This car has been rock solid. Over 150,000 miles and counting. The review that talks about the shifting, just drop into 3rd on the automatic in-town; the 4th gear is overdrive for the highway...read the manual! The head gaskets have been an issue, but there is a replacement gasket that permanently fixes the problem. I did mine as a preventative and it is still cheaper to own than many other car brands that I won't mention. I think this is a great car and will buy Subarus forever. Can't wait for the diesel model to hit the US.
I bought this car brand new seven years ago thinking that since it was a Subaru I wouldn't have to worry about a major repair bill until well after it hit 100,000 mi....I was wrong. This car only has 86,000 mi. on it and the cylinder head gasket is leaking. Cost estimate for repair is $920 to repair the one, and if I want to replace both the estimate is around $1700. Shortly after I bought the car, Subaru had a recall on it to fix something in the transmission. So much for the Subaru reputation for building a reliable car. Another irritation is the heater, it gets my right foot nice and toasty but leaves my left foot cold. On the positive side; it is a comfortable ride.
This model was a lemon from the start. First two days discovered there was almost no transmission fluid in the transmission. Dealer blamed us but rescinded when I wrote to Subaru Regional Manager. 70K miles car overheated due to blown gaskets, $3,000+ replacement of heads. Now at 125,000 it is being towed away as a donor as either the rod bearings or main bearings are starting to go. Two previous Subarus (1990's models) are still on the road after we gave them away at 225,000 miles years ago. This is the last Subaru we will buy.
With the new GT package with a more luxury feel, this wagon is one of the best values on the market. We looked for six months, but anything comparable cost $7,000 to 10,000 more. Getting leather in a wagon was worth the wait. We paid 25,700 the TMV model was reading at 26,300 so its reading a little high on this car, which underscores what a good value it is.
This is my second Subaru wagon. I love the versatility of the vehicle, and the knowledge that it will get you where you want to go no matter what. If you can live with the lack of style, mediocre gas mileage, and lack of get up and go, this is a great vehicle. It is much more spirited with a manual transmission. Gas mileage is great compared to any SUV, however is not up to par with any front or rear wheel drive vehicle. That being stated, the AWD is impressive in rain, snow, and mud. This is an excellent alternative to a small or mid-size SUV. Reliability is uncompromised, Subaru owners generally purchase Subaru's again and again.