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Guest Message by DevFuse

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should I buy one?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_mcompton1973_*

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 10:09 PM

Hey there...
I am new to this board. New to Subarus etc.

I have been looking at Ford Explorers, and Jeep Cherokees. Need something that is 4wd (or Awd) and something that I can put ALOT of miles on. while looking for a used explorer, I came across a 96 outback with 150k miles on it.

As far as looks etc, I was impressed. The inside was nice, the exterior seemed well maintained. I drove it and was impressed. I was not expecting it to be as peppy as it was since it only had a 4 banger.

So here is my real question. What do I need to look for? I can tell you now this dealer knows nothing about this car. "Oh yeah it gets 30-33 mpg. Yeah nobody trades these in because they will go 300-400k miles. See that 4cyl is side by side like that so 1/2 the power can go to the back wheels and 1/2 to the front. Yeah you always have power going to all 4 tires..." etc etc etc. I dont mind that the dealer is an idiot. It is a small used car lot...and so I just ignor him completly. I know the car was bought at one of the big deal auctions they have around here. That being said.....

1....How reliable are they? In all honesty, I put on 1,000 miles a week on average. 50k a year.

2...If looking at a used one....what sould I be looking for? what are the week points? (i.e. on Explorers....the auto tranny is a piece of junk. most all ford guys will tell you that it is. just the way it is. on Jeeps...the body rusts easily in the doors, and under the doors in the rear....so what is it on the outbacks?) I have seen some info on head gaskets being bad etc. true?

3. It only has a 4 banger....but HP looks close to the explorer and cherokee....but the torque is less. Any other personal comparisons to an explorer or cherokee?

Any help would be nice. Thanks.

#2 Guest_wrxsubaru_*

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 10:31 PM

personally i would not buy a 2.5 liter subaru engine, the head gaskets go and it can get piston slap. Expecialy the early 2.5 liters 96-9? are the worst. The rest of the car is relible tho. The AWD good, the trannys last. Right now after i think 8 years of deveping the 2.5 liter i still wouldent buy the NA verson. The 2.5 liter may be unrelible for a subaru, but the engine can still run for a decent amount of time. All subarus with the 2.2 liters are great cars, and the 2 liter, the 3.3 liter are great engines, and it seems like the newer 3 liters are good to. The only really bad one that sticks out is the 2.5 liter.

#3 Guest_mtsmiths_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 07:45 AM

That said, our 2000 Leagcy 2.5 liter/auto has 130,000 miles on it, I bought it with 100,000 when it was only 13 months old, so it was REALLY driven. We have had NO trouble with the car. This is our fourth Subaru since 1982, and as long as we live on the mainland we WILL own a Subaru.

There is no other 4WD or AWD car that drives, handles, or is as reliable as a 'Roo. I've driven Explorers, Grand Cherokees, Dakotas and Audis, the first three handle like a bucket of snot. The Audi handles well, but reliability absolutely sucks.

Find a different Sooby and buy it, you'll never go back.

#4 Guest_intrigueing_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:03 AM

I agree with wrxsubaru get a 2.0, 2.2, 3.0, or 3.3. In addition to the head gasket problems the 2.5 is a interference design, if the timing belt breaks the engine is toast. Legacies are excellent cars. You will not get 30 mpg's, mid to upper 20's - Way better than explorers or jeeps. You will likely save over 1500 a year in gas alone. While you do not have the off road capability of a jeep, on road snow handling is excellent. I have gotten through some really tough conditions (I live in northern minnesota) and am always impressed with the subaru's capabilities. AWD is nice for a road car because it is always on if you happen to need it. I had an older subaru, and dual range 4WD is nice, however I had a few times when I skimped on using the 4WD to save gas, and almost ended up in a ditch. Much more comfortable ride for long trips, and less rollover possibility than jeeps or explorers. I got my 95 legacy wagon with 100K miles and it is more reliable, comfortable, and better put together than my 98 oldsmobile with 1/2 the mileage costing twice as much.

#5 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:40 AM

the jeep I-6 is notorious for rear main seal failure. they go 60-70k miles then you gotta pull it and change the seal. Some models experience it again and again, some never fail. it's a toss-up.

methinks people are being a bit hard on the 2.5. Yes, the above issues are true, but compared to what level of reliability? All in all, it's a strong motor. Keep the t-belt changed and the interference is a non-issue. Driven normally they go a long time. Even the local honda dealer admitted to a friend that "hondas might drive a touch better, but the soob will last longer." He didn't sell soobs, either.

Ford explorer has surprisingly LOW ground clearance due to parts that hang down, like the shock mounts. I've heard of only a few Xr's that are happy past 100k. Not many. Fords are known for small sensor failure on engines past 60-70k miles. Motors tend to last a while, but the electronics don't seem to (this from a neighbor-- diehard ford guy).

Subaru is probably a more practical, universal vehicle. hands-down safer not just rollover but also impact and handling. BUT, the jeep may have more macho image appeal. Soob handles better at hi speed, costs less than the GC to repair from minor impacts.

If it were me, I'd lift the OB for something more unusual and cool.


#6 Guest_mcompton1973_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 07:30 PM

So what is the most miles that you have seen on a 2.5l soob (I guess that is the abreviation I should be using...lol).

How often does the tiing belt need changed? What will that cost me? Is there anything that I should look for in particular to warn me of probs?

I am in the Iowa/Nebraska area. Mostly need 4wd for snow and bad weather...and some light off road (get to horses in a pasture etc). We have looked around the Omaha/Council Bluffs area...and you cant find used soobs. there are prob 1/2-to a dozen 99-2002's out there used (which I cant afford) and then this 96...and a couple of legacy sedans, and a wrx. I need the wagon room...so this is the only one out there.

So that leaves THIS OB, or explorer etc. Thanks for the great info...I am apreciating it.

Hmmm....lift it. Then it will look like an early 80's Jeep Eagle...hahaha

#7 Guest_86Brat86_*

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 10:38 PM

i personaly think that the outbacks are very reliable cars, my dads dealership has had a couple in for head gaskets and stuff, but the piston slap deal gets old. it doesnt do anything to anything, all it is, is because the subaru pistons dont have good skirts on them and they will slap a little, after replacing them with new oem pistons, give or take 30,000 miles it will be back. it doesnt hurt anything. ive seen 2.5s with tons of miles and ive seen them with out any miles. they are all good cars. to each his own opinion thanks hope i can help


#8 Guest_Flowmastered87GL_*

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 12:31 AM

think mileage... the outback will KILL the explorer or the cherokee as far as MPG go. After driving a F350 with a trailer for a day and getting 12 MPG and having $50 fill ups constantly.... NEVER AGAIN!! I will keep my 25+ MPG subarus :D

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