We have owned this car for three years now and I am still in love. We like to take the road less traveled (or nearly nonexistent) and this car delivers. More than once we have encountered people in lifted 4x4 trucks who are always amazed to see us. On the highway, the mileage is decent and it sticks to the twistiest road like a champ. Maintenence is easy and the engine is a reliable workhorse. The back seats and cargo areas are well designed. My only complaint is that vibration and road noise is a bit of a problem. The pros of this car far outweigh that one con.
Seriously been reading some of these reviews and they are a joke! My Outback has 220K miles on it AND RUNS LIKE A CHAMP! purchased this car off of a friend that did next to no maintenance at 200K, and after only 500 dollars in little things, I can beat the Mustangs off the line! Head Gaskets at 100k are NOT normal to be replaced, and my car was ran hard before owning, unlike other people complaining it's not an issue (lemons?) Tranny is awesome, Handling superb, gas mileage is excellent for an AWD. only issue is the Check Engine Light pops on and off, but that is because of the Cat conv. O2 sensor which is a KNOWN BUG, nothing to worry about though. DEF BUY THIS CAR, IT's BULLET PROOF!
AWD, 5 Speed Transmission. Dash Layout, Premium Sound system, ABS, Performance both off road and on. Handling in corners, Storage space!!! Easily Maintained! oh and the look on sports car owners faces when a wagon out runs them in a quarter mile!
Interesting edmunds fails to list the cars with auto trans. Had this car since 09, purchased with 120k for $4800 and has 176k on it now. CEL on since 3 months after I bought it; spent way too much trying to figure it out; dealership states due to oxygen sensors, which are supposedly all one part with the catalytic so would have to replace that whole thing-they told me to keep driving it.
Lots of front end issues, huge motor/trans vibrations that no one can seem to figure out, dealer or other subaru masters. Wasted lots of cash there too.
Happens whenever I'm stopped in gear, always have to take it out of gear.
Better mechanical knowledge needed at dealerships.
Seat & driving comfort -10
AWD, space, folding seats, roof racks (where my kayak lives :)
I even put the kayak inside last summer--fold the front seat back and it fits right in, although had to tie the trunk down and pad the kayak.
It's a great car to haul things in and on. Great stock sound system.
Despite the major mechanical and comfort flaws, the car just keeps on going.
Interior carpets and seat materials have held up far better than expected for a 13 year old car, not a rip, tear, or thin spot.
And I beat the inside of my vehicle with kayaking, fly fishing, camping, mud, dirt roads, etc. Hats off to the interior durability.
Subaru to this day hasn't learned that, in the outback or the forrester, the gas pedal does not belong to the right, right up against the hump.
It is very uncomfortable to drive, and contributes to constant back and leg pain.
Little leg room-I'm short, needseat fully forward to not drive with my toes.
I'm 5'4", my dad is 5'8" and he can't fit in it.
Someday maybe they'll figure out this fatal space flaw.
This vehicle lacks comfort in the seats; little lumbar support & poor seat cushioning, I had to buy multiple pads and back supports to survive it. Guess what-pads + no head room makes for a really crappy, uncomfortable ride.
I've checked out the new ones, & not much has changed.
If my 2000 outback has engine problems then i say thank god the old owners took care of them, i inherited it from my folks when it had 160k miles on it, after 6 years, its just over 270k miles on it, i write this review mainly for my love for my outback and mind you i have to get rid of it soon and the new models arent as reliable if you see this and want something that reliable, practical, and can carry a occasional heavy item then this is your car.
Since i've gotten this car i've only really spent about a grand total into minus the norms, gas, wheels, oil changes, ect. wish subaru made their cars like they did back in the early 2ks.
better gas mileage with 270k i'm still getting about 23 miles a gallon
I purchased this car used in September '09 with approximately 41,000 miles. Since then I've driven 10,000 miles in different conditions, including ice and mud, and I've found this to be a solid and reliable vehicle. It has the four cylinder engine. I get 23 to 24 mpg with 50% highway and 50% in town. I admit that I'm not an aggressive driver. Most others would probably get a lower gas mileage reading. The suspension is very much like an SUV when traveling off-road or over rough pavement. The all wheel drive gives a secure feeling when the roads are slick. I can see why Subarus are popular in northern states.
I like the simplistic design of dashboard (stereo, air conditioning, etc.), the long travel suspension, all wheel drive and the ability to fold the rear seats into a deck that is completely flat.
Much of the improvements that I can think of have been made to the later models. For instance, I wish I could lay one side of the rear seat flat. I cannot due to the lower seat cushion being a solid piece.