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2002 Subaru Outback

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 635 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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2001 Outback LL Bean, it's a Winner!

By on Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "LL Bean with the 3.0 L engine is a great car!"

Cons: "Only 1 real cup holder, otherwise no complaints"

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

"I wrote a review for a 1997 Outback as well, and I also own a 2001 Outback LL Bean. I like this 2001 even more than my 1997. I bought the 2001 in 2007 for $10K with 100K miles. My wife has since put 55K miles on it for a total of 155K miles. The car has had only minor problems, and thanks to it having the 3.0 liter engine, no headgasket failure (phew), and no need to replace the timing belt because it is instead equipped with a timing chain which is far more robust. I recently replaced the brake pads and rotors because the front rotors tend to warp, which causes vibration in the steering wheel while braking. I have replaced a couple of tensioner pulleys on the front of the engine that are driven by the serpentine belt, plus the fuel filter and spark plugs and O2 sensors (on the exhaust pipe)...All very easy to work on once a few of the other accessories have been removed/moved. Next I plan to replace the power steering pump because the bearing has developed a whine, especially while the engine is cold. I really like being able to work on this car myself. I recently bought a 2002 Outback LL Bean for myself and will pass my 1997 Outback down to my kids. I bought the 2002 Outback because I love our 2001 Outback LL Bean so much. After I drive the 2002 for awhile, I will add a review, but I am optimistic the 2002 will be every bit as good as the 2001 :)"

16 people out of 16 found this review helpful

2001 Subaru Outback Wagon

By on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought this well cared for 01 wagon used w/ 42K miles. Owned it for six years now and it just turned 92K Miles. Still has lots of life and has been very reliable and inexpensive to run. Other than basic scheduled maintenance repairs have been minor eg. torn rubber steering boot & axle boot, wind shield washer pump. Private shop labor rates are quite reasonable, unlike those for my previous VW (might as well own a Porsche). For half it's life this Subie has lived in San Francisco and dealt w/ it's hills (clutch still orig) and now lives in the Sierra where it also like the mtns & snow. The AWD system is second to none, in fact half my neighbors own Subies, testimony to the AWD system. I've driven this car all over CA both urban and rural, often loaded w/ gear, in all climates and it has never let me down. I'm 6'-3" and there's plenty of leg and headroom. Wind noise can be an issue but thats 'cos of the bike rack. Styling is a bit dated but hey, the car's almost a decade old. I'll keep it for a long time to come and most likely buy another 3 yr old Subie as replacement."

14 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"I love this car. Drive over mountain lots and it always gets me through the snow. Before I bought this car lots of adds said replaced head gasket, water pump and timing belt. Took it to my mechanic and He said if someone or a dealership is trying to tell you that these have never been changed then if the car is over 100,000 miles you will soon need them replaced. He said that is just the way they were built. Mine had been replaced with the cost of the car so I have no worries. Glad it was done so now I dont have to worry about those things going out. Please check that out before you buy one."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Good car so far

By on Saturday, December 22, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"We have had very little problems with our subaru. Here in Seattle, this is the official car of the lower yuppie class. There are 8 on our block. We have never had any reliability issues. When it was new I did however find a few things wrong with it like the seat cushion was unstitching, and one taillight was holding water. The dealer fixed these issues right away without question. We like the space, 4WD, handling, and low road noise. The only detractors are a cheap plastic interior, poor acceleration, and not the best gas mileage for such poor pep...(20mpg avg). I had an old 1985 subie wagon with a pathetic 96hp 4cyl that got 34mpg. I wish they would target a 30mpg car with moderate performance."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great Car, second Subaru Outback, will buy another

By on Friday, September 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 246,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Inexpensive used car, comfortable and reilable."

Cons: "Haven't been able to get cruise control working"

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

"I bought my 1996 Outback used almost 6 years ago, it had almost 150K on it at the time. Minor mechanical repairs since then, drive it to work each day, great in the snow, decent mileage. I've got over 246K on it now and its still going strong. Definitely recommend Subaru. My next car will be another outback."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Good driving / handling car

By on Monday, May 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 301,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Was very reliable."

Cons: "Head Gasket issues, CatConverter/O2 sensors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Bought this Outback used with 260k on it for $2500. Reportedly had a new motor put in at 220k!? Had a perpetual oil leak but ran like a champ and with a 5-speed, was just fun to drive. Had typical rust spots at rear wheel wells. Replaced a muffler and driveshaft at 290k. Has had CEL issues due to catalytic converter and O2 sensor codes, but inspectors helped me through it. Just recently went to severe overheating issues (mechanics say likely Head Gasket) so forced to junk it as it also needs tires and brakes. Definitely looking for another 5-speed Outback."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

great car. horrible engine

By on Monday, April 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great to drive"

Cons: "Heads and Gaskets are flawed."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"We have had to replace the heads four times since we got it in 2008. Have had to replace head gaskets just as often. Car drives like a dream though great on gas mileage. great for long trips too. Wish the engine was better though. We have put about $10,000 in the engine alone."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Be Careful

By on Thursday, February 28, 2008

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"Am on my 2nd one, and it's in the shop for the same reason I had to get rid of my first one- motor problems. The headgaskets are notorious for going bad on these cars- I would highly encourage you to do your research before making the decision to buy one. It's sad too, because I love the car itself. We live in Michigan, and the cars are tanks through snow and bad weather. I had 98,000 miles on my 1998 when it puked, and now 145,000 on my 2001. I had hoped to get 200,000 easily, based on what I had heard. Great cars if you only have them for 75,000 miles. If you plan on keeping it for 200,000 miles, do your homework."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The car that just won't quit

By on Friday, October 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 194,000

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
10/10

Pros: "reliable durable and worth the price"

Cons: "sound system is weak"

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

"I live in upstate ny and the winters are cold and the snow gets deep. I have never been stuck somewhere because of the weather. General maint. and a little tlc and this car is going to drive me for another 100K easily. I don't do any mechanical work so it does get a little expensive around break and rotor changing time, but other than that I put $1500 into her over the last 2 years in tires and preventative maint. Tape deck and cloth seats are the only con. Never thought I would own one car this long. My wife bought the 2011 model when she needed an upgrade from her camry. She will never own a two wheel drive car again. We will always have two Subaru's in the driveway! Love this car"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Value, Useful, Sporty(see complete review)

By on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Drives nice, goes everywhere, HAULS STUFF"

Cons: "Roof rack adjstmnt screws, wind noise at side mirr"

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

Looks blue but it's really green.

"We had the heads redone due to oil leaks $2K. I replaced the antiroll bars with heavier ones from RalliTek $300.00 and changed the shock/struts to KYBs $400.00. K&N air filter $40.00. Weatherstripped the side mirror to stop the wind noise $3.00. The thing drives like a new car! More power and handles much better. It's a keeper!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Looks blue but it's really green.

stylish and comfortable but beware

By on Saturday, July 28, 2007

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"I have loved this car since the day I bought it, and I have taken very good care of it. Sadly at 170,000 mi. the head gasket has begun to leak and my engine overheats and now needs to be replaced. I have been told by more than a few people that the 1998 Outback has a problem with this particular thing, and it is best to buy a different year."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Comfy hwy car

By on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"1999 DOHC 2.5 was a noisy motor, piston slap was taken care of in later years with a shorter piston skirt. Reliable, but somewhat noisy. Still used a single-layer head gasket in these years which requires full removal of the motor to remedy, usually between 80 and 100 thousand miles. All wheel drive is one of the best on the market, and has been trouble free. The car (outback limited) is comfy with nice leather seats and adjustable lumbar. Lots of options like seat heaters, wiper heater, mirror heaters, seat height adjustment make it creature comfortable, and fold-down rear seats with the wagon make it a decent hauler when needed. It's moderately nice looking, for a wagon. Nice car for snowy climates."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Well cared for 2001 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition

By on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 179,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "condition, care, new tires, recently serviced"

Cons: "some rust starting"

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

"Get a great car for a good value. Our 2001 Outback is in great shape in spite of the mileage. It has been garaged for it's life with us and has many great features that are standard with the LL Bean edition."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

i bought new, its been great, very good in snow. F

By on Saturday, June 30, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,175

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"For some reason it goes through brakes, (3 sets in ten years and needs them again). Only other mechanical is I replaced a leaky radiator at about 3 years. They seem to hold their value well. I would buy another."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Decent AWD vehicle.

By on Monday, December 26, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Moderate repair bills, good heat and a/c. AWD"

Cons: "motor issues, marginal power"

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

"Decent AWD vehicle. Do own maintenance and bought new, so very familiar w/trouble points. Rear brake pad backing plates need to be ground or will bind in retainers and wear fast. Most Outbacks of this era have piston slap noise when engine cold and hit throttle. Sounds bad, but not a serious problem, but could keep a potential buyer away. Lots of head gasket problems, but mine has been OK at 125,000 mi. Center viscous coupling on manual transmissions can go--mine did. Check by making hard left and right turns and note noise. Clutch on manual transmission models wear fast due to high 1st gear requiring lots of clutch slip to get started. I got 60,000 mi. out of clutch. Other cars I've had get twice that. Exhaust stainless, but not flanges, so will rot. Need custom exhaust place to cut flanges out and replace with sleeves--don't need new exhaust. Suspension and manual transmission are very good. Softly sprung for comfortable ride at expense of good handling. Marginal acceleration even w/manual. Excellent heater and A/C--never any problems."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Gives me peace in the snow

By on Sunday, December 05, 2010

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"Love that I can depend on it to get me anywhere in the snow and on the ice (as long as I drive sensibly). Has never let me down. Have done normal maintenance, tires, battery, hoses and belts but I have 96,000 miles on it. I wish that subaru would design more comfort in the seats for the driver. Overall it is a great reliable vehicle and I get great mileage (25 mpg average, higer on the hwy."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A great car!

By on Monday, April 05, 2010

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

"When it comes to performance and reliability, it's hard to beat a Subaru. If you keep it well maintained according to manufacturer specs, this car will last you a long time. The mpg rating is great for an AWD vehicle...I still get 28 on the highway after 110,000 miles."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

So-so

By on Sunday, August 30, 2009

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

""I bought this vehicle with New England winters in mind (AWD for snow). It really does handle beautifully in poor driving conditions... However when the check engine light is on or you can smell antifreeze fumes it becomes a night mare. Initially, everything was great, bought it used with 80,000, I had some reservations but the Suburu dealer assured me they will back the car 100% and talked me into a used car warranty... so the slow downward spiral began. Over the past 3 years ending with the dreaded head gasket, one troublesome piston, timing chain and oil pump replacement at a cost of $4900. Apparently, Subaru knew of these problem but refused a recall of the 2003 and earlier models. The car sounds like the front windows are always open a tiny bit. Replacement of rubber gaskets at a cost of $395! No more Subaru!!!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good car until the gasket blew

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"The car was going well until the head gasket issue came up. Up until then the car was fine no major issues. Ok performance level - solid but nothing extraordinary. A bit tough on brakes and the seats are not that comfortable. This was my third Subaru but I have decided to move on. Since I was out of warranty (83k) they gave me only 20% off the fixing of the head gaskets $2200 plus they felt they were doing me a huge favor. Amazing how companies get this stuff in reverse. They are clearly designing cars at a cheaper level nowadays. Not like the older designs which were over-engineered. So all up an average car with average service."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

OUTBACK

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2009

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"Ours needed to have the engine replaced at 54K - due to piston scuffing. It also had the infamous oil seal leak on both the cam and main seals. Subau took care of the engine replacement but the dealer wanted to soak me an additional 150.00 to update the transmission program which consists of a simple reflashing of an inbedded memory chip. I would reccomend the car itself but after 20+ years of Subaru ownership we have been disappointed to find the Subaru corp has changed in its dealing with its customers to the point where we will buy a XXXXX to replace our Outback"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

overall

By on Saturday, February 21, 2009

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"If one is looking for a practical vehicle that can handle pretty much any type of situation, this is it. I too am agravated about the windows, the rubber wears out and the whistling begins. I love my heated seats but the seat feels too hard on long drives. But I love this car. With simple check ups, it never lets me down. Mileage OK and if I can find an independant mechanic that could tweak it for the future on the gas issue, I would spend the money."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great in Snow

By on Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"I've owned Subaru's for over 20 years due to living in AK & NY. Fantastic vehicle for snowy, uphill terrain. Enjoy the warmth of the heated seats but will not purchase another one due to fuel economy. Current mileage 22 mpg(auto). Do not like the window design as with every Outback I've owned they whistle in the wind & don't hold up well when closing for numerous years. Had some problems but Subaru was great to work with. I'll miss the Sub's but look forward to Prius mileage."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

100K and not worth a dime

By on Friday, March 07, 2008

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"Our '99 passed 100K with only routine maintenace (brakes, oil, etc.) when everything pretty much melted down. About every gasket now leaks oil, speedometer is intermittent, exhaust system cracked requiring cat converters to be replaced too (only a $1,000 repair!), cruise control is intermittent, and on and on and on. If I had the heart to sell it in such shape I'd be lucky to get a couple grand. In my opinion, I don't think this car lived up to it's expectation. It was flawless til 100K, but to have virtually no value after 9 yrs of good care is an unforeseen bummer. Although I like the car and the snow factor, I won't buy another. My Hondas have far exceeded the Subaru's useful life."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle Ever for Dependability

By on Friday, May 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 239,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drives like a boss"

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

"Drives like a boss in the winter. I bought it at 2K needing a cheap reliable car. It only had one owner prior to me. it's comfortable, full loaded with leather ,sunroof and I never get stuck in the snow. Plus it's a 5 speed and fun to drive. I have to say I'm sold on subie now. Have only bought new tires for it in a year of ownership. not bad subie. not bad!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Subaru on and off road

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 179,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable powerful versatile great for traveling"

Cons: "A little more head room"

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

"I go to Lake Tahoe, to the desert, off road, in snow, over creeks, and down wash board roads. San Diego to Sedona Arizona. I have had my Subaru since she was new and now is 11 years old, and she runs with great power. I did pay a pretty price for her luxuries since she is an LL Bean edition. Leather interior still looks phenomenol. I take her camping and to the ocean. I have slept in her when I forgot my tent, I am 5 ft 3 inches and it works for me. I will say that my boyfriend is amazed that I can put down the seats and he can haul timber and packages from Home Depot."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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