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Woodsy car with mix of room and efficiency needed for outdoor education teacher

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

heronbrae

I currently own a 1995 Subaru Legacy, 240k miles, which I love. I love the AWD, the mix of enough space to haul my stuff, or people, but small enough to still get decent gas mileage. I love the ease which it drives. It has been extremely reliable with very little repairs needed for the last 7 years I have owned it. The only reason I'm getting rid of it is because of it's high mileage and thus eventual inevitable demise. And the low clearance. Ideally, I want another car just like it, but newer and with higher clearance. I use my car regularly for long road trips and also lots of dirt road driving in the mountians, often in poor road conditions. I don't do off-roading per say, just sketchy, less maintained forest service roads. And I take some risks with that, because I like to explore. I haul a lot of supplies for my extensive camping and teaching gigs in the woods. My car gets pretty dirty and banged up!

I have been researching the newer Subaru outbacks, but am concerned with some of the reports of frequent needs for repairs. Any sugestions on 2000-2010 outback models? I would also like to consider any other similar mid-size vehicles with AWD or 4WD and decent clearance, to compare.

Thanks!

Priorities: Off-road capability / Cargo capacity / Fuel economy

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Errands about town / Long trips / Off-roader

Primary Driver(s): Short driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 100000
Maximum age: 15 years

Maximum price: US $ 15000

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Response from Dnslater

6:59 am October 4, 2016

It would seem like you answered your own question, with the Outback or Forester being perfect for what you are looking for. You might also consider a Crosstrek, which is essentially a lifted Impreza. If you go off road a lot, you will benefit from Subaru's full time AWD, versus the FWD based systems from other crossover SUV's (Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, etc....).

Can't speak much to the reliability, other than that it is a bit of a double edged sword going to the older Subaru's. Some of the previous generation boxer 4 engines had oil leak issues.

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Response from mkaresh

11:41 pm October 13, 2016

In our survey the 2010 and up have been far more reliable than the 2005-2009, which often suffer from weeping head gaskets and an array of suspension issues. The 2013 had a new engine that sometimes uses oil, but in your price range you're probably looking at a 2012 or older anyone. 2010 was the first model year, so the 2011 or 2012 is probably the sweet spot.

The Forester received the new engine in 2011, and the first model year of that generation was 2009, so it's not as easy to suggest a solid model year. Maybe the 2010.

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Response from NormT

1:04 pm July 18, 2017

As Dnslater mentioned the everyone of the economy cuv's is a front drive system that won't pull itself off of set of rollers in a test, neither will Subaru if the steering wheel is turned. It fails just like all of the others as they are more focused on fuel economy.

There are videos on YouTube showing the CX-3 and Crosstalk on the rollers with steering wheel slightly turned and the Subaru not being able to make the test where the Mazda does complete.

There is a on snow test with the Forester on an snow cover hill with steering wheel turned and stuck, where the Mazda CX-5 doing the same test and completing the test.

You are better off with a twin clutch system that can send power to one wheel while the other three are slipping like Acura MDX SHAWD, BMW xDrice, or GM Twin Clutch AWD systems.

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