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Will be buying a legacy soon...questions!


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17 replies to this topic

#1 shrano

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:44 AM

Hi -

Went looking over the weekend and while we were thinking of the Impreza, seems the 35th Anniv Legacy Wagon will probably be the way we go cos of the cargo space. Possibly the Outback Wagon. Not sure... So, I have some questions.

1) Any dealers you would recommend/not recommend in the NYC tri-state area? We went to Bill Kolb Subaru in Orangeburg, NY and Ramsey Subaru in Ramsey, NJ. Liked the guy at BK more than the other. But both were nice. We live in Brooklyn and are looking for the best deal possible - seen some really good deals online at fitzmall.com out of Baltimore.

2) The wood veneer ugliness that is on the front dash around the audio/temp controls...is there ANY WAY TO GET RID OF THIS? Both dealers didn't seem to think you could get it any other way. It is so hideous and is close to a deal-breaker for me. We really hate it and prefer the look of the inside of the Impreza. Is there anything out there (other than stickers) to replace this nonsense with?

that's all for now...

Thanks.

-sharon

#2 northguy

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:57 AM

Try autobytel.com to get the price you want. But before you buy, check the board here (do a search) for data on the 2.5 engines. You may want to double check this first. Good luck.

#3 powderhound

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 09:55 PM

The fake wood is hideous isn't it. It looks so cheap. It is all the reason you need to stay away from 2.5s.Posted Image

#4 Philbiker

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 07:38 AM

The 2.5 engine is problematic, but I'm buying a Legacy soon, too. I also hate the fake wood, it reminds me of an old early 80s Buick. My Audi A4 2.8 is loaded with beautiful burled REAL wood in the interior. That -really- makes the fake Subaru wood look cheezy. Good news is that the Legacy only has it on the front dash. In the Outback it's in the doors also.

Go to Edmunds.com and look up your Legacy. There's a popup where you can get dealer prices. All your local dealers will email you with the prices they have. Go to www.subaru.com and use their dealer locator. You can look up inventory and get prices. I test drove the Outback but I really didn't like the trucky bumpy feel and high riding style. I greatly preferred the sporty ride of the 35th Ann. Legacy wagon.

I can get past the fake wood.

Don't be surprised if you have head gasket problems down the road, but a lot of the Phase II engines run with minimal problems.

You should be able to get a great price and great incentives due to the fact that the new '05 Legacy is due out very soon. :)

#5 shrano

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 10:26 AM

I am clueless when it comes to the inner workings of a car, therefore anything that I read about the problems of the 2.5 on this site are nothing short of useless to me. Can anyone explain to me in layman's terms what these problems are? Sure, headaches of course (although nothing can compare the the mysterious slowing down of my 93 VW Fox and then working w/ no problem after popping the clutch) but what exactly? And aren't there always going to be problems with a car? I don't know anyone that's had zero car troubles no matter what make they have.

since this is the first new car i am shopping for, do you suggest waiting until the 2005's are out before buying a 2004? Will the prices drop that significantly? For example, what happened in 2003 when the '04s arrived?

thanks again.

#6 andyhaussler

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 10:41 AM

THe prices for the 2004's will drop when the 2005's come out because it is a redesign. We bought a 2004 through costco and got the best price, 20 grand for the 35th anniversary edition...we love the car and hope they fixed the head gasket issues. I think we will be safe, only time will tell though. Unless you get the outback with the H-6, even with the 2005's you may run the risk of the head gasket failure.

#7 Philbiker

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 10:49 AM

Prices are already very low on the 2004s in anticipation of the new 2005 release. I suspect that the 2005s will be significantly higher. I'm not talking MSRP/Invoice, those won't change much, but the actual selling prices are going to go up.

For the sake of this explanation, you need to understand the most basic concepts of an internal combustion engine. The engine is basically a mechanism for moving air. There are two parts of the engine. First is the "bottom end", which holds pistons which go up and down to suck in and compress the air then blow it out. The action of these pistons moving air is basically what moves the car. The second part is the "top end" or "valvetrain". This contains the mechanism for letting the clean air in and sending the dirty air out. These two parts of the engine are manufactured separately then bolted together, and the material holding the airtight seal between them is called a "head gasket".

The problem with the 2.5L subaru engine is that it tends to have Head Gasket failures, particularly the older pre-2000 ("Phase I") engine. When the head gasket fails the engine won't work right because the air that's supposed to go in and out controlled by the top end will leak into places in the engine where it's not supposed to go. In 2000 they redesigned the heads ("Phase II"), now they're simpler. Yes, all cars are going to have problems eventually, but there's reason to believe that the head gasket problem in this particular case is an engineering fault that should have been prevented. There is a bit of a belief that any 2.5L subaru is going to eventually have problems.

Head Gasket replacement is a very expensive procedure, and sometimes major engine damage can orrur. Expect that you'll have to sink a $1500 repair into the car at about 120K miles, with a slim but real possibility that you'll have failure much sooner.

One caveat: I've seen cars with head gasket failure at around 100K miles from Nissan, Dodge, and others. If I can get to 120K miles without a failure I'll consider it a "success". It'll certainly be less expensinve than a brake replacement every 20-30K that I'm doing with my Audi! :)

#8 shrano

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 11:30 AM

Thank you all for your advice and words of wisdom. We're going to get the 35th anniv Legacy - price was really good even w/ some extras thrown in that we weren't looking for.

Considering that we probably won't put much more than 10k a year on this (we don't use it to commute - just weekend trips and sometimes local errands), I don't anticipate any HG issues (should they appear) for at least a few years (fingers crossed that we have no issues!).

-sharon
:banana:

#9 rweddy

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 01:37 PM

One caveat: I've seen cars with head gasket failure at around 100K miles from Nissan, Dodge, and others. If I can get to 120K miles without a failure I'll consider it a "success". :)


Wow this is what scares me about the path that Subaru seems to be taking. I have owned multiple Subaru’s over the years, ten of them. Most were over 200,00 by the time I got rid of them and I have never once had a head gasket issue or any other major mechanical issues. I would not consider it success to have a head gasket blow at 120k. No offense but as an Audi owner you have probably become accustomed to breakdowns. But as a long time Subaru owner I would not tolerate this kind of failure at such low miles. My current 91 has 110k and I am confident that it will take me over 200k.



Unfortunately early 2.2 Subaru’s with low mileage are hard to find, so this one better last me a while. From what I read here and have had friends have issues with I will not be purchasing a post 1996 Subaru with a 2.5.

#10 f15xxx

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 01:56 PM

i have a 99 leg l sedan 30th anniv w/ a 2.2l 5-sp and am damn glad for that! from what has been a litany of complaints here, i would never own a 2.5l under any circumstances. i have driven a 2.5l equiped car and didn't notice any increase in get-up-and-go over my 2.2l. all at a cost of lower mpg. don't be a chump, either buy the h-6 or caveat emptor.

this is my first sube so don't think i'm a basher. i genuinely love the awd but it really won't deal with a blazing blizzard too well or slush for that matter. still, to have the all weather capability with 30 mpg on the highway, i am really pleased with MY car. i just won't mess with anything that has head gasket issues. i just got rid of an old 928 that had a seeping drivers side head gasket. thankfully, that is no longer my problem.

i would say either find a nice 2.2l or go with the h-6. if i were advising a family member, it would be the h-6, hands down.

#11 Philbiker

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 02:03 PM

Wow this is what scares me about the path that Subaru seems to be taking. I have owned multiple Subaru?s over the years, ten of them. Most were over 200,00 by the time I got rid of them and I have never once had a head gasket issue or any other major mechanical issues. I would not consider it success to have a head gasket blow at 120k. No offense but as an Audi owner you have probably become accustomed to breakdowns. But as a long time Subaru owner I would not tolerate this kind of failure at such low miles. My current 91 has 110k and I am confident that it will take me over 200k.

Unfortunately early 2.2 Subaru?s with low mileage are hard to find, so this one better last me a while. From what I read here and have had friends have issues with I will not be purchasing a post 1996 Subaru with a 2.5.

I have to say, I'm not offended, and my Audi has only broken down on me once, but that was once too many, and a large part of the reason it's being replaced.

Also, I need to follow up and say that I've decided that the H6 35th Anniversary will be my next car, partly because I kind of want to avoid the 2.5 four. That is unless I really hate it when I test drive. If that happens I'll go for the 35th anniversary Legacy wagon and cross my fingers.

#12 JonOfScio

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 07:53 AM

I work for Volkswagen at a dealership. We see Audis accasionally, and yeah, they are made by the same parent company, so they are both bound to have some of the same situations. (electrical)

Although some audis are REALLY nice as far as interior, colors, engine performance, they just have problems (just like VW) and so I'll never own one.

Speaking of which though, I drive nice cars all day. And when the day ends and I slip into my legacy (95) I feel more at home than in those GM or VW cars I drive. I need a new seat though, it's 145k old and is worn out.

#13 rweddy

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:58 AM

I work for Volkswagen at a dealership. We see Audis accasionally, and yeah, they are made by the same parent company, so they are both bound to have some of the same situations. (electrical)

Although some audis are REALLY nice as far as interior, colors, engine performance, they just have problems (just like VW) and so I'll never own one.

Speaking of which though, I drive nice cars all day. And when the day ends and I slip into my legacy (95) I feel more at home than in those GM or VW cars I drive. I need a new seat though, it's 145k old and is worn out.


Yea I was not intending to bash Audis with this tread. I actually love the all-roads, but have several friends who own or owned them and they seem to not be as reliable as early Subaru’s. But then again, even today Subaru’s seem to not be as reliable as the older models. :banghead:



That is what is terrible about the newer models, imo. When my current legacy dies if I cannot find a Japan built low to replace it I will buy from another manufacturer. :-\



But to get an awd wagon you have to choose between Subaru, Audi, VW or Volvo. And from my research the most reliable of these is the Volvo by far. So I hope that I can keep my roo for another 200k so I can save up!! :rolleyes:

#14 Philbiker

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 12:12 PM

And from my research the most reliable of these is the Volvo by far.

Not recently. Look up reliability statistics on new post-Ford buyout Volvos. They are horrible! :drunk: You'll have to do what I'm doing: buck up for an H6! :) Based on my experience with my A4 I would not buy another Audi. However, if I was looking to lease Audi would be at the top of my list with their 4 year/50K mile all maintenance deal.

#15 powderhound

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 12:25 PM

Yeah that would be the way to go if we could just get an H6 with a manual transmission. That engine would be so sweet if I was in control of it. I don't know about you but in the snow I need to be able to apply torque instantly when I want it. I owned an All-Trac Camry with an auto and it was always a mystery if I was gonna get to power slide or just push like FWD into a curb. Any ideas if ever this might happen (H6 w/ 5MT)? Hello SOA do you hear me?

#16 Philbiker

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 12:45 PM

The H6 auto does have 1-2-3-D so you can control it if you want to. Still not equivalent to a stick shift, I know, but better than many slushboxes.

#17 rweddy

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 02:06 PM

Not recently. Look up reliability statistics on new post-Ford buyout Volvos. They are horrible! :drunk: You'll have to do what I'm doing: buck up for an H6! :) Based on my experience with my A4 I would not buy another Audi. However, if I was looking to lease Audi would be at the top of my list with their 4 year/50K mile all maintenance deal.


I actually have been in lurk mode on several Volvo list like ours here and see very little issue in the v70 awd as compared to the constant issue I read about here.



Plus Volvo is the only manufacture that I know giving you club access and stickers when you reach the 100k,200k,300k, etc marks.



What did you not like your A4? I have a co-worker who is looking and wanted to give him a heads up.



The H6 seems like a nice choice but I still do not have long term confidence on American made subies at this point.



#18 Philbiker

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 07:09 AM

What did you not like your A4? I have a co-worker who is looking and wanted to give him a heads up.

General high maintenance costs. For instance the brakes are designed to last 20-30K miles, and require the replacement of both the pads and rotors at those intervals. I had to replace the front pads and rotors at 54K miles at a cost of $700. That was the third set including the ones that came with the car. Nice thing is Audi covers all the maintenance for the first few years (four now, three when I bought) so they replaced the first set on their dime, but once it was my dime, that's too much maintenance expense for me for a car that is basically a daily commuter.

Actually, with the maintenance costs included the way they are in the first 4 years, it's a great car to lease. Not to own long-term though. But for someone who is a driving enthusiast who really values the performance, the requirements may not be so aggregious.

And I found the seats uncomfortable on long trips, but that's a very personal thing - they just didn't fit me well and had leather which I have found that I hate. :burnout:

I could write a long list of things I loved about the A4 also.




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