This was the first vehicle I have puchased new, and the biggest selling point is that even the base model had everything I needed. I live in the North (snow), frequently travel to construction sites ...
This was the first vehicle I have puchased new, and the biggest selling point is that even the base model had everything I needed. I live in the North (snow), frequently travel to construction sites (mud), carry a lot of tools and equipment around (station wagon), haul around ladders (truck), make long trips on my service route (econo-box), am starting a family (safety), and wanted something I could work on myself if need be (cheap). After comparing a dozen or so vehicles in its class, and knowing a few fanatical fans of Subarus, I couldn't come up with a reason not to go for it. The standard features are just what one needs, without too many frills.
Everything about the car is comfortable, except I feel that on the highway there is a bit too much road noise. I'm used to driving bigger, more luxurious vehicles so maybe I'm just picky, but on long trips I have a tendency to arrive just a bit crankier than my spouse would like. However, it could be much worse. The seats are very supportive.
The 4 cylinder engine is enough to make the car peppy when I'm the only thing in it, but load it up with 4 people and some luggage and you definitely notice the engine strain. Turning on the AC likewise really bogs it down. I can't complain too much, though, because the gas mileage is adequate. A V6 would just make me angry every time I stop at the gas station.
Handling is suprisingly good for such a tall vehicle. It corners very nicely, is swift to change lanes, is a dream to parallel park, and stops on a dime. The 2006 models have a package with 4 wheel disc brakes and much larger outside mirrors, which I feel are important safety items that should be standard. I wish I could have held out a year for that.
Styling? What's that? Subaru could have done worse. Its not exactly eye-catching, but it isn't goofy-looking or available in garish colors like some competitors out there. You can't hide what this car is: a four-wheel drive station wagon for tall people. It looks like the sensible vehicle it is.
The interior design is good, though after a year I still have to think about which stalk sticking out from the steering wheel does what... especially when getting out of one car and into the next. Leg room in the front is outstanding, and so is the cargo volume with the rear seats down.