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Are new Subarus really as bad as I am hearing?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    that is what I am afraid of, and that is why I will probably skip it! :-)

    Mr. S: yeah, old Subarus were really crude, and even the newest ones are not quite up to the levels of refinement of some other comparable brands in my opinion. But their mechanical reliability and longevity is better than those same comparable brands, so I think it all comes out even!

    I bet this is one reason sales were initially slow for the most expensive Subarus (the H-6's) they came out with.

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

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    You've just gotta like those boxer engines...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Oh, I don't know as the old Subarus were up to par with Toyotas and the like. The old boxer engines dropped valves pretty regularly, often had very noisy lifters, oil pump failures, etc. And Subaru parts have traditionally always been expensive vis a vis other Japanese cars.

    But they were pretty simple machines and not too hard to fix, and I think this is what made them popular. Like the old VWs. Kind of awful cars, but people could patch them up and keep them going, even if you had to rebuilt the engine every 50K miles.

    I liked most things about the new WRX but I agree, it's not up to the build quality of a Toyota or Acura. I think I could tear the hood off with my bare hands it's so flimsy. It's about 95% perfect. If they could give the driver more room, beef up the sheet metal a bit, get rid of that awful hood scoop (I hated having it in my face), and jazz up the interior with a few splashes, I'd say it was a real winner.

    Oh, I thought the brakes were a bit weak, but maybe it was just the boost level. I had to press pretty hard to get the car to scrub speed.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    In your opinion, what is the simplest and easiest vehicle from the 1990s to service and maintain? In my opinion, it'd have to be the Jeep Wrangler, Ford F-Series or Chevy C/K. Just my $.02 worth.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    I'd quibble with your question and rephrase it to ask "What is the least difficult" because I don't think any 1990s vehicle is "easy" to maintain. You need special tools and scanners to do the job right., as well as electrical and emissions diagrams.

    I actually saw a 1990 Wrangler with a problem that totally whipped, stumped and humiliated the best repair shops in northern California. No man or woman on earth ever figured out how to make that Jeep run right to this day.

    MODERATOR

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Ok, I'll take it back. What is the least difficult vehicle to service?
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Did that '90 Wrangler have anything seriously wrong with it?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Subies with a few thousand miles on them sounded just like VWs too! :-) They were very cheap and easy to work on prior to the 90s.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Yeah, they did sorta. Of course, they were water cooled so somewhat quieter, but the same basic exhaust pulse and clattery valves, that's true.

    Wrangler--it would lose power gradually as it got warmer and eventually die after a few hours. Everything was changed or fixed except actually removing the engine block itself. I think over $2,000 was spent on diagnostics, repairs and parts and hundreds of wasted man hours. I think Wranglers got somewhat better as the 90s progressed, better engineering.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I've read in many automotive articles that Volvo cheapened the build quality of its cars after 1997, when the 70 Series first came out. I find this to be true in many cases, since I have been in many 1998 & '99 S70s and they don't seem as nice as my '93 850. Can anybody attest to this?

    On the other hand, Subaru's build quality has been much improved over the past decade. Today's Subies are a far cry from the original, crude Loyales and Legacies.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    the old legacys weren't so bad! The old loyales were!

    And I have noticed this trend in several of my friends' cars: the post-1995 volvos are not the same breed as the older ones. I think Volvo is cheapening up. Good news: more business for Subie! :-)

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

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Can you tow with a Forester? Is there a factory towing package?
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Referring to the name of this topic, the new Subarus are not bad vehicles at all. Everyone I've talked to who owns a '99 or up Subie rates their experience a near 100%, whether it be in the reliability, driving, or service departments. Subies are probably the Japanese cult cars of modern times; although small compared with Toyota or Honda, they have a very devoted fan base, largely in the Northeast and Northwest. I'm from Vermont, so I can attest to this.

    I can also safely say that Saab and Volvo are European cult cars as well; unlike big players like BMW and Mercedes, they sell cars to a very limited clientele. But I do think that Volvo is kind of losing it right now. They want to play big and lose the practical/sturdy image in favor of luxury/sporty styles. I don't like that. Besides, the new Volvos are too complicated for my tastes. I prefer basic, primitive and simple.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Road and Track has just taken on a WRX for its long term test, so this would be good to follow issue by issue. It's the long term use of a new model that really tells the story.

    MODERATOR

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    they are supposedly as common as mosquitoes in the summer up there on the tundra.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Probably smaller tha Alaska mosquitos however. If it has a license plate, it's a car, that's one way to tell.

    MODERATOR

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Do not, under any circumstances, venture east of Tok, Alaska, into the Yukon Territory while driving a Subaru. Roaming hordes of Yukon mosquitoes will blow you off the road with the prop wash from their wings, and then... it's too horrible to describe here...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Remember if it has numbers on the side, it's a small plane, otherwise, swat it!

    MODERATOR

  • schweikbschweikb Posts: 111
    I have friends who have kept Subaru's for 11 or more years and they feel the Sub's have been reliable. Also, a good friend bought a new M-B 300 series sedan in the early 90's (it was subsequently stolen from the streets of NY and 2 years later showed up in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - but that's another story).
    It was his belief that the Mercedes would run forever, since by following the owners manual and the even more extensive dealer's list of "routine" maintenance there would be zero original parts left in the car by 100,000 miles. In his first check-up the cost was over $900 and it got worse. I guess longevity is a possibility, but at what price. No one on this board seems to mention the cost (time, inconvenience, etc.) of repairing a high-mileage car for those who are not skilled at repairing cars or don't have the time. I work in an office in the suburban NYC area - I am supposed to work 8:30 to 4:30, but the reality is (for everyone these days) I am in by 7:00 AM, work through lunch and seldom leave befreo 6:30 or 7:00 PM. If I don't do that they can me and get someone else who will. I am not an executive or a stock broker, just the mail room and admin services manager. This may not seem real to people who work outside major metro aeas, but it is truth. That's why we don't understand the country folk in poor areas who complain the that the city folks got all the money, but they themselves would never push themselves to work the hours and weeknds we do. You get from life what you put into it.
    Back the the car issue - I can't find the time to pick up my dry cleaning or prescriptions sometimes for 2 or 3 weeks, when do we get to lay-up a car to work on it or get it fixed? Just some thoughts.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    that has got to be the most idiotic theft in the universe, sending luxury cars to santo domingo. at least the annual income at $0 is higher than on the other side of the island, haiti.

    good riddance, either get a sniffmobile that gets 40 mpg if the commuting costs are killing you, or get a SUV if the potholes are.
This discussion has been closed.