2002 Subaru Outback Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 122 Total Reviews
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Best car ever owned
By tony D on 01/17/10 14:14 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon AWD 4dr Wagon w/Weather Pkg (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

Well I have 103,000 miles and I beat on this poor car and do the minimal maintenance and it has never let me down.The cars handling has saved my life several times the latest was a high speed deer avoidance situation the guy in the Acura behind me was not so lucky. The head gasket problem You have to use the Subaru coolant only or you will be screwed. just starting leaking a small amount of oil recently but I do use mobile 1 synthetic and it will find it's way out of any engine sooner or later. My only complaint would be wind noise on the drivers side only. I also had a problem with the engine computer but the solution was to leave the battery disconnected overnight problem solved.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Versatile
By TW on 01/14/10 21:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon AWD 4dr Wagon w/Weather Pkg (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

I value versatility or all else and this car has it in spades. Bought it new, now have 167,000 miles with very few issues. Family trips with 4 kayaks on the top, 4 bikes on the back, 4 people and a 160# dog and loaded to the gills. Enough power and decent gas mileage. I tow with it. I have hauled stone and mulch and top soil. I'm a musician and it holds all my equipment and is easy to load and unload. Love the low weight of the flat 4 engine and how it just pulls you through corners. I'm up for a new car this year. This one goes to my daughter and I will most likely get another Outback.
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Never Again
By Rachael on 10/07/09 20:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon AWD 4dr Wagon w/Weather Pkg (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I bought my Subaru with 40k miles on it 2 years ago, and this January it became a MONEY PIT...had a strong fuel smell and had dealer tighten plugs two times...the smell continued. I had my 60,000 tune up. Still smelled it. Found out my coolant was leaking, so I went in twice to have them put something in the car that would seal any leaks from the inside. Didn't work. Replaced my head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, the whole bit. NOW, I'm burning 1 quart of oil every two weeks, and replaced 2 wheel bearings. Heated windshield broke windshield both winters. Seats uncomfortable for long trips. LOVE THE CARGO SPACE!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Love it
By scoobaru on 10/05/09 21:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought the car with 11k miles in 2004. I've had very few problems and have surpassed the 100k mark. I recently put about $500 worth of maintenance work into it and she runs great. I've used it multiple times to tow a trailer with as much weight as 4000 lbs. I'd like to get another 100k miles out of it at least. I'm sure improvements have been made in the past 7 yrs - I'm looking forward to buying another one.
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Avoid this model
By Ridergirl on 06/26/09 16:51 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon 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.
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Good, but...
By BT Roseville on 06/08/09 19:24 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon 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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Head Gaskets, Catalytic Converters
By a20366 on 06/08/09 16:23 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon 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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Great car until it hit 100k miles
By bartemaeus on 05/28/09 10:06 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback Wagon L.L. Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Review

Up until the 100k mark, the car was flawless. But after that it went downhill. The transmission leaked and cost $2k to fix, the belt broke at least twice, belt pulleys had to be replaced twice, and the A/C compressor died. That was the final straw and we traded it in. I had hoped I would get a few more thousand miles out of the car. It was still a great car to drive, smooth on the highway, and never got stuck in snow.
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Hypermiling My Subaru Outback
By Greg Gorgeous on 05/10/09 01:24 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I first test drove a 1997 Subaru Outback Wagon and found the smooth ride uncanny since we also owned a Lexus LS 400. I finally purchased a 2002 Outback Loaded. The Automatic Transmission is smooth and lends itself to Hypermiling... use of Neutral position when coasting when approaching Lights, on Descending Grades etc. Re-engages Drive effortlessly and smoothly. Attained approx 35.8 MPG with room for lots of improvement. The Ride is excellent and Acceleration is brisk. My next Outback will probably be Turbo Charged or Hybrid when avail.
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This is my last Subaru
By Doug on 04/29/09 14:13 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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