2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5

Summary:

The car I hate... to hate

Faults:

Transmission has been replaced three times.

Rear differential has been replaced twice.

Starter broke off one day while driving (never found it).

Security system would disable the car while driving (now disabled).

Fuel filter and pump twice.

Three sets of head gaskets and one head rebuild.

Two electrical fires that disabled the car.

Burns through headlamps quickly.

Not a "fault," but still annoying, every time the car gets a flat, all four tires must be replaced each time (very expensive).

General Comments:

My parents bought this for me to use during college because Subaru have a wonderful reputation for reliability. It was a lightly used and fastidiously maintained vehicle that never gave its original owner any problems. I wanted to like the car, but all of its problems and its inability to keep up with traffic or go up steep hills competently, make the car rather unlikeable.

On the other hand, it handles very well, the ride is comfortable, visibility is great, and the seats are sumptuous. It also has heated everything, a cavernous cargo space in back, and a nice dual moonroof feature. I don't know firsthand how well it does in the snow, because every time it does snow, it's been out of commission for some reason.

It's been quite upsetting.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2017

1st Oct 2017, 14:28

If you got this car at well over 10 years old and over 100K miles, I wouldn't call it "lightly used" no matter what the original owner says.

A 2.5 should have more than enough power to keep up with traffic and climb hills; sounds like power was down and it had problems.

A lot you mention is wear and tear apart from the numerous transmission rebuilds and head gaskets; sounds like you need to find a more competent mechanic that can sort these issues the first time.

1st Oct 2017, 20:53

The electrical fires and the starter breaking off are also not consistent with a "well looked after car"; sounds like he got a lemon.

2nd Oct 2017, 01:28

The head gaskets are par for the course.

What - specifically - went wrong with the transmissions?

3rd Oct 2017, 12:06

Center differential (viscous coupling) exploded ceremoniously the first time, then a carrier bearing collapsed, then a couple weeks later an internal shaft snapped.

3rd Oct 2017, 12:09

All I know is that the car was owned by a Subaru mechanic, was always kept in a garage, and has a complete maintenance record.

8th Oct 2017, 03:31

Thanks.

Wow!!!

2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5L NA

Summary:

Solid, but underwhelming

Faults:

Engine coolant leaking from unknown origin, likely part of 2.2L/2.5L Subaru head gasket issue.

Steering has failed to hold alignment within 20,000 km.

Transmission slams into low gears. Center differential slams when redirecting power in low grip conditions.

General Comments:

This is a very dependable and capable everyday station wagon.

Seating is ample for four, though a squeeze for five. Easy fold flat seats make the most of the wagon's massive interior space. Seating is comfortable, but driver's lumbar support is painful if used for more than 15 minutes.

Despite problems mentioned above, the car has since purchase never failed to start. Parts are reasonably priced and easily found from salvage yards, but way overpriced from dealerships.

The brakes feel very un-dramatic, and suspension can be bouncy. That said, handling in conditions such as snow and ice is outstanding.

For a $25,000 premium (when new), I'm surprised certain basic features such as a CD player, or safety features like an alarm kit and side airbags were not installed.

As to be expected with an AWD vehicle, fuel consumption is poor, averaging about 15 MPG city.

The 2.5L engine is enough to power the smaller Impreza, but has a very hard time propelling the much heavier Legacy and Outbacks, especially the wagons. An automatic transmission is highly detrimental to performance in these vehicles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th December, 2010