, a third variation on singletrack just started posting.

  43. #43
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    ditto

    2002 Outback
    2004 WRX sedan with heated seats and sunroof.

    What great cars

  44. #44
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    My 2000 Outback is good, but not great. So why would I post anything...to mention the PISS POOR SERVICE SUBARU HAS. At all of 36,500 miles we had some engine problems that were covered up to 36,000, but Subaru would not cover. Technically they didn't have to, but I had all required work done (at an independent repair shop) and Subaru would not cover because of this. At that time I promised to Subaru I would tell anyone who would listen about their crappy customer service. I will never buy another because of that one dealing and would suggest you avoid the pain and buy something else as well (or at least always take your car to the dealer)

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccune
    So why would I post anything...to mention the PISS POOR SERVICE SUBARU HAS.
    So in other words you voided your warranty and now you're pissed about it?

    I only ever hafta deal with the parts department at the dealership myself, and they've always been helpful. Just today they ordered me a bunch of archane 20 year old diff parts. They don't mind me poking around the '05s either, despite the fact that there's no way I'm gonna buy one.


    Anywho, one more reason to buy an old one, nothing can break that can't be fixed for $100 and some time under the ol' shadetree.
    Last edited by singletrack; 01-04-2005 at 04:48 PM.

  46. #46
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    [QUOTE=singletrack]So in other words you voided your warranty and now you're pissed about it?

    I only ever hafta deal with the parts department at the dealership myself, and they've always been helpful. Just today they ordered me a bunch of archane 20 year old diff parts. They don't mind me poking around the '05s either, despite the fact that there's no way I'm gonna buy one.


    Anywho, one more reason to buy an old one, nothing can break that can't be fixed for $100 and some time under the ol' shadetree.[/QUO

    In Colorado you do not void a warranty by going to an independent shop, just piss Subaru off. This may be the same in other states or perhaps not. May be worth checking into.

  47. #47
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    I would have rented a car and towed the dang thing backwards for 501 miles!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccune
    In Colorado you do not void a warranty by going to an independent shop, just piss Subaru off. This may be the same in other states or perhaps not. May be worth checking into.
    In truth I've never had a new car or a warranty, so my knowledge of the subject is pretty limited.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I got lousy service at a Denny's once but I still love the French Slam. If you know what I mean.

    Anyway, this is a company that sponsors IMBA as well as NPR, so please give them the benift of the doubt.

  49. #49
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    My 95 Legacy was (is) nothing to brag about.

    I bought a Legacy L new in 1995. I drove it for 2 years (~30K miles) and then sold it to my stepdad. He still has it with about 85K on it now.

    On the plus side, I think Subarus are some of the best vehicles out there for snowy roads.

    I do have a few complaints about it, mostly the fact that the clutch crapped out at 28K. Subaru did not warrenty it, and instead charged me $650 to fix it. They only offered a 15K warrenty on the clutch. In anticipation of comments regarding my ability to use a clutch, I got 140K out of the clutch on my 1980 Datsun, 145K out of my 1986 Toyota Pickup, and put 155K on my 1988 VW Golf without ever replacing the clutch.

    I recently borrowed the car from my stepdad, and there is once again something wrong with the clutch. The car shakes as I release the clutch. It feels sort of like a bad U-joint on a rear wheel drive car. The engine sounds sort of loud as well. It's not an exaust issue, it just does not sound too smooth any more. To be fair, the car is 10 years old, but it only has 85K on it.

    I understand that at some point since `95 the clutch has been redesigned. That is good to hear, but I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from having to shell out $650 to fix what I consider to be a defective clutch.

    Two years ago I was shopping for a new car to replace the old Toyota Pickup. I had decided I wanted something roomy with AWD or 4WD that got decent gas mileage. In the end I narrowed it down to the Subaru Legacy or the Honda CR-V. I went with the CR-V. I would probably have been just as happy going with the Subaru, but every time I thought about giving Subaru $20,000 of my money, that $650 popped into my mind, and I could not bring myself to do it.

    Kapusta



    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks

  50. #50
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Oh crud - mine has that smell...

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoToo
    It's a 2002 Outback with the 2.5 liter 4 cyl. I started smelling a sweet burning odor and it turned out to be coolant leaking from the head. I did some research and found that many owners were having a similar problem. As I said, the car was repaired under warranty and I haven't had any leaks since (about 44,000 mi. on the odo now). Hopefully this problem has been corrected with later models.
    Well, I'm glad I read this post! I've been smelling a sweet smell when I shut the engine off in my 2002 Outback with the 2.5 liter 4 cyl. Guess it's time for a trip to the dealer...

  51. #51
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! 2002 Outback 2.5L = not good!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product?
    I'm on my 3rd Subaru - this one is a 2002 Outback with the 2.5L four and auto tranny. I can't say it's all that great of a car, either to drive or mechanical reliability. I just rolled over 38,000 miles and here are my gripes in 2.5 years:

    1. The engine is underpowered and mine knocks and pings like crazy unless you put in 89 octane or better fuel.

    2. I had to have the catalytic converter replaced at about 32,000 miles.

    3. The weather stripping around the driver's side door has been replaced 2x and still, at any mph over 40, the wind just howls through some gap there I can't find.

    4. The stock Bridgestone Potenza's are utter [email protected] in snow. I have had serious understeer issues with the Outback on any kind of snowy roads. Just put on a set of Blizzaks for the winter, so hopefully that problem is solved.

    5. My fuel gauge is currently not functioning correctly. The gauge will tell me that I'm out of gas, but when I go to fill up, it will only take 10 gallons - and it has a 16 gallon tank!!

    6. I'm starting to get the sweet/burning smell from the engine. Looks like I'll have to check that head gasket problem out the next trip to the shop. Apparently, only some of the 1999 to 2002 Subarus with the 2.5L (phase II) engines are covered under the recall/extended headgasket warranty, and mine is not one of them. So, I forsee a $2,000 repair bill in my not-too-distant future.

    7. The seat heaters are weak and take forever to get warm. Also, the lumbar support mechanism on the driver's side seat is broken.

    8. I had to have the O2 sensor replaced at about 27K miles.

    I guess that's about it. I get about 22 - 25 mpg max with roof racks on, and I've gotten as little as 18 mpg on a cross-state trip hauling 4 people and 4 bikes. It does handle nicely on dry roads, and it's got a nice handling feel overall. I like the amount of cargo space; however, the front passenger seat is kind of cramped for anyone over about 5'6", and if you put the front seats back to a comfortable spot, the back seats get cramped.

    Of my prior 2 Subarus (1991 Loyale wagon and 1990 Legacy wagon), one was a total lemon (Loyale) and the other was only a partial lemon (Legacy). Would I buy another Subaru? With my 33% satisfaction rate with the brand, there's no chance in hell. My advice is to go get either a Toyota Highlander, or one of the Honda products - Pilot, CRV, or the Element. (Kicking myself now that I didn't wait a couple of months and buy an Element!!)
    Last edited by Earthpig; 01-05-2005 at 09:06 AM. Reason: I remembered more reasons I hate this car

  52. #52
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    forgot to mention, one of the replacement cv boots only lasted one year.

    oh, and parents went from their old GL turbo to a Legacy Outback LLBean etc. 6 cylinder deluxe version, by far the nicest car they've ever owned, and they love it. Still sub 50k, only complaint has been squeaky brakes.

    I'd love to score a cherry old brat.

  53. #53
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    2003 WRX Wagon - Love it.

  54. #54
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    Owned one of the first Outbacks...

    I purchased a 1995 Subaru Outback brand-new, with the 2.2 motor and a manual transmission. The 2.5 is a stroked-out version of the 2.2, and our 2.2 had over 150 K without any issues (i.e. burning oil, lost compression, etc.). The motor was easy to service and work on, and it was a dream to drive. We had some issues with the clutch at about 70K, but I believe now that it was primarily due to my first wife's tendency to ride the clutch alot, and her short, traffic filled drive to work.

    I would buy another one in a minute; I love my Jeep, but I hate the gas milage and I've had some reliabilty issues with it. If you buy a Subaru, I really doubt you'll regret it.

    Hope that helps some.
    Regards,

    Phil

  55. #55
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    WOW, look what I started!

    My current off-roadable bike hauler. Will always keep, as it gets great smiles per gallon:
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  56. #56
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    I have owned 3 subarus and while I have liked them all, they haven't be all that reliable.

    02- Impreza WRX: Bad shock at 5,000 mi, Fuel Leak at 16,000 and a horrible clutch shudder that they wouldn't fix.

    01- Impreza RS: The Transmission broke at 25,000 mi, the speedometer went out around 31,000 mi and a clutch shudder the fixed when they replaced the transmission.

    04- Impreza WRX: Transmission broke at 3,000 miles, coolant leak at 3,000 and 12,000 miles and now my engine knocks bad on start up when its cold out. I took it to the dealer and they said that's normal??????

  57. #57
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    I have a 2004 Forester XT and it has been a good car. Although it became appearant that it was too small for my needs, so I am selling it and getting crew cab pick-up truck. The turbo 2.5 that came with the XT is peppy, and I even took the car out and autocrossed it! It works well in the rain, snow and mud, and overall, I think Subaru does a good job with their overall construction and fit and finish. I have property in Utah, and have to drive 20 miles down a graded dirt road. Car did well with this, but the paint is chipping pretty bad. Had no mechanical problems, and put 11000 in 9 months on this car.

  58. #58
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    I have an 02 Forester S

    I bought it used last year and so far I've had to replace the alternator ($540) and one of the four bearings in the front differential which was around $900 but was under warranty at the time. Overall though it's a pretty cool car, I am going to buy an extended warranty in case anything big ever fails.
    Oh, and I can fit 2 bikes in the back with the rear seats down!
    (hows that for passion!)

  59. #59
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    Premium gas for 2.5 turbos?

    I'm considering an Outback XT 2.5 turbo or maybe the Legacy GT. Do they require premium gas or will they work with regular?
    What about the NA engines? I do plenty of commuting, so I have to factor the more expensive premium gas cost in when choosing my next car.
    Thanks in advance...
    __________________

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    but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  60. #60
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    Awsome wheeler pix!

    Awesome wheeler pix!

  61. #61
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    Just got a used Forester

    ...to replace my VW Jetta "bike rack" that was destroyed in a traffic accident. I've only had the car for a few weeks but I'm already liking the way it rides and its uber practacle body style. I got mine for $8k with 80k on the clock.


  62. #62
    Michael B
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    I love my Baja Sport!!

    I own this exact same vehicle that you are inquiring about and I have to tell you that this is by far the best vehicle I've every owned. The gas mileage in town is a little less than desirable but the 28 mpg on the freeway is pretty accurate. This is the first Subaru that I've owned, and definately not the last. In fact a year after purchasing the Baja Sport my girlfriend and I bought a second car for her...a 2004 Subaru Legacy wagon...again another great car! So there's my two bits....I don't think you'll be disappointed should you decide to go with the Baja Sport.

  63. #63
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    My experience with Subarus:

    My family had a '92 Subaru Legacy wagon that was driven mostly by my dad. It had zero in the way of major mechanical problems outside of normal maintenance. My mother got ahold of it at 120,000 miles and proceeded to beat the ever living crap out of it (which she does to cars) for another 115,000 miles. Then the CV joint started to go and the clutch was sketchy (my mom is notorious for destroying clutches), and she refused to fix it. It sat in the driveway for a while and was eventually donated to charity but with $1000 worth of work, it would have been fine - the car ran great, and you'd never know it had 235k miles on it.

    My dad bought a '91 Subaru Legacy wagon as a temporary vehicle at one point that had 90,000 miles on it, but drove like it was brand new. According to the previous owner, it had no major parts replaced before he got it. He proceeded to put another 70,000 miles on it and sold it, still running great.

    I currently drive a '98 Subaru Forrester. When I bought it, it had ~100,000 miles on it and come to find out it had suffered a pretty severe rear-end accident, and the only thing new on it was the clutch. Now, a little more than a year later, it has 130,000 miles on it and I've done nothing but get the oil changed regularly. It needs new shocks and is suffering from some odd little electrical problems, but shocks are a consumable item and the electrical problems have so far not affected much (the digital clock doesn't function anymore, and the "door ajar" light doesn't turn off. Also, the rear hatch doesn't lock via the key fob, but that may be something that was caused by the accident). It, like the other two cars, still runs great. Smooth, tight and quiet.

    I've owned a couple cars before this, and my family owned many cars, but the Subarus have far and away been the most reliable cars.

    I still miss my Toyota Tacoma, though

  64. #64
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    I have a...

    97 Subaru Legacy L Sedan w/ 111K miles. I had to replace the oil pump and that's abouut it. I don't treat it very well and it doesn't complain too much. I might buy another Subaru once I get to Alaska, but the Honda CR-V has my eye for the increased cargo space.

  65. #65
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    Lovin' my '05 Legacy GT Wagon. Can't comment on the longevity yet as it's only got about 9500 miles on it so far. It was fantastic on a road trip out through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and back to Washington this summer. Cracked the windshield somewhere in Wyoming but otherwise it's been great fun. The engine is big fun!

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  66. #66
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    I own a MY01 Outback Ltd (purchased new in 8/00). It's not the Eddie Bauer one. It now has 89K miles. I think it's the 2.5 engine. This is my first new car.

    Last month I replaced the head gasket (covered under Subaru warranty), because I noticed the sweet smell. I also had my clutch completely replaced, including the master and slave cylinder. I replaced my timing belt since they said it would be cheaper to do it while they had a lot the engine out. I think the shop damaged (but I can't prove) my A/C compressor when working on it, so I had to replace that the week after I got it back.

    I know very little about cars, so they could have totally pulled the wool over my eyes if they wanted to. I've had ALL work (from oil changes to body work) done by the mechanics at the place where I bought the car. I've never worked on it myself. I had a small fender bender in the rear, and had the rear bumper replaced.

    Overall it's a good car, but last month's work really put a hit on the wallet. I was able to cover some of the work with an extended warranty (mechanical breakdown) that I had with my insurance. Fit and finish doesn't seem as tight or as good as Hondas and Toyotas that my friends and relatives own. In my experience, I also hear more squeaks/rattles than those other two brands. However, the AWD is a very nice feature to have when the roads get slippery.

    If I had to do it again, I don't really need the leather seats and the higher level trim. I'd get the basic model OR purchased a Toyota or Honda, both of which haven't been as expensive to upkeep (for my friends & relatives) as this car has been to me.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik99
    I got mine for $8k with 80k on the clock.

    That's a score.

  68. #68
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    Used '98 Forester S here...

    ...in the middle of nowhere in northern Canada.

    Bought car used with about 60,000km. It's at 88,000km now after almost 2 years. Previous owner was the president of the city labrador dog owners club. Car smelled like dog (with dog hairs everywhere to show for it). Was used primarily as a city car. Dealer where I bought it were lying POS, saying that the car was never in an accident. My bad for believing them...now a discoloured patch shows up on the rear door making car look like it's bruised or something. Bastards!

    I digress. Car has been good so far in the -40deg C, icy and snowy road weather up here. What I had to replace so far:

    - new tires and steel rims (still had orig. Yoko Geolanders), which are BFG Traction T/A
    - struts all around
    - K&N air filter
    - new battery

    The last was because of the extreme cold weather here and the friggin' block heater cord was screw - engine froze. Oh well, that's life in the north. Gas mileage horrible in winter (not sure on MPG but I get about 200-250km per full tank); summer and highway mileage best was 600km on a full tank. Not bad but nothing compared to my previous car, '90 Honda Civic DX hatchback.

    Have noticed lots of noise in the cabin, which I'm not too thrilled about. Hatch has trouble closing in the winter; I think it was the overuse by the previous owner as she had the dog in the back all the time. But the rear doors close like a new car. Kinda weird. Seat heaters, I'll agree with the previous person, does take a little bit to warm up but on high, they really get hot! Support here in the province (Manitoba) is horrible. I end up ordering parts (oil filters) from neighbouring provinces or from home province of BC.

    Bike related:

    Transported 3 people (includes me) with:

    - Cove Hummer
    - Ells Joker
    - Rocky Mountain RM6
    - Freeride gear
    - shovels, axes, nails

    in the Subie. No bike rack in back or top. It was tight but wow! With creative packing, it'll swallow the gear. Slept in the back a couple of times with seats folded no prob (5'-10") in the "slightly fetal" position. Howvever, new Tacoma DoubleCab looks really nice but too much $$$ for me right now.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tig
    I'm considering an Outback XT 2.5 turbo or maybe the Legacy GT. Do they require premium gas or will they work with regular?
    What about the NA engines? I do plenty of commuting, so I have to factor the more expensive premium gas cost in when choosing my next car.
    Thanks in advance...
    I have heard the Turbos require Premium, but was wondering whether that was accurate or not. I would love an Outback XT, but I refuse to buy a car that requires premium gas.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccune
    My 2000 Outback is good, but not great. So why would I post anything...to mention the PISS POOR SERVICE SUBARU HAS. At all of 36,500 miles we had some engine problems that were covered up to 36,000, but Subaru would not cover. Technically they didn't have to, but I had all required work done (at an independent repair shop) and Subaru would not cover because of this. At that time I promised to Subaru I would tell anyone who would listen about their crappy customer service. I will never buy another because of that one dealing and would suggest you avoid the pain and buy something else as well (or at least always take your car to the dealer)
    Magnusson-Moss states that any required part not provided for at no additional charge can not be used to void a warranty. I am a an exotic auto broker and am an experienced mechanic so I have alot of experience with this. I have had many parts break out of warranty and had them replaced under warranty because it was an irregular failure. When you say independent you arent reffering to jiffy lube(or other similar place) because as a rule mechanics hate jiffy lube,they do poor service with low quality parts.

    Why not get a Volvo Cross Country wagon? Drives a hell of a lot better and is safe.Volvo hold the world record for longevity,there is a p1800 with over 2,000,000 miles on it and still going.

  71. #71
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    I'd consider a Subaru if they weren't so danged cramped up front.
    It's not the legroom, it's the hip/shoulder,headroom. TINY!!!

    My wife loves 'em but even she agrees it's cramped up front.

    We're leaning towards the Honda Element which seems 2x's as big in the hip/shoulder/headroom dept.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    I'd consider a Subaru if they weren't so danged cramped up front.
    It's not the legroom, it's the hip/shoulder,headroom. TINY!!!

    My wife loves 'em but even she agrees it's cramped up front.

    We're leaning towards the Honda Element which seems 2x's as big in the hip/shoulder/headroom dept.
    As a satisfied element owner I must say it is one of the most spacious vehicles I have ever been in. It is super configurable and is available with a manual transmission and 4wd.
    Although that combination may take a little looking to find.

  73. #73
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    Yes...

    Premium is required on all new Subaru turbos. You might be okay every once and a while using regular, but I remember reading something on the Edmunds.com subie forum about why to only use premium. I just can't remember what.

    I stayed away from the Forester XT because of this. At times, I regret going with the na version, but thats the "boy racer" in me speaking up.

    Anyone else looking for a great source for Subaru info, here's the link to Edmunds.com:

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/ed_displayMakeRelatedDiscussions!make=Subaru&tid=e dmunds.t.townhall.makelist.x.17.Subaru

    Every member is extremely helpful in answering Subaru questions. Just like the MTBR forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    I have heard the Turbos require Premium, but was wondering whether that was accurate or not. I would love an Outback XT, but I refuse to buy a car that requires premium gas.
    Official Chocolate Fountain Spokesman

  74. #74
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    Just found this...

    The new B9X might be worth waiting for. And its a Subaru!

    https://img.ranchoweb.com/images/ski...agefile293.jpg
    Official Chocolate Fountain Spokesman

  75. #75
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    Here's another...

    Seven seater
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    I have heard the Turbos require Premium, but was wondering whether that was accurate or not. I would love an Outback XT, but I refuse to buy a car that requires premium gas.
    Not required but highly recommended. It is a high performance engine and if you're going to get one why not get the highest performance possible?

    Why is it that you refuse to buy a car that requires premium? Is it cost? If so, do the math and you'll see it only works out to about $180 a year more than regular (based on premium being $.20 more per gallon than regular, 15 galllons per fillup and 60 fillups per year = $180).

    If the performance of the turbo is not worth $180/year more then don't buy it. For me it is very much worth it! ;-)

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Hungus

    02- Impreza WRX: Bad shock at 5,000 mi, Fuel Leak at 16,000 and a horrible clutch shudder that they wouldn't fix.
    You should have gone back for this and demanded they fix it. The 02's had a known defect with the clutch judder and if you're car is under warranty they are supposed to replace it at no cost. There was a service bulleting about this, I found out reading an article on Road & Track where they complained about the same thing. My 02 Impreza had the same problem but unfortunately I didn't find out about this until just after I expired the 36,000 mile warranty. I just rode the stock clutch until it wore down a little later and paid $600 to get it replaced for the improved model which worked great.

  78. #78
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    I disagree on the looks dept...but I guess different strokes for different folks!

    <img src="https://www.subaruforester.com/files/side_view.jpg">

    With the Turbo Foresters you get quickness, true utility, awd, and great fuel economy.
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  79. #79
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    Do you think 18-20 mpg is good? I don't. Especially on premium.
    Official Chocolate Fountain Spokesman

  80. #80
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    I bought my 00' Outback last year with 74K miles on it. In the past year I've had the front sway bar and the alternator replaced under warranty. Now it's going on 103k miles and I still really like the car. The only real negative that I can say is that the mileage is not nearly as good as I would have expected (22 or so mpg) for a 4 cyl. car. My wife's Accord easily gets 30 mpg. But I'd guess the AWD and higher profile of the car do limit how good it gets.

    Scott

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    Not required but highly recommended. It is a high performance engine and if you're going to get one why not get the highest performance possible?

    Why is it that you refuse to buy a car that requires premium? Is it cost? If so, do the math and you'll see it only works out to about $180 a year more than regular (based on premium being $.20 more per gallon than regular, 15 galllons per fillup and 60 fillups per year = $180).

    If the performance of the turbo is not worth $180/year more then don't buy it. For me it is very much worth it! ;-)

    Cheers!
    -Ian

    Good point Ian, I had never done the math. $180 is not much at all, especially considering the turbo model would cost me about 5k more, I doubt I'd notice the $180. I have always felt that Premium gas was a rip-off, but i have always owned older cars, and trucks, none of which could be considered high performance. I will have to leave it to the test drive, which means I'll probably end up with the XT. Everyone else who tests one has trouble imaging themselves stuck with the "slow" version.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  82. #82
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    05 baja turbo and an 02 outback sport

    100k on the outback sport and not a single hickup. Fast enough, goes up pretty
    much any reasonable dirt road that it has the clearance for, goes around corners,
    amazing in snow, etc. Very good car so far. I averaged 26.5 mpg over the first 100k

    05 baja turbo all of the above plus a whole bunch more power and more ground clearance.
    Carries three bikes in back (or two on the top) and you don't have to fill the inside with
    wet dirty stuff if you don't want. I just leave the back seat down and use it as a large platform.
    15k miles ~22 mpg, saw 27 on a couple tanks on a long trip, never have done less than
    20 on a tank but I am guessing that if I really twisted its poor little neck...

    (both 5spds, btw)

    I was not impressed with the aspo 2.5 bajas, though. 3600lbs is a lot for 165 hp but that's
    just one test drive.

    patrick

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    Holy crap! Some ricers attacked that car and added one of their paint can fart tip mufflers to it.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by iopturbo
    Magnusson-Moss states that any required part not provided for at no additional charge can not be used to void a warranty. I am a an exotic auto broker and am an experienced mechanic so I have alot of experience with this. I have had many parts break out of warranty and had them replaced under warranty because it was an irregular failure. When you say independent you arent reffering to jiffy lube(or other similar place) because as a rule mechanics hate jiffy lube,they do poor service with low quality parts.

    Why not get a Volvo Cross Country wagon? Drives a hell of a lot better and is safe.Volvo hold the world record for longevity,there is a p1800 with over 2,000,000 miles on it and still going.

    No not Jiffy Lube...I'll give props to my wrench at Bolts Auto Care in Denver...Hell they told me to take the care back to a dealer to get the work covered. Rick (the owner) was shocked when Subaru wouldn't cover. As for my next car Toyota Highlander.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack
    In truth I've never had a new car or a warranty, so my knowledge of the subject is pretty limited.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience. I got lousy service at a Denny's once but I still love the French Slam. If you know what I mean.

    Anyway, this is a company that sponsors IMBA as well as NPR, so please give them the benift of the doubt.

    One of the main reasons I bought a subaru in the first place was their support of cycling, but then again 7-11 supported cycling for a long time and there is a reason I don't shop there either. I understand your point, and maybe I had a one off bad experience, but I feel it worth letting people know about.

  86. #86
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    http://www.ultimatesubaru.net/forum/

    if you own a sube, come on over here...you'll learn all you care to know about the greatest cars made..sorry im a biased '92 Loyale owner..

  87. #87
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    2000 Forester, no problems...

    I bought it for the room to haul stuff such as bikes and camping gear over back roads. The AWD is quite noticeable (compared to a GTI with 4 snow tires) and the ground clearance is also a benefit. It has 140km now. The mileage is great on the highway but less in the city, most likely due to having to accelerate all of that drivetrain mass at each light. In fact, up here (Canada) you need to get all the gearbox oil changed to lightweight stuff for the winter or risk shifting trouble.

    One wheelbearing went early but was replaced, no hassle, under warranty. Tells you something when the dealer is co-located with the area's BMW dealer...The only other issue is how easily it dents - mine suffered in an ice storm - but that seems to be 'normal' for most Japanese vehicles.

  88. #88
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    I have a 2004 WRX STI that has a turbo version of the 2.5 engine and I have had 0 problems with it. I absolutely love it.

  89. #89
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    I've got a 2000 Forester. Kind of homely looking (looks like an arse from the back), but can't beat it for coping with New England winters. I do 100 miles a day in it, great on the highway, heated seats, loads of room for gear, blabla.... Oh, and in my experience with buying cars, Subaru dealers don't have quite the same car dealer attitude that I experienced elsewhere. More of a 'build it and they will come' philosophy than a 'you're not leaving this carlot without one of my fords / chevys / mazdas (delete as appropriate)'. Subaru dealers seem to just realise the car speaks for itself and so they don't have to.
    Brick walls are there for a reason...

  90. #90
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    We just got one

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks
    '05 Outback wagon silver ex/black ln, NON-TURBO.

    We looked at cars for the last two months. Considered/test drove/researched everything in our price range.

    ME was a little reticent about getting a "truck-bodied" vehicle. We looked at several of those. We own a little CR-V, which I would recommend for 'most', but, not anyne doing anything seriously more than dirt roads. It held up well, 'pushed' it a bit along the Grand Canyon and through Utah. We've owned Toyota- truck, Hondas, Suburbans, VW 's, so we've had experience with large and small vehicles, on and off-road. We wanted something that was capable of real dirt, but ME could still be happy in it.

    With neither one of us being giant people, the car fit well. Front seat fits my legs (3 inches more leg room than most everything else.) We can both lay down, comfortably and fully stretched out, in the back.

    Turbo, for me, was just 'multiple tickets waiting to happen'.

    Edmunds.com has a great feature that let's you compare specs on five cars at a time. It was a lot of help.

    Initial Impressions: Rides well, fairly quiet, handles our rough dirt road well. Only had it four days, so, it only has 180 miles on it. Like the 'tray' in the back, over the carpet. Like the seat heaters. My boney a$$ likes toasty buns!!!!!!!!!
    CJ
    WOW Arizona!

  91. #91
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    good info here. couple of add-on questions if you guys don't mind. i too am seriously looking at a subaru. forester to be specific. are you all getting 28 mpg with bikes on the top or bike racks, hard cases or only with nothing upstairs ? small pun intended. do any of you have the climate control and has it been reliable?

  92. #92
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    4 and counting

    Had an old Brumby in Australia and I still wish I had it, it was such a good car.
    '95 Outback great car sold to buy Mini cooper S
    2000 Outback, still got it and have had no problems at all. I think it's a really good bike and kayak hauller(sp).
    A week ago I finely got fed up with all the swapping back and forth between the Outback and Mini. Enter the ultimate solution.
    2005 Black Outback XT. Way faster than the Mini, slightly more room than the other Outback and really good looking.
    Now if the wife would get out of it and let me drive it more than once I think it would probably be my favourite car I've ever owned.

  93. #93
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    The wife and I ALMOST bought a Subie Outback (non-Turbo) a few weeks ago. Our primary reason for not pulling the trigger was financial, but there are several turn-offs that I didn't like about the way Subaru sells their cars.

    1. We wanted a pretty plain vanilla Outback, but my wife said it might be nice to have a sunroof. OK, so what will that cost? How about an additional 3000 bucks! You can only get the sunroof on their upscale models.

    2. We have been spoiled by having an in-dash MP3 player in our current car. With the new Outback their is no option for anything of the sort except on the very top of the line model (add 8000+).

    3. Having driven Jeeps for several years, I wanted a vehicle that was a little more beefy looking (blacked out steel rims, trail basket on roof, etc.). Basically, like other manufacturers have "off road" packages you can get. Seeing as the Outback is geared towards outdoor people anyway, I thought this would be natural. Nope (you can get the basket as an option). Maybe they don't want to encourage people to do more offroad than what these vehicles are actually designed to do (moderate only).

    Now don't get me wrong, I actually really love the new Outback and when the time is right we will probably still end up getting one (after looking at everything, no car is perfect!) but these things just rubbed me the wrong way. Also, I second the Edmunds.com route...we found some internet quotes through them that no one could touch just walking in the door of a dealership.

  94. #94
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    Turbo for you, is 'multiple tickets waiting to happen'.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdonk
    are you all getting 28 mpg with bikes on the top or bike racks, hard cases or only with nothing upstairs ? small pun intended. do any of you have the climate control and has it been reliable?
    I wouldn't believe it (28mpg) unless I saw it first hand.

    My '97 legacy 2.2L 5-speed averages 22-23 mpg, with a daily commute of mostly freeway driving. I'll stretch it into the 24 mpg range on trips with extended highway mileage, but that's a rarity.

    The 2.2 has been more than peppy enough combined with the 5 speed, but I'd bet it's sluggish with the automatic.

    Reliability has been good, other than a malfunctioning oil pressure indicator combined with a "service misunderstanding" that left me with a fried engine at the top of Donner Pass two summers ago. But I'm not going to get into that little incident, other than that it was my fault, not Subaru's.

    If by "climate control" you're only referring to A/C, it's been fine, although I've recharged it once about the time the car hit the 100K mark.

    The mileage is the one thing that causes me to look at other cars, but everything else about the Sube I like, especially the interior space. It's wide enough that I can haul refrigerators, ovens and the like with no problem. There is a good chance I'll end up with another non-Outback Legacy when the time comes.

    <img src="http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/naestep(1).jpg">

  96. #96
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    Me too!!

    Quote Originally Posted by LocoToo
    It's a 2002 Outback with the 2.5 liter 4 cyl. I started smelling a sweet burning odor and it turned out to be coolant leaking from the head. I did some research and found that many owners were having a similar problem. As I said, the car was repaired under warranty and I haven't had any leaks since (about 44,000 mi. on the odo now). Hopefully this problem has been corrected with later models.
    My 2000 forester blew the head gasket at around the 50k mile mark, as well as a radiator leak. Thankfully I had purchased a factory 100k mile warrenty when I purchased the car, so I only paid the deductable.

    I rarely did better than 22 mpg (with roof racks) and the thing ate through tires and brakes about every 50k miles. Handling was nice, but interior space was cramped, and interior fit and finish isn't the greatest.

    I traded it off on a Honda last month because it was running horribly and I didn't want to start putting money into it. This was at the 110k mile range.

    Hope this helps...
    James
    ---------------
    my bike sucks!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Reducer No. 62
    My 2000 forester blew the head gasket at around the 50k mile mark, as well as a radiator leak. Thankfully I had purchased a factory 100k mile warrenty when I purchased the car, so I only paid the deductable.

    I rarely did better than 22 mpg (with roof racks) and the thing ate through tires and brakes about every 50k miles. Handling was nice, but interior space was cramped, and interior fit and finish isn't the greatest.

    I traded it off on a Honda last month because it was running horribly and I didn't want to start putting money into it. This was at the 110k mile range.

    Hope this helps...
    Which Honda did you get?

  98. #98
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    A Grandpa mobile...

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Which Honda did you get?
    The CRV. It was funny. My wife and I mistakenly thought each other wanted a Pilot, and we almost signed on the dotted line. Luckily we figured it out before we did.

    I was checking out the Elements, but we want to have another kid (we have a six year old now) and the rear door situation and use of interior space wasn't what we needed.

    The CRV is by no means quick, bit it gets great gas milage (24 mpg all around) and has a more interior room than the Forester. The milage thing is important to us. Our other car is a Beetle TDI...
    James
    ---------------
    my bike sucks!

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    Any Subaru owners out there that would like to share their experiences with the product? Mainly interested in the longevity of the motors, trannys before needing rebuilds, major work......here is my deal:

    (some background)
    Have always been a Chevy guy (have owned GT Fords, Stangs and GTOs, but those were a different time). Loved my 80 Chev with the 5.7 motor, my 86 with the 5.0 motor........NOT in love with my 99 with the 7.4 motor or my 00 with the 3.4 motor.....nothing but problems with intake and head gaskets.

    I am considering the Subaru Baja Sport with the 2.5 normally aspirated motor. I need high fuel mileage and the AWD....this model is supposed to get 28mpg on the highway.

    What I don't need is another vehicle that needs major engine work before I get it paid off. I would be putting ~30k miles a year on it. So say 5 years x 30k, means I would like a powertrain that can do 150k miles without issue. I know that you are supposed to have the timing belt changed at 100k miles - no issue with that.

    So, any good or bad stories about the 2.5 Subaru engine?

    How many miles on yours without blowing a head or other gasket, major powertrain repair?

    thanks
    I happen to be an expert on Subaru's. While Subaru in general makes excellent cars the BAJA is a worthless pile of dung. The bed is too small to make any use of it and there isn't any place in the whole thing to put stuff where it will stay dry when you have a car full of people. Most people hate the thing.

    The Baja has had some major mechanical issues too. I would consider the Forester XT or an OUtback. Wagon's are much better than the Baja. PLus you can sleep in a wagon not a baja.

    The Forester XT can go 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, but looks like it can only go 0-10 in 5.3 seconds. Very stealthy, yet smashes past pretty much any fast 2wd car ever made, especially in the wet.


    You will be better off going to a Subaru forum to get opinions. This is THE best site for that:

    SUBARU FORUM

    Here's a list of Subaru's to avoid:

    1995-2000 Any car made with the 2.5 liter engine (outback, impreza 2.5rs, legacy GT). Head gaskets blow out. 2.2 is still good.
    ANY of the SVX model years

    Here's a list of the most reliable Subaru's:

    1990-94 Legacy's either the turbo or non turbo are bullet proof. Many of them easily get over 230,000 miles on the engine without a single false start it's whole life (my 1990 leg has never failed to start on first try 200,000 miles) Over all this is subaru's most reliable car they have ever made and is much nicer and refined than the older models. Heck for that matter, it's one of THE most reliable cars ever made. Not just engine wise, but the whole car holds up, built like a tank!!

    Any subaru built before the 1990 legacy is great too and will last forever especially the Brat. The brat is the most capable off roader ever made by subaru and is built incredibly strong. Lot's of people put giant tires on them and jack them up for serious off roading.
    Last edited by MicroHuck; 02-02-2005 at 12:37 PM.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroHuck
    You will be better off going to a Subaru forum to get opinions. This is THE best site for that:

    SUBARU FORUM
    The Impreza board doesn't cover all things Subie, but USMB does. The og poster of this thread also posted the same over there.

    Asking a Subaru enthusiasts forum if you should buy a Subaru will not get you an objective opinion.


    I agree though, the Baja is dumb.
    Last edited by singletrack; 02-02-2005 at 01:25 PM.

  101. #101
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    Same here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Reducer No. 62
    The CRV. It was funny. My wife and I mistakenly thought each other wanted a Pilot, and we almost signed on the dotted line. Luckily we figured it out before we did.

    I was checking out the Elements, but we want to have another kid (we have a six year old now) and the rear door situation and use of interior space wasn't what we needed.

    The CRV is by no means quick, bit it gets great gas milage (24 mpg all around) and has a more interior room than the Forester. The milage thing is important to us. Our other car is a Beetle TDI...
    Slow? do you have the auto or 5-speed? Is it a 2003 or newer? I found the new v-tech to do pretty well, but it is a heavy car. Not quite as fast as my friend's Forester, but fast enough. Yeah, it does scream "grocery getter" but when I compared it to the Forester, Outback, Element, and just about every other 4wd wagon and "crossover SUV" to me it made the most sense for for an outdoor lifestyle, especially mountain biking. Good mileage (for what it is) LOTS of room, decent clearance (more than the Subarus), and best of all I like the rear gate. With a spare-mounted bike rack I can put the bikes on the back and they are completely out of the way. Last time I drove cross country, I unbolted the back seat and was left with a very flat surface long enough to sleep very comfortably. It is decent in the snow, but not as good as a Subaru.

    Kapusta

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    My wife and I bought one of the last '04 Legacys this summer, largely because of Subaru's reputation and substantial evidence from friends about reliability and snow-worthiness. We've been very happy.

    One thing though: Our car is mechanically similiar to what you're looking at, and well, the gas milage has never been too close to 28. The best we've had is 24, and usually 22ish, even on the highway. Granted, I drive at 80+, but unless you typically get near the EPA's fuel economy ratings for a car you might be looking at less.

    With the 30k you drive a year, thought you would want to know.
    Got a roof rack on the Legacy?
    There are lots of factors that will contribute to lower gas mileage. I have no doubt the the 28 mpg is uner ideal conditions, but I'm surprised to hear your report of 22 mpg - that seems awfully low.

  103. #103
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    2005 SE / Auto

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Slow? do you have the auto or 5-speed? Is it a 2003 or newer? I found the new v-tech to do pretty well, but it is a heavy car. Not quite as fast as my friend's Forester, but fast enough. Yeah, it does scream "grocery getter" but when I compared it to the Forester, Outback, Element, and just about every other 4wd wagon and "crossover SUV" to me it made the most sense for for an outdoor lifestyle, especially mountain biking. Good mileage (for what it is) LOTS of room, decent clearance (more than the Subarus), and best of all I like the rear gate. With a spare-mounted bike rack I can put the bikes on the back and they are completely out of the way. Last time I drove cross country, I unbolted the back seat and was left with a very flat surface long enough to sleep very comfortably. It is decent in the snow, but not as good as a Subaru.

    Kapusta
    It's the new Special Edition, so it has seat warmers, leather and a sunroof. I guess Honda does Special Editions every five years, and this year is the CRV's turn. I went ahead and had the dealership put the factory bike racks on -they look like Thule made them for Honda- but I like the fact I can fit two bikes in back all locked up and out of site if I want.

    It's an automatic, but alledgedly gets similar mileage as the manual.

    I think it's actually got a little more top end than the Forester, i.e passes at highway speeds better, but the Forester could scoot from a dead stop and I'm guessing that's what's making the CRV seem poky-er to me. Plus Subarus kind of have that smooth, torque-y thing going on whereas the VTEC is more about revs, and I'm still babying it.
    James
    ---------------
    my bike sucks!

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Reducer No. 62
    It's the new Special Edition, so it has seat warmers, leather and a sunroof. I guess Honda does Special Editions every five years, and this year is the CRV's turn. I went ahead and had the dealership put the factory bike racks on -they look like Thule made them for Honda- but I like the fact I can fit two bikes in back all locked up and out of site if I want.

    It's an automatic, but alledgedly gets similar mileage as the manual.

    I think it's actually got a little more top end than the Forester, i.e passes at highway speeds better, but the Forester could scoot from a dead stop and I'm guessing that's what's making the CRV seem poky-er to me. Plus Subarus kind of have that smooth, torque-y thing going on whereas the VTEC is more about revs, and I'm still babying it.
    Yeah, now that you mention it, is has loads of power at high speed. If I punch it at 70 it takes off pretty fast, without downshifting (I have a manual). Not quite as quick from a start, but I don't really care about that anyway. Probably due to how heavy it is (I heard 3,500 lbs) I got the LX model. Pretty basic. Cost me just over $19K. I have heard that the auto actually gets slightly better mileage than the manual (something like 1 mpg). I noticed that on a number of new vehicles I looked at. I was never a fan of autos, but I borrowed a new Accord with an auto and v-tech engine for about a week and it felt great. Much quicker than the CR-V, must be due to the lighter weight and aerodynamics.

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