2005 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: Worst car ever owned

2005 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

271 Total Reviews

2.5i Wagon (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 4-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
14 of 17 people found this review helpful
Worst car ever owned
By david338 on


2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


My 2005 Outback is a money pit.
I guess I got a lemon.
Does the mfg. replace lemons?
Head gaskets need to be replaced (poor design).
I have had to replace both front axles, CV joints, hubs right rear and front, bushings bearings, etc...... already put $2000 in
and expecting to layout another $2000 (no joke).
I would recommend buying a HONDA.
Oh yeah my father in law bought a new outback and already had to replace front right CV.
At least his was under warranty.
Maybe I am the isolated anomaly but it still hurts.

Best Features

Heated seats and the green paint. Leather is nice as well.

Worst Features

Where do I begin?
Recommend (14) (3)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By orangelebaron
on 08/23/14 21:26 PM (PDT)

I am the original owner of a 2005 Outback 2.5i Limited with only 94,000 miles. I am replacing so many things lately... I am wondering if I should just get rid of it. I replaced the whole front end in the last year. Yesterday I replaced both front axles. A few months ago the harmonic balancer (accessory belt pulley) broke off (why should that happen at only 92K?). The belts cut through the AC compressor electrical connector, breaking it inside the clutch, rendering the AC useless and unfixable without taking the clutch off. So... no AC this summer. Then I hear noises in the dash and the climate control goes out. Turns out a blend door must be sticking in the dash, blowing the CC fuse. Only way to fix that would be to take the dash apart. Are you kidding me? Oh and one of the doors cannot be opened because a fragile door handle linkage snapped! Not to mention all the headlights that burn out... uncomfortable seats, bad gas mileage.

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By dcarter13
on 03/05/14 18:06 PM (PST)

You are NOT the anomaly. I must say that when I read your post, I started laughing out loud. I too am a not so proud owner of a 2005 Outback lemon. We bought it used with 89,000 miles 3 years ago and I have had ALL of the same issues that you have listed above oh, plus a broken sway bar, and in the 3 years I have had the car I have had to replace struts twice. (No, I don't do any off roading). I just took it in for a brake line recall last week and was informed that my head gaskets were leaking. A few months ago I had a random issue with the electronic system. Interior lights dim and brighten on their own and radio decided to turn the volume up to 25 all by itself. When I called the dealership to ask about this issue, I was asked by the service technician if someone had died in the car. It has now turned into a sad family joke. I begged a fireman to drive it into a forest fire, he wouldn't do it. I missed a major flood that surely would have taken it out by 1 day, and my mechanic refuses to drop it off of the lift when he is working on it. I can only pray that a hail storm will take it out this spring before I have to pay for anymore repairs. On the plus side, best darn car I've ever driven in the snow in. No way in hell I would ever buy another.

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By briansubulemon
on 04/12/15 15:11 PM (PDT)

I'm in the same boat as all of you. I'm ready to paint a giant lemon on the side of our 2005 4 cylinder Subaru Outback. Consumer Reports finally called it (along with 06-08) as "Used Cars to Avoid." Yep. We all knew that one. I just want to know if I can get out of this hell somehow. The most solid car on the road to drive in all weather, but a reliability total failure. From the onset, we had center console 'gremlin' issues, with the radio volume going up and down, console lights out, etc. We've now replaced that 2-3 times. I sent a complaint letter, for which at least Subaru gave us the extended warranty up to 100k miles. (they too probably knew it was a POS lemon). That thankfully covered the usual head gasket (at 87k), the bad seat belt, and more center consoles. At 117k, the engine blew. An O ring failed and the engine had a total and instantaneous failure. Subaru claimed no responsibility. "It just happens' they said. We've now had the things you've mentioned, CV boots, axles, bearings, etc., the electric windows got off track, and last fall, a sensor error causing the seat belt bell to go off all of the time. They 'fixed it'. It's now happening again 6 months later. And... the headlights that no human can change themselves easily that goes out every 9-12 months. I'd ditch it, but we've sunk so much money into as of late, it's hard to 'give up'... but it sounds like a never ending money pit. This past year, every 3-5 month visit is another $400-800 each time.

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