Enormous amount of cargo space for a sub-compact sized vehicle. The new Subarus feel less spacious.
95,000 miles on 2nd set of front disk brakes. Still running on 2nd set of rear drum brakes.
Good fuel economy especially compared to what's available today.
Very low power, but you can speed in anything. Does 0-60 in 60 seconds, 60-80 in 30 seconds and 80-95 (topspeed) in 150 seconds. It's about as "fast" as it was when new.
4 WD good for inclement weather, never thought it was built tough enough for serious offroading.
Engine leaks oil - loses a quart every 2000 miles. Mechanics assure me it isn't burning it, but recommend not spending $2,000 to reseal everything - better off just adding oil. At 144,000 miles had same compression as new.
It has worn out the edges of tires all its life until I found tires that allow up to 44 psi. At 40-42 psi, about 12 psi above what Subaru recommends, the tires wear evenly, but it rides rough like a big 4 WD truck.
Still handles well, but suspension is gone and rides very rough even at lower tire pressure.
Axle boots need to be replaced every 5-10 years and it isn't cheap.
Power steering pump leaking now also.
Interior holding together well.
Exterior has some through-the-body rust around rear wheels, but not bad for 16 years old and having been in salt and snow. I have undercoated it myself twice so there's no serious under-carriage rust.
It seems like it would keep on going and be very reliable if I spent the money needed to keep it running.
Mechanics and other owners say that by 200,000 miles I can expect oil and fuel pump failures and bigger transmission problems (3rd gear synchro worn).
For a relatively inexpensive proto-SUV, this car handles very well, probably due to its low center of gravity due to the horizontal engine.
I would continue fixing it if it had modern safety features such as airbags and if 3 of the doors hadn't been damaged in parking lot accidents. They still work fine, but don't look so good. At a projected expense of $2,000 in repairs per year, I'd rather get a sensible new car, however, if the repairs were projected at $1,000 or a little higher per year as in the past 5 years, I'd keep it.
While I'm not a mechanic, I have been able to fix relatively simple problems and perform a lot of the routine maintenance.
Noise level rises dramatically over 70 mph.
I like this car, but it's time to move on to something else. I estimate that it's worth $250 to $500 as is.