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1987 Toyota 4runner
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm a college student in need of a new SUV. I did some research on different ones, and the Subaru Forester came out to be my top choice.

I'm looking for an all wheel drive Sport Utility Vehicle with an automatic transmission, good gas mileage, good crash test rating, 100k miles on odometer or less, around $5,000 to $6,000, has a CD player, and something a 6 foot tall person would be able to drive comfortably.

The Subaru Forester seems to meet all of my criteria except for dependable and reasonably priced replacement parts upon reading all of the topics here about blown head gaskets and how the dealership charges and arm and a leg for repairs.

If I were to purchase a Forester, I'd probably get one made in the year 2000.

Any suggestions?
 

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2009 forester
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10 Posts
why not get the 2nd generation or the current forester? but still if you prefer the 2000 model it is still a good choice!:icon_biggrin:
 

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Premium Member
2007 Forester XT Sport
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3,082 Posts
Learn how to work on one and you won't get raped by the dealership. Or find a good local private mechanic. IMO people rely too much on the dealerships, I didn't grow up that way (my dad is a mechanic). Parts are cheap to be had online. Not sure about the HG's, but you can look for one that's already had that replaced. Or save a little more and get a newer one.
I know many, many Subarus with over 300,000 on the odometer.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
+ 1 for checking around your area for either reputable dealers or Subaru specialists if you aren't into DIY servicing.

If you'd add some more info as to your location in your profile, that'll help. Prices may vary region to region and you might find something just outside your locale that may make the drive worthwhile as many members have found. Auto Trader & ebay Motors are also good starting points for models in your price range. Also check dealers websites, I'm finding more and more with internet pricing
 

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1987 Toyota 4runner
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Why not get the 2nd generation or the current forester? But still if you prefer the 2000 model, it is still a good choice! :icon_biggrin:
The new ones are out of my price range.

Something I don't get is how the year it was made and the price go hand in hand. I feel the price should be dependent on the mileage. In my mind, a 2008 with 200,000 miles on it is worse than a 2000 with 100,000 miles, but in general, when I'm looking at possible vehicles to buy, they want a huge price for newer vehicles no matter what.

Learn how to work on one and you won't get raped by the dealership. Or find a good local private mechanic. IMO people rely too much on the dealerships, I didn't grow up that way (my dad is a mechanic). Parts are cheap to be had online. Not sure about the HG's, but you can look for one that's already had that replaced. Or save a little more and get a newer one.

I know many, many Subarus with over 300,000 on the odometer.
It's good to know that Subarus can last that long!

My Dad has been friends with a mechanic for many, many years, and he always gives our family a discount. Unfortunately, I've had to visit him a lot since I currently drive a 22 year old truck!

I'm not sure what else to ask so go ahead and tell me anything you think might be helpful to me. I've never bought a vehicle before, and I don't want to end up with a unreliable vehicle or anything like that.
 

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2014 2.0XT CVT
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3,083 Posts
well my 2001 Forester went 218K (hard) miles before I traded it in. I'll be honest I beat the hell out of it and never had a problem. Did oil changes every 3 months (for me that was about 8K miles) and didn't have the timing belt replaced till 180K miles (yes that was a little late) so Foresters to me are absolutely dependable. It was pretty easy to work on yourself as well and parts weren't over priced when I needed them.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,105 Posts
The Subaru Forester seems to meet all of my criteria except for dependable and reasonably priced replacement parts upon reading all of the topics here about blown head gaskets and how the dealership charges and arm and a leg for repairs.
If you're looking for a Subaru that will run forever with minimal repair costs I'd look into the 2.2 models like the early to mid 90's Legacy. The word bullet-proof comes to mind.
 

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NA No more! :(
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8,529 Posts
Problem there is that most of the 2.2s were in short little sedans and wagons lol

Not sure if that would work well with a 6ft person :D
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,221 Posts
I may be the only one, but I think it's funny that the Forester is classified as a SUV like a Cherokee. It's a car designed to do what Stupid Urban Vehicles can barely do. So, you get the benefits of a car (decent mileage, great handling) with the utility of a truck-like vehicle. It's the SUV for people who dislike SUVs, like me. :biggrin:

I buy all my vehicles with around 100,000 miles on them. This way I beat the depreciation curve and know what the usual problems are. Subarus have proven to be a pretty safe bet with this plan.

I recommend trying to find an independent shop or used car dealer that specializes in Subarus. We have a few around here. My closest one won't put a 2.5 on the lot without doing the HG's first even though he sells them all "as-is". Or, if you find one being offered privately that has documentation of HG replacement, that would be the other choice. Or, you can do like I did and buy one without any documentation really cheap and risk it, which I did. And lost. :icon_rolleyes: But, even after paying to have it fixed I was still where it should be worth. The HG issue is really the only one of huge concern (and making sure the timing belt gets done at the proper interval, which is common to most cars now).

Subarus hold their value so well because people rarely sell them before they are worn out. We are pretty brand loyal once we buy one. It used to be rust that killed them; now without that problem being common there isn't much to stop them going 200,000 plus with basic maintenance. Aside from the 2.5 HG issue, the basic entire suspension/drivetrain setup is a proven and evolved design that dates back to the early 1970s. Tried and tested.

Be an educated, savvy and patient shopper and you'll find what you want. :icon_biggrin:
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,253 Posts
As mentioned HG's on early models need replaced (probably) and the timing belt/wp, seals, idlers, etc are replaced at 105 k miles. I would be leery buying an older Subaru frankly. Even though they are reliable...these 2 items are likely to cost 2500. And if the Auto tranny goes you are looking at another 2K+.

Do you really need AWD??

If so (I hate to say this) CRV's are less maintenance intensive. They are bullet proof.
 

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2010 Forester X Premium
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942 Posts
Yeah CRV's are bullet proof but then tight. So for someone that is 6ft is not the perfect car, is just not confi. I have CRV and forester, if I would have to choose just one I think forester gets the hand up for comfort.
 

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1987 Toyota 4runner
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
As mentioned HG's on early models need replaced.

Do you really need AWD??
No.

Yeah CRV's are bullet proof but then tight. So for someone that is 6ft is not the perfect car, is just not confi. I have CRV and forester, if I would have to choose just one I think forester gets the hand up for comfort.
How about the bigger version of the CRV? Like the Pilot or the Passport.
 
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