Care and feeding of a turbo car
March 10, 2014 8:20 AM Subscribe
We're shopping for a gently-used Subaru Outback, and just spent the weekend looking at the 4-5 options that met our criteria within a 50-mile radius. The one that seemed to be in the best shape (not too many miles, not too old, one previous owner, well-treated, etc.) happens to be the turbo model. I've never owned a turbo car before; what are the pros and cons?
posted by aimedwander to Shopping (12 answers total)
As a caveat, I'm not intrinsically a car enthusiast; I've never really considered wanting a turbo for the rush of power, the feelings of superiority as I zoom onto the highway, etc. I don't actively want a non-turbo either - I've just never considered it one way or the other. In the test drive, it was kind of cool, I guess, though there was too much traffic to play around with it much, especially with the dealership guys sitting in the back seat. :( (n.b. I don't need advice on used-car shopping, that's just the context)
Things I'm interested in: How does turbo affect the gas mileage? Does it mean I'd need to use premium fuel? Does a turbo need more maintenance or have more expensive parts than a non-turbo?
Basically, the immediate cost is that this fancy car (sunroof, leather, better stereo, etc, as well as turbo) is blue-booked at about $1000 higher than a comparable standard-edition model - but it is a nice car, and younger than most things on the market (standard-model subarus correspond with economy-minded drivers like myself, who wouldn't dream of selling a rugged car with under 90,000 miles on it) so we'd really consider getting it. But, I worry that this wouldn't be a great choice, if it'll end up costing us more down the road.
Bonus question: does having turbo change the driving style? If we get this car, what should I start doing differently to take advantage of it?