Through no fault of its own, a bad rollover accident in my Outback put us into the buyers market again. (lost our Outback, but we walked away) Went looking for another Subie of course! Test drove the 2002 Outback, Forrester and finally the GT. Hands down it was the GT!! With my daily commute of 90 miles (1/3 of the trip on mountain roads) I was glad to switch. The GT handles hair-pin curves and tight situations beautifully. Don't test drive a GT if you don't want to own one.
We bought our 2002 Legacy Wagon brand new in 2001.
We have put almost 135K miles on her, and now she's burning/leaking about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles.
Mechanic tells us she has a cracked head gasket and unlike older Subarus, where you could simply put a new engine in the thing for about $1500, these models don't work like that and will require repair for about $2000.
So we are shopping for a new car.
Most likely another (our 3rd) Subaru, as we are addicted to AWD in the unpredictable northwest winters.
I bought my 2002 Subaru Legacy wagon used in 2006. It has been sensational, reliable, fun to drive, easy to handle, just a fine automobile. Things I've had to repair: cooling system has a minute leak somewhere that was stopped with additive; moon roof stopped popping up but the sun roof (yes it's a double moon/sun roof!) works just fine, so the moon roof pop up hardware just needs to be re- engaged. I'm going to have to replace the head gasket soon, but I'm putting it off and putting up with the small leak stain I have in my garage. For a used car, though, it's hard to imagine a better buy. I'm a pretty assertive drive. I drive the crap out of this thing and it has never let me down.
In the 5 1/2 years since we bought our 2002 legacy we've had to replace the oil pan (60k miles), head gasket (85k miles), and catalytic converters (88k miles). Our maintanence costs on this car are running at a rate of around $4000/yr, which is more than the payment of a new car. It's either a lemon, or Subaru just doesn't build them like they used too.
AWD is great. 110,000 miles replaced head gaskets $1200. 25-28 mpg. Back oxygen sensor out, would cost $100+ just for the part. Wind noise on driver's door correctable only by wedging paper in between gasket and window. Passenger window has be raised and lowered until perfect to cancel wind noise. Has always started. Seats aren't overly comfortable for long drives. Overall I would get another one.