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.
The car is very rattle prone. Dealer
fixed 4 rattles with resistance. Wind
and outside noise is uncomfortable. Car
handles well in snow. Poor break angle
prevents it from doing any serious off
road. Premium sound system just doesn't
sound right - sounds kind of hollow.
All wheel drive
Redesign aerodynamics to reduce wind
noise, better accoustics in cabin,
better sound insulation, bigger gas
tank, better break angle.
After a brief fling with a terribly
made Ford Taurus, I'm back with
Subaru. Bought it three years old for
under half the new price. The wagon
seems adequately powered to me, even
with the automatic. I can haul my
recumbent bike inside, and still sneak
my six year old in the split back
seat. The handling is a real pleasure,
and the brakes are powerful. Averaging
26 mpg in rural driving. Security
system can only be disarmed by the
remote, and I can't figure out how to
AWD, Handling, Braking, Weather Radio,
lots of cargo room.
Best car I ever owned...until I found
out they rented them! Not one problem
with the car at all. Little things like
the radio controls being too small, the
back seats not reclining a bit, etc.
But, because they rent them, there are
an abundance of current model year units
on the used car lots in 6 months. Look
to chop off $10 grand in the first year
in depreciation. Quite a blow..and
something you don't expect in a Subaru.
SO, BUY A USED ONE....you can save a ton
or look at a Forester (they don't rent
them yet). I wish I would have.
STOP RENTING THEM AT HERTZ
Reclining rear seats (like the CRV)
3rd row of seats (like the taurus)
turbo at a reasonable upcharge
6 speed automatic w/tiptronic