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Are new Subarus really as bad as I am hearing?

13

Comments

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that the cost of having the mechanics do those older-car repairs would be better in the long run than new car payments and insurance, at least up to a point. I try to get ten years out of every car I own.

    On the flip side I just discovered that my '97 Subaru Outback sport with 115K miles on the odo needs new struts, battery, clutch, and maybe alternator, and with the price of the Subaru parts, the price of the standard book-rate labor, and my hankering to get a 4x4 truck, I have sold it rather than put the money in. If I didn't want the truck so bad, I would probably have paid for all those items, because I am sure this car will go another five years without a further major repair/maintenance expense.

    I think part of the problem with keeping older cars for a lot of people is simply that they would like to get something newer and shinier, more high-tech, etc. They don't want to keep the car as long as it is really designed to go...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    every one of the items you listed were wear and tear items. Good heavens, if you're like me, this the car you take on dirt roads, can't complain about 115K on the struts.

    Not one of those was something I would call serious.

    I do understand the hankering for a 4X4. I was surprised that Edmunds had to take a 2 wheel drive Explorer in CA, since you can go into Monstro Auto here in any intermountain state and out of the huge inventory only find 1 or 2 with 2 wheel drive.

    Course out here we actually use our 4X4 vehicles for what they were intended.

    May the god of the outback bless your endeavors.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    which is why I bought one last year. Been a Toyota buyer for years, but as they abandoned the traditional wagon market, and I wanted AWD, the Subaru Outback was a natural fit.

    So check with me in 10 years, and I will be able to definitively tell you how they compare!! :-)

    BTW, I hung around the "Subaru Crew" for months before deciding, and am an active participant still. Most owners seem very pleased with their purchase.

    Steve
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a 91 XT6 with 125K miles runs great.
    My aunt has a 92 SVX runs great.
    Cousin has a 92 Legacy runs great.
    Father has a 97 Legacy w/90K miles runs great.
    Uncle has a 97 Outback with 70K runs great.
    Cousin has 00 Outback with 40K runs great.
    I have a 88 XT6 with 90K runs great.

    Pretty reliable vehicles in my family.

    -mike
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    So, at this later point, just how bad have you been hearing?
  • strakesstrakes Posts: 1
    I used to own Volvos, but now have Subarus. What initially attracted me to Volvos was their reliability and practicality. I do all the routine maintenance that is called for in the owners manual...yet my last Volvo was not reliable (1995 Volvo 850). It required a new steering rack, heater core, and there was a weird noise coming from the transmission all before 65,000 miles. So I switched to Subaru from what friends' advice.

    Our 1993 Legacy Wagon has 140,000 miles and runs great. We recently bought a new 2002 Legacy GT and it now has 15,000 miles and haven't had a problem with it at all. They are great cars.
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    I'd also say that is why the NAPA guy says he sell so many subie parts. From the Subaru boards here I've realized there is a big enginerd following as well as autocross drivers. So people who like to keep their cars in top shape appear to be a good sized segment of Subie buyers. They'd fit right in with Shifty for maintaince philosophy. Good read the Subie boards. These guys wax the backside of their rims, the underside of the hood, the engine bay, and anywhere else they can think of. I think their is also a lot of emotional investment in these cars by these guys. They do don't see them as an appliance to get from point A to point B but as extension of themselves and part of their personality.

    They also have a large following of extremely practical people who view them as the ultimate foul weather driving machine. Who maintain them well so as not to get stuck somewhere in a blizzard. They are very popular in snow country.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There are a lot of psycho subie owners on here, but for instance my family owns several (listed a bunch of posts up) and they don't do anything beyond the regular maintenance and have had stellar success with their soobies.

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    But that's all anecdotal. I could tell you Subaru horror stories, but I tend not to do that because they dont' represent real statistics and may have nothing to do with "the truth"

    I think it really depends on which make and model and vintage Subaru you are talking about. For instance Paisan, the stats on your XTs are not good but you are happy. Go figure. My XT was a god awful car and had low miles. Go figure. My friend's Legacy has been great and I told her not to buy it. Go figure.

    I think that to find out the "truth" about any car really requires two things:

    1. Being a good and patient researcher

    2. Being disinterested in the car personally or talking to people who are disinterested.

    Just like with people, when you are in love you forgive lots of things with a car.

    MODERATOR

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Only XT6s which are different beasts completely :)

    All data found on here is anecdotal, if you want statistics you shouldn't be posting questions on here because it will ALL be anecdotal only publications like CR and JDP&A will be able to provide statistical data, even that is subjective in how it's presented.

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    Well true but people do tend to readily accept anecdotal evidence which in turns starts rumors, etc., so nothing wrong with us pointing people to at least reasonably credible info.

    For example I found that the TUV (German motoring inspection authority) lists defect rate for cars ten years and older, and Subaru has a defect rate of 12.5% "serious defects", that is, about 12 Subarus per 100, ten years or older, had serious defects. This compares to 6.8% for Benz. Now this sounds about right to me, that older Subies are not too bad but not perfect by any means. It's a statistic that meshes more or less with my experience, is from a good authority, measures older cars, etc., so I tend to believe it.

    This comes from a post at a Subaru club on AOL, so that also makes me think it was offered in a good way to people.

    I drove the XT6 only a couple times, and being a rare car, statistics are hard to come by. My only impression was that it was more fun than an XT but no beauty queen, and the engine, for a flat 6, was rather lazy. That might be good as laziness would tend to increase logevity. The old VW was also a lazy engine and lasted longer than you'd think a 1600cc with no oil filter and air cooling would last.

    MODERATOR

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Which is subjective. I like the front 3/4 but the rear 1/4 leaves much to be desired.

    Anyway, people come here for opinions and I can only give the facts that I know of about subies, I follow almost all subaru sources on the web as well as meet with owners several times a week.

    -mike
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    its a 1 hr labor charge and they check for any abnormal codes associated with the airbag system and check some other stuff visually. Had it done on my 92 earlier this year (then I sold it 2 months later - what a waste of money!)
    It may not be necessary but if you don't do it and your bag goes off accidentally or doesn't go off when it shoould, don't expect to find an attorney who will take your case against Subaru!
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    however, IMHO, the name of the forum is pretty laughable to anyone who really knows anything about Subarus. It should be changed to "Are Subarus, dollar-for-dollar, the best all-around vehicles made on the planet today?" Having owned many different cars from Pontiacs to Chevys to Porsches to BMWs to Toyotas to Volvos, my humble opinion is "yes, they are." That's why we own 2 of them (a 99 Forester and 02 WRX Sport Wagon.)

    Here in Denver, we have one of the highest Subie populations of anywhere in the country, in fact Boulder county dealers sell more Outbacks than any other county in the USA. Seeing high-mileage Subarus on the road 10, 20, 30 years old is a very common sight out here. If you want to find an SVX in great condition, come to Denver, we have lots of them! We also have some of the most unpredictable weather in the country, everything from blizzards to hail storms to flash floods. And IMO, the reason so many drivers out here put their faith in this car is because of its over-all durability, trustworthiness, and ability to perform in any kind of tough driving situation.

    Just my (very heartfelt) 2 cents. :)
  • steward2steward2 Posts: 1
    Today my wife had her Subaru quit on her twice. Once was on a busy street and the other was in a driveway. Erratic hestitations led us to depart with our last and first Subaru 2001. My wife really liked the rest of the car and we hoped the 2002 would not exhibit the same problems. We were wrong. How many other people are experiencing similar problems?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If BOTH cars you got exhibit the same problem. I watch almost all subaru related msg boards and this is the first I've heard of stalling problems.

    -mike
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 226
    Here is someone who had a car stall twice and decided that was serious enough to sell it. People all have different wants and expectations of their cars.

    Many of us would find if it was bad gas, a fuel line problem, a computer problem, and etc. Most of these would still be covered under warantee in a 1-2 year old car. Then we would decide if it was a problem worth selling the car over. Others just say that's enough and get rid of the car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    This is why I usually never talk to overly enthusiastic or completely dissastisfied owners about a car's reliability. The enthusiast touts the car and the one with the bad experience will never forgive it. I'm guilty of both.

    Also I never consult car clubs about pricing.

    However, the clubs are great for figuring out spare parts, how to fix things, support network, and best of all, social outings and meeting new people.

    MODERATOR

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    the title of this thread should be changed. It's very misleading, if not downright inaccurate.

    Bob
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    That's up to the original poster, since this is his impression, and since it is framed as a question, meaning he isn't sure. I don't see a problem with that as Host.

    So I'll wait to hear from him about it if he wants to do anything, okay? Could be he's right and you aren't, who's to say with new models? The idea is to explore the question and hopefully share good data pro or con.

    MODERATOR

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Maybe I should start a thread, "Are Subarus really as good as I am hearing?"

    It just puts a very "negative" slant on the brand, that's not justified.

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    "I hear X blow up at 50K miles is this true?"

    -mike
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Speaking of Boulder, Denver, and other communities along the front range, or near: Do you have an opinion about which dealership(s) will really get the price down on a cash purchase of a new Subaru (Forester is my conditional preference). I would buy one if the price was right. If the dealers think they are sitting on little gold mines, I'll seek another brand.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    We can't really say if its justified or not. The car hasn't been out that long. It takes 2-3 years for a model to prove itself. None of the auto mags that I read have even completed a Long Term Test on them.

    Dodge Neon for instance came roaring out of the gate, got great press, went racing, Skip Barber used them as track cars for all their ads. Only after a while did we start hearing about the head gaskets.

    MODERATOR

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There hasn't been a new engine in the subaru line for years, except for the H6 3.0

    Every other engine has been out since '99

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    WRX is what I'm talking about, as this is the Subaru most people are talking about on this board. So a couple of years for Consumer Reports to collect data, maybe a few Long Term Reports from auto magazines, and a good longterm reliability score from JD Powers, is what I personally require to declare a car "exceptionally good". I've seen too many cars go sour to automatically embrace the early rave reviews. Call me a skeptic, that's how I think anyway.

    MODERATOR

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The WRX engine is OLD nothing new about it at all. It hasn't changed since about 97ish maybe even earlier.

    -mike
  • stoner420stoner420 Posts: 165
    Though the 2002 US model obviously is a fairly substantial overhaul from older/foreign-market Imprezas, it's really only "new" to the US and has existed for several years in other markets. See http://www.sidc.co.uk/faq.htm for "The Subaru Impreza FAQ" (last updated Feb. 12, 2000 even!)


    Even the controversial ABS issue does not really seem to be new with the 2002 model: http://www.sidc.co.uk/faq.htm#3.12

  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    fleetwoodsimca--from our experience the Rocky Mtn. dealers won't budge much on the price if they have a hot seller, which the new Forester looks to be. You might try talking to Dave Owen at Burt Subaru, 303-761-7453. They are pretty good over-all and #1 in customer satisfaction here in Denver.

    When we shopped for our WRX last July, nobody in the region would give us even a nickel off on the car, and we ended up buying for $500 over invoice from Roper Subaru in Joplin, Mo. Not as bad as it sounds because these are great people to work with and will ship the car free of charge to a convenient spot in Kansas for you to pick up. Then you have an easy hwy drive home on I-70 for a beautiful break-in on the engine (vary your speed 50-80 and don't use the cruise control.) If you want to go that route, talk to Jeremy Strup at 1-800-743-0311 Ext. 5567. He gave us a fantastic deal when nobody else would, and I know he'll make you happy on your Forester.

    --rexaroo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,619
    WRX is new to this country with all US engine, chassis, safety standards in place, so it's a fairly new package here. Old WRX goes way back in Japan, maybe ten years.

    MODERATOR

This discussion has been closed.