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One for the mechanics amongst us...


Mr FeLiX

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Afternoon guys and girls,

Looks like I'll be replacing my VS Berlina within a month, blowing smoke, the auto slips and has numerous other little gremlins, though it has served me well for the past 4 years. Bought it with 160,000Ks, now has roughly 280,000

So, I've got a rough price of $10000 to spend according to the bank, and I'm looking in the subaru stable. I've got a choice of a 2 Ltr Subaru Impreza wagon with about 160,000 on the clock, one owner, always garaged, serviced etc...

Others include 99-02 legacy wagon (Also a 2 Ltr or 2.5) ...

99-02 Forester (2.5)..

99-02 Outback wagon (2.5)

I'm looking for something that will tow with ease (the boat is only light), has a bit of room, preferabbly a wagon and not too many Ks on the odo. Must also be capable of slight, and I mean SLIGHT off road spurts... And, with fuel $1.50 a litre, has to be a 4 banger, also considering the turbo variants...

If anyone has experience, good or bad with these cars, please feel free to comment

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If you're after a bit of room I think you can cross the Forester from that era off the list. Great vehicle but only room for a shoe box and umbrella behind the seats. (The Berlina would have at least twice the capacity).

The Outback wagon has much more room and will do ultra light off road (graded gravel roads). You will notice a big difference from the Berlina in the driver's foot-well area. You may need to adjust your nuts so you can put your legs together. Made for 'thinish' people.

Can't help with the mechanical side of things. I have heard the average Suby is owned for 7 years which suggests people either love them or are so broke from repairs they can't afford another car lol I think the former is the case though.

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Ok, first things first. the cars you are looking at are roughly 10 years old and all things been equal, should have about 200 000 km on the clock. Do you really want to put 10 grand into a car that many km's on the clock, or would you be better off putting that 10 k into something newer ? Anyway - on the subes, IMHO they are the best thing that has ever come out of Japan. They are very well built with very few problems, hence why they are so solid on resale value. The only recurring problem they have is splitting front driveshaft boots due to the angle of the driveshaft at the inner cv joint. The manuals in the turbo versions is a bit weak if driven hard - which they all are, which is fine as this is what they were meant for. The clutches in the normally aspirated versions shudder a bit and ther have been numerous factory reaclls and fixes for this. The autos are fine but have no low range. They are serviced every 6 months or 12 500 km, with major services at 50, 75 and 100 k. They are dear to maintain. Timing belts are done every 5 years or 100 000 km. Done at the same time as the 100 k service the bill is about $1200. Solid service history with receipts is a must, as is checking for accident damage and damage underneath from off roading - plastic bash plates. They are ok on the beach with dropped tyre pressures and are fine on dirt roads and very light off roading. If you can find a low km version you wont do much better for a allrounder. I was a motor mech for 15 years before changing trades and have serviced a lot of subes, all different models.

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