2002 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 138 Total Reviews
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Hypermiling My Subaru Outback
By Greg Gorgeous on 05/10/09 01:24 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2002 Subaru Outback 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 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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Review after having it a few years
By Subaru Tank on 03/07/09 10:36 AM (PST)

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.
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Too many problems
By StrictlyMediocre on 02/02/09 08:45 AM (PST)

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.
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Worst car we have ever owned
By Nancy on 12/04/08 15:19 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

We have gone through brakes like someone goes through socks - not kidding. At 120,000 we had to replace the head gaskets and at that time they said we need new valves. At 130,000 we had to replace both catalytic converters. We can't sell the car without acknowledging the valve problem so I feel we are stuck with it. We will have a completely new car before long and I wonder how long these parts will last. Going online it is evident that some of these problems are ongoing. Subaru has to know and they are not backing their product. Thousands of dollars later we are STUCK! We would NEVER buy another Subaru.
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Not a reliable engine
By Baxter on 10/17/08 06:42 AM (PDT)

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.
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Great Car
By larry on 10/09/08 20:36 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Very happy with this car. Excellent build quality, pick up and handling. Very reliable and with snow tires, unstoppable. Winter package especially appreciated. Excellent cabin comfort and cargo capacity. This is our second Subaru and the ownership experience has been pleasant for both. Only nits are the crappy front sunroof and the climate control system is annoying. we have 60K trouble free miles so far. We opted for a new CRV this round but will keep an eye on Subaru when we sell this beast in a few years
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My 2nd Subie
By schmidie on 06/19/08 11:20 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I just bought my 2002 Subaru Outback after trading in my older 1994 Legacy wagon. I wanted another, newer version of the car I had loved to drive for years. I ended up getting the Limited version of my Outback, with leather seats, steering wheel, and shifter. The seats, outside mirrors are both heated, and the car comes with important saftey features like ABS, airbags for driver and passenger, daytime running lights, and of course AWD.
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LL Bean Still Strong After 6 Years
By Matt on 05/19/08 07:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

My Subaru Outback LL Bean is still running perfectly after 6 years and 90,000 miles. I have never had any mechanical problems. The car is awesome in the snow and rain, is actually fun to drive for a wagon and has decent acceleration. Very smooth on the highway. The biggest flaws in this car are 1) the undersized front rotors (I have replaced them twice). This was never a safety issue, just an annoyance. 2) The wind noise from the front driver window. Never leaks, just whistles unless you fiddle with the weatherstripping a bit. Gas mileage is decent (for AWD) at 23 mpg average and a highway mileage around 26 (at ~70mph).
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Wanting to Love My Car
By alyonsd on 05/03/08 14:00 PM (PDT)

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.
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