2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5L boxer 4 from North America


Decent hauler that gives bang for your $


Rear struts needed replacement.

Rear differential has a pinion seal leak.

Heat shields rattle.

Exhaust needs a new catalytic converter.

Driver's seat might need new cushions.

Strange tailgate water leak.

General Comments:

It's not the most comfortable car, but it will hold an amazing amount of stuff. Accessories have held up surprisingly well, as the A/C still works, albeit weakly, and the seat/mirror/windshield heaters all warm up nicely. Even the cassette deck still plays.

Better plan a few rest stops if your trip is longer than 3 hours, because the driver's seat will pain your rear. The car shouldn't hurt you too much for gas, though. I've gone 600-740 km on the 60 litre tank. Using the A/C tends to put it towards the lower end of the spectrum.

Oh yeah, one more thing: it's not fast.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2018

18th Nov 2018, 05:20

Quick update, now at 325,000km. The car gets decent economy, but in these winter months it drops noticeably to 550-650km a tank. The design of the doors is particularly prone to freezing shut with ice rain, so hopefully you have a garage to park these cars in. The utility of this vehicle can't be denied, however. I've had 4 people and all of their musical equipment in the car, I've transported an entire kitchen-full of dishes rented for a wedding, I've had 2 tubas in the car at one time, and everything I've needed it for it has fit. These Subarus are great in the winter. Also, the car has been steadfastly reliable, with regular oil changes the only maintenance since the last comment.

16th May 2019, 20:38

335000km update: just poured a ton of parts into it. It now has a new cat, coil, O2 sensors and valve cover gaskets. The car's picked up a new rumble from something transmission related. I still trust this car, but service can be a bit tougher than in a normal 4-cylinder due to the amount of space the engine takes up. Oil changes, however, couldn't be easier.

2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 from North America


The car I hate... to hate


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



29th Jan 2018, 04:06

The list of faults and repairs for this car have only been for the time I have owned it, not of the previous owner.