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I might buy a 2000 Outback Limited? Opinions?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Ave

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 10:40 PM

Give me your opinions? I still drive an 84 Volvo DL wagon, 280,000miles, rusted but running. NYS is lowering the emissions limits on NOx and the car finally passed after a few tries.

The Subaru Outback Wagons have caught my eye for the past couple of years. The cargo area is smaller than the old Volvo, but I love the look and AWD for Winter. I've been driving a manual transmission, for mileage and control.

Drove a 2000 Green Outback Limited Wagon, 34,000 miles, very clean, $15,000. Leather, moonroofs, automatic (seems like most of the cars on the lots are automatic) I don't need power, standard engine is fine.
What can you tell me about these cars? I want to spend around 15K, should I look for a newer model, 2001? 2002? Should I not worry about the automatic? What kind of service do I need to do to keep the transmission in good shape? The only time I changed the clutch on the volvo was at 209,000miles, since I baby the car.

Are the emissions on all these cars similar? Should I consider a newer model to get lower emissions?

Anyway, whatever advice you can give me would be appreciated! Thanks, it's great to find a forum for Subarus.
Ave

#2 powderhound

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 11:22 PM

1. My parents 00 OBW is the worst subaru we've ever owned. The 2.5 is problematic and overall build quality is poor.
2. There's a reason all the cars on lots are automatics. If you're used to driving a manual you owe it to yourself to drive an awd car with a manual transmission. It simply is one of the great pleasures of winter. Tail out under power counter steering the whole way around a corner, steering with the gas, is not possible in an automatic. Subaru manuals last longer than autos and are cheaper to maintain and fix.

3. The volvo still runs. If you're looking for that type of reliability from Subaru you'll want a 90-94 legacy. Preferably a 91 or 92 ? But than you still must pass emissions. argh.

#3 Ave

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:12 AM

Thanks for your advice. That was my first post on this site. Is there a better forum to post on for this kind of question about buying a car?
Ave



1. My parents 00 OBW is the worst subaru we've ever owned. The 2.5 is problematic and overall build quality is poor.
2. There's a reason all the cars on lots are automatics. If you're used to driving a manual you owe it to yourself to drive an awd car with a manual transmission. It simply is one of the great pleasures of winter. Tail out under power counter steering the whole way around a corner, steering with the gas, is not possible in an automatic. Subaru manuals last longer than autos and are cheaper to maintain and fix.

3. The volvo still runs. If you're looking for that type of reliability from Subaru you'll want a 90-94 legacy. Preferably a 91 or 92 ? But than you still must pass emissions. argh.



#4 northguy

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:59 AM

You're posting in the right area. 15 k for a used Subie is a bit much for my wallet. Still, I'd look for a model with the 2.2 liter engine. They're pretty tough; not many major problems.

#5 rweddy

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 01:04 PM

Thanks for your advice. That was my first post on this site. Is there a better forum to post on for this kind of question about buying a car?
Ave



Actually this is the best Subaru site on the web by far.
My father-in-law has a 2003 and so far he has not had a lick of trouble with it, but it does only have about 40,000 miles on it.

There were some major issues with the Subaru 2.5 engine from 96-99, the 00 and up have a possible external head gasket leak but so far I believe these are much better than the original 2.5. These are great cars, and you will be hard pressed to find something in the 15k range as nice.

Just curios, if you are a Volvo person why not buy a new V70 wagon?

Richard

#6 Green Beast

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:08 PM

We have a 2000 Outback with 94,000 miles and have had ZERO problems with it other than normal tune up maint. stuff. Get one, drive it, and have fun in the snow!!

#7 Ranger83

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 04:29 AM

There are a lot of "glass half full" types on this forum. Some of the most negative people on this forum 1. still own them, and 2. are a minority who believes the cramped, slow, odd-looking older Subarus are the epitome of Subaru development. They think the more powerful 2.5 l engines are the Devil. I'm not sure why they continue to own these cars if they're so unhappy. I have a '97 and recently had the head gaskets done at 140,000 miles because I think everything else will go 200K and it's still my best choice.

The fact is that Subarus remain one of the most all-around useful and reliable vehicles on the market, especially if you live in the snow belt. A certain percentage of the 2.5 engines have trouble with head gaskets, probably around 1/3rd and usually over 100,000 miles. If you want AWD and don't want a gas-guzzler, Subarus are the primary used choice.

One plus is that they have a five year 60,000 mile powertrain warranty, so you won't get singed anytime soon even if you have some problem.

They're not as big inside as the old Volvo wagons but are quite close in capacity to the newer ones - they're substantially narrower, but higher. Ride and handling are quite good, and I think the Outback ride height and suspension are great - you can load them to the gills, and rough dirt roads fully loaded are no problem. They really are quite good in snow.

The used price is subject to local market conditions, equipment mileage and age. The Limited version seems to sell for a lot more relative to the standard Outback so that's the first place to look if you want to economize. The most useful feature in the Outback for cold climates - block heater and heated side mirrors and sets - was available as the Cold Weather package option. You can take a look at cars.com and see what others are available in your area. Three year old off-lease cars are usually pretty available, and a lot of people lease at the beginning of a model year so you're entering the season.

#8 friendly_jacek

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 10:21 AM

Also, you might want to look at plain legacy wagon as opposed to outback.

Basically the same car but with lower suspension and slightly lighter with better gearing.

Several $$$ less to buy.

#9 powderhound

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 01:34 PM

Ranger83There are a lot of "glass half full" types on this forum.



That would be glass half empty. If the glass was half full having 3 injectors replaced, one done twice, in 60k really would be "normal" and having the rear subframe replaced because it might rust through was a great recall notice and having a subaru tech pour cement mix in my coolant has extended my warranty to 100k. Too bad my radiator wasn't covered but hey the glass is half full so I probably would've needed a new one someday. Did I mention the clutch judder...sweet...I love it! And now the heated seats come on when ever they want which really isn't that bad I guess cause winters coming soon. And piston slap combined with heat shields rattling beats any exhaust note I've ever heard. Wow you're right the glass is half full. This is a real quality automobile.

#10 Ranger83

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 02:09 PM

Exactly! People who are happy with their cars don't bother venting on this forum. Many of the people who post frequently here have had a lot of problems with their cars, and openly and very emotionally (and often, sarcastically) vent. But if their Subaru is such a terrible car, why don't they unload it?

#11 rweddy

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 09:18 AM

[quote name='powderhound']Ranger83There are a lot of "glass half full" types on this forum. QUOTE]

I do not think anyone on this list will say that newer subarus are as dead reliable as the old ones. But by the same token the old subarus leaked oil from the factory, got terrible gas mileage considering their size, were under powered, are death traps in wrecks…..

Remember new cars have think all new cars with new technology, computers system, electronic management systems, heated seats, power everything, etc and they are going to have more issues. But if you compare them to other vehicles in the same class or type you will see they all are having issues. Nissan has gone from 2-3 in initial quality to below GM with issues.


The only other AWD wagons you can get from other makers are VW, Audi or Volvo. And look at their discussion groups and see the issues they have with their vehicles. Compared to the competition Subaru is relatively trouble free when compared to them. All manufactures have their quirks, and you have to take into account the price of replacement parts and services.


Don’t get me wrong, I love old Subarus, look at my signature and see how many I have owned over the years. Now was Subaru wrong for not having a recall on the phase I 2.5 motors? I think they should have stepped up and claims responsibility for the problems.


Another issue is it seams that many members on the forum take their Subaru to the dealership for repair. I have several friends that are factory trained technicians and they will tell you that most if not all dealership are much more set up for parts swapping than diagnostics. They tend to throw parts at issues rather than take the time to properly diagnose the issue. You will get much better service at a shop that specializes in Subarus than you will at a dealership. This can be an issue depending on where you live, but here in Colorado there are multitudes of very good independent shops.


I think the new features, safety, size, power, etc makes up for the fact that they have some issues. My father-in-law was a 03 outback and has had no issues with it. And the 05 are awesome.


Just my 2 cents! :brow:




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