Down under we like them, Suby’s are popular with climbers, AWD, estate are a common sight... I’ve been out of the UK for a long time are they popular or what is the perception? Curious for older parental units.
Thirsty, and head gasket problems are relatively common if not maintained well. Saying that, they're great cars. A friend has one in Australia and and I borrowed it for a time and loved it - very capable for occasional off road adventures too. Cheaper fuel though...
Running a 2010 2.0 diesel Forester at the moment. Love it! Mainly does short, windy, often hilly journeys and farm tracks. No issues with fuel economy - easily get 40mpg, so very comparable to the other car in our household (a Ford Kuga). Only gripe is the DPF - given the sort of driving we do it gets fairly clogged up. Would definitely buy again, but might consider a petrol next time.
The dreaded DPF, was told by the mechanic to stop driving my outback like a old man & ignore the boys in blue & give it some boot occasionally. Alternatively, 3500 revs in 3rd gear on the motorway for 10 minutes will alleviate any hiccups on that department although you will want the stereo turned up whilst doing so.
Love my outback, perfect get away car as in heaps of space for either gear or people, fairly good on diesel & amazing in the snow as you would expect.
Loads of spec second hand for a lot less cash than the equivalent Audi.
Subaru saloons seem to attract drivers from the slightly older end of the boy racer spectrum, always seem to be fitted with noisy oversize exhaust systems and driven accordingly.
Yep - we've been told the same! Probably do 25k a year in it, but 90% is <20min journeys in the Dales from farm to farm, so not much opportunity to get consistently high revs!
Second all you say about space - even sleeps well. I'm c6'3 and can lie flat on my back with two of us in the boot! Perfect for those late night arrivals in places!
If they're so reliable how come you've had 6? ;)
Surely you wouldn't dream of driving with an out-of-date number plate? ;)
Good question! I have tended to buy them a year old and run them until the Subaru warranty expires - which used to be three years and nowadays is a five.
John Arran has a point too
My journeys have changed over the last year from tootling around the Chamonix valley, to blasting over the Simplon pass on a regular basis.
Needless to say, never seen the dreaded orange warning light for a while now-)))
i bought a legacy estate in 98 with 12k miles. Gave it to my sister in 06 with 180k miles on. Replaced with a petrol Outback with 12k miles. Sold it two years ago with 210k miles for £1000. Both great cars, and not my first Subs.
Unfortunately they have dropped the low ratio box, so switched to a Superb diesel estate. Bigger and better mileage, which now I'm retired is important. I think the Skoda model name is asking for trouble, but so far it has been superb. Its also a 4wd, but not quite as capable as the Outback, but I do get 54 to the gallon.
I have three pals in the States. They each have an Outback...
Great cars. Kept on standard height suspension (with a set of winter tyres for when it turns cold) they can all go pretty much anywhere. Very reliable if treated well and not stupidly modded. Turbos are quick in standard form. UK non-STI cars usually have a reasonable spec level with climate, leather, reversing sensors etc. STi cars forgo these luxuries for increased performance.
I've only ever run petrol turbo versions. As someone said these can have been owned by idiots, but many modified cars are owned by sensible people who love their car and treat it accordingly. HG issue is more common on turbo 2.5 engines but ultimately most modern Subaru engines are *somewhat* vulnerable to this. Regular oil changes and (oddly) cleaning and maintenance of the battery compartment can reduce risk.
Perception varies. Legacies and Foresters are seen as pretty respectable. Many people don't know exactly what they are, car enthusiasts will chat with you or wave. Imprezas - as above can be seen as chavvy unfortunately, a shame as they're brilliant cars. And enthusiasts will still chat with you about them! Good Imprezas are becoming increasingly rare. Leggies and foresters less so. Outback perhaps the best (dare I say ultimate) climber's car - it's a Legacy estate with increased ride height and a top-spec trim.
Many owners fall in love with the brand and become loyal for life. Sceptics have suggested Stockholm Syndrome - personally I believe it's because they're so excellent to drive, but then maybe I'm brainwashed :D
I had an Impreza estate for a while. Quick but dull, almost too capable really. If I'm getting rubbish mpg I want to have some fun with it!
> Quick but dull
Get one on track, or an open (non-public) space with low grip, give it death and report back.
Dull they are most definitely not :D
I'm a massive fan. They are perceived as boy racer's cars, but you just don't see this in reality, very rare I see anyone younger than me driving one ;) I make a point of wearing my baseball cap when I drive mine, just to keep the illusion alive.
The older engines have been bombproof in my opinion (I have ran a 2000 UK impreza to 150,000 miles before selling it 8 years ago, I then just so happened to drive past it last year, so it's still going!), I sold my prodrive wrx with 190,000 on the clock and that was a sweet as a nut, and I'm now running an STi 330s. This newer model does have a reputation for blowing the HG (as a result of ringland failure), so these have never been popular, which is a shame really as they perform phenomenally (mine will do a 0-60 in under 4.5 seconds).
I'm pretty sure when I'm finished with this one,I'll get yet another..
Jez, next time we meet, I'll let you take it for a spin ;)
> Get one on track, or an open (non-public) space with low grip, give it death and report back.
> Dull they are most definitely not :D
Yeah fair one, mine was only ever road use.
Had two Foresters from new (mk1&2) - the normally aspirated one was underpowered but the low box was good, the turbo was great fun but lacked the low box. I still hanker after one, would like to try the 2.5turbo engine but don't like the looks of the newer ones. An early jap import STi with new 2.5turbo engine would be the dogs.
I've got a modern diesel forester. Ideally the boot would be a foot deeper, but apart from that, I love it.
Thanks all - confirms lots of my experiences here in 'Straylia.
Currently have a Levorg STI with the upgraded suspension, stupid name, great car.
> Good question! I have tended to buy them a year old and run them until the Subaru warranty expires - which used to be three years and nowadays is a five.
> John Arran has a point too
If I moved my cars on after <5yrs I would expect reliability too.
Really impressed with my Outback 2006... had it from new. Great in rural driving of snow/mud/ice. Sticks to the road like glue and the good bit is it doesn't encourage you to go fast and hence no points. Light enough to go where the Landrover defender won't in winter. You tube comparison clips show why assymetric 4wd works better than other makes. Can sleep in it with ease and can do this without the alarm going off if you work it out. Its done 210000 and petrols only see me to 100000 before blowing up. That's with regularly driving to Scotland (etc)and disregard of maintenance. Although the VW sharan did 250000 before selling. low gear box is awesome. It is a bit thirsty but if I put my mind to it I can do better MPG than is stated. I can get in summer up to 49mpg through mid wales keeping to sub 50mph. Ok for infrequent heavy towing. The only downside...expensive exhaust to replace.....clutch goes at 120,000(maybe due to horsebox towing manoeuvres)..seemingly going through a lot of wheel bearings at the moment(!??)...cost of new ones is high/unaffordable? I love this car and want to keep it as long as possible... is the newer version with auto AWD as good? Also is the wheel bearing issue due to not using Subaru parts or cn damage to an axle cause issues or should you replace all bearings at the same time. Your thread has been very interesting and I agree they are good cars...whilst the engine 2.5l is great how can I cheapen the cost of components like replacement exhaust and bearings (consumables) that are starting to go wrong.
> HG issue is more common on turbo 2.5 engines but ultimately most modern Subaru engines are *somewhat* vulnerable to this. Regular oil changes and (oddly) cleaning and maintenance of the battery compartment can reduce risk.
Regular coolant changes are important for HG longevity as well, closely related to battery condition. Not a problem if you maintain your car as intended! But many people don't.
Great point, I should have said that!
I drive a Legacy Spec B and likewise I have run into wheel bearing problems, at around 110,000 miles I've needed three doing. As you say, expensive to replace.
That's interesting, do you think its bad workmanship, misaligned wear as they progressively go, or bad parts or all. Ive been getting mine done not at the main dealers(daren't) but a national exhaust/tyre outlet. Its just that the way the engines going and I'm doing less mileage I feel it could go on to 300000 miles if I can steady down bearings issue. I'm driving a little star trek at the moment ..ie......she's gonna blow capn.. I canna handle her....and all that!
Legacy Outback here. Agree 100% with you. Stunning car. Won't give it up and will buy another when we eventually kill this one.
Even if I did put mine into a tree in the snow while on response to an MR shout.... got to base, parked it, dealt with it when we got back several cold hours later. Bill for a new front right side was eyewatering
I'd still get another.
Don't know. Seems to be a recurring theme on Subaru forums. My Legacy has been serviced by a Subaru specialist, so I'd hope it's not down to bad servicing.
> I drive a Legacy Spec B and likewise I have run into wheel bearing problems, at around 110,000 miles I've needed three doing. As you say, expensive to replace.
If you think wheel bearings are expensive, try the central diff. That failed on my T reg Impreza after about ten years and the best the dealer could offer was a reconditioned gearbox for three grand. Removing and disassembling the original gearbox to fit a new diff would have cost more.
Apparently it is/was a known (I wouldn't go so far as to say common) occurrence, at least with Imprezas of that period.
Apart from that, though - oh, and a couple of wheel bearings - it was fault-free. It did go through brake discs at a bit of a rate, but that could just as easily have been down to my driving style in those days. I did like the flat four engine, and of course the roadholding.
Meant to add: when I first got the Impreza, Scoobies were common as muck around Edinburgh. You hardly see them now. I bought a Yeti in 2010, and replaced it with another one earlier this year. Some days it seems like every other car you see round here is a Yeti. I seem to have a knack for picking the slightly-out-of-the-ordinary car that lots of other people like too. (The missus says it's an Edinburgh thing: the locals are always on the look-out for decent quality products at a sensible price. It's the "you'll have had your tea?" thing!)
> If you think wheel bearings are expensive, try the central diff. That failed on my T reg Impreza after about ten years and the best the dealer could offer was a reconditioned gearbox for three grand. Removing and disassembling the original gearbox to fit a new diff would have cost more.
I'm not sure about the T reg cars in particular, but centre diff failing is a possible issue on all permanent AWD cars. If there's too much differential speed from front to rear, this will overheat the fluid in the diff and cause failure. Usual culprits are:
- vehicle being towed with rear wheels rolling. INSIST on a flatbed for your AWD car if it's broken down!
- someone's been doing donuts on high-grip surfaces. Scoobs will drift, but all four wheels need to be slipping! Their anatomy suits gravel, snow and wet surfaces for getting sideways, not dry tarmac.
- fitting different sized tyres front to rear. Even a small difference in rolling radius can cause failure.
Just watched some youtube on replacing wheel bearings. The guy taking one set out suggested it was noisy but had another 10000 miles in it. Perhaps intermittent noise is ok for a while. seems moisture can get in there.
TBF very few cars are dull if you're looning around with low grip ;)
I bought the car new. None of the abuse you describe had been inflicted upon it: never been towed, never done donuts, tyres always changed all at the same time. First thing we knew about it was an unpleasant rhythmic noise from the transmission on full lock when manoeuvring at low speed in a car park.
It was a standard 2 litre, not a WRX or anything bonkers like that.
So a nice letter arrived in my door today from Subaru.
Apparently there is a recall on Outback, Legacy and Imprezza models which have a potential faulty passenger airbag.
Have a guess whos car is part of said recall.... *sigh* But, at least it's a free replacement.
Mine was done a few months ago and the battery was disconnected throughout the work, which meant I then had to Google "Subaru Legacy Idle Re-learn".
> None of the abuse you describe had been inflicted upon it
Sorry my post wasn't meant to sound accusatory as if you'd done something wrong to your car! Just for people's info about AWD cars and centre diffs in general Like any part, centre diffs can just go - but it's not a common fault as long as the car's treated well. Usually it is unwitting abuse, and aside from the donuts they're traps many owners could easily fall into.
> TBF very few cars are dull if you're looning around with low grip ;)
*rises to the bait*
I dunno Tim! Most cars will just understeer which gets boring fast. And very few have the traction to really exploit low grip on the power, even if you do get them turned in on the handbrake or whatever! Subaru had massive success in rally because on low grip surfaces the AWD can get the car sideways and haul out of corners in a way most cars can't...
Very, very few production cars drive like this... I'll grudgingly admit Evos do similar ;) Even the modern equivalent to these cars - latest Focus RS with around 350bhp and AWD - seems pretty uninspiring in direct comparison to a much lower-powered Subaru:
My wife is on her third, all turbo petrol Foresters. Build quality is more BMW than Skoda, everything about them is a bit quirky and the styling challenging! Subaru service is rightly praised, they replaced the rear gas shocks on one at 98k km free as they should last 100k. The automatic box started getting slow to engage so that one was sold on, the next was totalled in a rear-end shunt.
Driving they are a bit "different", the wife just potters so gets on fine but I don´t! There is a peculiar transition between driving fast and like a madman where the electronic in the diff seems not to know whether to go for the full rally setup in the 4WD or stick to the normal settings.
The ABS is getting better but on the earlier ones a disaster in snow (ABS is useless generally anyway then), on the models for Canada and similar places you could turn it off and on some variants it automatically was disabled when you drove in the snow mode. I added the disabling switch to ours (and my Galaxy as well).
Fuel consumption at over 200kmh is challenging!
Fairly horrible to sleep in if you are 6ft.
Bullet-proof! Deal with high mpg though. Have had three, will deffo have more when this one dies.
If you can't make any car oversteer you're not driving it hard enough or lack talent ;)
Not rising to that one ;)
I'm 6ft3 or so and fine sleeping it more comfortable than any car I've had! Just put the drivers seat at full forward tilt, throw a rucksac or two in the footwell behind and sleep with your head in the boot end. A decent mat and proper pillow and all's well - it's definitely longer than my ME 2-3person tent when set up like that. We sleep in ours whenever we go to Scotland in winter and get a good night's sleep with two of us in it.
On a drive to Penyfan car park(empty of people but snow and ice rink) I tried this...but it didn't work...ended in a hedge.
> I'm 6ft3 or so and fine sleeping it more comfortable than any car I've had! Just put the drivers seat at full forward tilt, throw a rucksac or two in the footwell behind and sleep with your head in the boot end. A decent mat and proper pillow and all's well - it's definitely longer than my ME 2-3person tent when set up like that. We sleep in ours whenever we go to Scotland in winter and get a good night's sleep with two of us in it.
Probably depends on how old your bones are! The Subaru was better than my mk3 Golf by far but nothing like my Galaxy, I like to be able to sit upright on my luxury air bed and step out of the side door, not crawl And have place for all my junk and the dog.
I'm thinking of taking up trampolining and yoga/Pilates as I draw inexorably closer to being 40, my joints might wear out with being active, but I can hopefully do something about the rest towards keeping 'springy and flexible'.