By on September 5, 2017

2003 Chevrolet Tahoe

Those of you who follow TTAC regularly and with some interest (so, 100 percent of you) are no doubt aware of a high-level used car search I’ve been conducting as of late. A rather unexpected purchase occurred this past Saturday while everyong was enjoying their long Labor Day weekend.

Come and have a look.

My search involves finding a suitable replacement for the giant beige Tahoe (pictured above) that’s occupied my driveway for the past year. Somewhere around month eight of ownership, it became clear the excess utility the excellent General Motors product provided was a bit wasted on me, a single person.

Without towing, child, or ornery pet responsibilities, it became a shuttle up and down the highway for family visits or regional travel, occasionally providing a ride to work (where it did not fit in part of the parking garage — too tall). It also carried items home from Lowe’s or wherever with aplomb. Still, ponderous handling and 14 mpg in town wears after a while. Time to hit the internet used car listings.

A few weeks ago I determined my price range and narrowed down my options. I wanted something well-equipped, comfortable, all-wheel drive, decently commodious for cargo, and something with a good reputation for reliability. Seven seats were not important, nor was a V8. This is all a part of the greater Corey’s Cars Plan, which sees a primary car in the garage (sporting rear-wheel drive and six or eight cylinders) while a practical all-weather vehicle sits outside.

Image: 2007 Lexus RX350, via Toyota

This criteria led me down the path to two vehicles; both different, and yet the same. The first one being a 2004-2006 Lexus RX330, and the second being a 2007-2009 RX350. The main difference between those is an engine with a timing chain rather than a belt, and a few interior and exterior details. It suited all the requirements I’d listed in my head (notice “cool” wasn’t one of them), and on paper was a safe choice.

Image, 2007 Lexus RX350, via Toyota

Until I got to the used listings, that is. There is a noticeable lack of second-generation RX models these days that are in good or better cosmetic and mechanical condition, haven’t done 175,000 miles, and are reasonable in asking price.

People (and dealers) with clean ones seem to want all the money, pricing them even above the fictional KBB asking prices. Irritating! I’d looked at three or four already, and none of them were even in good enough cosmetic condition to warrant a test drive. I just kept walking away.

Image: 2012 Subaru Key, image via eBay

However, an ad caught my eye on Friday, this one for a green wagon located about a half hour away from me, at a dealer. I’d done research on the model already, but dismissed it after I saw a couple for sale at lower trims or in poor condition. “Not my thing,” I said. But this example seemed a little different. It was clean, and the CarFax showed a history of regular servicing. So, Saturday afternoon I drove over through the humid, cool drizzle of  hurricane Harvey’s leftovers. A couple hours later, I had keys in my hand.

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It’s a 2012 Subaru Outback, in Cypress Green Pearl with an ivory leather interior. It has the 2.5-liter engine (3.6R models are scarce on the ground) and a CVT. While that’s the wrong cylinder count and the wrong sort of transmission for most of you, just hear me out.

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The Outback impressed me for what it did not do. It did not purport to be a Big Tough Truck like many CUVs out there. It did not have sporting pretensions about it that ruin the ride quality. It did not have low profile tires. There isn’t a big engine I won’t utilize which gulps down fuel. Practical.

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This particular example is a Limited trim, and had most every box checked with exception to navigation. Yes, the wood trim is of course artificial.

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Throughout the car, little touches err on the side of practicality and usefulness. Water bottle storage in every door, seats which fold down at the pull of a lever, a large cargo area. The middle seat belt strap goes up into the ceiling for storage when not in use, so it’s out of sight and out of mind.

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The materials throughout seem like they’ll wear nicely (they are certainly not all premium, mind you), and there’s a feeling of solidity. The doors make a particularly nice, solid sound upon opening and closure.

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It’s worth noting my dealership experience at Beechmont Subaru was quick and pleasant. No hard sell, no hours of negotiation, no pressuring. I came back an hour after signing on my offer, and my new ride was cleaned, vacuumed, filled with fuel, and the paperwork was ready for signature. This Outback is actually the first vehicle I’ve ever purchased from a dealer.

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It rides nicely, is decently quiet (boxer engine noise is still there), and I’ve already been doing 28 miles to the gallon without trying. Count me as a satisfied wagon/CUV customer. The rest of the post-cleaning photos are found below.

[Images: Toyota, eBay, Corey Lewis]

 

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105 Comments on “Where One of Your Authors Selects a New (Used) Crossover...”


  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Fits your needs. Check.
    In your budget. Check.
    (if I read this right) will not be a daily driver. Check.

    I can’t think of many vehicles that hold value better and suit what you say you want it to do than this.

    Plus, its not silver, beige, black, or white….

    Bravo!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Right color combo, definitely.

    I guess we’ll see if this holds your interest long enough for us to find out if all the bad things the B&B say about Subarus are true.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t want ANY BREAKING OF THINGS.

    • 0 avatar

      Dan, this is supposed to be a new design 2.5 in which the head gasket issues I’ve so vociferously complained about in other threads, have been resolved.

      As noted elsewhere, ’98-’02 were the worst because they would leak internally.

      However the ’03-’10 models leaked externally. We had an ’05 that was needing its SECOND head gasket repair when we traded for something else. The dealer – Day Subaru, W. Liberty Av., in the Dormont section of Pittsburgh – used factory parts instead of Fel-Pros.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Corey, if it’s not a secret, how many miles on it and how much did you pay? 2012 is still an EJ series engine, but I hope that the final few years finally minimized the headgasket issue to a statistical insignificance. Enjoy the new ride!

    • 0 avatar

      According to Subaru expert Bozi, the headgasket issues have been resolved and are a thing of the past – the worst of it being 98-02.

      Last year for a t-belt in this, as well. It was replaced at 129K miles.

      $9250

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The HGs are definitely still a problem area as late as ’09 from what I’ve seen (on a Forester with about 100k miles), but on the later EJs the leak is almost always external and can be both detected and monitored long in advance of when it might actually become a serious concern (several years).

        • 0 avatar

          So far no leaks, aside from an oil pan gasket which the dealer replaced before putting it on sale.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Just make sure that if the coolant was changed or if you have it changed to add the Subaru coolant conditioner or other stop leak. These leak where the stop leak can actually work.

            The other question is when were the axles changed and how about those wheel bearings.

          • 0 avatar

            That info isn’t listed in the CarFax, so hopefully among all that dealer maintenance they took care of it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Whatever you do, DON’T put that stop leak filth in your cooling system. Change the coolant with OE spec stuff at perhaps an accelerated interval, and keep an eye out for the beginnings of external leaks. But don’t put that Stop Leak garbage in there.

        • 0 avatar

          The 98-02 EJ25 has the most troublesome head gaskets. A lot failed. They used a slightly improved design for 03 to 05 models but it still some issues although they weren’t as common as previous ones. 2006 and up cars used an even better design with a smaller amount of cars showing issues. 2010 and up cars used an all new MLS head gasket which has slowed the rate of cars with head gasket leaks to a minimal amount.

          The gasket in the 2010 and up EJ253 cars is 11044AA770, which is the same one used on turbo motors such as the one in my WRX.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            This is very interesting info! I’ve heard people mention the material differences between NA and turbo HGs, good to know that Subaru wisened up and made the switch themselves. My brother has done a few of these, apparently the Fel-Pro gaskets are highly regarded. That, and a diligent mechanic that checks for any signs of warping when reassembling a motor that’s had the leak progress.

          • 0 avatar

            This, Bozi, makes total sense. When you learn the turbo 2.5 cars never had a gasket issue it becomes an easy process of elimination…that maybe the issue was the gaskets themselves.

            The parts department at the dealer I mentioned above admitted 2011 and newer were trouble-free.

      • 0 avatar
        Stanley Steamer

        Correction; worst of it being 98-09. Nevertheless, you’re not necessarily out of the woods unless the previous owner used only Subaru coolant and flushed it every 30k miles. It’s old acidic coolant sitting on the gasket seam (it doesn’t drain well due to the geometry of the flat engine) that degrades the gaskets.

        • 0 avatar

          It seems to have been maintained to dealer specification, and only at the dealer. They should’ve changed it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Sorry I didn’t mean to open that HG can of worms and rain all over your parade Corey. Just keep her maintained and take an occasional gander under the hood for sweating near the head/block interface, and ENJOY!

          • 0 avatar

            I’m supposing that should be pretty obvious as an issue when it occurs.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Initially the weeping can be quite minor:
            https://goo.gl/images/6NUhKD
            (that’s an early SOHC in the image)

            I think the good news is that due to the higher mileage in only 5 years, assuming the dealer changed the water pump when they did the t-belt (I’d check this), that implies that the original coolant was replaced at the 5 year mark, which I think the the perfect sort of aggressive coolant changing interval to follow in the future to minimize any oxidation of the gaskets going forward.

            I’m curious, what have other high-miler Outbacks/legacy owners of this generation said in regards to CVTs? I personally have not heard any horror stories.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          “It’s old acidic coolant sitting on the gasket seam (it doesn’t drain well due to the geometry of the flat engine) that degrades the gaskets.”

          Head gaskets are in constant contact with the coolant in every engine. What makes these gaskets different?

          Anyway, I’d follow Subaru’s recommendation and use their coolant conditioner; if that still applies to 2012 models. Why wait until it’s leaking to do it? It has even worked great for my friends and I on a number of non-Subaru coolant leaks.

          I’d avoid any other stop-leak products though. My experience with Bar’s was not a positive one. It caused plastic component damage by swelling a couple of o-rings and made the coolant look like muddy water. The leak returned right after flushing it out, but there were no apparent long-term effects.

        • 0 avatar

          Stanley, the difference between 98-02 and 03-09 is that the earlier ones were more inclined to leak internally. The later ones leaked outside. The repair needs to be done either way but the external leak can not only be spotted sooner, it’s not leaking coolant into oil passages, cylinder walls, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      We still have our class action letter for oil consumption on a 2012 Forester if you want me to load it up online for ya. :)

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      My ’11 is over 100k miles (about 115k now) and no head gasket leaks, good cv joints and the CVT is quiet and as responsive as when I purchased the vehicle in early ’13. Although the CVT fluid is supposedly “lifetime” I did a drain and refill with Valvoline Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid (804751)at 65k (about 6 qts) and plan to do it again at 120k miles. The fluid I drained was clean and had no burnt smell to it. The Outback enthusiast website shows very, very few complaints about the CVT having issues – believe me, some of the people on that site moan about any slight issue – so the CVT, to me, is pretty much a non-issue.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My brother never changed the fluid in his wife’s 2010 Rogue, onboard fluid life monitor said it still had life left in it, color looked good as well. The transmission crapped out at 186k suddenly and catastrophically, a tear down revealed a serious mechanical failure wholly unrelated to fluid condition. It’s good to hear that it can be drained/filled much like a convential automatic, I’ve just heard that they are very finicky about fluid properties and it’s best to leave well enough alone. Also good to hear that people aren’t having any pattern failures/issues.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I don’t want to hear about your brother’s dead Rogue. My Altima’s CVT started whining under load climbing grades at freeway speeds this weekend. You. You did this. It was fine until you started bringing up that Rogue around here.

          Anyway, we’ll see if a fluid change fixes that. Forums suggest that it…may work. Otherwise it could be a #awesome week and the start of lifetime CVT-phobia.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            If it makes you feel better, I don’t think the Rogue made any sort of sounds prior to failing, it just totally crapped out: engine just revved out freely all of a sudden on the highway. It’s definitely a design flaw of under-spec’d/undersized materials on a shaft and keyway that basically takes the full torque load of the motor. The engineers must know by now from many tear downs, and hopefully implemented changes in the current Nissan CVTs. My brother got a reman Nissan unit for about $2200 as I recall after core ($800), and did the work himself obviously. Installation was quite laborious unfortunately, book time is in excess of 12 hours IIRC. The ’10 Rogue is up to 192k miles and climbing steady, drives like new.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            There’s potentially an inaudible, undetectable transmission gremlin in addition to the one I can hear? Nope, not feeling better. If the whine re-occurs after the fluid change, the car is gone. It’s been a good cheap family sedan, but once ‘cheap’ leaves the equation it’s time to bail.

          • 0 avatar

            What’s the typical failure pattern for a CVT? Whining>slipping>fail? Or no noise>fail?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            30 mile how many miles on the Altima, and what sort of driving? City/Highway/flat/hilly?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Corey, unsure if there’s a hard and fast rule. Looks like Brother of Gtemnykh’s failed without notable warning signs. I’m seeing a fair amount on owners forums about audible mechanical whining under load & higher rpms, initially during hot weather on highway runs. For some it progresses until it fails or the transmission enters a protective mode where power is cut until it cools. And then fails. For others, it seems more frequent fluid changes fix it or stave it off for some years. This issue has a surprising online presence for how invisible it is in CR data.

            gtem,
            2012. 82K miles. Fluid changed at 42K when we purchased it. Mix of highway and town, but very little stop and go. Rental car first half of its life. That last factor hollers at me a bit, but some private owners are hard on their cars as well.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            30 mile it’s hard to say, the fact that it’s making noise is worrying, quite frankly I worry that it was that fluid change at 40k miles that may have done more harm than good if anything but factory Nissan fluid was used. These CVTs are incredibly precise mechanical marvels, and very well sealed up. I’m normally a big proponent of timely fluid changes in everything, but seeing how well the fluid was doing even at 186k and that the failure had nothing to do with it, I’d say unless the car sees heavy use, leave the fluid well enough alone, the risk of issues from an improper change exceed that of excessive wear from older fluid. A common OBD2 scanner can’t do it, but a proper technician’s scanner can tap into the transmission control module and pull out fluid life that is in fact monitored by the car.

            That Altima is worth quite a bit in a private party sale if it’s clean, I’d say wait until spring tax time and then sell it on craigslist.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            A Nissan dealer performed the fluid change, so the correct fluid was used. Interestingly, opinions are all over the place regarding proper change interval. Seems to vary from dealer to dealer and the recommended maintenance guide in the manual is essentially “as needed”.

            The whine is worrying. I had no trouble finding youtube videos of the exact noise and it’s associated with transmission failure both there and on forums. It’s infrequent now, but if it persists, I don’t think it is paranoid to assume the likelihood of failure is unacceptably high and that a remanufactured unit carries the same risk.

            I’m mulling over options. I’ve got a hangup over simultaneous car payments and any used vehicle in this Altima’s price range could have other issues. Devil you know vs. devil you don’t, and such.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Have you tried checking fluid level?

            Sad to say, but I don’t have much faith in dealer tech consistency these days. The right fluid may have been used, but did they make sure the level is correct? Cursory googling indicates that whining may be symptomatic of improper fluid level. You’re right, what the money from the sale of a ’12 Altima with 82k miles may yield in terms of a equally modern and reliable vehicle is kind of questionable. An off-lease ’15-ish Camry LE with a plain jane 6spd auto with cash or a small payment on top of dumping all the Altima proceeds would be a pretty rational option if you want to stay midsize. Or if saving money is the name of the game, a low mile Cruze Limited would give you midsize heft and refinement (maybe more than the Altima actually) but with less rear legroom and less power.

  • avatar

    Congrats on the new (to you) purchase! I figured that I’ll wind up with one of these eventually…as a Dad, I see this as the ultimate “Dadmobile” (a high compliment because I love being a Dad).

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Congrats on finally pulling the trigger.

    A coworker of mine just bought a new one and I try to park next to him with my 07 Legacy GT wagon (yes, I have to clarify it’s a GT every time) whenever possible. The size difference is quite remarkable, it’s amazing how much bigger cars have gotten in the last 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      “A coworker of mine just bought a new one and I try to park next to him with my 07 Legacy GT wagon (yes, I have to clarify it’s a GT every time) whenever possible. The size difference is quite remarkable, it’s amazing how much bigger cars have gotten in the last 10 years.”

      I saw a new Civic next to a 10ish year old Accord and I swear the Civic looked bigger.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Agreed. Just bought a sweet little CRV for wife, with rare Honda chrome wheels and the EX-L stuff and 60k miles. Her first gen is just not safe anymore, but she loves that size vehicle for errands. This 3rd gen is effectively new. However, it’s tiny compared to the 2011 and 2017 generations. Kind of alarmingly so, as good as it is. Thankfully, it’s airbagged out the wazoo, but still…

        As a side note, I think we’re losing styling “personality” as they balloon up to fill the most possible space in their allowed rectangle. Like those puffy soft car toys you can buy for toddlers.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Excellent choice and hooray for actual window frames. I don’t know why, but frameless windows just bug me.

    The only irk I have with the excellent color combo is the mix of both fake wood and fake metal. Interiors are usually either/or, but rarely both.

    Enjoy the Pleiades and keep us posted!

    • 0 avatar

      Interestingly, the metal on the center console area around the cup holder is real. On the center stack it’s plastic.

      I had an Impreza with frameless windows, and that’s not something I’d want again on a used car. The irritations with ice and wind noise are most unpleasant.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you like it, Corey.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    A neighbor behind us has one of these, I vividly remember watching as he and his father gazed upon it like it was a E-Type, which struck me as amusing.
    Of course this is essentially your daily beater so it’s purpose is a bit different.
    He briefly was separated from his wife, which struck me as even more amusing, details not known nor interested from my standpoint. But it would be fascinating, as an Outback driver doesn’t seem the type to step out on his wife. Similarly, I chuckle when I see a cigarette dangling outside the door of a Subaru.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Yep. We do notice when something falls outside the “box”. It’s human.

      My coworker took over a 97 from his mother. Green/gray. Lots of miles. Still, I was kinda jealous. It just did almost everything pretty well, and didn’t look to wimpy doing it.

      He got promoted and traded it for a JK Wrangler, which doesn’t do car stuff well at all. Image, I guess.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Good purchase, and great color combination.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    A good friend of mine’s Mom has an identical one – GREAT color! No particular issues with it that I have heard of. Replaced a 10yo one that was rotted out and had blown head gaskets though… Probably not as much of an issue for you.

    Please keep us informed as to how it goes. How’d you make out selling the Tahoe? I’m very casually looking at them because stupid me is thinking about buying a boat for my place in FL. It would replace the Saab 9-5 Mom-mobile/airport hack.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Corey,
    Congrats on a very fine looking car. I noticed it has a hitch. Do you know what the tow rating is?

    • 0 avatar

      Looks like it’s rated for 2,700 pounds. With the hitch that small, likely used for a bike rack or similar.

      • 0 avatar
        PhilMills

        Nice choice in car – I have a ’12 Premium in red.

        I had the local UHaul install a class-III (2″) hitch receiver for surprisingly little money (no factory one on my car) and it’s been fine pulling a 4×8′ utility trailer to Ikea, the dump, etc.

        Yeah, bigger than the previous generation, but not by as much as you’d think: Google says:
        2003 Legacy Outback: 184-187″ L x 69″ W x 58-63″ H
        20012 Outback : 188″ L x 72″ W x 66″ H

        A hair longer, 3″ wider and 3″ taller. Considering (a) the ground clearance and (b) the huge swaths of legroom in the 2010-now model, I’ll take that kind of growth.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Good choice!

    I’m on my second Subaru, and I’ll probably eventually get a third one to haul my skis and bikes around.

    Subaru gets a few things right that will keep me coming back:
    -Excellent visibility.
    -Excellent AWD system.
    -Availibility of manual transmissions with AWD, heated seats, and a sunroof.
    -Enough cargo room to throw a bike in the back without removing the front wheel.

    While they aren’t the most reliable vehicles I’ve ever owned, they seem to offer enough unique advantages to keep me as a customer.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Excellent visibility? How tall are you? I’m 6’2″-6’3″ depending on what day I’m measured. I have driven a wagon exactly like the one above, and it has about the worst forward visibility of anything I can remember except a certain sports car where my eye-line was even with the top of the windshield frame. The Outback’s combination of thick and steeply slanted A-pillars, short windshield height, and comically large rear view mirror housing made it a miserable car to drive. It was about then that I noticed that my plethora of Subaru-driving customers were all in the range of heights below a 90th percentile woman.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Interesting. We must have different body measurements. I’m 6’3″ and the reason the Outback made the final cut was the superior site lines for me. It wasn’t my Trooper (which is like the Popemobile) but the Outback is excellent. I see just enough of the hood to make good decisions.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I have an unfortunate 33″ inseam. Off the rack stuff is too short(32″) or too long(34″). I might not have had the seat as low as it would go, but that wouldn’t have changed the slant and thickness of the pillars. The rear view mirror housing would still have blocked out more of the world than I’d prefer, particularly since rearward visibility wasn’t grand in spite of it’s obstructive presence.

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    Must be nice to throw all that money at a part time vehicle.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The big question, of course, is this, Corey: do your dogs love it? It is a Subaru, after all…

    (Mazel Tov!)

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    My wife has an ’11 Premium-trim with the same color combo. She drives 60 miles round trip daily to and from her office. I asked her if she’d like to trade up to a newer one but she stated “H3ll No!”. After 100k miles of daily commuting plus a 4800 mile trip around the Western US last year. I consider it one of the best vehicles I’ve owned. The little blue LED shower light in the overhead that cascades light on the console is pretty cool and useful. Corey, you might consider installing the 19mm STI rear stabilizer bar (around $100 and 15 to 20 minutes with no need for a jack). The bar takes a lot of the sway out of these Outbacks on windy days and really flattens out the cornering. Good choice – ignore the ignorant.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Looks good. Nice to see a dealer that believes in a proper detailing.

    Buying a used vehicle is always an adventure…Looks like you found what you wanted..In my way of thinking , thats all that counts ; )

  • avatar
    mikey

    Oh… I hear ya. ..I thought that was just too well done for a dealer…I too have my own perception of “detailed “.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Green Bean! That’s what my kid and I call out when we spot the rare green Outback. Even more rare are the brown ones…you don’t want to hear that call….

    Congrats Corey – your Outback will be a little beast in the rain. Mine just outlasted/maneuvered Harvey and is ready for more (play…not rain).

    Personally I like the little blue LED…although it took me a while to figure out it’s purpose.

    Do keep an eye on your CVT and despite ‘Not Required’ labels do in fact change that CVT oil every 60k. My CVT (2013) blew at 75k; Subaru replaced for free and in fact has extended everyone’s warranty to 100k. I can’t imagine that with a heavier AWD wagon why the CVT would not be working harder than in a more common application like a Civic or such. I do on occasion pull a pop-up with my 2.5 and we get along fine.

    Be sure to order your Badge of Ownership. It’s the secret handshake. I actually saw one the other day – it was the guy’s 8th. That’s a little crazy….

    https://www.badgeofownership.com/

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, I had seen one of those badges before, but it never occurred to me it was a real thing you got for free.

      Hmmm.

      I suppose I should assume my CVT oil has never been changed, in which case it’s way past due.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I’d want to get a good look at the CVT oil. Its condition would determine the next change interval.

        Differential oil, too. A single change to get the break-in oil out is often all a light-duty vehicle ever needs.

        Looks like the previous owner treated the vehicle with respect. So even if the CVT oil hasn’t been changed, I’d be confident it at least hasn’t been subject to abuse.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Over 129k miles? That’s a heck of a clean interior.

    Nice purchase. Next thing, you’ll be moving over here to Subie-land.

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    Congrats Corey! That’s a lovely color combination, probably my favorite for that car! If you were only looking at RX’s in the under $10,000 price range, I understand your frustration. Closer to 15,000, and they are much nicer though. Mine was about 13,900 two years ago with 137,000 miles (which is more miles than I like). But It’s a Lexus and they hold their value like no other car company. Also you have a very beautiful yard.

    • 0 avatar

      It didn’t seem to matter if I was okay with spending $9k or $12k on an RX, I’d be getting too little for what I was spending.

      And thanks, happily all those things come up by themselves, and I just have to chop stuff down.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Geez I was hoping to look st an RX hybrid once the kid takes over my car but maybe not….

        • 0 avatar

          The hybrid models seem to be worth a bit less than the regular gasoline versions. I was a bit leery of 1) old hybrid batteries and an 2) early-ish CVT from Toyota pulling around all that weight.

          As well, the hybrid motor remained the 3.3L, so you’ve still got a 3) timing belt.

          It was really three strikes for the hybrid there.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “early-ish CVT from Toyota pulling around all that weight.”

            Corey you misunderstand Toyota calling their HSD transmissions “eCVT.” Nothing like a mechanical CVT with its cones and bands, it is a very sturdy unit with something like only 27 moving parts IIRC.

          • 0 avatar

            Interesting. I’d still be scared of old hybrid batteries though, even if the timing belt issue weren’t there.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I think the risk from old hybrid batteries is pretty similar to the risk from an old conventional transmission (whether auto or CVT). Replacement cost is even in the same ballpark. Lots of Toyota hybrids go past 300,000 miles with the original batteries.

            But, yes, don’t confuse the “CVT” that is actually a simple planetary gearset that allows a secondary electric motor to modulate the gas engine’s speed with a conventional CVT. The “transmission” is the best thing about Toyota and Ford hybrids and is almost impossible to break.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    I agree, the house in Great Neck has a neat wet bar.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Congrats Corey! Here’s hoping it treats you well.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Congrats on a new to you set of wheels! Hope you don’t get bored with it :)

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I have never seen such an extensive analysis of the purchase of a used vehicle in an online discussion, or in person, without any revelation of how many miles the vehicle in question has on it.

    It’s certainly the owner’s prerogative to withhold that information, but please don’t blame us for noticing it’s being done.

  • avatar

    Love the color. The car is personal taste which is beyond mine.

    I’ll pour one out for the GMT800.

  • avatar
    incautious

    An outback really. You got to be kidding. You will have issues with the CVT. you will have issues with leaking valve covers. You will have head gasket issues. not to mention so so MPG You will be a left lane road hog because you can barely keep up with the flow of traffic. For the same money you could have purchased a 2012 ford escape. Even the 2.5 would do circles around this boat anchor.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      It’s quite laughable to compare an Outback to that generation Escape, Subie historic headgasket issues and all. Escapes have structural rust issues, the 6F35 transmissions have historically more issues than I’ve ever heard a modern Subaru CVT having, and they’re just cheap and noisy and uncomfortable boxes to drive.

      • 0 avatar

        The Escape is also a size class down, and is not as luxurious really in any trim.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          But interestingly enough – both the Escape and the Outback – beloved by dog owners.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I think in practical terms interior room is pretty competitive, although the Escape definitely is like a Forester with a shorter and taller cargo area and very upright cabin, the Outback is definitely more wagon-like in that regard: shorter height cargo area, but longer.

          The interiors are definitely cheap, very boomy and noisy (like a Forester or maybe worse) the overall build quality with tons of orange peel, things like plastic swaybar links, just don’t inspire much confidence. The Outback is definitely a cut above.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Love the green colour. Hopefully it treats you well and you’ll definitely make out okay if you go to sell it in the future.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    @Corey

    I missed this because I recently bought real estate and my graduate class started late August (in addition to already concurrent daily trips to the urban death maze). My only thought other than they say geniuses pick green, is why used? You can’t do Subbie used in USDM, its like Kramer’s bottle deposit scheme where the numbers just don’t add up. What gives?

    • 0 avatar

      Congrats on your land purchase!

      I found one where the math did add up for me. It was newer than any RX in budget, and in much better condition than what I’d shopped previously. One owner, and a full service history at the dealer since new.


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