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Help! Should I Buy at '06 Outback with 120K miles or '01 Outback with 92K miles?

seattleoutbackseattleoutback Member Posts: 3
edited April 2014 in Subaru

Looking for some advice - not sure if this is the right board to post this on. I recently lost my beloved 99 Outback with 195K miles on it during a bad accident. Now trying to replace it with another Outback (used), under $10K and somewhere around 100K miles. Automatic transmission.

Current options include a 2006 base model with 120K miles, selling for $9,000. One owner, impeccably serviced, timing belt, brakes and tires all recently replaced. The main flaw seems to be that the radio needs to be replaced.

Alternative is a 2001 Limited with 92K miles, selling for $8300. Even though mileage is low the car was driven pretty hard. The top of the driver side door under the window is wrinkled (looks like water damage due to a window being left down, maybe?). A few cosmetic flaws but the nice bells and whistles like moon roof, leather seats, etc. 2 owners, don't really have access to service records.

We do plan to get the car we choose independently inspected just in case but does anyone have any tips in general re: whether to buy a newer car (in this case '06) with 30K more miles or the older car ('01) with 30K fewer miles?

Thanks for your advice.


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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited April 2014

    One of my cars is a '97 Outback Ltd with 95k and even though it hasn't been driven hard, I'd swap for my sister's '05 in a minute (okay, her car is a Forester with 50k more miles, but I'd go for the ~5 year+ newer car).

    The options on the Ltd I drive are nice, although I'd only really miss the heated seats.

    Of your two choices, I'd go with the newer base (having the service records is pretty nice). Can't really put my finger on it, but all things being equal, parts just age, even if the miles aren't piling up. Seals shrink, wiring gets brittle, hoses dry rot.

    Another option would be to rent a car for a month and shop longer, but it's a pain being in your position without permanent wheels. Or maybe you spend most of your time in areas of Seattle where it's easy to get around on the bus? Bummer about the accident.

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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 239,386

    I would take the '06 in a minute... Just 5 extra years of weather and sun really take their toll on a car... From a strict value perspective, the '06 is a no-brainer (all else being equal, which it never is).

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    seattleoutbackseattleoutback Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for your advice! Stever, the 2006 actually does have heated seats, so I guess it's really a no brainer. :)

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