“Beater with a Heater”

It costs a lot to ship a car to Alaska, so we sold the older of our two cars when we moved here.

And now we’re trying to find a replacement. My price range is “beater with heater,” so if you know something in that ballpark, let me know.

I’m mainly using Craigslist, of course, doing a lot of searching for “AWD” and “Subaru” there. Most of the attractive cars vanish in a few hours, but I keep seeing one that’s pretty tempting, in a danger-will-robinson sort of way: a 1991 Subaru XT-6.

I asked a friend and he sent me a whole raft of cautionary emails like this one. But it wasn’t all warnings. There was an article in Car and Driver, which calls the XT-6 a winter beater:

“The XT6 is undoubtedly the best Subaru ever built,” we gushed in a July 1988 test. Well, it certainly was the most complicated, offering height-adjustable air springs, electrohydraulic “Cybrid” power steering, and a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems.

We went over and looked at this one, and it’s still tempting. The owner bought it a couple of years ago and has poured a lot of effort into rehabilitating it. But it’s a 20-year old small-production small car. Do I want a car, or a hobby? Hmmm.