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!
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