Consumer Complaints & Reviews
2014 Forester with 35k miles. Our Bluetooth is not working properly. I thought this would be an easy fix, and I was not too stressed by it. In my error, I forgot to mention it to the service department when I brought the car in last time. Three months later I had the car in to the service dept. for a standard check up and mentioned it to them... The whole radio unit needs to be replaced in order for the failed Bluetooth to work again! If only I had mentioned it during my previous checkup it would have been covered under warranty. Subaru is charging over $500 for this replacement. I will go without. My chief question is, why is the Bluetooth failing? It's not that old and it's not as if it is an item (i.e. brakes, or tires) that might get wear down from overuse.
In addition, when you press the accelerator on the 2014 Forester, a small delay and then it takes off. Very disconcerting. We have many family members who own Subaru and at our last family reunion everyone was grumbling about their Subaru and saying they will not buy another. It's a shame. This was our first Subaru purchase after many years with Honda. We were tempted to try a new car and had heard such great things about the Subaru. We will be going back to Honda.
I have owned Hondas, Mazdas and Saabs and there is no question that the Subaru Outback is the most uncomfortable and annoying car I have ever owned. I just traded it in after only 2 years, and I am so relieved and thankful to have gotten rid of it. Just so that you know the importance of this, I always keep my cars 15 years. I have never, ever in my life traded in a vehicle. I usually keep my cars for 15 years and then sell them to a private party for a couple thousand bucks at the end, usually b/c they are in such great condition. I am writing this because I want to help others avoid making the same mistake I made, a very expensive mistake.
I had a 2014 Subaru Outback, the Limited version, with the 2.5 engine, auto transmission. I was interested in this car because I had always heard how great Subarus are and I wanted a comfortable and larger car that was dog-friendly. I test drove this vehicle three times before I bought it. ***None of the issues listed below are either evident during a one-hour test drive, and/or become annoying until you have driven the car for a few months.*** I recommend that you ask for (at least one) day-long test drive of any Subaru, especially the Outback, before you buy one. Here's why I got rid of this car (NOTE: All of the issues below I addressed with the dealers and they told me this is all normal behavior for these cars; also many of these issues are common complaints from owners):
Worst transmission in the industry. I do not know how anyone can stand to drive this CVT transmission day in day out. I had an automatic. Imagine stepping on the gas and the car feeling like it's about to choke, like the transmission is failing. It is especially bad when the car is cold. I did not notice this during the test drive. I believe you have to have a few thousand miles on the car, and/or be in normal traffic or driving conditions to understand how bad this transmission feels. Rough, choky, sputtering doesn't even begin to describe it.
Worst A/C in the industry. When you are in Arizona (or DC or Florida or anywhere where it gets hot) and it's 108 degrees, the last thing you want is a car that doesn't cool. The A/C on these cars STOPS COOLING when you step on the gas. Don't believe me? Put your hand in front of the A/C vent and step on the gas. The A/C keeps blowing but the air is warm. Ridiculous.
Worst seats in the industry. If you have even the slightest back problems, do not buy this car. Also do not even think of long road trips in this car either. The seats will kill you.
Worst handling in the industry. Speaking of long road trips, another reason why you will not want to take long trips with this car is the fact that the car wanders on the road. You are fighting with the steering wheel constantly to stay in the lane. Yes, again, all this is normal behavior for this car, according to several Subaru dealers. And this wandering is among many issues with steering/handling that people have complained about on this forum, with little to no resolution. I rented a Ford Escape last weekend and I was shocked at how well that SUV handles, compared to Outback, which costs $10,000 more. (The Escape has other negatives, however.)
Worst infotainment system in the industry. If this is important to you, keep shopping. DO NOT buy this car unless you get the navigation, which comes with a big infotainment screen. Otherwise you will be dealing with a tiny little screen that is smaller than your phone. If you have an iPod or a USB drive full of songs, good luck trying to get the Outback to play the songs, or specific songs. Want to find Dave Mathews Band? The song search is pretty much impossible. The Bluetooth is crackly and terrible (another common complaint). The audio sound is awful, but I know nobody buys these cars for acoustics and audio sound. Speaking of sound, also, the car is very very noisy, but I know no one buys these cars for the soundproofing either.
Worst backup camera in the industry. The resolution of the camera is so bad, I don't know why they bothered with the backup camera to begin with. Don't expect to see much of anything from that camera if it's raining.
Worst auto body in the industry. When I go to Costco or whatever, I park my cars away from other cars, in the farthest space possible. That's just how I roll. And yet this car already had several door dings and chips and scratches. The exterior paint/metal will not last 15 years. In fact, it looked like junk after only 2 years. The Subarus are also no match for bird poop or tree sap; both had already damaged the hood.
Horrible fuel economy (I never got more than 19.7 mpg) despite being a supposedly green automaker. I only did city driving, but that's what I got. Also, the major reason why I did not buy the larger 3.6 engine is because I did not want to buy a gas guzzler. But in fact the 2.5 is also a gas guzzler. So I ended up with a really slow, under-powered car (read: zero pickup off the line) that guzzled gas.
I do have two good things to say about this car. A, it doesn't require premium gas. And B, it has excellent resale value (because I guess there's a lot of people out there who don't care about the above-mentioned things and just want a car to haul stuff uphill or in snow). If your only interest is having a very basic AWD hauler, then this may be the car for you. If drive quality, comfort and fuel economy are important to you, arrange for full-day test drives, preferably several of them, before you buy. I feel like Subaru, especially with the Outback, tries to market itself as a step above other compact and intermediate SUVs. They should give their marketers a raise, because they sure conned me. Hope this helps someone avoid making the pricey mistake I made.
My son and I purchased a 2016 Forester. When I fill up the car will only take 11 to 12 gallons of gas, even being as low as 30 miles left. Then I fill it up. At first I would drive just away from the service station and it would go from 280 to 240. I took pictures, showed dealership. They said it's normal. Then it started about April I would fill up and now put gas in. Clear everything. I can drive and gain miles in my tank. I told them numerous time not miles per gallon. If I'm traveling I can fill up have 260 let's just say drive 20 mins I will have 300. I have never had any car ever do this. The Dealership here in Jacksonville are rude. The guys tell me it's normal. Then I started having the tire sensor lights on. Nothing wrong with pressure. And once again told me I was lying because it's not picking up on the Subaru starlink system. So again I take pictures. Now today no one in passenger side the light kept going off.
The dealership I live in a lemon law state I'm thankful but something is not right and dealership says it's ok. All these complaints except for the seat issue has been numerous times addressed with Subaru Headquarters . My Starlink never said I needed a oil change. When I took the car in I waited. The car was checked in at 1230. I went out to talk on phone. My car was outside. It was 29 mins. When I asked did they rotate the tires and change the oil. They said yes even though on my ticket says they only checked air pressure. Then service manager Tom said Subaru only pays for 30 mins to rotate all tires and change oil. Please let me know if anyone has this issues.
I bought a Subaru Outback 2012 from a dealer on Cape Cod. They caused me a lot of grief by selling me an "afterMarket" stereo/GPS that was miserable. After 5 very ugly attempts at repair they gave me a good one to get rid of me. I bought the car with an extended warranty to 100,000 miles. Now, at 140,000 miles the CVT transmission died. Subaru CVT transmissions are SEALED UNITS. They have "lifetime" automatic transmission fluid. You cannot check it or change it. Does that sound like a bad idea? It is. My tranny failed admittedly after a lot of miles, but I drive very very carefully. I get 120,000 miles form original tires and brakes. Beware if you buy an Outback. A new transmission is $6,600 plus $1,500 install. $8,000 to use the car. I am told Toyota transmissions NEVER have a problem. NEVER.
My 2014 Outback was my 3rd Subaru. They had changed to full synthetic oil and one has to use that as the company supposedly tightened up their Boxer 2.5L specs. First oil change at 3K was OK, 2nd at 7.5K later, as they recommended, was still OK. After that, was on a trip and oil light came on after about 3K miles. Eventually found a place in the rural area that had 0-20W which is required. Only half qt required. After another 2K miles, another half quart required. After that, the scenario continued to repeat. After an oil change, 3K miles and half qt needed, and at 5K after the change another half qt. Through several changes. Factory had lowered the period between changes to 6K, but after using 1qt of the 4qt original supply, I went to changing every 5K miles.
Then found a CR report lambasting Subaru for their oil use. This was not leaking oil, but consuming it. A couple of autos, Audi and BMW - some models - were worse, but everyone that I talked to considered using a qt every 5K miles very excessive for a new car. Subaru would do nothing about it and the dealer - having been graded on the sales process already with the 10s they beg you to grade, was indifferent. Facing the possibility that the Subaru name would be associated with oil burner in the future and that the value of my vehicle for trade would be negatively impacted I chose to trade it in after only owning it 20 months and 27K miles. Traded for a Mazda CX-5 and went to the Subaru dealer immediately afterwards to tell them why I had traded away the Subaru Outback that I otherwise had loved for what I consider to be a lesser vehicle. That doesn't use oil.
Dealer made up some excuses and I walked out, a Subaru fan no more. Dealer never even offered to make me a good deal on a newer vehicle that supposedly didn't have the problem. This was in Columbia MO. Despite my having informed them that I had traded the vehicle, I still get service reminders and other propaganda from the dealer. They are that clueless and disconnected and this reflects upon Subaru as being pretty much the same.
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My remote on my Subaru Outback 3.6R goes off in my pocket while I walk, lay around, bend over or just hang out while at my house. The back gate opens automatically most of the time without my awareness. Completely breaks my confidence in the security of my car. Sometimes opens up 2-3 times on a bad day. Can't say how disheartening it is to come out from a friends place in a bad neighborhood and see my car hatch opened and my car unguarded. This potentially has left my car unguarded as long as I've been at a place. Subaru should re-design the key fob and issue a new one under a recall!
The back gate on a person’s car can't just open every other day when you're not looking or thinking of your car! My cargo is always important and should never be a 50/50 worry that my hatch opened as I walk away. The car is great in every other way than this. But with that said I brought it to Subaru attention and they just told me that there is nothing they can do to deactivate that part of the car fob.
I bought my Subaru Impreza from Manchester Subaru in February of 2013. In December of 2013 I started hearing a cracking noise when I moved my car in the morning. I put it down to driving over a puddle with ice over it. Two weeks after I heard that noise I checked under my car before moving. There was no puddle the cracking noise was still happening. I bring it to Subaru of Manchester. After making an appointment they told me they couldn't find anything. This noise continued and I brought it back to the dealer at least four times with the same results. In February of 2014 I had three inches of ice built up on my passenger floor and the cracking noise was even worse. Manchester Subaru had Safelite reveal my windshield. After the windshield was rescaled it was better. No leak but you could hear the wind like all the windows were open in the car when you went over 30mph.
I kept brining it back. Subaru installed foam to help dampen the noise. The noise continued but every time I brought it to the dealer the service department manager would tell me they couldn't hear anything. In September of 2015 I go into my glovebox to get papers for my insurance and all my papers are soaked. My passenger floor is wet as well. I call Manchester Subaru and they are telling me they had Safelite do the work on my windshield so I have to call Safelite. I call Safelite and I am told this will have to go through my insurance. I call Manchester back and tell them there is no way this is going into my insurance. Subaru finally called Safelite and sent someone out to fix the windshield. Safelite took the windshield off and revealed it yet again. I go to test to see if the windshield is still loose by pushing up on the warmer or edges with my fingertips and the glass cracks. I called Safelite and they sent the technician back out to replace the windshield.
I have been in contact with Subaru of America since 2014 maybe even 2013. They don't return my emails or phone calls as a sorry for having to drive two hours to Manchester Subaru every or every other week to get this fixed. Here is a mug and water bottle you are just going to throw away because you don't have space for it anywhere. When our customer service department yells at you for calling we will attempt to make it better by paying three months of your car payments and give you an extended warranty. I bought this car brand new. My windshield seal was off again in June of 2016. I have had this call for just over three years and have had a problem with it since the first year and Subaru doesn't care. Subaru means love my left foot. Their customer service is lacking. Their managers don't get back to customers so why should the support.
I'm writing this review on behalf of my son who owns a 2014 WRX. On April 29, 2016, my son was returning to Plattsburgh, N.Y. from training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tx. He was about 40 miles west of Nashville, Tn., when his WRX blew it's motor with about 15,500 miles on it. Subaru had the car brought to Downtown Subaru in Nashville, where it took 40 DAYS to repair. During the time it was at the dealer, we were lied to about the progress of the repair! As of today, June 27, Subaru has not reimbursed my son or myself for retrieving the car and car payment and insurance. It's a shame that Subaru treats military personal in this manner. I can't imagine how they treat the general public!
I purchased the 2015 Outback Subaru in 2015 December, I have 17,000 miles on the vehicle. The oil change was suppose to be every 6,000. So far it's every 3000 that I have to change the oil. I read that Subaru knew about this problem and still built the Outback with this problem. Now the dealer is telling me I might have to put a new engine which is ridiculous because it's only 1 year and 6 months. I hope someone is able to help us with this problem that we all have for the Outbacks!!!
The ECO system on my 2015 Legacy isn't working properly. I have been to their shop several times and phoned several other times. Have received 5 different explanation how it works and none matched the handbook. Finally a man spoke with me, the foremen I think, he told me they could not fix it and could not or would not replace it. I BOUGHT THE CAR IN Oct 2014. EVEN NOW I only have just over 14000 miles on it. This has been going on since the first week of May. I know it has nothing to do with the drivability of the vehicle but it's on there and I paid for it so it should work. I received no paperwork as they only drove it and turned the system on an off
Terrible. Had an oil change. Next day my engine exploded on the highway. Police officer at the scene told me oil was leaking from my engine. The dealership took no responsibility and charged me $$$ for a new engine. Two miles after this repair, my check engine light came on. Then, two weeks after the repair there was oil leaking all over my driveway. Then my air conditioner stopped working. My car has been making a terrible rattling sound ever since. Every time I bring my car in Matt, in service says he can't hear the sound. I finally had to send him a video of the noise. I will NEVER buy a Subaru again.
Very excited to get my new Subaru Outback 3.6 at the Subaru North Houston. When I arrived the salesperson Brenda was very sweet and helpful. Little disappointed that I bought the car that I was not intended to buy. When negotiating with Brenda, she went two times or three to talk to the manager. Although I was not sure whether to buy the car or not depending on the price, the manager came toward me with a very negative energy and in front of the sales department, embarrassed me raising his voice disapproving my request. He accused me of things I was not doing, like looking on my phone searching for a better deal while I was doing some homework on my phone for my Family Nurse Practitioner. Other customer were looking at me how I was being yelled at, I was very embarrassed. This is one of the worse experience I have experience and as an ER Nurse, I have experienced many.
He had no right to attack a customer, very simply, he could have just refuse the deal. He bullied me on how much money I have in my bank account and insisting if I can put $7200 down then I can put $8000 down. I was shocked, paralyzed, and was so embarrassed to move from my chair. When he left, Brenda apologized for his unprofessional bully behavior. So sad that I had to switch from a Honda to Subaru and had the worst experience in my life buying a car. I know what I did was the wrong decision to buy a car from them, but I literally felt so bullied that I was very embarrassed to even walk around and walk away.
I believe in making mistake and correct them as soon as possible, but after being there 5 hours because my partner bought the same car I did, he never came and apologize. Not that I care about an apology but maybe could have ended the negative experience in slightly better closure. Now I have a car that I don't want because of the bully of Subaru Manager. Not sure if anyone can advise me if I can do anything at this point. This is my experience with my Subaru. I thought it was going to be a lovely and beautiful experience, turned out to be an absolute nightmare!
I bought my 2013 Outback new and I've had nothing but issues... Two stereos replaced, drivers seat heater comes on randomly, can't charge my phone on the USB, lifters make noise and always have to add oil between service requirements. I've had it to three different dealers, and found one trying to help get to the bottom of this electrical problem and corporate will not advise them what to do. Corporate tells me just have them send me an email and she never answers them back!
We bought a used car from Subaru of Little Rock manager (Billy). We paid cash for the car and we were told within the next week we would have the title that was on 5-14-2016. We still don't have it. We have called multiple times and we have been sent to voice mail, passed around and around without answers until today. We are now being told they NEVER had the title and the owner of the car lost it. Billy the manager told me they have thirty days to give us the title. I've never talked to a person in ANY kind of sales that was as rude and belligerent as this man.
I told Billy we have always bought our cars through Toyota and we have never been treated with such unprofessionalism. He told me to go back to Toyota! I assure you we will do as he said and stay with Toyota from now on. Other Subaru dealerships may be different than this one and I sure hope so because this was the worse buying experience and it shouldn't have been a simple cash purchase. I believe someone from the corporate office needs to check on this dealership. SHADY people there.
I owned 2 Subaru's, 1 WRX STi 2005 and one FORESTER 2007. Both of them have been really great. The STi I only done maintenance on it that's it! The Forester I did a couple of small repair like front links and ball joints... nothing major. Really good cars, the only really big complaint is on the IMPREZA WAGONS of 2002-2007. THE BACK STRUTS TOWERS RUST COMPLETELY at the point the struts will pop inside. I seen from my own eyes and heard of this everywhere.
I bought a new 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5 Wagon August 29, 2013 (3 month old vehicle). In December the engine started making a squealing noise. When I took it in to be checked I was asked what I had done to the engine??? I had never opened the hood on my car - in fact I didn't know where the hood release was. It took 3 times bringing it in until one of their techs came outside when I brought it in again in January and took a look and said he knew what was wrong with it. The belts were glazing over. The pulley system was redone and the belts replaced. I thought this was the end of the problem. I contacted their main headquarters in New Jersey and after working with customer relations was given a 100,000 mile warranty. I am so happy I did this because the engine problems didn't end there.
In August of 2015, my engine light came on - I pulled over and called the dealer and was told if it was the flashing one to not drive it and have someone tow it. It wasn't the flashing one and wasn't told I could continue to drive it. I drove the car to the dealer and told them I wanted it fixed. It was under warranty. They replaced a sensor. They had my car for 5 days. I picked the vehicle up and drove it for about 3 days and the light came on again. I took it back to the dealer, they gave me a loaner vehicle, couldn't find the problem (after having it in the shop for 2 weeks), turned the engine light off and called me to come get it. I picked it up and drove it for about 3 days and the same thing happened.
I took it back - they gave me a loaner vehicle. When the service manager called they said it was a vacuum problem - and it was how I was braking. I said that was not possible. I got another call, the service manager told me that it was dirty and the catalytic converter was dirty too. He asked where I was buying gas and told me that I should only be using gas from Costco, Shell or Chevron 92 octane (even though the manual says otherwise). They said they would get a data recorder from Subaru and it would take them about 3 days to get it - I was told I could keep driving the loaner or pick up my own car and drive it and bring it back in when they got the recorder. I chose for them to keep it until they got the recorder. I didn't hear anything for 2 weeks.
On a Saturday the service manager called and yelled at me that I hadn't picked up my car. I asked if they had the data recorder yet and he said no. They wanted me to be driving my car so the warranty would run out. On November 6th they called and said they had gotten the data recorder. I was already home from work when they called. I picked my car up on the 9th. Three days later the light came on again. I took it back to the dealer. They called and said they think they corrected the problem. The rear sensor was replaced.
I don't believe they would have done any of it if I hadn't contacted their headquarters. It took over 3 months to get the "problem" corrected. Because of how I was treated by the dealership and the reliability of the cars, I will never buy another Subaru. Subaru does have a class action lawsuit against them now for the excessive oil burning issue. Their remedy is to give an extended warranty! It's not worth it!
Has late night purchase, gave finance manager $15000 cashiers check us and additional $2000 cash to get my monthly payment down below $400/month. After reviewing my paperwork couple days after, realize they added $1000 to my agreed purchase price. Before confronting Jay, salesperson, about this problem I went through my car details including the price he gave me. Two separate times he agreed with the price he had given me by phone on more than 3 occasions before I committed to purchase. This price was the original price Jay told me at the beginning. After he reconfirmed his and my price two additional times, I told him that I had given extra cash during financing and told him exactly $1000 added to my initial price. He hesitated, then said it was the changed figure. It was obvious he was covering for finance and Moe sales manager.
So I gave Jay and Moe a week to come up with solution... Long story short they didn't. So contacted GM, Jobe **. He said he would find out info and get back to me... He didn't. Finally got him on phone week later and he told me he had talked to owners and he has good and favorable news for me, put me on hold so he could get my paperwork. After holding for short while, unidentified person came on phone asking if the could help me..(?) I told them I was holding for Jobe. That he had asked me to hold awaiting answer for my situation. Person, Moe, sales manager, said Jobe was in a meeting. That he wanted to know how he could help me(?) Not wanting to rehash again with someone who had previously refused to do anything for over 10 days after knowing of problem.
Since then... I contacted Subaru of America for help communicating with Glendale Subaru, Jobe, GM because he refused on 3 separate occasions to take my phone call. Plus I called Lane ** general sales manager. He didn't return my call. I asked Moe, by email twice to relay the owners and GM's solution, but he and GM refused to return my call. Now he told corporate Customer service agent trying help me get info that the GM and Owners had decided. It's become obvious the GM put this $1000 cash fraud back on Moe... Because Moe, Glendale sales manager, refuses to relay this message. Seems likely he is directly involved in this late night fraudulent buying transaction.
I would advise ANYONE looking to purchase a Subaru... I 1000% would never do business with Glendale Subaru!! They protect and cover for each other with dishonest transaction. From GM by washing his hands of the situation by not getting involved and leaving it up to his dishonest sales and finance department to get out of this situation alone. In my opinion, Jobe lacks a backbone because he refuses to talk to dissatisfied customers. Yet he blows smoke up people's rear, by saying he and his dealership are honest and he wants to make thing right and wants to make sure THEIR customers are happy. The GM and THEIR sales staff at Glendale in my opinion are ripping off THEIR owners $$... Very very unhappy Glendale Subaru and Corporate Customers service for allowing this GM to say he is happy with his dealerships customer outreach (ha ha) towards me.
Dismissing all my attempts to get him on phone and to complete telling me his owner's good and favorable decision. Absolute appalling customer care and outreach. What a rotten egg dealership. Makes me wonder how much $$$ they have defrauded other customers. I've consulted other car dealers, GM's and previous Subaru Dealership owners. They know exactly what happened. They told me it's obvious the GM, Jobe, knows too. He doesn't want to write a check so he just told culprits, his finance and sales to handle the situation they created. BOTTOM LINE. This lack of customer care and outreach to take care of this issue. Receives 1 on scale of 10 for honesty and true care for all customers. I know now I was foolish to give Glendale Subaru any cash. Especially at last transaction of work night. That further explain why the finance manager stuck the cash $ in his pocket... Thought that was highly unusual.
One of my Outback's tires were punctured. I had to go to a tire shop to fix it. They said I need tires from the same company and I have to change two at a time. I agreed and two tires were replaced. In a month the difference between front and back tires caused the power train to become damaged. The dealership said that whole transmission needs to be replaced, but because the manual says that no more than a 0.25" should difference is allowed between tire thickness, there was no manufacturer guarantee. They said that there is a light on the Subaru dashboard that signifies it: "If the AWD is flashing, driving can damage the power train. As soon as you can, park in a safe place and check your tires to make sure they're all properly inflated and the same size." It never went flashing.
Subaru is the kind of car that is supposed to drive in rural areas, farms, forests. If there is a difference in tire diameter in such a small amount – it should not damage the car to a point of a price that is a third out of the cost of the car. If there is that possibility, a warning should be posted on the dashboard, because it is major a damage to car. In this field – Subaru failed completely.
Driving on the interstate late one night we started hearing a knocking in the engine of our 2009 Subaru Forester and discovered that we had no oil in the car. We have always done regular maintenance on our vehicle with regular oil changes so we were shocked to find out there was no oil in the car. Neither the oil light or the check engine light ever came on to warn us there was a problem. Our engine only had 94,000 miles on it. After researching on the internet we found that this is an ongoing issue with the 2.5 liter engines that Subaru has known about for years.
We filed a complaint with Subaru of America but we're told that since a couple of the oil changes were done at just over 6,000 miles that they would not help us with the cost of fixing it. They want $5,000 to rebuild it or $6,000 for a new engine. Today, we are taking a trailer to the dealership in St. Peters, MO (Lou Fusz Subaru) where our car now sits and loading our car up to bring home. We don't have the money to fix it. Subaru vehicles don't live up to the claims of their advertising and this is not a vehicle I would hand down to my children! We plan on eventually getting it fixed and rid of it at the earliest opportunity. I will never have another Subaru.
I'm a fortunate purchaser, with an excellent vehicle. I'm writing to show car ownership can be a cost-effective & worthwhile - on freeways, in city, but I put my miles on elsewhere. I enjoy driving, and testing limits, but do not recommend this to others. 2005 Impreza has 62,000 miles. People still offer to buy it. Most miles are off-road in Nevada, in some of the most unforgiving territory you can imagine. First, I had to learn to trust the car, then install survival gear. It's weakness is road clearance of about five inches. Dirt, dust and sand is ok, and the transition from this, to freeway speeds (85 mph) is most pleasurable! The true-as-an-arrow stance, the wide footprint, low CG, makes it a joy to drive.
Interior noise is moderate, so I installed 500 WRMS of tunes. Fortunately, a deer hit 2 years ago didn't affect the ride. Kudos to Salmon, Idaho body shop. Not a penny spent at dealership for parts or repairs but I am meticulous with maintenance due to dust, silt, vibration, heat, cold, survival, and off-road abuse. I have a couple add-ons: K&N filters, a chip, several deep cycle batteries.
Impreza has the 2.5 liter engine, very strong in all respects. MPG is mid-upper 20's, depending. Auto transmission responds well to normal conditions, may hesitate during a downshift if you're not familiar with gear ranges. Another complaint: There is no interior light in the hatch area. Groceries, well, you load in the dark. A last, big positive: Snow handling. AWD mean just that. With good tires, typical snowfall is managed very well. I've never been stuck with M & S tires, in depths up to 2 feet of dry snow. I've tried to characterize vehicle reliability, performance, and responsiveness in typical conditions. So wow, what a car, just had to share a good, accurate experience with you, with a mid-aged Subaru Impreza!
Bought '09 Impreza in July of '09 w/ 12,000 miles on it. Continually had required service (3,000-4,000 mile). At 59,700 miles while having 60,000 mile service a "seepage" was identified from the left cylinder bank. The dealer noted this and stated that it would be monitored. Well they must either have failed to monitor it or kept the finding to themselves through the 8 next services because it wasn't until 97,000 miles that the gaskets must haves simply just failed. The dealer gave me a $2,574 estimate to replace them (and timing belt) to which I had to decline due to finances. I went home, researched parts cost ($300-$450) and allotted time for repair (8-10 hours) and was left a little bit in wonder that the dealer's service garage was charging close to $200 an hour. (This was also the time I discovered all of the websites with titles like "The Dreaded Subaru Head Gasket Problem".)
I went through my service receipts, found the one from 57,000 miles that the "seepage" note and returned to the dealer to discuss the cost and attempt to make a deal, being as the seepage was recorded prior to the warranty expiring. Long story short: dealer said to call Subaru, Subaru offered $1000 dollars towards service, I told them while that would bring the price down to what a reputable private garage would charge, what I wanted feel more in line with total cost as the problem was first noted under warranty. Subaru said "No", $1000 was all they would do. I told them that their help was as useless as the gaskets they put on their cars. I am now in touch w/ my State Attorney General and have filed a complaint with them. I am not looking for any monetary compensation, just satisfaction that a wrong will be set right.
I have a 2011 Outback and I first had to add a quart of oil around 95K miles. My son in law said that they probably didn't fill it full when my oil was changed last. So I think anything of it although I told them about it and brought it for an oil change. They didn't bother to tell me about "excess oil consumption" while I was under an extended warranty. So I got the full synthetic oil change and was told the next change is due in 7K miles. At 4000 mi. the oil light came on and it was 2 quarts low! I am furious that I was not told about this while was under a warranty! Now I have 103K mi. and they probably won't offer any assistance.
Also, it almost dies (like a slow idle?) when I stop for a stop light or even a stop sign. It has done this since 39K and they can never diagnose it. It is getting pretty persistent. Does anyone know what this could be? They say it doesn't happen when they test drive it and the computer does not show anything. My guess is, now the warranty is over, they can diagnose it right away! Never another Subaru!!
Our first Subaru was a 2009 Outback, and we loved it. It was a "program" car with about 10K miles on it when we got it, but had been owned by the state of NC DOT so was like new when we got it. The one problem we had throughout the life of it was the left headlight would not last; it would go out several times a year. Because of some other problems, some possibly a mechanic's fault, that car caught fire and was totaled in 2013.
We went back to the same dealer in Asheville NC and bought a new 2014 Forrester. From the beginning it had a lag when accelerating, as when one is passing another vehicle or when a potential problem has arisen and one needs to move fast to avoid a wreck. It was a consistent 6 second lag; after 6 seconds, the RPM would soar almost to the red line. I could literally count "one thousand one, one thousand two" etc. My husband took it back to the dealership and asked about it. "Oh, everyone is complaining about that with this car, there's nothing to worry about." Umm, I do worry when my car won't move when I want it to! I'll also add at this point that my husband and I are both in our late 50s, and we are the only people who have ever driven this car, so we know how well it has been treated.
In Februrary 2016 I left home, drove into town (10 miles), made two stops, the car was running smooth as butter. My third stop was at the car wash. I pulled up, told them what kind of wash I wanted, and I went into the lounge to wait. A few minutes later the guy came in and said, "Your Subaru won't move." What?! I went out, cranked it, could put it in gear, but it was like it was in neutral. Could hear the motor revving, but nothing happened. There was no noise when it happened. There was no smell of anything burning, nothing. The emissions warning light was on.
I had the car towed to our house (I needed to get back and get my other vehicle for an appointment), then later had it towed to a local garage, because the car was out from under warranty. He kept it a week, then called and said he couldn't figure out what it was, so he called the dealer we bought it from, and they said they thought it was the transmission. Paid to have it towed 70 miles to the dealer. After about a week, they called and said they couldn't figure it out, so they ran all the computer stuff and sent it to Subaru to find the problem. They determined it needed a new transmission.
The Service guy told me when I picked it up that when they went to look in the transmission, all kinds of parts fell out, that the transmission had literally exploded. That was the word he used. Fortunately that was still covered under warranty, so it covered the $7K to repair it. When we finally got the car back we noticed the lag was gone! Now when I accelerate, the car actually does what it's supposed to do! If you have that lag, insist that they check your transmission!
2015 Legacy - I have sent my car back to the dealership over and over again. The first time they said they fixed it! The second time they kept it for a week didn't not do 1 thing to it! I have pictures of my trunk full of water from every time it rains! I put so many miles on my car taking to the dealership constantly...
I have had at least 10 problems with the light bulbs on my headlights. The bulbs are not cheap and a lot of people do not know exactly how to put them on, very unsatisfied with this problem. Some don't even last 3 months. Is this a defect in this model? Every mechanic says they are hard to get to, to replace and want to charge high labor. Is there something that can be done about this? I love my car but this is getting aggravating. Thanks.
Purchased 2012 Subaru Impreza from a reputable dealer with 50k miles. I have had the car 9 months with no issues. On 2/25/16 we had freezing rain and ice. The car slid on ice and did 2 180's before it stopped on an ice pile. The next day the car was making a whining, grinding noise, which got worse over couple days. Took it to Subaru dealer who said it needs new transmission. Tried to get insurance to cover but claim was denied as appraiser did not see any external damage to tranny case. Quoted $7500 approx to replace transmission. So much for reliable car.
I will like to share my exp. with my Subaru Outback 2013. Buy it brand new in 2013 and at 20,000 miles the dealer have to swap the engine because oil consumption problem, but now since engine swapping there is noise on lifters and they says is normal because the block is bigger. 1st time buying a Subaru & last time. I will better go back to my Honda dealer, not second mistake with Subaru again.
Power liftgate issues on my 2016 Forester and not sure who can assist.
Worst experience with this car. I had many other cars that never gave me problems. Decided to buy a brand new 2016 WRX STI. After 3500 km driving it, it had to have a $2500 fix on the car and now I wake up to the car not cranking. Tried boosting it but its not a battery problem. I should have gone for a Hyundai, at least it won't give that issue at 5000 km. Not complaining about the dealership, they have been helpful but complaining about the car.
I bought a used 2012 Subaru Legacy from a non-Subaru dealership and 4 days later there was something wrong with the transmission. The dealership at first couldn't identify the problem. So I googled it and discovered what was wrong. Thanks to a YouTube video. They then didn't want to help fix it and my warranty doesn't kick in till 30 days after date of purchase. And the vehicle wasn't safe to drive, it stalled if I broke too hard. So I couldn't wait the 30 days and go without. I called Subaru and they paid $1000 towards the repair! They didn't have to do that and they did because that's good customer service.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
The first Subaru was built in Japan in 1954, and Subaru of America (SOA) began marketing and distributing cars in the brand nearly 15 years later. Now, there are nearly 600 dealers across the United States. The brand is known for its unique BOXER® engines and all-wheel drive.
- Long lasting: Subaru reports that registration records indicate that 90 percent of Subarus sold in the last 10 years are still on the road. Subarus regularly last for 250,000 miles.
- Owner benefits: Subaru owners enjoy special discounts, event invitations and free products. Offers change periodically, but recent offers include a free subscription to Drive magazine, a 10 percent discount on Liberty Mutual auto insurance and a 20 percent discount on ASPCA pet health insurance.
- Resale value: Subaru vehicles hold their value well. For 2016, ALG named Subaru the Top Mainstream Brand for residual value, and the brand regularly appears on the Kelly Blue Book list of Top 10 Models for Best Resale Value.
- Love promise: Subaru is committed to corporate responsibility. Their Subaru Love Promise is their stated pledge to create environmentally friendly automobiles and donate to causes like education, animal safety, health care and hunger relief. SOA has donated more than $20 million to charities.
- Online shopping tools: On the Subaru website, interested customers can compare models, price all customizable options, check local inventory and explore financing options. Customers can also request a quote and evaluate special offers.
- Best for Subaru caters to drivers who want to purchase a long lasting car from an ethical company.
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