This Subaru is an absolute blessing from Jesus Christ! It hasn’t broken down on me once, very enjoyable to drive, surprising storage capability, and is incredibly cheap to maintain. Highway driving I get 35 mpg and average 28 doing mixed city/highway. The only major downside to the car is the lack of “oomph” with acceleration. It does okay, but you really have to push it to pass someone on a two-lane road. Overall fantastic car!
First the good...this is a great handling car and handles snow covered roads with ease and sure handling. My disappointment comes from repairs. The pre 2010 4 cylinders have a known head gasket issue, and it's expensive to repair!! I just got an estimate for $2400! Yikes! It's a shame Subaru has not owned up to the problem. I had a head gasket replaced on a 2002 Impala (also a known issue that Chevy did not own up to), but at least that was 'only' a $750 repair job. I'll stick to Toyotas and Mazdas from now on since i've had much better luck with them. I realize buying a vehicle can be the luck of the draw sometimes, but knowing Subaru is aware of the issue and would not take care of the customer, just lost them a future customer in me.
I bought this car in August of 2016 after Three months check engine light turns on and off. Dealer could not figure out what it is but did not affect the way it was driving. Caused me to fail inspection. June of 2017 spent 500$ to repair both axles July of 2017 spent 300$ to replace brakes. November of 2017 spent 500$ to replace brakes again.Now December of 2017 Transmission blew. Mechanic says it needs a new transmission and new axles. DO NOT buy this car if you are not willing to put a lot of money into it. It is well in the snow and has nice speakers in the limited trim other than that the back seats are uncomfortable for one person let alone three. The front seats are alright. Has a lot of road noise when going over 40 mph had to play music loudly to not hear it. I would recommend you get a Camry with snow tires and call it a day.
This is a great car, I'm just getting rid of mine now after 180,000 miles. I really haven't done anything to it other than regular maintenance of things like wheel bearings, timing belt, a couple suspension components, and fluid changes. No question that Subaru's AWD system was the best on the market in this era. This car has gotten me out of some sticky situations both on and off road. The achilles heel of these cars, and any subaru with the 2.5 liter engine, is the head gaskets. Sometimes they completely blow, sometimes (as in my case) they just drip a bit of oil. It is a fairly big job, if you want to avoid having that problem I would recommend purchasing the H6 version of this car, (if you can stomach the slightly worse gas mileage). If you are looking to buy a used Outback of this era and all the way up until 2011 look for one that has had the head gaskets replaced. Once you fix that problem the 2.5 is pretty bombproof up to 200K or 250K