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4093 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2527610 23-Jul-2020 10:27
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I've had two Legacy GT-B wagons in the past and loved them both, great cars and had no issues.


One was a '96 and the other '01.
I got the '01 car in '06 and I think had around 50ks on it.
When I sold that about 10 years later it had done over 200ks and was still going great.
I had it regularly serviced at the local Sublab in Whangarei.


Trade NZ and US shares and funds with Sharesies (affiliate link).
795 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2527724 23-Jul-2020 12:24
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We've owned 2 Toyota Avensis, both have had headlights fail.  First were HID, 2k to replace.  2nd were regular types, but $500 each (both melted about the same time).  So definitely get the headlights looked at if considering buying one.  Engines have been fine, but you have to put in higher octane fuel or it can stall/stutter/underperform when trying to go from a stop.


FWIW our experience with AA inspections has been nothing short of criminal, I would never ever use them again.  There are plenty of good pre-purchase inspection services out there and I would recommend using them rather than AA.

168 posts

Master Geek

  #2527750 23-Jul-2020 13:21
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I'm no mechanic that's for sure, but I'm looking for a reliable car for myself and have been doing a lot of online research lately. What I find to be the most common consensus with Subaru is they can be very reliable if well maintained but can be very expensive and troublesome if not.




The conventional wisdom from internet land is if you want solid and dependable buy a Toyota. Honda is considered a very close second, and Mazda is also well regarded in the reliability stakes. All manufacturers have a bad model now and again though so always research the one you are after. The rest of the Japanese and Asian brands are generally considered ok as long as they have been well looked after, except Nissan which is widely regarded as the worst of them.




I got a couple Dog and lemon reports last time around, well worth the fairly small cost once you are down to a few choices. In their Nissan reports they spend the first few pages explaining how Nissan has slowly gone to the dogs since rebranding from Datsun and should be avoided. I was quite keen on an X-trail as a cheap spacious wagon but they put me off them completely with their report.




By contrast I got a report on the Toyota corolla Rumion I ended up buying, they poke fun of it's styling, call it bland and boring, but they have nothing bad to say about it mechanically at all. (odd little car in between the hatch and the wagon in size with more headroom than either that suits me as a tall driver)



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Uber Geek

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  #2527753 23-Jul-2020 13:27
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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.



subarus with EJ engines have gasket problems


but the new ones with FA/FB engines don't. though they are direct injected and only come with CVT.


i have a subaru normal car (FA engine). got it for traction. it goes where other SUVs get stuck - literally, personal experience.

3340 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2527806 23-Jul-2020 14:13
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As a general comment, most people I know who has subaru's love them. Some have owned a long sequence of different Subaru models.


It is a pity that the legacy wagon got discontinued, as it was a very popular vehicle, and not everybody wants the high riding outback configeration.


If you drive mountain passes, or visit skifeilds, having AWD can mean not having to chain up, and Subaru's AWD system is regarded as one of the best.

But if you don't requre AWD, and are willing to give up some comfort & handling, the Prius V/Alpha has better cargo space, for half the running costs.

In addition to the list on my previous comment, there are numberous euro brand wagons that could be considered. For example;

VW Passat Wagon: (boot is less tall, but a lot longer)

Skoda Supurb Wagon:






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?


Firstly, Toyota products are generally pretty good, so saying it is one of the worst isn't a dealbreaker.


Must be a decade ago, that I last drove one. Felt slow, and the air conditioning was weak.

I did like that a soft cargo barrier was included with the car, something that might be attractive for a dog owner. One of the rare UK built cars we get here, and the feature set is tailored to the UK/ Europe market (i.e. need for preimum fuel)


My understanding is that the there are some reliability issues with the engine.

2389 posts

Uber Geek


  #2527817 23-Jul-2020 14:48
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I have zero useful advice, @ZombieJohn except to say that God Damn that's an awesome avatar.

765 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2527818 23-Jul-2020 14:49
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Re Subarus:


- The head gasket issues were widespread in the older 2.5 engines - but if you are spending upto $13k then you won't be in an old one!


- Servicing can be more expensive, slightly, but I would MUCH rather drive my AWD 6 cylinder Subaru than a 2WD 4 cylinder Corolla or similar. So it needs a bit more oil every 10,000km - I don't think that is a big issue.


- Subaru servicing will be cheap compared to a Euro wagon e.g. Passat.


- There is a reason there are a LOT of Subarus in NZ - they are a solid reliable choice. I may be biased, having owned three (one currently), and would get another if required.


- Rather than an AA report I would take it to a local Subaru independent and pay for them to inspect.


Test drive a few things and it should become obvious what you like or don't.

618 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2527899 23-Jul-2020 19:48
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I currently drive a 2003 Subaru Forester with a 2.0 (EJ20) engine. 


It's been pretty reliable, cheap to service at my local mechanic (Around $125 per service) and I love it for its versatility. 


We also have two dogs and they do truly rough up the car. The Subaru engineers have really designed the right materials at the right place. 


I haven't had any major repairs apart from the usual routine replacement of parts. 




What I don't like about it? 

- Man it's a thirsty car. Makes me cry. It's a 45L tank and I can only get about 350KMs from it driving around the town, I'm definitely not heavy footed. 


- Safety, yes - it was a Five Star Safety rated car and one of the safest car when it was released but it's now nearly 20 years old and could do with some newer safety features such as more airbags, traction control. 





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