This is the 2nd of three Outbacks I have owned with a head gasket failure. Drivers window does not seal. Engine knocks when cold, acceleration & transmission are sluggish, gas mileage is mediocre. Handling on snowy road not the best. Interior material somewhat cheap.
AWD, size, appearance, heated seats, wipers, etc.
Improve build quality and materials. Better tires to improve handling on snow covered roads. Improve transmission and gas mileage.
This was my second Outback, my first being a '96 5 speed manual I traded for the '02 4 speed automatic. I wish I had held on to my '96. The '02 quality did not seem to be as good and was disappointing. Most recently, the engine sporadically idled poorly or hesitated on acceleration--even on the Interstate. My biggest concern was a leaking head gasket, which is apparently a common problem on 1999-2002 models and there was a recall for some--not all (Google "Outback head gasket"). The "fix" involved adding a conditioner to the coolant to seal the leak. Seems like a stop-gap to me. Between the head gasket and the sporadic acceleration problem I decided to it was time to trade.
After twenty-six months, this wagon is as much fun to drive as it was when purchased. It is comfortable, economical to operate, and handles wellin any weather and on any surface. Cruising at highway speeds all day is noproblem, but it really stands out duringa major snow storm. We look forward to many more years with this vehicle and will very likely belooking for another Outback Wagon when it's time to trade.
Choosing one feature over another is nearly impossible. This car was designed with the driver and passengers in mind and provides everything that is needed in a straight forward, clean format.
Heated exterior mirrors and windshield washer fluid de-icer should be standard features rather than options.
This is my second one, my 2001 I
reurned after filing a lemon law
complaint. The 2002 isn't much
better. The reliability of the car
starting is better than my 2001, but
for a brand new car should be 100%, not
75%. Had to fight the
dealership/Subaru just to get them to
believe me that this was happening on
the 2001, gave up trying for this one.
Also find that the brakes on this are
not impressive. For anti-lock brakes,
stopping distances seem to be very
long. This is even after having them
inspected. I will never purchase a
We bought it for the AWD for VT
winters & mud season. Performs well
in the elements but not an enjoyable
ride otherwise. The clutch is
difficult and the interior seating is
small & narrow. Have had to replace
the breaks several times. Check
engine light comes on frequently.
Repairs have gotten expensive - one of
the worst cars I've owned. I miss my
Great in snow & mud!, heated seats,
large cargo room in the back - when
seats are folded down you can fit most
Manual transmission - very jerky &
difficult to drive; Needs more head
room; Windows & sunroof very noisy on
interstate driving; Gas door latch on
drivers side floor freezes in winter;