Nothing is perfect in this world but I sure do love the LSi I bought about 10 years ago. I bought it at 88,000 miles as the third owner and from a friend who's father ran the local dealership in 2007, near mint and $3,500 (Yeah.) She sits at 166,625 right now and ran for at least 6 years, regular maintenance included, before requiring a major repair (See: Ball Joints and Front CV Axle, "Major"). As we speak, I am replacing the Head Gaskets, which is something any Subaru owner and mechanic can tell you is common. Honestly, some would even say unnecessary. I recall one mechanic who told me once, "If the Subaru doesn't drip oil, it's not a Subaru or you're out of oil.". But such is the life of an aluminum head automobile. I've driven through snowstorms other AWD vehicles have been trapped in. Taken her off-road for dirt-road camping, road tripped to every state surrounding, Hydroplaned and bumped the driver rear side hard enough to deform the support linkage; Had to replace the wasted tire but she never complained. Only until I replaced the rear disc pads some time later and had her up did I notice. Including the aforementioned linkage, I have since replaced the Wheel Bearings (2 bad, all of them under a "Replace one, replace the other" philosophy). A Front CV Axle, Ball Joints (under the same previous repair philosophy), water pump & timing belt. Otherwise, most every other piece of this car has been OEM, at just under 170,000 miles. Everything listed above, I did myself. Using Harbor Freight tools and a Garage with no power (or a front Lot). Extremely easy to work on and unbelievably forgiving. I will never sell this car. If you find one of these in repairable condition below 250,000 miles. You have found a treasure known only to the select few (Read: Many) who have been lucky enough to own one. Just ask the guy who I bought the car from who, to this day, laments having sold the car (of course, it was not his blood and sweat which kept it running!). Listen, she's not the sportiest and she's not the fastest. She's got 4-cylinders in an aluminum block and the engine has a buzzy hum on acceleration when you put it to the floor. But she's got getup and she's definitely got go when it gets down to it. This car endeared and sold me to the Subaru Brand.
We live in Brooklyn and wanted a cheap & dependable car with AWD/ABS which was cheap to insure and wasn't on thieves' 'hot list'. A year later this little Subaru has proved to be exceptional - and 100% reliable. We make regular trips to the ski areas in VT in winter & to NC beaches in summer. And never a problem. We hit a major snowstorm near Stowe and this car plowed through 6" of fresh no problem! It handles great on the freeway and cruises wonderfully at around 70-75. Having done 80k all the struts need replacing thanks to very bad NYC roads - but suspension still ok regardless so we'll leave it. Only gripe is very poor mpg in city, yet freeway mpg is very good. Great value for 3 grand!
I have taken my legacy to some strange places... the track, the woods, and on REALLY long road trips. Plus I commute 43 miles each way to work. Spending so much time in this thing has always been a pleasure.
It is a great car. I have 200,500 miles on it and it runs like brand new with some preventative maintenance. It did seem to loose some pep after about 150,000 miles, but with a good tune up, the car was fine. The car has survived through a bunch of tough winters in New York and as long as good tires are on it, it is great in the snow! There is nothing like the look on someones face when you drive by while they are digging their Ford Explorer out of a ditch in a snow storm! The body has held up great with no rust present at all. Proper maintenance is important and should let this car last for years to come!
Bought my 95 LS AWD wagon in 2007 w/ 117K. Needed a cheap car that I could carry liability only due to a DUI. This little beauty was a trade-in that I got off the back lot before it was detailed and pumped through the $$ machine they call the service department. I live in Central Oregon (Bend) home of the oldest Subaru dealer in the West (they say) Lot's of snow and mountains. I now have 189K on this 'temporary' car, 7 years later. Every so often I change the oil. Replaced alternator, battery, starter and a few light bulbs over the years. A bread truck backed into me and I now have a free car after getting a check for the damage that 'gives it character'. I do have a nice ML320, but