"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."
"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."
"Other than the head gasket recall, the car has been absolutely worry free. If you get one used, make sure the head gasket has been replaced, though I think this applies only to the 2000-2002 4-cylinder Outbacks. The exhaust shield rattles too - it's annoying, but not harmful. Currently at 140K miles - oil changes at about 6K mile intervals, with, uh, less than religious maintenance. Not a lot of passing power, but gets the job done. Gearing is a bit tall as it runs 3500rpm in 5th. I think the heater is kind of slow, although the A/C is awesome. Mileage is okay, not great - about 21 city, 27 highway - I average around 23 mpg in mixed driving. The car is a bit narrow, so 3 across in the rear seat is cramped. The front seats are comfy for long trips though - they've stayed fairly firm over the 10 years I've owned this car."
"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."
"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."
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."
"I love my Subaru. Have owned my "RuRu" for 11 years. trouble free, handles great..plenty of power..6 cyl. great body finish..may keep this car for my guests and will buy another Subaru for sure..have driven Lexus, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota..the Subaru is my preference!"
"This is my fourth Subaru; my first one was a '78. They go forever with minimum upkeep. They are tough and rugged. I test drove a 2013 and was surprised that the ride was really no sweeter than my 2002, which I dearly love. I just wanted a new car, but after that test drive, I will fix the few dings that mine has and I will keep driving it. It's the BEST."
Cons: "Automatic transmission is a little slow to respond"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Five years ago, I bought a used 2001 Outback L.L. Bean with 43,000 miles. It now has over 170,000 miles, so I have a fairly deep experience with this model. In total, I have owned 14 cars, and can safely say this is the best vehicle I have ever owned.
For starters, Subaru's all-wheel-drive system is incredible. I have lived with this car through five Minnesota and Colorado winters, and it grips snowy roads like they are dry. I sell new cars for a living (not Subaru), and can say that other manufacturers' all-wheel-drive systems don't come close to Subaru's for winter performance.
My car is quite high-mileage, and I have had no major concerns or maintenance issues. A few minor things, to be expected of any vehicle this age, but nothing significant enough to even mention here. I fully expect to have it several more years.
The car's interior holds up great. The seats are supportive and comfortable on long drives and the leather looks almost new, despite being 11 years old. The audio system is great. The automatic climate control system has never given me a problem.
I especially like that it is a wagon instead of SUV. There is little in the way of competition, but this is such a great setup. By sitting lower, physics is on your side for aerodynamics and cornering. It is easy to maneuver.
This car has made me loyal to the brand. I fully expect my next car to be another Outback; the only thing holding me back from buying a newer model is that I am still so happy with this one that I don't want to part with it. This is the only car I've had that I haven't tired of driving within a year or two."
"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."
"I bought this vehicle for the new baby in our family. In the year that we have had it we have made 25-35 4 hour or more trips with the subi. Comfort and styling wise it is an awesome vehicle! However there is not much space with 1 baby and 1 dog and my wife and I. It is also quite dificult to squeeze 4 adults with the baby seat installed. The latch system works great and legroom for rear passengers is adequate. The thought into the vehicle is phenominal (rear middle seatbelt retracts into the roof, seatbelt receivers have a holder for them in the seatback so they don't lay on the seat). The cargo storage in the back is pretty decent and small things can sit under the floor with the spare tire. There are two cubby holes in the cargo area as well for stowage and a 12v cigar plug for power in the rear is helpful also. All the buttons and switches seem placed just right for the driver except for the pop out cup holder which doesn't hold more than a can of pop (this was fixed in the 02 and later...). The 6 cylinder is not very quick off the line but has substantial top end. Likewise it is not that economical with the fuel due to the AWD but the piece of mind of AWD to me is more important. I would definately recommend the LL Bean or VDC just for the dual moon roof option!!!"
"I gave this car only 3 stars on reliability because it blew the head gasket, ($2500) replaced the air conditioner at 5 yrs($900), replaced the clutch twice ($1600).....something wrong with the springs??? All in all had one really bad year for repairs. I still love this car! I am planning to purchase a new Outback soon."
"My husband got this for me as an eight year anniversary gift. I love my Subaru. I'm a 30 year old mother of two daughters (9 & 7) whom I care for while my Michael works out of town. This car has never let me down. I traveled 120+ miles in 22" of snow and used it to literally plow my mothers' 95 Cherokee out of her driveway. Nine months later, my outback is still standing tall and with little maintenance (oil change, plugs, wires, ETC.). This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I have had a 1999 Nissan maxima, two jeep grand Cherokees (1997 and 2002), and one 1994 Cherokee. This outback beats all of them in every aspect. The only thing I don't like so far is the location of the seat warmer buttons. I don't like reaching for my drink and without knowing bumping the warmer buttons; my backside gets slightly roasted. It's not pleasant :("
Pros: "It has never broken down or left me stranded."
Cons: "I can't think of anything for this catagory."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Outback. We bought it brand new, and it's the best car I've ever owned. We've had two Foresters, too. But the Outback is my absolute favorite. It feels luxurious to drive, handles like a sports car, and hauls everything I need for work and play. I'm a professional massage therapist, and I transport my portable massage table and extra linen in the back. It's ten years old and still going strong with over 150K miles. It's been on many vacations, goes anywhere, and holds everything we need for camping and long road trips."
"I've owned this car for about two years now. I got it with 140,000 miles on it and it now has 157,000. I love my Subaru, and will say that to anyone who asks. However, with such an awesome car there are drawbacks. If you're buying this car used MAKE SURE the head gaskets/timing belt/waterpump has been replaced. It should be done around 120,000 miles, and it's a $2K garage bill. I've had to get it done to mine, but after that its been the best car I've ever owned. I love the AWD and the fact that its always on and ready to use. It's great in the rain and just glides on top the snow. I feel completely safe in this car. It has plenty of pick-up and just purrs at high speeds. It is my daily driver as I compute to college 20 miles both ways every day. I'd have a hard time giving it up, and would probably go with another Subaru if I did."
"After owning 2 brand new American cars ,84 pontiac grand prix and 1987 20th anniversary Mercury Cougar. I got smart and bought my 2000 Outback Lmtd Sedan. Best car I ever owned, reliable and never let's me down. With 111,000 miles on it still going strong. My next new car will definetly be another Subaru. Regular maintinence is the key."
"I fixed the head gasket when I bought the car at 190,000 miles. We're now at 215,000 and there's no stopping this thing. Built well and looks good for almost 10 years old. Better than most cars I've owned and I can pack the wagon full of stuff. All wheel drive and good gas mileage make this a great car."
"I bought my 01 Subaru Outback in spring of 03 with 36,000 miles. I have now owned it over 4 years and have 81,000 miles and for the most part have been absolutely thrilled. I had to replace an oxygen sensor after a year or so and just a couple months ago needed a new alternator. Other than that all I've done is change the oil. The car still runs excellent and has no leaks. I love the fact I can put bark dust, plants, bricks etc in the back cargo area and still have the nice cushy passenger seats for guests. Like others have said it is a bit cramped for long trips and lots of luggage, passengers, etc, but I got a cargo carrier that bolts to the roof rack which really helps. We have lots of snow in winters and with my studless snow tires there has been no where this car has not been able to take me. It's amazing. The car handles extremely well on corners yet is cushy and comfortable over rough roads. It is quite gutless, if you want power and speed do not get this car, but if you don't mind taking your time it is the perfect car. Yes I would definitely buy another!!"
"This vehicle has performed in temperatures from 54 below to 110 in Canada's north without problems. It has pushed snow well over the bumper and pulled up muddy roads that my truck could not take on. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone."
"Mechanical wise this car is in great shape have all receipts just put in new clutch and had alot of other work done. The interior is leather but needs to be cleaned up. Along with the rest of the interior. A great driving safe car. Just needs some clean up on the inside and a new grill which is easy to find. I just don't have the time."
Cons: "not great fuel economy, difficult to repair on own"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Definately a car i'd buy again. its my first one too. not too bad on fuel, good cargo space to help my friends haul stuff, and good all around performance on wet, dry, or snow. if in salty conditions, watch out for the rear wheel wells for rust. If a sunroof, keep an eye on it, mine started to leak slightly but not unfixable."
"I kept this car for twelve years because I loved it so much there wasn't any other car I wanted. It has great pickup and I could always put myself where I wanted in traffic. With the all wheel drive it drove well in all kinds of weather. The seats were ample and comfortable and I could easily fit five people and lots of gear with no trouble. The split, drop down rear seat and the roof rack often came in handy. The layout of the engine makes it easy to change the oil and the sixteen inch tires gave it a good height. It was like having an SUV but with the comfort of driving a car, a well engineered, good looking one. The only shortcoming it has, in my opinion, is that is doesn't have a telescoping steering wheel which would make it better for some body types. This is a car for people who want a versatile vehicle that responds well in all situations."
Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable, great sound system."
Cons: "None that I can think of."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car! I have driven it through blizzards over mountain passes and for miles on I5 and it always handles beautifully. Its extremely comfortable to ride in and makes long road trips a joy. The Macintosh sound system is fantastic; my jazz musician friends are always amazed at the quality of sound in my car. I have owned this car for ten years and have moved four times. Each move reminds me again how happy I am with this car because of how many boxes it will hold. I have moved furniture and bookcases and snow tires without any problems. I would buy this car again in an instant!"