With 75,000 miles on it the head gasket had to be replaced. At 85,000 the power steering gear box. There is no trunk light. There is no lumbar support in the seats. My back is killing me. The visors did not have enough range to block the sun. It rattled constantly. The ride was extremely bumpy all the time. The engine noise was very loud. The stereo was terrible. Cruise control was not even an option. Stupid cup holder mounted on the dash board above the stereo.
I purchased this car because I wanted AWD and a decent amount of carrying capacity while still being small enough to parallel park easily. The TS wagon fit the bill perfectly. As a CA native unaccustomed to the unique demands of winter driving in upstate NY, my Subaru has done a fantastic job of hugging the iciest roads. Curiously, my friends' SUVs often get irretrievably snowed into their parking spots, but my wagon can always get past the snowiest mounds. Reliability is excellent even on long roadtrips - I've driven her from NY to CA and back to MA. I have had no expenses beyond regular maintenance in my 7 years of ownership. After this car, I am absolutely sold on Subarus.
Fantastic handling - especially in adverse weather. Great carrying capacity and seat adjustability for maximum carrying space. Attractive exterior design and extremely stain-resistant upholstery.
Gas mileage is not wonderful (comes with the AWD though). Paint has begun chipping a bit after 7 years (5 in harsh northeast winters). Wish the hatchback opening was a little wider to allow larger objects.
I own 2 Subarus. My #1 concern was RELIABILITY. I have 139,645 miles on this vehicle and not once has it left me stranded. I umpire college softball so it is important that I be there ON TIME. My Subaru operates the way I do, aggressive, no let up, always there on time. I love to drive this car ... especially during inclement weather. I have kept track of EVERY penny associated with the ownership of this vehicle. We are currently operating at just under 26 cents per mile.
Driving experience ... fun to drive, good weather (corners GREAT, good gitty up) and especially bad.
Seats are not the most comfortable. I have had some problems with the O2 sensors. Fuel mileage is 25.1 mpg (year round), 30 mpg on trips.
I have had this wagon for over a year
with no issues, other then thin metal
and easily scatched paint. The 2.5L
engine is great in the city and is very
smooth on the highway. Not as fast as a
WRX, but for the $ I would say you
cannot find a better deal!
Problems from the start. Poor paint
quality (orange peel and easily
scratches), inadequate electrical
system which couldn't keep battery
charged if a few electrical loads were
on, consistently hesitated at 2,000
RPM. Dealership was fantastic but
Subaru head office resisted doing
anything. In the end, received a
refund. Now driving a 2003 model
which drives well but paint is still
poor quality, Windshield wiper blades
freeze, inadequate heating system,
poor design of rear window washer
spray head, steering wheel not aligned
parallel when driving straight.
The all wheel drive seems to enable
the car to hold the road better than
front wheel drive. I like the wagon
Better: windshield wipers; heating
system (especially for rear of
sportwagon); tires; paint and
painting. Every aspect of Subaru's
customer service in Canada is very
poor before and after purchase and
needs serious improvement.