Dead due to a broken timing belt at 261,000 original miles (entirely my fault: I only only replaced the timing belt twice & I ignored the squealing belt for a week before it broke). Remarkably good condition at death, considering what I'd put it through over the years -- who knows how many miles I'd have gotten if I'd checked out that squealing belt? Only two serious flaws in my opinion: The clutch cable snapped TWICE during ownership (once during a blizzard!), and too little ground clearance, particularly in front (an old Toyota Tercel EZ I'd previously owned was actually much better on rough backroads than the Subaru). Overall this car is a solid winner, though, despite a few complaints.
A remarkably durable vehicle for the most part. Zippy performance (2.2L engine & manual transmission) and excellent handling for such a cheap vehicle. Excellent visibility & driving position.
Clutch cable problems and warped rotors are too common. No indicator showing if & when the AWD kicks in-- it's a rear-wheel drive vehicle until the rear wheels start to slip. Body style of the 2000 L wagon is particularly ugly: Like a stretched- out old AMC Pacer! Who digs that look? Nobody!
This car is very reliable. That was part of the reason I bought it in the first place. It will hug any surface and get you out of a tight spot if caught on any loose surface.
Handling is hard to beat. Visibility all round is good although front pillars are a bit too far forward blocking signals from other cars changing lanes. Cruise control works very well.
The design of the rear doors needed improving as they often had a pointy bit that jutted into the tummy when opening. Headrests were lousy. Automatic transmission works well but makes for a badly underpowered unit. Don't expect to overtake in a hurry. Remote control only works when next to car.