Subaru owners

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by CleanBoostCasey, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My first car was a ‘78 DL wagon. My second car was a ‘79 Brat. I also had an ‘84 Legacy turbo.

    The 70’s models were indestructible. The ‘84 was a hot mess. My wife now owns a ‘15 Forester that we bought brand spanking new. It’s been one thing after another. One of the most pain in the ass cars we’ve ever owned. It’s now out of warranty and still has an electrical problem nobody can track down. It’s been ridiculous for four years now. We won’t buy another.
     
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  2. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    My wife had an 03, 2.5 manual. It should rev to redline, even though it's past it's peak. Head gaskets need replaced around 200k miles on all of them.
     
  3. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got a 2013 Legacy Limited, wife has a 2017 Outback w/ all the trimmings, son has a 2010 Forester. I love the CVT in the '17 and '13. Great mpg for an all wheel drive. Both great on the road. No issues. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. We've had Hondas, not interested.
     
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  4. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 2013+ Outback have a next generation engine without that tendency to need head gaskets. To some extent it's a tradeoff for the flat boxer type design - more castings.

    I had manual transmissions most of my life but am perfectly happy with the CVT. I know people who rushed or worked to get the last manual transmission models who regret not getting the CVT.

    Yeah on not wind out. They're just let 'em do their job cars and they do it well. The last and current generation of Outback is a much more spacious and sophisticated car than most of their history.
     
  5. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire

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    The engine sounds like it had the ECU set up to limit the top RPM's. This is why it did not want to go past 4000. Tuners often have to reset the ECU and change the electronic engine parameters for performance. It sounds like you were interested in going "fast" in the Subaru.
    As far as declaring all cars of a specific brand "junk", there is not a machine made that will not break down. Sometimes due to poor design/manufacturing, lack of preventive maintenance, or abuse (lots of engine revving, peel-outs, street racing, etc.), or because they are imperfect creations of imperfect beings. Take your pick.
    I have worked as a professional mechanic for most of my life, and abuse and lack of maintenance top the list of breakdown causes.
    I will say from experience, both owning and fixing Hondas, they are one of the best vehicles on the road. I have a lot of respect for the company. However, buy one and haul ass around town like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and you'll be posting here about what a lousy car your Honda is.:twisted:
     
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  6. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic

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    We have two- 01 Outback and 09 Forester. Both have electrical problems.
    So far the mechanical stuff has been OK, but the "features" don't work well and the ergonomics don't work for me.

    (I can't sit straight in the driver's seat of the Outback, I have to drive with my head through the sunroof. Lesson learned- no matter how good a deal, don't let your wife get a car until you drive it at least once...)

    I've got a Toyota (well, a Vibe) that, except for some loose trim and other minor stuff, still functions perfectly at 212k. I'd get another Toyota for sure. I wouldn't buy another Subaru.
     
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  7. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 2010 Outback Sport (really an Impreza). Its a great car that I will drive into the ground. My wife has a 2014 Outback with a manual transmission. It burned oil like crazy. After raising holy hell, I finally got the short block replaced. As another poster said, its better but not great. Other than the oil consumption issue, the Outback is a great car. But, I would proceed with caution with any new Subaru until they have proven they have got their act together.
     
  8. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Seems like the people you hear from in any of these threads are the ones who have had a bad experience, which makes sense -- they're the ones with an axe to grind. I've had 66% great luck with them. My ex is still driving a '97 Legacy wagon I bought new, pretty beat by now but no major troubles along the way. And I've just put 100k on a 2011 Outback (base with CVT) with no problems at all except a driver's side door seal. Weirdest problem ever but not expensive to fix. Regular maintenance is reasonable at the local Subaru-only independent shop. (This is Montana, where Subarus are common as dirt.)

    My kid had one of the Subaru-based Saabs that was a total dog, though. 2007? Somewhere in there. Leaking head gasket, lots of other little stuff. The head gasket was a super common problem with that era, apparently solved since. Knock on wood.

    Anyway, if you live in bad weather, it's a big comfortable car that gets 30 mpg on the highway and will get you through any damn thing you throw in front of it.
     
  9. Widerange Hum

    Widerange Hum Tele-Holic

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    The Pontiac Vibe is one of the great, underrated cars in history. We had one for awhile. The absolute bottom of the line model with a stick. Dead simple car, smart design, Toyota build quality at closeout, desperate to stay in business Pontiac prices. We should have kept it.
     
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  10. CleanBoostCasey

    CleanBoostCasey TDPRI Member

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    I did not "want to go fast" in the Subaru. I wanted it to function properly. If a car is going to force you to shift it at 4000rpm, you may as well buy an automatic and just let the car do what it wants. And I'm glad for all of you that are enjoying your CVT transmissions, there is no way I'll ever own one.
     
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  11. CleanBoostCasey

    CleanBoostCasey TDPRI Member

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    And I'm not here to rag on Subaru. It's the only one I've ever driven so I don't have enough experience to write off the whole line. Was just asking about this one vehicle in particular.
     
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  12. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a 2013 Outback w/2.5L engine + CVT that I have about 70k on and agree with all this.

    It's been a great car with the following:
    • It's a family car, not your midlife crisis mobile
    • Even though it looks more like an SUV like the old ones it's still the same architecture underneath which means it handles WAY better than most of the SUVs/CUVs on the market as the Subaru has a much lower CoG even though it has the best in class ground clearance. (IIRC only Jeep matches it with the Grand Cherokee and exceeds it with the Wrangler.)
    • It holds a ton of stuff
    • Four 6ft+ tall people can ride in this car and everyone has plenty of leg room. There are LOTS of vehicles that is not true for that are bigger and heavier than the Outback.
    • It is not an engine that rewards use of a manual transmission. Not a performance car, doesn't like to rev, tuned for low end, etc..
    • The CVT is an amazing transmission compared to a traditional automatic. The complexities of DCT/SMT transmissions and 8-9 speed traditional autos are so clumsy compared to CVT. I was a die hard Manual Transmission guy and I love love love the CVT. It never does dumb shifts like an automatic transmission since it never unhooks the power and then hooks it back up at an inopportune moment. IIRC the transmission is always fully engaged above 5mph or something. Even using the paddle shifters very quickly seems dumb in comparison to just letting the CVT keep the engine RPM at the right place all the time. It'd need a different program for a sporty car but it's perfect for a family car like the Outback.
    • My driving pattern sucks in terms of it's all traffic. I'm never crazy about the MPG I get with my Outback.
    • Unbelievable car in the snow. Jaw dropping. If you drive a Honda or Toyota with non-full time AWD in the snow and then drive a Subaru in the snow the Subaru feels a lot more in control.
    • I special ordered mine without the Moonroof. The year I got mine that saved me $2500. Normally all Limited models (which have leather and the good stereo) come with the moonroof. I have stuff mounted on the roof racks about 90% of the time to carry bicycles, I didn't need to spend $2500 to stare at the bottom of a bike rack. You get about 3" extra headroom when you delete the moonroof, and really, does a moon roof for $2500 vs the 3.6L engine for $3000 sound like a good tradeoff?
    • Mine has pretty much been 100% reliable. I had a broken plastic part when it was brand new replaced under warranty and the replacement piece has been fine ever since. My son broke one of the covers for the child seat tethers off, not the cars fault. That cost me like $5 to get a new one.
    • Subaru does have a more rigorous maintenance schedule than some other manufacturers. If you follow the maintenance schedule from Subaru you will pay more money on maintenance over the same miles compared to say Honda. For example Honda pretty much never has you replace your brake fluid. Subaru wants it done every 30k miles. In some sense Subaru seems more paranoid about some of this stuff from a safety perspective.
    If I was buying one today I'd probably get the 3.6L engine w/CVT. The CVT was not available in the 3.6L engine when I got mine. I'm pretty sure I'd be happier with more horsepower and I think the tradeoff in MPG is probably not so bad compared to having an extra 75HP.
     
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  13. po-boy

    po-boy Tele-Holic

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    mrs po-boy has a 2015 Subaru Forester that we love - zero issues so far, just routine maintenance and a new set of tires at around 60,000 miles -

    my current vehicle is a Toyota Tundra and we have owned several Toyotas in the past - also owned a few Hondas - the Subaru is the most solid

    feeling car we have ever owned, especially since we upgraded the tires from the originals - no squeaks, no rattles and very sure footed on wet

    and slick roads - the Forester has the boxer 2.5/cvt auto tranny that has delivered over 80,000 trouble free miles so far - my first Toyota pu delivered

    over 250,000 miles and a Camry also gave us over 200,000 miles - it will be interesting to see if the Subaru does just as well in the long run -

    we have only bought this Forester and it was new and i'm not sure about the Subaru used market - when we were looking they were scarce

    as hens teeth because most Subaru owners keep their vehicles long term - as always ... YMMV -
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  14. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

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    I'm on my second Subaru. The first Outback went 265,000 before it developed a mystery overheating issue. I've since learned what probably caused it -- related to the "head gasket problem." The guy who bought it from me 12 years ago is still driving it. The current one has at least that many miles. I don't know exactly because the speedometer's been broken for about 7 years - it's a very expensive fix, so I use GPS for that purpose.

    They've been pretty OK. I love AWD - we live in the mountains and it snows here. But, as they age, they start to nickel and dime you pretty hard. I'm now looking at either a Honda CRV, which is my mechanic's strong recommendation, or a Prius, because 45-50 mpg would equal about half of my payment, but no AWD.

    In 15 + years of driving Subarus, I have almost never needed to reach 4,000 rpm before shifting. Maybe to get up a steep incline and maintain speed... They do have a rev limiter, which I imagine can be adjusted, but in normal driving, I just don't see the need. I'm a pretty boring old guy, though.
     
  15. Georox

    Georox Tele-Afflicted

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    Just got back on a road trip from Mexico in our 2002 Subaru Forester with over 225,000 miles. Runs great and has been incredibly dependable.
     
  16. CleanBoostCasey

    CleanBoostCasey TDPRI Member

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    Everyone getting 200K+ miles on your older Subarus, you aren't going to see that before you need to replace that CVT on your new ones.
     
  17. adamkoop

    adamkoop Tele-Meister

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    Man .. lots of people hating on you for running the engine out on a test drive.

    If the engine won't run freely to the indicated redline, then there's something wrong. You should have no problem, especially in first or second, winding it out effortlessly to the redline. I've found the N/A 2.5s come to life up around 3500 - 4000. They'll fade out once you really wind them out, but that's just how it goes.

    I've got a 99 STI I brought in from Japan, and that's been pretty trouble free overall. had to replace calipers all around, and it's currently in for an engine rebuild (ringland failure, but it's at 230 000 km, and I don't know the history on it before 185 000). That one pulls well from 2500 through to the 8000 redline, and really comes to life when the turbo spools up

    I had an 06 impreza wagon that served me well for the couple years I had it.

    I had a 2000 impreza RS with the 2.5 in it that had 360 000 km on it when I sold it, and the guy I sold it ran it to nearly 400k before selling it.

    My wife had a 96 or 97 impreza L, 2.2 auto. piston slap like nobody's business, but you can't stop the AWD in the snow (until we got all four wheels off the ground, anyway). Then she moved to an 05 Saab 9-2x, which she ran for a couple years before selling it for an 09 Forester.

    A lot of them tend to get banged on and then cast aside, and they hold value quite well, so you can get bad examples being sold for crazy prices.
     
  18. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe it hasn't been long enough for several models to say yay or nay to this. It seems like all brands are going to CVT, though. And the more time goes by, the more miles the older non-CVT cars get on them.
     
  19. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    With any four cylinder Subaru you have to have the head gasket checked. They fail and if you don't catch it it will completely screw up the engine.
     
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  20. Mechanic

    Mechanic Friend of Leo's

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    Mrs Mechanic and I have owned 4 Subie, 2 manual and 5EAT auto and a CVT in our newish ‘15 Crosstrek. The ‘05 Leagacy GT was stupid fast and comfy, burned premium @ 25mpg at its best. We literally beat the snot out of that poor thing overloading with groceries several times a week for a number of months. Sold it with 185k miles on it, no tranny issues with the 5EAT auto. The turbo leaked and was replaced as well as leaking valve cam covers I did myself.
    Our ‘15 Trek has 75k on it and runs great at 30mpg, comfy ergonomics, we use it for catering delivery and personal use but it’s part of the biz. No issues. Our other delivery car is an ‘05 Impreza that has 175k on it, manual tranny. Reconstructed title it has issues with alinement and eats tires. But we’ve only owned it less than a year starts runs drives great. $2k it’s butt ugly gets 26mpg on cheap gas. I’ll drive it for a bit.
    For the record I’ve owned Ford Chevy Dodge and both air and water cooled VWs and a Porsche 914 and 356.
    Subie for the money are great cars and I’ll buy another:
    Unless a basket case 356 falls into my lap for less than $10K.
    Not going to happen. (Sniff)
     
    PacificChris likes this.
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