I suppose that every car is different, some have problems, but my 2001 L.L. Bean Outback has been as good as it gets. Almost no repairs except routine maintenance which I observe religiously. Runs like new. I keep trying to persuade myself to get a new car but when I get in and drive it, I just don't see why. I bought it for $22,000 when it was one year old with 25,000 miles on it so someone really used it but didn't hurt it. Must have been a lease car. It is so well made; the fit and finish are outstanding. I'm afraid to buy a new car!
Update with 215,000 miles. Still love the car but it's beginning to show its age. There was rust around the moon roofs that I spent $1,500 fixing and it's perfect...amazing. The rubber boots around the axels (something like that) had to be replaced twice, now, in the past 15 years. I think a motor mount is going to need replacement. The leather driver's seat has cracked and replacement material is not available. The motor is perfect and burns no oil, whatsoever. Still reluctant to get a new car.
I am almost 5'2" and my husband is 6'6". We both fit fine as driver and passenger - a big challenge to find something that works for both of us. I only wish this vehicle had seat memory (a button to push to say it's me or him). The only drawback to this car design inside is between seat and center console is a black hole of lost things. I saw something I can buy to block that slot so I won't have to get a stick, a hairbrush, or whatever, to reach between there and retrieve keys, money, and pens. It's like a magnet for dropping things into there. Currently, I see a french fry and an M&M, and for the life of me, cannot get it out! We bought this car used (2001) and took it to the NC mountains, where it drove around sharp mountain curves like a champ, hanging on tight and not making the passengers feel like they're going to be thrown out. Our other car is a 2001 GMC Jimmy 4WD, which is a tough old car, but you have to nearly come to a stop to turn a corner and it's a big time gas hog.
I bought this Subaru in '05 with just over 50,000 miles on it. I LOVED it so much. It rallied in the snow, I never got stuck while living in Utah winters. I did have to replace the tie rods and cv joint but that is understandable having 127,000 miles on it. I love the way the car rides and feels substantial on the road without being luggy. The gas mileage was around 20-24. The head gaskets did seep oil and the check engine light had a mind of its own but the car ran like a champ! I am a Subaru fan for life-this was my third one. I sold this car a week ago to buy a newer one and I am very much regretting that choice because I miss it! Great for towing, camping and hauling all of sorts.
Roomy. Great viability and openness. Sturdy. Good towing power. Great for sleeping in :) Dependable. Plenty of power for passing and hills.
Head gaskets, struts and front end could use some attention from Subaru. Very notorious problems there.
My 01 Outback has now had 3 head gasket failures. The first one was at 130K, second time only after 20K miles. I'm now looking for someone to replace head gaskets again. The car now has total of 70K on the 2nd head gasket. The car has 222K total on it now. There must be something I like about it since I keep fixing it, but issues with quality appeared early on. I have owned 2 other Subaru vehicles, but now will consider other AWD for my next Colorado mountain car.
Leather Interior has held up well and still looks good.
Get a better gasket on these engines. Use higher quality steel instead of aluminum.
Also, the button for heated seats is right where everyone bumps it, so turns on accidently to often. I think this was corrected in the later Subaru.