subaru advice please - mlj
I am about to enter the pleasurable experience of 'changing the car'. I really do fancy a Subaru Legacy Tourer. Looking at pushing the boat out and buying very nearly new. My questions are: are the dealers good and, is there anything owners in particular would want to let me know. I have already spent a lot of time researching and reading comments from like minded people on here. I am willing to accept relatively low fuel consumption and high(er) running costs. Is there anything I might not be aware of?
Thanks in advance.
subaru advice please - type's'
Go for it - all the reviews suggest these are excellent cars and the dealers are very good as well. I doubt you will be spending much time in the dealers anyway.
I am a great fan of Subaru's engineering and build quality.
The design of the drive train also ensures that it gives a very balanced ride and handles well.
They tend to focus on engineering a car to last a long time and focus on the bits that matter as opposed to focusing on the superficial quality.
I am envious already.
Let us know how you get on.
subaru advice please - Happy Blue!
There are (I think) at least two people in the back room with Legacys or Outbacks and my family has two Foresters with me changing one for an Outback 3.0Rn next week.

Like all makes, dealers are variable and if the three I have dealt with in the Manchester area, two are fine and one is a pain. Whilst economy is not fantastic, its not bad for the type of car and driving experience, and the running costs are not high, because there are few parts needed as they don't go wrong!

"Is there anything I might not be aware of?" - yes expect the pleasant unexpected surprise. our older slower Forester is sometimes more rewarding to drive than our newer faster Forester XT. Go figure!


subaru advice please - Wilco {P}
Top choice! Buy a newish Spec B tourer.
subaru advice please - stunorthants
Try and find a country dealer - usually smaller better run that bigger outlets - often have another franchise like Isuzu alongside the Subaru one.
Our local garage is fantastic and the amount of Subarus around here is unbelievable.

I want one too.
subaru advice please - Falkirk Bairn
Like MLJ I have looked at the possibility but have discovered 1 or 2 points that caused concern

Depreciation seems steep - Residual Values of 30-35% after 3 yrs 36K mls - however 2nd hand 3 yr old estates seem to command prices at Subaru outlets at about £10K+. Now I know the dealer needs a margin but this seems excessive. Very few newish cars sold outwith the Subaru network.

There is a lot of similarity in pricing 2nd hand cars in Subaru outlets and the Centrally Held Subaru stock (ex Mgt cars in the main) again stipulates a price that seems high for 6 mth old cars with 12,000mls on the clock. Motorpoint had some Legacy Estates recently and they were £3-4,000 off the legacy list prices.

Legacy saloons best avoided as they do not sell well new or 2nd hand.

Parts and servicing costs seem quite a bit steeper than Honda / Toyota.

That said I think they are a good car and I might end up with an estate in a few mths time.
subaru advice please - HectorG
I spent months, earlier this year, researching the pros & cons of Subaru ownership. I could not decide between an Outback 3.0 Rn and a Legacy Sports Tourer 3.0. I drove several , as well as 2.5 Outbacks and 2.0 Sports Tourers. Great driver's cars and lovely engines. But I agree with Falkirk Bairn that dealers demand very high prices for nearly new cars. Even with weeks of playing hard-to-get (you can do this because cars - particularly 3.0's- sit on the the forecourt for weeks or even months in some cases) I struggled to get a reasonable price out of my local dealer.

As I was only too well aware of the high depreciation and heavy fuel consumption of the 3.0 Subarus, I got sensible and bought a 7 month old Volvo V70 diesel auto from a main dealer for £11500 off list with just over 4,000 miles on the clock. What a mistake! I'm not surprised it was 'cheap'. Cons: its noisy, the ride on 225/45 17's is appalling, it is not economical - 32mpg, the sports seats give me sciatica, the visibilty is very poor, the front suspension has started clonking already - a known problem, the dashboard reflects badly in the windscreen. Pros: excellent stereo,looks nice.

This was definitely a case of my head ruling my heart and getting it wrong! Go for it mlj.

I will get rid of the Volvo at the earliest opportunity. It is very sad as I ran older model Vovlo estates for about 14 years. Sadly, today they are a very mediocre motor car, and the Japanese ( particularly Subaru and Honda) beat them in almost every department, particularly value for money.

HectorG
subaru advice please - mlj
Many thanks for the responses. It is a 2 litre I am interested in, the 3 litre will have to wait! I do have a reasonably local (20 miles away) rural dealer (South Devon) and I have been watching the Used Cars section of the official Subaru site. £13995 to £14995 seems the forecourt price of a six to twelve month car. Of course, the water has been muddied by the model being quite significantly revised last month and I am in two minds whether to hang on for six months to see if I can get the uprated model. I am about 85% mind made up to get one and, most significantly, SWMBO thinks the car looks fantastic.
subaru advice please - nick
I've dealt with two dealers, one country, one city. Both have been excellent. It is possible to get a good deal, but only on the slower moving cars. I paid £19k for a pre-reg Spec B (list £27k), 10 miles on the clock, a week before the new reg was out, so they were keen to shift it. The estates sell well though so don't expect too much off. Have a look at the What Car? target price for a new one and work from there. This is my second Subaru, the first was a 2000 W plate saloon, bought from a supermarket with 55k and sold with 123k. They're great cars, you'll enjoy owning it. Costs need not be that high. Some service items have been reduced in price and I paid £205 for a cambelt change at a main dealer on the 2 litre I had.
Need less to say, my next car will almost certainly be a Subaru. I don't think you can buy a better engineered car for the price.
subaru advice please - tyro
. Some service items have been reduced in price and I
paid £205 for a cambelt change at a main dealer on
the 2 litre I had.
Need less to say, my next car will almost certainly be
a Subaru. I don't think you can buy a better engineered
car for the price.


If Subaru are so well engineered, I would have thought they would have used chains rather than belts. Can anyone tell me why they don't use chains?
subaru advice please - nick
I think the 3 litre H6 engine is chain. Belts are lighter, quieter and cheaper although I still prefer a chain. Belts can be reliable if the tensioners and jockey wheels are well designed and made. I was chatting to the service guy at my local Subaru dealer and he said they'd never seen a broken belt.
subaru advice please - Buster Cambelt
I got deja vu reading this. I too made the mistake of buying a "sensible" Volvo V70 with a diesel engine and lived to rue the day for basically the same reasons as you did. I too made the switch to a Subaru Legacy estate and have not regretted it for a moment. They are well-built, well-supported by great dealers (though you won't see them much), totally reliable and great to drive.
subaru advice please - joc
I'm just going through the same process: been looking around for months and now about to commit. I e-mailed 4 dealers on Tuesday, and all 4 came back to me that day, all keen and seemingly very friendly (completely the opposite of a recent experience at Mercedes, no surprise). I think I will be dealing today on a Forester. Again, like other comments here, some of the nearly new ones are priced a bit too rich. For example, the model I'm after has a list of 24.2k, some 11mth old ones with 15k miles are up at 19k with little movement on price, yet I've been offered brand new uk spec 0 miles at 20.4k. If you pro-rata that, it prices the one-year old stock at 16.5-17k. They tend to want too much money for the high-spec ones, and they're perhaps the ones that will depreciate more. Benefits of e-mailing outweighed picking up the phone. Good luck.
subaru advice please - Nsar
I have an 04 plate 2.5 Tourer and I am thinking of switching to a 3.0 SpecB or maybe Outback.

Things I like:
Handling
Level of toys for the money
Reliability
Rarity
Q car feel even in 2.5 guise
Good compromise between sports handling and estate practicality
3 year warranty
Handling, did I mention that?

Things I don't like:
Ratios on auto box are very annoying always messing about when you're pressing on
Stereo could be better quality

I've had 12,000 trouble free miles, my local dealer Robinsons in Rochdale is small and friendly.

I bought mine over the phone from a dealer in Cheltenham for £13k when it was 18 months old and had 18k on the clock.


subaru advice please - MVP
We've had a Forester from new in March 2003.
The dealers are brilliant, the car is wonderfully well engineered and always fun to drive.

You don't seem to get a lot of 2nd hand Subarus, guess they're mainly purchased by private individuals who are not the type of people who have to have the latest gizmos or alloy wheels every year.

Mark
subaru advice please - Aprilia
As regulars will know, I'm a great Subaru fan. They are thoroughly engineered and because they have been producing and refining essentially the same design for a decade or more the cars are now thoroughly 'debugged'.
The wagons seem relatively popular and sell reasonably quickly. The saloons can hang around for ages and dealers ask too much for them. In fact I have noticed prices rising this year - I suspect there is a company policy to help residuals by pricing newish used vehicles quite high. To be honest I can't see it working because you see the cars sitting a dealers for months at a time.
subaru advice please - MVP
It's always interesting to look at the number of recalls a manufacturer has made, Subaru now have 3 since 1992

www.vosa.gov.uk/vosa/apps/recalls/default.asp

When we bought ours, the dealer proudly said Subaru had never had a recall.

subaru advice please - jdc
Just to add to the postivve stuff here, I have a 2.5 Outback 2.5 SE Auto (new model) currently on 30,000 and completely trouble free.

This is my seventh Subaru ranging from one of the earliest Impreza Turbos (when no-one knew what they were...) to Foresters (turbo and non-turbo), Legacies and now the Outback. All purchased from Robinsons in Rochdale, like Nsar says, a small, friendly company where servicing is always reasonable, staff are approachable and you are always treated as you would want to be. No facelsss gin palace here I can tell you !

All in all I've covered several hundred thousand miles in Subaru and I have not had a single problem that I can recall.

Sometimes I think "Crikey, this is an expensive vehicle to run...." but in reality I don't think it is. I think it might be because the car is so good that I 'think' it is costing more, or that it is probably too good a car for my/our income. The Outback is paid for, so the only costs above insurance are petrol and servicing. Petrol you can't get away from, servicing is on a par with a Mondeo/Vectra, certainly far cheaper than BMW/Merc.

The surprising thing is that on a long run, the consumption is superb, high 30's (even got low 40's once on the computer at a steady 60 Wales) which for an auto AWD, quality vehicle is not bad.

I chose the Outback over the Tourer because I prefer the slighly chnukier looks, the higher ground clearance and the better ride. The only difference in the handling is that the Tourer is a tough flatter through bends.

It's a tough car. It has a rough life at weekends with rugby kit, rugby fields and muddy kids in it. Still comes up like new after a wash.

Go for it - you might start to think "Ooo, I should have got something more normal..." but after a few weeks ownership I'm sure you'll come to appreciate what, for me, are the best cars on the road and still with a certain individuality.

jdc
subaru advice please - stunorthants
I think Subaru is proof if anything that alot of people value sound engineering over superficial build quality and style.

Lets hope that Subaru doesnt go the same way as Volvo and loose what the cars are all about.

So far so good though :)
subaru advice please - Wilco {P}
Having recommended a Spec B earlier in the thread, there ain't much wrong with the other engines. I have owned a 2.5 Tourer for 18 months. Nothing has gone wrong, apart from a failed headlanp unit (replaced under warranty). The car is well built (much better than Imprezza's I looked at), and a fantastic compromise of load lugger (which I need) and sporting estate.

Servicing - 1,000 miles - £80, 12,000 - £150, 24,000 - £200.

Niggles - the body inspection at one year cost £150, can't decide if this is really worthwhile, but did it on the basis I'll probably keep the car long term (unless I succumb to the temptation of a Spec B!). As already mentioned, the radio/CD unit isn't brilliant, and probably not all that easy to fit something after market (If this bothers you).

The dealer in Spratton are top people - interested in you and your car, do a decent job etc.

I've averaged 32 mpg over 29,000 miles (mostly motorway/A roads) on the original tyres, although replacements are imminent.

There are quite a few Leggies of all types on Ebay - classified dealer ads - worth a look maybe? Dealers do tend to ask top money for their cars but will haggle at times (as Nick said).

In summary, can't recommend it more highly.
subaru advice please - mlj
Once more, thank you to all contributers. Not a single negative comment about the car itself. Is this some sort of record?
subaru advice please - Statistical outlier
It's a bit thirsty.

Will that do? ;-)
subaru advice please - davros
Sorry to be repetitive, but nothing has gone wrong with my 2.5 Tourer in the year I've had it. And yes, it's thirsty and could do with a 5-speed auto box.

However (shock!) it arrived with non-functioning cruise control. As a year-old ex-Subaru management car, this should have been fixed before I took delivery. Still, after a little chat with the dealer it was collected from me, a loan car provided, fixed and returned ? that was round trip for them of about 150 miles.

Scraping the barrel?.. well, the paint is a bit soft. And there's an intermittent rattle from the dash. And living where I do, I might have been better off with an Outback for the extra ground clearance on rough tracks, but even so, I have no real complaints. They're an excellent vehicle and I can't really think of an alternative in the same price bracket.

Davros
subaru advice please - BobbyG
I didn't think new cars needed a servicing after 1000 miles any more? What is that all about?
Spend thousands on one of our products but we will need it back after 1000 miles to change fluids or whatever?
Thats ridiculous, if it is really needed it should be free.
subaru advice please - nick
I didn't think new cars needed a servicing after 1000 miles
any more? What is that all about?
Spend thousands on one of our products but we will need
it back after 1000 miles to change fluids or whatever?
Thats ridiculous, if it is really needed it should be free.

Maybe that's why they last well. My 1000 mile service cost £50 for a Spec B. Just an oil and filter change, retorque wheel nuts and a check over. Eminently sensible I'd say.
subaru advice please - mrmender
I have read this thread with intrest i too fancy a forrester or a outback
Just a note a Aussie co worker with me here in Saudi bought a brand new legacy outback,..... the price here in Saudi..... a wisker under £10k makes you wonder when you see the UK RRP at more than double
subaru advice please - Aprilia
If you want a negative then depreciation would be one. Wagons are not too bad (but still relatively high) but saloons are very difficult to sell. To the the average saloon buyer they appear to offer nothing over an Accord, Avensis etc and the pre-2003 models are not pretty. Parts, when you need them, can be very very expensive and there is very little availability of aftermarket items so you are usually tied to the dealer. The 2.5 is reckoned to be less reliable (head gasket failure).
subaru advice please - Dave N
A few months ago I visited a Subaru (and Jeep) dealer in West london. In the workshop was a nearly new forester with no engine in it. Blown up. A month ago I was there again, and it's still there (with no engine). On my last visit to Walldonway in Maidstone, the guy was rebuilding an engine. When I told him I thought they were bulletproof, he laughed and pointed to another 3 engines on the floor waiting for rebuilds. All big ends apparently.
subaru advice please - type's'
They are thoroughly engineered and because they have been producing and refining essentially the same design for a decade or more the cars are now thoroughly 'debugged'.<<


Whilst not wanting to challenge your superior technical knowledge aprilla - isn't this the same with all cars.
Subaru have always produced boxer engines driving symmetrical 4wd is what I think you are getting at.
Well most other makes produce transverse mounted FWD (there are others of course) - it just makes you wonder why Subaru can iron their bugs out but the others can't ?

subaru advice please - Falkirk Bairn
How come an Outback costs approx £24K here and $21K+ taxes in the USA?(i.e.£13K) I know they ship them from the USA to UK but shipping costs are in the ordr of £500.

If they sold Outbacks at £13K here thye would be more popular
subaru advice please - type's'
That's the same with all cars in the US and UK.
e.g 530 is £25K in the US and £33K in the UK.
subaru advice please - Aprilia
>> They are thoroughly engineered and because they have been producing
and refining essentially the same design for a decade or more
the cars are now thoroughly 'debugged'.<<
Whilst not wanting to challenge your superior technical knowledge aprilla -
isn't this the same with all cars.
Subaru have always produced boxer engines driving symmetrical 4wd is what
I think you are getting at.
Well most other makes produce transverse mounted FWD (there are others
of course) - it just makes you wonder why Subaru can
iron their bugs out but the others can't ?


Its not just that the configuration has remained the same, but its also that each generation is based on the previous - the components are just modified and improved. Other manufacturers may keep the same configuration, but each new generation is designed completely from scratch. e.g. compare latest Ford Duratec 1.8 (chain cam) with previous belt-driven Zeta design - totally different.
subaru advice please - type's'
Ah!
I see what you mean
Cheers
subaru advice please - GroovyMucker
You did know a diesel is due next year, didn't you?
--
Stevie
Lakland 44-02 Sunburst
Yamaha YTS-23
subaru advice please - Ed V
I bought an Outback Estate (with 'luxury pack') from the Haslemere dealer August 2005, with around 55,000 on the clock, and 4 years old. It was originally a Plymouth serviced car, i.e. your neck of the woods, and I did note that the 1st owner sold it for £6995 to that dealer. By the time Haslemere had bought it from them and sold it to me it was £9995!
Nonetheless, it's a great car, as above, but I'd note that money is saved By Subaru by focussing on the fundamentals, so no split rear seats, multi-CD or very adjustable steering wheel.
I'm trying to find out the best tyres to keep it quiet, as I'm only a road driver, (Yokohama Db from my research) and it has slightly chinky ones now. The internal space is fantastic, both boot and passengers. The CC works well. The engine is smooth as silk. Seats are a good firm/comfort compromise. Gear change is tight. It's better in my view than an MB C class to drive and just as tough.
Why does anyone buy new ones?
 

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