I bought this car at 170,000m now still running strong at 205,000m with routine maintenance. We did replace 02 sensors around 200,000m as well as brakes, rotors, cv shaft. Other than oil changes, tires and other typical replacements this car has been a dream!
It goes like a beast in the snow, plow through almost anything. Easy to drive. It also has a feature if you push the break all the way in while having the clutch in it will hold the break for you as long as you have the clutch in- (not sure what that is called)
It's not a very big car, we have two young kids so it would be nice it was a little bigger. Other than that I wouldn't change a thing!
We loved this car so much that we gave it a name (soobie). Until we bought our new 2004 Legacy, it was the best car we ever owned. It was economical (5 speed), reliable (few repairs in over 130,000 miles) and safe (I got rear-ended at a stop light. The car that hit me had to be flat bedded. I drove to work.) I eventually sold this car to a friend, reluctantly, and when we heard that it was eventually totaled in an accident, we almost cried.
I love this car. Bought it with 223,000 miles on it. Redid the cam seals, timing belt, fuel pump, fuel filters and put a new head on it. It now preforms as a new car only at the $3000 I paid for it and with the $1500 I spent to re work it. I feel as though I have a $10-15000 car and I expect to get 400,000 miles with it easy, with regular oil changes and belts. I rate it a 9.25 now. For $4500 find anything better. Let me know, I will take 10 of them. Hope this helps. Only fault as of now - check engine light is on due to fuel heat sensor unit is bad. Being able to do the work myself it does not bother me. I would drive to Alaska.
It is a Subaru and performs VERY well and is quite safe, built with safety in mind.
Fuel sensor light malfunctions. Needs to be 1-2" more ground clearance for me but I drive off road.
I have owned this car for two years and will FINALLY be replacing it with another vehicle. This isn't an awful car and is really quite durable. I had a minor accident with it that destroyed the radiator, hood and some other parts but it still started even with the car smashed to bits. I repaired it and it still runs very well today. The electric system in this car is absolutely awful and I've seen the a/c heat backlight come on maybe twice the whole time I've owned it. The engine is super reliable and I've never had any problems starting it. The body is still in great shape for a 1997 but the interior is awfully cheap. Excellent starter car but not without its issues. A good budget buy.
AWD (Saved me a few times in the snow/rain), reliability, relatively durable exterior and interior, nice trunk space.
VERY cheap interior, poor electrical reliability, slightly smushed rear legroom, slow engine, bland exterior, expensive parts, bulky steering wheel, uncomfortable seats for long drives.