The car has been excellent overall. It has been reliable, the finish and other exterior pieces have held up well in Hawaii's marine environment, and the handling, while not "sporty", is just fine. The car's only weak point is the drive train for the front wheels. There seems to be a design flaw there which has necessitated work on a couple of occasions.
Car was OK for a few years, then lights in some of the dash went out, and on the heated seat switches (but only on high?). Brakes go often and cost $1000 for rotors and pads. Struts feel like they are bad but have not confirmed. Water pump, cam seals, head gaskets etc. have been replaced. Now, like MANY other reviewers, the head gaskets blew out and I am looking at $2,000 to fix them. The front end bushings are also shot - $400. What gives? This car is driven lightly for under 100K miles and is garaged!
AWD, adventure vehicle.
A better engine! Better fit and finish, better reliability. Longer warranty. How come KIA has a better warranty?
Bought this car with 82,000 on it and was already 6 years old! I haven't had one single problem with it yet. First thing I did with it was drive from Wash. DC to San Diego, up the Cali. coast with two bikes and a cartop box on the roof (and back)! Now I've got 110k miles on it and aside from a loose heat shield (annoying rattle) and some weird noise coming from the rear axle area that I'm ignoring because I'm in denial that there's something wrong. Stupid, I know. Will have it checked out soon. Otherwise I've had only oil changes. My car goes on all the ski/snowboard/mtn bike trips because it's the roomiest and most versatile, including my buds with the Cherokees and Explorers.
AWD is very functional though better on the 5 speed models. I put some new Michelins on it and for a big ol' wagon it handles very well. Storage between rear cargo and above spare tire is nice and the little cubby in the cargo area is good too. Heated leather seats and heated mirrors are grrrreat!
Here we go: Improvements on frameless doors/windows seals. Also, cup holders in the back seat? Seems that the fuel economy could be better ... why isn't it? Along with that a peppier 2.5l 4 banger couldn't hurt. Apparently a tough mix; economy vs. power. Rear window washer should spray down, not up!
It is not a bad car to drive. comfortable for a 4wd. Decent pickup with auto trans. OK gas mileage. I have owned it for only 4 months so I can't comment on reliability. My guess is not as good as Honda or Toyota. Shortcomings: for a $27,000 car skimpy parts and options (no light for ignition key, windows). Poor design (open a window switch and you'll see). Other parts are similarly designed. I would never buy it new. Definitely overpriced. Honda or Toyota should design a similar car.
Looks are not bad. 4WD. Cargo space.
Reliability and workmanship. Better interior design.
This is the 3rd Subaru for me. I bought it when it was two years old. My next car will also be a Subaru Outback. It's peppy, handles like a sports car, and is extremely reliable. The car has cost me no money other than general maintenance. I love the heated seats in our climate. I also like the styling. It doesn't look like a stodgy station wagon. The AWD is wonderful in snow. I can go when others can't. Unplowed roads are no problem for my Sube. Get one, you'll love it!
Cruise control, a/c, power windows, power door locks, tilt wheel, center console, lots of cargo space, fold-down rear seats, short turning radius.