Coming from a subaru owner, I'd first check tires (tread, balance, alignment), then go to brakes (rotors, pads). Then check the wheel bearing. The mechanic only has to remove the hub and axle (very easily done...took mine off in about 15 minutes). The CV joints can be checked at that point as well.
You said your parent replaced the tires and rotated them at some point. Did they get all 4? These cars require buying all 4 at the same time. I know for my subaru I have to have less than 3/32" difference in tread from tire to tire otherwise it wears down on the 3 (yes three) differentials.
Also keep in mind that these cars are naturally louder.
And, as Kwangtzu said, there are a lot of forums out there strictly for your car. Look up "www.nasioc.com". That is a very common one that has a lot of good information on it.
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