My car is getting old now, but is still the best car I've ever owned, beating even a BMW. It's fun to drive (manual trans) gets 26 mpg and keeps going in Chicago winters--through snow, rain, ice and crazy drivers. The engine (2.2l) is the best. My mechanic loves this car! While I've had work on auxiliary systems it's all been expected maintenance (brakes, clutch, water pump etc). The engine itself is still in great shape. The car seats are a little hard, and really, the cup holder over the CD player? Whose idea was that? My next car will be a Subaru, too.
Reliability, reliability, reliability. I never worry about getting where I'm going--mechanically or weather wise. I have a Chevy van that doesn't start half the time and has had the fuel injectors replaced twice, but the Subaru always starts, always runs, always gets me where I'm going.
More comfortable seats and move the cup holder. They may have changed this in the new models but since I haven't been in a dealership for 13 years...