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Old 05-19-2009, 11:56 AM
165 posts, read 1,024,601 times
Reputation: 105


I'm moving to the Pacific NW where there is occasional ice and snow.

Do all Subarus have AWD?
Which is roomier - the Legacy or Outback wagons, or the Forrester? Which one of the three will be most expensive?
What are the differences with the GT and other models, and which one do you recommend?
At what miles is the expensive maintenance (I see the timing belt is due at 105k)?
Do you like your Subaru?

P.S. What would be the difference in buying a branded or salvage title from a dealer than a clean title?

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Old 05-19-2009, 12:17 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
17,208 posts, read 57,041,396 times
Reputation: 18559
Newer Subies, from I think 1996, all have AWD. You didn't ask, but depending on exactly where in the PNW area you are moving to, what your current car is, etc., you may or may not *need* AWD. I get along fine with an old VW Scirocco (FWD) and either all-seasons or snow tires.

As to differences in models, go to the Subaru website and/or look at the Wikipedia articles on them.

Here in WA anyway, you can find some very old cars that are rust-free and perfectly servicable.

Cam belt - only the 2.2 and 2.5 4-cylinder cars have the belt, the 6-cylinders have a chain. The 2.2 became an interferance engine in 1997 IIRC, the 2.5 is an interferance engine (interferance means the valves hit the piston if hte belt breaks) That's not to say you don't have to change the belt on the early 2.2, but deferring the timing of it is less risky.

In general, I like our 1992 Legacy AWD. OK mileage (about 25 MPG) and decent power, it will cruise 80 all day on the Interstate, it's very stable in slick conditions, it keeps DW out of trouble driving in what little snow we get here on the East side.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:33 PM
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,301,920 times
Reputation: 5479
you really don't need a all-whell drive in the PNW but then again i drive this in winter
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:50 PM
Location: The Ranch in Olam Haba
23,707 posts, read 30,730,816 times
Reputation: 9985
My suby (Legacy) lived to the ripe old age of 14. Only had 306,000 miles on it. The only change I wish it had was a 3.0 liter engine. Replaced it with a Lexus RX. IMHO the lex is more forgiving on the body. It averages about 20mpg. FYI - I tried the Forrester, it wasn't a long haul driver (some of my drives are 8-10 hours on curvy roads). Tried the Tribeca - piece of junk. Tried newer legacy (outback) - Hard on the body, seats were not compfy, terrible on curvy roads. Test drive location for all was Blue Ridge Mountains.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:38 PM
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,201 posts, read 4,044,535 times
Reputation: 1264
I'm on my 3rd Subaru. Had a 1991 Legacy AWD wagon that I drove all over the US with no problems, that car went with an ex-. Got another 1991 Legacy AWD wagon in 1999 with 113k on it. I drove it for 8 years with no problems. I bought a 2001 Outback wagon with 109k on it in 2007 and sold the Legacy. I plan on driving the Outback for a long time.

Bought the second Legacy and the Outback from private sales with all the maintenance records. The Legacy was $5000 and I got the Outback for $4600 because the factory paintjob has spiderweb cracking all over it. It looks fine from a few feet away and it runs great!

Good resource: SUBARU OUTBACK - A Home to Subaru Enthusiasts
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:05 PM
3,150 posts, read 8,713,819 times
Reputation: 897
Subaru is a perfectly AVERAGE car. Not too reliable yet not too unreliable. My buddy's family has owned models ranging from early '90s till current models, they take excellent care of their vehicles yet we have had to repair some significant issues that went wrong. I would never own or suggest purchasing one but I would also never discourage getting one. So on a scale of 1-10 they get a 5.

IMO the old ones are the better ones (mid to early 90's).
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:07 PM
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,528 posts, read 8,623,384 times
Reputation: 1130
There Subaru Impreza was available as FWD only around 1993.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:57 AM
Location: Southern NH
2,541 posts, read 5,849,513 times
Reputation: 1762
We have a Forester. www.subaruforester.org is an owners forum. We like it and it has been reliable. It has more room than the outback or legacy.

As for a salvage title, the laws vary by state but you may have to have it inspected by the state (state police here in NH). Getting financing may be more complicated. They are tough to sell as well. Then again, you may get the car at a considerable discount to make it worth it. Don't buy without researching what it will take to register it. And don't buy it unless you are going to run the car until it dies...
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:21 PM
Location: Billings, MT
9,885 posts, read 10,967,002 times
Reputation: 14180
I had a Subaru Outback SUS (Sport Utility Sedan). It was a great car. My only compaint was the auto tranny. I would prefer the 5 speed manual. Not that there was anything WRONG with the auto, it's just a personal preference thing.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Subaru. In fact, we have been thinking about it. Possibly the Baja.
I would NOT get the 3.0 6 cylinder. I don't see any advantage to it. I WOULD, however, get one of the turbocharged 4 cylinder models, If I could find one that hadn't been raced.

As for a "salvage" title, the question that comes to mind is "WHY does it have a salvage title?" I have a car sitting in my shop right now that came from a wrecking yard, so has a salvage title. Why was it in the wrecking yard? Because a $90 part failed under the left front, and did about $100 in damage. So, for about $200, it is going just fine.
I had a Honda motorcycle that had a salvage title. The wrecking yard said the engine siezed. I installed a new battery, cleaned the carbs, and it ran fine. The lady I sold it to is still riding it, the last I heard!
A "salvage title" may mean something, and it may not. Unless you can find out WHY, you will never know.
Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:44 AM
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,741 posts, read 8,882,138 times
Reputation: 2023
We have a 2008 Outback with just about 19K miles now. To date, it has been 100% utterly reliable...we have not done anything at all to it. (except change the oil). Handling is superb (all too often I have to really watch myself...the car just "wants" to exceed the speed limit, it takes the corners and curves well) The AWD is much needed here in Alaska, where we often have a foot or so of fresh snow in our driveway some mornings. (it has NEVER been stuck!) Mileage to work and back (mixed bag of highway and mountain driving) averages around 24-25mpg. If I do all level highway, with very little stop and go, and not exceeding 60mph, then I have seen it exceed 32mpg more than once...
Would I buy another Subaru? YES I WOULD! But it would probably be the Forester...they are noticeably higher off the ground, with much more headroom. A little less space in the back though for groceries and stuff.
Get the 2.5 4-cylinder engine...it has plenty of power (170hp). The 6-cyl is strong and "peppy", but needs premium fuel, and in this day and age of expensive gas it is nice to have a decent engine that thrives on plain old regular unleaded. It has no problem whatsoever cruising at 65+ mph.
Godsend: heated mirrors...so nice to see the frost and ice melt off so you can see...
The heated seats are really nice: touch of a button fully adjustable: backward, forward, up, down, tilt forward, tilt back...whatever you want.
For what it's worth: Subaru Forester has won car of the year from Motor Trend, and #1 rated small SUV from Consumer Reports...
Don't know anything about a "salvage title", but that doesn't sound too good to me...
My $.02

PS: Subaru's are made in INDIANA, by American workers. (some people don't know that)


Last edited by BudinAk; 05-21-2009 at 01:52 AM..
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