2002 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 from UK and Ireland


Hard working and reliable, all weather load lugger


Nothing; that's NOTHING until just over a year ago.

Now needs/has:

New exhaust.

Ball joints all round.

Leaking rear diff.

Power steering pump.

Rear and front link arms.

General Comments:

Purchased a 3 year old 02 Outback 2.5 Limited auto, with 27K miles on the clock and a FSSH. Now 123,000 miles. Many motorway miles, off-road, back roads etc. I drive the car hard most of the time. Can take my downhill bike and camping gear with ease.

I've always had my servicing done through a mate who is a Subaru specialist (cheaper than Subaru). I've had no (that's NO) issues until the last year or so. Amazing in snow, and even through standing water at high speed, goes straight and true. The car always drives as though it is very light and handles very well.

However, it now needs a new exhaust. Rear and front bushes, rear diff now leaking. Also, the light bulbs are not great, never touched the back ones, but all the front ones I replace once every few months.

It's very thirsty and high road tax.

The seats are OK. They're on a ratchet system, so you sit bolt upright or at an angle. Why did they do this!?

Also the arm rest is just a bit too low. However dual sunroof, heated seats climate control, CD, radio and tape player, electric windows and mirrors.

The interior quality is more 'hard wearing' than luxurious, although the leather interior helps hide this.

An amazing all rounder; I really don't want to let it go. I don't like the current Outback shape, I may go for the one which replaced mine, however the tax band is a step up again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2013

2002 Subaru Outback LTD 2.5L from North America


I am terribly disappointed in this car, which was out of warranty and died suddenly and completely


Until 4 weeks ago, nothing was wrong with my car except for a faint smell of coolant, which over the past several months was getting more and more strong. I was adding more and more coolant to the car.

I took it to a mechanic to have the timing belt changed and mentioned the smell of coolant. He checked the car and told me the head gaskets were leaking. The car never overheated. He couldn't do the work, but after 4 days he finally found someone who could. I refused to take it to the Subaru dealer as the last time I was there for a brake job, my brakes had air in the lines as I was driving home, and I had to take the car in to a local shop to have the lines properly bled so the pedal wouldn't go to the floor when I tried to stop the car.

I took it to a local repair shop for the head gasket problem 3 weeks ago. After a week, I got the car back and was ecstatic. I drove the car home on a Friday, took it on errands through the weekend, drove to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and by Wednesday evening driving home, it overheated on the freeway. I was towed back to the repair shop. The next day I was told it was the radiator cap. They replaced it, and couldn't get it to overheat.

I drove the car home Thursday night. I drove it to work Friday, and on the way home, it overheated again. I was towed back to the repair shop. The car was in the shop until the next Thursday as they attempted to get it to overheat. When they finally did, they were still stumped. The engine didn't test hot on their laser tester, however, the mechanic was convinced that deep in the engine, it was hot. He suspected a hairline crack in the block, which was progressively getting worse now that the gaskets were causing increased pressure. The block was checked for problems before doing the finished work on the gasket, but nothing was found. So... I'm out $2200.

I drove the car to an auto dealership and traded it in. They knew what was wrong as their mechanic checked it out, and it was quite apparent by this time as a black mist was spewing out from the engine block when it overheated. They didn't give me squat for it. I expected to drive it a long time... I was told by Subaru of America that I would get at least 200,000 miles out of it. HA HA HA... I will NEVER, EVER buy another Subaru. They are great cars until they die prematurely.

General Comments:

The car is a piece of junk with a cracked block.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th March, 2009

20th Nov 2018, 13:23

The repair shop did not correctly address the head gasket issue. These cars are bulletproof if the issue is correctly addressed.