16th Jul 2006, 11:29

Simply put, I purchased a 2005 Outback because of the favorable consumer report recommendation. I have found the engineering shoddy at best. Wheel bearing problems twice, electrical problems, wheels seizing due to rust after only 2 weeks of inactivity. Poor design of running light switch and inability to modify radio. All of that coupled with only 18.7 miles overall (mostly highway) makes this vehicle one of the worst purchases I have ever made. Buyer beware!

17th Jul 2006, 09:44

The problem with Subaru is that the people love the image of owning one, then bail when reality sets in. I once owned a 2000 Outback and all the problems reported here have been darn close. I even wrote Subaru HQ in Mississaugua with no response.

For shame!

25th Jul 2006, 15:08

Subaru 2000 Forester 5-speed stick (Manual). Steer clear of any manual shift Subaru from 1999 on to '05. There was a serious engineering problem that made the clutch "studder" uncontrollably making it impossible to pull away from a dead stop with any degree of smoothness. The vehicle will shudder and lurch until it gets rolling above 20MPH to 25MPH.

Subaru HQ issued a service bulletin describing this problem. If the customer complained about the clutch, and the car was still in warranty, a Clutch repair kit could be ordered to fix the problem.

At 90K, I'm looking at a "new" clutch at the tune of $900+.

Buyer beware.

3rd Aug 2006, 05:56

Subaru Outback 1999, EJ25 Engine, 70,000 Miles.

Was "convinced" to buy such car from its first owner due its pristine appearance, but after 3000 miles driving it, the engine blew up. I use Castrol Magnatech, and everything seems to be OK from the service point of view, but for some "magic" reason the oil conduct got clogged and lubrication failed. Oil pump is working, oil filter is clean and working. Subaru says that engine may have been overheated in the past and some metals inside may have weakened. Now I am offered to replace the engine w/an used one in great shape (all tests show no failures), but was told the EJ25 is bad conceived and needs some horse power reduction. I like visiting the workshops where my cars are taken care, and in my first experience with Subaru, I've never seen so many cars with the complete engine removed as in this brand. I've owned BMW, VW and Volvo, but again, never seen one of those stripped to the chassis for engine failures, and I don't buy they've been all abused. So far, Outback is just a marketing promise, not reliable and maybe with some engineering mistakes. On the other hand, have anybody heard about "reducing" hp on a EJ25 engine?? Thanks. Patricio Valenzuela, Argentina.

1st Feb 2007, 11:38

I was about buying subaru, but when I found out they still uses timing belts when most cars abandoned them for much safer timing chains I changed my mind and I'll buy something else.

6th Jul 2007, 10:56

My father-in-law bought a new 2000 Outback after enjoying 10 years of generally reliable ownership of his '90 Liberty, which he sold to us. As a retired farmer he has only done 90k in 7yrs of country driving. In that time the Outback has suffered two $700 relay failures, two sets of $700 tyres, front end suspension clucking, $1800 to repair leaking heads, and has just been told that his power-steering pump is to blame for the groaning noises in the engine. They can supply a second-hand pump for $490 + fitting (which will be considerably more than the price of the pump). He has not bothered as, despite the noises, the car still steers. He has also found the car uneconomical at an average of 10.8lt/100km despite mostly highway driving. He is dissapointed with the reliability of the Outback, on top of the high cost of general maintenance. The final insult came when he recently went to the dealer he bought the car from and asked for a trade in figure and they offered him $9,000 for his $46,000 car. He swears he will never touch another Subaru.

5th Sep 2007, 22:57

I could not agree more with you're comments. I know 3 Subaru owners who have full size outback wagon models and while all three like the ride on the Interstate Highway on trips, the amount of money they have had to pay to keep their cars running (brake, cooling and transmission problems) diminishes greatly their overall Subaru experience. All three expect to lease other brands of cars in 2008 and have all said that they would never drive another Subaru again due to ongoing quality/reliability/workmanship issues.

13th Nov 2007, 12:18

I recently bought a 2007 Subaru Outback in April- I am now on my 3rd windshield replacement since then. Before this I owned a VW Jetta AND lived in Vermont in the mountains for 5 years; I now live in the midwest and am wondering why the windshield on this particular vehicle keeps cracking? Anyone else have this problem? Keep in mind I am driving this car to and from work- normal wear and tear- it's not like I am going off-road with this car and I do not work in a quarry. The windshield costs about $380 each replacement. Of course dealer and Subaru are no help.

16th Nov 2007, 21:46

Not sure why everyone is so hard on Subaru's use of timing belts. Timing chains are not perfect either, nor are they indestructable. Honda's Civics and C-RV's use timing belts. regular maintenance and replacement should keep the car running for a long time.

23rd Dec 2007, 11:51

I own an automatic 2000 Subaru Legacy wagon that has 100000 miles on it. This winter has been a bad one with ice and snow in Iowa, but I think the Subaru should do better than it has been. Several years ago in Ohio we had a snow emergency and I drove two hours home on a snow covered road and it did great. This year every time I drive in snow I slip and slide, even if I down shift and brake well ahead. I am not driving differently, but have slid through intersections several times and don't think this should be happening. We've had the brakes checked and are told they are o.k. Anybody else have this happen? I hate to get rid of this car. It is still otherwise in great shape, but I am afraid to drive it in snow - so why bother with it?

8th Apr 2008, 16:30

I have owned four different Subaru cars, 1987, 1988, 1998, and 2004. By far the "04" is the best but they have all been the best handling four wheel and all wheel drive cars I've ever driven on ice and snow. The "88" was a vehicle I owned in Barrow Alaska. The average daily temp was around -25 F and the car started everyday without a problem. The "98" had only one problem and it exemplifies the timing belt issue. Though by design it is a non-interference motor, mine bent valves on both sides when the water pump shaft broke at highway speed. This was at 61k and not a belt failure but same result. I bought the "04" in November 2003. It has 56K on it and has only required oil and gas. Here in Alaska every tenth car seems to be a Subaru Outback. Their low center of gravity, wide track, AWD and ABS braking make them ideal on snow and ice.