Transmission began downshifting too quickly at 121,000 miles. Could have been repaired, but parts were not available at a reasonable price and rebuilt transmission had to be found.
All electrical components, including the alternator, had to be replaced around 100,000 miles.
Brakes seem to wear quickly but never completely fail when you really need them.
Heat shields tend to bend easily when unskilled mechanics reach for the oil filter, which will cause an unpleasant noise, but no running problems.
Car is unusually small and may feel like it's blowing in the wind.
It is very difficult to find parts for this car and nearly impossible to find any mechanics with experience working on a Subaru Justy. However, the car is extremely predictable and if there is a problem, it will behave the same way every time until it is fixed and you will know what to expect.
The best diagnostic tool for this car are the warning lights on the dashboard - they have proved accurate 100% of the time, even when mechanics insisted that "the lights don't mean anything, it's just a bad sensor on the warning light itself making it light up".
Maintaining this car can become frustrating, though not prohibitively expensive, due to it's relative rarity. However, it has rock-solid rack & pinion steering that adds a level of precision rarely found in newer cars. Combining that with its abnormally small size, almost any hazard can be avoiding by steering around it without losing control, though it does require some arm muscles.
The bumpers seem to be indestructable, having survived a collision with a small deer, among other things (the deer did not survive).
The car does not have an airbag, which makes it very desirable to short women who feel airbags are too risky.
Perhaps most importantly (at least for a car this age) I have been told the engine is designed to go for 250,000 miles and it seems like that might actually be the case. The engine was checked at 121,000 miles and I was told it's in very good condition.
I drive this car about 500 miles per week, and people are amazed that I get that kind of mileage out of it. It only broke down once in the year and a half that I had it, and that was when it needed a new alternator.