Looking at used Subarus for my 16-year-old

Looking at used cars for my 16 yr old son. Narrowed down to a used Subaru. Looking at Imprezza, Forester, Outback, or Legacy. Any suggestions on better model and better years? Looking to spend under $8k if possible.

Google “Subaru head gasket problems”. What made you decide on Subaru? Their supposed better safety? (They aren’t).

Maybe head gaskets have already been replaced, his was a 2014, and was worried about taking a trip and thinking of getting rid of the sub. I said don’t worry take the trip, there are no guarantees.

I might suggest passing on an All Wheel used vehicle of that age . Especially one that does not do well with mismatched tires .

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Why not ask your kid if he has a preference?

Usually you narrow it down to class/size of car and then decide between different makes. Budget is also a significant factor. If you do not need AWD, then don’t buy a Subaru. Otherwise, if money is not an issue, the larger the car the safer it will be, but it will use more gas.

Speaking as someone who is now driving his 3rd Subaru (and who plans to buy #4 w/in a year or so),
I would not buy a used AWD vehicle. In addition to the always-existing possible problems with used cars resulting from lousy maintenance on the part of the previous owner(s), you have to add the chance of damage to the AWD system caused by failure to rotate the tires on a consistent basis and/or running the car with mis-matched tires.

All too many people do not maintain their cars properly (overly extended oil change intervals, failure to change the trans fluid every 30k miles, failure to flush the brake fluid every 3 years) and these bad practices will cause the new buyer’s wallet to explode as a result of repair costs. But, when you add the probability of AWD problems because of bad practices in regard to the car’s tires, you are just adding to the list of potential time bombs.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Decided to look at used Honda Accords. May have to up the budget a bit to get one. 2013 appears to be the most reliable of all model years.

Don’t go by year . All used vehicles need to stand on their own . A good shop will charge about 125.00 to look it over . Example : If one year had transmissions that were not as good as it should have been the vehicle you look at could have had it fixed .

I agree 100%. I was on my 3rd transmission on my 99 TL (before I sold it) which supposedly was deemed bulletproof by the car experts (4spd).

I will most certainly take whatever I am looking at to my local mechanic whom I’ve built a relationship for a PPI.

Subarus seem over rated to me but my experience with them is pre 2000 models. Early on I saw that the reliability and safety reputation was somewhat over stated and like Volvo they have gone down the path of opulence tacked onto declining safety and reliability despite their image. The plain Jane Honda Pilot seems a much better buy for the buck to me. But then I drive a 1989 S-10 Blazer so what do I know?

Accord is dad car. Why not a civic? Si.

Accord is one of my usual recommendations in cases like this, along with Civic, Corolla and Camry.

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Note that the Accord V6 engine has a timing belt and needs to be replaced every 7 years or 105,000 miles, whichever comes first. I’d bet that anyone selling a 2013 V6 doesn’t want to pay for the timing belt change. I replaced the timing belt on my 2005 in 2012 for $700. That included the timing belt, water pump, coolant, and serpentine belt. I suppose it could be over $800 by now. I replaced my Accord EX V6 with a 2017 Accord EX L with the 4-cylinder and CVT transmission. I’m happy with it. You didn’t say whether you would consider the V6, and I thought I’d tell you of a probable big up front expense.

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Wow guess you had a Honda dealer do the timing belt service. I replaced timing belt/water pump/belt tensioner twice on my Acura TL and never paid more than $500 from a local mechanic.

On my fourth Subie and I don’t recommend used ones to anybody.

Thanks everyone. I think we can officially put this topic to bed.

Looking at used Accords. No more Subarus.

I don’t understand the idea of only looking at a certain brand and model . That takes a lot of what might be a good used vehicles off the table.

Time for my subi story. Sold some real nice winter tires to a subi owner in January. Guy came with his teen son to get tires. I looked at his current tires to verify size and they were bald. Not worn, not so-so, but bald. He said now he felt better letting son drive car with good tires.

Yes, it was the dealer, and they had the lowest price in town. It depends on where you live. The parts cost is little compared to the labor involved.