Newer used Subaru Outback with a lot of miles?


Asked by Oct 26, 2016 at 03:14 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Hey guys,
I want a Subaru and I recently saw a listing on Craigslist for a 2010 Subaru
Outback 2.5i Premium. It has 185k miles, which is a lot, but it has a clean
carfax and the owner says it was mostly highway miles between Wenatchee
and Spokane (around 175 miles each way on an interstate). They also recently
got the timing belt, water pump, and radiator replaced at an authorized Subaru
dealership at 171k miles, and most of the previous maintenance was done at a
dealership also. It is a one owner car, and the exterior and interior are in good
condition, and it has the CVT. Should I buy it at the asking price of $7500? To
compare, a similar 2010 Outback 2.5i Premium with around 100k miles (typical
for a 2010-era) would run about $11000 in my area, so $7500 is much cheaper.
I would obviously have a pre-purchase inspection at a shop, and if it turns out
clean, should I go for it? I have a tighter budget, so it would be hard to go over
$10k, so this Subaru looks very enticing. I plan on keeping it for probably 4-6
years, drive it around 10k miles a year, and get regular maintenance at the
dealership. If the pre-purchase inspection comes up clean as well as the test
drive, should I be able to get through the next 4-6 years without major
problems? Thanks guys!

24 Answers


You should think about it this way, a 2010 yo car has 180k miles means that it ran everyday for hours. If you want it to run for another 4 years you should put aside a few thousands bcuz ur 100% gonna face problems like transmission change or something fam to it. Plus if he's asking 7500 for such a mileage its way too high

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.


2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Don't buy that car, Davin. If you do, you're making a big mistake.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

That's tough man. Nobody wants to say yeah cuz nothing is certain. Highway miles could mean a couple things depending on how hard of a driver they are.. will that dealer warranty their work to you?


DavinL- how does the CVT drives? I imagine that it's as smooth as my 2010 Subaru Outback? And, I personally know someone who went 300,000 miles in his 2010... There's been some reports of some people who say that they're cars "stall" when they come to a stop and people are blaming the CVT transmission... My guess is that anyone who has driven this many miles so quickly probably did all the maintenance required just as you've reported otherwise they would have never gotten this far so easily. That's over 25,000 miles per year.... It's way over priced though, see this below, Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-i-Premium-AWD/Values

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If the CVT goes you are in for a world of hurt. From what I have read the repair cost could be as much as the car costs. Have the head gaskets checked out and if you still want the car offer them less, what do you have to lose?


They're basically asking for the full retail price.....


They are going to be selling that car months from now because no one will want it. If you really like the car I would offer them $6,000 tops after it checks out at a mechanic. If they were to trade it in a dealer would probably give them less than $5,000 if it is really clean.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED for a new CVT! Call I call it or what?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

CVT up to $9,500! Through-with-Subaru-anyone-care-to-guess-what-a-Subaru-cvt- replacement-cost


realllly Mark??:: """It doesn't matter that they did all that work, I'm sorry, but, you cannot add that all back in and ask $11,000 for this car.""" Back to Davin though.. did you already buy it? haha


DavinL/ Walt-. Yes, my error, should not typed $11k. Look, people don't get their entire investment back on all repairs, BUT, a fair price for this car is more like $6,000... Now, if you were to drive it another 50,000 miles, you'd get your money's worth provided the CVT transmission doesn't fail...its a gamble like anything else. If the car is in remarkable condition and your easy on cars, then consider it. What else have you seen in the $6,000 price range to compare?


Mark: To get a Subaru in my region for around 6-7k it usually requires getting something like a 2004-2006 era Outback with 100- 150k miles, usually closer to 150k miles, that is why I was considering this Outback. Even more miles (along with being a newer car) but less time for other things to wear out and it seems to have been maintained good. It also comes with things like an aux port, heated seats, CVT, etc. that would not come with an older model. I talked to them and they said "transmission and diffs serviced at 171k" which I'm just assuming the fluids but it's good that they did anyways it seems. I haven't been able to test drive yet but I will look out for any potential transmission problems or stalling.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

DavinL-. I agree, it's a great car, I have one. And, I think that you're right it's better to have the newest model irrespective of mileage.. besides, if the car has been well maintained and fits the description you say it does, I think you can easily get another 50,000 miles . I think all of this concern about the CVT is over exaggerated. Condition and who owned and maintained the car is very important. Good luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

To correct Mark again: the CVT risk scenario is NOT exaggerated...especially as the cost to remedy is very high; secondly, 2010+ stalling upon decel to idle IS DEFINITELY a CVT failure mode...not just anecdotal "blaming" as you state. That said, what happened, Davin? Condition is everything, so aside from the wonky handling of all 2010-12 OBs (and why I won't trade in them), $6-8k is short-to-fair money for all that iron...IF the condition merits. But I'd say the odds are against you...and don't be deluded by CarFaxes nor dealer service receipts. I'm curious as to why it ate a radiator, for example? That's usually head-gasket or age-related, so it'a an item for closer scrutiny as well.


DavinL-. YES, Ernie and I don't agree on the CVT... plus see this from True Delta car survey, 6 percent of the 2010 Subaru Outbacks with the CVT transmission have problems....I don't think that is a "widespread problem". And, yes, it has a lot of miles, but, it's the overall condition that's important here. You're looking at this particular car, what does your "gut" tell you.... Don't pay attention to what others say. I personally know someone who drove 300,000 miles mostly highway, and had no PROBLEM, but, he did service the transmission regularly. Good luck.


DavinL- see this thread below on discussion of the 2013 CVTs-


Mark, I've had to take you to task for being utterly clueless re statistical inferences and interpretation many times now. For you to state that a population of 6yr old autos that has a 16% failure rate of a $6k component isn't a "widespread" issue is completely erroneous and naive. What do you think the percentage will grow to in a couple of years? And please stop referencing TrueDelta's meagerly skimpy's still not statistically relevant either. little Grasshopper.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Ernie,. I'm sorry, BUT, that is a SIX PERCENT failure rate..... Please take another look at this below, and these statistics are based on. 2016 .. responses..,.. Which means that 94 percent of the samples based on this a well respected data source...


94 percent with no problems is pretty darn good......I KNOW that you are in the automotive repair business so, you're definitely likely to see the worst problem cars, it's the business ... You're not going to see the cars that are fine. And there's a lot out there on the road.


Interestingly enough, the 2014 has more CVT transmission troubles at 13 percent, see this information below,.


Grasshopper, you're off your rocker on this one. 6% midlife failure rate...that's one in only sixteen that blows up! alarming. Let's see how it piles up. The manufacturing targets are below 1% for a very critical high value component. PLEASE stop being such a poseur wrt stuff you just lack knowledge of.


That you also suggest that this naive normal guy go with his "gut" re technical evaluation is ludicrous. This is how newbies (inc you) in the market get slaughtered every day. His specimen requires LOTS of expert operation. To suggest that he dive into unknown waters on his stomach acid level is borderline criminal. Yikes....



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