I've had my Outback for 34000 miles and I'm very, very happy with the purchase. Better than expected mpg's-- 25/30 and better performance than I thought I'd get from the 170 hp. This is my first Subaru, but certainly not my last. If at all possible go with the 5 speed--better performance and much better mpg's than the 4 speed auto. All I've done so far is change the oil. The only downside would be the paint and the radio. They should be able to do much better in the radio despite the low price of the car. I'm glad I went Subi instead of the Mazda 3--especially when there is snow on the ground.
I really like the mpg's for an AWD car. The handling isn't bad for a raised chassis and the 170 hp isn't as sluggish as anticipated. Exterior styling is much better than the competition out there. I like the heated windshield and heated seats-- nice touch for an entry level car.
Need to improve paint quality--chips easily. The stereo is very poor.