Advice on Subaru Outback purchase; Outback vs. Legacy Wagon

mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
edited March 2014 in Subaru
I’ll be working part of the time from Silicon Valley shortly and need an inexpensive but highly reliable and safe car to use for the work week as well as weekend trips.

I have an opportunity to buy a 2000 Subaru Outback Legacy AWD Wagon locally at a good price, and would sincerely appreciate any advice you can offer. It’s been driven and kept in the dry climate of Silicon Valley, and appears to be in immaculate condition. I may only need it for a few months, but it seems easy to resell, and if I keep it, it would make a good car for my wife who would only need it for local errands. I’m having it inspected now as well. A few quick questions:

1) How does the Subaru Outback compare with the Subaru Legacy Wagon? Are they pretty much the same? I thought the Outback was based on the Legacy, but one mechanic told me recently that the Legacy Wagon is a different model.

2) Would you offer any special cautions/instructions for this 2000 Outback model? See specs below.

3) Any special maintenance advice for this model?

Any and all advice is much appreciate. I’ve been working in Manhattan and have not needed to own a car since my trusty Volvo 240 of college days.

2000 Subaru Outback Legacy AWD Wagon
Engine: 4-Cyl. 2.5 Liter
Trans.: Automatic (4 speed)
Mileage: 139,500
New transmission installed at 88,000 miles

Air Conditioning
Power Steering
Power Windows
Power Door Locks & Dual Power Mirrors
Keyless Entry System
Tilt Wheel
Cruise Control
AM/FM Cassette Sterio w/Weather Band
Single Compact Disc
Dual Front Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
ABS (4-Wheel)
Leather Trimmed Upholstery
Power Seats (heated)
Dual Moon Roofs
Roof Rack
16 inch Alloy Wheels with Splash Guards
Windshield Wiper De-Icer
Halogen Fog Lights
12V Power Outlet (Front & Cargo Area)
Security System Upgrade Kit


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Outback sits a couple of inches higher, at one point I measured the height of the seats and it was 4" or so higher up. A lot of people like that.

    Check the usual suspects, i.e. head gaskets, front and rear main seals for oil leaks, and wheel bearings. With that mileage you may want a mechanic to do a compression test to make sure all the cylinders are sealing properly.
  • andrewkandrewk Member Posts: 59
    I almost bought a used 2000 Outback a couple years back, but didn't because the seller backed out. However, my iwfe has a 2003 Legacy wagon, and I now have a 2005 Outback wagon. As I vaguely recall while doing my research there were headgasket issues and there was some type recall for something minor on the back end on the 2000 Outbacks..

    The standard Outback is based on the Legacy platform. The Outback Sport, way less common, is based on the Impreza platform. As I tell my family and friends, my Outback is a Legacy on steroids. It sits higher, has more ground clearance, has bigger tires and mine has some winter/weather type features such as heated seats, mirrors and windsheild deicer. All very nice for Indiana winter driving.

    I like driving both. The wife's has low-wall performance like tires, sits lower, and drives very tight and sports like. My Outback sits hire and rides softer. Both are nice.
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    Ateixeira and Andrewk, thank you very much. Very helpful comments. Does anyone know what the backend minor recall issue was? Any other things to check out?

    One thing that has always impressed me about Subarus - whenever I head into real mountain country for hiking or skiing, on both the E and W Coast, I seem to see tons of the locals driving Subaru wagons. That says something.
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