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Thread: Practical daily: Subaru Legacy BP H6, BMW E91 330i, ?

  1. #11
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    Other options:
    Don't bother with the Stagea, you already have an FD and now you want something reasonably reliable which isn't an arse to find parts for!

    For minivans I would seriously suggest you think about a secondhand S-Max Titanium with the 2.0 Petrol turbo. It's what we have and it shifts, although it is noticeably heavy and hence thirsty. However the pull is very notable (esp after we replaced the Primacys with the Pilot Sport 3, may try and get the 4 next time if it's available in size). It also has 7 seats, inc a second-row of 3 seats which 3 adults can comfortably sit in no problems as they are all exactly the same chair and almost all exactly the same legroom, as well as a decent-sized boot. The steering is also not bad... for a minivan, then again it is basically a slightly wider, taller Mondeo platform.

    The only things we have found to be aware of are some earlier stereos (like mine) had a problem where the bluetooth would drain the battery (obviously got fixed). There is also a power steering issue which Ford wanted GBP8K to fix (aka change the entire PS system) and which you can read about on the forums. However an independent managed to fix (so far OK for 2 months touch wood) for GBP530 (i.e. Less than one tenth what Ford HK quoted) . If it lasts us a year after that fix then that's good and it means we won't have to buy something else to replace it (it was looking like a Serena e-power but anyway).

    Anyway that's it from me, and thanks for indulging in my GNJ-length/quality posts - which I had to split into 2 parts as I busted the 10,000 character limit.

    EDIT: Originally said the independent fixed the power steering for GBP5.3K but it was actually GBP530 (aka less than 10% what Ford wanted to fix it). The figure has now been corrected.
    Last edited by Yw-slayer; October 11th, 2020 at 12:30 AM.

  2. #12
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    Thanks, great stuff. I was sitting here imagining how the E91 might handle compared to the Legacy, weight distribution and so on, so it's great to hear from someone who's spent significant time driving both.

    I'll consider MPVs I guess, S-Max seems perhaps a bit bigger than we need when it's mostly just one/two of us plus luggage or bikes. And 5300 to fix the steering?!? I could have the FD engine rebuilt for less...

    Due partly to Atsuko's preference, I think I'm starting to lean towards the IS300 SportCross. There are a grand total of two (2) for sale in the UK currently, but seem to have a decent rep for reliability.
    Last edited by samoht; October 10th, 2020 at 01:53 PM.

  3. #13
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    Sorry, my bad as it was around 2am. It was around gbp540 (hkd5400) to fix the steering, not gbp5,300! Have fixed the post. The difference in price was probanly because the dealer seems to have suggested just changing everything (with S-Max parts which would have to be ordered from Europe) while obviously the independent somehow fixed it by changing a few things here and there with off the shelf parts. It's also difficult to compare car and maintenance prices directly with those in the UK. But it is apparently a somewhat common fault in a car that you won't buy.

    On that note, I only mentioned it as you mentioned minivans, but yes, it is a bit big if it's just the two of you, unless you lug bikes/luggage everywhere all the time!

    The IS300 SportCross is cool and my totally uneducated guess is that it should be reasonably reliable and somewhat fun to drive. I don't think it's that large inside, but in most ways it's probably more of a direct competitor to the E91 than the H6 BP is!
    Last edited by Yw-slayer; October 11th, 2020 at 12:29 AM.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    Of your initial list, I'd be going Subaru 6. They're a good engine, and a relatively low drama vehicle.

    If you're after a daily, I'd go Japanese not Euro. Just for general reliability point of view.

  5. #15
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    I forgot to add that the BL has the best aircond of any car we have ever sat in, which is pretty amazing for a 16yo car. Ice cold from the start even if its been sitting in the sun for hours in 30+ celsius weather. Its amazing even my Japanese car standards. I say this as while the Noah and the brz are better than the S-max by far, and also still a bit better than the 3 and 5 series initially, the BL has the best aircond out of all of them. This may be relevant to you given how hot it was during the UK summers of 2018 and 2019.

    Oh, and if you are going to do some extremely light off-roading then (i.e. to get your mountain bike to the start of a trail and/or race), then unsurprisingly, I preferred taking the BL, even with the STI parts on it. It just felt a bit more happy doing that, even when it was on the Potenzas and the E90 was on its P-Zeroes (although that may explain a bit).

    I was also once saved by the 4WD in a multistorey carpark. There was a hanging ledge which didn't have a barrier and I hence didn't see. So while the rear wheels fell off, I was able to get the car back onto level ground using, uh, the front wheels. Whereas it would almost certainly have caused some major embarrassment if I'd done that in the E90, let alone in the BRZ or the 5-series (albeit that there are reversing cams in both, so hopefully that wouldn't happen...).
    Last edited by Yw-slayer; October 11th, 2020 at 12:35 AM. Reason: Adding more random thoughts/details.

  6. #16
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    Currently considering stretching the budget for a Merc C55 like this
    https://www.gumtree.com/p/mercedes-b...tic/1386064252


    There's a 2.5T Mondeo with 217hp that also looks possible, probably a hatch would do, don't need a wagon.

  7. #17
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    I really dislike that gen of Mercedes in every way, and it's also older than most of your other picks, although the 55 engine is a real machine. But it's your call! Also, it's a c class, so it should be pretty easy to find parts for, as with the 3 series.

  8. #18
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    I'm unfamiliar with all the suggested options so far..., but just wish to chime in that I kinda miss driving my 2007 TSX. Although it's not a RWD, but it's almost like my S2000, yet way more practical.

    I think in Europe, it's just the Honda Accord? And it may not have as powerful of an engine, but you guys do have an ugly wagon version?

    Anyway, just thought that I toss in one more fun to drive, practical, and reliable option for ya.

  9. #19
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    Drove the C55 today... like it. I think I was expecting a three-valve 5.4L V8 to be a bit of a lazy lump, all low-down torque and reluctant to rev. Well no, when you find the kickdown switch it revs really well, soaring smoothly round the tacho. I think part of it is because being a cross-plane V8, it's fully balanced, unlike the Z's V6 which vibrates when you rev it. Gearbox, well, it's an auto, but I think I'll deal with it. At least it changed smoothly. Steering feel seems fine for what it is.

    Some very minor rust around the rear wheelarches - it hasn't broken through the paint, just <1cm bubbles. Seems like nip-it-in-the-bud stage, rather than major surgery. A couple of rusty spots on the bonnet from stonechips. Generally car seems reasonably sound and has service history.

    Bad points - it has the 'famous clicking noise from behind the dashboard'
    https://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w...dashboard.html
    Plus the brakes don't bite that well, and have a weird feel when just pulling to a halt.
    Also when I arrived the dealer had the bonnet up to disconnect the battery because the odo on the dash had just gone on the blink, and was then showing double the mileage (actual mileage of 130k is fairly well backed up by the service history).

    Without any particular effort at negotiation the dealer offered to drop it from 9k to 8k. He'll also get the odo fixed. That's a good price for a C55, mostly they're 10-15k. The only other estate currently available is also 9k but is Cat C and in Northern Ireland.

    I rang the garage that had been servicing it, they were enthusiastic about the car. I don't think it's been serviced as I would, I regard replacing broken springs and tyres individually as a waste of time, would always do all four. But I have to recognise that 'normal' people would consider that a waste of money. At least the garage said the owner has always authorised the work they bring up, stuff hasn't been skimped on.

    I'm going to ring some independent Mercedes specialists around Cambridge tomorrow morning, try and talk through the issues above and get some idea of cost. Seems like it'll need the ventilation fixed (500-800) plus likely new brake discs and pads. But I think I'm leaning towards buying it

  10. #20
    Senior Member Leon's Avatar
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    My concern would be, it has a multitude of small niggles now, which may indicate that it might continue to have niggles.

    Plus, also, in general, the saying goes that there's no such thing as a cheap Merc. If you buy it cheap, it's going to maul your wallet on a regular basis.

    Daily in my world = Japanese or Korean car that you walk up to, and it just works.

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