TiminYorkshire

Outback 3.0 '03-'09 Buying advice

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So I'm new on here and looking for a dog/winter estate/occasional boat tow and launch vehicle (I have a small RIB) and have narrowed the search down to a strange mix of vehicles, the Outback being one. The others being the TD5 Discovery, but general reliability and rusty chassis issues are making me reconsider and the 3.0CRD Grand Cherokee but actually finding a non oil-leaking one in good body/interior condition is harder than I thought - I've viewed 3 already. I've owned a Legacy once in the distance pace, a JDM '96 GT-B Manual which I had no issues with (although the person I sold it to had the head gasket go, another story).

So what attracts me to the Outback? -Perceived reliability and ease of ownership, more car like handling and better performance than the other two options. Panoramic sunroof is also a big attraction.
Downsides being more car like, i.e. lower driving position (my girlfriend likes driving my van) and less rugged aesthetics.

So my questions are:

1. Are they as reliable and straightforward to maintain as their reputation suggests? (I understand parts may cost a little more than some). Any big items likely (I've heard of the Y section of the exhaust).

2. There seems to be a great range in price, what should I be looking to pay for a good condition one with panoramic sunroof? I'm guessing I'm looking for the RN spec.

3. Is mileage a big issue? - Should I be targeting a specific mileage (we'll probably do 3-7k a year depending on foreign trips etc)?

4. Are the advantages of the facelift ('07?), flappy paddles etc a big incentive for the extra cost? And is there much of a difference between '03 to '09 - as the early ones will have cheaper RFL?

Any help, views or further comments on the 3.0 Outback much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Registrations after March 2006 suffer higher road tax, circa £500pa. I cannot comment on the flappy paddles as mine doesn't have them but does have the sport-shift which I seldom use manually. The facelift ones get a single cd v the earlier 6cd changer with tape player, so not as good IMHO.

Rn means navigation (satnav) - that's the only discernible difference I know of between the R and the Rn.

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I had a 2005 3.0r for 2 years with no issues. Mileage when I got it was 64k; took it to 81k

 

 

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3 hours ago, TiminYorkshire said:

Thanks for the clarification between R and Rn, most useful.

I take it you're pleased with your Outback?

Reasonably so except for it's thirst. Round town, don't get above 20mpg. The motors strong, chain drive so no timing belt to worry about. 5 speed auto box is very good. They are known for wheel bearings getting noisy and hard to diagnose, and the 2 pulleys on the v belts need changing before 100k. Very good long distance hauler.

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hi, i recently bought a 2007 3.0 RN with the paddles, but it also has the 6cd changer in dash...so i expect there are some odd ones out there which crossed 

over from 06>07 ?

i actually love the paddle shift or using the stick manually as it allows me to choose when to shift up/down when i'm pressing on....but as you say

the auto mode is plenty good enough, espesh in sport !

as for price, i looked around for almost a year and found 2/3 at the top end (7K) and good ones averaging around 4-5K....

regarding mpg i'm currently averaging 23/4 locally but saw over 30+ on a recent run up the A5. (that's on Shell V-power juice)

although mine is near mint with very low miles, the exhaust is deffo on the way out, hopefully to be replaced withh SS in the near future, other than

that the only thing that needs sorting is a rattle/donk from the back end on rough roads/potholes etc, which i think is part exhaust and/or maybe worn

ant-roll bar mountings/links...not too shabby for a 10 year old !!  (so far so good anyhow)

 

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not been on the site for a while, My 2007 3.0R has just clicked over 100k miles, I have had it for nearly 4 years, it had less than 40k on it when I took it on. It have been totally reliable, having just had service items, in addition to front suspension bushes and drop links, an a new cat back exhaust last year.

With regards the flappy paddles, I sometimes use then for a bit of engine braking into roundabouts etc, mine is in the higher tax bracket and comes wth the SI modes, sport sharp is entertaining, i is supposed to be an economy mode, but it doesn't make more that a couple of mpg difference.

I keep wondering if i should move it on, but its such a competent and useful tool, I am struggling to find anything better

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