2001 Subaru Outback 2.5L from North America


Disappointed with major mechanical failures



At 115000 miles my car developed a pinion gear whine. this progressed and by 120000 the car was slipping out of gear and needed a new transmission. this was described by several mechanics and a couple of dealers as a very unlikely event as the manual transmissions are considered very durable and trouble free. I put in a used transmission for $1300 installed.

Engine failure: at 130 000 my engine developed a misfire which turned out to be a blown head gasket. not the usual one that leaks coolant, but rather one that blew oil out the intake manifold side. oil was then pulled into the intake and burned, fouling the catalytic converter.

With the engine torn down the mechanic also found a badly burned cylinder with leaky rings so a head gasket job has turned into an engine rebuild.

General Comments:

I really like the overall layout and design of this car, especially the all wheel drive, which is perfect for where I live, rural Maine. on the other hand major components have failed, components that I thought would have far greater longevity. my 4runner, which has 140K on it has never given me a lick of trouble, by comparison.

This is a practical car, but with serious mechanical failures.

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

Review Date: 25th November, 2007

3rd Apr 2008, 14:08

You certainly had an unusual head gasket problem! I have a 2002 with 70,000 miles, and am waiting for the usual and common coolant leakage from the head gasket to develop. The engine head gasket has been a problem for Subaru 2.5 l engines from introduction until, hopefully, ending with 2002 model!

16th Oct 2008, 13:47

My 2001 Outback has had too many major failures.

The clutch went out at 62,000 (I drove a VW clutch for 120,000).

The head gasket went out at 87,000 (leaking coolant), but since the car had <100,000 on it Subaru covered it as a service bulletin item and changed the timing belt, plugs, and plug wires (regular maintenance items soon needing replacement) for just the cost of parts.

I have just had to have the center differential replaced to the tune of $2000.

I like the car, but I'll probably buy a Toyota next time.

24th Jan 2011, 16:55

I have a 2001 Outback wagon with nearly 200,000 miles on the motor and I love it.

It does have the front end that comes out of alignment easily if you should hit a pothole or two. But living in PA, that is inevitable. I like the AWD in the winter, but am having the sub-freezing gas leak issue that seems to be prevalent in this model. We've had two days this week at below zero temps and the smell is terrible. Our mechanic cannot find the problem, so we will take it back tomorrow.

Other than that, the car is reliable. We have a 1999 that I drove last year in the deep snow in the evening after work. Never had a problem the whole time. Hope this car is at least as good.

2001 Subaru Outback 2.5 SOHC petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Good value for money


My old Legacy overheated last year. Problem was partially blockage in heater core. Recommended repair is 9mm t shunt across the heater core. No further problems.

The problem is peculiar to Subaru.

Outback 2001:

No problems yet, but are watching for signs of over heating as the dealer says this problem was not cured until 2002.

General Comments:

Both cars are very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2007

2001 Subaru Outback from North America


I like Subaru's because I've had three of them


The real light went out unexpected, resulting in myself nearly being in a night accident. I was fortunate because someone came up beside me and told me I had no rear lights.

I smell bad fumes when car is starting and warming up and idling. I had it into the dealership and they said it burns that way and there was nothing they could do.

I currently have a "check engine" light on and have been trying to figure what it needs without costing me a fortune.

Great car, but costs a lot to maintain when maintenance is required. Dealer I used never has the parts and I normally have to wait awhile.

General Comments:

Great to have AWD.

Good gas mileage.

Good handling. Like the automatic Outback better than my shift Impreza which had a bad rattling noise with the shifting. I got rid of it because I thought the shifting was going out.

The Legacy I had originally lost it's shocks and I had to have been replaced.

I don't consider the car that quiet of a ride, but it could be my model.

I like being able to not worry if I turned my lights off or ability to lock keys in car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2007

23rd Jan 2008, 05:52

I have no idea when this review was published, but my "check engine" light occasionally comes on. Has done for over 20,000 miles. It has a mind of its own. I never detect any difference in the running of the car whch is fine, and as my right hand on the wheel covers that part of the dash I never see it come on all the time anyway. It's probably the knock sensor. About $200 to replace, and as it's triggered by noise, the new one will probably fail as well. Let the dealer look after it at their expense when you trade in.