Mate, i don't know much about older subaru wagons i'm assuming your talking about the Subaru Leones.
Being Japanese it will be never easier to work on compared to say a falcon. Though i can say one thing i've heard that even old subaru's can clock 300-350k without much problems at all. The only thing is if it does have a problem then it would be a bugger to fix as parts are scarce etc.
If your budget is $1500 why don't you consider an XD falcon Wagon, tough as nails, got a 4.1L donk in it and bloody suited for carryin weight due to leaf springs.
I guess only draw back is looking for an XD thats not beaten up/stuffed is the problem. But even if theres a few problems with it i'm sure it can be repaired easily.
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Heard of serious problems with block/head softening on old subas, but inevitable with any alloy engine. Apparently, the pores in the aluminium become so great that oil leaks thru the sides of the engine :dead: But every car has its downturns
I own a Suby wagon and have to say go the XE/XF Falcon. The Escort van would be to old and are way to hard to find in decent condition, tried looking myself. The corty wagon wouldn't be much better while the other older jap cars would most likerly be to small. The Suby is a good car if looked after but if/when they have a problem it costs big dollars to fix eg:heater fan $300 second hand. They are under powered and drink fuel like you wouldn't belive, My '91 auto 4wd uses about 13L/100km and can barely keep up with the traffic unless I ring the things bloody neck which then causes air to be sucked in through the non-genuine oil filter 'O' ring and the oil pump 'o'ring. I could go on but there is no need.
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