I’m posting this again - hoping for replies. I’ve been looking for a smallish awd vehicle - forever it seems! At first, thought I wanted a 2003 - 2008 range Subaru Forester S, manual Trans - but discovered the seats are really uncomfortable for me and the clutch is a long reach for me. Then looked at 2006 - 2008 Subaru Outback Limiteds. Wanted a 2007 but they are hard to find for some reason. Subies for sale in those years (what I can barely afford) have anywhere from 75k to over 130k - possibly meaning expensive repairs (timing belts, water pump, head gaskets, wheel bearings, etc). I’ve read lots of bad stories about the repair record in older Subies, so am getting a bit wary. I could deal with the sportshift in the auto Limiteds, but have noticed they seem to upshift at the wrong time. I just found a 2006 Ltd with manual trans, @71K, but then heard that isn’t the greatest year - seem to be a lot of issues, which is why I originally looked for a 2007.
So now I am back looking at Honda CRVs, but want a manual in a CRV. Found a 2002 but with 138k for @$6,000. Also have found a 2002 for @$9,000 and a 2004 for a @$10,500. I’m not in love with the Honda seats - a bit uncomfortable, feels like sitting on a piece of cardboard. I could probably have the seats padded. I really did want heated seats since I drive a lot in the winter, but I’ve read that heated seats can’t be put in certain year CRVs because it would interfere with the side (?) airbags.
So … I’m looking for advice - once again. Something tells me that I will feel more comfortable in the Subie, but may also be looking at less reliability because of age and mileage. The Honda price is attractive, but older and more mileage, and Honda CRVs have their issues, too. Then there’s the gas mileage on awds.
I like Mazdas, but can’t afford a new awd Mazda 5 or even an adequate Mazda 3, and I like the Ford Focus hatch. I’ve heard both the Mazdas and Focus are lousy in snow. which of the Subies/CRVs would be the best bet, or should I be looking at other cars/models? Help!!!