My trusty ‘98 Subaru Legacy wagon is creeping up to 230,000 miles and I’ve noticed oil consumption trending upwards and fuel economy trending downwards for a few months now. As some point in the not too distant future (next Sunday AD) I will need to replace it with something a few years newer and with significantly fewer miles.

I’ve been thinking of dipping my toes into the forced induction side of things, despite my handle here.

My somewhat fluid requirements are:

  • Under $10,000 max, preferably under $8,000
  • Less than 150,000 miles, preferably under 100,000 miles
  • Capable of being reliably daily driven to work and back
  • Preferably requires less than one weekend per quarter of mandatory shop time
  • Must be fun to drive
  • Bonus points for a “sleeper”
  • Bonus points for something unusual (probably don’t have to state this here on Oppo)

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I’m really impressed with how long my current Subaru has lasted, and given all the practice I’ve had working on it I have a predisposition towards Subarus, but I’m also fully open to something else.

An ‘08-’13 Forester XT seems like a good candidate, although I’ve found them to be fairly scarce here in SoCal. A Turbo Baja would hit both the “sleeper” and “unusual” bonuses, but of course those are even scarcer.

I saw an ‘03 Mazdaspeed Protege for under $3000 the other day which raised an eyebrow.

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Oppo, what else should I keep my eyes out for?