iRage's post in Toyota Hilux Abnormal Turbo Whistle :( was marked as the answer
That is not normal...it is hard to hear the exact type of sound form inside the cabin...that could be somethinglike the air ducts leaking or if it a sireny whistle then there is something wrong on the compressor side of the turbo charger..could be that the bearign has gone and the blades are having too much play and or unbalanced or even a bent blade.
You say the car is under warranty....does that mean that you cannot have anyone else worked on it (without voiding the warranty) ? There are 4x4 and Turbo specialists lke BN who could tell you exactly what is wrong with it...
iRage's post in Buying a first car for budget ?.. was marked as the answer
Sadly not the best of cars....very unrefined and mediocre build quality. A car just having 64,000km (assuming it is accurate) and just 10 years old needing a steering rack repair is a testament to the quality of components. Just like the Maruti 800s and Celries...these cars have rather cheap parts for repairs, but sadly the parts hav very short life spans.
Sadly in the current market you will have to resort to much older Japanese cars (around the early tomid 90s ?). Personally, I do feel that a averagely maintained slightly older Japanese car would be better than the Zen. Don't get me wrong..India does make some good cars...but Marutis (especially from the era you are looking at) are not those.
Yes..it will be hard to find a decent Japanese car that has not been messed around with and is actually good. But I do feel the search will be worth it. Let it be the Zen (or a newer car) or an older car. You say you cannot buy an older car because you know nothing about cars to pick a good one. The same goes for newer and non Japanese cars as well...YOU CANNOT INSPECT AND DECIDE TO BUY IT ON YOUR OWN! You MUST take it to a proper car check place to get a proper inspection done. So at the end of the day it really doesn't matter whether it is a Zen or a Toyota/Nissan.
As for your 100,000 budget for repairs...you might be pushing it....remember...trust no one when it comes to buying cars in SL. So be prepared to change the timing belt (if it has a belt), brake pads, suspension bushes etc...no matter what you buy (you can forego things like the timing belt if there are verifiable records...and by verifiable I mean you can call up the agent or someone and see if the repair is logged).
iRage's post in Can I solve this my own? was marked as the answer
You mean that scratch ? Sadly no...the paint has scraped off...so it needs painting. If you try to paint it you are just going ot leave an ugly mark on it.
What I would say is...wait....get used to driving the car and driving in general...then once your driving ahs improved...get all the dents and scratched fixed up and give the car a good cleaning. If you can't wait because that block patch is driving you crazy...go to Darley road...or any accessories shop anywhere in the country and buy a set of corner reflectors and just paste it on there until you can get it fixed. There are also people who do quick fix up jobs around these areas....you can try one of them but in my experience those solutions are not very good, not very long lasting and sometimes the person sucks that it looks ugly.
The sad reality of car ownership in Sri Lanka is that your car is going to get a lot of scratches and dents thanks to selfish cyclists, tuk tuk drivers, other car drivers, pedestrians...(the list goes on). Everytime such a thing happens you cannot run to a garage to get it fixed..nor can you fix it...nor can you compound (or cut and polish) to take the scratches away (it thins out the paint). So you need to learn to deal with it and plan periodic fix ups after a whole lot of time.
iRage's post in Toyota Camry 2002 or Honda es5 was marked as the answer
Of the above vehicles the Civic is the more engaging and all rounder cars to have. Decent performance...decent comfort..decent creature comfort. Only hitch is finding one that is not riced up, but there are quite a few decent ones around.
The Camry is spacious and large and has a very soft and plushy ride. But it is as enjoyable as a sofa sinking in a pool to drive.
The bluebird G11...well decent and comfortable ride...but personally I feel it to be a bit cheap.
If it was my money I would buy the Civic.
iRage's post in Car to do 3000km+/month, under 2M was marked as the answer
Hmmmm......the issue is for that budget you are looking at really old cars. Reliability of old cars is purely dependent on how well it has been taken care of. With cars within your budget it is hard to say because they are so old. Old Corollas and Laners are solidly built cars but how reliable they are now depends on past ownership/maintenance history. Note I did not mention Sunny because the B14 Sunny is built using superglue and rubber bands...
What you should plan on doing..I believe...is get a E90/E100/E110 series Corolla or something like a CB series Lancer....I believe market price for those go for around 1.2 - 1.6mil. Try to get it for as low as possible..and then with the remainder of your 2mil budget...build the car with proper parts...ancilliaries like alternator, compressors, suspension bushes, shocks, electricals, etc....(for engine blocks of these cars...200,000+ km is nothing as long as it has been taken care of properly...but you are not going to find an honest car in SL).
I think if you can stretch your budget a little bit more you might be able to find a decent CS series Lancer as well.
Are you looking at Petrol or Diesel ?
iRage's post in Mitsubishi Pajero Palathsabha chassis no was marked as the answer
Yes...L048 was the model designation for the LWB 2.3TD. I think 46,47,48,141,146 were long wheel base versions.
Typically there is a G at the end if it is a SUV variant; if not it was usually a van which was a (V)/special vehicle variant.
Now...the following is just me spilling out what I remember. The combinations were endless and with so many markets there were quite a few codes....but generally in the Japanese market and a few other general export markets:
The segment after the "-" indicated the body and spec variations....
If the first letter was a W it meant it was a Super Wagon, V at the first position signified a Van (...in the japanese market which was referred to as a wagon in export markets...not to be confused with the V at the end of LxxxV), the G at the second or after position was designated for Wide body/fender. A "R" (not at the end) signified 4A/T, F a 4M/T and N a 5 M/T. A standard V at the beginning implied a Metal top which is either a flat roof in case of a 3 door/SWB or a high roof in a LWB. A M indicated a mid-roof (which you are referring to as flat roof). T at some position for Turbo. L or R at the end signified a LHD or a RHD. In the Japanese market they had a J, X or a D to indicate a grade. For some models J referred to GL and in some JX and the X indicated a XL and D indicated DX.
I have no idea what your VGJ code is....the Japanese market unit did not have a VGJ code. If one was to use the Japanese coding scheme it would mean your vehicle was N/A, was in a market that had only one type of transmission, was a Wagon (or in Japan a Van), came in a wide body configuration (in some markets this also meant that it had the wide track but not necessarily the wide body) and was a GL grade. Since the M is not there it might suggest it is not a mid-roof.
Again..the permutations were endless depending on the market....so yeah....
Budding and swapping bodies is illegal (in all parts of the world) for safety and security reasons. If a body has been swapped LEGALLY, there should be letters from the RMV authorizing it and the issuance of a body permit for importing the body (or something of the sort; not entirely sure of all the documents). Basically,the only thing you can swap without prior approval are the body panels (inner frame/chassis needs to be untouched). Even then the body panels have to be a one to one replacement and not change the original design of the vehicle. In SL, people get away without any of these formalities because our guys are too lazy to check the legality of all these and even if they did check they turn a blind eye if "gratitude" is shown.
iRage's post in Corolla AE110 vs Cefiro A33 was marked as the answer
You are comparing bananas with apples.
The Corolla is an econo sedan designed to give A to BE transportation economically and in fair comfort. The Cefiro is a luxury barge focused on moderate luxury travel from A to B (the performance variants hardly made it to SL).
If fuel economy is a high concern the Cefiro is not for you. If you want a luxurious/cozy ride then the Corolla is not for you.
True, the Cefiro has been prone to issues due to local conditions, but taken care of there really isn't anything catastrophically wrong with the car. Remebmer every car has on the planet has little design niggles. The Corolla E110 might have lesser of those design niggles but that is because the E110 brings in a lot of the old tech from the E100 series Corolla and other Toyotas that are older (so Toyota had plenty of time to fix those because the tech was old).
No matter which car you buy the biggest concern ou should have is if you will be able to find a unit that is honest and in decent condition. Plenty of these cars (both models) are fixed up to look shiny for a quick sale after having lived harsh lives at two different ends of the spectrum.
iRage's post in Toyota AE70 liftback was marked as the answer
Well..if you buy it...congrats ! It will be a fun ride...it seems to be a Sprinter Liftback...
These cars, especially the Sprinter, is best left with subtle mods due to its rarity. I would say just do a restoration and some simple mods like upgrading the suspension and brakes and maybe the engine.
Two ways to go about it....you can do a complete GT conversion (GT is the Liftback and Hardtop equivelant of the Trueno which only came in Coupe form and just a grade in the E70 and earlier series). This is going ot cost a fortune and hard to do because GTs are hard to come by and when you do its quite pricey.
Second option is what you probably seem to be wanting to do...do a resto-mod. Most of the AE86 aftermarket parts fit the E70....and there are PLENTY of AE86 aftermarket parts. You can go for second hand AE86 parts but those can get as expensive as new parts. Brake parts can be sourced from Starlets to Honda Fits (which actually are cheaper than trying to find actual upgrades for the E70 liftback.
Body parts for this is going to be hard to find...you will have to get them imported. Its starting to get quite rare in Japan and sometimes you have more luck finding it in Australia than in Japan. If I am not mistaken this had lights from a B11 Sunny or something in the back....
Engine...this is going to be a matter of budget, personal preference and what you plan to do with the car. The 4A-GE is quite an easy conversion if you go with the 16v variants. The 20v variants will be a good choice too but you will have to do some modest modifications to turn the FWD designed engine in to RWD. But many in SL have done it with AE85s that plenty of people know how to do it. The 16v RWD engines are the easiest to put in there as its just a simple drop.
The 3S-GE will give the most amount of power. So if you want power..sure...but it will require some significant effort to put it in.
You will need to upgrade the gearbox. The K50 gearbox will not handle it and you will just break it if you try to use it with the new engine. Go for a T50 (for a 4A-GE) or a W5x gearbox for the 3S-GE (or the 4A-GE if you really want to).
The engines and gearboxes have become quite pricey over the last few years.
Mind you..if you do a proper build of the 3A, the 3A by itself is quite fun in that car....
Personally I find the 4A-GE a good balance for the E70/E80 Corolla/Sprinter. It is peppy enough for the light body to keep the body well planted. For me the 3S-GE ,although feels much more modern than the 4A-GE, is a bit too powerful for what the car is. It does make you want to push the car more but then it does scare you in to thinking that the car is just going twist up to just break off the tarmac. The 4A-GE does make you want to push the car but within limits to what the stock frame can handle. So..engine choice will be a matter of preference. Keep in mind that the model was designed (by default) to handle 70 - 80 hp with not much torque...and then the Trueno/GT variants got a some additional weld points to be able to handle 110ish hp...
You might want to swap the rear-end too...but doing that is a bit tough. You will have to do some mix and matching if you want to come up with a local solution.
iRage's post in How to verify jaai, jevic, sterling certification was marked as the answer
3. Depends...some come with Sterling, some with something else, some with none...these are just 3rd party warranties which the importer of the car can choose to or not chose to get at time of export from Japan.
4. Walk away. You are buying a common car. There are plenty around.
5. If the dealer is decent and honest and has nothing to hide...he will agree to taking the car there. Some do it on their cost some expect you to pay at least part of it.
6. Yes. Depending on the agent you might want to consider going to a third party like Car Checks instead.
iRage's post in Nissan RZ-1 TO 200SX 1987 SWAP was marked as the answer
I think you have misunderstood what a "chassis" is in these cars and underestimating the task at hand. These are unibody cars...therefore, it is not a matter of removing an old body and putting the new body on top of a metal chassis/ladder (like they would do in Land Cruisers and Morris minors and stuff...).
With a unibody car like the RZ-1; what you will have to do is remove the body panels from the RZ-1 leaving just its frame/skeleton.This skeleton would comprise of the roof, side pillars, "engine compartment", floor pan of entire car, rear fender section..in the very least. Then you have to attach the Sylvia body panels on to the RZ-1 skeleton. They are not going to match up. The proportions are different. Therefore, you will have to weld, cut, make pieces, cut more etc...to make the Sylvia body panels line up properly on to the RZ-1 skeleton. So..even if you don't want to....you are going to end up with a Frankenstein car.
Unless you are going to keep it FWD, to make it RWD you would need to cut and chop the floor pan of the RZ-1 skeleton. The RZ-1 is FWD and Sylvia RWD, you will have to make a gearbox tunnel and then extend that tunnel to run the rest of the prop shaft Then you might also have to change the floor pan in the back to accommodate the rear diff.
Again, do a proper resto-mod of the RZ-1 instead of creating a monster. A clean resto mod would be far more valuable than what you are trying to do.
iRage's post in Buying a Japan Alto, how to check the grade was marked as the answer
There are two model lines for the standard Alto the passenger line and the business line.
The passenger line’s model is HA36S. The grades for this line up are X,S, L and F (F is the lowest ?). If I am not mistaken the X,S and L come only with a CVT gear box and the F comes in MT and 5AGS.
The way to figure out the grade is, on the ID plate there will be a code in the model/frame code with the following format
AB(grade letter X/S/L/F)(another letter) - (optional letters for packages)
So a CVT, 2WD L grade will have the code ABLE, CVT, 2WD S will have the code ABSE
The L and F grades don’t have rear head rest and the difference between a L and F is quite minimal.
The business line model is HA36V. The V is for “Van” because in Japan these are known as vans. In that the grade code will be AGP(some letter depicting the transmission/axle). The van has a really poor rear seat. The rear seat has been brought forward to the max so that there is maximum cargo space. As a result an average adult will find it very difficult to sit in the back for more than a few minutes and also getting in and out is also difficult and the back support of the seat is like a cardboard that has been covered with some “stuff”
Business car's rear seat :
L grade passenger vehicle rear seat
Note how in passenger line of cars the rear seat is positioned back and the support is behind the rear door edge. In the business car line the rear seat is a bit more forward and thin (its a little adjustable but doesn't make much of a difference
iRage's post in 1st Gen RAV 4 ? was marked as the answer
96..97..98 ? Which one are you looking for ? 1997 got the facelift which mostly has some body upgrades. The facelift also got a FF model (before that all models were AWD)...so look out for that...seen a few people (even on AL) buy FF thinking they are AWD !!! The facelift came with the 3S-FE from the older RAV4 as well as a more powerful 3S-GE (if possible et one of these which has 170hp..hard to find though).
The most desirable variant is the facelifted G grade. It comes with the 3S-GE engine and rear disk brakes plus some goodies.
Things that need to be done:
Change the timing belt....if it has done 200K then its time for a change anyway whilst you are at it the water pump needs to be attended to. Apart from that....look for oil leaks and strange valve knocks, make sure compression is not lost. The engine in the first gen RAV4 is mounted at an angle (it is leaning towards the firewall). As a result the side that is on the front of the car can get starved of oil resulting in drying up the seals and breaking off and starting to have issues with the cylinder walls getting "grinded-out". This will not happen if the car was maintained properly (i.e. oil properly changed and filled). So depending on the condition you miht have to look in to these soon....but at the very least try to change the oil seals all around.
As with any SUV/Cross-over...check for the wheel hubs....they have a tendency to wear out easily... and look for oil leaks around the rear diff and make sure the rear diff still works properly, listen for grinds, whines, etc...(a lot of people disconnect the rear by taking off the prop shaft in an attempt to "save fuel" but end up screwing up the system). A lot of people misdiagnose the rear diff in these things. People know that the rear has a LSD so they mount it up and spin arear wheel to see if both sides turn in the same direction...and t their surprise it doesn't. The RAV4.1 has a Torsen LSD...so the general test for a mechanical LSD will not apply. If the diff works then the LSD part of it will work....So...depending on the condition this might need to be taken care of.
Suspension components are pretty rugged in these things..however most people only replace the shock absorbers ad the fairly obvious bushes....consider changing things like control arms bushings, linkages, sway bar bushings, etc...usually the operational life time of these components are anything from 5 to 10 years...so..yeah...personally I would go the original route where things like the entire control arm needs to be bought but for things like control arm bushes you can buy just the bushes and pack it in.
In addition it would be just like any other car...transmission maintenance..body repairs, etc....again..all depends on the condition.
Engine parts, transmission parts and running components (brake pads, filters, etc..) should be easy to find as these were used in quite a few models in SL...okay..some parts for like the 3S-GE engine might not be that easy as walking in to any shop in panchi and buying it..but it will be available. Body parts might require a bit walking around. Most of the components are mechanical so you can find a way to get things to work most of the time.
How reliable ? Well..depends on how well it was taken care of...so none of us can say anything about it. The RAV4 and the 3S series engines are pretty robust. I have seen RAV4s that have done 225,000+MILES on it with nothing but general/running and pre-emptive maintenance. Needless to say, any mechanical device wears out with age and they will need to be taken care of...so if you find a well maintained unit and do all the necessary fixing ups (seal changes, suspension bushing changes, etc...) it will be a relatively good runner. But don't expect it to be a complete "just pump-fuel and run and forget everything else" kind of ownership.
As for the AWD system...its relatively capable...the mechanical system has a full time 50:50 power split (actually it has a small range but generally considered to be 50:50). It will get you through some light to moderate muddy and sandy situations and in most cases quite a lot more capable than the new cross-overs. The rear has a torsen LSD...it is useful on slippery roads but off road it actually means jack squat. The manual transmission variant comes with a center diff lock which is actually quite useful and makes it a bit more capable. So try to get a manual transmission one if you can find one.
iRage's post in Buying first car was marked as the answer
There are plenty of discussions on the models you have mentioned. Please do a search in the forum.
Finally, any particular reason why you are focusing only on the Toyotas ? Most do so because of resale value and "ease and low cost of maintenance". In reality:
* the Toyotas that you are looking at are somewhat over priced and finding a good unit is easier said than done.
* if you use good decent parts and take the car to a proper garage the maintenance cost is not that much different between other models
Although I am a hardcore 80s and 90s Toyota fan; even I would suggest you look at a few other options like the Axela and Lancer as well.
iRage's post in Best Car to buy between 2.7M and 3.3M - Reconditioned or Brand New was marked as the answer
I think you meant to say 27 lakhs to 33 lakhs.... 27m(illion) to 33m(illion) would mean you can be looking at Mercs and BMWs and stuff...
Secondly, there is no such thing as reconditioned cars anymore. I think what you actually want is an (unregistered) used car from Japan or a brand new car. Used cars you get from Japan are as-is cars. Basically as-is cars are used cars that have been cleaned up and then exported out of Japan, in some cases small repairs may or may not be fixed depending on what the buyer wants. "Reconditioned" cars are something that was around in the 80s when the usual practice was that cars were bought and redone (painted, fixed, parts changed if needed) before exporting out of Japan, after reconditioning the car got that blue circular sticker with a white swastika on ot. This lead to problems of crappy cars being exported so Japan stopped doing it in the late 80s (actually a few Sri lankan auto exporters in Japan at the time were partly responsible for this change) . So in this modern day and age..you don't want to buy a "reconditioned" car.
Thirdly, and finally, if those are the cars you want then haven't you already answered your question ? The only remaining options are the kei cars from Japan (Wagon R, Alto, etc..). These cars have been discussed quite a lot over the last few days so please go through those threads and ask any specific questions you may have ?
iRage's post in What is CIF price? was marked as the answer
CIF = Cost, Insurance and Freight. It pretty much includes the cost of the item, the cost of insuring the item for shipping and the cost of shipping it self.
Eg. Cost would be the price of the car you buy it at from auction or a car sale in Japan, Freight would be the cost of shipping that vehicle from source to destination (Sri Lanka) and Insurance would be the cost to insure the car for shipment.
You can buy a vehicle from Japan through an agent. If you do so...your cost of bringing down the car to Sri Lanka will be the CIF price; plus on top of that the agent would charge you a percentage (for his work) as a markup/profit or depending on how he operates he might have already kept a small markup/profit for himself in the CIF price he gave you. Plus you would have to pay import duties.
If you walk in to a car showroom in SL and buy a car they will give you a price for the car which would have been calculated after factoring in all of the above (CIF, duty, markup/profit). In these cases the profit/markup that the showroom keeps will be higher than in the first case because the showroom has to account for additional factors such as having to stock the car for some time in the showroom, maintaining the showroom premises, staff, additional services, etc...
iRage's post in First Car was marked as the answer
I said the 406 is NOT the sportiest of cars. Its pretty much a comfy barge
If you can find a SPORTS variant of the Familia you might like it...its not that bland. But you have to accept the fact that cars from a each era look quite similar and has the same blandness. In each era there would be only one or two cars that actually go against the norm, especially in the segment of cars you are looking at. Are you sure the 1st gen basic/standard Imprezza is out of your budget ? Not any of the converted ones but a standard one. If it is out of your budget you probably can thank the conversion hungry kids for that How about a Ceres or Marino (hopefully with the 4A-FE engine) ?
Since you have driven only for 6 hours...are you sure you want to spend that much money and buy a car ? Perhaps you should look at something a bit smaller and older and get to know about cars and be a bit more experienced driving one ? Driving in SL is quite tricky and you are bound to get dings and scratches and perhaps a car that stretches your entire budget might not be the best of things to do ? You can find box lancers, P70 series Starlets, E80/90 Corollas (if not the sedan perhaps something like a Corolla II/Tercel coupe with the turbo charged engine and popup lights ?) In fact ask J or C (who ever your friend might be) if Dinesh Hendsman's (a well known restorer and collector of classics) AE81 Corolla is still there.
Then there are B12 Sunnae/Sunnies (whatever the plural of Sunny is...there were a few coupe's one was a NISMO package and RZ-1s for sale) for a lot less.
These cars are simple so if you are in to the whole motor mechanics thing you can do basic repairs and maintenance yourself and will be a good platform for you to learn some skills. Also, these cars are relatively smaller, lighter and has pretty decent visibility too unlike some of the later models with high bootlids and low driver positions, etc...also parts are relatively cheap if and when that ding or two does happen.
iRage's post in Vitz 1300 RS? was marked as the answer
I suppose you are looking at the P90 series ?
The P90 Series RS came in both 1.3L and 1.5L variants. The 1.3L variant came with a 2SZ-FE engine putting out like 85hp and had drum brakes in the back. The 1.3L RS was pretty much like every other 1.3L Vitz with the only difference being it had a sporty body kit, lights and some interior trim. So it was just the normal 1.3L Vitz made to LOOK sporty.
The actual Sporty RS was the 1.5L variant with the 1NZ-FE engine. This particular RS came with all four disk brakes, slightly stiffer suspension and the sporty cosmetic stuff. The 1.5L variant also could be had with a manual transmission.
So..yes..the 1.3L RS is real and from the manufacturer. Its just that it was nothing more than just a smoke screen. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the normal 1.3L Vitz are quicker than the 1.3L RS because the 1.3L F grade Vitz is a good 20-30 kg lighter than the 1.3L RS.
The P130 series on the other hand is a different story. The RS comes only in 1.5L guise with the 1NZ engine.
The P10 series, like the P90, came in 1.3L and 1.5L variant RSs. Both had all the options like all four disk brakes, spports suspension, 14" wheels, etc...
Personally, I would not bother with the 1.3L RS becuase you pay a lot more for cosmetics and no real gain in performance. However, I believe 1.5L RS variants are quite hard to come by in SL. I beleive the most common would be the Swift Sports followed by the Demio sport grade. In away, the rarity of the 1.5L RS by itself is an attraction I suppose.
DISCLAIMER : Car salesmen in SL are notorious for dressing up cars in to something else, so there is a high chance that they would take a normal 1.3L Vitz and then dress it up to look like a 1.3L RS.
EDIT : According to the catalog the 1.5L came with HID headlamps and the 1.3L RS came with 15" wheels. Also the AUTO AC seems t have been standard in the 1.5L RS. However the funnest part is the 1.5L RS seems to have been offered with a LSD (since it is an option not all would have come with it)
iRage's post in Mercedes-Benz S320 1999 was marked as the answer
How much of a "car nut"/"petrol head" are you ?
Leather seats can always be redone....however:
The car is going to require pampering and a lot of TLC like a new born baby (or a labrador...those things are very very needy as well). You can source parts locally through the agents; but it will cost you dearly, so you will have to buy/order it abroad and bring it down yourself and little niggles will have to be taken care of asap without letting them escalate (and these things will have little niggles as they have all these funky gadgets that can have small bouts of temper tantrums).
So when it comes to maintenance..if you are expecting a car that you can just pump petrol and use and do an oil change now and then like the Aqua; then give it to a garage when something comes up and have them replace parts from Panchi...then DON'T BUY THIS.
If you are a complete and utter car nut and think that
- spending hours on ebay looking for parts is the best use of your online time
- spending time at garages/auto-spas gently massaging your car in to good health is joyful and therapeutic
- a car breaking down is away to emotionally connect with your ride...
then buy all means buy it .
In fact, the very fact that you are wondering about maintenance shows that you are probably not going to fully appreciate the car.
Sorry to be negative...but just putting it out there.
iRage's post in Reliable car around 4.5mil was marked as the answer
Well..for starters....its not like the Allion/Premio CVT is the end of the world or anything. There were no serious defects and recalls on the CVT unit. Its a thing common to CVTs and any other component in a car. If not properly cared for it will break; let it be an Allion/Premio, Nissan or a Honda. Granted CVTs in general might not have the robustness of the old school AT or MT transmissions. Allions/Premios came by the ship load so you hear more stories of that breaking than anything else. Also, 80% of the Allion/Premio buyers bought it to show off and are too cheap to maintain them. You will hear similar CVT issues with the old Fit, Vitz etc...and then other issues with another car, and the list goes on. So if you are planning on buying a car that has no issues then you will be waiting for a long time. There is no such thing as a perfect car.
So if you find an honest, clean Allion/Premio; that has actually been taken care of with proper scheduled preemptive maintenance work and running services carried out; you should not run away from it just because of stories of a CVT box failing. IF that is what you want and desire.
But seriously..those things are seriously over priced. You can buy a Mark X of similar vintage which is a much more luxurious and funner car for the same price or less. Granted Mark Xs are really hard to come by.
You won't find many other options in the same category from Japan but you do get better options in higher categories like an Accord, Mark X (if you can find one) or Teana of the same era. There are also quite a few Euro options but I am not sure if you would be ready for the joy and discipline required to take care of one being a new car owner and all.
Are you sure you don't want something like a Lancer EX or a Civic ?
iRage's post in Subaru impreza Sti was marked as the answer
Oh...okay....well still...it doesn't change the fact that you still will be dropped behind the wheel of a high powered car which requires the driver to be sensible and mature when driving in public roads. It is just that there has been a huge influx of young drivers behind these types of vehicles (BMWs, Evo, STi conversions, etc...) driving like complete morons..racing...driving on the wrong side of the road,etc...
The STi is a nice car.,..better if you can get an original one or at the very least a proper conversion of high caliber. HOwever, please don't expect it to be maintained by maka-basses like most Toyota and Nissan owners do. You will need to be a bit more selective of how, when and where you take care of it.