I pretty much replaced everything at 90000 miles: head gasket, power transmission, timing belt, everything under the hood. I was guaranteed that it would be as good as new after spending close to 5000 USD. Now its back in the shop for a transmission hose leak. And incidentally, leaks and head gasket issues seem like typical problems; shouldnt they have recalled and fixed those issues?
Bought the XT used in 2011 with 27,000 miles from dealer. Paid $26,500. Bought the extended warranty for $2500. Regular oil changes at 3,000 miles. A couple sets of tires, a couple brake jobs. Driving home from restaurant car all of a sudden dies, dash lights flashing, brakes and steering in manual, pull over to side of road (luckily not in traffic at highway speeds). Tried to start, turns over but very slow. Towed to dealer next day. Told I need a new engine. Told metal shavings in oil, no other explanation. Car had 110,000 miles. They replaced the short block, turbo, water pump, timing belt. Dealer quoted $9,000. Subaru gave me $2,500. Out of pocket $6,500. Replaced rear bearing $1,000. Couple of brake jobs, couple sets of tires, oil changes every 3,000 miles. Car now has 208,000 miles, Driving to Waterloo, IA. Cruising at 75mph, car loses power, dash lights blinking. Pull over to side of road. Sit 1/2 hr. Try to start car. Starts but acts like it running on one cylinder. Tow to dealer on Wednesday week before Thanksgiving. Told not able to look at until next Tues. Rent car and drive home. Dealer want $100 to diagnose problem. Called back later and said the want $300 for compression test. Called on Tues and said that the car had a bad valve. Quoted valve job, timing belt, water pump for $3,600 plus misc $4,100. Decided to sell car to mechanic for $1,250. Will never buy Subaru again !
This car was our 5th Subaru, and it is being replaced by a newer model. All of our Subarus went well over 200,000 miles without ever having to take them into the dealer for a repair. The only time any of our Subarus were in the shop was for normal engine maintenance that required tools or expertise beyond the average owner's ability or tool ownership (even spark plug changes need a 'special' tool to accomplish); eg. timing belt, cam belt & cam seals, water pump at about 85,000 or more miles. I did all oil & oil filter changes at 5000 mile intervals and air filter changes, myself. You also can save a little money by buying spark plugs at an auto parts store and just pay the labor to have a dealer install them. These cars are so trouble-free, you get in it, turn the key and the engine always starts. On my first Subaru wagon a 1985, at about 125,000 miles a slight hesitation on acceleration off idle developed. I took it in to the local Subaru specialist shop to diagnose & fix it. When I picked up the car, the mechanic told me (jokingly) I should be ashamed of my self for the cause of the problem. The ORIGINAL spark plugs were still in the engine - I never changed them! He couldn't believe I hadn't yet changed the plugs. Well, that's what happens when you get in your car and it starts EVERYTIME! I should also add, the 2009 Subaru never gave us any trouble, just like all our previous Subies ('85, '87, '96, '01). So, we're buying another Outback, this will be our 6th Subaru (4th Outback). [Update: 2015 Outback 2.5 4cyl Ltd.] Fantastic vehicle! Will practically drive itself! Bought it used with all the bells and whistles available (Sat radio, GPS Navigation, Eye-sight, heated seats front & BACK!, dual range heat/cool, etc.) We absolutely love this car! Had just over 9K miles on it when we bought it, now we have 28K. Oil & filter changes are a piece of cake, since the filter is now on the top side of the engine. Also another great change Subaru made is the 6 speed Constant velocity transmission. Subaru just keeps getting better & better. We travel weekly from the mountains (Lake Tahoe) to the valley (Sacramento area) so I think the gas mileage would actually be higher for someone that lives in the valley.