Quote from Megsd
My dad always raves about subarus, and the more I look at them, the more I like them too. With the outback, do you find that you have any trouble with ground clearance? They don't look too low to the ground, which is encouraging, and they seem to be around my price range. How's the gas mileage on those, out of curiosity?
My wife has a 1999 Subaru Outback wagon, and I've got a 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX (turbo) wagon. The AWD is EXCELLENT in snow. Good tires do make a difference in snow/ice. The Outback stock tires were good on snow, but the WRX stock tires sucked pretty bad. I ended up getting a second set of tires/rims for the WRX through www.tirerack.com
. Mileage on both vehicles runs around 23-24 MPG.
I think the Outback has more ground clearance than my WRX, but in "normal" Ohio snow conditions, it doesn't make that much difference.
My gut feel is that vehicle reliability with the Subies isn't quite up to the level of Honda or Toyota. I've only been in one Subaru assembly plant in Japan, and multiple Honda plants in Japan & the US, but base this statement on what we've seen with our two Subaru vehicles.
My wife's Outback wagon was reliable until it blew an engine head gasket ($2000 repair) at around 90,000 miles. My WRX had some problems from the "get-go". Nothing too major, but minor things like failures to start at 0 F, air conditioning freezing up in humid weather, seat mounting bolts coming loose, gasoline leak & smell when ambient temperature is below 15 F, squeaking windows,warped brake rotors,.... Subaru, of course, says "problems...what problems????", and expects the consumer to pay for repairs. Not quite what I'd expect from a reputable manufacturer.