By Hd Lemng on Monday, February 13, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000
overall rating 5 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Most "minor fixes" are fairly cheap"
Cons: "Often requires the same big ticket repair issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Several talented mechanics have worked on my Legacy Wagon in the four or five years we have owned it. It starts reliably, is heavy (also read: mediocre gas mileage, currently 19 MPG), holds the road well in the snow, and seats five pretty comfortably, although not for long trips. The problem is that Subaru has had some long-term design issues with this car that they have never really addressed. At 105k miles you should do the timing belt. Okay, that's true for lots of cars. This model has a "piston slap" that makes it run rough for the first few minutes after you start it, but my mechanics say that there doesn't seem to be either a real fix nor a long-term negative implication of this issue. However, too, too many of this model (including mine), blow a head gasket at about 120k miles. You can spend the extra $700 bucks on fixing this proactively when you do the timing belt, but, of course, YOUR car may not need it and $700 is a lot of proactive maintenance! Also, I've had Subaru-trained mechanics tell me that they think after-market parts are BETTER quality than the originals when it comes to replacing the head gasket, but that there is no guarantee that it won't blow again either way, this time after only 50k miles or so. So, you can do your $1200 timing belt, come back in a year and do the $1800 head gasket, and then, by the way, the catalytic converter is likely to die anytime around 125k. That's another $800 or more. So, you have a car that, assuming it hasn't rusted, is still running 1.5 years later, but for $3800 worth of big-ticket bills, you have 1.5 more years of car. Thing is, at $215 a month, that's what it costs for 18 months of a brand new, fuel efficient car, not a ten-year-old car. Maybe yours won't develop the problems, but from what I hear, that is more the exception than the rule. Want to play car lottery?"
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