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2004 Subaru Outback vs 2005 Volvo v70 2.4

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


We are unexpectedly looking to replace a 2004 Toyota Sienna because of some very expensive repairs needed. We are a family of 4 plus a dog and prefer a wagon over an SUV. Afer driving a number of cars, I have found 2 and am trying to decide between them. 2004 Subaru Outback 2.5 and a 2005 Volvo v70 2.4. My uncle owns a station and he and my cousin (his son who also works there) are hands down in favor of the Subaru. I'm torn. I like the drive and luxury of the Volvo better but am trying not to let that sway me. Their primary concern is maintenance cost of the Volvo. My primary concern is reliability and cost of maintenance. We have a 15 yo daughter who we plan to pass the car to in about 2 years.

2004 Subaru Outback 2.5 - head gaskets just replaced and timing belt replaced. 2 owners, clean carfax, 144k miles. $5900 (hoping to get them down a bit if we decide).

2005 Volvo v70 2.4 - 1 owner, clean carfax, excellent condition, new timing belt. 135k miles. $4600.

Any wisdom to share?

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Warranty, maintenance cost / Handling

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 150000
Maximum age: 13 years

Maximum price: US $ 5500

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Response from LectroFuel

12:43 pm October 14, 2017

Those head gaskets that were just replaced on the Subaru will probably need to be replaced again soon. They are notorious for that. That car has mostly engine problems. When I go to a place that snows, it seems like everyone has that generation of Outback. They are great in the snow and apparently last forever with proper maintenance. The 2.5 4 cyliner is more prone to blown head gaskets.

The 2005 Volvo V70 had some electrical issues and the earlier ones had some transmission failures, which is a $4k fix.

They are both unreliable, but the Subaru has lower repair costs so I'd go with the Subaru. Of course, an engine will be expensive to replace any way you go.

If you are willing to expand your research, test drive a Kia Soul. You could probably only afford a 2010, the first model. It has proven to be very reliable and much cheaper to fix, but it won't be as comfortable as the Outback or V70. It's very practical and will get better gas mileage than the other wagons. Doesn't have AWD, so that may be a deal breaker but you didn't say you needed it. It will probably be safer than the Outback with an added level of safety you get with a newer car. Plus, you will get much more mileage out of the Kia.


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Kia Soul
Subaru Outback

Response from Sea-Dan

11:27 pm October 14, 2017

I suggest LectoFuel consider changing his handleto "Right-on Man, as he so consistently offers great car buying advice!

Like your uncle & LF, I'd definitely take the Subie over the Volvo, especially if the head gasket change was done less than 50K miles ago.While many (not all)Subies have had the headgasket issue, butthat is a relativelyinexpensive fix.Beyond that & wheel bearings, they don't have a lot of issues.

The Kia Soul is a great alternative suggestion. It is our favorite rental car, comfortable, roomy & can consistently get over 30 mpg on highway. The only negative is that the ride is a bit jaring especialy on highway tar strips & frost heaves.Equipping aSoul with soft riding tires such asMichelin Defender, Goodyear Assurance Comfort Tread, General Altimax RT-43,or Bridgestone Assurance in 60 or 65 series size could temper the ride issue somewhat.


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Response from LectroFuel

12:32 am October 15, 2017

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