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2002 Subaru Outback

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 626 Ratings for the 1996 - 2004 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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One Tough Car

By on Saturday, December 20, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded in on GMC Acadia

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, great gas mileage, great on or off-road"

Cons: "small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"All you really need to know about a Subaru is that if you're strapped for money, you probably can't find a more reliable vehicle that can do it all and get great mileage while doing it. I bought the car with 120k miles on it for $4700. Drove it for three years (45,000 miles). I never changed the oil and finally on a 2500 mile round trip it started knocking. I checked the oil, which it had not burned any of, and it was as thin as water. I changed the oil and the motor stopped knocking and I drove it another 5000 miles before trading it in on a new GMC Acadia. Subaru vehicles can be trusted to get you from point A to point B. Trust them."

Best car I have ever owned.

By on Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dependable car for a family."

Cons: "Tends to get alot of body rust around wheel wells."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my 2003 Outback in 2011 with 65,000 miles. I have driven back and forth from Florida, gone through many mounds of snow and sleet, as well as icy roads. Replaced the water pump last summer. The check engine light came on at 105,000 miles, had all my belts changed, and general 100,000 work done, and light still on. Back hydraulic hinge for hatch back rusted off. Not sure why that would have happened, as no water gets into back. Still is the best car I have ever owned, has never left me stranded. Have always been a Jeep person, but after owning a Subaru, and not having to put very much money into the vehicle after almost four years and after almost 50,000 miles. Great car. Every one I know who owns one loves them. I have heard issues about head gaskets, but I have not had one major engine issue."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Lots of issues when keeping for more than 4-5 yrs

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
2/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Recommend if plan on only keeping for 4-6 years"

Cons: "Only buy if you have money to waste"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Drivers side rear began rusting after 5 years with no accidents or scratches on it; now quite bad and needs lots of body work before it will pass inspection again. Check engine light repeatedly goes on for more than half the life of car. Paid lots of money to have it fixed many times, but light just comes back on again after a few weeks. Each year before inspection time must go to shop and they do something to make the light go off and blame it on something that has costed anywhere from $120-$700. Have records to prove it. Head gasket went close to 100,000 miles which is an outrageous repair bill due to labor. Car has only 135,000. 2nd subaru kept more than 4-5 years; best to get rid of them financially wise after 4-6 years. Had 5 Subaru's all together due to needing good awd and not caring for SUVs; I always buy new trying to avoid someone elses problems; 2 rusted quite bad when not very old, despite being garaged and not scratches or accidents. All had issues with rear hatch latch, except my 2012 had none yet. 3 had issues with check engine light like above. I like the car, but it is a matter of luck whether you get one worth keeping for the long term to get money's worth. They look nice and run good when new, but after warranty is gone, plan on spending to keep it for the long haul. I do like the AWD and ground clearance and the 2015, like others in the past have nice new features, but if you look around enough long enough they can seem to be a step behind and it is a matter of luck on quality. I have had better luck with Honda and worse with Ford. I always buy the Subaru limited with all the nice options, but would be more content if they were built to last longer without expensive time consuming issues."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent condition, great car

By on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, easy to drive, great for carrying stuff"

Cons: "No BLUE, no keyless entry"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car several years ago with less than 30k miles on it and have used it to travel to work around LA as well as several road trips. A great vehicle, always reliable, never any trouble. Aside from normal maintenance, it has new battery, newish tires, and some recent body work to clean up some scratches and minor dings. I would pass it on to a friend or family member, but everyone I know has new cars. I need something small and light for me, as I'm getting older and don't want to drive a wagon anymore. Call me if you need a safe and reliable vehicle to schlep kids or stuff around."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

good car, finicky details, great in snow

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great snow car, good looker, better gas mpg"

Cons: "upkeep...period"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"if you don't mind tinckering with a car and messing around with mechanical issues, this is a better car than most, but having had higher than expected mechanical issues one being head gaskets repaired 2x in 30k, i just am tired of the car and it must go. I have had other Honda/Toyota/nissan with similar milage and they never had the upkeep this subby did."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great design

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have had no major problems with car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good in snow!

By on Saturday, September 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Bought this car new. Have kept up on the maintenance pretty well. Has had some issues, needed a head gasket replacement twice. Has rust behind both rear wheel wells, and I notice other wagons like mine do also. Always expensive to get something fixed on it as it has a complicated electrical system. It is real good in bad snowy weather though. Still has the original exhaust system after all this time too! I wouldn't buy another Subaru though."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned!

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun and economical to drive."

Cons: "Front and rear bumpers are difficult to keep paint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car! Even with 105,000 miles I've had no major issues. I wish it had a little more cargo space. And the front and rear bumpers are difficult to keep paint on. Those are my only complaints. Gets great gas mileage. Still looks stylish after 12 years. Great on winter ice and snow."

13 people out of 18 found this review helpful

A great car for all seasons, especially winter

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 375,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Safe, reliable, good handling, affordable"

Cons: "Only 20-22 mpg; ok ride in the back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love love this car! Great for winter driving, especially with snow tires; safe, reliable, good handling, affordable, easy to drive and park and maintain. Great versatility with back seats that lie flat for carrying large items. Had a great engine that our dealer KILLED by not putting the "t valve properly" and then not admitting or covering their error. Put in a second engine - working great except needed head gasket job (1st engine hadn't). Need to clean out wheel wells to avoid rust. Had to body work on one back "dog leg." Would love a Subaru solution to great (not just good) radio reception and blocking interference, but then that's a frustration with all cars."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Nice vehicle

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 188,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, lots of cargo room"

Cons: "Could run with regular, but ran best with premium."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This was a fun vehicle to drive. As it got older it needed some repairs, but this is common with all vehicles. I liked the H6.0 engines pep, my only knock on it was it ran best on premium which adds up over a years time. The engine compartment was also quite crowded which made it difficult to change the spark plugs."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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