Don't expect this vehicle to last and last. I've had two of these and the first the engine ate itself at 125K. Head gasket blew on the highway. I thought it was a fluke so I bought another. Replaced three head gaskets in this one and the engine ate itself because of a blown head gasket at 175K. Probably spent over $3K on this problem. They go through everything but this engine has a major design flaw with their head gaskets. If your leaking oil REPLACE THE HEAD GASKET! $700 plus repair.
Very happy with this car. Excellent build quality, pick up and handling. Very reliable and with snow tires, unstoppable. Winter package especially appreciated. Excellent cabin comfort and cargo capacity. This is our second Subaru and the ownership experience has been pleasant for both. Only nits are the crappy front sunroof and the climate control system is annoying. we have 60K trouble free miles so far. We opted for a new CRV this round but will keep an eye on Subaru when we sell this beast in a few years
Acceleration, handling, sound system, AWD and cargo capacity
Pollution control system has solenoids that are very expensive to diagnose and repair. Platinum S Plugs are very expensive to replace!!!!!
I just bought my 2002 Subaru Outback after trading in my older 1994 Legacy wagon. I wanted another, newer version of the car I had loved to drive for years. I ended up getting the Limited version of my Outback, with leather seats, steering wheel, and shifter. The seats, outside mirrors are both heated, and the car comes with important saftey features like ABS, airbags for driver and passenger, daytime running lights, and of course AWD.
The things I like so far are how the dashboard has been updated since my old Subie, digital odometer, outside temperature gague, better stereo system, easier to clean seats and the wood trim around the dash.
The car is slower out of the starting gate, due to more weight for the engine to overcome.
My Subaru Outback LL Bean is still running perfectly after 6 years and 90,000 miles. I have never had any mechanical problems. The car is awesome in the snow and rain, is actually fun to drive for a wagon and has decent acceleration. Very smooth on the highway. The biggest flaws in this car are 1) the undersized front rotors (I have replaced them twice). This was never a safety issue, just an annoyance. 2) The wind noise from the front driver window. Never leaks, just whistles unless you fiddle with the weatherstripping a bit. Gas mileage is decent (for AWD) at 23 mpg average and a highway mileage around 26 (at ~70mph).
AWD, very safe, comfortable, reliable, good roof rack
Get rid of pop-up front sun-vent, fix window weatherstrip noise, include a 5 speed AT, use regular fuel, and add 2 more inches in length for rear seat leg room and one more inch in width.
I did a lot of research and test drove many cars before settling on the Outback. I liked the reputation Subaru had and the smoothness of the ride was very important for me with some medical issues. The Forester was a little too rough. I took great care of it but brakes went at 30K. Trunk cover/shade broke at 60K despite being gentle and not used much. Headgasket went at 90K. Catalytic converter went at 106K. I'm done now with Subaru, as much as I want to believe in them. I spoke with my mechanic about them and he said his experience is that they are either great for you and last, or you end up with one that's not up to par.I'm in the later. Sadly, I think this is my last Subaru.
Nice ride, decent mileage, good in the snow, storage aspect. Great for active people.
Reliability and parts. I've had to put too much money into it. I had planned on keeping it to 200K but it's not worth it with my particular car. Good luck with yours! My fingers are crossed!