I bought this vehicle in 2012, it was already 10 years old. The previous owner had been great to it, it only had 94,000 miles on it and looked practically new aside from a scrape or two on the bumper. I got it when I did because I needed a reliable vehicle because I was going off to college, and the SUV I had been driving was on it's last legs. I also live in the mountains, and was going to school in the mountains as well, so I needed a vehicle that could handle any weather situation, but also didn't eat gas.
This vehicle was perfect. It's like a hybrid of an SUV and a sedan. It handles like a dream. I've driven it through snow, ice, extreme rain storms, gravel, mud, you name it, the Outback can handle it. Since purchasing, I have put nearly 100,000 miles on this baby and I have yet to have a single mechanical issue with it, aside from the usual tune ups of getting the brakes or tires changed. I practically lived in my vehicle, all except for sleep, for one semester in particular, and I can safely say it is very comfortable. I always feel safe in it. It has a great sound system and fairly good, though not the most powerful, AC. Cup holders are less of an issue in this model then I've seen it be in other Subaru's.
It's true that it isn't the most attractive of cars, but for the vehicle type, it certainly isn't hard on the eyes either. I love this vehicle and would recommend it to anyone who lives in a climate with lots of weather extremes, or for anyone who just loves to explore the world. I will drive this car till it won't drive anymore.
Bought 2002 suburu outback limited used from original owner. Had it checked by my mechanic and everything was looked good. 140k miles for $5800. Nice looking car too. Ran great for a few months (2 to be exact). It has been a money sucker non stop for the past 2 years! first was something with the Manifold gasket and oxygen sensor $1150 later. The next big one was an oil leak under the head gasket with some "other things" needing fixing $3100 later. A few little things in between that cost couple of hundred $$. Latest was a break down on the highway with a "fried alternator" and a few months after that steering didnt feel right and my temp guage needle was bouncing from normal to HOT. Turns out coolant leak from the radiator. However, I never saw fluid under the car but the mechanic tells me it is leaking somewhere in the car and going where it shoud not be. Was hesistant to even fix it and told me I should just buy a new car. He did an affordable "patch job" for me for $500 as apposed to fixing the problem for $2000 plus as I NEED my car. I bought this car only because I heard they handle extremely well in the snow and this is quite true--- she does But it STOPS right there! This used car has cost me $10,000 within 2 years. This car is a NIGHTMARE but i need to get about and new car not an option now. I want to cry! :( STAY AWAY FROM SUBURU!!!!!
First wind, then engine noise make this car a problem on the highway. The wind noise can be fixed with a fairly simple repair (the frameless windows are at fault). The engine noise, however, is a result of the manual gearbox. The fifth gear has to rev high to allow the cruise control to pull the car uphill. As a result the car revs at 3-4000 rpm at highway speeds and makes a real racket. The raspy, unrefined 4 cyl. doesn't help. It is a deal killer. Other than that, pretty good car. Secure on dirt roads and in snow and fun to drive on both. The exterior is distinctive Subaru and the interior is well executed.
Great in the mush. Nice beige cabin. Distinctive Subaru exterior.
Bad drivetrain. Unrefined and noisy in a raspy way. 6 cyl. fuel econ but 4 cyl. power. Do not get manual transmission. Jerky with rubbery shifter. Wind and engine noise almost unbearable on highway.
My previous car was a Nissan Pathfinder which I finally retired at 308,000 miles. I bought this as a Subaru certified, used, at 60,000 miles, hoping I would get the same performance. Not so. The engine had to be replaced at 90,000, the clutch went at 110,000, as did the entire transmission. Check engine light comes on regularly just like an old friend. The fuel smell inside the car in the cold weather is awful. Wind noise is terrible, and the seats are uncomfortable for long drives, with limited leg room if you are taller than 5'7. Junky plastic parts. This car has cost me $11,000 over the purchase price so far. CS at corporate & dealer rude. Shame on Suby for this sub standard machine.
Heated seats are Nice in cold weather, colors both inside and out are attractive, but the paint doesn't wear well.
Improve reliability. What use is having a car that is advertised as outdoorsy and fun to drive if it is spending more time in the repair shop than on the road?
With the exception of the lack of interior legroom front and rear, wind noise and engine issues, this is a good car ;). I had no problems for the first 30,000 miles. I had an independent dealer replace the coolant and my problems started. A small coolant leak developed. The dealer put in the Subaru coolant conditioner and told me that it should be fixed. A couple of months later, there was a big puff of steam from under the hood. The driver's side head gasket was replaced at less than 60,000 miles. No problems until about 80,000 miles. This time an oil and coolant leak from the passenger side - head gasket and cam seal. Out of warranty and out of luck. Likely my last Subaru.
AWD, heated front seats, side mirrors
Better mileage, more legroom, fix the wind noise (which I was told was fixed in the 2010 model), improve engine quality.