I learned to drive on a Subaru and am somewhat biased. What I have learned is that Suabarus in general can be reliable cars most of the time. I bought my '98 Forester w/ 125k miles and had minor mechanical issues, 2 CV joint replacements and a new thermostat. However, a year ago many major issues popped up, including major repair on the front end and rear rotors. Now the automatic transmission is shifting hard into and out of 1st gear plus a bent rod makes a lot of noise during start-ups. The handling is sound and AWD works beautifully, many chances to hydroplane but the wheels caught the road instantly. Low profile feels like you're driving a car but with twice the cargo room.
Headroom, AWD, cargo space, good ground clearance, unique body style.
consistent and almost predictable mechanical problems