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.
Nothing but problems with this car and expensive to fix. I wish I had never seen it for sale just a year ago when we paid $7,000 and have added another $4,000 in repairs. Engine lights, overheating, noises, bearings, misfiring, and on and on. It was over heating and the repair shop installed a new radiator for $500 and then two days later the car over heats and blew out the head gaskets. We're selling this as JUNK, which is what it is. We were always Toyota people but shifted to Subaru when Toyota put profits ahead of customer safety and screwed their customers. Now what do we do?
Loved the heated seats and CD player.
Impossible to fix yourself, even spark plugs are impossible. Frequent Engine Service lights are tripped and so forth.
Bought my Outback H6 3.0 used with about 143000 K and it now has 158,000 on it with no signs of slowing down. the ride is very comfortable especially for long drives, and outside noise is non bothersome. While the car does have a raised suspension and a good ride, it still handles very well, so much so that I was keeping up pace with STI's and Porsches on the famed mulholland drive in Malibu. If this exact car was available for sale new today, I would buy it in a heart beat.
Comfortable yet handles well, reliable and well built car, absolutely awesome Air Conditioning, and very decent stereo.
OK, So I wanted ONE car to replace my three: MR2, Miata, & F250 4x4... Was looking at many options in the Small SUV market including the Forester [like driving in a fish bowl and under powered w/o Turbo] and with a very limited budget [darned economy] I was very lucky to find mine [priced low because it had 169k miles on the clock] 1. The power is 'very adequate' even surprising at times. The trade-off is a few MPG and having to buy Premium fuel, but annually for me this only amounts to $150, and no Timing Belt worries or Head Gasket problems with the H6! 2. It handles better than an SUV, but no MR2. 3. I've moved a ton of bricks [with trailer] about as much as the F250 could w/ trailer.
Great Power, when needed, reasonable fuel economy with careful driving. Surprising hauling, towing capacity with great brakes and decent handling. LL Bean offers plenty of amenities and overall for me a great compromise between sports car and heavy hauler.
Passenger Side Sun Visor dislodges inside rear view mirror. Stupid cup holders I understand improved in newer models. Heated seat switches too easily, accidentally turned "On" A manual 5 or 6 speed transmission would be nice.