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legacy/outback buyers guide help


Jghealey
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Hi All,

New to the forum and looking to get rid of our family shopping cart Clio estate and enter the world of subaru. I’ve always been a fan of them since a kid but have never owned one through fear of running costs/getting one that’s been mistreated.

I am looking for some advice. I have been looking into standard legacy estates and outbacks either the EJ20 or EJ25 I’m not that fussed, I just want an estate that’s reliable and relatively cheap to run. I’m tired of all the rubbish that comes along with eco diesels and constant egr or dpf issues in high mileage cars.

I intend on getting something about 2008ish and hopefully under 100k miles. I’ve had a look about and they seem ok price wise around there but without the first hand experience of the engine and cars before I need the help with what to avoid

has anyone published a buyers guide post for what to look for when going to look at a car?

What do people get MPG out of their EJ20 or 25? 30MPG?

is one engine better than the other for running into the longer miles range?

how long to the engines and components last for until it’s really time to just dump it and move on? 160k miles? 200k miles?

Looking to run an older car for about 2 years then if I haven’t properly caught the scooby bug go back to leasing a car.

any help greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

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Best you see is 30, more likely is 26 to 28 for more short trip running around.

They can make up for slightly less fuel efficiency from reliability thus annual repairs can be pretty much zero .

General service costs are pretty low unless your garage ripping you off .

Main thing here is don't get caught up in newer better as that far from real facts, Very late 90's to 2006 about best they get .

You far smarter buying a older super clean car than chasing an well priced 2007 to 2010 .
If going 2.5L or even the 3.0 you want earlier than a 55 plate (or first couple months if a 06) to get into favourable road tax class .

The outback is a great versatile wagon 2.5L engine not too bad but the 3.0 EZ is subarus best and they last real well plus benefit from timing chain .
2.0L EJ also pretty solid lump but it be a Legacy model to get that .

Out of the 2.5 or 3.0 the 3.0 wiser option as hardly any mpg difference and the strength/performance of the 3.0 makes it the best choice in most cases .

I see 2.0 at 180K to 220K quite a lot and 3.0 same and more, they do 300K easy if serviced well (oil and filter regular the big key), 2.5 generally has head gasket issues which little bit spendy repair .

The main criteria is buying wisely, look at a lot to learn the cars and inspecting them well and learn good from bad .
Don't expect dealers be best options for clean cars, private sales generally always best and more honest .

Generally you can find Outbacks super clean and FSH quite easily, don't be afraid pay extra 500 to 1K for old super clean car as it will pay you back many times over.
The absolute most important part is educating yourself before purchase and view several models prior to any buying, make use of any local dealers that may have one even if not spec/price you want as the viewing experience will educate you into smarter final decision hopefully .

If you completely no mechanical competence take a friend or friend of a friend who is, don't rely on likes of RAC inspections as they tend be a bit slack for what they charging .

Basically the cars great, more so older models, just be sure choose wisely, if any niggles or doubts walk away and never take anything a dealer tells you as a fact, I in the trade and most silly stories of biggest junk and lies and silly prices always comes back to a dealer unfortunately .

 

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Well you should be fine then .

They very easy work on as lot of design effort apparent on making repair route easier .

The real key is making effort buy a proper tidy one and not assuming newer will be better .

 

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  • 1 month later...

My 5 pence here. I've previously owned a 2004 2.0i saloon and it was a very good / reliable car. It was super basic though in terms of options (no park sensors and so on). The 2.0i was gutless and returned the same MPG as my 3.0 flat 6. As mentioned above, the tax band is cheaper if you go for an earlier reg, however you'd miss out on refinement, more power and so on - of course, this all depends on what you want.

I bought mine in July after my new Golf GTi broke down and went back to the dealer for a refund. I bought (then only example in the UK) an 09 3.0r Spec B. It is more powerful than earlier models, it shifts exactly as quick as the manual - thanks to Si Drive. It packs all the options. Yes, I pay £520 tax but who cares? If you're buying a petrol car with such a big engine then the last of your worries should be tax and MPG. I could never understand people asking what's the MPG on a 3.0 litre and how economical it is - if these are the kind of questions to ask then it clearly isn't the car for you (IMO).

Service wise, it isn't as cheap as Toyota or Honda, but reliability of the 3 litre is the best when comparing to 2.0 or 2.5 litre variants.

Cutbacks are amazing cars. I've owned another 06 Legacy estate which was also a 2.0 litre and it was a great car, but again, gutless. If you live in the countryside then overtaking may prove to be difficult.

I'm selling my legacy now as I've placed an order for an SUV and this was a temporary car so that I'm not left without wheels in the interim. But in my short ownership, it is one of the best cars I've ever owned! The only big downside is that you can't place child seats at the front and this was a deal breaker for me when I found out about it a week ago.

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  • 1 month later...

This is fantastic information thank you. 
I posted (stupidly) the same question above. Please forgive not reading other posts before making my own!

I am in the same boat and looking avidly for an estate (maybe saloon) reading what has been written, is this in the sweet spot?

2005 Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Spec B/6 Speed Manual cheap tax/ EZ30
 

118k and I think expensive at offers around 4100. Two previous owners and very local to me. Claims solid history in dark blue (estate, no tow bar) 

Any thoughts?

With thanks,

Charles. 

 

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Yes expensive.

If close maybe worth looking just gain knowledge and judge cars actual condition.

For that price it have be immaculate and have lot of recent investment such as quality tyres quality oem parts and servicing to high standard .
particularly mint older cars are worth paying extra as you get your money back many times over generally but you got have limits.
I picked up really nice hard fault outback 3.0 under 100K pretty much new set of £400 tyres and well serviced for 3K, I could find cheaper but not better and for extra few hundred you getting real clean quality car that joy to own and little expense for many years if keep on top of basic servicing care .
It very hard judge a cars value until you see it in person and more you view better you get at judging good from bad and learning issues ...

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On 8/21/2020 at 1:46 PM, Mr B said:

Best you see is 30, more likely is 26 to 28 for more short trip running around.

They can make up for slightly less fuel efficiency from reliability thus annual repairs can be pretty much zero .

General service costs are pretty low unless your garage ripping you off .

Main thing here is don't get caught up in newer better as that far from real facts, Very late 90's to 2006 about best they get .

You far smarter buying a older super clean car than chasing an well priced 2007 to 2010 .
If going 2.5L or even the 3.0 you want earlier than a 55 plate (or first couple months if a 06) to get into favourable road tax class .

The outback is a great versatile wagon 2.5L engine not too bad but the 3.0 EZ is subarus best and they last real well plus benefit from timing chain .
2.0L EJ also pretty solid lump but it be a Legacy model to get that .

Out of the 2.5 or 3.0 the 3.0 wiser option as hardly any mpg difference and the strength/performance of the 3.0 makes it the best choice in most cases .

I see 2.0 at 180K to 220K quite a lot and 3.0 same and more, they do 300K easy if serviced well (oil and filter regular the big key), 2.5 generally has head gasket issues which little bit spendy repair .

The main criteria is buying wisely, look at a lot to learn the cars and inspecting them well and learn good from bad .
Don't expect dealers be best options for clean cars, private sales generally always best and more honest .

Generally you can find Outbacks super clean and FSH quite easily, don't be afraid pay extra 500 to 1K for old super clean car as it will pay you back many times over.
The absolute most important part is educating yourself before purchase and view several models prior to any buying, make use of any local dealers that may have one even if not spec/price you want as the viewing experience will educate you into smarter final decision hopefully .

If you completely no mechanical competence take a friend or friend of a friend who is, don't rely on likes of RAC inspections as they tend be a bit slack for what they charging .

Basically the cars great, more so older models, just be sure choose wisely, if any niggles or doubts walk away and never take anything a dealer tells you as a fact, I in the trade and most silly stories of biggest junk and lies and silly prices always comes back to a dealer unfortunately .

 

Thanks for that matey it’s really helped me a stack as I’m in the same position as the OP- the auto issue put me off somewhat as I was desperate for an Outback but erring more towards a Forester 

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