1999 Subaru Outback 2.5L Phase I from North America


Great winter car, if you can afford the repairs.


The front heated seats needed to be replaced 3 times when the car was just purchased. Since then they have continued to work wonderfully.

The front brake rotors performed poorly. They needed to be machined within the first 6 months and frequently, needed to be re-machined every few months until they were replaced with after market rotors.

The clutch also seems to be of poor quality, needing frequent adjusting until they now need to be replaced at 71k miles.

An overheating problem also at 71k miles, has been costly to diagnose. The head gasket was the cause and needs to be replaced. However, my VIN number is not on the Subaru recall list. If I did not have a extended warranty, it would be a $2400+ repair.

General Comments:

This is an expensive car to have so many problems and lacking quality in the specific problem areas.

It is great in the snow and changing winter conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd May, 2005

20th Aug 2009, 22:16

My head gasket also blew (1999 Outback), and I was told that my VIN wasn't included in the recall.. It would seem that they missed a few in issuing the recall..

1999 Subaru Outback 2.5 from North America


A well polished penny


Transmission jumps from 5th gear, and hard to get in and out of reverse.

Two burnt valves at 128k, over $1200 to repair. I pulled engine, did the tear down and put the engine back in.

Tires made thumping noise.

Multiple suspension noises, from front and rear.

Drive train vibration has developed as of recently, fear transmission may need rebuilding/ replace drive shaft.

General Comments:

The car is great looking!!! Silver and dark gray, very sharp.

No rust.

Like the power from the 2.5.

Absolutely drives me wild the mechanical trouble I am having with this car!! I just want to pull my hair out kind of trouble.

But it looks good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th February, 2005

1999 Subaru Outback 2.5 from North America


Wonderful AWD Car


Had wet weather problems with a sensor 2 years ago. Once it dried out the problem went away.

General Comments:

Without either Yokohama Ice Guard or Bridgestone Blizzak Winterbiter, my 1999 Subaru Outback did poorly in snow and ice here in the Colorado Rockies. But once I installed the Blizzak or Yokohama clones of Blizzak tires, the car did fantastic in snow and ice. In fact unless the snow is 8 inches or more deep my Blizzak equipped Outback is better in snow than my 4WD Jeep Cherokee.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th December, 2004

9th Feb 2005, 10:45

I have had great luck with Nokian Hakkapeliitta's both model 10 and Q. They are Finnish tires and wonderful in here in the UP of Michigan where we get over 200 inches of snow annually. A bit hard to find and priced the same as other winter tires, but I feel they are worth every penny….the Finns really know how to make things!!!

1999 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5L from North America


Excellent road handling with All Wheel Drive system in snow and ice, but substandard value overall


All 4 tires (Firestone) have been slowly leaking air for 2 years. After several complaints to dealer, they diagnosed the tires as having "dry rot" cracks and should be replaced. Cost over $400, since tires are now out of warranty.

Car has had small oil leaks for past year. Dealer just diagnosed as 3 separate oil leaks, 2 on engine block seals and one on valve cover gasket. Cost was over $800 to repair by replacing gaskets. Dealer noted no distortion at gasket seating surface on this aluminum block engine.

When I pursued dealer on whether these issues were unusual, they first said no, but refused to research any company database. Two salesmen hung on me. Finally the service manager agreed to research and I am currently awaiting her explanation.

General Comments:

Excellent driving control in snow, important for Northeast US.

Sunroof opens over rear seat only, somewhat useless for the driver.

Fixed non-opening sunroof over front seat merely adds heat to interior.

Cup holder is in front of stereo, and must be stowed when changing a CD, requiring placing the cup elsewhere temporarily. This can make changing the CD somewhat dangerous while driving.

Dealer offered rental car when we had to leave car overnight for service (oil leak repair), but we had to go to Enterprise for the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th July, 2004

4th Mar 2005, 21:52

Subaru's having oil leaks via the valve cover gaskets, and also through the front seals is very common. You were charged a great deal to have those repairs done. Even so, these leaks are almost endemic to the Subaru's, usually reappearing after 2 years...

1st Nov 2005, 13:57

I also understand oil leaks to be very common amongst 'flat' engines. Make sure you use a non synthetic oil. Full synthetic oils such as 'Mobil 1' are actually too fine, and will exacerbate the leaking issues.