"We have had very little problems with our subaru. Here in Seattle, this is the official car of the lower yuppie class. There are 8 on our block. We have never had any reliability issues. When it was new I did however find a few things wrong with it like the seat cushion was unstitching, and one taillight was holding water. The dealer fixed these issues right away without question. We like the space, 4WD, handling, and low road noise. The only detractors are a cheap plastic interior, poor acceleration, and not the best gas mileage for such poor pep...(20mpg avg).
I had an old 1985 subie wagon with a pathetic 96hp 4cyl that got 34mpg. I wish they would target a 30mpg car with moderate performance."
"If one is looking for a practical vehicle that can handle pretty much any type of situation, this is it. I too am agravated about the windows, the rubber wears out and the whistling begins. I love my heated seats but the seat feels too hard on long drives. But I love this car. With simple check ups, it never lets me down. Mileage OK and if I can find an independant mechanic that could tweak it for the future on the gas issue, I would spend the money."
"Our '99 passed 100K with only routine maintenace (brakes, oil, etc.) when everything pretty much melted down. About every gasket now leaks oil, speedometer is intermittent, exhaust system cracked requiring cat converters to be replaced too (only a $1,000 repair!), cruise control is intermittent, and on and on and on. If I had the heart to sell it in such shape I'd be lucky to get a couple grand. In my opinion, I don't think this car lived up to it's expectation. It was flawless til 100K, but to have virtually no value after 9 yrs of good care is an unforeseen bummer. Although I like the car and the snow factor, I won't buy another. My Hondas have far exceeded the Subaru's useful life."
"The car was going well until the head gasket issue came up. Up until then the car was fine no major issues. Ok performance level - solid but nothing extraordinary. A bit tough on brakes and the seats are not that comfortable.
This was my third Subaru but I have decided to move on. Since I was out of warranty (83k) they gave me only 20% off the fixing of the head gaskets $2200 plus they felt they were doing me a huge favor. Amazing how companies get this stuff in reverse.
They are clearly designing cars at a cheaper level nowadays. Not like the older designs which were over-engineered.
So all up an average car with average service."
"Other than the head gasket recall, the car has been absolutely worry free. If you get one used, make sure the head gasket has been replaced, though I think this applies only to the 2000-2002 4-cylinder Outbacks. The exhaust shield rattles too - it's annoying, but not harmful. Currently at 140K miles - oil changes at about 6K mile intervals, with, uh, less than religious maintenance. Not a lot of passing power, but gets the job done. Gearing is a bit tall as it runs 3500rpm in 5th. I think the heater is kind of slow, although the A/C is awesome. Mileage is okay, not great - about 21 city, 27 highway - I average around 23 mpg in mixed driving. The car is a bit narrow, so 3 across in the rear seat is cramped. The front seats are comfy for long trips though - they've stayed fairly firm over the 10 years I've owned this car."