Third Car: Which Car to Keep?

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My wife is due for a new car and we've decided to get a 2015 Subaru Outback for her (we have two small children). Now the dilemma...which car to keep as our backup. Car #1: 2000 Ford Taurus Station Wagon Bought in 2008 with 90k miles on it (currently it has 140k). We've used this car as our primary travel car. The Good: It can consume nearly 80 cu ft with both seats down and 38 cu ft with them up. Gas mileage has been around 25 mpg for city/highway average. This car has the DOHC V6 which gives it good power for passing. It's very comfortable. No major maintenance has been needed. The Bad: No LATCH system. No head restraints in the rear. Safety systems are now 14 years behind the times. Clear coat is separating on the hood and the roof. Car #2: 2004 Subaru Forester XT (Turbo 2.5L I4) Bought new for my wife in 2003 currently has 114k miles. The Good: Powerful engine, rated at 240hp but feels much faster. Paint is in great shape even though this car spent it's entire life outside. Recently had the radiator, timing belt, water pump and one rear bearing replaced (the weak point of the car I am told). Interior is in great shape, very thick leather. The beauty of AWD! It does have the LATCH system. 2004 safety systems (curtain air bags). The Bad: This car has a huge sunroof which Subaru cheaped out on and used a regular sunroof motor (ie cannot handle the load). That motor burned out in 2006, we fought with SOA and received a 50% discount to replace the motor...we dare not open it since. Assume that turbo replacement is expensive, true? The interior is small and cramped, we never take it on trips due to size, hard/stiff ride, and rock hard seats. 19 MPG on premium. -------------------------------- It's a tossup on reliability. Both cars did well in there day. Ford always had AT issues, however, this car has the more reliable AT that came with the DOHC. Subaru Forester's are known for reliability but bad wheel bearings. Neither has any rust. We've been leaning toward the Taurus has our goto as it has all this space allowing us to get slightly smaller (read no big SUV) cars and use the Taurus for our hauling/vacation needs. Due to the outdated safety systems, those days will come to an end eventually (both kids are in car seats still). Having said that, space is not a primary need to keep or discount either car. If I had my way...the third car would be a 2006 - 2008 Mazda MX-5. Just sayin! smile So, which one would you keep and why?
 
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3,431
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USA
Well, it sounds like either would be a good choice to keep. From a financial perspective, the Subaru probably has a lot higher value (depending on your area), so selling it would probably be the better financial decision. If you're just wanting a second car as a beater/communter, the Taurus can't really depreciate much more than it already has, I would guess. In that case, sell the Subaru. If you want a nicer car as the second vehicle, then ditch the Taurus.
 
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2,253
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London, England
Personally i would keep the Subaru. You have owned it from new which is always an advantage for long term ownership. I assume it was made in the US? As have never heard of a sunroof motor failing on a Subaru. UK model Subarus are still solely made in Japan i believe. Certainly all the ones i have owned have been but the last was an 04 Legacy saloon so things may have changed. Was pretty much unbreakable that car. I do fancy another Subaru. I fancy a Legacy estate with the turbo engine. You can import 10yr old ones from Japan to the UK and you only have to make sure the speedo is in mph and it has a foglight and you are good to go after a simple MOT and getting it registered.
 

2002 Maxima SE

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Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Could the new Outback serve the functions of the Taurus?
Barely. The outback has like 35.5 cu ft vs 38 cu ft in the Taurus. It will be very close, but we typically use the entire volume plus the backseat footwell. smile Much of that will change in the next year as the baby won't need the stroller, bath tub, diapers and kitchen/food supplies. That's why I say space is not primary as the Outback will transition to the family hauler in the near future (maybe sooner with a roof rack attachment).
 

2002 Maxima SE

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Originally Posted By: bigjl
Personally i would keep the Subaru. You have owned it from new which is always an advantage for long term ownership. I assume it was made in the US? As have never heard of a sunroof motor failing on a Subaru. UK model Subarus are still solely made in Japan i believe. Certainly all the ones i have owned have been but the last was an 04 Legacy saloon so things may have changed. Was pretty much unbreakable that car. I do fancy another Subaru. I fancy a Legacy estate with the turbo engine. You can import 10yr old ones from Japan to the UK and you only have to make sure the speedo is in mph and it has a foglight and you are good to go after a simple MOT and getting it registered.
Ours was made in Japan, very good quality and the first year that Subaru said "Put a turbo on everything!". The sunroof motor debacle is well know on subaruforester.org. Subaru used a regular sized sunroof motor to move the massive sunroof and over time they burn out. They taught me the CECB (corporate email carpet bomb). It got a response quickly relative to the 5 weeks I spent fighting with customer service on my own. How about out of warranty turbo replacement? What does that look like from a cost perspective?
 
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I see do see the dilemma-- The wagon has been your solid go to vehicle, gets better mpg and has done well for you...but... I'd keep the Subaru since I'd miss the power more. Plus, owned since new AND you just put all that $$ into it.
 
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18,544
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The Ford, hands down. They really do make great beaters, and they are pretty comfy on longer trips....parts are cheaper to buy, car easier to fix...a true "beater", if you will. I like the Subie, but the extra money back won'r hurt either...
 
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PA
Originally Posted By: 2002 Maxima SE
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Could the new Outback serve the functions of the Taurus?
Barely. The outback has like 35.5 cu ft vs 38 cu ft in the Taurus. It will be very close, but we typically use the entire volume plus the backseat footwell. smile Much of that will change in the next year as the baby won't need the stroller, bath tub, diapers and kitchen/food supplies. That's why I say space is not primary as the Outback will transition to the family hauler in the near future (maybe sooner with a roof rack attachment).
Close enough then, IMO. Pick the car that's more rewarding to drive. thumbsup
 

2002 Maxima SE

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Originally Posted By: Kuato
I see do see the dilemma-- The wagon has been your solid go to vehicle, gets better mpg and has done well for you...but... I'd keep the Subaru since I'd miss the power more. Plus, owned since new AND you just put all that $$ into it.
I hear ya there. The Taurus needs ball joints and CV axle in the next year.
 

2002 Maxima SE

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Originally Posted By: Chris142
Dump the Taurus before the trans dumps on you
This Taurus has the good trans, not the overheating sequential shift.
 
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I would be hesitant to keep any turbo vehicle. I would however keep the Subaru since the quality is better. I think that Ford may start developing similar problems as my mothers car did back in '04.
 
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Phoenix
Dump them both and get something new, it's like picking between junk and junkier and I wouldn't want to be caught in either.
 
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British Columbia, Canada
I'd keep the Subaru. Sure it uses more premium fuel but that's a relatively small part of the cost of running a vehicle. My secretary had over 400,000 Km on her Subaru Legacy at last count - with no repairs. They make tough vehicles. You've had it from new. You know all of the bad stuff about it. And that's not much. I worried about the turbo in my Volvo, but after 18 years and 285,000 Km it was still running strong. And that was without synthetic oil - but with frequent oil changes. And anyway, I never open the sunroof on either of my cars.
 
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Southwest
None of the above. Both of those cars is too similar to your new car. Get the Outback get rid of the other cars, save the insurance. Your third car should be able to do sonething your other cars can't. Maybe a pickup. Maybe a jeep. Maybe a sports car. Maybe a "special interest" car (e.g. old Alfa sedan).
 
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