Being my 2nd Subaru, I am glad this one isn't the SVX. I LOVE this one, its great in the bends, a little on slow side w/out turbo but keeping rpm's up compensates fine for "in the city" driving if you feel the need. I have slight leak at 60k miles on my heads. As it seems to be known issue, I am displeased SOA has not done something to correct issue with the customers. as long as I get too 100k ill do head gaskets, water pump and belt @ same time. till then just keeping the oil changed.
When our 03 Baja was getting high miles, there was only 1 choice to replace it - another Baja! We found our 06 6 hours from our home still under factory warranty. The only complaint I have about the Baja is SOA didn't keep making them based on the new Outback. Comfortable, capable off road, great in the snow - what more could anyone want from a daily driver? If you don't need the towing capacity of a full size truck and still want decent gas mileage with a truck bed (plywood and drywall as well as dimensional lumber fits), the Baja is your vehicle! If SOA had advertised them, they would have sold like hot cakes. 3 people bought 1 after seeing our 03.
I've had our 2006 Baja for almost four years now. While I do wish it was a Turbo (the car is too heavy for the engine to accelerate at a decent rate), it drives very well and is very predictable in bad weather and conditions. The styling is pretty cool, and the AWD is great when it snows. However, my engine has a head gasket leak. Yep, at 70,000 miles - both heads are leaking oil. It's not a huge issue right now, as the leak is very minor, but still the dealer wants $1500 for it. Same price as the other guy - I wonder if we have the same dealer? Who knows, but it's still annoying and therefore I will not recommend Subaru to anyone until I know that this issue is resolved.
It is not a high performance car but I knew that when I bought it. It is peppy for its engine and body size. It also handles curves really nice. As for comfort, it is comfortable as I need and it gets good gas mileage considering I drive 78 miles everyday to and from work. I am getting in the upper 26 to lower 27/mpg.