Subaru estate - Outback or Legacy Diesel?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by V12, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    I would appreciate any opinions or facts on the matter please, either one as they're pretty much the same thing! 2008-2010 are the only years they fitted a diesel I believe. The newer 2010+ car looks ugly!!

    I need an estate car and have been looking at the bottom end of the W204 market unsuccessfully. The few I have test driven have been dogs and the ride on the elegance was surprisingly firm for my liking!

    I've been recommended one of these for having nice comfy ride and decent load space for a small estate car.

    To my eyes it looks good and it would be nice to have a break from driving a German car.

    Not sure whether I'll replace the W220 as well or not.

    Before I go down this route too far I'd like to hear any experiences and want to make sure I'm not wasting my time!
     
  2. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Check out reports of engine problems, this is a flat diesel and Subaru's first attempt.
    iirc, there were some issues.
     
  3. Vlad

    Vlad Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've sold a couple of Legacy diesel estates and they are great cars...lovely smooth engine, good performance and good economy.

    Only downside is that the interiors can be a bit down rent, but its all hard wearing etc etc

    Must admit I haven't come across the engine issuses, but having googled it I can see that there have been issues with the boxer engines from some customers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  4. OP
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    V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    Thanks for the heads up. The engine issue seems to be mainly a thing of the past. I'll do a little more research though.

    In regards to the down rent interior, I thought that about the W204, especially the Pre-facelift. I can live with a few cheap materials as long as it doesn't creek or rattle!

    Any more out there with any views?
     
  5. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    Hi there,

    18 years time served Subaru fanatic here ;)

    A few of the boxer diesels have had ringland issues I believe so you need to factor that in to your decisiion process as the repair is not cheap!

    Sadly International Motors (the UK official Subaru importers) are notoriously hard work to make any sort of claim against. For instance the 2.5 WRX STI engine from 07 onwards has a design issue for whch it was recalled in he USA yet in the UK you get a remap which does not always fix it and told not to drive it hard (FFS the only thing you buy one for is to drive it hard). On Scoobynet there is a list a mile long of people who've had their engines blow up and at least half of them have been told to go an whistle!

    If that does not put you off then I would go for the Legacy every time over the Outback. It is a much nicer place to be and a more 'grown up' car all round. You will get plenty of creature comforts like built in sat nav, heated seats etc.

    Engines aside they are very reliable, the only other issue is on some models the rear exhaust splits into two pipes with twin exhausts and this has a weak point so can rot through and break. The part can only be purchased from Subaru for about £500 so make sure if the ones you look at have this it is in A1 condition.

    Spares tend to be pricey these days and the availability isn't always the best outside of teh usual consumables, but the cars are pretty robust so need very little doing to them outside of routine maintenance!

    Hope that helps!
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    That's helpful, thank you. Only point is that the models I'm looking at seem to be kitted out identically between outback and legacy. Are you referring to an earlier model?

    I've now changed track a bit.
    After researching the diesel it's evident that only the 2010+ cars that are completely safe and the crankshaft will snap without prior warning.

    Parts are expensive to repair it and second hand engines are non existent.

    I'm now looking at a 3.0 petrol version instead. They are a lot cheaper especially as you can get an older one for very little. Bonus for me is that they can tow 2 tonne. Very impressive for a car of this size and weight.
    I regularly tow a trailer of up to around 2 tonne but usually borrow my dad's ML for the job.

    This could effectively replace 3 vehicles that I use on a regular basis if what I read on some forums is true.

    Any thoughts on this? It's so cheap that it's no big deal if I keep it for a year or two and then bin it for parts.
    http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201402171867726
     
  7. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    Apologies, you were talking about a Legacy Outback whereas I think of the Outback as the Impreza based model called the Outback. The Outback moniker has been used by Subaru both for that actual model and various 'outbacked' versions of its other models. Anyway no worries, my mistake.

    The vehicle in your link ... now you're talking. The 3L flat six is a great engine and pulls well and doesn't have any reliability issues. The equipment level is good for the type of car and while not Merc standards the interior is a nice place to be.

    Issues. The Y pipe on the exhaust as I mentioned will need checking. Also check the rear shocks as they will almost definitely need to have been replaced on a vehicle of that mileage and if they haven't they will be showing signs of wear. Check for play in the drop links as that can sometimes creep in at higher mileages (they will be an advisory on the MOT if they have play so check that).

    Also try and ensure the Subaru AT fluid has been used when the auto box has been relubricated as other auto fluids can screw up the shifting a little. You can call Subaru and they can look the vehicle up on their computer and tell you what they know about its service history.

    Obviously you know it's a Cat C so you will need to check the rear carefully.

    Price wise whilst it's good it's not a huge bargain as a non Cat C will set you back only around £3.5K-£3.75K with that mileage and a 75K car would be around £4.25K-£4.5K. Trouble is finding one as the 3Ls are rare and in Outback form even rarer.

    If it were me and it checks out I would offer him a cheeky £2K cash.... you just never know :D
     
  8. daveenty

    daveenty Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I ignored this thread initially as it mentioned the diesel, but now it's come down to my level I feel I can jump in.

    I have a 2002 Outback with the 3.0, which is just used for the winter (you know, all this snow which we've not had) and it's the most reliable car I've owned for a long time. I'd agree with everything written above, and all the bad points seem to have been sorted on mine, though I got someone local to fabricate an exhaust on it.

    The engine is quiet as a mouse with 103,000 miles on it, gearbox shifts up and down perfectly and it just keeps going, though I did replace the transmission fluid with some generic stuff. (Hoping this will be OK now after reading the above)

    I was going to sell it in the next few weeks, but it's just flown through it's MoT with no advisories, so I may as well just hang onto it. I think it's a case of what would I replace it with next year? It's got a massive cargo space (for the size of it) it's worth nothing and is so handy for just leaping into and going on "tip trips" and picking bits and pieces up, which makes me think I'll just keep it parked up to one side and just use it occasionally on horrible days, running the Merc on the good ones.

    As for driving, it's nippy, handles reasonably and is relatively comfy. A bland interior which reminds me of a Camry I used to own, in that everything is fitted but it lacks refinement. One thing to bear in mind is that they're not the best on fuel. I averaged 25 and a bit on mine when I checked it, so I just stopped checking it.

    As for the Cat C bit, if you're happy that it's been repaired properly, then does it really matter? Especially as you seem to want to keep it for a good while...
     
  9. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    As long as yours is working properly I wouldn't worry now as you've done it. For some reason the Subaru AT is a bit more picky than most about the exact grade of AT oil and starts shifting erratically or not at all if it's not quite right. If yours is working fine then I assume it is happy with what is in there. It is just a lot of people put a cheaper oil in and then end having it done again when the box goes a bit crazy hence it's a false economy, but as said if yours is fine no worries :thumb:

    The 3L is a great engine isn't it :D
     
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  10. sherco450

    sherco450 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    lm with you, my neighbour has a 02 3litre petrol with 240,000km on it and only changes oils and fluids as per factory specs, A lot of gravel work as well. it has never had a problem, even l use it as an emergency car when mine are at the work shop.
     
  11. daveenty

    daveenty Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It seems fine so I'll just leave it then, Thanks. :)

    Oh yes, revs well and sound nice. :cool:
     
  12. OP
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    V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    That Silver one sold this morning...just my luck.
    Thanks for all the helpful pointers and feedback.

    Is mileage a worry at all? I know the 3.0 is chain driven so no cam belt to worry about.
     
  13. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    No they take miles very well, usual caveats apply, but the 3L engine and drivetrain is very well made and there are quite a few knocking round with mega mileages on!

    This is worth joining, lots of good information and helpful knowledgeable people:

    UK Legacy Forum
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  14. OP
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    V12

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  15. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    Looks good, only question I would have is how good they have been at servicing it themselves for the last 60K?

    One owner vehicle which is nice and nice price too!

    BTW alloys are interchangebale with many Impreza wheels and you can find those for buttons if you ever want to chnage the wheels.
     
  16. 74merc

    74merc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've got a 3.0 litre Outback and would thoroughly recommend one. They are a great all rounder although a bit hard on the juice. The pistons in the brake calipers can rust, leading to them seizing so watch out for that. As mentioned the Y pipe in the exhaust can rust but I got a repair done to mine for 70 quid, which has held up for 2 years now. Most people just get a Cat back system fabricated, rather than pay Subaru prices. As for ATF, I replaced mine with Dexron III but the downshifts were affected and caused a surge on changing down. I replaced this with the proper Subaru ATF and this was sorted. Also, check the towing limits, I thought it was 1800KG with a braked trailer rather than the 2000KG in the Autotrader ad.
     
  17. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    You may already know this, but Godspeed Brakes refurbish the calipers with stainless pistons for a very reasonable price and will even paint them if you so wish.
     
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  18. OP
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    V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    That one sold today as well.

    Now too bothered about changing wheels. More interested in a decent ride.

    I've been steering away from the Legacy Tourer towards the Outback due to reports of much improved ride in the Outback. It seems they carry a decent premium over the lower slung, sports tourer.

    I'll keep looking anyway.

    I was originally budgeting up to a max of £10k for a new car, but if I can pick up something for under £5k I can either get back on 2 wheels this summer or the mrs will be selecting tiles for the new bathroom after all.
     
  19. OP
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    V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    Thanks very much.

    I have checked several sources, they seem to list the smaller engined cars at 1700/1800kg but the 3.0 is listed as 2000kg wherever I look. Probably a combination of more weight and better brakes.
     
  20. 74merc

    74merc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I checked in the manual and it would appear that the maximum towing weight is 2100kg for the 3.0 litre Outback. Also, the Outback has self levelling rear suspension which the regular Legacy doesn't, making it a better tow car.
     

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