2001 Subaru Outback Limited AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
This is a fabulous car and has gotten me across the country 6 times in all sorts of weather, never letting me down. A recent outpouring of money to the head gaskets, radiator, water & fuel pump, altenator, timing belt, and thermastat has given me reserve on whether I'll purchase another.
The AWD! I saw people hydroplaning in rain and spinning their tires in the snow as I drove right by them! I also adore the windshield wiper heaters!
The back seat could use a 60/40 split, I always wanted that and didn't use the pass through much.
Wonderful car. The boxer 4 has a unique sound and feel. It's a bit thirsty - the best mileage I've gotten is 28 mpg. Build quality is first rate. Suspension is soft enough for comfortable distance driving but firm enough for the twisties. Seats are very comfortable. After all these years that car still cleans up and looks like new. The all wheel drive is very comforting on long trips in poor weather. This is a car that car be driven long distances in great comfort, I've covered 800 miles per day on many occasions.
The build quality is outstanding. It's really fun to drive for a medium size wagon. Lots of room for hauling stuff.
I really wanted the H6 with a manual transmission but settled for the H4. They made the same mistake with the SVX model back in the 90s. I don't know why Subaru can't offer manuals in all their cars, BMW does it.
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.
Try 17-19 mpg in mixed driving even on non-ethanol gas which is only 6 months a year around here. I get 25 mpg on an open highway on cruise control on good gas. My experience has been tire blowout at 25K miles, an expensive fuel injector around 30k miles, the cargo area interior cover before 30k miles, the serpentine belt at 40k miles, and the very expensive leaking valve gasket at 50k miles. Altogether, I have experienced higher than usual repair incidence of very expensive repairs, and long before they are due for normal maintenance. There were two recall notices, also.
The safety features. The power to easily pass others at highway speeds. The sound system. The AWD control.
Larger cup holders. Sturdier cup holder for back seat.