Check its service record. This is not a maintenance-free car, but its build quality and service requirements are much better than I expected. After almost 12 years of ownership and more than 150,000 miles on the odometer, I am still rewarded by the excellent driving experience this car provides. I consider it the "Swiss Army Knife" of vehicles because it handles much like a sports car, its ergonomics are superb, and it carries (along with its roof-mounted cargo box) enough camping gear for an extended road trip. While the manual transmission isn't the world's best (shifting isn't exactly snick-snick), the mere fact that it HAS a manual transmission is exceptional and rewarding. At about 95,000 miles, I invested in a significant update to a number of components, so at 152,000 miles it still handles much like a new car, and I always look forward to opportunities to take road trips with it. The seats in this model are superb, as is the instrumentation. The large sunroof is excellent. The sound system produces very satisfying acoustic quality, even though I did not buy the optional sub-woofers. In today's world, in which far too many vehicles suffer from huge blind spots in the rear-quarter areas, this Outback has superlative 360-degree visibility. At the end of the day, my wish is that Subaru would produce this exact-same car again, updated to incorporate current technology. I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But if you're looking for a rewarding used car, and if you love "the driving experience," I'd highly recommend a close look at a 2005 Outback 2.5XT Limited (with manual transmission, if that appeals to you).
Nothing but constant issues. Its got 155K miles and I've treated it like gold. Headlights burn out constantly, rear window no longer goes up and down, trunk leaks in the rain. 2 major repairs this year alone - $2,100 for leaking head gaskets and $2,000 for a new transmission. Never buying a subaru again.
Had nothing but problems since the warranty ran out. The brakes and struts need to replaced way too often, I've had to replace all 4 bearings at least once and I've got another making noise already. The engine leaks oil and it's a head gasket leak so too expensive to repair. Also had to replace both front half-shafts. Headlights burn out after about 9 months at best. Car is not overly comfortable on long drives, and there is no place to rest your right foot when using cruise control. The back seat is tight. Will never buy another Subaru again.
I loved my turbo Outback. It was absolutely bulletproof in the snow--unstoppable with snow tires. It was fun to drive with lots and lots of power. The interior is super comfortable.
Unfortunately it did not love me back. Over the last year it was in the shop overnight at least 5 times for major engine and transmission repair. And on the turbo model, everything is more expensive to fix. A lot more expensive. If it would just hold together I would drive it into the ground. But in the end, it's just not worth bankrupting myself. It was great for a fling, terrible for the long haul.
Now I read reviews from Honda drivers complaining about a $700 timing belt replacement and just laugh.