Used 2002 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2002 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

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138 Total Reviews

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Hypermiling My Subaru Outback
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Greg Gorgeous
on

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.


Best Features

Auto Transmission for Hypermiling, Handles Snow Like a Dream. Smooth 4 Cyl Engine and Great Gas Mileage. Love that Outback Ride.


Worst Features

Six Speed Auto Transmission, Hybrid Technology, or Shut off Gas Engine at Red Lights. Six Speed Engine that Shuts down Cylinders at Speeds over 50. More Cup Holders, Double Wishbone Suspension ala Honda for Improved Handling and Quick Maneuvering.


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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
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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Worst car we have ever owned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Nancy
on

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.


Best Features

Handling in the snow and turning radius


Worst Features

How about acknowledging when there are problems and backing their product.


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