I bought this car after extensive reviews by Consumer Reports and because it was AWD (4wd is necessary to climb my driveway.) My previous car was a 1991 4WD Landcruiser (freakin' lemon) that only lasted me 1.5 years 182,000 miles. It should be noted that I am VERY hard on cars and they have little to no value left when I'm through with them. I live 75 miles from town on roads that are *barely* maintained. And I drive pretty fast. There are stretches of road that last for an hour with no help in sight. The adjectives Reliable and Dependable are not taken lightly to me.
Anyway, this Subaru has lasted me 100,000 miles and three years for a total of 230,000+ miles. I'm ready to get a new car because, well, I'm done abusing this one.
I can't say enough good things about this car. If you find one, BUY IT! 26-27 MPG, quick, durable, it's a great commuter!! Performed effortlessly on my 25% grade (straight uphill) switchback muddy driveway every winter. Drove through unplowed snow on unpaved roads like a cloud.
A few drawbacks: seats are moderately uncomfortable on long rides, back seat is too small for two car-seats plus one person, temporary spare tire!! I hate that thing. And the gas tank could be bigger (11.2 gal). That's about it. Oh, and ground clearance could be higher for off road conditions.
Damage I have caused it after 3 years of CONSIDERABLE OFF-ROAD TEARING IT UP: struts are completely destroyed, muffler has come loose three times, spark plug has blown out of engine (easily fixed with heli-coil), cracked Rack and Pinion steering unit, gone through countless air cleaners, cracked windshield, a/c controls broken, countless tires, body completely scratched up by road brush. That is not bad, considering what could have gone wrong... and what DID go wrong with my old LandCrusher. The engine light has never even gone on with this thing.
I am looking for a car that can at least equally perform and stand up to me, my roads, my kids, and gas prices. Any ideas?