After four years with a Saturn LW2/300, I decided to get back to Subaru for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is the reliability of the car. I had a '92 Loyale that I couldn't kill, but traded in for the Saturn. After various "issues" with that car, I decided to come back to Subaru. I bought the standard Outback Wagon with a 5 speed, my first! and just love it. Here in NH you need a good snow car. The Outback continually impresses my wife and I, not only in the foul weather, but on our short and long trips. Very little stops the car or us. It goes through every where we want to go. It loads up and cruises down the highway well. Being 6 foot 1 inch, I find I have just enough room behind the wheel.
All wheel drive, comfort, can pack a ton of stuff and head to ME at 75 mph. Heated seat, mirrors, and wiper rest. The grunt of the engine, especially with a K&N air filter in it. I surprise people when I gain on them on uphills :). Very good gas mileage with a big right foot; 25 - 27 around town and highway.
A little more pep from the engine, though this has been taken care of with the 05's. Even the non-turbo Outback moves with an automatic, but it's more fun to shift for yourself. Poor headlights on the 03; if it wasn't for the foglights, it would be hard to drive in the dark / inclement weather.
We bought our Outback '03 in Nov '02.
We needed a good AWD for tough winters
in northern NJ and boy does the Outback
handle winter! Reliability has been
spotless so far - odo 23K. Mix driving
averages us about 23 MPG. We were
considering an SUV but are happy we got
the Subaru instead. It handles very
well in clear and inclement weather.
Comfortable on long rides as well -
took it down to NC and upto NH. We love
this car and plan on keeping it for a
long time. If you're looking for the
most value for your money, I doubt
there's anything better out there.
Very pleased with ride quality, interior, and
comfort with a long drive. Biggest annoyance
was with the manual transmission. Subaru
has rigged the transmission to abruptly cut off
when the gas pedal is released even at
moderate cruising speeds. I took this to the
dealer and the service rep commented that he
had seen several complaints with this. It is
something you can learn to live with, but it
can be a nuisance especially if stuck in traffic.
Roomy, suprisingly sporty, nice cruise control
and quiet for long trips.
I traded in a 2002 Honda CRV for a 2003
Outback Wagon. I love the Outback, we
now own two of them (2001 and 2003).
The CRV handled horribly, was loud, had
worse gas mileage and had the most
uncomfortable driver seat I have ever
experienced. The Subaru handles like a
sports car compared to the CRV, and is
much more comfortable.
This car also offers a great
performance even with the base, 2.5 L
engine. The performance can be further
improved by installing the K & N high-
flow air filter instead of the factory
one. I found that the K&N filter
significantly improves the low-end
torque. I also noticed improved a/t
performance (smoother operation), but
not the fuel efficiency. The latter
might be due to impressive 23/30mpg
(city/highway) numbers, which I
already had registered right after my
Outback passed the 3K miles mark.
After 15K miles, this car still offers
problem-free (knocking on a wood),
very comfortable, and quite ride.