Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Subaru is described as being “family owned since new” and with just 67K on the clock, that’s a family that obviously doesn’t get out a lot. Let’s see what it might cost to add this low-mileage wagon to your family.
As was pointed out in the comments, yesterday’s 1982 Honda Civic DX wagon was more a survivor than—as it was positioned by its seller—a “classic.” That being said, it’s pretty remarkable that such an originally cheap-seats car had made it this far while still looking as good as it did. We should all go outside—keeping a respectable distance from each other, mind you—and pour out a 40 at the curb for all the old, mundane cars and trucks that didn’t make it this far.
Before we do that, let’s just note that the Civic’s questionable classic status did not jive with its $5,950 asking price. That resulted in the car falling in a decisive 75 percent crack pipe loss. Okay, now you may go and honor all those other fallen whips.
Let’s move on from questionable classic to more modern and typically beloved car companion. It’s well known, at least if you are to believe the company’s advertising, that Subaru has the best customer loyalty in the industry. Once somewhat derisively considered to be associated exclusively with ladies-who-like-ladies and flannel-aficionados, Subaru has, within the last decade or so, adopted the mantle of the safe and dependable family hauler for everyone.
According to its Craigslist ad, this 1999 Subaru Outback has, in fact, been “Family owned” since new. See? Truth in advertising!
The Outback was Subaru’s wicked-brilliant attempt to cash in on the nascent SUV and Crossover crazy that was ramping up in the 1990s. The company was in a perfect position to do so, having built a long history of offering AWD in their cars as a key product differentiator.
They only required some higher ground clearance, more aggressive bumper caps and some two-tone paint to mimic the plastic fender and rocker coverings popular at the time to bring it all together.
To say the resulting Outback was a hit is an understatement, and the company eventually spun it off from being a Legacy trim package to being its own model.
This ’99 represents the first generation Outback and it looks to be a fairly solid citizen. The ad notes that it sports a mere 67,000 miles on the clock and that it comes with “service records.”
The bodywork, in the requisite two-tone silver over grey, is a bit beat-on here and there. Most notably, there are modest-sized dents on both the front passenger-side fender and the rear door aft of that. The driver’s side looks much better and considering that’s the side you’d be approaching when entering the car to drive, I think it’s a fair tradeoff.
The factory wheels look to be in serviceable shape, although who lets a tire shop put clip-on balance weights on alloys? Ugh, that’s so annoying!
The interior seems to be in great shape too—at least what we can see of it. The seller really needs to go to sign up for “Auto Ad Photography 101” at their local community college if they’re going to want to make this whole Craigslist thing work out.
We at least get to see the seats, and they look fine. There’s no staining or rips evident in the upholstery, although the rear seatbelts do seem to have lost their full retractability. The load area is appreciably clean as well.
The ad says that the drivetrain is a four-pot/five-speed and of course it comes with Subaru’s AWD. The Outback was available with 2.5 flat-four that put out 165 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. That engine was relatively thirsty even though the car only tipped the scales at a modest 3,180 pounds. And yes, these engines did gain a reputation for gasket issues over time.
Despite my modest Debbie Downer-ing of the model in general, this one is claimed by its seller to offer “Excellent mpg” and “Runs like new!!” The title is clean and it comes with new brakes and tires (and those stupid balancing weights) so it’s got that going for it as well.
Perhaps also a plus is its $3,450 asking price. That’s substantially lower than yesterday’s Civic and I think it’s fair to say you’d be getting a whole lot more car in the bargain with the Outback.
That, of course, is up to you to decide. What do you think, is this family-owned Subaru worth divorcing yourself of that $3,450 asking price? Or, is that too much to front for so old an Outback?
H/T to Benjamin Heath for the hookup!
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