This is my second Subaru. I purchased this one at 112K miles, currently over 160K and other than front brakes & tires, I haven't spent a dime!! Every tank of fuel exceeds 25 MPG, it has yet to burn one drop of oil, and even they are shocked!!! Subaru's have outstanding reliability and economy. They don't take abuse well. For example if someone is a rookie at driving a clutch, could you wear one out at 88K? Yes, easily. That's not a knock on Subaru, that's the driver. Buy a Subaru, you won't regret it.
Though I have not owned this car very long, my mother drives a 2000 Outback Wagon that I fell in love with. The extras on the Limited model are very fun and feel solid. The 5-speed manual is smooth, but cruising at 65MPH just a little over 3000 RPMs is higher than my mother's auto. The AWD is amazing. I have never been stuck in any snow or ice. This past winter it climbed a rather steep icy brick hill with ease. A recent road trip put 1500 miles on it without a single grip from the car. I averaged 25MPG with a heavy load. I wish I was able to find an H6 model - the power is only adequate, but I prefer the manual transmission that isn't offered with the 6-cylinder anyway.
The dual sunroofs, heated seats, audio system, manual transmission, AWD, comfortable leather seats, great shaded cargo area that is chocolate lab friendly.
With 230000 miles on mine and 210000 miles on my mother's these cars show no signs of kicking the bucket anytime soon. What more could I ask for?
We got the outback limited with 115000 miles on it. The only items I replaced were the wires and an alternator which was very simple to replace. The one thing that drove me nuts was the seat heater buttons. I was always turning them on, bad placement. I lost the car when a deer ran in front of me. I was going 75 mph and the car stayed straight as an arrow. The car was totaled by the insurance co. My wife and I did not get even a scratch. So we bought another 2001 outback with 68k on it. I hope to get 250000 k on this one. I still have to put up with that seat heater button.
The great way the car just keeps running, kinda like that bunny.
While this car is great in snow and rock solid in a driving rain it has been a maintenance nightmare. We think it was built late on a Friday afternoon. Within hours of taking delivery the car wouldn't start. Bad fuel injectors. Within two months, bad brake rotors. Driver's door has never closed correctly without slamming it. New clutch within 24K miles... told Subaru clutches don't last long (wife asked if we they could install a Honda clutch instead - our accord clutch lasted until 75K....). Another new clutch at 45K. Blown tranny at 102K and now blown head gasket at 105K. We're done with Subaru.
I've driven my car hard and it's starting to show. I expected more from Subaru. While the Outback has been a vast improvement over my '93 Legacy, I've gone through way too many brakes, worn through lots of (higher quality) tires. Am now having transmission problems. Plus, like me, the car seems to be losing spunk as it ages; I now have to turn off the A/C to maintain speed on climbs. But, that said, it's been the most incredible snow car I've driven--with 4 studded snow tires, I can negotiate the nastiest mountain roads without fear.
Heated leather seats, autochanger CD, weather band radio, high clearance (can plow through 12-18 inches of not-so-fresh snow). And, since it isn't tall like an SUV, a 5'1" woman like me can easily put bikes on the roof.
Cup holder on dash spills drinks. Spoiler interferes with the longer Yakima space cases. Needs more power, better manual transmission (clutch required unusual finessing from the very beginning). Brighter headlights.