Rock solid reliability in a balanced package
Replaced air suspension system at around 120,000km with conventional struts; the car handles much better and I don't miss the ability to raise and lower the suspension.
Replaced steering rack at around 130,000km.
Replaced all boots on front axles by 120,000km.
Top radiator hose blew at 150,000km - my fault for not replacing it when I first noticed a small leak. I managed to pull over before the engine got too hot and made quick repair, topped up fluids and pressed on.
This car, apart from those minor problems (the air suspension was always the Achilles heel of these models and fortunately Subaru discontinued it) is fabulously reliable and a joy to drive.
Things like the power steering, cruise control, air conditioning, electric windows, central locking, etc, work really well and unobtrusively so it is easy to take them for granted.
The car is very comfortable on trips and has a great torque curve; on most highway journeys I rarely get out of 5th gear. Consequently, fuel consumption is very reasonable.
Handling is quite good for a family vehicle and the all wheel drive (AWD) is very reassuring in marginal traction situations.
I have been eyeing off SAABs lately and even had a few test drives, but I think I'll stick with the modest luxury and bullet-proof reliability of the Subaru. A later model GX is definitely attractive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd September, 2004