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.
The Outback was my first Subaru purchase; had Hondas and Toyotas previously. With the manual tranny, I achieve 26 mpg - not bad for a 4wd station wagon. Two recalls, both for the ECU and both were fast fixes and covered by Subaru. No major issues with anything. Headlights do burn out fast (once a year or so). Some minor rattles from the dash, depending on the temperature. Bad wheel alignment from the factory and wore out the tires in less than 28,000 miles. Dealer refused to do anything about it - told me it was my fault which is totally untrue.
I have owned many Subaru's and really loved them all except for this problem. Catalytic converter is bad and estimated replacement is $2,000 to $3,000. I have spoken to some Subaru and non Subaru mechanics and all have said this is a common problem. I am not getting any satisfaction from Subaru USA and this has turned a loyal customer into a doubter. They tried a computer fix that did not work. They blame problem on hills and high speeds. The car also had bad rear bearing that were replaced as a recall.
The first year I owned it - had to get new brakes, and new tires. Headlights burned out twice. Headlights are terrible - almost ran into the back of a tractor hauling a wagon because I was coming down hill and the lights don't shine upwards at all. 2nd year, had to get new Rotors, Brakes and tires (I made the mistake of buying the same Bridgestone tires). Terrible in the snow - Rear end constantly fishtails - even with new tires. Car sways as if the chassis is going to fall off the frame. I am so disappointed. This is my third Subaru, but will not buy one again.
Get better tires, put decent rotors on the car, fix the sway and improve the all wheel drive. Worst car I ever owned and priciest.
The first 4 years car was alright, just don't expect much in the way of gas mileage. Had to replace rear wheel bearings under the special extended warrentee. Car was so loud that I could not hear the people in the back seat at over 25 mph. Have kept all the service intervals. Dealer says the head gasket is shot and needs to be replaced, estimate $2000.00. Only 71,000 mile on the car. I've had cars with 150K+ miles with fewer major problems. Headlights burn out about 2 months. Car has a higher than average cost of ownership, intervals for regular service items seem more frequent than other manufacturers. I don't think I'll be getting another Subaru. Not the quality I expected.
AWD is great in the snow. heated seats and front windshield defroster are great features.
Head gasket, wheel bearings, better headlight design, better fuel mileage, longer standard warrentee.