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Convince me why I should buy Subaru vs. Toyota


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Pinny

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:00 PM

I need a new car. I've been a Toyota fan in the past but they don't seem to offer an AWD vehicle that compares to the Outback Sport or the Legacy Wagon. The Rav4 is too bare bones for me and the Highlander is too expensive and big.

I test-drove a Forester and an Outback 2.5i wagon. I plan on driving the Outback Sport soon. What is it about your Subaru that you love? Are there any features I should steer away from? This will be the first car I've ever purchased by myself and I am not opposed to buying used.

Any advice on buying a new Subaru vs. an '04 or '05? Reliability is very important to me as is the AWD feature. Oh yeah, ... and I really want a moon roof!! Thanks for helping me make up my mind;) .

#2 TheBrian

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:28 PM

Well, if you've got your heart set on AWD, Subaru are very good at it.
What I love about my Legacy is the sport suspension, the low center of mass, and the infrequency of needing repairs. It's also very easy to work on. Although, you're buying new, so you won't need to put much money at all into repairs unless you buy a Korean car. But since Subarus hold up so well, you'll enjoy higher resale values when you do sell your car.

But, do you really need AWD? My mom's V6 Accord does just fine in wintry weather here in Buffalo.
Safe top speed is limited by how long it takes you to slow the vehicle, and AWD doesn't help you one bit when your foot's on the brake. (Though Subaru's low center of mass and tight suspension do.)

If only Honda made station wagons, or if only VW would import Made in Germany VWs to the US, then I could recommend either of those. Ah, well.

One bad thing about Toyotas: When they do need parts, Toyota will hose you for them. Toyota tries (with fair success, apparently) to make it difficult for the automotive aftermarket to make parts to compete with the dealership's parts channel.

I do love Subarus, even though the Boxer engine and AWD are false prophets. So, yeah, get the Subaru. You'll love it.

#3 TheBrian

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:31 PM

I've been a Toyota fan in the past but they don't seem to offer an AWD vehicle that compares to the Outback Sport or the Legacy Wagon.

I just re-read this sentence. Cross-shop a Toyota Matrix 4WD against a Legacy Wagon.

#4 soobmater

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:04 AM

i think you should get the subaru. The reason i like them so much, has a lot to do with this message board, everyone on here is like a big familiy. some super nice, and super cool dudes (and galls) on here. The awd is very nice in the snow-another reason i like soobs so much. they are also very very reliable. well, i hope you chose the roo' and if ya do, have fun with it and maybe even snap some pics :)

#5 Setright

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:05 AM

In terms of reliability there isn't much to recommend one over the other. Both Toyota and Subaru make very reliable cars. Some models from both companies have had weaknessess, but not nearly as frequent as other brands. (Apart maybe from Honda and Mazda)

If you want AWD, Subaru is the king though.

I would rate the Outback as your best choice.

#6 unverviking

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:51 AM

My folks have an AWD Vibe (same as the Matrix) and we have an Outback Wagon. I've driven the Vibe, it's nice, but not as nice as our Outback. The AWD makes a difference in the Vibe... This is my folks' 2nd Vibe, the first was FWD, and it seemed light...

The Vibe AWD seems a little under powered and not as flexible as the Outback.

My vote is for the Subaru, but that's just my 2 pennies worth...

#7 nipper

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 06:13 AM

In terms of reliability there isn't much to recommend one over the other. Both Toyota and Subaru make very reliable cars. Some models from both companies have had weaknessess, but not nearly as frequent as other brands. (Apart maybe from Honda and Mazda)

If you want AWD, Subaru is the king though.

I would rate the Outback as your best choice.


If you want a car that wil operate and look as good in 200,000 miles as it did brand new, get a subaru. The bodies seem to last for ever, and as long as you have a good body, the car is always worth fixing. COmpare a 200,000 sooby with a 200,000 mile toyota, and alot fo things on the toypta will not have faired as well, or would have been replaced. where as all the subaruparts will be where the factory put them. You rarely read about broken switches, turn signals, door latches or trim peices falling off the car. Soony knows people drive thier cars for 250-300, 000 miles and they are built for that where they can. Other car manufactursers want you out by 100-150K and really dont care what happens to the car after 80K except for emisions.

Thats why i buy subarus. Each one had over 250K when it died, and once by cancer, the others by crashes. Thats another thing, i am qute comfortable that the crash worthyness of a 300K mile subarru is as good as the day it left the factory. I can still get parts from subaru for a 20 year old car. I have never been told that part is no longer available. Not only can they run for ever, i can always get parts.

SUbaru has one of the best resale prices on the market, where as othercars tend to tank with age.


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#8 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 06:42 AM

the test drives should do the convincing, not us. buy what you like!

#9 swc7916

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:25 AM

Cross-shop a Toyota Matrix 4WD against a Legacy Wagon.


The 4WD Matrix is only 123 hp - it actually has 7 hp less than the 2wd versions. My daughter has a 4WD Matrix and there is a lot to like about it, but it doesn't compare to a Subaru. I think that the Subaru engines have better low-end performance; the Toyotas seem "peaky" to me - that is, they seem to develop their power at high rpms.

#10 zyewdall

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:12 AM

If you are working on your own engines, definitely the subaru. Their design is easier to work on than the transverse engine designs (although I am not sure if the matrix is transverse engine or not, I suspect it is). If you are buying new, and having a shop do work on it, one, neither the subaru or the toyota will need much work, and two, you don't care that much whether you can do it yourself.

I personally like the lower center of gravity and longer wheel base of the subaru wagons compared to the RAV4. It helps a bit on slick roads to prevent a slide from becoming an out of control slide. Being longer also lets you carry some bigger cargo, but I think the RAV4 might be slightly taller though.

The boxer engines do have more low end torque than most cars I've driven, which makes them seem faster than HP would suggest. I'm not really familiar with the toyota matrix -- if it's got a toyota pickup engine, it will be torqier, but if it's the car engine, not so much.

As far as price, subaru's keep their value well, I have no idea on newer toyotas. I know that old toyota trucks from the 80's still go for several thousand around here, so I suspect toyotas might be just as good as subaru in this respect. You will probably save some money by getting a slightly used one (04 or 05), but not alot. Certainly not the 50% depreciation in the first 3 years that you'd expect with american SUV's.

#11 Pinny

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for the confidence-building encouragement everybody! But what about the different Subaru models? I don't need all the bells & whistles that the LLBean edition comes with, but are the small "sport" wagons a good investment or would it be better to spring for the more equipped vehicle - like the Outback wagon? Is the reliability and performance pretty equal on the various models and the only difference really cargo space and plushy appointments?

How do the sedans measure up. My daughter needs a car also. Anything to avoid? Thanks again.

#12 SuBrat84

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:46 AM

If only Honda made station wagons

I can still get parts from subaru for a 20 year old car. I have never been told that part is no longer available.


Brian - They do make station wagons.. just not very many of them. We have an Accord station wagon! :brow:

Nipper - Don't get an SVX if this is a "feature" you like.. first part I ever tried to get for my SVX was discontinued! (Brake Caliper Support Bracket)

Anyway.. my .02 is probably only worth .01 but I'd say definately go with the Subaru. Just test drive the one you feel like you may want and you will see why we love our cars so much.

#13 SuBrat84

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:50 AM

How do the sedans measure up. My daughter needs a car also. Anything to avoid? Thanks again.


Try to find her a 91-94 Legacy Sedan. Great cars. Simply great. A lot of people say to avoid 97-??(01?) because for some stupid reason they were using interference design in their engines. Any PRE97 Impreza would be a great car for your daughter also.

#14 benebob

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:00 PM

The Matrix isn't a bad car at all and could be comparable to an outback sport (at least it was designed in the past decade). Personally, if everything else is equal after test driving I'd go for a slightly used Vibe awd. You'll get Pontiac style depriciation, the same car as a Toy minus the parts headache and then you'll have more money left over for your daughter's car. The Impreza line should be just fine for her. I'm a fan of the older Imprezas as I rolled one and hit an embankment at 65 and only broke my ankle (although pretty bad). The engine was about 2 feet off center but all the glass was there and every door still opened. A 96 or 97 Impreza 2.2 shouldn't set ya back too far. Don't get me wrong, I love my Legacy GT but not nearly as much as my older subies. The quality seems to be living up to the Made in Mexico parts that are on it.

#15 stansgl

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:27 PM

I currently own a '98 Forester and a '05 Outback Sport SE. We just traded a '97 Legacy GT in on the Outback Sport and so far we are very happy with it. It seems to me that all of the models hold there value well and the Sport SE (special edition) I feel is a good buy because you do get plenty of extras for not much extra. I have owned diffrent models they all are nice in diffrent ways you just kinda need to decide which one fits you better.



Thanks for the confidence-building encouragement everybody! But what about the different Subaru models? I don't need all the bells & whistles that the LLBean edition comes with, but are the small "sport" wagons a good investment or would it be better to spring for the more equipped vehicle - like the Outback wagon? Is the reliability and performance pretty equal on the various models and the only difference really cargo space and plushy appointments?

How do the sedans measure up. My daughter needs a car also. Anything to avoid? Thanks again.



#16 zyewdall

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:37 PM

Don't get me wrong, I love my Legacy GT but not nearly as much as my older subies. The quality seems to be living up to the Made in Mexico parts that are on it.


Subaru's are made in mexico now??? Geesh. My VW rabbit is made in mexico too, but at least I got the german engine in it.

The impreza's do seem to be nice zippy cars. Don't know if they really are faster, but they feel faster than the legacies. I personally go for the cars with fewer bells and whistles, as they tend to be simpler to fix in the long run. But if you like them, and don't plan on keeping the car for 20 years, go ahead. I don't like sedans at all. I owned one once, and never will again. No good for sleeping in, hauling firewood/furniture/2x4s, etc. Even a hatchback 2 seater is often easier to haul building materials in. I have heard that the sedans make better rally cars because of being slightly stiffer in the back than the wagons, but that's only if you are doing autocrossing.

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#17 benebob

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:01 PM

Subaru's are made in mexico now??? Geesh. My VW rabbit is made in mexico too, but at least I got the german engine in it.


Zeke


No but quite a few parts are (all the parts that have been bad on our Legacy except the tranny). The Leg OB and B9 are still made in Indiana.

#18 mikkl

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:14 PM

I just purchased a 2005 Legacy 2.5i sedan after test driving every model of Subaru and not a few Toyotas (of which I've owned several), including the Matrix.

Here is my comparison of the Legacy sedan and the Matrix RS, both with manual transmissions and at the same $20,000 price point. I would not expect the addition of AWD to modify these impressions.

The Legacy sedan is a sports sedan, the Matrix is a Corolla.

You sit in the Legacy. You sit on the Matrix. (Don't know how else to describe it)

In the Legacy you have a simple interior that feels solid and works. A stiff chassis and double seals on the doors that give a very quiet ride. When the windows are open, there is no booming or buffeting. Also, the rear seat window line is low enough for children to see out.

In the Matrix, you are confronted with a video arcade display and a plethora of bells and whistles for features. The road noise is significantly higher than the Legacy and opening the windows while driving results in either a buffeting wind from the front windows or a loud booming from the rear windows. My (smallish) 11 year old daughter could not see out of the back windows.

On the plus side, the hatch of the Matrix is much larger than trunk of the Legacy and designed for utility. The trunk of the Legacy is smaller than the trunk on my 1995 Corolla yet comes with better under-deck storage.

I went with the Legacy. It was just a peppy, if not better, than the hot Matrix, quieter, more solid, more mature-feeling and more comfortable for myself and my family.

The one caution I would give is to give the front seats a good long test drive. I originally wanted an Impreza but found the that seat bolsters dug into my thighs quite painfully. They were just too narrow for my narrow bottom. In the Legacy, this effect is much less noticeable but still there to some degree. I'm 2000 miles on the car and the bolsters are softening a bit and the seats are becoming quite comfortable--but it has taken some time. And I may still end up with some sort of seating pad for long drives.

As for looking at the outback versions, for my purposes I did not need the extra ground clearance, the body cladding, or the additional cost.

As for durability, I'm looking forward to seeing how long I can keep this one running. My Toyota Corolla started coming apart at 85,000 miles and I just sold it at 103K after putting in far too many parts -- and it was begging for more. I would not expect the Matrix to be any different.

HTH,

mikkl

#19 dino

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:08 PM

I've got a 2005 2.5i Outback and I love it. My friend just bought a 2005 Rav4 (S package) last week. I've got to admit it is pretty nice and the one feature that I wish my subie had is the reclining rear sets. That is, I wish my rear sets would lean back a little further to be more comfortable to passengers in the rear. Also the rear sets are removable so you can really load up if you need to. The interior feels and looks nice. (We test drove the CRV and the interior felt too plastic for my taste.

She got the Rav because she likes to sit higher but I prefer the stability of a lower car like the Outback. And I think the Outback is a smoother ride.

Hers came in the AWD for the skiing. RAV's awd
(manual and auto tranny) is a viscous-coupling to distribute power between front and rear wheels. My outback came standard with a limit slip differential and hers didn't. Honestly I don't know how much it helps or not but last winter, I had a blast driving the Sierra Nevada snow.

Also the 2006 Rav4 is 14 inches longer than the 2005 because they are adding third row seating. Not to knock the 2004 and previous outbacks, but the 2005/06 interior and exterior design is smoooooth.

#20 nipper

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:21 PM

I think the outback may actually have higher or equal ground clearance to the RAV4. They are nice, i miss the electric RAV4's (yes i got to drive one for a few weeks)


nipper

#21 Gnuman

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 10:54 PM

Pinny, most of what I was going to say to you has already been said, Why I think you should buy a Subaru instead of a TOYota is in the expected longevity of the car. When you buy most cars, you are thinking of getting something to get you from point A to point B for a few years. Yes, you want it to be comfortable, but it is still a reletivly short-lifespan decision. Buying a Subaru, on the other hand, gives you a vehicle that will last you a few decades. These cars are engineered around an expected lifespan of 400,000 miles before they start asking for major work to be done. just try and get that kind of reliability out of any other car. That said, we get to which one. . .
There is a Subaru to fit the needs of just about everyone, so you need to decide which one best fits your needs. You say that you tried the Outback and the Forester. The Outback you tried is the regular Outback which is based on the Legacy platform. The Outback Sport is based on the Impreza platform, which is geared to performance and racing. This means that the Outback Sport will have snappier handling than the regular Outback, but will also be a bit smaller. If ground clearance is not an issue (deep snow is not a frequent event, or you do not do much off-pavement driving), then the Legacy may be a good choice for you as it is less expensive and handles better. Any choice you make concerning which Subaru to buy will be a good one, but let's help you make the best one for you. To do that, we need to know what your needs are in a car that you may be driving for the next 10-20 years. . .

#22 gillans

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 11:18 PM

Simple answer I Own one and love it i to was a toyota fan and still am but the toyota is not nearly as unreliable as the outback.

I need a new car. I've been a Toyota fan in the past but they don't seem to offer an AWD vehicle that compares to the Outback Sport or the Legacy Wagon. The Rav4 is too bare bones for me and the Highlander is too expensive and big.

I test-drove a Forester and an Outback 2.5i wagon. I plan on driving the Outback Sport soon. What is it about your Subaru that you love? Are there any features I should steer away from? This will be the first car I've ever purchased by myself and I am not opposed to buying used.

Any advice on buying a new Subaru vs. an '04 or '05? Reliability is very important to me as is the AWD feature. Oh yeah, ... and I really want a moon roof!! Thanks for helping me make up my mind;) .






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