Subaru Outback Reviews and Owner Comments

Subaru Outback owners review and rate their Subaru Outback.

Subaru Outback (25 Reviews)
I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 with 32,000 miles that I bought used in 2012. Four years later I now have less than 52,000 miles on it. After going to the shop 4 times for chugging on acceleration and the CEL on, I am told I need a new transmission. The dealership at first quoted $10,000 for a new transmission and labor, but I think they are now down to $7,300. Subaru will give me $1,000 for good will, but that seems a lot to me for a car that I paid $23,000 for and only drove for 20k miles. I am a woman who knows nothing about cars. Is a dealership the best option? (My last car was a Rav4 I bought 5 years old with 50k miles on it that I paid $8,000 for. I drove it 8 years then sold it for $6,000. That was a good car!) Help!
I have 64K miles on vehicle. Only 2 complaints. 1) Low beam Headlamps last about 30k miles guaranteed!! My biggest concern is both will go out at the same time. Have also replaced several bulbs in rear. 2) Inside Rear view mirror to big and difficult to see around for us taller folks. Other than a recall on puddle lights, I've got no other qualms..
I have heard of maintenance problems with the 2012 Outback, by a competing dealer. ??
We have had all Subaru outback S.W. since way back and love them.Two of them a 1998 and a 2000 both have 300,000 plus miles on and not really any problems.Still driving them today.Right now though the 2000 check engine light is on,replaced a few sensors,but code still says po303 and po304 new plugs wires,still keeping it hopefully will find out whats wrong.
Bought Premium Outback to replace 2006 VW Jetta TDI w/183K, primarily because I wanted a more reliable car for my wife to drive. CV auto takes some getting used to, but seems to be as advertised. Interior, electronics, ride, features, etc. all excellent.

With approx. 10K miles on vehicle, wife begins 220 mi. highway trip. 30 miles into trip, at 70 mph highway speed, vehicle starts billowing smoke screen trailing the car...looked like a NASCAR race, engine blown. Pulling off the highway and into a gas station, she shuts the car down; check engine light and low oil light are on.

When I arrive, I check vehicle, no oil discernible on dipstick check; oil and/or other fluids flowing freely away from parked vehicle. Use Subaru service, have wrecker transport to dealer.

In diagnosing the problem, the dealer, under the direction of the factory, pulls engine from car. Problem found: bad rear main seal. Under air pressure, the leak was felt by finger touch; approximately 1/2" in length between seal and outer seal block.

A warranty repair all the way; nobody has any idea how it could have happened except through a bad part and/or faulty installation, all at factory. Subaru is replacing the seal at their cost, placing motor back in vehicle; vehicle still under original 5yr/60K warranty period.

We have a dealer loaner at no cost to us but are without our vehicle for an entire week with limited mileage restrictions on the loaner vehicle. I'm wondering if any permanent damage to the engine was sustained while experiencing this mail seal failure at highway operating speeds.

Any suggestions on how to have them test for engine damage?
I loved my 2010 Outback and bought the 2014 for better mileage and some updates. The mileage is so much worse that I took it in to the dealer They were not the least concerned that it is getting more that 5 miles less per gallon than my 2010.
Got hit with a lemon. Purchased for $5000.00 and in 2 months have had to rebuild engine completely and now am replacing the electrical unit. The car has 130,000 miles on it.
The 2012 Outback is an excellent vehicle. Large, but with very good gas mileage for its size. The only issue is that the a/c cannot be directed in enough positions, otherwise is a great all wheel vehicle
I have a subaru outback 2002 w/190000 miles I am mechanic (small engines ) I do good maintenace and service every 3000 miles. on driver side when I remove the spark plug I founded oil around the spark plug boot wire. ( when has 95000 miles) now leak oil from both head/valves cover the question is only gaskets or major problem?
I have a 2002 Subaru Outback Wagon. I had both head gaskets replaced at 54,527 miles at Subaru dealer. I now have 98,000 miles and took my car to dealer because of the same issue. Dealer now says that I need to have them replaced again. This seems to be odd, as I was told by dealer that if the head gasket job was done correctly that it would be good for 100,000 or more miles. The dealer first told me that both gaskets were bad and would cost me $2,100 to fix. Then they said that only one side was bad and it would cost $1,200 to fix. Subaru of America tells me that because of the age of the car that there is not anything they can do.
Prior to the first gasket job, all maintenance (oil changes) were done at the dealer every 5000 miles. I have continued to have the oil changed every 5000 miles, just not at the dealer. It obviously did not make a difference on the first gasket replacement and do not believe that this has any bearing now.
I am not sure who to contact next. Any ideas???
Recent problem; about two weeks now. Hear a noise while accelerating which disappears when the foot is off the gas pedal. Increses with increasing speed. Hear this noise again as the car is coming to a stop. The shop that changed oil and serviced AC says this is because of bad bearing in front differential and the transmission has to come off to replace this bearing and has referred me to a transmission specialist. The projected cost of repair is $3,000. I will be grateful for any guidance here. Thanks....Tumkur
Problem with a/c and radio lights on center console blinking at various times! Does anyone have a fix? Local Subaru Repair Shop not aware of a fix for this problem. E-mail me @ Thanks, Bill
I love this car! Two minor items: a) the pistons became "loose" after a certain age, so there's a minor "flutter" noise. Apparently the replacements fit tighter than the originals, but I've not spent the money for that. b) The visibility is less than ideal. I look 2-3 times each way to try to compensate for it, but sometimes I've looked and missed a car coming.
Now at 273,000 miles the engine has a crack in it, overheats within 3 min. of turning on the car and has to be replaced. We are considering it vs. buying a different "unknown" used Subaru
Great car. It is unmatched in snow or gravel. I wish the engine had a little more power (haling four people through mountains doesn't really work so well.) This is our second Subaru Outback. The first was in a wreck after 3.5 year which was a shame because with 60,000 miles we felt it was just getting broken in.

My only issue is the Maintenance costs. From what I read I see many people do the maintenance work themselves. I think Subaru has it all wrong. They seem to think there are all these people who WANT to do their own work. I for one, will performing my own work not because I want to but because I am boycotting the dealership service departments which seem to be a rip off. Dealer service seem to charge about double of what I have paid at other brand (Nissan, Acura, VW and BMW) dealerships in the past. I just wish Subaru Corp would reign the dealerships service departments in a bit. I understand they need to make money. I wish they understood the principals of shearing vs slaughtering. I really don't mind a good shearing but I can't stand when I am fleeced.
had over heating problems , finally had head gasget done ? so far so good ? car has 147,000 miles on it now ! replaced radiator twice ! had problems with engine light , ok since head gasget ! car runs ok now but was a disapointment , over rated , expensive repairs , dont belive the hype !
I also had to replace the head gaskets at around 120,000 miles. I have also had the check engine light on and off with regard to the CC like the guy from Dingmans Ferry, PA. My dealer told me it might be a sensor or it might be the CC. They told me if you replace the sensor and it turns out to be the CC you will the need to replace the CC and the sensor again because a bad CC will take out the new sensor! They told me the tolerances are real tight on the system so if it's just a little off it will make the light come on. They also said that the light might come on if moisture gets in the sensor... Their bottom line was to let it slide because of the cost of the CC and the sensors. Don't know if that's good advice or not but I'm at 130,000 miles and my Outback is still going strong.I had a transmission issue at about 100,000 miles that the car was slow to go into drive when you put it in gear. The repair was a little pricey but I was told by the shop in Lafayette that they don't see many Subaru's and they gave me a good warranty so I fixed it and have not had a problem since. I really like the car so I'm going to see how long I can make it last.
Bought my "Beanie" new in 2001. At 55,000 miles the front end differential destructed which required repair and a new transmission. Cost me over $3,000. Subaru doesn't stand behind their product nor does the dealer. They would not pay for the repairs. Even though I had the car at the dealership asking them to check out the car because of some front end noise. They weren't able to diagnose the problem and on my way home from the dealer, the car seized up and I had to tow it back to the dealer.
Any normal maintanence that needs to be done is priced way above what I have had to pay for any other vehicle. Even when checking out separate Subaru dealers, I have found the prices are not the same, What's up with that? Same car, same parts.......
Charlotte - Lexington Michigan
This was my 5th of 6 Subaru's and most likly my last. Front rotor's were an issue until I replaced them with a slotted performance set on all 4 corners @ 40,000 miles. My model was a LL Bean with every option, the interior was great except for the leather which was more like vinyl and not very comfortable for the liong haul. The heating and cooling was for the most part poor, I had to tape up the slot on the drivers side so my foot wouldn't melt with the heater on. I owner it for 8 years and 130,000 miles. The body held up very well, it was great in the snow. Not all that quiet with 2 sun roofs, seemed to have alot of wind noise. This one like all my other subaru's needed frequent alignments but that was with all the models I've owned. The son owns a 2006 Impreza and he just replaced the brakes and rotors after just 30,000 miles. By the way we're not agressive drivers.I've seen starting in 1995 when I purchased by first subaru, btw the best one I ever owned, that their quality has decreased but the sticker's have increased. Bottom line, great when the weather is bad but for the price there are better choices.
Great driving car. Minor qualms: Doesn't take abuse well - the clutch and transmission are a little weak for the holding power of AWD. The stock suspension has a little too much lift/travel without self-levelling struts in the back. I would buy one again.
reliable car with 115,000 miles. Normal squeaks and rattles,drain from moonroof gets clogged easily.Purchased used with 90,000 two years ago.
Overall, my experience with our 2004 subaru outback has been a poor one (purchased new). Quite frankly, I'm amazed they've maintained the reputation they're recognized for...In general, we've had continual electrical problems, from excessive light bulb burnout to poor speaker wiring and broken cd players. In addition, wear and tear components (i.e. stock tires, rotors, CV boots, etc.) fail far sooner than in other cars I've had (or have; Toyota and Dodge) under similar driving conditions. Other than the in convenience, it wasn't a problem until the car was out of which case repair costs were absurdly expensive...and laughably required multiple visits to diagnose and repair (our AC is STILL not fixed!). I purchased this car largely for it's reputation as a reliable vehicle and therefore figured the occasional expensive repair was manageable...little did I know!!
With all that said, the handling of this vehicle in all weather conditions is simply astounding (heavy rains, snow and ice...of course with a decent set of tires...not the junk stock Bridgestones). I would ONLY consider buying another subaru if I REGULARLY had to deal with heavy snows....
Only problem I had was a short curcuit in one of the interior wires that affected the sunroof and rear lights. Otherwise the car is very nimble.
Enjoy the all wheel drive. Easily maintained. Have had no problems with the car. This is my 5th Subaru.
I bought a 2002 Subaru brand new. This car spent a lot of time at the dealership for various reoccurring problems that the dealer seemed unable to fix. Eventually the problems got ironed out. I snow board and surf and love the versatility of All Wheel Drive and the ground clearance of this car is great.
The car has experienced clutch “chatter” from the first day I owned it, dealer said its normal and live with it. Maintenance costs have been higher than I was expecting. To replace the timing belt in particular is an expensive service. The heater core went out requiring the dashboard to be removed to repair. I get about 25 miles to the gallon but feel the engine needs more umph! for mountain driving. Despite its initial problems I would consider buying another Subaru. I presently have around 135,000 miles on my Subaru.
Pat Mannion Santa Cruz CA