Used 2002 Subaru Outback Sedan Consumer Reviews
The new 6 cylinder 212hp engine is smooth and quiet I drive a LOT of miles... over 16K in the first 6 months and living in New England with out snow and ice... I can honestly say nothing compares... The AWD with its continuously variable transfer clutch and a limited-slip rear differential gives plenty of confidence on snow and ice (you may find it almost boring... its just that good... you'll hardly think its slippery) Good standard sound system with comfortable interior. Gas mil is fair. Pls be aware the prem gas is recommended but not required. I considered purchasing the VW passat 4motion... but for $4K less this is a fine car.
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
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.
Bought this car used with about 160,000 miles on it. The dealer had replaced a few items like front axles, which didn't surprise me, that's a lot of miles to expect out of original axles. I got it up to 196,000 miles before the trans began to whine louder and louder. I heard that you shouldn't change the trans fluid in a high mileage car IF you didn't know for sure whether it had been regularly changed. I didn't know, but that whine was really bothering me. I changed the fluid and sure enough, the trans got nice and quiet and 2 days later stopped going into gear. I'm not upset at all though, i definitely got my money's worth out of it. It was fantastic in the snow. I could race full size trucks with 4 wheel drive and easily get to the other side of the intersection before them, on regular all season tires. I was really quite abusive to it, doing lengthy donuts in the snow in empty parking lots. I can't blame the trans for not enduring that year after year after year. The only item I had to change out of the ordinary was the driveshaft. One of the ujoints developed an annoying little squeak. I got one from a junkyard for $40 and paid a guy $50 to swap it out in the middle of winter. Rear defrost was always weak, but everything else worked great even at that mileage. Window motors, sunroof, heat, ac, locks, heated seats, etc. Its even on the original water pump and radiator. It's the 6 cylinder so it doesn't need timing belt changes. I bet it's even on the original plugs. The motor is still very solid. a little vibraty at idle, but from 700rpm up it's as smooth as an electric motor. No check engine lights, no hesitations. If I could get a trans for it , i would. But it's the very limited VDT/VDC model and that trans is very hard to find used, and it's certainly not in a price range I want to pay. But Lord, if I could find one for $1000 I'd happily put it in. I love this car, and wish I could keep it. I got 15 mpg in winter, 18-20 in summer, and 26 on the highway. For those of you wondering. Also I found it decently comfortable on trips. The steering was quick and accurate at highway speeds as well as in the city. Always drove perfectly straight. The seats don’t extend very far under your legs but I am 6’1 220lbs and could take it on 5 hour trips with no soreness when I arrived. Man I really wish I could fix the car and keep it.
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.