The Outback was our first "new" car, and we can certainly afford anything. This car has been completely troublefree, aside from the cupholder in the back seat that my kids stepped on (and broke). There is a lingering concern regarding head gaskets with the 2.5 engine. We have had no trouble at all. I do not know what incidence exists for these engines. We have a Subaru fanatic nearby who will change both sides for about $1500. Would I buy again? You bet - in fact, we're shopping right now for a Forester for her, so that I can start driving the '01 Outback - my '91 Loyale has 209k on it, and running fine but a bit of an embarrassment in this neighborhood.
Still some work to do on the "hillholder", but it's a minor irritation.
This car handles well, is fun to drive, and I feel it is safe to drive with the family aboard. But after three, yes THREE radiator replacements, 2 head gaskets and several costly sensor replacements, I'm ready to be rid of this car. It has a computer "sensor" for seemingly everything, and I've had to replace them all more than once, and of course, these sensors are never in easy-to-reach places in the engine compartment, so every time, I've been totally reamed in the wallet. I just had the catalytic converter replaced as well, and like the other repairs for this car, it was very expensive. Seriously, I owned a Toyota for 10 years, and spent less than 1/4 the cost of repairs to it.
AWD is nice, and I will miss it. The seat warmers, side mirror defrost, and fold-down rear seats are nice as well.
For crying out loud, make the sensors accessible and affordable.
Really have nothing to complain about except the fact I had to replace the catalytic converter at 90,000 which was expensive! I have had many vehicles with many more miles and NEVER had to replace a converter. just be warned if you buy one you're in for a expensive replacement part as this seems to be common.
I bought this Subaru in '05 with just over 50,000 miles on it. I LOVED it so much. It rallied in the snow, I never got stuck while living in Utah winters. I did have to replace the tie rods and cv joint but that is understandable having 127,000 miles on it.
I love the way the car rides and feels substantial on the road without being luggy.
The gas mileage was around 20-24. The head gaskets did seep oil and the check engine light had a mind of its own but the car ran like a champ! I am a Subaru fan for life-this was my third one. I sold this car a week ago to buy a newer one and I am very much regretting that choice because I miss it! Great for towing, camping and hauling all of sorts.
Roomy. Great viability and openness. Sturdy. Good towing power. Great for sleeping in :) Dependable. Plenty of power for passing and hills.
Head gaskets, struts and front end could use some attention from Subaru. Very notorious problems there.
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