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  1. Post
    #1

    Advice Wanted: Considering a 2004+ 3.0 Subaru Legacy wagon

    Hi CB&M,

    Time for another new car advice thread!
    I am after a small/medium sized station wagon as a daily driver + camping/hiking workhorse. I've always liked Legacys, and have been looking at an 04+ 3.0 litre Legacy as they seem to be quite good value, without the headgasket reliability issues of the 2.0 and 2.5 litre.
    I've seen a few at $5k to $6k with 100,000 to 130,000 KMs on them.
    I can't find many other cars that compete at that price point, so was just wondering if there's something I am missing here.

    Here's an example of what I am looking at.
    https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Lis...?id=1869174154

    What do you guys think of these cars?

    If you can think of anything else in that price range that would be good I would be interested to hear opinions. I'd also be happy to go for a smaller sport wagon (like an SP20 or an Impreza).

  2. Post
    #2
    Awesome wagons, imo the best looking generation of Subaru ever made. Get a pre purchase inspection done it for sure though.

  3. Post
    #3
    ludez wrote:
    Awesome wagons, imo the best looking generation of Subaru ever made. Get a pre purchase inspection done it for sure though.
    Agreed. Wife has had a 2003 3.0R sedan for over 5 years now, and aside from regular maintenance stuff, it’s been rock solid. Plenty of power, comfortable, and AWD would be good for those camping/hiking back roads.

  4. Post
    #4
    Had a couple of them come into work for failed belt tensioners\idler pulleys. Also seen a quite a few on trademe with timing chain tensioners etc done at higher k's, so probably a good idea to have that done in the future along with belt system, water pump etc, esp if you gonna keep it. Or you could buy one higher km one that's been done already.

  5. Post
    #5
    ^ What sort of k’s are you talking about?

  6. Post
    #6
    Cars with larger engines make for extremely good buying these days - people are afraid of fuel consumption (and reliabilty issues) so you can get something nice for less than what a basic Corolla or whatever would set you back.

    On the flip side the fuel consumption concerns aren't exactly off the mark in this case, those things are utter pigs around town

  7. Post
    #7
    Frederick James wrote:
    ^ What sort of ks are you talking about?
    Seen as low as 150k region but typically early mid 200k. Some had the chain guides done also presumably caused by the weak tensioner. I think they updated the tensioner design at some point.

  8. Post
    #8
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Good to know that they're fairly reliable, thanks for the detailed information concerning issues to look for Eagle.
    Regarding fuel economy, I'm not toooo concerned about this as it most likely won't be used for long commutes (won't be living in Auckland). Obviously a more economical car would be better, but I think if I went for something with a smaller engine it'd be a bit of a tradeoff concerning all the other things I'd be wanting to do with the car. After reading the horror stories about the 2.0 and 2.5 Legacys I'm willing to shell out a little more on gas for the peace of mind that the H6 engine brings.
    I forgot to mention in the OP that I may also be looking at some light towing (small boat) in the future, which is a bit of a + for the 3.0 Legacy.

  9. Post
    #9
    What horror stories have you heard of the 2.0s assuming you mean the turbo ej20s?
    They are just as reliable if not more.

  10. Post
    #10
    Other than the inability to contain oil, headgaskets, coolant or big end bearings? Yeah, totally as reliable.

  11. Post
    #11
    Generally the headgasket issue on the (non turbo) ej20. I believe the turbo ej20 used a different gasket in the older models which made it less susceptible to this issue. Subaru even released a 'special coolant' that they recommended people use to mitigate the issue.

    I know that only bad stories get told etc so the issue is over represented when you search the internets, but there are a loooootttttt of stories about them blowing head gaskets so I'm just a bit wary.

  12. Post
    #12
    The 3.0 doesn't blow head gaskets.

    Overall the 3.0, and the Legacy in general is a very reliable car.

  13. Post
    #13
    My 3.0r was very reliable. Only issue I had was the clunky first gear auto thing, which apparently is fixed with a software update. Sold it before I got around to doing it

    I blew up my 2.0T.

    Ez30>ej20

    Sent from my M6 Note using Tapatalk

  14. Post
    #14
    My non turbo SOHC 2.0 was trouble free with 350,000km on the clock

  15. Post
    #15
    You were doing it wrong.

    Sent from my M6 Note using Tapatalk

  16. Post
    #16
    Osiry wrote:
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Good to know that they're fairly reliable, thanks for the detailed information concerning issues to look for Eagle.
    Regarding fuel economy, I'm not toooo concerned about this as it most likely won't be used for long commutes (won't be living in Auckland). Obviously a more economical car would be better, but I think if I went for something with a smaller engine it'd be a bit of a tradeoff concerning all the other things I'd be wanting to do with the car. After reading the horror stories about the 2.0 and 2.5 Legacys I'm willing to shell out a little more on gas for the peace of mind that the H6 engine brings.
    I forgot to mention in the OP that I may also be looking at some light towing (small boat) in the future, which is a bit of a + for the 3.0 Legacy.
    My wife drives to and from work, 12k’s each way, through the Hamilton suburbs into town, and gets about 400k’s out of a tank. So it’s not got the best fuel economy, but it’s not the worst either.

    Oh, and has a tow bar - it’s a decent towing vehicle.

  17. Post
    #17
    Only thing that goes on them is the door lock motors

  18. Post
    #18
    I have had my Subaru 3.0R 6MT BPE for about 5 years now.
    It has been a great car, a real do it all while still being able to go fast when it needs to.
    I haven't had to do anything huge mechanically on it, but I look after it really well and don't cheap out on anything when a fix is recommended.

    And yes as above, my FL door lock motor is going weird just now. I have heard you can just clean up the grease. It works but sometimes gets sticky and I have to press the lock button a few times - DIY FIX

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  19. Post
    #19
    Alright, I think I've decided on a car to go for.
    I'm looking at this:
    https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/use...1679306243.htm

    2004 3.0R for $4499 including ORC.
    It looks like a trade-in, and has no service history or anything.
    I'm fairly confident buying from a dealer as I'll be covered by the CGA and FTA if anything goes wrong, and they've stated that there are no mechanical issues. It's just had a fresh WoF and service, and I've asked the salesman to send me through the WoF and service sheets.

    It's a good price, and apart from the vomit inducing mags on it, looks pretty straight with no obvious dents or blemishes.

    I'll be buying sight unseen as I'm not back in the country until the 23rd of Feb.

    What does the GP CB&M hive mind think? To buy, or not to buy?

    In other news, anyone know where I can pick up a cheap set of factory alloys?

  20. Post
    #20
    Osiry wrote:
    Alright, I think I've decided on a car to go for.
    I'm looking at this:
    https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/use...1679306243.htm

    2004 3.0R for $4499 including ORC.
    It looks like a trade-in, and has no service history or anything.
    I'm fairly confident buying from a dealer as I'll be covered by the CGA and FTA if anything goes wrong, and they've stated that there are no mechanical issues. It's just had a fresh WoF and service, and I've asked the salesman to send me through the WoF and service sheets.

    It's a good price, and apart from the vomit inducing mags on it, looks pretty straight with no obvious dents or blemishes.

    I'll be buying sight unseen as I'm not back in the country until the 23rd of Feb.

    What does the GP CB&M hive mind think? To buy, or not to buy?

    In other news, anyone know where I can pick up a cheap set of factory alloys?
    Do a pre purchase inspection, just because you're covered for sometime doesn't mean you won't have any issues. Looks pretty tidy though

    You'd be looking at 500+ for a set of factory wheels with tyres. In good condition

  21. Post
    #21
    Don't buy sight unseen. There is no shortage of these sort of vehicles so you don't need to worry about missing out on one.

  22. Post
    #22
    Yeah, you really want to have it inspected by someone who knows them.

  23. Post
    #23
    Loving my wagon. Glad I bought a NZ new one as the interior seems nicer and it comes with 8 airbags as opposed to the JDM one that only had 2 for some reason.

    The McIntosh stereo is also really good, I was quite surprised.



  24. Post
    #24
    Disinfo wrote:
    Don't buy sight unseen. There is no shortage of these sort of vehicles so you don't need to worry about missing out on one.
    Agreed. There are so many out there now, i'd say to buy one locally so you can see it. Even if you get it inspected or someone else to view it, you never know if it will be up to your own standards.

    That one in the link has yellowing headlights and a dent in front of the passengers rear wheel, but its hard to see more from shitty low res photos taken in the wet.

    Also, i'd buy a facelift one personally Nicer interior and exterior than PFL.

  25. Post
    #25
    I'd stay away from Merchant Motors. I was looking around for a new car around a month ago and went to their lot. Horrible to deal with, lots of promises that they wouldn't put down on paper and just generally unprofessional. Check out some reviews https://tinyurl.com/y9tuay5d