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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This is my last Subaru
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Doug
on

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback 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.


Best Features

All wheel drive makes it seem like you are driving on rails. Very secure feeling.


Worst Features

Get rid of the flat four engine. It's outlived its usefulness, IMO.


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Review after having it a few years
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Subaru Tank
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

AWD, lots of cargo room, very comfortable seats in front and back, very practical. Downside is that it is practical and not very exciting.


Worst Features

Get rid of the streaking on the driver's side windshield. My mom bought a new 2007 Forester and it does the same thing. I even bought $50 Bosch windshield wipers and it didn't help, took it to the dealer, etc. Also secure the headlights so the bulbs don't go out so often. Make it a hybrid.


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Too many problems
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By StrictlyMediocre
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I have 122,000 on the car. I plan to keep it until 250,000 if it will last. I am on my 4th set of replacement head gaskets (5 sets total). After the dealer did the first 4 HG jobs, I found a mechanic who says "use the turbo head gasket, it will never leak again." Question: why doesn't the dealer do that? Also replaced the pistons at 122K because originals had seized rings and were so noisy I couldn't hear myself think on a cold day. Now using 3rd party pistons as well. Car handles great. Reset the "learning" engine computer for better performance. Wind noise in driver/pass. window can be fixed by squeezing molding together where side mirror is mounted. This will probably be my last Subie.


Best Features

4WD. Handles well in all conditions, when you have the right tires.


Worst Features

Make the engine more reliable. The pancake design is lousy for reliability, but good for low center-of- gravity. There ought to be a way to get the best of both worlds.


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Not a reliable engine
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Baxter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Don't expect this vehicle to last and last. I've had two of these and the first the engine ate itself at 125K. Head gasket blew on the highway. I thought it was a fluke so I bought another. Replaced three head gaskets in this one and the engine ate itself because of a blown head gasket at 175K. Probably spent over $3K on this problem. They go through everything but this engine has a major design flaw with their head gaskets. If your leaking oil REPLACE THE HEAD GASKET! $700 plus repair.


Best Features

Goes through all kinds of weather.


Worst Features

Fix the head gasket problem!


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Wanting to Love My Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By alyonsd
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I did a lot of research and test drove many cars before settling on the Outback. I liked the reputation Subaru had and the smoothness of the ride was very important for me with some medical issues. The Forester was a little too rough. I took great care of it but brakes went at 30K. Trunk cover/shade broke at 60K despite being gentle and not used much. Headgasket went at 90K. Catalytic converter went at 106K. I'm done now with Subaru, as much as I want to believe in them. I spoke with my mechanic about them and he said his experience is that they are either great for you and last, or you end up with one that's not up to par.I'm in the later. Sadly, I think this is my last Subaru.


Best Features

Nice ride, decent mileage, good in the snow, storage aspect. Great for active people.


Worst Features

Reliability and parts. I've had to put too much money into it. I had planned on keeping it to 200K but it's not worth it with my particular car. Good luck with yours! My fingers are crossed!


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