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.
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.
I'm someone who knows enough about cars, takes care and appreciates what I have and maintains my vehicles or anything else need be. I bought this car with confidence having a clean report and all the papers of maintenance work done. I had the recalls done asap and a inspection done on the car which turned out mostly on green with remarks that it was very clean for a Subaru with 150,000 miles on it. It recently had the water pump and belt changed (reports of it changed twice before) Gaskets done on time and most other routine maintenance done. About a month after I bought it I was getting a check engine for either the Catalytic converter or o2 sensor. I was planning on handling it soon, but since the check engine lighe would disappear quite often for weeks on end and the car was running fine, I figured It was no hurry. Then one random day (no check engine light, no leaks, no overheating) MY car went BOOM on the freeway. I lost control and had to pull over as it was shutting off. Got it towed to a specialist and they said the Engine was toast and it would cost 4500 to put a new one in!! This was very disappointing after all the hype around how reliable these cars are.
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.
Bought new in 2006, just hit 60,000 miles. Still love the car. It's been reliable, drives well, good interior size. It really is a perfect sports sedan. 4 adults can fit comfortably, the interior is simple but well put together. The car offers a very good power & handling. It's just an absolute joy to drive. I love how small it is on the outside, yet you do not feel cramped inside at all, especially compared against IS250, CTS..etc.