I bought this car used with 68,000 miles on it. It was four years old at the time and is now 10 years old. In my lifetime I have owned a Celica, Ford Taurus, PT cruiser, and now this car. By far, this car has had less problems other than where in tear repairs than any car of ever had. It feels safer and more solid than any car, but to be honest I've never had an all wheel drive until I got the Subaru. Handling is great. I gave it four stars for comfort because a long ride in the front seat is not overly comfortable without a cushion. For a four-cylinder car this has quite a bit of pick up and a very nice tight turning radius! If you're going to get your kid a used car as their first car, get the Subaru Forrester!
This car is the best snow car there is. It's reliable, has been my saviour in weather and road conditions no one should be on. I have been"the plow" getting through snow like a tractor. Totally have felt safe, confident, and never missed a day of work because of bad roads. Pure funwith that beautiful moonroof.
I bought this at 100,000 miles for 8000. I'm on the fence on whether It was worth it or not. Been a good car but i've put some dough into it.
Pros: handling, acceleration, steering, quite roomy because of it's boxy shape and the seats that can fold forward. Really high clearance, all wheel drive, good suspension all means that this car can handle a wide variety of conditions, from poorly maintained roads to very wintry weather. I use my car for construction and enjoy the spaciousness in the back (especially with seats folded down) and being able to get places that guys in big ol' trucks sometimes can't get to.
Cons: It's interior is quite delicate. I know I said I used it for construction, but I've had a number of cars before and I was disappointed with how easily the interior aged, dinged, scratched, and the upholstery tore and the carpet at the feet are tearing and wearing as well. The biggest issue is the major and minor repairs that you risk after about 120k miles on it, maybe sooner if you're not lucky. I guess this is true for most cars that aren't Toyota or Honda. Transmission fluid leak, thermostat, leaking and burning oil, emergency break stopped working, hatch stopped shutting, weather stripping coming undone and lots of air noise, leaking steering fluid. All this on top of a drop in gas mileage since I bought it, and "regular maintenance" like getting the timing belt replaced and fluid changes means that I've put a lot more money into maintenance than I had hoped I would, so looking back I would have looked for something maybe less 'nice' but more reliable.
Update: a head gasket finally blew at 130,000. $ 1700. When you fix that, take it to someone who specializes in that repair specifically; they can do it better, smarter, faster, cheaper than someone who 'can' do it, but doesn't do it often. The price difference between quotes for me was $1000. Make sure they replace belts and hoses while they have your car gutted for the head gasket, too. It will save you big time. I had my timing belt replaced a year before for $600, but if I had waited for the said gasket repair I would've saved most of that, because the cost is in removing the engine from the car.