This is my first Subaru. I can't report on reliability yet but I think the car is much undervalued (Audi, Volvo?). I actually left the US and brought it with me to Europe (it costs about double here!); drove it across the continent during winter, pulls you nicely out of snow, handles well on the dry road (although certainly not like a BMW), okay mileage but rather poor at high freeway speeds (I guess it's the AWD, ground clearance and relatively big size, btw, backseats down and the cargo sleeps 2 people v. comfy), feels friendly, safe, uncomplicated yet sufficiently equipped, practical and robust, non-flashy and well respected. Maintenance + engine compartment will be the next frontier.
I like, of course, the AWD-wagon combination and versatility (you're driving a car not a truck!) the cargo space, the easy cruise control, the friendly, balanced interior, the safety features and feel that you can go anywhere anytime with this car.
Framless windows hazardous, get frames; body steel too thin, easily dentable; more back passenger legroom; a little more power (for accelerating/passing); higher gear ratio or 6th gear for freeway mileage; longer clutch run; better speakers (more bass); eliminate high-pitch noise from daylights;
This is my second Outback. Sold first one, a 2000, in '07 with 175 thousand miles bought this. Very reliable, as was the 2000. The driver power seat's been improved, (2000 was poor) altho still could offer more positioning. Standard 2.5 has a little more power, which is nice and it still gets about the same mileage. Car's heavy on safety, which appeals to some. Wish they'd concentrate more on performance and mileage. That said it's not bad in the latter two. I think safety issues are better addressed more by skillful driving. They eliminated the weather radio band which I think was a mistake, I used it a lot.
2.5 engine, good power/mileage/ reliability compromise. Tight cabin, good aerodynamics for a wagon.
Weather radio. Less buzzers and safety/security reminders. Continue to work on mileage without sacrificing performance. Improve driver's power seat to more positions.
Traded in a 2001 LL Bean Outback. Was very impressed with the overall design, roominess, and comfort level. Also looked at Honda CRVs. There is no comparison value wise. The Subaru comes with many features that the Honda lacks, ie: power driver's seat. My concern about power in the mountains was a non-issue when using the sport shifter. Gas mileage is 27-28 on regular gas.
Power drivers seat. 2 cargo nets and 2 plastic grocery bag holders keep cargo secure. Mud flaps, rubber cargo area cover, heated seats, heated windshield wipers, fog lights, and privacy curtain are all standard.
Cup holders are poorly positioned. Unlike the Forrester that has 2 added cup holders molded into the doors. Why did Subaru do away with the weather band in the radio?
Overall, I like the car. Mileage has been just under 27 MPG mixed driving on 3 tanks. I gave up a 1990 Volvo 240 wagon for this and I do miss the Volvo. Seating position and visibility were better in the Volvo. Performance is adequate, especially for the naturally aspirated 4-cyl. Considering the all wheel drive and ground clearance, the mileage is pretty good. Hopefully it will improve with break-in. I liked the looks of the 2007 grille much better than the new '08, so I grabbed it while I could. Haven't had it long enough to really rate reliability, so it gets an 8 rating there.
Swiss Army knife of a vehicle... sharp looking, attractive and easy to clean wheels, good mileage for all wheel drive, standard roof rack and rubber liner for cargo area.
Int fabric too light-colored. Wish it had framed windows; windows flex when closing doors; see track and leak issues down the road. Don't like integrated stereo/climate control. Non-intuitive wiper and cruise controls. Too soft rear springs. Dual exhaust on an inline/flat 4... why? (And why so quiet?)
I bought this to replace the Impreza WRX because I needed the extra cargo space. I have not been disappointed. The fuel economy is reasonable. I have a little over 4000 miles on it and get about 26 MPG for every day driving and it takes regular fuel instead of premium which saves some money. I fill up about evert 330 miles. Drives through snow very well. I drove through 8 inches of wet snow with no issue.