Need a Turbo Buick Community opinion on my new daily driver


Active Member
Mar 6, 2002
"It's not perfect (hello?) but I wouldn't trade it for anything"
That's what I have always said about the TR. It's THE car for me, that's it. So I need to get rid of my 2000 Mercury Sable 195k for a new 4 door daily driver with more personality, power, fun. Now I don't want a new hobby, I like tech-ing the turbo buicks and might do a couple upgrades on the daily, but I'm a Buick guy. I want it to be fun, but need it to just run too.
So I'm considering 05-08 Legacy GT (limited) or same year Acura TL. Auto Trans, Leather Seats and as many goodies as I can find on a creampuff, one owner, well cared for ~100k mile car. I plan to keep the car around 10 years, or possibly give to my daughter in 4-5 years for college and find a new toy.
I know lots of turbobuick guys own / LOVE Subie Turbos. Some folks actually seem to feel about them like I / we do about our TR's. I don't really want to be forced to turn lots of wrenches, just optionally. So the Acura's reliability record seems pretty attractive to me. I have read a lot about these 2 cars and suggestions on alternatives. Now I want to hear opinions from THIS GROUP, as you guys represent my reference point. Here is what I'm reading so far....and I found it all on the internet, so it's all 100% accurate;) This is why I've added the ....? feel free to comment on these "facts" and offer opinions, that's what I'm looking for.
Here is what I like and don't so far:

Reliability (of a "Honda")
Power (3.2 L or 3.5 L) Similar to the GT in HP
Overall Quality
Better technology electronics
Better fuel economy
Great looks of this gen TL
Not a GT at all....Mushy ride...?
Several thousand more $$ to buy
More expensive to repair...?
Front Wheel Drive/torque steer

Legacy GT

TURBO...need I say more?
AWD (I live in Buffalo, but have never really had any issue with FWD at all getting through snow, but AWD would be nice)
Less expensive to purchase, repair
More aftermarket performance parts, support communities, knowledge available
Seems more unique, like the turbo buick....?
Fun, Fun, Fun...refer to item #1
More reliability issues, more service required
AWD matched tires required - cost
Overall quality of ride, electronics, mechanicals compared to Acura
Not a "real GT", lacks upgraded handling, suspension....?
May have to find a local, enthusiast mechanic to take care of repairs at reasonable price...?

OK guys please let me know your thoughts. Keep in mind I've been driving (and loving, actually) the 2000 Sable LS 3.0 24V, before that 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis, before that 2 Ford Broncos (1990, 1982). YAAAwwwwwwnnnnn. I am sure I'd enjoy either, just due to contrast. But I'm looking for reliable fun in my daily commute from a TR guys point of view!
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awd legacy gt would be cool and in youre neck of the woods seems like a it would be ideal.
Legacy GT hands down. I've owned 2 Subarus and they are just too much fun. Mine have been WRX's and they are a bit cheap, but the Leggy line is much nicer.
I had a 2004 WRX wagon back in the day, fun car, never had a problem with it. I'd get one again if they weren't so ugly now.
awd legacy gt would be cool and in youre neck of the woods seems like a it would be ideal.
That's exactly what I thought. Then I started reading about all the big maintenance issues after 100k, turbo's, head gaskets, timing belts, inadequate turbo oil supply. I was hoping some of our "boost junkies" can tell me otherwise and that I totally have to have it!
Have you considered the 2007+ Toyota Camry with the V6? The SE model is the sportiest version. Unbeatable reliability and great mileage....and runs what an average stock TR ran back in the day.

The # sign denotes the car is stock.
Huh. No I hadn't, and my Bro is crazy about Toyota, great reliability rep. I'll have to check one out. Another big consideration is that I'm 6'3" and have to be able to get in and out easily, also have a bad left knee and it doesn't bend well (no stick shifts:(). Looking forward to checking it out, thanks!
I have a 97 Civic and an 04 WRX wagon. Both are DD's 245k and 175k miles respectively.

Both are super reliable. Honda is cheaper to maintain (just did water pump for $17.50) and gets better mpg (just recorded 43mpg this morning). WRX is getting around 23mpg.

WRX is much faster and often more useful for hauling around some larger items.

On reliability: I purchased the honda with 150k, did basic maintenance and have had no significant issues (5 speed). I purchased the subaru brand new. It's never been to the dealer in it's life except for last week - due to the air bag recall. I have only had to replace "actual bad parts"- 1 O2 sensor, a t-stat and the crappy plastic/metal radiator and a center diff with new bearings. (also 5-speed)

My experience is that FWD is a little easier in the snow. The AWD is better for rain.
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Have you considered the 2007+ Toyota Camry with the V6? The SE model is the sportiest version. Unbeatable reliability and great mileage....and runs what an average stock TR ran back in the day.

The # sign denotes the car is stock.
I drove a 2007 Camry XLE the other day. 92k miles and it seemed like a new car. It was the most comfortable car for me to get in and out of I think I've ever driven, had tons of options, nice powerful 268 hp V6 engine. All at once it hit me. I felt right at home in this car. I am really looking for comfort and reliability more than another hot rod. At this point in my life there are too many distractions and it's tough to focus so another toy is less of an attractive option. Power is ample, greeat reliability based on all the review I could find, lots of them on the market in the 2007-2011 generation in my price range. Yes they are a boring kind of car...:D I think when I'm ready, this is the way I'm going to go. I haven't even found a Legacy GT nearby to drive yet, those AWD's are at a real premium here in Western New York State.
Thanks for all the great input folks and for your suggestion 4timesT, I NEVER would have driven a Camry otherwise. I may not buy for several months, as I am between jobs right now, so still open to thoughts, ideas and suggestions!
I have a 2005 LGT wagon with 180K on it. Yes I changed the turbo but it was due to wastegate puck failure. The turbo oil feed issue is easily resolved mine being an 05 had screens in the banjo bolts feeding the turbo oil, easily removed and screens pulled out. I also have an automatic transmission which i put a modified valve body in original trans shifts awesome. My current tune with a 16g turbo and aftermarket intercooler @ 20# boost is a fun daily driver. Head gasket failure is an issue that is prevalent in the N.A. subies not the turbo engines. It is also very easy to work on everything is really accessible.