Used 2003 Subaru Outback Wagon Consumer Reviews
Ok. So I am a died in the wool subaru fan but will make no bones about the fact that the H4 (2.5 liter models during these years and current models) have a BOATLOAD of head gasket problems. Their failure rate is very high. I happen to be lucky enough to have the 3.0 H6. I have just about 270k now and it still runs great and burns no oil. I maintain it well and do all the maintenance repairs myself. Have had no major repairs as of yet.
I purchased this car new and have had nothing but COST. At 36,000 it had a leaking head and it was pulled out and fixed, then it was the timing belt at 50,00 miles. Something wrong with it all the time. At 77,000 BOTH heads was leaking again & pulled resurfaced. Heater not working & fixed. When contacting SUBRAU they wanted all servicing recordss. I got the packet together of services & plus ALL fixes.. We waited A MONTH- called many times. My hubby called them and They wouldnt do a thing for me !!! One statement why was I didnt have the car serviced all the time from a Subrau dealer - we were very upset and never a SUBRAU again!
Subaru has long been the go-to for reliability and dependability for those who know of it. Perhaps these vehicles are the best kept secret or perhaps I'm the only one who needs a car monday-friday and a capable awd vehicle with ground clearance which can hold two kayaks and go anywhere in all weather conditions on the weekends. Set aside its diversity, these vehicles are incredibly safe and undoubtedly reliable. Add in heated leather seats, dual sunroof, premium sound, de-icing wiper blades, the torque of the 6-cyl engine coupled with the handling and some all weather mats, this granny wagon is capable of anything and loves a rough stretch of road! 220k miles and counting.
Negatives:The head gasket went at 73,000, just past the warranty. I went online and there were 450 complaints on one website about the head gaskets on Subarus, yet never a factory recall. At 75,000, a fuel injector had to be replaced. Mileage on car is lousy -- as low as 19 mpg in town. Car leans a lot on turns and dealers said that is characteristic of the car. Turning radius is poor and is therefore dangerous when making a u-turn.
Owned for 10 years, now at 175k miles. It loves the rain and snow... this AWD beast is simply unstoppable no matter the weather. In the winter, I put on Blizzak WS-70's, and it just sticks to the road (snow/slush/ice, bring it!). Driver position on wet freeways is like Goldilocks, just right, and you're above the tire spray. I'm now spoiled with having seat heaters, fog lamps, and wiper defrost. Power has always been fine - I didn't buy it to be a muscle car. Only problems have been occasional oil leaks - valve cover, then oil pan seal. The brakes need changing about every 15 months, but it only takes about 20 minutes per axle and is dirt simple (yay disc brakes!!!). A bit of wind noise at freeway speeds, but some window seal restorer helps. I've now handed her off to a college bound kid without worry; I'm certain this ride has at least another 125k miles in her. My only real complaint was that I stayed with the stock speakers for the first 5 years - what a difference aftermarket makes!