Subaru Owners...Do You Love Your Subaru?


I sell Subaru vehicles nowadays and have for about a month and a half. There is indeed a culture of loyalty that surrounds these cars, mostly because of how safe they are, how “go anywhere” their sophisticated AWD systems are, their resale value, reliability and low costs of ownership.

So sound off, Dopers that love Subarus! I want to hear your stories and to the best of my ability, answer your questions. I would also love to hear about any of you that have had BAD experiences with their Subaru vehicles.

Fire away!

I am not a Subaru owner, but I do have a short anecdote:

When I was very young my parents had a Subaru 1600. When it died my father followed it up with a Mercury Grand Narquis, a genuine land barge, which she hated, and every subsequent car was much bigger than that Subaru out of necessity since they were small cars and she had me, my sister, and then later another sister to haul around.

Until the day she died she always maintained that the Subaru was the best car she ever had. Their reputation and loyalty they engender goes back a very long time.

My GF drives Subarus. I think they’re good cars, but I don’t agree that, even with their AWD, they “go anywhere”… we spent a good hour last winter trying to navigate out of an icy parking lot.

PS… not to mention that pesky head gasket problem… though the dealer swears that is a thing of the past, I’ve seen mixed reports.

She was probably right, and you’re right about that loyalty culture…it’s weird. I have never before seen a vehicle brand that has fans from every walk of life, although the typical “lesbian democrat that lives in New England” meme is a stereotype that often rings true.

It’s kinda like the “Jeep thing” with Wranglers. They wave to each other with the frequency of Harley riders and if asked, the vast majority of them would never consider another brand. Ever.

Which is why I put “go anywhere” in scare quotes. No vehicle can literally “go anywhere”, but Subarus can manage difficult terrain better than most others and their AWD systems are sublime. You mentioned ice…well, without studded tires, ice is pretty much a non-starter for almost all vehicles.

And the head gasket problems are indeed in the past. This issue started in the late 1990’s and was pretty much wrapped up by the mid-2000’s, and many of those problems were related to Subaru owners allowing too much battery acid discharge to foul and erode the metal components of the engine around it. The head gasket and alternator are “shockingly” located near or beneath the battery on many of these vehicles. If you never pop your hood and notice the chia pet-like afro of dried battery acid accumulating on your battery posts, etc, then that’s on you, not the car.

Just like any machine, a car needs properly maintained, including a relatively maintenance free car like a Subaru.

Absolutely GREAT cars! Solid, reliable, dependable, great handling in all sorts of weather (we are in New England with plenty of snow), well-built inside and out. We are on Subaru Legacy number 2 (first one was fairly old when we got it and made it to 200,000. My sister-in-law had one that made it to nearly 300,000.). Their reputation and loyalty are well-deserved. They are relatively inexpensive, hold their value, and last a long, long time. Comparing to many other mid or small sized sedans, it’s like the difference between a screen door and a solid insulated front door.

We’re on our first one after two Saturns in a row. 350 days a year I really really like it; the other days when it is icy and serious slippery we LOVE THE HELL out of it. It matches my 1968 Beetle when it comes to being sure footed in conditions that make salt trucks puke. My one dislike is the button for the parking/emergency brake which seems to basically make it useless in a real emergency; give me an old fashioned pedal or handle. Other than that nothing much of note.

I’ve had my Subaru since 2012. It was one of the happiest days of my life when I drove it off the lot. I really do love it.

I have a '99 Legacy Outback wagon and I do indeed love it. Her name is Agnes, and she’s comfortable, quick enough to get out of her own way and goes as close to “anywhere” as I like to essay these days. I’ve had her out on steep narrow logging roads, reservation roads that could double as rock climbing tracks, through black ice, packed ice and snow–and she’s the only vehicle I’ve owned in twenty years that can roll right out of my dirt street when it’s buried in snow, and she does it like it ain’t no thang. There’s room for the big dog in the wayback (with his rampage cage to keep him there) two medium dogs in the back seat and full camping equipment, much of it in a Thule bag on the roof. I regularly carry two kayaks on top with no hassle at all–you’d never know they were up there. When she gives up the ghost I’m gonna go find another one just like her–who will likewise be named Agnes. :wink:

Everything except the mileage. I have a 2014 Impreza hatchback and I get maybe 20-21 mpg. These days it seems irresponsible to own a small car that gets that kind of mileage. I understand they are coming out with a hybrid model this coming year, and I may be interested in one of those (I think they had one before but it wasn’t successful). But yes, otherwise very reliable, steady, and great use of space in a small car.

I love my Subaru! I’m on my 3rd one.

I replaced my 2008 Outback last year with 2015 Crosstrek. The only reason I didn’t get another Outback is because they were not offered with manual transmission.

Let me tell you about my Outback…I used to drive transportation for a bunch of different dog rescues. I would drive from Sacramento to Tracey or Stockton, meet up with the transporter coming from the lower Central Valley and drive the dogs back to Sacramento where I would drop them off at various rescues, shelters or foster homes. Because these were rescue dogs, we always crated them or kept them separate from each other unless they were a bonded pair or mother/pups. One run, we had a transporter not show, and I was left with extra dogs. I managed to bring 8 dogs back to Sacramento, all crated and comfortable. I had one German Shepherd, a mama Yellow Lab and her two pups, a medium sized pit bull, and three chihuahuas. All dogs made it safely to their rescues/fosters because my Outback!

I had a 2002 Impreza TS wagon, manual. Her name was Esmeralda.

I just loved that car. I was unnerved by the engine sound the first year, but after I got over it she was just wonderful. Not very roomy, and the back seats were awfully stiff; but we don’t have kids so it didn’t matter much. She didn’t come with cruise control, so I had an aftermarket unit put in.

After about 5 years, during an oil change, the dealer warned me that the head gasket might be deficient, but it was never mentioned in subsequent visits so I just forgot about it. Until it gave up completely, at 7 years and 274000 km (about 170000 miles). The entire engine had to be replaced, I was told, and given the car’s age I decided to scrap her. I still have the original radio in the basement somewhere.

Still, even if the head gasket was a known weak point for these cars, and she died from it, I still think she was a great car.

After that, I got a Civic Hybrid. It worked well but was not as economical as I expected, and of course it had no power whatsoever. But I was doing my part for the planet… right?

I’ve been lookin’ for one. I want an 01-03 Impreza with a manual and not white. Haven’t found the right one yet. Prices are kind of crazy on them.

I should just fix my BMW x-Drive instead.

I have a 2017 Outback with 6 cylinder engine and towing package. It has all the bells and whistles except a heated steering wheel and on-board navigation. It is my second Subaru. It is a good car and isn’t as hard on fas as might be expected. I bought it on a whim when I took my mother to the dealer to replace her Subaru.

My SO and I have been looking at Subarus, on and off, as a possible next car. We’re totally stumped at what defines a Forester vs a Outback. If we go back through the history of the 2 cars, they seem to swap back and forth as to which is bigger.

So what’s the official difference between the two? What niche is each built for? (That, and why does the Ascent which seats 8 need 19 cup holders? At that rate, it really needs a built in outhouse)

[quote=“Salem, post:5, topic:820284”]

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.", according to M. Scott Peck. I don’t think I’m quite there. Even after seeing all the Subaru commercials.

But I really am very fond of my 2017 Forester, as I was of my Legacy that I had for 10 years. They are very nice, reliable, versatile, utilitarian cars. Very sure footed indeed.

I have a friend who is a devoted Subaru fan, with whom I compare notes. Subaru does seem to have earned a serious following.

I do think it’s funny, though - there are these air intake looking things down low on the front corners of the car, and asked my mechanic what they were. He said that high performance race cars have air intakes there to direct cooling air over the front wheel brakes. We both agreed that Pop Pop’s station wagon, which only very rarely exceeds the speed limit, doesn’t actually need that – and indeed they aren’t connected to anything.

I did give my car a name. I call it “Appliance”. It is an appliance I sit in, which moves the planet around under me so that the part I want to be at appears. So, no, not love. But these are very good cars, splendid for the purchase cost. My hope is that it works out for me to buy Foresters, or a similar Subaru model, from here on out.

My gf puts a ton of miles on her Subarus (currently a CrossTrek) and she loves the brand. She eventually trades for a new Subaru. I do the same thing with my Wranglers.

Forester owner here.
Purchased 2/2004 new after I totaled my previous vehicle (well the ice on the road was really responsible.)

I do not drive very much so the vehicle has almost 80,000.

Regular maintenance

Replaced tires, brakes, (loads of hills in my area) one head light, loads of the under the vehicle (?) parts were replaced due to the salt usage in our area. (How do you wash the underside of the car?)

I plan to keep this vehicle forever.

Yes I love my Subaru

I had an 08 subaru outback and drove it 100miles a day up and down provo canyon. It was rock solid and awesome in the winter conditions.
The only drawback is that I sort of lost track of oil changes and it hit 8000 miles since the last change, then made an awful noise, then the low oil pressure light came on and it was all over. It would have been nice if the low pressure light came on sooner but yeah, I know, my fault.
Replaced it with a '12 with the new cvt gearbox.
Also rock solid up and down the canyon and all winter conditions.
They got rid of the extra windscreen heating elements underneath the wipers which was missed. Also it was indistinguishable from every other car in the Whole Foods parking lot.

If I didn’t live in Texas now, when it is time to replace I’d get another.


Might have found one listed today! May go take a look.