2002 Subaru Outback Review | Edmunds.com

2002 Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 165 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2002 Subaru Outback

  • A versatile alternative to mainstream wagons and SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    The security of all-wheel drive, comfortable on pavement, capable on dirt, well-appointed interior.

  • Cons

    Not as capable as an SUV in terms of pure off-road capability, upscale models are expensive.

  • What's New for 2002

    Subaru has expanded the availability of its new 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine to the Outback sedan. The result is two additional sedan trim levels: 3.0-H6 and 3.0-H6 VDC. Minor upgrades to all trim levels this year include a dome light off-delay, an ignition switch illumination ring and wood grain-patterned door switch trim. Cars with the Vehicle Dynamics Control system now have a button to turn the system off, and sedans receive an internal trunk release. The automatic climate control system is upgraded with an air filtration system.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (50 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Road noise

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

First wind, then engine noise make this car a problem on the highway. The wind noise can be fixed with a fairly simple repair (the frameless windows are at fault). The engine noise, however, is a result of the manual gearbox. The fifth gear has to rev high to allow the cruise control to pull the car uphill. As a result the car revs at 3-4000 rpm at highway speeds and makes a real racket. The raspy, unrefined 4 cyl. doesn't help. It is a deal killer. Other than that, pretty good car. Secure on dirt roads and in snow and fun to drive on both. The exterior is distinctive Subaru and the interior is well executed.




Avoid this model

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

My previous car was a Nissan Pathfinder which I finally retired at 308,000 miles. I bought this as a Subaru certified, used, at 60,000 miles, hoping I would get the same performance. Not so. The engine had to be replaced at 90,000, the clutch went at 110,000, as did the entire transmission. Check engine light comes on regularly just like an old friend. The fuel smell inside the car in the cold weather is awful. Wind noise is terrible, and the seats are uncomfortable for long drives, with limited leg room if you are taller than 5'7. Junky plastic parts. This car has cost me $11,000 over the purchase price so far. CS at corporate & dealer rude. Shame on Suby for this sub standard machine.




Good, but...

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

With the exception of the lack of interior legroom front and rear, wind noise and engine issues, this is a good car ;). I had no problems for the first 30,000 miles. I had an independent dealer replace the coolant and my problems started. A small coolant leak developed. The dealer put in the Subaru coolant conditioner and told me that it should be fixed. A couple of months later, there was a big puff of steam from under the hood. The driver's side head gasket was replaced at less than 60,000 miles. No problems until about 80,000 miles. This time an oil and coolant leak from the passenger side - head gasket and cam seal. Out of warranty and out of luck. Likely my last Subaru.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Head gaskets, catalytic converters

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

This is the worst car that we have ever owned. We have replaced the head gaskets, catalytic converters and constantly have brake problems - primarily warped rotors. They say we need new valves now. We have taken care of this car and we have 130,000 on it. Subaru obviously has problems which they refuse to stand behind. We would never buy another one and just hope we can sell this one.




This is my last subaru

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I've had many Subarus, and this is my last one. After replacing the head gasket 4 times, I'm done. (The tranny went on another one I still own). These cars don't spend much time in the shop but when they do, it costs me 5-6 car payments. Also, after reviewing options now (in 2009), the OB has not kept pace with other maker's improvements. It's still the same car in 2009 as it was in 2002 with a few different options. Same engine, same power train, same reliability issues until someone proves otherwise. Also, the engine is underpowered for its size.




Review after having it a

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Vehicle: 2002 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I thought I'd provide a review after having the car 6+ years. I have the 2002 Base Model with the All Weather Package. I commute 25 miles to work along a treacherous 2 lane very windy and icy mountain road and so my main concerns when buying a car were safety and all wheel drive. I drove it for 4 years and it was great but I then also bought studded snow tires for the car and it's a tank. Downsides are right in the driver's side of the windshield there's always a streak, no matter which wipers I use. The headlights go out a lot and I've had to replace the brakes more than my past cars. I wish it was a hybrid too. I was getting 24 mpg but in the last year it's dropped to 22.



Full 2002 Subaru Outback Review

What's New for 2002

Subaru has expanded the availability of its new 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine to the Outback sedan. The result is two additional sedan trim levels: 3.0-H6 and 3.0-H6 VDC. Minor upgrades to all trim levels this year include a dome light off-delay, an ignition switch illumination ring and wood grain-patterned door switch trim. Cars with the Vehicle Dynamics Control system now have a button to turn the system off, and sedans receive an internal trunk release. The automatic climate control system is upgraded with an air filtration system.

Talk About The 2002 Outback

Read more about the 2002 Subaru Outback

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs