1997 Subaru Outback 2.5 from North America


An exemplary machine, but not automotive art


If the car is parked in the garage overnight after spraying water in the front wheel wells to wash out snow and salt, the car will not start in the morning. The dealer has no answer, but I've discovered holding the accelerator down to the floor while cranking will bring it back to life with no further trouble until the next wheel well washing.

General Comments:

Subaru could beat Honda and Toyota if they could extend their reputation for durability to the appearance of their cars. I have owned cars for 13 years that had less wear and tear than the Subaru after two.

The paint scratches through the color coat with any touch.

The vinyl tears.

The fabric stains.

The plastic scuffs.

Any hidden part rusts (rear hatch handle replaced under warranty)

The wheels corrode.

Other than finish durability, the car rides smoother, corners flatter, and is more confident in all weather conditions than any other car I've owned. I'd buy nothing but Subaru's if they would improve the finish quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2001

11th May 2001, 06:09

We have two 1997 Outbacks, with 62,000 and 78,000 miles.

We have had no problems with the car of any sort.

We find the quality of interior materials and exterior paint to be very good - when washed and waxed they still look like new. Average mpg 23-28 highway, 20-23 pure city.

1997 Subaru Outback GX 2.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Solid quality car, adequate performance. Look forward to trying a V6 model


Engine pipe replaced under warranty.

Speaker buzz.

General Comments:

Very solid car with excellent road adhesion due to AWD and ABS. Good build quality.

Engine noisy and harsh at mid-high revs, and lacking torque at low revs. This, combined with being a heavy car, means that to move it along quickly you have to put up with a bit of thrash from the motor. Air-conditioner takes toll on performance.

Off road: good transmission, but suffers from lack of clearance and poor approach/departure angles. It's only just adequate to get on and off beaches if the causeway is churned, but once on a beach it's fine. Plastic sump-cover prone to being ripped off when pushing through sand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2000