Home » I Don’t Regret Buying A New Subaru

I Don’t Regret Buying A New Subaru

No Regrets Subaru Bozi 2
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I’ve driven a lot of new cars for short periods of time as part of my media and racing work, but much like Matt, I’ve stuck to used cars for my personal vehicles. That all changed in late 2015, when I purchased a brand new 2016 Subaru WRX. That new car smell was absolutely special as I picked it up that November, and while both Matt and I started off with new 2016 Subarus, my experience has been exactly the opposite of what Matt shared in his recent story. I’ve enjoyed almost all of the 200,000 miles that I’ve put on my WRX.

My overall ownership experience has been positive without a whole lot of annoyances but, unlike Matt, I have actually been left stranded by my Subaru as part of the one bigger issue that I experienced since its early years. Outside of the clutch issue (more on that later), most of the other expenses associated with my WRX have been standard maintenance or related to activities that I’ve chosen to do, such as track days. As with Matt’s example, I also want to add the disclaimer that this is all based on my experience so your mileage may vary.

Vidframe Min Top
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[Ed Note: Bozi is a good buddy and has even assisted me in my Subaru ownership when he helped identify that the random screws I found were, in fact, left by a technician and not something more serious. The same week I was complaining about my Subaru he was praising his, so it seemed only fair to allow him to offer the counterpoint. – MH]

Why I Bought A WRX

I was always the type to chase used cars and projects and much of my earlier writing work revolved around fixing up broken cars. All of my new car experiences were very short as they either happened through week-long loans or over a couple of days on a new car launch. A combination of getting fed up with keeping my projects running and just wanting to have a car with modern features led me on hunt for a new car in the fall of 2015.

My daily driver at the time was a 2005 Cadillac STS that I had purchased at a salvage auction and fixed up for a couple of thousand dollars and, while it was generally reliable, it was still a 10 year-old GM product that would occasionally leave me with a day or two worth of work depending on what failed.

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I wanted a reliable daily driver that was fun so I settled on a new WRX and started reaching out to dealers and negotiating. I ended up with a base WRX from a local North Carolina dealer for $25,477 plus taxes and fees. Interest rates were great at the time so I took out loan at two percent which put me at a reasonable payment of $380 per month after trading in the Cadillac to basically cover the taxes and fees.

The Honeymoon Period

Wrx Track Day

The early days with the WRX were filled with lots of excitement. I subscribe to the approach that you don’t need to be soft on engines when they’re new so it wasn’t too long after I picked it up that I took the car on road trips and even did some track days. The car was a great fit for me and predictable due to my history of owning a variety of Subarus.

I resisted the urge to modify it extensively like I had done with my previous ones because I wanted to have that daily driver reliability. I chose to do minor changes on it that included better brake pads and tires, but left the engine alone. I completed my first oil change early and then visited the local Subaru dealer every 6,000 miles for further oil changes where everything went pretty routinely. The only things I touched on the car were the cabin air filter and engine air filter, which I replaced around the 30,000-mile mark.

Here Come The Problems

As the car approached 35,000 miles I noticed an occasional light grinding noise when putting the car into reverse and brought it up to the service advisor at the dealer as I was getting an oil change. They had a technician drive it and they confirmed that they could reproduce the grind but could not guarantee that it would be covered under warranty because they believed it to be a clutch-related issue that could have been caused by my driving style. I went back and forth with the dealer and their final estimation was that the pressure plate may have some heat damage and that it was unlikely that they would cover it since I had tracked the car.

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I did not choose to go through the advanced diagnostic at the time and decided to diagnose the issue on my own. Eventually, I was able to find others online that experienced similar and had found it to be related to a run of clutch release bearings that were noisy. I left it alone as it wasn’t getting worse, which was a mistake on my part because it eventually ended up jamming and cracking the clutch release fork. This left me stranded because I couldn’t change gear but, fortunately, I wasn’t too far from home and once I got it back to my home shop, I decided to drop the gearbox and investigate.

Wrx Broken Clutch Fork

This is where my experience takes a positive turn mostly due to my resources of having a shop at home and the ability to drop out the gearbox, and it is something that I admit would not have been possible for someone like Matt living in Brooklyn.

As soon as I dropped the gearbox, it was clear that the release bearing had jammed on the input shaft which is what resulted in the shift fork breaking. As soon as the release bearing was out, I could immediately reproduce the noise I had heard inside the car as I spun it.

 

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Wrx Releasebearing 3

Further research surfaced a bulletin from Subaru which noted that they had updated the release bearing as the earlier design was prone to overheating and that a new updated part number was available. This bulletin was released only a few weeks after my last visit to the Subaru dealer. I bought a new shift fork and a new clutch set and cleaned everything up. I also decided to do a short shifter modification while I had everything out and then reassembled it all.

Happy Days Return (For The Most Part)

Wrx Brakes

Once that issue was resolved, it was back to business as usual with oil changes every 6,000 miles or so and new tires and filters as needed along with other minor maintenance. I swapped brake pads a few times due to track activity and did complete brake changes around the 80,000- and 170,000-mile marks. The only other repairs on the car were related to an incident where a chair went flying on the highway and ended up going through my front bumper, radiator, and condenser.

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I was able to get most of the repairs covered by insurance but did have to purchase a new a/c compressor down the road because it ended up getting moisture in it after the condenser was replaced due to the incident.

Wrx Ls Mockup.

The WRX has taken me on trips all across the eastern seaboard and took me to some of my very first races as a professional racing mechanic, along with vacation adventures down the coasts to places like Georgia and Florida. Most of these trips were uneventful and even now as it has crossed the 200,000 mile mark it still gets the same fuel economy that I saw in those early days. It has also served me for a variety of project duties and I even learned that the trunk can fit an entire plastic mockup LS engine.

While ninety-five percent of my experience with the WRX has been enjoyable, the wear and tear of 200,000 miles is starting to show, especially on the seats where one of the bolsters on the driver’s seat has split apart. This has resulted in me starting to consider a replacement for it and since my experience was so enjoyable, my first stop was to look at a new WRX.

While the new car has improved in many ways, the plastic cladding on the fenders turned me off. In addition to that, a base WRX with the same specs is now almost $7,000 more than what I paid for mine.

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This has resulted in me looking elsewhere and even considering cars that I would have never taken a look at in the past like the new Toyota Prius. As evidenced by the mileage on the WRX, I do a lot of driving so something like the Prius is now in contention especially the Prime model which is only $200 more than a WRX but is twice as fuel-efficient.

Cars have changed significantly in the past eight years so I am even looking at electric vehicles and other hybrids but hold a special appreciation for the WRX and might once again end up with a new one if they ever get rid of that plastic cladding.

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Thirdmort
Thirdmort
1 month ago

Wow, I’m impressed by the reliability and longevity of your car. Back in 2019, I found a WRX in Texas pre-owned for $24k. I had my dad check it out as was going to get a PPI on it. Right before, I found a similarly mileage car near me and decided to test drive it. It had tons of rattles, the steering wheel leather was peeling, and the clutch felt like it had been abused. It gave me an impression that the car wouldn’t age very well at all, so I backed out.

I ended up with a Mazda3 2.5L with almost no miles on and I’ve been very happy with it (especially since I saved like $6k that eventually went to a downpayment on a house). I do sometimes wonder if it would have been worth it going for the Subie…

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

You bought something cool and fun, which is the opposite of what Matt did, and your takeaway is the exact opposite.

Life is too short for boring cars. What really boggles my mind is people spending MORE on a brand new boring car, that depreciates the fastest, when they could have gotten a slightly older vehicle with the dream-spec drivetrain options with great aftermarket support, and have something superior in almost everyway AND lose less money in resale value.

If Matt had picked up a still highly desirable 2004-2008 XT, he’d have loved it. And saved money.

Slirt
Slirt
1 month ago

Welcome Bozi, nice to see you here! but also glad you’re on Insta since WCT imploded on Xitter…

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
1 month ago

So true about the plastic cladding. I know automakers put it on there to make cars look tougher or more off-roadable, but it honestly just ruins the look of the car for me.

The plastic will also turn grey and age worse than the painted area around it, making the car look older than it would otherwise. Hard pass for me.

Pappa P
Pappa P
2 months ago

I say you should go for an STi this time. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a like-new example.
For someone who does track days, it has so many desirable and expensive features meant for the track.
Brembos, real forged BBS or Enkei 18 or 19 inch wheels, 3 LSDs, one with driver adjustable lock up, bulletproof 6 speed, and of course a healthy bump in power with extra reserve potential.
In most of it’s direct competitors you won’t get that kind of stuff from the factory.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago

Thanks for this Bozi. And glad to know that your experience has been a good one overall.

My Dad owned several of the Subies starting in about 1974. The small sedans and wagons. It was before most folks had ever seen one. He beat the snot out of them but was never able to break them mechanically. Hard to believe that was 50 years ago, but they were a really tough little car back then.

Good luck. The picture of the V8 block in the trunk was great! Glad it was plastic, as I wondered how that heavy thing even fit in there without a struggle.

Last edited 2 months ago by Col Lingus
Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
2 months ago

Great writing, Bozi!

The WRX really is a very different Subaru experience compared to the more pedestrian models for sure.

I had to replace the clutch release bearing in Bek’s 2010 Impreza as the plastic cage that contains it melted as soon as the bearing started to run dry. An interesting design choice!

My 2006 WRX is the only car I own that was built this century, and I intend to keep it forever with plans for an engine refresh once some house stuff is sorted out.

I originally bought it to give my R34 Skyline GT-T a break from daily duties so I could preserve it. I ended up selling the R34 as the WRX is more fun to drive at normal speeds and even with an exhaust, intake and tune it still gets excellent mileage on long trips.

Drinks oil like a sailor on shore leave, but I can live with that for now and will resolve that down the line.

Bob Terwilliger
Bob Terwilliger
2 months ago

I have had 5 Subarus and dont regret any
2004 Forester (manual) when they were still quirky and different
2011 Forester Auto. my son was born in this car wanted to keep it forever but it got totaled in an accident
2009 WRX
2015 STi
2018 WRX
I replaced the 18 WRX with a base Porsche Carrera and it wasnt nearly as fun, traded the Porsche in on an C43 AMG but I still miss the WRX for being able to actually take it on our desert dirt roads around here and thrashing on it. I hate the new body style though so I may find a used last gen for my daughter since she really wants one too.
Granted I only put 3-5 thousand miles a year on cars and the 2004 was the only one I owned out of warranty. I had no major issues and the Subie dealer was the best service department I have dealt with outside of Mercedes (I hated the Porsche service dept)

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

Great you enjoyed your Subie experience. I myself bought a great 2001 Isuzu Vehicross that survived as a daily driver up until last Friday. I prefer not having to buy 4 more vehicles in that time frame. If it hadn’t been for a damaged oilcap it would still be a great DD. UNFORTUNATELY this caught Mr while unemployed so bought a Camry and while I would like to just replace the engine I received a generous offer of $5k for it with the blown motor. Hey a great project and as a 1 owner regularly driven vehicle it is the best project you can get.

RustHoles
RustHoles
2 months ago

Going up by $7k from 2016 is really just keeping up with inflation (based on the CPI).

RustHoles
RustHoles
2 months ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

Totally. The new Prius seems pretty cool especially when looking at the stats. I’d be tempted if the handling is engaging at all.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
2 months ago

I’ve read a lot about record sales for Subaru over the last several years. I wonder if that and the corresponding production volume might be leading to some of the quality issues. Scaling can be a bitch.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago

Be real several years of under sales due to Covid and supply constraints. Now everything is 40% more expensive and more cars available. How could you not have historic sales?

Fredzy
Fredzy
2 months ago

I bought almost the same car new as well. 2015 WRX Limited 6MT in WRB. Had those god awful 17″ wheels. Delivered April 2014, one of the first VA’s off the boat. No rag-rats here.

Fearful, I opted for a 7yr/100k mile Subaru extended bumper to bumper warranty for ~$1000, which I just barely used. There were plenty of small issues but nothing that would have killed me had warranty somehow not covered. I was going to comment this to Patrick’s article but it makes a lot more sense to post here!

  • Day one, fuel door not opening issue. TSB quickly fixed under warranty.
  • ~1.5 years, brought in to get new engine software intended to resolve knock issues per a TSB (I had no knock problems.) I only wanted it to improve drivability. Guys were saying it improved rev hang, touchy throttle and the lumpy power curve. Dealer did it for me and it did indeed improve drivability! Likely at expense of power but I didn’t care.
  • 2 years, brought in for engine knock recall that eventually came of the aforementioned TSB. Car tested fine and new SW applied. The car went back to driving like shit with rev hang, touchy throttle and lumpy power. Fuuuuuuck!
  • 2.05 years, brought it back begging to get old SW back. No can do, but there was a new rev of recall SW. Installed that, it was better and I lived with it for 5 years until I did an AP out of warranty.
  • 2.5 years, front strut top bearings were bad, known issue replaced under warranty
  • 2.9 years, clutch pedal stated squeaking. This was a soul-cleaving squeak, not a nit-pick. Caused by broken spot welds in brake/clutch pedal assy. Replaced under warranty as known TSB issue just before factory bumper to bumper was over. I didn’t get to test the extended warranty.
  • 3.25 years, brought in for something clunking in front end. They replaced some kind of brake part under warranty, didn’t fix it and I lived with the clunk til I traded the car in 2023. It was there since new anyhow.
  • 3.5 years, oops, they used a bad assembly for the clutch squeak problem and it happened again. Replaced again no questions asked, squeak never came back.
  • 3.75 years, effing battery died. Extended warranty wouldn’t cover, replaced with decent AGM battery which was strong as an ox still when I traded in 2023.
  • 4.5 years, the leather started peeling off the steering wheel like crazy! Brand new wheel replaced thanks to extended warranty – yay! Like a whole new car!

January 2023 I traded it for a GR Corolla. I knew I would regret that, which I did, but only because the Corolla (while extremely fun) was too steep of a practicality downgrade. I more recently traded the Corolla for the car I really wanted to replace the WRX, the FL5 Type R. Markups finally receded and I jumped on one once I got a good offer for the Corolla.

Not missing the WRX now. Time will tell though. I sure see enough of them around… I will probably end up buying a clapped out VA one day for fun.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Fredzy

FYI with financing that $1,000 warranty added $25 a month to your loan payment for its entirety. Given an estimated 60 month loan repayment or $1,500 not bad piece of mind.

Brandt S
Brandt S
2 months ago
Reply to  Fredzy

Wow, this reads worse than a lot of my “bad old days” experiences with Volkswagen. I’m surprised you put up with it.

Fredzy
Fredzy
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandt S

Ha! My VW cult member best friend would always say something like that when it had a new problem! Reality was the only issues it had that I ever felt were semi-serious were the clutch squeak and the steering wheel peeling. But it is a long list of imperfections, no doubt about it.

Before the WRX I had a 2010 TDI Sportwagen. I loved that car, such a perfect drivers car. It really only had 2 problems, but they were serious enough that it put me off VW. First was a major sunroof malfunction that thankfully occurred just within bumper to bumper warranty. Otherwise it would have cost me over $2k. It left me with a few minor electrical problems due to whatever half-assed job the tech did re-assembling (plus gray headliner was smudged up in multiple places I could never get clean.) That all never bothered me much though. The real problem that had me dump the car was the “intercooler icing” issue. The dealer applied 2 or 3 fixes over the course of 2 years that never really worked. Whatever they did the last time seemed to knock the fuel economy down by up to 25% and it was still ingesting water on startup. The engine oil would be so full of water after a hydro lock event that it looked like chocolate milk on the dip stick.

Der Foo
Der Foo
2 months ago

I still question my sanity after selling my 2015 WRX. Had it for almost 3 years. If it was possible to love an inanimate object, this would rank in the top 3 loves of my life. It was a great car after I totally replaced the stereo system. Honestly I think Subaru put in the cheapest stereo system because unless you buy the top end trim, you are going to replace it anyway.

It got really good MPG if you stayed out of the boost. Handled like it was on rails. If I needed to pass someone on a back country highway, catch 5th gear and before you know it they are nothing but a speck in the rear view mirror and you are quickly closing in on triple digit speeds. Solid at highway and higher speeds. Not too bad to look at. AWD!

The only issue was a battery that the dealer replaced during a regular oil change visit. My wife could never drive it and that sometimes caused some logistics issues when I needed to borrow her Pilot to haul big stuff.

Will be buying a new or used vehicle within the year. An Outback XT and WRX (with CVT :-/ ) are on my short list.

I tell people it is the most fun you can have with your pants on kinda car.

Der Foo
Der Foo
1 month ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

I agree with you. These days the stereo is so integrated with the rest of the car’s systems that you have to really make sure it works well and you like it. In the ’15 WRX, hardly anything was tied to it. My ’16 Accord EX-L was another story. I could replace the head unit, but it would have been best to get a custom wiring harness, relocate the original HU to the glove box and then add an aftermarket unit. Most modern HUs, fugettaboutit.

I’d spend the extra $$$ to go higher trim level to get the better stereo. I might be able to go with the lower trim, but I’d make sure the HU was sufficient quality (signal, volts, etc) that I could add an amp and speakers and not be making the situation worse.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
2 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

There is a reason a stereo is in every car. It is cheap to install in the build and adds to the financial benefits. There isn’t an installed system new that isn’t far cheaper and better quality after market.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
2 months ago

Oh how I wish the WRX had a hatch again. Make that WRX far more useful.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I agree 100%. With certainty, if the WRX was currently available with a hatch, there would be one in my garage instead of a Crosstrek.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
2 months ago

I DD a 2019 base model WRX and have had zero issues. All maintenance is done by the dealer as it is a company owned vehicle. It has been a delightful car and with a set of snow tires, handles the Canadian winters easily. Modern cars are generally much more reliable than the cars I grew up on.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

I would agree with this sentiment. I had very few issues with my WRX and STi that I owned, despite them both having very high miles and being driven spiritedly daily. The most unreliable cars I’ve ever owned were my 1999 Mustang and my (beloved) 1968 Beetle.

I’m totally cool with my bug being unreliable because it’s my project car, but my (at the time only 6 years old) Mustang was a piece of junk that constantly had something going wrong.

MiniDave
MiniDave
2 months ago

I have had a similar experience with my 2004 Audi Allroad – most call the car the worst thing on the road, but the only failure I had on mine was one suspension airbag. I made the mistake of buying US made replacements, the only good thing about them was the “lifetime” (whose lifetime I wonder?) warranty, as I replaced 5 more of those before I traded it for – guess what? – another newer Allroad (2014 this time) which so far in 80K had had Zero problems. So, “your milage may vary” was never more true…..

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
2 months ago

A WRX is fun to drive and a Forester is the opposite of that. That has to be a factor here. I can put up with a lot for a car that I love to drive but can’t even bring myself to consider a boring car just because it’s reliable, unless it’s a cheap old beater.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
2 months ago

Fellow non-regretter here. I sympathize with Matt for his Forester experience, but I have been very happy with the 6 Subarus I’ve owned over the course of the past 14 years. I’ve had a few large and common issues, but I keep coming back to these damn cars because I just genuinely like them. However, I also think they’re fairly easy to work on, moderately enjoyable to drive (with exceptions), and fantastic in the snowy Chicagoland winters I encounter.
I’ve owned and loved the following Subaru’s:
2004 STi – I bought this car in early 2010 with about 99k miles because that was the nicest example I could afford at the time. As a college student, I had no business owning a car that expensive and maintenance-needy, but I adored it and minus regular maintenance, a timing belt job, valve cover gaskets, and 1 wheel bearing, I had zero issues with that car up until I sold it with 205k miles about 4 years later.
2004 WRX Wagon – After I sold my STi, I really wanted more space to haul stuff around as an art student, and a car I could buy in cash, so I came across a lightly modified wagon in 2014 with high miles (around 145k) that had been taken care of and enjoyed that car for a few years and around another 50k miles before I decided I needed a “winter beater” so I could keep my summer tires on all year and quite subjecting my wagon to winter salt.
1999 Forester 5-Speed – I worked at a major car dealership chain throughout college and had the opportunity to snatch this little beauty up at cost before it hit auction. It only had 52k miles on it, and felt like a brand new car aside from being filthy. I ended up lifting it 2 inches and doing some other fun modifications during the 6 years I owned it. I put over 100k miles on that car, replaced the clutch, had a head gasket fail (which I replaced myself thanks to my dad having a lift and my friends having prior experience), replaced both rear wheel bearings, and ended up selling it to my best friend who still owns and loves it.
2021 Crosstrek 6-speed – This was my first brand new car, and as my wife and I were having a kid we wanted something new with a warranty. Did my research and they seemed to have moved past the excessive oil burning of the earlier FB20 engines, so we pulled the trigger. I loved it, and put 30k trouble free miles on it in a year and a half before a texting asshole totaled it.
2010 Forester – My wife needed a newer car than what she had, so after a month of searching I found a beautiful base Forester in Florida for a killer price with a clean carfax and full maintenance history. 3 years, a timing belt, 1 wheel bearing, and oil changes later, it has been wonderfully reliable.
2023 Crosstrek CVT (BOO) – I needed to replace the 21 Crosstrek, and wanted another one, so after trying desperately and failing to find another new 6-speed, I settled on a CVT model. 26k miles in, and it’s been trouble-free but time will tell. From my research, it is worth changing the CVT fluid at least every 50k miles despite Subaru considering it a lifetime fluid.

TL;DR Some of us like Subarus, keep unexplainably buying them, despite some quirks.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
2 months ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

It was a fantastic car to own at that time in my life. I learned a lot about car control by participating in some local autocross events with it, and made some of my closest friendships to this day by attending some local Subaru club events in it. I even took my wife out on our first date in that car. I really adored that car, wish like hell I could have it back now that I could comfortably afford to have it sitting in the garage as a fun backup car.

David Smith
David Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

Probably better than an STD. Then again having the S might make it worth it.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago
Reply to  AircooleDrew

Amsoil CVT fluid every 30k miles, and the tranmission will outlive the rest of the car.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
1 month ago

Good to know. I’m a maintenance freak with my cars, and I’ve had some great experiences with Amsoil fluids in the past, so I will be changing the fluid right around that interval for sure. I appreciate the input, and I’ll be sure to look into their cvt fluid!

Last edited 1 month ago by AircooleDrew
Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 month ago
Reply to  AircooleDrew

I’ve had really nice results in my Altima’s CVT. Even with regular changes, the Nissan OEM fluid had some low-RPM judder, and the CVT would start overheating/whining on long climbs in the summer. No issues since I switched to Amsoil. It’s also worth checking online if there’s other preventative transmission work. My Nissan has a magnet at the bottom of the sump that collects shavings from the belt and gets cleaned during fluid changes, plus two different filters (one that’s similar to an oil filer, and one metal mesh screen) that I replace.

And hopefully Subaru at least acknowledges that the transmission isn’t actually a “lifetime fluid”; Nissan couldn’t even be arsed to include a drain plug on mine, so you have to drop the whole pan and replace the gasket when doing trans fluid jobs.

And if you’re not yet on the Autopian Discord, the folks in the Rusty Spanners channel genuinely know their stuff and tend to have solid advice.

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
1 month ago

I’m a forum frequenter, and the consensus is that Subaru offers the service of changing fluid at the dealership, and did include a drain plug in the transmission case at least. However, (according to people on the forum) they apparently will void a warranty claim on a cvt that has had a fluid change. This is just what I’ve read on the Crosstrek forum, but it’s concerning as I have had some WRX/STi friends really fight Subaru over warranty issues in the past.

I purchased the 100k extended warranty from Subaru, and I’d hate to void that, but I also don’t want my cvt to potentially shit itself right after the warranty expires due to lack of fluid changes.

I’ll have to keep looking into it, as I have no plans of getting rid of this car at the 100k mile mark, and definitely would prefer not to have a transmission die long before the car is ready.

Dammit I should have just been patient and kept making my salesman help me find another 6-speed model lol

Last edited 1 month ago by AircooleDrew
Brandt S
Brandt S
2 months ago

Transmission basically fails at 35k and isn’t covered under warranty. Yep, that checks out with Subaru. I have a friend who had a similar gen WRX which he fought for over a year with Subaru to cover failed head gaskets and oil leaks under warranty (which should have been covered of course) and Subaru corporate basically just stonewalled him into submission. He got rid of that POS even though originally that WRX was his dream car. I’ve heard lots of stories about Subaru denying perfectly valid warranty claims with lots of excuses about driving style, maintenance, etc.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago

I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind needing to pull the transmission at 35,000 miles and Stockholm’ing myself into thinking that this is fine

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

And to add insult to injury, Subaru knew about the bearing issue, hence issuance of a new design, and still they declined to warranty his bad bearing! ┐(´•_•`)┌

HumboldtEF
HumboldtEF
2 months ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

He mentioned that service bulletin came out a few weeks after his visit to the dealer. He might have been able to go back and ask for compensation but who knows if that would have panned out.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

When a chef goes to a restaurant, they’re not more OK with having to cook their own meal than an average person would be. I can pull and fix a transmission. That does not make me more tolerant to buying a new car and having to do that at 35k. I really have no idea why Subarus make people lower their standards so much, but they totally do

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Yes, it seems kind of insane to:
– Get told the clutch noise isn’t covered
– Then find out it’s a faulty part
– Require your own lift/transmission removal at only 35k miles
– Later they acknowledge it’s faulty

Yes, there are different tolerances and skill sets, but I think that for 99% of people, even ones who have those skills, this is not acceptable for a new car.

This article is definitely not the positive counterpoint that it was meant to be.

Adam Al-Asmar
Adam Al-Asmar
2 months ago

I always thoroughly enjoy the viewpoint of ‘oh well, this part broke. it was redesigned to be better and now i’ve fixed it. i’ll carry on’ as opposed to the ‘oh well this part broke, naturally the rest of the car is designed like garbage and i shall use all my resources to dogging this manufacturer’

I, myself, have a 2012 X5d that is creeping towards 200k (181k now) and have the occasional failure that comes from poor design or aging and it’s always fun seeing how the new part redesign fixes the issue that wasn’t caught during the initial design and testing.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
2 months ago

Don’t the new subaru’s have an RTV problem clogging the oil pickup screen?

HumboldtEF
HumboldtEF
2 months ago

I believe this issue is real but also greatly overblown online. The oil pick up screen is shaped like a box with 5 open sides/screens unlike the previous gen which just had a single side/screen. In theory this should be much harder to fully clog. I’ve got a 22 GR86 (it uses the subaru FA24 engine) and haven’t had any issues, knocks on wood.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
2 months ago

You don’t regret buying a new Subaru YET

Greg
Greg
2 months ago
Reply to  Turbotictac

beat me.

I also have sadly looked seriously at the prius like the author. The cars are too damn expensive.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Corolla hybrid AWD starts at $26k!

Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Spent a month in one. Mileage is incredible (calculated 55mpg without trying) and it does it on piss gas, it handles better than I expected, and quick enough to not feel unsafe, but typical Toyota bland and mediocre interior with all driving interfaces devoid of feeling or joy. It would be a good car for high mileage drivers in regards to cost, but that’s who I’d recommend it for least if it’s someone who enjoys driving as it means spending all that time driving it and, IMO, life is too short and uncertain for that. Oh, and that noise during low-speed electric running that sounds like either worn brake pads or ’50 sci-fi UFO is annoying and can’t be shut off anymore.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Well, they mentioned the Prius and new car prices. I don’t think the Corolla is much more of a penalty box than the Prius. My counter point would be that having a reliable gas sipper allows you to stretch on silly toys and actually carpe those diems. I’d be so screwed if I relied solely on my toys to get me to work or the trailheads

Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Yeah, I can understand that, but there are other manufacturers out there that make at least OK driving cars that are respectably reliable. I had a Camry I intended to keep as a daily, but it was so miserable to drive that I sold it to daily the GR86 (TBF, the Corolla hybrid was better to drive, if still bad). I’ve seen too many people decline suddenly or die to bother wasting time driving a miserable car anymore and I have no use for outright toys that take too much time and I can rarely use, anyway.

Prius is a lot more money than the available Corolla hybrid, if you can even find a Prius without a markup. Prius has more power and looks a lot better, but if the driving experience is similarly terrible, I’d just go with the cheaper Corolla (were I choosing between the two for some reason). I do hope the Prius isn’t so terrible to drive, though, as the looks and mileage would put it on a potential future car list for me. In the old days, I would take one for a test drive and see for myself.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Why don’t more people look at Mazda? They make small efficient cars, pretty reliable, but which actually have some handling characteristics.

First, MIATA.
Second, my Mazda 3, 6MT, is a lot of fun. I added some lighter Allow wheels which reduced the scrub radius a little, and the handling is great!
It can get 40mpg highway, but my foot is too heavy for that usually. I’m at 160k miles with just maintenance.
Literally $0 in repairs. No repairs!
I’m still on the original clutch, which is astounding considering how I drive!

I know Mazda is stupid that they only offer the manual on the lower 2.0 engine, but with an auto, you can get a 2.5 Turbo. Definitely better than a Corolla!

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

I get a lot of fun out of my Honda Fit. The MT is borderline fantastic, it gets 38+ MPG, and I can fit sooo much stuff in it. Miata is definitely almost always a good answer, but it truly is aggressively compromised if you’re considering something that needs to also perform more typical daily tasks. The thing can barely grocery

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Exactly!
And that’s why I have the Mazda 3, not a Miata.
I had a friend with a Honda Fit. He loved it too!

I guess overall I just don’t understand the apparently terrible reliability on the Subarus (paying out of pocket for a new clutch within the 36k mile bumper-to-bumper??), and discussing the alternative as a boring Corolla.

There are still other fun (and reliable) cars in between!

05LGT
05LGT
1 month ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Throttle House did a recent head to head with the Prius and Corolla hybrid. According to them it came down to whether or not you wanted to pay that much for a significant improvement in ride, handling and comfort.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago
Reply to  05LGT

Ah, I didn’t see that episode. I love TH

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
2 months ago

Thank you Bozi for the write up and I am happy you had a good experience with your WRX. For me, the WRX and Forester are vastly different vehicles, so I think Matt’s quibbles still stand true, but I like this “vs” series as it shows how different ownership can be from within a single brand.

Also as a previous owner of a Prius, I can say that it is a wonderful (albeit almost perfect) vehicle to get you from point A to B. As long as you have other cars to drive regularly, you probably will appreciate how solid a vehicle it is, and how low maintenance it should be.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
2 months ago

I forgot you could get a WRX for under $30,000. What a time it was!

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
2 months ago
Reply to  rctothefuture

I didn’t realize they were still that cheap in 2015. I bought my ’02 for $24k, how did it only go up $2k in 13 years.

MrLM002
MrLM002
2 months ago

If I was getting a new Toyota Hybrid I’d make sure to get an AWD-e one.

Personally I don’t think I’ll buy a new Subaru, as I’d want a N/A one with AWD and a manual transmission, which doesn’t exist in the US anymore.

The only exception to this would be a Subaru Hybrid with a Toyota Planetary Gear e-CVT style transmission. It would be a hell of a lot better than the current Subaru CVT.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
2 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I have a ’20 AWD Prius and it works great in the snow. I live right at the snow line, and we only get it here a few times a year, but I have travelled to Lake Tahoe in the winter and can say that it really does well in the snow. Yeah, it doesn’t have lot of clearance, but as long as you know that, and drive accordingly, it is just fine.

MrLM002
MrLM002
2 months ago
Reply to  Bozi Tatarevic

Better winter performance, minimal mpg hit, better resale value (not a factor for me)

AWD for a less than 5 MPG hit is a great tradeoff.

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