""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!!!"
"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."
"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"
"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."
"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."