I have had my 1998 Subaru Outback for almost 10 years and 235,000 miles. It has been an excellent, dependable car. I have just been rear-ended for the 3rd time. I am afraid the insurance company will total it. I enjoyed this car because it was very dependable (it never broke down on me), good gas mileage (over 25 mpg), four wheel drive, and carrying space. My only complaint is the front seats were not very comfortable for long trips.
Pros: unbelievable in the snow. 2.5 boxer engine: great low end torque, decent fuel economy, good performance for a 4 cylinder. Handles very well. Excellent roof rack. Easy to change the oil. Cons: piston slap: dealer replaced pistons under warrantee. Alternator went and was also replaced under recall. I had to replace the clutch slave cylinder and hose. Good car, but watch out for blown head gaskets (although this didn't happen to me).
Bought used. 3 years old and 34000 miles. Avg hwy 27mpg. 2 problems, exhaust heat shield weld broke and rattles and like previous posts, head gasket gone at 95k. Was losing a third of my anti-freeze. Yet couldn't find out where it was going. Not on the ground or in the oil??? Other than that mechanic said engine is good, Cylinder pressure test 155-160. Leakage 2%. Except for the engine repair this car has served me well. I have done several 20 hour road trips at 75 mph. Including a DEN-IND-DEN run during the blizzard in Dec 06. Must have picked up a few hundred pounds of ice yet the car was stable and predictable. MPG dropped to 21 hwy.
Heated seats/mirrors and wipers. AWD. Lots of room.
Engine reliability. Seats need more padding. Better cup holders. Exhaust heat shield to avoid rattles.
Was expecting "great," but only got "average." Two oil leaks - one at 15K and another at 95K miles. This car seems to run best when used primarily on the highway - lots of city driving adversely affects engine performance for some reason. Driver seat padding is not firm enough and wears thin after 2+ hours of sitting/driving. AWD works very well and mileage is pretty good at 21/29.
AWD. Cargo capacity is pretty good.
Better dash design and cupholder location. Oil leaks too frequent.
This car has 67,000 miles on it and the head gasket is going. Have replaced the CV boot cover at 22,000, the oil pump seals at 67,000 and some sensor switch near the timing belt. I have loved this car up until last week and now feel very betrayed by Subaru. The mileage is excellent at 25 and 29. As the dealer said when he handed me the bill for the repairs at 67,000, "Well, except for the head gasket, everything looks just great."
Cruise control. Stereo system.
Don't care as my next car will probably be a Toyota or a Honda.