The Best Years For Buying a Subaru Outback


Subaru Outback vehicles have long been revered as reliable all-terrain vehicles, drawing outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. Unfortunately, over time, some missteps have arisen with this model – including an unfortunate class-action lawsuit concerning defective piston rings.

These issues included engine-related problems and even complete engine failure in several cases, typically after 78,000 miles or while driving at high speeds.


The third-generation Subaru Outback is an excellent option for anyone searching for an economical SUV. Offering plenty of storage space and boasting an exceptional safety record, the Outback’s third-generation model includes many updates for family life – such as the Eye-Sight advanced safety system and CVT engine updates.

2003-2004 models are ideal for Subaru Outback owners due to their excellent owner reliability scores and low repair costs. Unfortunately, however, these years also present several problems worth considering, including faulty piston rings, which may lead to oil consumption problems or engine noises, and more than average electrical issues, such as cruise control malfunction.

Leakage from head gaskets is another expensive problem with these cars, leading to power loss, engine misfire, and premature airbag deployment.

To avoid these problems, the key is finding a vehicle with lower mileage. This will allow for better deals while decreasing repair expenses significantly.

NHTSA safety testing and recall information should also be deemed, as well as considering FIXD and Owner Reliability scores when selecting a car. Furthermore, vehicles with at least 27 mpg fuel economy ratings from the EPA should also be prioritized when selecting.

The Outback is an ideal car for travelers and adventurers who like to explore. With a roomy interior and generous cargo space, this Subaru model is suitable for taking road trips as well as light off-road driving; it can climb steep hills with ease and handle sandy off-road terrain well; however, it cannot compare with more robust SUVs in this regard. Furthermore, it features comfortable rides with tight steering, making maneuvering it around bendy roads easier, as well as excellent visibility and extensive cargo storage capabilities.


Subaru Outback SUVs have earned a strong reputation for their off-road capabilities and reliability, earning a spot among the top small SUVs. But like any vehicle, some model years may present more issues than others. When shopping for your ideal Subaru Outback, it’s essential to conduct extensive research; below is a list of models that have performed best over time.

Subaru Outback’s first generation was released for sale in 1994 and enjoyed great success due to its off-road capability and reliability. Subsequent generations improved design and engine performance, while third-generation improvements focused on safety features and technology advances. Furthermore, fourth and fifth-generation Outbacks saw some exterior modifications, which made them more pleasing to the eyes.

If you’re shopping for used Subaru Outbacks, the fifth generation is worth consideration. Boasting an increase in both power and efficiency thanks to a 2.5-liter engine, as well as featuring a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity capabilities and smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; plus, it was the only year that offered a turbocharged XT option which offered additional horsepower than standard 2.5-liter units!

Underneath this generation were some severe suspension and braking system flaws. Furthermore, airbags were susceptible to popping due to inflation issues, putting you and other drivers at risk of injury.

The sixth-generation Subaru Outback is an impeccable machine, offering exceptional off-road capability and luxurious interior amenities. Additionally, it boasts a spacious cargo hold and several engine options, making this Subaru SUV one of the top choices to purchase today. Unfortunately, its price may be higher than others; nevertheless, it remains an excellent choice for families and adventure seekers.


Subaru Outbacks have an impeccable track record regarding dependability, versatility, and fun-to-drive vehicles. Their fuel economy makes them ideal for commuters and off-road adventures alike. But some model years offer superior reliability. If you’re searching for your outstanding Subaru Outback, consider these model years as options:

The 2010-2011 models are among the best choices, offering reasonable costs, high owner satisfaction ratings, low repair costs, and an exceptional FIXD reliability score – making it an excellent option for family vehicles.

However, some owners have reported issues with the engine and transmission and problems with the o2 sensor; these complaints shouldn’t discourage you from buying used Subaru Outback.

The 2014 Subaru Outback model year offers excellent value and quality if you want to save money. In addition to an updated infotainment system and a new 2.5L engine, its spacious and comfortable interior makes this car ideal for saving.

It may be more costly than other Outback models, but its quality makes up for its higher cost. It received an outstanding FIXD reliability score and owner satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 but is less suited for off-road driving than its peers.

The 2016-2019 models feature enhanced safety and technology features. Owner satisfaction was higher than in previous years, as was its FIXD reliability score. Furthermore, this model year boasts a comfortable interior space and excellent fuel economy ratings.

The 2021 Subaru Outback is an exceptional choice for buyers searching for an off-road capable SUV with a spacious, comfortable interior. With an exceptional Owner Reliability Score and FIXD reliability score of 9, it provides buyers with excellent off-road capability as well as low maintenance costs – plus it is easy to maneuver, has plenty of cargo space, excellent fuel efficiency, and low ownership costs, and it makes a beautiful addition for families or adventure seekers.


Subaru’s Outback SUV has gained widespread acclaim among drivers. Capable of traversing even rugged terrain while keeping passengers and cargo comfortable and safe, this versatile car is not without faults; some model years may prove more problematic than others. Read on to determine the optimal Subaru Outback years to buy and those to avoid, according to common problems and poor reliability scores.

When purchasing a pre-owned Subaru Outback, your goal should be to locate one with low mileage and no mechanical problems for maximum value for your dollar. Please select one from the second generation, as it was then that Outback gained its distinctive ride height and protective cladding features.

If shopping for a Subaru Outback, choose a model year with reliable engine options, such as 2.5-liter and 3.6-liter engines known for excellent fuel economy and performance. 2017 also marked significant improvements in terms of safety with the introduction of EyeSight’s advanced safety suite.

The fifth-generation Outback sought to smooth over any rough spots found in previous models. This involved increasing engine power slightly, upgrading the CVT transmission for a smoother driving experience, and including standard features such as the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Additionally to its upgrades, the fifth-generation Outback boasted an increase in ground clearance, which made it more capable of off-roading and ideal for camping trips or hiking adventures.

The 2012 Outback is one of Subaru’s best SUV models, offering high-quality interior features and spacious back seating for families, while its fuel economy and safety features make it attractive to anyone searching for a durable yet budget SUV. It is an excellent option for outdoor adventures, equipped with 256 horsepower and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

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