M3racer
M3racer New Reader
11/20/19 9:15 p.m.

So I’m looking for an extra car - kind of all over the place. Trucks, SUVs, wagons, etc., want something interesting and not just utility. Needed for weekend errands, bike and surfboard hauling, and a good platform to begin teaching my son how to drive so he doesn't destroy the clutch on my Audi S4 (or think that his first car should have anywhere near that power). Don’t want to spend a fortune (under 5000, preferably even less), would love it to be manual, E46 wagon is really my first choice but type are getting harder and harder to find. 

SO - just came across a 2005 Saab 92x Aero wagon 5 speed with 138k miles on the list of Craig and looks decent for somewhat reasonable $$. My understanding is that this is the same thing essentially as a WRX - does this mean parts are interchangeable? I understand some body panels ar different, and with Saab dead I don’t want to be stuck unable to repair and keep it on the road. And I also don’t want to be stuck finding a Saab specialist for work I cannot/do not want to do myself. Is it reasonable to assume most/all upgrades/accessories/performance goodies available for the WRX apply to the Saab as well?

Appreciate your feedback and thoughts. 

Adam 

dxman92
dxman92 HalfDork
11/20/19 9:24 p.m.

From what I gather, some of the body parts are thin on the ground if something happens..

Dootz
Dootz Reader
11/21/19 5:39 a.m.

2005+ Frontier pickup? The 6-speed on the V6 models is the same as the 350Z I believe

Aspen
Aspen HalfDork
11/21/19 8:16 a.m.

All WRX underneath, as said body panels are a concern.  If your son bangs it up it would likely have to stay that way.   Eg. bumper skins or lights. Mechanical parts are same as WRX so easy to find and easy to be worked on by a Subaru tech.

The Saab was actually better than the equivalent WRX due to getting the STi steering rack, better shocks and nicer quieter interior.  Exterior was better too IMHO.  Saabs were usually less likely to be modded by the owners so you may be able to find a near stock one which is next to impossible with a cheap WRX.

Caution, all old subaru failures would apply like gaskets and rust.

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
11/21/19 8:44 a.m.
dxman92 said:

From what I gather, some of the body parts are thin on the ground if something happens..

I remember seeing on reddit where somebody did a full Subaru front end swap because he claimed it was cheaper and easier than sourcing a replacement for a single cracked 9-2x headlight housing.  This was like 5 or 6 years ago.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
11/21/19 12:51 p.m.

I'd buy an Aero over the same year WRX every time.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
11/21/19 1:11 p.m.

It's basically a WRX wagon with near-unobtanium sheet metal and trim. They do look pretty nice though. The ultra rare 2006 Aero models are the most desirable, as those got the EJ25T instead of the EJ20T for a little more power. Like others have said, all standard used WRX problems will apply, including (but not limited to) rust, spinning bearings, bad head gaskets and damage done by wannabe tuners. A clean one would be a future classic, IMHO.

lnlds
lnlds Reader
11/21/19 3:48 p.m.

Inspect the rear shock towers--rear shock tower rust is what kills a lot of these cars. As other's have said they're wrxs in a suit with an sti steering rack and aluminum lower control arms

NGTD
NGTD UberDork
11/25/19 6:47 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

It's basically a WRX wagon with near-unobtanium sheet metal and trim. They do look pretty nice though. The ultra rare 2006 Aero models are the most desirable, as those got the EJ25T instead of the EJ20T for a little more power. Like others have said, all standard used WRX problems will apply, including (but not limited to) rust, spinning bearings, bad head gaskets and damage done by wannabe tuners. A clean one would be a future classic, IMHO.

And I'd take an EJ205 (2.0L - 2005) over the EJ255 (2.5L -2006) every time and twice on Sunday. Way more reliable and I can get the extra power with a tune.

porschenut
porschenut Reader
11/26/19 7:09 a.m.

There is a good chance this will be the son's primary quickly so I would advise against anything turbo.  It is just a temptation at that age for anyone.  Not just teens.  But a basic suby 5 speed outback might be a good option.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
11/26/19 8:07 a.m.
NGTD said:
Tony Sestito said:

It's basically a WRX wagon with near-unobtanium sheet metal and trim. They do look pretty nice though. The ultra rare 2006 Aero models are the most desirable, as those got the EJ25T instead of the EJ20T for a little more power. Like others have said, all standard used WRX problems will apply, including (but not limited to) rust, spinning bearings, bad head gaskets and damage done by wannabe tuners. A clean one would be a future classic, IMHO.

And I'd take an EJ205 (2.0L - 2005) over the EJ255 (2.5L -2006) every time and twice on Sunday. Way more reliable and I can get the extra power with a tune.

To be honest, I probably would too. I forgot about the ringland failures, cracked pistons, and that stupid turbo oil line screen that makes the 2.5's from those years blow up.

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