2004 Subaru Outback 2.5 from North America


Bought the car used and had a mechanic look at it with no major issues. Regular oil changes, check ups and all that. Next thing I know $2000 for a new head gasket. WTF.

Handling is great and the options are nice. I did not like putting in a new head-gasket on a car that does not even have 100000 miles on it. I know I bought it used, but that is a joke for a "reliable" car.

Contacted Subaru Customer Dealer services and they bought the head-gasket. Due to the fact that I had no history of the car, they did not forgive any price off the labor.

I just sold my Ford Ranger for $2000 and it would have probably lasted longer with less cost than the Subaru.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th April, 2008

2004 Subaru Outback from North America

General Comments:

Interesting. I thought that Suburu was your typical, reliable Japanese car. Actually, you take your chances with most brands.

Nope, I'd never buy another Suburu. Too many issues to mention that the dealer can't seem to fix. Interesting also, if you listen to Click and Clack on NPR long enough you'll hear callers with an inordinate number of Suburu vehicles trying to get the Tappet Brothers to analyze the problem. The guys just chuckle a "knowing chuckle" as if to infer, "Yup! Another Suburu."

Suburu is living on their reputation. If you have a good one consider yourself lucky.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd April, 2008

2004 Subaru Outback 2.5 from Australia and New Zealand


If I am treated right by the dealer I would be happy to stay with Subaru


Our car uses approx 1litre of oil every 4000 km.

General Comments:

This is our first near new car and we love it dearly, we don't think it should burn 1litre of oil every 4000klm and as it is still under new car warranty we hope that the dealer will see us right and fix the problem. (cylinder problems) We are very concerned that a lot of the factory seals will be broken fixing the problem and on going problems will accure from now on. will keep you posted.

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

Review Date: 23rd September, 2006

3rd Mar 2008, 20:54

Beware, Subaru owner! Your head gasket is likely to fail if it hasn't already done so. This will result in a repair bill of approximately $2,000 and your local SOA dealer will almost certainly try to deflect the problem until after your warranty has expired. BEWARE!

2004 Subaru Outback LL BEan 6 cylinder from North America




Accelerator cable - high RPM.

Transmission replaced.

Dash Rattle.

Two bad tires.

Erratic - jerky at 62-67 mph on slight hill.

Excessive play in drive line when letting off and re-applying accelerator.

Increase engine RPM when letting off accelerator in 2 gear going down hill.

General Comments:

Excessive number of repairs needed.

Service people polite, but not good at solving the problem the first time.

If you do not mind sitting in the waiting room and want to know the service manager on a first name basis, then this is the car for you.

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

Review Date: 9th March, 2006

8th Dec 2009, 20:26

My experience with my 2003 Outback, bought new, is very similar. Transmission jerky and uncertain, especially at highway speeds uphill. The dealer was repeatedly "unable to reproduce the problem". My offers to take someone out and show them were declined due to "insurance issues". A rattling tailpipe and weatherstripping that would not stay in place were also too much for them. Subaru USA was uninterested in my problems, transforming me into a Volvo owner.

2004 Subaru Outback Premium 3.0R 3.0 from Australia and New Zealand


A worthwhile car, but it needs some straightening out and more features for the price.


No particular problems at all.

However the engine and gearbox do not seem to match very well. Change downs are sudden at times. Change ups are variable - sometimes holding to 3500+ before changing 2 to 3 and 3 to 4 especially if you drive off uphill. Dealer says parameters, profiles and patterns in the box are OK. It doesn't seem right to me.

General Comments:

Car performs well, but for $55K you are paying a premium for the brand. This is their top of the range car and has very few features (eg. no sat nav). Radio/Stereo is poor.

The engine tends to be quirky when all the valve gear and technical stuff kicks in. Using cruise control is dangerous in hilly areas as it will kick down into 2 or 3 and just about blast into space. Big lag in kickdown on highway passing (a case of have I done the right thing when you've pulled out before everything kicks in). This may be a consequence of the electronic throttle. Best to slap it into sportshift and pull down a peg or two if you want to pass someone from say 70 or 80 clicks.

Unfortunately I'm comparing aspects of it to a Cressida which I had for 13 years. That car was seriously ahead of its time.

I've had the car for 18 months and can't say I'm in love with it. It was bought because the wife thought $85K for a Lexus RX330 was too much at the time - and of course now she has changed her opinion.

If Subaru made it a better behaved car and a smoother car then I might consider another one, but not at this point.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2005

30th Apr 2006, 16:15

Very Useful. I am facing the exact same choice and may now consider the Lexus. I too was having problems with the big bucks, but after all, one is only owning it for 4 or 5 years, so the whole price is not a write off!

1st Sep 2006, 07:26

I drive a 2004 Outback 3.0R. I have similar problems with the automatic sticking to first and second up to 3,500 rpm in the morning and especially when going slightly uphill. Dealer claimed they have put in a software patch (released by Subaru) during one service to address the problem. However, it is still around.

The other annoying issue is, when slowing down from 60km/hr then 40km..then 30km... then bang a sudden shift down. Dealer has, on a couple of occassions, tried to "re-train" the automatic shift program. It has improved, but the problem still comes back from time to time.

Other than the above issues, I enjoyed driving my Subaru which has excellent handling especially in the wet. I drove a Forester XS/L before the Outback. I still miss it.