2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5L Boxer 4-cylinder from North America


Not perfect, but SOLID


Not much has gone wrong with this car. The only thing wrong is that the undercarriage guard has loosened up and slaps the oil pan loudly at certain engine speeds, creating an ever-so-annoying vibrating sound.

Since the car is, after all, AWD, the tires are prone to wearing rather fast under hard driving. Only about a year after buying the car, I had gone through two full sets of tires, but to be fair, I was kind of putting the car to the test, driving it hard into long, twisty corners repeatedly. Since those incidents, I have not had to change the tires outside of my regular maintenance schedule.

Exterior wind noise is absolutely disgusting. Exterior noise was very inaudible in the beginning, but as time progressed, noise around the front of the front doors just became louder and louder. At high speeds, the noise is just unbearable.

General Comments:

This car is not what you would call "refined" or "perfect", but I mean it when I say it's SOLID. The interior design is slightly bland, but everything works as it should. Front legroom is great, and rear legroom doesn't suffer all that much unless the front seats are pushed far back. However, if you lower the driver's seat down enough, the rear-left legroom decreases dramatically, and comfort is virtually nonexistent.

Trunk cargo room is EXCELLENT. I can fit anything from tons of groceries to large boxes in the trunk with ease. Rearward visibility does decrease a little bit with taller loads, but the side-view mirrors take care of that well. There's also a cargo cover that retracts over the trunk to keep items from sun exposure or wandering eyes.

The air-conditioning/heating system works well. The control slider for changing the temperature is the traditional mechanical type and does feel pretty cheap, but works nonetheless. The air conditioner works consistently and picks up fast, likewise with the heater.

This car packs a huge punch for such a small engine (only 4 cylinders). Acceleration is excellent, and as you'd expect with Subaru's AWD system, traction on almost any terrain in any weather condition is excellent. Road grip and handling is strong, and there's not much over- or understeer. Braking is OK; it's not great, but is still remarkably strong for an AWD station wagon. Torque steer is virtually nonexistent as well.

This car is also extremely safe and reacts well to sudden driver inputs. I have been rear-ended three times, all of them substantially hard impacts. The first two literally didn't do anything to the rear; no scratches, nothing. However, the third was an impact of extreme proportions, and left dozens and dozens of deep scratches and chips in the bumper. The muffler was knocked completely out of place and was replaced, but its mounts are bent and it now sits slightly tilted. The car comes with front driver and passenger airbags, and safety ratings are excellent.

Like I said, this car isn't exactly refined or perfect, but it's SOLID.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2007

16th Jul 2007, 08:29

EXTRA NOTE: Prior to purchasing my 2001 Subaru Outback, I had a 1990 BMW 325is coupe. As a car fanatic, I loved the car dearly and it was my brother's until he gave it to me in mid-1998, but one day, when traveling down an open stretch of highway with my 6-year old son in the passenger seat (both of us had our seatbelts on, mind you), the car ran directly over a pool of thick oil dropped accidentally by a tanker truck that had passed over the same stretch of road just moments before. The rear wheels spun up and forced the tail to slide out, whereas we slid into a guardrail at 80 MPH, then slammed up the curb on the opposite side. We were both fine, but the same could not be said for the BMW. I came close to buying another BMW 3 series coupe around the same model year as the one I had just lost, but decided I just couldn't risk it anymore. I needed something with AWD, and the Subaru was the perfect choice.

2001 Subaru Outback LX from North America


This car has been a major disappointment.


In Nov 2004 at about 45,000 head gasket blew.

Then Nov 2005 - August 2006 parts started being replaced in this order: thermostat.


Head gasket again.

Ignition coil.

Air conditioner.

Tire bolts replaced (2 broke while traveling)

And the check engine light has come on numerous times in the past 3 weeks.

General Comments:

We bought this car as a family vehicle hoping to get 200,000 miles and well over 10 years. I gave in to my husband wanting leather seats, and the dual moon roof and agreed to splurge. While we have always kept up on maintenance and not abused the car I keep hoping that the next repair will be the last. Not so…

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th August, 2006

15th Oct 2006, 11:01

The Outback is a great wagon. I work for a college in automotive tech, and have owned four outbacks and have had no problems with any of them (except for basic tire and brake and oil change). They would not commonly break down with all the problems listed. On all the cars owned they have all exceeded 300,000 miles. So don't take the advice of this review for it is rare that the owners of this car liked their car. I have had the same model as listed in the review, and I have no problems at all with it.