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New Member (and looking to buy soon)


loza
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Hi Folks, I came across this community when researching Subaru Outbacks and I can see myself being a regular viewer and occasional poster! I think it's great that there's an active Subie community in this country :)

A bit about me:

Born on the UK but spent most of my life so far in Australia. Back living in the UK now. Subaru's are very popular in Australia. I read somewhere that Australia is the 3rd largest market for Subaru (behind Japan and The States), despite the lower population. Someone told me years ago that subies are known as "rust buckets" here in the UK, but I think that is the reputation of the old models (eg, the L-Series from the 80's). I am assuming that newer models don't carry the same tag (am I right?).

My father, who is a qualified mechanic, got me into Subaru's mainly due to the reliability of them. He has owned several over the years, starting from the early 80's (I think). My first car was an L-Series wagon (estate) that the old man let me have once I got my licence. It was a bit slow but pretty much indestructible! This was a model that had a manual dual-range (diff-locked) gearbox, and I did my fair share of off-roading.

 

I am looking at soon purchasing my first Subaru in this country, so I am watching the "For Sale" pages in this forum. My model of choice will be an Outback, the generation with a "dip" in the headlights (03 til 09, I think). Any advice would be much appreciated! One question I have, for anyone who knows, is: Does the 03-09 Outback have a timing belt or timing chain?

Cheers.

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3.0 is chain , 2.5 is belt

get a 3.0 as way better engine and reliability. keeping to a 2005 saves money too as from 06 road tax goes up £215 yearly so keeping in 2005 lower bracket saves good amount of cash .

prices are cheap for what can get if make effort  and not bad time of year to start looking, be fussy and wait for a good one .

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Hi Mr B. Thanks for your reply.

I was originally thinking the 2.5 because 1. It would be cheaper to buy and 2. It would be less thirsty ... But if there's not much difference maybe I'll consider the 3.0.

Cheers.

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Most run 95 on 3.0, not a massive difference in fuel economy but other gearbox specs of models may sway your opinion .
2.5 not subarus best, the 3.0 is proper decent . 
both 2.5 and 3.0 is pretty cheap on used market and lot of clean proper nice ones about, we never struggle find outbacks, foresters are harder find proper nice
If found either engine model superb order you'd be silly give it a miss, no newer late 2005 best bet and saves you £215 each year to put towards fuel .
3.0 saves cambelt cost and potential head gastet issue of the 2.5
estimate your mileage and costs and decide what best for you . test drive both even ones at local traders you may not want buy as gives experience and easier judge good/bad more you see/test .
 

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Mr B, thanks for your advice. Very helpful. For me, performance is not important, but reliability is so I am leaning toward the 3.0 based on your comments. Does any one know the difference between the "R" and the "Rn" ?

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Hi Jay.

I have been mulling over the engine choice for a little while now. I really appreciate your input, Mr B, but I am leaning more towards the 2.5 over the 3.0 mainly because of the running costs (fuel-consumption and premium petrol). Subaru's are already on the thirsty side, without a big engine, and I am far from rich! Also, like I said, performance is not important to me.

I know you said there are potential head-gasket issues, but I am wondering just how common this issue is ... I mean my parents both had a 2.5 in Australia and never had any issues.

Also started looking into Legacy Estates (I think the main difference is less ground clearance). I have found one ad, which ticks every box, and it's a good price. It is a 2.5, however, the timing belt has been replaced recently. It's also a '05 model, which will save me some dosh on Tax, as Mr B pointed out.

Cheers.

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2.5 head gaskets tend get all of them eventually it just matter of time some quicker than others, not end of the world but something look at when buying and have some funds backup just in case . I prefer extra ride height in outback, better view and better clearance in general b road ditches and town curbs etc .

I would try view 4 or 5 local even if above your price if local dealer just get feel and experience on the car model and if dead set on 2.5 stick with viewing that engine model only . plenty good legacy/outbacks out there and they generally good priced as not much demand once winter over, probably be month or 2 before used market picks up due to xmas/ny .

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