Car Question

Think I am closing in on a car or two, but here is one I have my eye on. It’s a 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R VDC Limited, and here is what I like about it.

1.) It is a Subaru.
2.) It is a 2006 model Outback, and they changed the design in 2007 and they are less comfortable (translation- narrower seats which are less comfortable for fatbodies).
3.) Very decent mileage- I got my last car with 130k miles.
4.) The interior is pristine, I like the leather seats and all the perks, because I have never owned a car that nice.
5.) I really like the lines and color of the exterior.
6.) It has a sunroof and a very nice sound system.
7.) It has a 3.0 engine, which is a bit beefier than the normal outback engines.
8.) Has a great safety rating and side airbags, etc.

Things that suck:

1.) The bigger engine means shittier mileage.
2.) I will not be able to use regular unleaded, but either mid-grade or premium.
3.) While it will come with a drive train warranty and the usual crap, will it come with an electronics warranty?
4.) The gas mileage. I mentioned that, but yeah, it is an issue.
5.) The windows are not tinted. Never had them before, but after driving my mother’s car, I want them because it really cuts down the glare. I can add those on afterwards.
6.) No USB port.

I really, really do like this car and the specs and everything it has, but I guess the true test will be the test drive. Still, that gas mileage is really shitty. I am trying to justify it by saying to myself that since I only drive ten k or less a year, it would be better if I owned it than someone who would drive thirty k a year and then run it into the ground, dump it, and buy another car, so overall the environmental impact of me owning it would be better.

How is that for rationalization?

Also too, I really like how it looks.

157 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Is that price typical for a Subaru that age and condition? Seems awfully high to me. Got my Beetle for $10K with less than 10K miles on it. That was 10 years ago, but still…

  2. 2
    bk says:

    2.) I will not be able to use regular unleaded, but either mid-grade or premium.

    Not true.

  3. 3
    Fordpowers says:

    I drive the 07xt version and I love all the girly things u listed… Perfect for me and the pups..
    Premium gas isn’t that bad… I basically fill my tank once a week… But I drive a lot…

    The best part about that engine is that it has some guts…. Makes a difference vs. the base model IMO..


  4. 4
    Stillwater says:

    My guess is that if you don’t like the MPG now, you’re gonna get increasingly pissed off about it after every fill up. That’s my experience anyway.

    Also, is it AWD or front? Some AWD Subies really go thru the tires.

  5. 5
    Ken deFarmer says:

    As for a later model with narrower seats, how’s this:
    Lissen up, fat boy. You’ve been hollering about your new diet and how it’s helped Shawn out and made you feel better. Well, that’s only half of it. He needs an hour of exercise a day, and you need one and a half. Then you’ll fit anything just fine.
    I can tell you off because I’m in the same boat. Type 2, fat, and down to 110-120 blood count after meals. The 30+ lbs is a work in progress. It ain’t easy. Get to it, soldier.

  6. 6
    srv says:

    My question is if it comes with a farmer’s field or that costs extra.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, thirteen large for a 100k car seems a little steep but doesn’t automagically rule it out. They’re common as dirt in my area but confess I know nuttin’ about the marque, other than the little shitbox Subi my bride once owned (shudder). Nothing like this, though.

    If it’s a familiar, comfortable space for JC and if he can keep it out of the weeds, then I don’t know why not.

    Also, too, tinting of the front door windows is verboten in CA, but that’s coal country so what the hell do I know? And the fuel mileage is definitely nothing to write home about but AWD and an autobox take their hits.

    Does Subi still do turbocharging other than the WRX? They should.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    I love these cars. They drive great. Subaru changed the chassis and then the entire model of car starting in 2008 (I think). First it looked the same but was just higher off the ground. Now it’s one of those crossover vehicles–not a wagon, but not an SUV either. I don’t like those nearly as well.

    I don’t like leather seats. They’re hotter than fabric seats and that’s a factor where I live.

  9. 9
    John Cole says:

    @bk: Really?

    @srv: I hate you. I laughed. Out loud. A belly laugh that felt like a 6.7 on the Richter scale for poor Lily, who was on my lap. But I hate you, nonetheless.

  10. 10
    max says:

    2.) I will not be able to use regular unleaded, but either mid-grade or premium.

    I see that, but that depends on whether they mean mid-grade/premium with or without ethanol. If they’re thinking of gas with ethanol, you could probably get by fine with non-ethanol regular. Feh. The only clean gas station near you is at Jefferson County Air Park in Wintersville. hrmm.

    The gas mileage. I mentioned that, but yeah, it is an issue.

    Any 4WD SUV gets pretty crappy gas milage particularly the older ones. This one gets 19, which is not terrible compared to a regular (not large) SUV.

    The windows are not tinted.

    Serious pain to do. Unless you go with the crappy plastic stuff. Can be done though.

    6.) No USB port.

    Get a new radio WITH a USB port. They can be had on Amazon, along with the specialist wire connector pigtails. (And the car is young enough that it’s going to be a DIN standard radio, so doing a swap should be a piece of cake. For your friend to do, as you would probably destroy the harness and break a body part and bleed all over the car if you do it yourownself.)

    I am trying to justify it by saying to myself that since I only drive ten k or less a year, it would be better if I owned it than someone who would drive thirty k a year and then run it into the ground, dump it, and buy another car, so overall the environmental impact of me owning it would be better.

    Enh. You could get a bike or something, and that would really reduce the gas mileage. At any rate, 19 mpg for 10k miles per year is not going to kill the planet (your electrical probably comes from coal, which is a bigger problem), so you know. Have at it.

    [’12k is a little pricey for my blood, but given the age and the manufacturer that’s probably pretty reasonable. Especially with a warranty attached.’]

  11. 11
    Sir Laffs-a-lot says:

    Be prepared to replace the transmission

    I had an Outbaack, my 4th Subaru; loved them to death. Got the Outback at 130,000. You often see them offered at 130,000. It is because the transmissions SOMETIMES fail shortly after that. My Outback got two new ones befote it died; $12,000 in total repairs in 4 years. Buyer beware. I drive a Chevy HHR now.

  12. 12
    smintheus says:

    @Stillwater: Yes, and if you don’t like paying for premium the first fill up, you’re going to hate it more each time.

    For me, the ideal used car is one that is safe and dependable, will reliably do at least 200k without drive-train issues, and does not maintain its resale value for reasons that have nothing to do with its merits as a car (e.g. plenty of people want it new but far fewer want it used; or it’s considered unstylish; or rental companies bought so many that ruined its resale value). We drilled in on the last thing in particular, and narrowed our search to those vehicles that unfairly lose their resale value.

    And for several years, that calculus led us to buy Tauruses. We’ve gotten 2 Taurus/Sable wagons in great condition, with fairly high mileage, for $1000 and $1500. They’re both still going strong (one has over 220k), have never caused us problems except for normal maintenance, and get decent highway mileage even with a 3.0 (the older one gets 33 mpg on long trips). Put excellent tires on them and you get good traction.

  13. 13
    Reluctant Militant says:

    @bk: Amen. Unless it’s a turbo, you’re fine running regular.

  14. 14
    Reluctant Militant says:

    @bk: Amen. Unless it’s a turbo, you’re fine running regular.

  15. 15
    Gen says:

    New radios are 300 installed by the competent (that’s not me) and little Dongles you plug into your lighter area even cheaper (a couple of bucks) so a usb shouldn’t be a deal breaker

  16. 16
    lahke says:

    So what’s the appeal of the Subaru over a Honda? My last one went for 17.5 years and 230,000 miles, got 40 avg mpg, and was a great ride. I bought my current one used–it was one of their first hybrids–and it’s 11 years old and going great. I keep hearing that the big battery has an unknown life span, but I’m at double the original number that they told me and still no troubles. Besides, they make them just over the river in Ohio.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Have your trusted mechanic look it over first. If he gives a thumbs up, then proceed.

    Oh, also too, park it in between other cars at a mall, parking structure or similar parking lot and test how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle.

  18. 18
    MomSense says:

    With Subarus of that vintage, watch out for head gasket issues. Otherwise they are great and have saved us many times in bad weather.

    And if anyone needs a break, check out all the #mcconnelling videos. It was not smart for Mitch to release a 2 1/2 minute campaign video set to music and with no talking.

  19. 19
    Keith P says:

    Worst…mid-life crisis…ever.

  20. 20
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I would be surprised if you couldn’t replace the radio with one that had a USB port.

    Said Gen.

  21. 21
    jp says:

    That car looks exactly like the Subaru I drive, and I love that car. It has room to haul everything everywhere I need to go (camping, garden supplies, you name it) and every time I got plowed in this winter it punched right through the walls of snow like a champ. A sweet ride, highly recommended.

  22. 22
    KG says:

    that’s below blue book, which is surprising (and would raise my eyebrow). but otherwise, if you like it (particularly after the test drive), go for it. being from Southern California, I drive a lot – as of next week, I get to 20 years of driving, I’m on my fourth car, the previous three were sold/donated/lost with over 100k miles on them – so, I’m all about getting something you are really going to enjoy driving in.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:


    Mentioned the parking test because for us adipose collectors, that can occur as an issue in those lots laid out to cram as many cars in per acre as possible, particularly as other people don’t always leave their vehicles in the center of their own space.

  24. 24
    KG says:

    @Joseph Nobles: oh yeah, that was the other thing I was going to mention. Hell, you can probably replace it with one that has bluetooth and bypass the USB port, depending on the phone/ipod you’re using.

  25. 25
    Walker says:

    USB ports can be added aftermarket. Almost all car stereos (including the Subarus) have a port in the back for AUX input. You just get an adapter cable. The downside is that you have this cable flopping about instead of a nice slot in the dash, but it works just fine.

  26. 26
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Stillwater: All Subarus are AWD. Every single one. Have been for at least 15 years. It’s a major selling point.

    So what’s the appeal of the Subaru over a Honda?

    The AWD. You can drive a Honda into the ground, too, but you can’t drive it in the same snowy conditions that you can drive a Subaru. Once you go AWD, you don’t go back.

    But I’d look for one that doesn’t require premium gas. Had a car once that required it and it was a major pain in the ass.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    To amplify the comments about the radio, that’s an easy fix. We got an awesome deal on our new F-250 work truck, but it was a stripped down model. We had the radio replaced with one that has USB, Bluetooth, etc., for less than $300. Easy peasy.

  28. 28
    RepubAnon says:

    Subaru had a problem with their cooling systems a while back that caused head gaskets to fail. I’d check that, and the coolant system (putting a special additive in the cooling system helps keep the head gasket happy.) My sister’s Subaru spent more time in the shop than on the road because her mechanic didn’t put the special additive in whilst changing the radiator fluid, and the head gasket went. Keeping that P.O.S. running was more expensive than payments on a new car.

    That said, if you like the car – and your mechanic gives the green light, buy it!

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Where’s the Phish bumpersticker?

  30. 30
    NotMax says:


    Leather seats.

    Mr. Cole in shorts.

    Foresee the front page posts now.

    (Still not a deal killer, though.)

  31. 31
    Geeno says:

    As someone who is huffing the bag the garlic bagels were in, I’m not one to talk to about rationalization.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Geeno: TMI.

  33. 33
    RosiesDad says:

    @lahke: I’m with you. I’d be looking for a CR-V instead of a Subaru. I had a Legacy wagon about 20 years ago. It was fine but it didn’t get great mileage (even with FWD and a manual tranny) and it burned through clutches faster than the Triumph GT6 I drove when I was a college student. 3 clutches in 105K. I was not impressed.

    I am all Honda, all the time. Had a 2004 Pilot, kept it 9 years and put 120K on it. It never broke. Upgraded into an Acura TSX Sport Wagon (much better handling and gas mileage than the Pilot) which has 40K on it and it has never broken. Traded the Pilot for a slightly newer CR-V for my kids (and me when there’s snow and ice on the ground) and it gets comparable mileage to my TSX. And I anticipate that it will never break.

    I also have a Honda mower and a Honda roto-tiller. They both start on the first or second pull and like the cars, they don’t break.

    In the north, the advantage of leather seats is seat heaters. Nothing better than a warm ass when it is 6 degrees outside. I would never not have them.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    In the north, the advantage of leather seats is seat heaters. Nothing better than a warm ass when it is 6 degrees outside. I would never not have them.

    Bun warmers are awesome. Heated steering wheels are something I would love to try as well.

  35. 35
    smintheus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Had a 2004 Subaru, loved it and I certainly appreciated the AWD. And then it rusted out so badly within 6 years it had to be junked, with just 80k on it. Right up until the end, the Subaru dealers kept insisting there was really nothing at all the matter with having your K frame rusting completely away under your engine. We weren’t going to even consider another Subaru after that.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RosiesDad: They make a durable outboard too.

  37. 37
    RosiesDad says:

    @Bobby Thomson: We had a shitload of snow here in the Philly burbs this year. My CR-V (AWD) went everywhere my old Pilot (AWD) went. Which was everywhere. Up hills. Down hills. Ice, sleet, snow. Into unplowed parking lots with 10 inches of snow.

    There is no place an Outback can go that I can’t go in my Honda.

  38. 38
    Comrade Mary says:

    How easily can someone pass you a jar of mustard while you’re driving it? Does not have to be Grey Poupon.

  39. 39
    RosiesDad says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My buddy has a heated steering wheel in his Bimmer. It is awesome. Maybe one day.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RosiesDad: Shit, with winter tires, my Saab can go just about anywhere until ground clearance comes into play.

  41. 41
    Gretchen says:

    I drive an older Volvo wagon. I love, love, love the heated leather seats and the sunroof. And since I drive fairly short distances, the gas mileage isn’t that big a deal. I think you should go for it, and enjoy the warm seats in the winter, and the cool sunroof breezes in the summer.

  42. 42
    RosiesDad says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I put winter wheels on my Acura and have similar experience. Including low ground clearance that becomes an issue during blizzards. (Which we’ve had like 7 of this winter.)

    I lived in Ithaca for 4 years with an old FWD Accord with all season tires. Never had any problem getting anywhere (once I learned how to drive on roads that were always snowy).

  43. 43
    jl says:

    Mechanic is going to check it over, right?

    Watch out for them fancy city slickers in a big town like Wheeling.

  44. 44
    JCJ says:


    I bought a Subaru Outback last summer. I just preferred it to the CRV, although I also love Hondas – I also have an Insight and previously had a CRX and long ago an Accord Hatchback. One nice thing with the Outback is I did not have to get leather seats to have the seat warmers. These are a must in Wisconsin. The Outback is great in the snow.

  45. 45
    Suzanne says:

    I get my CR-V up to high 20s by using cruise control. And Mr. Suzanne has the Civic Hybrid, which needs gas about once a NEVER. (Like every 3-4 weeks.)

    I HATE buying gas. It is literally only one step removed from lighting money on fire.

    Keep looking.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: This car gets better mileage than the Subie.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @Suzanne: oh, you’d really hate my car

  48. 48

    My sister and BIL, who live north of you across the Ohio, have this very car.

    She curses the damn thing at every gas station. And has to stop at all of them, see above re shitty MPG. He bought it the day after the day he rolled the Altima while talking to my mom about what time my 4 year old niece would be at her house…on an on-ramp…in a rainstorm.

    Which became the second stupidest thing he ever did, when he got up the next morning and replaced a serviceable sedan he totaled with an 06 Outback that gets, I shit you not, 18 in town. Real, in the field, number.

    I’m happier than a pig in mud in my Chevy Spark, which you can get a new one of for that $$$. 39 mpg highway, 36 in town, for reals. Drive one before you buy another Subaru?

  49. 49
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    You can drive a Honda into the ground, too, but you can’t drive it in the same snowy conditions that you can drive a Subaru.

    Yeah, that’s bullshit. My Element AWD, no chains, was damn near the only thing moving last time we went up to the mountains. Switchbacks and a foot of heavy falling snow and it never slipped. Bombs through the desert just as well. Short wheelbase, 4 wheel discs, decent (but not great) ground clearance.

    It’s no Land Rover, but it’ll match a Subaru for sure.

  50. 50
    aangus says:

    see my FB comment.

    : )

  51. 51
    Bob In Portland says:

    It’s okay, John. I eat bags of Halloween candy to save the teeth of all the kids in the neighborhood.

  52. 52
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’d look hot in that car.

    Seriously, though, I think that the ridiculous amounts of fuel that Americans consume is probably one of the things of which we should be most ashamed. Most people don’t need hauling power—they’d do better for themselves and the rest of us by buying something smaller and then renting the twice a year they go skiing or whatever.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: My brother looked at SUVs and minivans because his wife wanted what all the other literal soccer moms had. Once they saw the fuel consumption and price, they bought a Camry – not my choice, but they didn’t consult me until afterwards. They realized that the occasional need to transport several kids to a practice did not justify buying the SUV or minivan.

  54. 54
    John Cole says:

    I tried the Cr-v and did not like the ride or the feel.

    And again, I never drive. There were several years when I had my Chevy Celebrity and the mechanic at the inspection asked me what my other car was, because I had only put 3-5k miles on the car in a year.

    I drive to get from A to B. And A to B is not taking road trips to go see sights, but to the grocery store and back.

  55. 55
    aangus says:

    @John Cole:

    As it should be.

    Amen! : )

  56. 56
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Word. We got the 4-cylinder CR-V that has the “Realtime 4WD” that really is 2-wheel drive, but it drives the front left and the rear right. I can carry my whole family (3 adults, 2 kids, one of whom is in a car seat, including the 70-pound dog) in relative comfort. It’s fourteen years old and we had to have the transmission rebuilt at 186K, but problem-free up until and since then. Even survived a pretty big wreck that totaled an HHR with relatively minimal damage. And me with no injuries, which is the important part. It does fine in snow, but on the occasions we want something more spacious, we rent. And I choke while filling the gas tank every time.

  57. 57
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Premium? Forget it, you’ll be cussing yourself out every time you pump gas.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Cole: It is weird. I really love driving. I like trying to find the best line to take through corners. All that crap. I could entertain myself by just driving back roads for hours. My brother, otoh, is a utilitarian driver. He drives to get places.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: I’ve purchased gas in Europe. Putting premium in my car doesn’t freak me out.

  60. 60
    ruemara says:

    I wish I had an opinion, since all I’d require is a car that is in good shape, and goes from here to there without an issue. I’d be concerned about gas milage, but you say you don’t really drive around anyway. If you like it and you feel confident driving it, weigh the driving experiences of people here and then decide if that’s ok for you.

    Now I have a real puzzler: what sort of car can I buy for $900. Don’t say matchbox. Or should I just… do… some repair thingy check thing? Cars are really annoying. Walking where you can, now that’s far better. A nice pair of walkers and you’re golden.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @🍀 Martin:
    Owned a 03 Element AWD and it was about the best all around car I’ve owned. Lived in snow country then and never had a problem in the least. Did have to put on better tires, the ones that came on it were pure crap. You can feel when the AWD kicks in and I only needed it once. 21-24 around town 27-28 highway. Comfy, spacious, looks like a bread truck. I’d love to have another, but alas Honda stopped making them last year and I think that is why the used prices have held strong.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    KG says:

    Ugh, had these plans to write tonight, but Long Beach State is in a helluva game in the semis of the conference tourney. I had been less than excited given the third place finish in the regular season, but Cal Poly was kind enough to knock out the top two seeds, so now there’s a chance for us to dance.

    We were down like 15 at half, came out like gangbusters in the second half, and now it’s a back and forth barn burner… 67-65 bad guys with just under four to play

  64. 64
    badjim says:

    If you don’t drive a lot, gas mileage isn’t much of an issue, nor the cost of high-octane gas. Having a relatively powerful engine is certainly entertaining, and it’s entirely reasonable when you live in a mountainous region.

    Perhaps I’m rationalizing my own ride, a ’99 Integra GS-R with barely 100k on it, but I can zoom up and down the twisty 1000′ to my hilltop home faster than almost anyone else, yet my carbon footprint is possibly less than that of my sister-in-law’s Prius, since she has a longer commute.

    It’s generally more responsible to continue driving the car you already have, assuming it’s not a horrible hog, or to buy a used car, than it would be to buy a new hybrid. In my case, it wouldn’t be significantly worse to buy an Aston-Martin than a Tesla; not only is electricity not that clean, but I just don’t drive enough to matter.

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:


    I had an Accord hatchback in the ’80s. Loved that car. Possibly my favorite (although I haven’t had a lot of cars; I tend to keep each one for a long time).

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Possibly my favorite

    My current 9-3, followed by the ’84 GTI that was my first car purchased in ’88.

  67. 67
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Your brother is what we call The Camry Demographic. Appliances are for driving.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: He has a Camry. And an older Civic coupe. Go figure.

  69. 69
    KG says:

    @KG: fuck. Looks like the dream ends here. Nothing like a phantom foul on a missed three pointer as the shot clock expires in a tight game

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    He-he-he-hah [dust off hands]- I think my work here is done.

    ETA How do these people ever find their cars in the mall parking lot?

  71. 71
    🍀 Martin says:


    Did have to put on better tires, the ones that came on it were pure crap.

    Yep. Same. Ours is a 2006. Put Geolanders on it, one size larger. MUCH better (looks better too). I use the AWD a lot – head out to the desert and toss around on the sand trails. It handles so well I blast down them at 40-50, get a little air over the rises, slide around the corners. It’s a little tippy and I’ve gotten two wheels off the ground a few times more than I care, but not at speed. The kids love the car. The dog loves the car. It’s without question the best car I’ve ever owned.

    On long trips we get it up to 32 MPG, even fully loaded, even while climbing. Everyone says the aero is the problem, but it’s the power/weight. It’s heavy for the engine size and getting it up to speed is where you lose all your mileage. I think with a small 6 and another gear they’d get better mileage. But we also liked that it was cheap. Top of the line out the door for under $20K. Better drivetrain would have changed that.

  72. 72
    Stella B. says:

    I have a 2001 BMW. I always put regular in it. I got it from my mom, she always put regular in it. It’s fine. Same for my last car. Premium gasoline is purely hype. It gives you a way to pamper your “baby”. “Premium” dog food is a rip-off too (except for Purina One Beyond which smells good enough to eat. I haven’t tried it, but most of my household thinks it’s deelish.)

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stella B.: A car that is supposed to use premium will function with regular. It just won’t function quite as well. Honestly, most people will never notice the difference.

  74. 74
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @KG: Lightweight, I’m still on my 1st car; 1986 Jetta.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    @Stella B.:

    Once upon a time, compression ratio, ignition timing, engine temp and a few other parameters dictated the required octane–higher then necessary meant wasted money; lower than necessary meant detonation and a ruined engine. You’d hear it as “knocking” on acceleration and ignored it at your peril.

    Today’s engine management systems can avoid detonation even if you fuel with cat piss, but it can also affect performance, including mileage. The trick is to determine where your best mileage is achieved then figure out how much extra the fuel is costing. Not easy, but it can be done. FWIW my car manual recommends 93 octane and the best we can buy is 91. Oops.

    My quibble in California is diesel’s high price, sometimes a buck more than regular-grade gas. There are wonderful diesel cars available that get great mileage, but great enough to account for the extra buck?

  76. 76
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Heated steering wheels are something I would love to try as well.

    I’d like a cooled steering wheel.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: 900 Turbo?

  78. 78
    Suzanne says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Word to that. I have burned myself badly enough to leave blisters on my old car. Cold steering wheel? Sounds AWESOME. Hell, you can buy gloves for a dollar at Target.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Live in Wisconsin for a while. Also too, I actually own driving gloves.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    @trollhattan: is it bad to put regular in diesel engines?

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:


    Nah, cleans out the carbon! Also, too, spark plugs!

    ETA I keed, I keed. Gas in a diesel would not be a good thing–perhaps big fire? Don’t actually know. Diesel in a gas car simply won’t start and is a gigantic cleanup mess.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    9^5 mit turbo 6. Previously had a 9kT and before that, a 99 EMS. Am at a loss as to what’s next.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: NEVS is producing 9-3 Aeros with a 220 hp engine. For Sweden and China now. I am hoping that the US will come soon. Do I want to buy a Spyker Saab 9-5 – the Aero AWD is pretty cool? Or keep mine – which has no real problems?

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:


    I would still have my first car (1988 Celica), but some assholes stole it out of my carport in Mar Vista and stripped it. I loved that car and still miss it.

  85. 85
    KG says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: at sixteen, I had an 89 Toyota pick up (120k miles or so), at 21 I bought a 99 v6 mustang (140k miles or so), in 2005 I got an F150 as a law school graduation present (135k or so), totaled that in July 2012, and got my Challenger in December of 2012 (22k already). Like I said, I drive a lot.

    ETA: I’ve also been spoiled with new cars. Even that 89 Toyota, my parents bought new when my older cousin came to live with us and needed a car

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    You don’t want to make either mistake. Diesel engine has too much compression for gas and no sparking plugs so probably won’t even run but can do damage trying, gas engine will not light off diesel or do it very badly as well. You end up having to change the filters, drain all the lines and tank in either case, even if you don’t ruin the engine. Not a cheap nor fun process in either case.

  87. 87
    techno says:

    I don’t get why anyone would own a Subaru. They are painfully ugly. They have designed-in reliability issues because of the boxer engine (head gaskets). They get lousy gas mileage. Their interiors are cramped and uncomfortable. And because the ownership base is small, they tend to have crappy dealers.

    Once upon a time, their AWD system made them popular in the snow belt—esp. New England. But now, everyone makes AWD including the premium car makers like Mercedes, Toyota and Honda. Even though I live in Minnesota, I was never much impressed by a need for AWD. I drove a front-whee-drivel Saab for years and it always got me through. But three years ago, the wife bought an AWD Lexus GS so I have now experienced what a hoot it is to drive in snow with one. I think it would happily drive up the side of a glacier.

    And trust me on this, once you have owned a Lexus, you will never settle for a crappy Subaru, NEVER!

  88. 88
    KG says:

    @KG: I’ve loved all those cars too. It was hard to let them go.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @🍀 Martin:
    Yep, Geolanders. Were about the only tire available in that size in early 04 but they turned out to be great. When I needed new tires for the POS van I now have that’s what I put on. Can’t say it’s like a new truck but better is better.
    I was never able to get even 30 but 28 was not a problem. Coming from a 12/17 SUV made that seem like heaven.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    John, The questions you should ask is – Do I like the car? Can I reasonably afford it? Have I had and/or know people who have had good luck with the brand? And most important, Do I like the car?
    After that all you can do is get the car checked out by a competent mechanic. Everything else is a crap shoot. I’ve owned 2 Toyotas both bought new. Both of them were the worst cars I’ve ever owned, including the free hand me down early 60’s POS cars that were my first 2 cars. Yet I’ve known many who love Toyota and will buy them without question and have extremely good luck with them. A slight change for truth in the normal saying – your mileage absolutely will vary.

  91. 91
    Viva BrisVegas says:


    And trust me on this, once you have owned a Lexus, you will never settle for a crappy Subaru, NEVER!

    The trick might be getting a Lexus for under $13000.

  92. 92
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    If you’re buying a 2006 Soob I’d suggest that you check out the Forester. I paid $9600 last Fall for my fully loaded 5 spd with 68,000 on the odometer. Fueling with Premium plus using the four’s torque via the 5 gear yields close to 30 MPG in mixed driving, which beats the hell out of the EPA estimate. The car is taller than an Outback which means more interior space and better visibility. I threw on a set of top of the line Michelins and the car will pull through a turn tighter than is comfortable for me.

    Added a diff guard and sump guard so that I could run the desert which picked up some dents and scrapes, but it got through some fairly challenging stretches with aplomb. Saving up to have an Aussie over-and-under trans.

    This is my second Forester, first was a 1998, and I wouldn’t drive anything else.

    Added bonus: Despite occasionally exuberant driving on back roads I have yet to wind up in a pasture.

  93. 93
    Calming Influence says:

    Quit fuckin’ around and buy the Outback already. 50% of Seattle drive Outbacks, and we just won the fuckin’ Superbowl.

  94. 94
    techno says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:
    Hey! I drive a Lexus that I bought for less the $10,000. In the last six years, it has cost less than $1100 to drive it (+gasoline, insurance, state fees.) It may be 18 years old now with 165,000 miles on the clock but it looks and drives like it was new.

    Remember, a Lexus is just a well-built Toyota—far and away the best-built automobiles ever made. If my car is any indication, 165k miles is just barely broken in. An old Lexus is easily the best bargain on the road because there is NO substitute for build excellence.

  95. 95
    NotMax says:

    Four hours of prep and baking finished, with the added bonus of getting exercise by patting myself on the back for producing deliciosity.

    (Modesty is a la carte.)

  96. 96
    Larkspur says:

    I’m still driving my 1988 Honda Civic DX. It’s still running well, but I need to start looking. I live in a pretty affluent area, so there are lots of luxury SUV-types that make me feel like a tiny ladybug that’s about to get squished. I’d kind of like a sturdier car with those modern details like airbags and such. Whatever. Anyway, there are also some Teslas zipping about. One I saw recently had this license plate: LILSMUG. Made me laugh: wry, self-deprecating and boastful all at once.

  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    2.) I will not be able to use regular unleaded, but either mid-grade or premium.

    According to whom??? I have driven lots of vehicles and never needed anything more than regular. Everyone I have ever heard or talked to say premium is generally a waste of money if you aren’t driving a Maserati.

    3.) While it will come with a drive train warranty and the usual crap, will it come with an electronics warranty?

    I doubt it.

  98. 98
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    with the added bonus of getting exercise by patting myself on the back for producing deliciosity.

    Careful… I developed bursitis in both shoulders doing that. So what ya makin?

  99. 99
    NotMax says:


    Nuthin’ special, really. 4 dozen or so cookies.

  100. 100
    ThresherK says:

    My one “premium recommended” vehicle was built ages ago, so no idea if the modern computer sensors really want that stuff and are more sensitive to the lower-octane than a ’90.

    But more to the point, what is the “new norm” for the price split between regular and premium? It used to be about 20 cents, which made it an easy-math approximate one cent per mile at 20mpg.

  101. 101
    tofubo says:

    2010 vw jetta tdi, not four wheel drive, but damn near combined 40 mpg which is what i need

    plus bluetooth and media input to the radidio

  102. 102
    raven says:

    I had a 68 chevy wagon and I blew a hole in a piston using fucking Pemex Regular on a fishing trip to Guaymas in 73.

  103. 103
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Mmmmmm…. cookeeezzz. I love baking. Bread, cookies, pies…. A while back I made some rosemary, Parmesan and flax seed crackers (garbanzo bean flour) for the wife and she can’t get enough of them. I have to admit, they are pretty tasty. Came across a couple other cracker recipes I want to try recently. My only problem will be getting her to give them a shot.

  104. 104
    Ray says:

    If gas mileage is a big issue, what about a smaller, wagon/hatchback model, like a Subaru Impreza, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe? There are AWD versions of all of those though they might be harder to find. I’ve never owned any of those but was seriously considering them recently (got a non-AWD hatchback instead).

  105. 105
    NotMax says:


    At one time had a ’68 Chrysler wagon with a 440 V-8 which could have climbed walls if required.

    Original owner was a senior stockbroker at E.F. Hutton who was so p.o.’d at it being a lemon that he contacted a client who was a high muckety-muck at Chrysler.

    The entire engine was promptly replaced (by then the car had 50k miles on it), under the personal care and direction of the exec, with the best and finest tuned the company could provide. I got it from the original owner (cost = zero) when it had about 110k on it and sold it when it had 160k and still had oodles of life left in it. My one worry was when NY later on introduced strict emissions tests for passing inspection. According to the mechanic who did the test, that sucker scored better than any just-off-the-showroom-floor model.

    Friend of mine who was a car person used to make fun of my driving a lumbering multi-ton behemoth until he borrowed it once and took it on the interstate. Said he thought from the smoothness of the ride and feel that he was doing 55 or 60, until he looked at the speedometer and discovered he was tooling along at 90.

    Odd thing was that the front tires were H, the rear ones K. Came from the factory that way.

  106. 106

    Late to the party here, but I don’t know of a car built after 2000 that isn’t a Jag or a Porsche that has to run on anything but regular. If it pings that means it needs to be checked for timing issues. If the owners manual says it needs it, check to see if the copyright isn’t from Shell Oil.

  107. 107
    RosiesDad says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @tofubo: I have a close friend who also bought a TDI wagon a couple of years ago. FWD only but he puts Blizzak’s on it in the winter and has no problems getting around and he also gets 30+ around town and 40+ on the road.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I’m with you. If it had to be a Soob, it would be a Forester before an Outback for all the reasons you mention.

  108. 108
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Ouch. Broke down in Mexico. In such situations, one does not want just a Taller Mechanico, you want the tallest damn mechanic they got!

  109. 109
    NotMax says:


    Sounds tasty. Never attempted crackers.

  110. 110
    JPL says:

    My Honda Accord is almost six years old and like John, I don’t put a lot of miles on. I’d like a crossover because it would be easier to haul pine straw and garden stuff but it seems silly to get a new car when the old one is working just fine.

  111. 111
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I nursed it back to Tucson, pulled a head thinking it was a blown gasket ( yes, without doing a compression test) put it back together and it was still fucked. Ended up with my wife, the dog and myself hitchiking to LA because my grandmother was dying. That is only a small part of the story!

  112. 112
    NotMax says:


    1961. Brazil. Blew a gasket. Had there been a road sign, it would have announced “Middle of Nowhere 1 mile.”

    The chauffeur (don’t ask) rooted around inside the trunk, came out with a full set of tools, a pen knife and a deck of playing cards. Promptly fashioned gasket replacements which got us to the nearest village (which was none too close) that had anything resembling a garage.

  113. 113
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: lookin for Che huh?

  114. 114
    NotMax says:


    By a strange coincidence, the chauffeur’s great-aunt happened to own a (motel is way too fancy a term, slum is as well) ‘traveler’s camp’ in that same village.

    About a dozen rickety lean-tos with dirt floors and piles of straw to sleep on, arranged around a dusty, bare central area. We got the deluxe accommodations, the only two lean-tos not facing directly onto the ditch in the central area which was overflowing with raw sewage.

    Good times, good times.

  115. 115
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Hee hee!!! A story I would love to hear.

  116. 116
    NotMax says:


    A story I would love to hear.

    Me too! Me too!

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Wow. Broke down in Mexico a couple times but my best broke down story was in S Dakota. Woke up at 2 AM with the 1st wife screaming “IT BLEW UP! IT BLEW UP!” Crawled out of the back of my ’77 International, looked underneath and found a smoking hole the size of my thumb in the rear differential. Had to tear the whole rear end apart to remove a fist sized chunk of steel that once had been a pinion gear. About 5 hrs with a borrowed acetylene torch, a couple qts of 80w-90, some cardboard, silicone gasket sealer, a soup can and some bailing wire got us back on the road to STL.

    4WD sucks on gas mileage, but that extra drive axle sure came in handy that trip.

    ps: threw out U-joints on the front end that night in Nebraska. Thought we’d never make it home.

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    Bunch of goddamn MacGyvers in this thread.

  119. 119
    BretH says:

    Getting a later year in a model run is always nice because (hopefully) by then they have ironed out any issues that cropped up in the first year or two.

  120. 120
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin”, -Mark Twain

    Next year I am going to get down there.

  121. 121
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Dang. We’ll the trip to Mexico was nuts. My buddy and I had hair down to our asses and had our wives with us. We also had my great shepherd collie Ralphie and all the Mexicans wanted to buy Lassie. We took some killer hash with us because we figured we we’re cool going South. We camped on the beach for a week, the beach where Catch 22 was filmed. MGM owned it and it was ok to camp there so it was a little hippie enclave. I took my first deep sea fishing trip there and did well on the snappers. We drank mescal, smoked herb and listened to a great radio station out of San Diego that would come in great for 3 minutes and then fade for 20 seconds. The morning we left we had a good bit of smoke left and we didn’t want to carry it north so we finished it off. We didn’t get 10’miles when we hit one of those Mexican Army/Red Cross roadside blockades. Since I was driving I got out deal with the Federale in charge. Even though I was a long hair I whipped the “yes sir,no sir” shit on him. He asked about Ralphie so I let hit out and dazzled the locals with his ball prowess. All the while the others are in the car, high as the cost of living staring down the barrels of M-1’s and 30 cals. Finally the heat let us go and I thought my people were going to have a stroke “what the fuck were you doing”. About two hours later, after the lady said “oh, put regular Pemex in it, we’re broke and it’s all the same” the piston blew and I had to chug up these mountains with Mexican trucks on my ass! Remind me to tell you about the highway patrol and the shotgun in the desert on the hitch to LA.

  122. 122
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There is a historical marker on Mt Haleakalā where Mark Twain camped on his way to the summit. Seemed he froze his ass off up there!

  123. 123
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    All the while the others are in the car, high as the cost of living staring down the barrels of M-1′s and 30 cals.

    Ah yes…. memories. My first trip to Mexico back in ’88 I found myself standing in the company of 7 nervous gringos high on a mountain with the contents of a Chevy suburban strewn about the road, and a dozen teenagers with fully loaded AK-47s pointed in our general direction. After finding about a mile of rope they realized that yes, we really were cavers headed for that great big ass legendary hole that the swallows lived in and no, we had no “Drugas, armas…”

    Later on as we were rigging the pit they came trooping by and stopped to watch for a bit. Their medic noticed that one of us had some rather severe burns on his torso and doctored him up. He was able to climb back out with only minimal pain after that.


  124. 124
    Bill says:

    John- Nice car, price is high for mileage. About 10k would be right. The 3.0 engine will last virtually forever, but routine maintenance is crucial. I would not even consider the car unless it has service records back to new.

    Regular gas is fine unless you’re towing, then premium. Mileage will be slightly worse in town, about the same or slightly better highway.

    Wouldn’t worry much about electronics, not a weak spot in these cars.

    That is essentially my dream car. Good luck

  125. 125
    RAM says:

    We had an 07 Subaru Outback, and came to hate it. We’re small people, and the front seats were extremely cramped. We do a lot of summer trips from Illinois to northern Wisconsin and the tight front seats literally became a pain for us. And, I know this sounds dumb, but the front cupholders really sucked. They were awkwardly placed and extending the center armrest made them unusable. Gas mileage sucked. Finally, the backseat was cramped with little legroom. It was an uncomfortable vehicle to be in for any length of time, although the handling, especially in winter and in windy conditions, was outstanding.

    We replaced it with a ’10 Chevy Equinox, which we absolutely love–great sound system, loads of front and backseat room (we have an obese relative who weighs upwards of 350, and he had adequate legroom in the backseat–said he was actually comfortable), quiet cabin, and great gas mileage with the 4 cylinder engine. Two years ago we drove out to Maine and the Maritime Provinces and averaged 31 mpg for the roughly 4,000 mile trip. Since we’re both old farts now, we got the Equinox with every bell and whistle except one of those stupid DVD players.

  126. 126
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Suzanne: I got my CR-V up to 34 miles per gallon on a long highway trip, using the cruise control a lot. That was impressive, considering I probably averaged 80 miles per hour for most of that trip. I have a 2013 model.

  127. 127
    Jager says:

    I’m old and have always been a car guy. In July of 1966 I had a ’59 Porsche Convertible D. I was driving back to Boston from California. (college boy trip to see a girl I’d had two dates with, now that’s a hell of a story) The fan belt broke in Wyoming, like a Beetle you do not want to drive across the street without one. A Rancher stopped and towed me to his ranch. We searched around through his collection of belts and couldn’t find a fit. He soaked a piece of hemp rope in water and we rigged it up to work. The rope shrunk and it got me to a VW dealer in Cheyenne to replace the belt. The left front wheel bearing went bad in Iowa and I found a replacement at a John Deere distribution center. Porsche dealers were few and far between in those days. It was great car and I get sick to my stomach when I see what they are worth today, Same basic engine as a Beetle, with twice the HP, maybe 75 on a good day, better mileage though because of the aerodynamics. My old man was a car dealer and sold it to me in ’65 for $1900. New it was just over 3k. Well over 100k today if you can find one, and you can’t.

  128. 128
    NotMax says:


    Crawled out of the back of my ’77 International

    Was it a Scout by any chance?

    Everyone I’ve known who owned one of those has at least one tale to tell involving the words ‘smoke,’ ‘fire’ (or both) occurring at some time.

  129. 129
    Schlemizel says:

    My kid bought a car that requires premium gas, he thought it was not a big deal but now every time he fills it up he is pissed about it. Seriously consider if you are willing to put out that extra 3-4 bucks every fill up.

  130. 130
    chopper says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    My element can drive in anything. The car is just unstoppable.

  131. 131
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Theyd moved up to AK’s by then!

  132. 132
    RSA says:


    My question is if it comes with a farmer’s field or that costs extra.

    I also laughed aloud at this.

  133. 133
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ken deFarmer:

    Lissen up, fat boy. You’ve been hollering about your new diet and how it’s helped Shawn out and made you feel better. Well, that’s only half of it. He needs an hour of exercise a day, and you need one and a half. Then you’ll fit anything just fine.
    I can tell you off because I’m in the same boat. Type 2, fat, and down to 110-120 blood count after meals. The 30+ lbs is a work in progress. It ain’t easy. Get to it, soldier.


    As another disgusting fatbody, I am on a personal crusade to ditch weight. I’ve dropped over 30 since the new year turned.

    It hasn’t been easy. First there was the HCG cycle and an extremely low calorie diet. Now, I’m exercising about an hour, sometimes two each day, consisting of a mix of cross-trainers, weights and swimming. I’ve cut out snacks, bread, heavy lunches and home dessert. I’m big on portion control, rely a lot on Lean Cuisine, Atkins meals and Healthy Choice for lunch, and keep a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables around for quick bites. My calorie intake is now, on average, 1500-1800 per day and I’m dropping a pound or two per week. Blood glucose is back to normal, sleep is better and the snoring stopped.

    I also quit drinking at home during weekdays, and basically will confine it to socially, when out with family and friends. Frankly, I had two bourbons last night, but obsessed over the calories.

    I also started some hormone replacement therapy in order to elevate abysmal testosterone production, which will accelerate the weight loss.

    I’m never going to return to basic training weight, but another 40 is in easy reach, possibly by fall. I’ll be pretty happy. Frankly, I’m pretty happy now, and feel good.

  134. 134
    Kac90b says:

    @KG: my sister and I bought my daughter a Subaru wagen when she went to university. Could safely haul her and ten best friends to music festivals around country from Portland.

  135. 135
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: No, a TravelAll. Tho the rear end I ended up putting into it was from a Scout.

  136. 136
    mai naem says:

    I went to the dealership page and saw the 08 4 cylinder AWD - It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but IMHO it’s a better deal for $1K more, especially if you bargain them down a little. Its an 08 and has 60K miles.

  137. 137
    WereBear says:

    For several years we were Sensible and Responsible and bought used vehicles with lower mileage. And three times in a row we got completely hosed with huge repair bills while we were still paying off the loan.

    Not to mention the fact that a breakdown in below zero temperatures in a snowy zone gets ugly fast. It’s our only vehicle; when it’s not reliable we are INCREDIBLY inconvenienced.

    So four years ago I bought a Ford Focus, inventory leftover (so there’s our down payment with the rebate, basically) with a three year warranty, great gas mileage, and when the warranty ran out, I did the same thing again. If anything happens, it’s Ford’s problem, not mine.

    Put snow tires on the front wheel drive and we are pretty good.

    Yes, I miss having an SUV in this kind of climate, and I adored the last Subaru with the heated side mirrors and seats and the way it handled… but around here, used means beat-to-death because they are trading it in and don’t take care of it.

    We can’t afford that, either.

  138. 138
    Gravenstone says:

    Not checking to see if this has been raised yet, but the price difference between unleaded and mid-grade is typically only about 3% (at current market rates). Is it that much of a cost burden (should the car actually need 89 rather than 87 octane)?

  139. 139
    danielx says:

    Had to deal with the head gasket issue on spousal unit’s 2007 Outback, which was majorly expensive (head gaskets, water pump, timing belt, etc). Doesn’t apply to the six cylinder model as far as I know….other stuff to watch out for: wheel bearings. Subies (like all AWD vehicles) have more issues with wheel bearings going west than 2WD vehicles, something to do with the geometry of the drive train. Lack of USB port – get a new head unit. If you need one with big buttons for large, fat and/or clumsy fingers (like mine) look for a double DIN unit, which the factory unit is. I installed a single DIN unit in the 2007 and really wish I’d gone for a double DIN unit instead. (Yes, the installation was a pain in the ass and I should have paid to get it done.) Aftermarket car stereos are a pain in the ass these days; they try to cram in so many features that it’s harder to use the most common functions. Look on to see what’s available.

    As someone else noted, these can be installed at home by some people. Not you, Cole.

  140. 140
    Barry says:

    @max: “Get a new radio WITH a USB port. They can be had on Amazon, along with the specialist wire connector pigtails. (And the car is young enough that it’s going to be a DIN standard radio, so doing a swap should be a piece of cake. For your friend to do, as you would probably destroy the harness and break a body part and bleed all over the car if you do it yourownself.)”

    Make double sure of that; some companies (cough *Ford*) integrated the radio/CD player in with the heating/AC control unit, to make it non-standard, so that you had to buy upgrades from them.

  141. 141
    Glocksman says:


    After I bought my used car (08 Kia Spectra), I bought a Pioneer DEH-P6000UB from Crutchfield for $150 on clearance.

    It came with the needed adapter harness and mounting adapter and took all of 15 minutes to install.

    Some people have commented on the fact that the USB port is on the back of the unit, but it comes with an extension harness.
    I just leave it in the glovebox with a 16 GB thumbdrive plugged in.

    Though I do miss using it with my (sold off) iPod touch as the Touch’s control interface beats anything you’ll find on a car radio hands down.

  142. 142
    Dick Woodcock says:

    I’m not reading all 140 posts, so I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet.
    The extra price between regular and premium gas really isn’t all that much. Do the math.
    In my area, there’s usually a 20 cent difference between regular and premium (your area may vary). Your fill up from empty will probably be in the 15 gallon range. 15 gal x $.20 = $3. So, you are paying only $3 more for a full tank of premium, compared to regular.

    That doesn’t seem so bad, now does it?

  143. 143

    There may be mobile tint service providers in your area. We go with the illegal tint on all of our cars. This leads to getting pulled over more, but we know enough LEOs that will sign off on the fix-it ticket that it isn’t a big deal. The upside is that when we do get pulled over for something like speeding, we’ll get a lecture and the fix-it ticket instead of the speeding ticket.

  144. 144
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    @Keith P: Not really…but up there in the top ten!

  145. 145
    kindness says:

    re: type of gas. These days with cars being computer controlled you can just buy a replacement chip so as to be able to use what ever grade of gas you want. The 3.0 6 cylinder engine should run fine on normal gas though. Mid grade would be nice. I know for me when I’m running around in the flatlands where I live, I use 88 octane (the low grade stuff) but when I’m doing a trip up into the mountains I’ll fill it with premium. Seems to run a little better going up and down gullies & hills.

  146. 146
    luc says:

    Wait a little bit longer and get an ELIO car – perhaps see if it fits first :
    Just $7000

  147. 147
    Aleta says:

    Although I curse the ‘good mileage or a Subaru’ question each time, so far I have stuck with the Subaru (Forester) 3 times now. (Because it drives like a dream in a blizzard; I once walked away from a bad spin + rollover (tire blowout); super braking saved me another time; and it’s not claustrophobic inside.)

    Seat-wise, I think it’s long-term efficient (body preservation-wise) to not wrench your shoulder/spine around or twist your knee every time you get in and out.

    But about the gas mileage: once I made an all-night drive through heavy moose and deer country in Canada and northern Maine. I’ve personally known one person who totaled his body during a moose crash, another his face, and another who died. So I was paranoid and drove around 50 a lot of the way. When I looked at the gas mileage afterward, it was surprisingly good. I realized, if I care about gas consumption so much, I could just go slower.

  148. 148
    Jay C says:

    That doesn’t seem so bad, now does it?

    John says he puts less than 10,000 miles a year on his car: rounding things up for ease-of-calculation, that’s say 850 miles a month. If a car gets 25 mpg, that means 34 gallons a month: at 30 mpg, that comes out to, say 28.3: or a savings of 5.7 gallons per month. All the costs are going to depend on the pump price in East Bumfuck scenic West Virginia, of course: but if you average it out to $3.75, say, that will still amount to $21.37 a month: $256 a year. Cut the price down to $3.50 by using regular, and the annual savings can be about another $85 or so. So the shift in 5 mpg can save maybe an extra $28 per month – enough for a decent amount of mustard…..

  149. 149
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Spiffy. This is not your mother’s station wagon.

  150. 150
    2liberal says:

    “Dick Woodcock” can’t possibly be a real name. it looks like a triple johnson type porno name.

  151. 151
    Cassidy says:

    You don’t spend 13K on a car with 96K miles.


  152. 152
    Lauren says:

    I drove a Subaru Forester – did NOT like. Because of the all wheel drive (which Outlook also has), I had to have wheel bearings replaced every 35k miles or so – not a cheap repair. It also handled rough and was not a very smooth ride.

  153. 153
    Pogonip says:

    Have you field tested it yet? *hee Hee Hee *

    I always thought college professors made big bucks; I guess I was wrong. Buy the best you can afford, that’s all you can do.

  154. 154
    rapier says:

    Waaaaay too much money in my eyes. All wheel drive is totally unnecessary in non snow areas and not really needed there, just good winter tires. AWD means more maintenance, things to go wrong, weight and worse MPG. Subaru’s have an odd engine configuration so are just a bit odd. I can’t speak to reliability but suspect it isn’t in the Honda Toyota , often 200K no sweat league.

    I am partial to Vibe/Matrix now if you want a wagon/small ute as opposed to a sedan. It isn’t actually a small UTE although there was an all wheel drive variant. It’s a Corolla underneath with a different body. The 5 speed was a problem in the first gen I’ve heard, 03-08. Near 30 MPG they say. I have a GT version and get 27 with premium but don’t recommend that really. Just the standard non AWD.

  155. 155
    Marc says:

    I would be surprised if that radio can be replaced with anything. It looks pretty well integrated into the dash and doesn’t appear to have any input ports. You’d be stuck with wiring in an RF bypass and charging your iPod/iPhone etc using a usb adapter in the cigarette lighter (since I refuse to call them power ports, even though I’ve never smoked).

    Crutchfield describes the radio replacement as “In order to install your new receiver, you’ll need to fabricate a mounting kit. Professional installation may be required.”

    I’ve also always gotten the impression that you were a taller guy – being 6’2″+ myself with similar build, I’m not very comfortable in the Subarus. You may not like the style from the outside, but I’d look into something like a Toyota Sienna AWD minivan such as this one: in your price range and located somewhere in WV. Mileage will be similar- average about 18- and you’ll be set for years. Plenty of room for your menagerie and can haul an amazing amount of stuff when needed. (I drive an Odyssey for soccer dad needs and am super happy with it, but you want AWD, so stick with that).

  156. 156
    oaguabonita says:

    Do not . . . I repeat, DO NOT buy any vehicle without first checking out a PriusC (not to be confused with any other Prius model). I could add immense amount of supporting evidence, but will mention only: along with great looks (repeat: DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A PRIUS) and unbeatable mileage, IT HAS USB PORT (plus CD, Bluetoooth and excellent sound system). Front wheel drive has been perfectly up to 2 Montana winters, without even snow tires. Unless you need large capacity for cargo or people, it just can’t be beat.

  157. 157
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    So, we just pulled the trigger on a new Forester.

    We’ve been needing to replace the old Ranger for a while now. With some TLC (and a couple of kilobucks in parts and labor) it could go at least another 50k to 75k, but we need something that’s better for hauling the dogs, going camping, etc. The truck’s good for hauling dirt, but that’s about it. The Mazda 3 is a great daily driver, but not appropriate for dragging the Lab to field trials in the mud, and it’s a bit cramped for long camping trips (our gear will fit in it, technically, but you can’t see out the back and have to be careful when opening the hatch, lest all your gear explode out across the parking lot).

    We looked at the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, and the Forester. The CR-V had the roomiest interior and the smoothest ride, the CX-5 had the beefiest engine, but the Forester beat them on visibility, a reasonably dog-proof interior, and a ride that felt more assured and stable, if not quite as smooth as the Honda. Took the dogs up to Old Settler’s park in Round Rock this morning to break it in properly.

    And they did.

    We’ll see if we have issues with the AWD; this is our first Subaru, so we don’t know what to expect.

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