Used 2002 Subaru Outback Sedan

Style:
2002 Subaru Outback
List price range

Pros

  • The security of all-wheel drive, comfortable on pavement, capable on dirt, well-appointed interior.

Cons

  • Not as capable as an SUV in terms of pure off-road capability, upscale models are expensive.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A versatile alternative to mainstream wagons and SUVs.

vehicle overview

What recipe does an automotive manufacturer use to boost sales? Ask any Subaru executive, and she'll tell you to take one part popular Australian movie star and one part advanced all-wheel-drive system. Stir in an undercurrent of SUV backlash with a dash of resurgence in the station wagon market, and behold: the perfect environment for the Subaru Outback. Available in either wagon or sedan form, the Legacy-based Outback is Subaru's answer to the question: Why would anyone want to drive an ill-handling, gas-guzzling, difficult-to-park SUV? With standard all-wheel drive, aggressive styling, a heavy-duty raised suspension and a base price in the low 20s, the Outback offers on-road practicality with off-road capability at a bargain price. While no match for the likes of Jeep's Grand Cherokee or Toyota's Land Cruiser in terms of hill climbing, the Outback can hold its own in light off-road situations without losing an oil pan or cracking a differential.

Subaru has expanded the Outback's model lineup this year. There are now five different trim levels: base, Limited, H6-3.0, H6-3.0 L.L.Bean Edition and H6-3.0 VDC. Powering the base and Limited models is a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine producing 165 horsepower. Power is adequate with this engine, but those planning on frequent hauling of people and cargo will likely want the more powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Like the four-cylinder, it's horizontally opposed, and it brews up 212 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission offered with the larger engine is a four-speed automatic transmission.

The H6-3.0 cars have even higher levels of standard equipment. Highlights include special 16-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, a mahogany wood and leather steering wheel, automatic climate control with an air filtration system, an eight-way power driver seat and a rearseat center armrest. The L.L.Bean Edition, so named because of a marketing partnership with the active-lifestyle clothing maker, comes standard with special two-tone leather seating and a security system. The H6-3.0 VDC comes with Subaru's stability control system, called Vehicle Dynamics Control, as well as leather seating and an impressive McIntosh 11-speaker audio system.

Thanks to the AWD system, the Subaru is sure-footed on both dry and wet roads. The H6-3.0 VDC, with its stability control system, is even more so. A tight, responsive steering rack, along with a decent-riding suspension, allow Outback owners to overtake SUV owners quickly when the road gets twisty. In wagon form, the Outback can hold about as much cargo as an SUV; with the rear seats folded down, 68.6 cubic feet of cargo can be stored.

In 1999, people complained that the Outback didn't have enough power. So in 2000, Subaru answered with the bigger H6 engine. Problem was, it only came in the pricey L.L.Bean and VDC models. With the introduction of the cheaper H6-3.0 sedan for 2001, it would seem Subaru continues to listen.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Subaru Outback.

A Thin Line between Love and Hate
liz, 12/13/2009
I knew I wanted my Subaru OUtback Sedan for a while. I was in love with it when I got her. Had to replace brakes and rotors, expensive but routine. Everything was great until 95k mi, had oil leaking everywhere. Subaru did cam seals, valve seals, timing belt (it was leaking on it too) and some other stuff for $650. A month later engine light came on - catalytic conv. Got a 2nd opinion on the cat. conv. and they found a leak in the head gasket. I'm sick to my stomach I love this car...never a problem in bad weather...I don't want to get rid of it but after the reviews idk. I may not be able to afford all the up keep. I would buy a new outback if they came out with a new sedan...without the problems
Honda - Next Time
Ex-Coloradian, 6/17/2009
OK, I am not a car person. Had an Accord for about 10 years then wanted a larger (similarly reliable) car that could handle snow, etc. Bought an 02 Subaru Outback in 03. Last year at roughly 70,000 miles, I had to put $2,700 in it - head gasket (engine overheating) and miscellaneous maintenance. This winter was cold, and then I got the overpowering gasoline smell in the car on cold days - apparently another known problem. I basically love the car (style, size, driving) but will drive this until it costs me too much not too. Shame on Subaru for not fixing known problems - (head gasket and fuel stink in cold weather), I would not recommend it nor will I buy one again.
Outback VDC H6 wagon
FRM, 12/8/2006
I have always admired Subaru for their AWD which fascinated me back in the 70s. Finally I bought one and it had the McIntosh promo stereo CD player. This stereo has rekindled my love for music as I had forgotten what beautiful music sounds like. The special sound design of the interior contributed to the greatness of the stereo. I have since listened to other systems in more expensive cars that cannot compare. The car has power with the 212hp 6 and is quiet probably because of the special sound treatment mentioned already. I have not had problems at all and the AWD can go through snow like it is not there. Ice is tough for any car. The only con is wind noise but I am well satisfied.
GREAT!
Outback Sedan Driver, 4/19/2002
The Outback Sedan 4 cyl is great. When i bought it, the 6er was not out yet.
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Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
212 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
212 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2002 Subaru Outback Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2002 Subaru Outback
Used 2002 Subaru Outback Sedan Overview

The Used 2002 Subaru Outback Sedan is offered in the following styles: VDC AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), H6-3.0 AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), and Limited AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A).

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