"I'm 16 and my mom and recently sold our 2000 Legacy L in Colorado. I have to say that this car was a great first car and very fun to drive, besides my friends 02 wrx.
I'll get all the good stuff first, one it's really a rally car in disguise. I mean this thing handled and corrnerd amazingly on mountain passes to the ski areas in Colorado. If im not in a Subaru on a mountain pass I don't feel safe. I trusted this car with my life. Even took it to empty snowy parking lot and had a ton of fun with my mom. Also got it up to 110 mph one time. Its great all around!
Now the bad side about all that. I know quite a bit about Subaru cars, and this one has the notorious first gen 2.5 engine. Now this engine does eat up the head gasket over time. we went through 2 in the 8 years that we owned it. Plus the low ground clearance caused a lot of snow to build up in the wheel wells. The alternator seized up on use before we sold it (easy fix). But its a easy engine to work on for basic stuff. Dont let any of that bad stuff fool you. As long as you take care of it and love it and if something needs replacing soon get it replaced, THIS CAR WILL LAST FOREVER. WE sold ours around 216,3500ish, pretty much broken in. And to be honest I was in tears the last time I saw that car when I left Colorado."
"I got this car off of a person whom thought it needed a new motor due to the ticking noise. Turns out that it is the notorious piston slap. I brought the car up to snuff and have been driving it ever since with no issue. Gas milage is 23-24 mixed and the power is OK for this size car. Visibility is great and the driving position is good overall.
If your car has excessive wind noise there are 2 things that may need to be done.
1. if it is coming from the MIRROR area, replace the gusset that the windows slides into. This will run you about $40 and you will have to remove the inner door panel and mirror to replace it. you can verify this by placing your hand on the rubber and pressing it to the glass, if the noise stops, replace gusset
2. If the wind noise is going from other areas around the glass, lower the window all the way and then slowly bend the window gusset towars the inside of the car (pull it in) while bracing the door with your body.
For those of you with a constant engine rattle that sounds like a rod bearing. Remove timing cover and inspect your timing belt tensioner and idlers, replace anything that is leaking or making noise. they typically start going out around 60K miles (mine was leaking at 63K miles)
Overall impressions? very reliable, well built, easy to drive car"