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View Full Version : May need to commute more- Subie questions


Red_Chili
06-23-2011, 08:21 AM
To accommodate our passions (animals, workshop, space, and affordability) Lise and I may end up living up a canyon somewhere. That combined with the lousy mileage of an SUV may mean a new vehicle for me.

Looking at used Subies, maybe in the 6K range. At that price mileage may be around 100K so I'm thinking a turbo might not be a great choice? (Though I have come to appreciate abnormal aspiration ... :D ). Maybe a Forester? The early ones were fugly but that is not priority one. Got any Subie experts here?

And no, not impressed with Toyota offerings in that space...

Corbet
06-23-2011, 08:35 AM
Bill, I've been around many Subarus. Avoid an dual cam 2.5 engines 97-2000. Unless proof of HG replacement. The WRX turbos have been reliable but many of those cars have been abused. 2.5 Outback turbos are starting to see some issues however ours has been fine (75K). Forester turbos have been more reliable. Both auto and manual trans are good from Subaru. Timing belts are due at 105K on most cars so plan on that. The 2.5 are interference engines. I don't recall if the 2.0 are? If you can find a H6 equipped Outback they are very good engines but parts are expensive.

You should check with Avalanche Automotive on W Colfax for used Subie. If Kent is around tell him I referred you. (my former employer) He still has the location in Minturn too. http://www.avalancheautosales.com/

subzali
06-23-2011, 08:36 AM
Not a Subie, but saw this yesterday and thought it was pretty cool:
http://www.autospies.com/news/2011-Volkswagen-Touareg-TDI-Delivers-28-MPG-56143/

Or Jetta/Passat wagon TDI...I think you can get them with 4motion...

Red_Chili
06-23-2011, 08:48 AM
Mmmm... TDI... thank you, need to add that to the short list...

SteveH
06-23-2011, 08:58 AM
The 2.5 DOHC in the Outback ('98-02ish) is an interference motor. The 2.5 in the Forester is not - so check various forums and read up on your exact year and engine to be sure you know what you're getting. I rehabbed a '99 Outback that had overheated once and slipped the timing belt twice in 100K miles - so I did the 3rd rebuild and replaced the exhaust valves, etc. The timing belt is a frustrating install job unless you're a Subaru tech and know all the tricks. Filling the cooling system requires a few tricks, too. The electronic speedometers frequently break but can be fixed with a soldering iron.

It was an 'ok' car overall, but the A/C won't overwhelm you on a hot day, the clutch is small (in dia.) and wears pretty quickly, and the cast aluminum tranny snout had worn out on mine from the T/O bearing, requiring an expensive stainless steel sleeve and custom oversize throwout bearing. Adequate power, but it's a 4 cyl car and you'll know that. I did like the 6 disk changer, heated seats, etc. that you get with the 'Rocky Mountain Edition'.

Just my .02 worth - you could do worse than a Subaru, but learn all the foibles and you'll be better off. Get a 5 speed if at all possible, for power reasons.

Corbet
06-23-2011, 09:10 AM
The 2.5 DOHC in the Outback ('98-02ish) is an interference motor. The 2.5 in the Forester is not.

I believe all 2.5 engines are interference. The older 2.2 is not. I agree 5-speed for power.

timmbuck2
06-23-2011, 09:16 AM
Mmmm... TDI... thank you, need to add that to the short list...

love my TDI....especially when I realize it has been almost 3 weeks since I had to get fuel...

Nay
06-23-2011, 09:23 AM
I think you will not be excited about Subaru fuel economy. I had a Legacy wagon with the 2.5 a few years back - nice enough car, but it didn't get modern minivan fuel economy as a 2.5L 4cyl. Not terribly pleasing for something half the size with far less power, and IIRC Subaru re-classified its AWD cars as light trucks not that long ago in order to avoid fuel economy regulations for cars.

$6 isn't a huge budget, but I'd look around at some of the import crossovers. Might be a sleeper out there that is a lot more vehicle than an older Sube. A TDI with 4motion is the ideal solution if reliability is decent.

CardinalFJ60
06-23-2011, 09:32 AM
Bill, I've been around many Subarus. Avoid an dual cam 2.5 engines 97-2000. Unless proof of HG replacement. http://www.avalancheautosales.com/

x2 ! DAMHIK.

I have an 05 leggy GT (2.5 turbo) sedan. I love it. it's my 3rd subie - we work across the street from eachother - I'm happy to let you drive it someday.

I'm pretty easy on the turbo and don't engage in too much spririted driving and I get about 24-27mpg on average.

Red_Chili
06-23-2011, 09:40 AM
I think you will not be excited about Subaru fuel economy. I had a Legacy wagon with the 2.5 a few years back - nice enough car, but it didn't get modern minivan fuel economy as a 2.5L 4cyl. Not terribly pleasing for something half the size with far less power, and IIRC Subaru re-classified its AWD cars as light trucks not that long ago in order to avoid fuel economy regulations for cars.

$6 isn't a huge budget, but I'd look around at some of the import crossovers. Might be a sleeper out there that is a lot more vehicle than an older Sube. A TDI with 4motion is the ideal solution if reliability is decent.
20-25 MPG is my target, with AWD I think it would be hard to beat that regardless of platform. AWD TDI in or around my price range is gonna be a tough find- an under 10 grand search for ANY TDI yielded exactly one Beetle just now...

Everything is a compromise ... but 30+ MPG that costs me >10K starts losing in the value proposition end of things.

Red_Chili
06-23-2011, 09:47 AM
What about turbo reliability in the 100K-250K mileage range? Vs. N/A reliability?

Jacket
06-23-2011, 10:06 AM
The best I was able to eek out on our '99 Outback was 29mpgs, but I could get consistent 26-27 highway, or 22 city.

I was perfectly happy with the performance of the boxer engine and a 5spd manual; it feels nimble and peppy as compared with most Toyota SUV's. Ours went to 100k miles without any issues except for starter contacts, but as others have stated there are some known issues with HG with the late 90's 2.5 4cyl to be careful about.

rover67
06-23-2011, 10:19 AM
I drove from boulder to Terry's house in Rollinsville a few evenings ago in Allison's TDI. IT was a 45 minute drive that I did as fast as I could possibly drive. It gave me an indicated 35 MPG (so realistically a bti less).

That was with it floored 90% of the time on the way up the hills, and hammering pretty good on the way down.

it does great in snow with aggressive winter tires,

Corbet
06-23-2011, 10:51 AM
What about turbo reliability in the 100K-250K mileage range? Vs. N/A reliability?

I got out of the Subaru business before we really saw any modern turbos hit that mileage. Outback/Legacy got turbos in 05 so I doubt your going to see any of those in your price range without a lot of miles. I'd probably stay away personally. Forester got a turbo starting in 04? so you might find something there approaching $6K?

But for fuel economy I'd just by N/A. You'll get close to 30MPG with a manual and conservative driving on the HWY. Our Outback turbo gets about 23 HWY and requires premium fuel. The power is nice but if it was my DD I would have lost my license long ago.

If it were me I'd look for an Impreza for a commuter. Better power to weight with N/A engine. More fun to dive. Cheaper. Available in wagon or sedan.

Beater
06-23-2011, 11:18 AM
2.0 is a non-interference engine, and a good one. most of those legacy's will be beat to high heaven.

Also look at the crv - more usesul cargo space and shape than either the rav4 or the forester.

also look at the saab 95 wagon. only issue is the head bolts, and those can be either supped with the new style or re-torqued. easily a 250k car and 30mpg highway. around town is only about 18-20mpg though.

Beater
06-24-2011, 08:14 AM
also consider the honda element. VERY versatile - have several friends who have and love. haul everything from scooters to doggies to gear. seats fold completely away and hose out interior.

j

rover67
06-24-2011, 08:32 AM
what about one of these?

http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/lancer/11/index.do?flash=overview#/?page=overviewSplash

AHorseThief
06-24-2011, 09:45 AM
also consider the honda element. VERY versatile - have several friends who have and love. haul everything from scooters to doggies to gear. seats fold completely away and hose out interior.

j

We have a Honda Element. It's a great vehicle, and the ability to mop up the kid goop and dog hair that accumulates is priceless. They will likely be a bit above your price range, but if you can find a good deal on one definately take a look.

Red_Chili
06-24-2011, 11:32 AM
what about one of these?

http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/lancer/11/index.do?flash=overview#/?page=overviewSplash

Too new. You missed the part about my budget!!

Red_Chili
06-24-2011, 11:34 AM
We have a Honda Element. It's a great vehicle, and the ability to mop up the kid goop and dog hair that accumulates is priceless. They will likely be a bit above your price range, but if you can find a good deal on one definately take a look.

Pretty attached to AWD if I'm gonna live up a canyon. Agree, neat vehicles.

subzali
06-24-2011, 11:42 AM
They come in AWD from what I can tell...

Red_Chili
06-24-2011, 11:55 AM
Ah... didn't realize that... :doh:
Probably out of my price range though without a billion miles. Not great mileage. Worth a look though!

Beater
06-24-2011, 12:10 PM
Pretty attached to AWD if I'm gonna live up a canyon. Agree, neat vehicles.

I believe they make one... check

AHorseThief
06-24-2011, 04:18 PM
Ah... didn't realize that... :doh:
Probably out of my price range though without a billion miles. Not great mileage. Worth a look though!

They are AWD and do WAY better than I expected them to in the ice and snow. There are some on CL at around $7k... :thumb:

Inukshuk
06-25-2011, 07:11 PM
You can call Mike Hynes at S-Wings Stuff - (303) 777-1952

Subaru specialist just up the street from the Toy Shop. I have known him 15 years. He knows his soobys