Over the years we have worked on numerous Subaru cars and have become very well acquainted with their ups and downs: I’ve owned three of them myself and like them for their versatility as a car that can be taken off road, their compact size and quality construction. Subaru vehicles share the rare distinction of being equipped with horizontally opposed engines which allows for a very short but wide engine and a vehicle with a lower center of gravity.
As far as quality, Subaru’s are very well built and have certainly become much better over the past decade. The most common major maintenance and repair concerns with 4 cylinder engine Subarus are timing belt replacement at around the 160,000 kilometer mark. Cylinder head gasket leaks and other engine oil and coolant leaks usually require repairs in the 100,000 to 200,000 kilometer range (this is not uncommon for many other makes and models of cars). While less common, 6 cylinder engine Subarus have few concerns but due to their high tech design and timing chain drive can be very expensive to repair when things do go wrong.
The all wheel drive systems featured on most Subaru models are very reliable with most concerns involving the center differential or slip clutches at the rear of the transmission.
Over all these are very good vehicles and if you value a car that keeps on going where the pavement ends or the snow gets deep then Subaru could be the car for you.