Where Your Author Sells a Subaru During a Pandemic (Part II)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
where your author sells a subaru during a pandemic part ii

Today brings Part II of my 2012 Subaru Outback’s sales and ownership story, as the green all-terrain wagon recently pulled from the driveway for good. If for some reason you didn’t read Part I, find it here.

Now we press on with the vulgar topic of money.

It seemed commerce was picking up a bit at the beginning of June, so I relisted the Outback on Facebook around the 10th at an ask of $7,400. I listed it with some new pictures (post hail damage), even though it wasn’t really noticeable unless the body was examined closely. As noted last time, I decided not to fix the hail dents even though my comprehensive insurance covered it in full. It didn’t seem fiscally prudent to fix relatively minor damage on a car I was fully finished owning. And I figured any buyer would either fail to notice, or fail to care. The $1,898 in my pocket felt nice.

Interest throughout June was somewhat low, with the usual “Is this available?” type questions with no follow up, and offers of “$5,000 cash, firm” — whatever that even means. Things changed on July 7th, when a buyer showed up on time to check out the car. They were impressed with the cleanliness and condition (and didn’t mention the hail damage). After a short test drive they made a reasonable offer, and had cash on hand. The painless process took about an hour altogether. Sale price: $7,000.

The Outback was purchased on September 2nd, 2017 with 159,683 miles. Purchase price was $9,254, or $10,202 out the door. Once more I proved how little mileage my vehicles accumulate, as when I transferred the title to its new owner, the odometer read 167,809. During my ownership span, I had just two unexpected servicings. When I drove the Outback in the dark for the first time, I noticed the headlamps were almost entirely ineffective. Turned out they were installed upside down by someone careless, perhaps at the selling dealer, perhaps elsewhere. The dealer put it right for $45.

On a warm day in April 2018, I noticed a strong smell of coolant while driving (I headed home immediately), and a puddle under the radiator formed once it was parked. My independent mechanic discovered a rubber bypass cap split in two. The part was $11, and the labor and coolant refill $66. Other than that, oil changes at the dealer were complimentary, as was the Takata airbag exchange on the passenger side. All in all, the high-mileage Outback had a pretty low cost ownership experience.

I know the green egg will serve its new owners well and carry the small dogs they’ll be putting in the back. As for me, the Outback marked my one and only ownership experience of a CVT-equipped vehicle.

[Images: Corey Lewis / TTAC]

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6 of 50 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jul 14, 2020

    I'm waiting for Part Three, "Where Your Author Shares The Newly Acquired $7000 In Wealth."

    • See 3 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jul 15, 2020

      @FreedMike 2.875% 15y fixed 499$ closing costs

  • Davew833 Davew833 on Jul 15, 2020

    I still shudder when I see the exaggerated, perfectly semi-circular wheel arch "brows" stamped into the fenders of the first Outbacks of this generation. Fortunately, Subaru softened them significantly in subsequent model years, improving the overall look of the car, IMHO. My '07 Outback LL Bean 3.0 H6 is still going strong on the original 5 spd automatic transmission at 304k miles. (I replaced the engine with a lower mileage one a few years ago when the head gasket began to leak). I can't see myself ever driving a CVT by choice.

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.