This car has been a very reliable workhorse. It's great in the mountains and in snow. Great for transporting kids and hauling stuff. Best car I've ever owned. New clutch at 80K miles plus a few other major repairs over time, but nothing unexpected. Keep up the regular servicing and this car will treat you right! But, after 12 years, it's time for a new Outback. I will hate to give up my 1996 edition!
4WD - great in snow country. Outstanding reliability.
Get rid of the roof rack. Over time the roof develops rust spots where the rack tracks are attached to the roof. Only significant body problem I've had.