I loved this car and would purchase another, because Subaru's are safe and handle amazing. Worse luck though, I had a blown head gasket at just over 100k and that was the beginning of all sorts of engine problems, resulting in eventual engine replacement; and this, despite faithful maintenance from the dealer since I purchased it at 14k.
Purchased this car about five months ago for the AWD. AWD is great, but does add extra weight to the car. This slows acceleration, but worst of all, you can feel the shifting in the tranny much more so than a FWD. Tranny is the worst part of this car. You hit overdrive at 35 mph, and if you coast at 35-40, it kicks in and out of overdrive constantly for hills, as well as everytime you have to bleed off speed for curves, which makes for a jerky ride. Under normal driving conditions, the car will do a lot of shifting, and the tranny is not the smoothest shifter. Interior quality is good, but could have been a little better. The knobs for the AC and heater feel a little cheap.
Good all around car, but small things are lacking, or are just annoying. Don't like overdrive gear in it... it kicks into overdrive at 35 mph... which is the average speed I go (I live in the country... the physical speed limit of the roads here is 35 mph). When you let off the gas to coast, and then give it a little gas, the car jerks a little as it jumps back into the underdrive gears. Very annoying, but nothing actually wrong. Only does this at the 35 mph mark. Gas mileage isn't what I would like: 16-18 mpg. Would also like a few more horses under the hood. Don't get me wrong... this car is MUCH better than the 96 chevy lumina it replaced.
This is an update to an earlier posting. After 32k miles, the Subie feels much older. Mileage, at 17 mpg city, is still awful for a 4 cylinder, 165hp car. Once again, my wife is primary driver and she is not hard on the car. Car responds very sluggishly to throttle input, almost dangerously so. This car has had all required service done to date. I have taken the car to three Subaru dealers, all of them say the car runs normally. Maybe we got a bad car or one with some issues, but it has soured me toward Subarus. Once again, if you can find a 5 speed manual car, buy it over the automatic.