I bought mine for $300. When bought it had 305000 miles. The throttle position sensor had gone bad, making the transmission shift with the smoothness of a jackhammer. I replaced it for $120, and it worked perfectly afterwards. My exhaust pipe broke off at a gas station, which was embarrassing. My main problem with the car is that it has almost no horsepower and absolutely no torque. This car does not like to accelerate. At all. Also, although I suspect it has more to do with the age and mileage on the car, It gets about 5-7 MPG. However, the stereo works and sounds well, the A/C is very strong, the seats are comfortable, there is LOTS of room in the back, and even though I live in Wisconsin, the HOME of the rust bucket, It only has minor rust around the wheel wells. Also, I like the way it looks a lot. My conclusion is that if you find one with MUCH fewer miles than mine, just make sure that the Throttle Position Sensor is working right and that your exhaust pipe is on right.
update- The tranny sensor was not the entire problem. Sure, it helped, but the car still refused to work right. I had to rev it up just to make it get in gear. Long story short I sold it for scrap before the tranny could blow on me. Buyer beware everyone. These Subarus are known for transmission issues.
Bought this car at 86k and 9 years later it has 190k+. I love how it drives - especially the pickup! I can way outrun anyone on acceleration. I rented a brand new Toyota Camry and HATED its lack of power! It was a dog and I couldn't wait to get my Ruby Sue back! The size of the car is PERFECT; could go camping with two kids and all our stuff, and get all my groceries/chicken feed and other supplies all at once; have moved kids in and out of college with Ruby. The car always starts, even in -25 weather. The only time it didn't start was when the battery died due to age and cold weather. BAD THINGS: LOW CLEARANCE! Burned through a clutch trying to get through snow! A 4WD Subaru that is that low to the ground is asinine! Controls on dash are TINY and cannot be operated wearing gloves. The hazard light knob is NOT LIT and you need a light on to find it! Getting into reverse (5 speed) can sometimes take maybe 4 tries. When it won't go in, you have to go through the gears to get it to go into reverse. The headlights are ABYSSMAL! Very dull and poor, covered with haze. The rubber door seals stick in frigid weather, and rip out. The tail gate latch doesn't work in cold weather (won't latch) and neither does the trip meter (in cold weather). THE CIGARET LIGHTER does NOT TAKE ANY PLUG-INS! It's a dedicated, always lit, cigarette lighter!! Here's a huge gripe: My '86 Subaru Standard Hatchback (bottom of the line!) had wonderful climate control: You could have the vent on (cool air on top) while your heat was on for the feet! This one has BARELY ANY HEAT TO THE FLOOR - but it comes through the center vents ("face") ALL THE TIME with the heat on. Dealer says, "It's working!" And "vent" or "cold" air (not A/C) is always HEATED ENGINE AIR! I hate that! Oh, also, I know the car is old but the driver's window sticks. Sometimes I have to have the car shut off for the window to go up. Even with all this, I want another Subaru. Hopefully they've fixed some of these stupid designs!
at 6 years and 114K miles headgaskets failed despite the special sealant/conditioner that Subaru applied to the coolant. Had to replace them and the engine that warped due to overheating (the thermometer never showed signs of overheating). Then, the catalytic converter needed to be replaced, and a whole bunch of other expensive parts. For the money I spent on this car in the last 7 years I could have purchased a new car! The tranny is starting to go - won't shift into D (at 150K m).
Since I already put so much money into it, I can't part with it, but it just keeps failing... Very unreliable.
I do all scheduled maintenance on time. The only good thing about it is the wagon size - gigantic
bought this car over 2 years ago with 120,000 miles on it and already put over 70,000 miles in that time. Have had to replace both front cv axles and tie rods, and 1 bearing. So far I've been able to do all the work myself so in material I have only put $250.00 in it. Its been a very hard working car. The AWD is amazing and the flat 4 is very peppy. I get 25 to 29 mpg and I have driven it from northern virginia to southern florida and back with not 1 problem. I hope the car runs another 100,000 and I would buy another.
We bought this for our high school student to drive. We feel happy that she's in a relatively safe (but maneuverable) car, and she enjoys driving it. (We were looking for underpowered with ABS brakes -- AWD was a bonus -- much appreciated those nights when she drives on rain-slick roads.) It's nearly 10 years old, but does not look it. It probably isn't easy to make a teen smile with a 10- year-old car, but this one does. One note: SUPER IMPORTANT to get the engine treatments. This one had up-to- date engine treatments and Subaru USA was able to tell us when next is due.