The CRV or Toyota Camry. Here's why:
Subaru Outback. Head gasket issues, which plagued the EJ25 back then and still does more than other cars. This is an issue which could destroy the rep of any other car (Subie owners seem to be more forgiving). Also, do you need AWD? If not, are you prepared to pay the increased ownership costs. Please don't flame Subie peeps. This is a fact.
Chevy Impala. It's not a bad car; It's just not a good car. It's just okay build quality isn't the best, but these can be pretty reliable mechanically. Bland styling.
Chevy Malibu. Not as good as the Impala- which isn't that good either.
Accord. Normally, these are excellent cars but automatic transmission issues abound on 1998-2005 models. Mostly V6 models, but 4 cylinders had their share as well. Manual trans model are pretty trouble- free. If you decide an automatic one, make sure tranny was replaced by Honda after 3/2005. This could be a great choice if it checks out.
Civic- 2001 and later Civics are decent, but auto trannies were crappy from 2001- 2005. Manuals are trouble-free.
The Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox wouldn't even make the list for me. The Equinox is rubbish all the way around and Escape has pretty decent build, but the transmissions can be a headache.
Toyota Camry. This is a good one pre 2002 4cyl models have the venerable 5SFE engine, known for going in excess of 400K miles. Rarely ever hear of these having issues. 2002 and newer moved from cast iron to aluminum 4 cylinder with a timing chain instead of belt...V6 models are all aluminum engines and oil must be changed regularly to prevent engine sludge. I highly recommend 4 cylinder versions due to lower maintenance costs and high reliability. In fact, Camrys rank #1 in lowest ownershiop costs over a 10 year period. Bland styling, but a workhorse and nicely appointed.
Honda CRV.. Great vehicles and solid buys, Only issue was due people needing a head job due to valves burning out... due to them not being adjusted,,,which was due to owners manual having the wrong info. Check/adjust valves every 30,000 miles and these will last as long as the Camry. Also look at the RAV4.