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96 posts

Master Geek


#272897 22-Jul-2020 20:26
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Hi all I'm throwing out the call for help.

Buying a car has always been a major decision for us as I'm sure that is a lot of people however I can never seem to get over the worry of making a terrible decision.

I'm absurdly techy as most of us are here but when it comes to cars I'm a lamb amongst the wolves.

My partner and I have gathered some requirements on what we are looking for and have sort of got the following:

1. 13k budget
2. 4/5 star safety rating for the impending children that will be in our lives in the next couple of years.
3. Wagon shape for the 2 massive dogs we lug around.
4. Generally reliable.

The Subarus generally seem to fit the requirements but again have little to no experience with them in NZ (although we are also aware cambelts will need to be done at the 90k mark.

We have come across something like this which fits the bill but again general lack of knowledge around all things cars really put a damper on making a solid decision.
https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/subaru/auction-2646633833.htm

And this
https://www.trademe.co.nz/2710830273

What do you all think? Would love some much more informed viewpoints on it. Anything we do look at buying we will be getting inspected by the AA anyway but would love to hear what you have to say.

Likewise if you have any good alternatives I'm all ears!

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779 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2527487 22-Jul-2020 22:16
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I just did a Trade Me search, and looks like you've got it narrowed down....I saw a couple of Mazda 6 wagons around the same age, and also a lot of Toyota Fielder Hybrid wagons. Those look to be only 1500cc engines, so maybe underpowered, don't know, haven't driven one.

 

If you can afford it, take out a mechanical warranty at the time of purchase.


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Uber Geek

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  #2527493 22-Jul-2020 22:48
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I have no personal experience but I've just had a chat with someone who has had 2 subarus die on him in the space of 6 weeks, both with head gasket type issues.

 

I suggest you consult the dog and lemon guide and pay for the report for any model you're interested in.


 
 
 
 




96 posts

Master Geek


  #2527511 22-Jul-2020 23:23
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Quick update. Upon a bit more investigation Toyota sell the Prius Alpha which fit the exact same requirements. Obviously the car is horrendously lame but gotta think with the head rather than the heart (at least this point in my life)

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  #2527517 23-Jul-2020 00:07
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Legacy's are very nice cars. Spacious, comfortable, and nice handling. Have spent a bit of time in a turbo version which is a very fast car. I had the non-turbo as a rental car. That power train was underwhelming but adequate.

In NZ Subaru's have a reputation of being relatively expensive to maintain. This is a combination of the extra complexity of an AWD power-train, and access issues with the horizontally opposed engine (for example a spark plug change takes many time more mechanic time than a normal engine as they are hard to access).

Historically they had a reputation of being really thirsty on fuel, and having very expensive head gasket failures. In the age you are looking at they are better in both regards, but still far from class leading. The 6 cylinder cylinder in the outback (same car with higher suspension) is a bit better regarded than the 4 cylinder.

In terms of alternative's, you could consider:

Holden Commodore wagon - RWD v6, little bit bigger. A bit more expensive, will end up with higher milage to meet your budget. Generally mechanically simple, but engine does have a reputation for stretching cam chains

 

Toyota Avensis Wagon - Similar size. One of toyota's worst products. 4 cylinder FWD. Cheaper.

 

Mazda 6 Wagon - Little bit smaller, 4cylinder FWD, well regarded car.

 

Could also consider SUV's.

A Suzuki Grand Vitara has the spare wheel on the rear, and a low boot floor height.

The previous generation Mitsubishi out-lander has a fold down bumper, and quite low boot floor also.



If the Prius V / aplha meets your needs, it would be a very prudent pick. It has the same drive-train in it as the 1.8L prius that seems to be the uber / second tier taxi of choice. That power-train is regarded as highly reliable. Of course it makes 100kW peak power (as compared to say 130kW of the 2.5 NA legacy), and will use less than half the fuel of most other cars on the list.

I don't know much about dog's in cars - would you need to budget for a barrier to keep them in the boot, and stop them from jumping over the back seats & chewing on the rear seatbelts?

You could also consider a little JDM people mover like a Toyota wish or Honda stream. with the third row folded down, there is a lot of space in the boot.


 


287 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2527520 23-Jul-2020 03:47
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Owned 3 WRX STI's and 2 Legacy's in the past. Lagacy (2013) had a 5 star. All great Cars. 


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  #2527524 23-Jul-2020 04:07
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Scott3:

 

Toyota Avensis Wagon - Similar size. One of toyota's worst products. 4 cylinder FWD. Cheaper.

 

 

Have had a couple of Avensis wagons and been happy with them. My current car is a 2011 Avensis. It is a nice wagon if you ask me.

 

Do you mind sharing why you think it is one of Toyota's worst products?


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Uber Geek


  #2527525 23-Jul-2020 04:46
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The Avensis is known to have issues IIRC melting headlights is one common one. 


 
 
 
 


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  #2527526 23-Jul-2020 04:47
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jarledb:

Scott3:


Toyota Avensis Wagon - Similar size. One of toyota's worst products. 4 cylinder FWD. Cheaper.



Have had a couple of Avensis wagons and been happy with them. My current car is a 2011 Avensis. It is a nice wagon if you ask me.


Do you mind sharing why you think it is one of Toyota's worst products?



The D4 engine in them is fairly notorious, especially for a Toyota engine. They are probably best to avoid IMO.

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  #2527529 23-Jul-2020 05:49
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Friend of mine has a Suburu. I went to garage to collect it after something was done once and thought "wow that's expensive". I got the general impression that they require more service and the services cost more.

 

Toyota are super solid, super reliable. My Corolla is 17 years old and works perfectly, and in the 14 years I've had it I've needed to fix one door lock and one engine coil. Our Nissan Qashqui seems good too. Mazda as mentioned above is a good brand too.


1095 posts

Uber Geek


  #2527551 23-Jul-2020 07:48
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I have a 2006 legacy that I got at 135000km and is now at 200000.

Services are between $200-400 every 10000km and other than a fuel pump and a radiator hasn't cost me anything.
I have to 2l and so it isn't the most powerful but I can still tow a heavy caravan while fully loaded without issues. Apparently slot of the issues with the head gasket is with the 2.5l


On the open road economy is good up to 800km a tank (50l). Around town really bad around 450km a tank.

The AWD is great when skiing.

I really like the car and would get another (but probably the outback for the extra clearance as it would have been nice on some forestry roads that I went on last week).




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Uber Geek


  #2527552 23-Jul-2020 07:50
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Forgot to mention I got it 5 years ago for $6000 from a dealer




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  #2527553 23-Jul-2020 07:55
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Had a 96 Subaru GT wagon years ago, loved it. But only had it for just under a year so didn't get the service bill ;) Generally when people say Subaru are rubbish, its because they or the previous owners have not looked after it and not had the servicing done regularly.

 

Also had a 2003 Avensis Verso wagon - oodles of space, but engine issues saw us sell it and we upgraded to a 2010 Mazda Premacy which we still have and love. Plenty of space for us (family of 4) + the dog. An MPV is roomier again, but to get a modern version, the price goes up.

 

 





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272 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2527560 23-Jul-2020 08:22
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I watched this the other week and found it interesting. Might help shed some light on why regular maintenance is more important for these engines.

https://youtu.be/bJSYDBjkJNQ

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  #2527562 23-Jul-2020 08:29
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I'm on my second Outback and will probably get a third in due course, I'm that sold on them. Mine are lower kms, so can't really comment on service costs, but my father-in-law did over 200,000 in a 90s Legacy wagon and swears its the best car he ever had.


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  #2527567 23-Jul-2020 08:40
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dafman:

 

I'm on my second Outback and will probably get a third in due course, I'm that sold on them. Mine are lower kms, so can't really comment on service costs, but my father-in-law did over 200,000 in a 90s Legacy wagon and swears its the best car he ever had.

 

 

 

 

I'm on my first Outback and have had 2 legacies before that (with a couple of other cars in-between) - When I was looking for current one I spent ages look at Outbacks, RAV4s and CX5s. The massive amount of usable boot space on the Outback tipped it in favour of the wagon. 

 

 

 

As others have said above, when something goes wrong with a Subaru it can be expensive, but if you look after them I find they just last and last. If you get a slightly more modern one they tend to be chain driven so don't have to worry about cambelt replacements...  They may be a little out of your price range though.

 

 

 

TBH, if I were to buy again I might look at a Forestor (Or CX5 maybe - but I couldn't find decent one in my price range when I last looked) over the Outback - I've since bought a roofbox and find the bootspace isn't as essential now.  Still nice though when all the kids are loaded up, along with camping gear, surfboards, snowboards, etc, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 





"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


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