Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
'03 subaru outback review
Pros: 6 disc cd player
Cons: fuel consumption could be betterWell made, comfortable and safe car with a minimum of problems over the years
Fun fast and it actually fits my family
Pros: Speed and comfortable drivers seat.
Cons: Mpg.I needed a daily driver to get work, take the kids out, and sometimes go to the mountains with a bike. I didn't want to lose my soul so I got an sti. This car is fun to drive for sure. I can fit my wife and two kids comfortably. My 2 year old loves the speed. I haven't driven in the snow yet bit I am hoping that with blizzaks it will handle it just fine.
Blown Engine @ 5,000 Miles
Pros: Handling & brakes are superb
Cons: Engine blew 2 pistons at 5k , required a complete rebuild not covered by warranty because I changed the muffler.Love the car , love the handling - BUT - its not really a $35K car - its a $45K car after you have replaced the engine. Anyone thinking of buying an Sti needs to search Google before and key in 'ringland failure'. A massive disapointment overall after many years of supporting Suabru.
Pros: sport wagan style
Cons: gas mileageVery dependable and safe car. Only wish the AWD could be switched off to get better gas mileage
Dependable & Versatile
Pros: All wheel drive in snow, rain, awesome
Cons: Want better than 23mpg. Clutch could be sportier.Bought in 2002 as soon as 03 model came out. Original battery and spark plugs still after 100k. All electrical working great. Catalytic replaced under warranty before 75k. Besides cat, no other issues; this car is amazing!
Pros: leather, moon roof
Cons: gas mileageLoved the car. Terrible gas mileage.
Forester SE excellent general use vehicle
Pros: Handling and performace with reasonable economy, 'real' glove compartment, durability
Cons: Fog lamps and privacy glass not standard across the line and idiot lights verses real gages for temp, pressure, voltage.Recently purchased Forester SE is proving to be a good choice. Elbow room aplenty. Averaging much better than advertized economy, all modes (without lead-foot). Good power, adequate for medium (300 mi) and hilly trips. I bought the SE trim to get real tires and wheels (16x65 vs 17x55) and to avoid the 'hole in the roof' (a small popup would have been acceptable). The 'push' from the rear wheels in lock-to-lock turns is a different experience, care on slippery surfaces in really tight turns may be advised (not tried yet). My biggest criticisms of the total lineup:  idiot lights, no temp, pressure or voltage gages (all trims).  Only high-end trims offer privacy glass, power seat(s) fog lamps (I installed post-delivery) and compass  only 3 exterior colors offered to get dark upholstery and carpet (which I got ...pastel gets dingy quickly... general complaint about all vehicles).  the assist handles should be 'A' pillar-mounted instead of roof-mounted (this may be a head-strike issue though).  Riccaro seats would be better (not available on everything out there unless you buy a premium gas-diet German or Swede).