Used 2002 Subaru Outback Base Consumer Reviews - 51 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2002 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

2002 Subaru Outback

Average Consumer Rating

51 Total Reviews

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never again!!!!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By trish
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Bought 2002 suburu outback limited used from original owner. Had it checked by my mechanic and everything was looked good. 140k miles for $5800. Nice looking car too. Ran great for a few months (2 to be exact). It has been a money sucker non stop for the past 2 years! first was something with the Manifold gasket and oxygen sensor $1150 later. The next big one was an oil leak under the head gasket with some "other things" needing fixing $3100 later. A few little things in between that cost couple of hundred $$. Latest was a break down on the highway with a "fried alternator" and a few months after that steering didnt feel right and my temp guage needle was bouncing from normal to HOT. Turns out coolant leak from the radiator. However, I never saw fluid under the car but the mechanic tells me it is leaking somewhere in the car and going where it shoud not be. Was hesistant to even fix it and told me I should just buy a new car. He did an affordable "patch job" for me for $500 as apposed to fixing the problem for $2000 plus as I NEED my car. I bought this car only because I heard they handle extremely well in the snow and this is quite true--- she does But it STOPS right there! This used car has cost me $10,000 within 2 years. This car is a NIGHTMARE but i need to get about and new car not an option now. I want to cry! :( STAY AWAY FROM SUBURU!!!!!


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Road Noise
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Carter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Great in the mush. Nice beige cabin. Distinctive Subaru exterior.


Worst Features

Bad drivetrain. Unrefined and noisy in a raspy way. 6 cyl. fuel econ but 4 cyl. power. Do not get manual transmission. Jerky with rubbery shifter. Wind and engine noise almost unbearable on highway.


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Avoid this model
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Ridergirl
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Heated seats are Nice in cold weather, colors both inside and out are attractive, but the paint doesn't wear well.


Worst Features

Improve reliability. What use is having a car that is advertised as outdoorsy and fun to drive if it is spending more time in the repair shop than on the road?


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Good, but...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By BT Roseville
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

AWD, heated front seats, side mirrors


Worst Features

Better mileage, more legroom, fix the wind noise (which I was told was fixed in the 2010 model), improve engine quality.


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Head Gaskets, Catalytic Converters
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By a20366
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

Handles well in the snow. Turning radius.


Worst Features

Subaru should stand behind their product.


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