I bought my Outback Wagon new and after 90,000 miles I can say it is the most reliable car I've ever owned. I replaced the clutch at 80,000 miles and apart from routine maintenance (oil changes, wiper blades, headlight bulb, tire rotation, new battery at around 60,000 miles) that has been it. Even the original Wilderness tires did not need replacing until 75,000 miles.
AWD!! I live up a steep ridge in a snowy area and have never worry about getting stuck.
The only problem has been that the weatherstripping around the doors has come loose several times, and the windows don't seal as well as they should (one window seems to slip imperceptibly - it doesn't seem to be open but you can hear wind whistling through it.)
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.
Hidden recalls of clutch and head gaskets. (Done on warranty.) Second clutch and flywheel replacement after only another 30,000 miles. Independent mechanic thinks the clutch flywheel fittings and housing are not meant for this engine. Catalytic converter needed replacement. Oxygen sensor and idle needed replacement. Brake rotors needed work early on. Front bushing replacements. Maybe I just got a lemon.
Plows through 6-8 inches of snow with no problem. Hauls any size load. Heated windshield wiper area on dash helpful in winter.
Don't hide the recalls until the problem occurs (we were stranded with the blown head gasket, when it could have been replaced beforehand). Redesign the clutch and flywheel assembly. Fix the engine idle and lack of engine smoothness problem.
Yes, this car has been wonderful to drive, however I have struggled with the maintenance end of the car/owner relationship. Since my purchase in March, 2003, I have averaged 9 cents/mi in maint costs since this car came 'into the word' - highlighted by a head gasket replacement in 2005 ($2200) (might as well also do the timing belt at the same time!) Also, I am now after increased fuel economy based on my daily commute, thus feel it is time to part ways.
Sporty-ness, roominess, storage capacity, maintains 'styling' even though now 8 yrs old (Thank- you 'Subbie!).
I had wished the front bumper was a little more resistant to rocks.
My daughter wanted to buy my 2001 Subaru. I told her "over my dead body" and I meant it literally. I have had my share of unreliable transportation over the years, one car's transmission even gave up, when we were driving it out of a showroom. When we went looking for a new car (this car was a demo so it was practically new), my husband (who takes care of our finances) almost didn't buy it. The salesman wasn't ready to budge another 100 dollars off. If we would have walked away from this car, I would have been heart broken. It is now 2008 and I think it has been in the garage maybe 4 times. I can depend on it day after day to get me to work, shopping, wherever. I will never take it for granted.
The fold down seat in the back. I go to flea markets and I sell baskets at craft fairs, I can fit them all in. Keep doing what you are doing Subaru. I stop and ask people if they like their outbacks. So far, everyone raves about how many miles they have on them.