Bottom line, this just isn't a reliable car. Bought the car with 100K thinking that Subarus run forever. I was wrong. Brakes wear down quickly and it seems to always be leaking oil. At 130K the head gasket blew and the cylinder heads cracked. Repair bill ran over $2,500K. Next time I go Japanese it'll be Toyota or Honda.
Handles snow effortlessly. Looks great from the outside. Roomy in back.
This car is shiny and nice looking at first, and there is a lot to be said about the AWD and room inside, but overall since I bought it, I have not felt really confident in it. in the 5 months I have owned it, I have had a bad water pump, (then another bad water pump Subaru sent to replace that one), blown head gaskets (like most other 2.5L engines), bad thermostat, and a bad knock sensor. In that time, the car has been in the shop for a total of over 2 weeks, and a total of over fifteen hundred dollars. The engine cylinders are not welded to the block very well, which is the reason for the gaskets going out all the time, and I have lost a lot of faith in Subaru.
When not loaded with gear, the car has good pep, and the AWD is really well done.
Use some experience to build a better engine. Don't put a hood scoop on a car that doesn't use it. Combine the AWD system with a truly reliable turbodiesel engine, and you will have a car that is worth buying.
Main disappointment with the vehicle is a blown head gasket at 135,000 miles, but my 2002 F150 blew the head gasket at 57,000 miles, go figure. Car is the greatest in snow, is our vehicle of choice in the winter over the four wheel drive F150.
Great in snow, love the overhead rack, looks great.
I've got to say the Outback has had her problems, but I still love her. I bought the car in Feb. 2002 with 54,000 miles on the clock. She had 4 month old Michelins on her then. The engine developed a ticking sound (like the valves needed adjusting), when cold, after about 6 months. The ticking would disappear after she warmed up. Finally in March 2003, I needed new brakes. I had a tune-up done, had the brakes re-done all around, had the transmission flushed, and had the tensioner replaced (tensioner replaced under warranty), for a grand total of $615. The only other problems I've had are the dash lights ($80 @ Subaru - $6 and 30 miniutes diy), a battery blow up, and the dome (entry) light not working.
AWD - of course! Great looks, ground clearance, mileage, dog carrying capacity, standard features, boxer engine. Will buy a JDM engine ($1200 w/~ 36,000 miles) when this one dies (I've got 110,000 on her now), and see how long she'll go
Better cup holders (front and rear; will only hold a can or small cup - no coffee mugs/20 oz. drink). Cruise control that stays on when you shut the car off, standard cold climate accessories (heated mirrors, heated windshield wiper rests, washer reservoir heater, heated seat). I will buy another one!
I have owned it for four years, and
drive it everywhere (across country,
vacations, work everyday). I feel safe
in it, and trust putting my family in
it everyday. Was in a car accident (not
my fault!) that pushed me across the
road and up on the sidewalk. Even
though caused alot of damage, I walked
out of the car with no injuries. Thank
god for a well built car.
Pros: After buying it used (with 30K
miles on it), it has been great. Have
added over 80K miles to it, and still
reliable with no major repairs (besides
my accident). I love the look of it,
and get compliments all the time.
Everything (minor electronics/gadgets)
Doesn't have much power (especially
going up the mountains loaded down with
gear), poor on gas mileage, and with a
child and big dog, space is limited.
The seats can become uncomfortable in
long drives. Highly recommend it, only
which it was 6 cylinder.