This car has been a workhorse, grocery getter, commuter car, and family truckster for us. It still runs great and we hope to get 200k out of it. The exterior has held up well. The car has been dependable.
If you think the 2.5 is what you want, don't drive the H6-3.0. We drove both, no doubt about it, the H6-3.0 is heads and shoulders above the 2.5. The Special edition is very well equipped and has plenty of spunk. The vehicle is solid and handles as well as any I've tried. We are very pleased with the quality and we look forward to snowy weather.
Just bought this 04' Outback Limited as a leftover in 3/05. Got a super deal on it - apparently no one drives 5-speeds anymore. Subaru's are a super reliable and practical. I needed a car that was excellent in the snow but yet great on gas and roomy. I originally had a 2002 Nissan Sentra which was a great car but it was so light that it was all over the place in inclimate weather. I didn't feel like buying a 2nd car, like a little Nissan pickup. I've been a loyal Nissan customer since 1995, but the Subaru's make more sense to me. If you are considering one car that can really do it all check out any of the Subaru wagons, just not the Outbacks. The Standard Legacy wagons are probobly the best value.
This is the best AWD money can buy, I am so used to it now whenever I drive any other car it is always a comparison to an outback and everything else is disappointing, I specially like the solidly build chassis and suspension, wish there was little less body roll, I drove this car uphill in 1.5 feet of snow and it was like driving a battle tank, I love the sure footed handling, I tried a 4 wheel drive Passat and Volvo, BMW, Jeep, etc and nothing performs like it, I drove it in the mountains in Catskill all winter, I found many jeep 4x4 stuck in the same tracks as mine, love the robust engine. Cross country trip was so comfortable, no problems so far, I am at 100000 miles, VDC should be standard.
This sub is fun to drive and responsive, but it gives very low mileage as compared to our sienna awd which gives 23+ mi/hwy; the side mirror makes swooshing sound and suspension --the thug sound. I only have 40,000 miles to date.