Bought my Legacy w/85k mi on it less than a year ago. If you're looking to buy one, this is what you need to know: The GOOD: AWD offers great stability and makes the car fun to drive, good in snow but won't help you brake better in snow. THE BAD: The AWD system is delicate, no more than 2/32" difference in tire tread depth. Which means if you have 1 bad tire, you'll need to get 4 new tires as I have already done. I've had recurring Alignment issues as did others. I've had Tire Air leaking issues, as did others. Engine hesitation/misfire seems to be normal even when bought new. Gas mileage is not impressive. Used to get 25-27. Now I get 20-24 since the misfire issue got worse. Never again!!
I love this car. 195.8 K miles. It looks good, it is fun to drive and roomy. The leather is nice. The turbo lubrication design is weak. The access to repair is difficult. The bosses on the aluminum block are easily cross threaded. Oil level must be monitored very closely as well as change intervals. Excellent in snow, weather. Once you have AWD you'll never go back.
Update. 205,000 keep an eye on the rubber hoses and the factory original clamps. Once the car has 200k, these need to be replaced in advance of breaking down. I was convinced a leak was a head gasket, because it was losing coolant, but not on the ground. It was a small hose a weak clamp and coolant was escaping as steam under pressure. Replaced a rear wheel bearing. Easy work. cost of part was $50. Replaced the rotors and calipers.. old. The drip channel on the bottom of the driver's door is just about rusted through. On a scale of 10, I am a 7 in mechanical skill. I do ALL my own repair. If you're not at least a 5 on the mechanic scale, and have a garage and tools, do not buy this TURBO Subaru. A better choice at this mileage and age would be a normally aspirated Subaru.
Head gasket needs replacement at 79,000 gentle miles!! $1800! Outrageous. It is apparently a very common problem, despite what ANYONE says about the issue having been resolved from 2005 and newer. I'd expect that from 1979 Chevy Chevette, not a 2006 Subaru Car is only mediocre at every level. My 1992 Camry (that I kept as a spare car till a couple years ago) did everything better (except for winter traction of course). Transmission shifts poorly (again, my 92 Camry shifted more smoothly and confidently). First and last Subaru. My Toyotas and Nissans have all gone over 250k and never needed a head gasket replacement. DON'T BUY A SUBARU!!
I'm 44 & a driving enthusiast. I've owned many brands of cars. This Legacy combines the reliability & quality of a good Japanese brand with the driving feel of a European car. I traded in my VW Jetta and Audi A6 for this car and have never looked back. I was tired of the repair bills and inconvenience of the "down time", but thought I would miss the driving feel of those brands. Not so! The AWD makes the handling of this car very neutral, and the suspension soaks up bumps while remaining responsive. The steering has good feel and it's not too over-assisted. The normally aspirated engine revs easily and has plenty of power for daily driving & the 5 speed makes good use of it while adding fun.
I drove a Mazdaspeed6, and hands down there is no comparison. Always on AWD, it shifts power to the wheels that grip almost in anticipation of your next move. It is the soul of the WRX with the body of an executive. I added a blow-off valve. and turbo gauge so I knew what was going on under the hood, and 12-15psi at full throttle is what awaited. I get no lag with the new valve and even an extra couple miles per gallon. I may add sway bars to improve cornering, though a strut tower bar is almost out of the question given the arrangement of the intake.