Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback

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Overall Rating2.8 out of 5
See all 76 reviews & ratings

About Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is an SUV. Older models are station wagons. Read more Subaru reviews to learn about other models.

Subaru Outback Reviews

ConsumerAffairs has collected 76 reviews and 813 ratings.

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Reviewed Sept. 3, 2023

While the car itself is great… The electronics ie touchscreen is worse than you can imagine. There are so many glitches in this thing I can’t list them all. I have had the car for two months now and I am still finding new ones. The safety features are over the top and annoying to say the least. This is my third Subaru and I am already considering getting rid of this one.

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Reviewed July 8, 2023

Seems like they should have adequate parts inventory for a 5 year old car. Contacted both the dealer and Subaru, Subaru said they knew they had a problem. Car is now not only disabled but not salable. Nor being able to replace a key part is not acceptable.

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    Reviewed March 26, 2023

    This is my first Subaru as I have historically purchased Fords in the past. I bought a brand new Touring XT Outback with the promise that it could tow 3500 lbs as advertised and reinforced by everyone at the dealership. When I received the Outback I immediately had a hitch installed as I needed it to tow a trailer. The hitch that was installed only provided a 4 pin connector but I need a seven pin connector to tow my trailer with electric brakes. The owner’s manual states the vehicle can only tow 1000lbs with a trailer without brakes (4 pin connector) which is understandable. However a seven pin connector is needed to tow every trailer with electric brakes (standard type).

    When I spoke with the dealership to get a 7 pin connector installed which I would have assumed would have been installed with the 3500 lb hitch, I was told Subaru doesn’t provide this connector and I need to go to a 3rd party to have it installed but this installation would void the warranty. Now I’ve owned this vehicle for one week and already cannot use it as it was intended. I can either install a seven pin connector and use my trailer and potentially void the warranty or I need to find another vehicle to tow my trailer. I would not recommend this vehicle or this manufacturer to anyone. Since manufacturer is fraudulent with this minor issue I fear what other issues I will encounter in the future. Save your money and go with a logical manufacturer that will stand by their vehicles and would prefer to keep their new customers happy.

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    Reviewed Feb. 1, 2023

    I purchased a 2016 Subaru Crosschek with 40,000 miles from the Glendale Subaru dealership, not realizing they had just replaced a blown head gasket. The Head Gasket blew again at 50,000 destroying the block and the Palm Desert Subaru replaced the block because it was still under warranty. The Head Gasket blew again at 70,000 miles and the Subaru CS is going to assist with $2500 of the $4800 bill, so I'm in for $2300 bill. My goal of purchasing a Crosstrek and getting 200,000 miles is bunk! Three blown gaskets in 70,000 miles! Wow!!

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    Reviewed Dec. 21, 2022

    1st Outback was 2005, engine blew at around 70,000 miles because of head gasket failure. Dealings with the dealership and Subaru America. 2nd outback is a 2021. The computer(s) in this thing are a complete mess. Anything that is connected to a computer is randomly dysfunctional, and the most worrying part is the randomness of it. Short list of things that randomly go wrong:

    Car regularly steers across divider lines and sometimes pulls toward the wall to the left of the fast lane on one of our local highways or off to the road to the right if we’re in the slow lane; it does recognize there’s a line but doesn’t steer accordingly; warning lights flash and beeps go off but I never take my hands off the wheel but on a few occasions felt like I was wrestling with the steering system.

    On a few occasions when in cruise control the car accelerates wildly.

    Driving through a parking lot once the car just wouldn’t go; it was in gear but just wouldn’t move forward until I put it in park, turned off and restarted the engine and put it back into drive. Similar thing happened with my coworker’s friends but they were in the fast lane and result was a major accident.

    Emergency brake activates randomly as when backing into or out of a parking spot; you have to experience this to appreciate it. So far mostly just an annoyance but is actually kind of alarming when it happens.

    Cruise control feature does a pretty good job of locking on and keeping distance from the vehicle in front of you but doesn’t recognize cars that are stopped on the road e.g. at a stop light.

    On highway travel the lane keep pulls the car dangerously close to big trucks in the lane to your right. The lane keep feature often swerves one way or the other and doesn’t center the car in the lane. Oddly, on a vacation when we rented an older and lower trim Forrester and the cruise control and lane keep features worked perfectly

    Other computer glitches:

    Main screen goes blank except for a spinning circle in the middle of it. I drove 20 minutes to the Subaru dealership and they took it into the shop and did a huddle while I stood outside. When the huddle dispersed the service guy backed it out and let me know they couldn’t do anything about it because there were no “error codes”. I pointed out that the screen was still doing it while he was telling me this so why would you need an error code? But that is how it was left and I drove home with the screen black and the little circle spinning.

    The stereo system randomly turns on while driving; the most common thing is all sound blasts in low quality audio suddenly from one speaker always front driver side, also happens randomly. This is their high end stereo system. Using the screen system to reset or move the sound to different speakers has no effect. The only remedy is to stop the car and turn off the engine and restart, but that doesn’t always work.

    When closing the driver side window it closes to about 2/3 closed then goes back down to about 1/3 closed. It either does this once each time you touch the button and occasionally just goes up and down repeatedly until it stops. As with other problems the most reliable solution seems to be to stop and restart the engine which must do a reboot of the system.

    Temperature resets itself randomly, and sometimes seat heaters (which I never use) are fully on for no reason.

    There are two alarms to alert you when you’re dozing or have taken your hands from the wheel which go off randomly and on one occasion did so for 35 minutes nonstop

    When time allows I’ll return to the dealership which will be the third visit for this car, but if past experience means anything I’m not optimistic.

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    Sales & MarketingStaffReliability

    Reviewed Aug. 27, 2022

    I bought a new Subaru Outback Outdoors XT in 2020. After about 33000 km the car started to shake at braking. Their own service people said that the rotors were warped and needed replacement. However, since it was 'more than 1 year old' they refused to replace the defective parts, and quoted me over $700 for parts and labour. I am very disappointed with Subaru's quality. They are certainly not as safe as they advertise, and have zero interest in looking after their customers. I would never buy another Subaru again, and would recommend to stay away from the brand that uses low quality parts and offers no regard for their customers.

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    Customer ServiceCoveragePriceStaff

    Reviewed July 20, 2022

    I started having problems with my 2015, 6 cylinder Outback at 75,000 miles in 2019. That's when the oil light first came on between oil changes but it "passed" an oil consumption test. Subaru assured me that 6 cylinders don't have oil consumption problems and that the tech likely only filled enough oil for a 4 cylinder. It is now 2022. The oil light has come on 7 more times. Each oil consumption test passed with the exception of the last one and Subaru kept assuring me that it is normal to add oil so often between oil changes. I took the car to another mechanic who did a smoke test and said the piston seals are leaking. I was already aware of the class action lawsuit.

    I called Subaru customer service on 6/24/22. A rep called me back on 6/28/22 and told me to get an estimate to repair the short block and that Subaru would pay for part of the repair. I asked the rep if I could speak to a manager since I felt Subaru should cover the entire cost. She said a manager would call me back in 24-48 hours. I called my dealer and they said it would cost a minimum of $8,000. The manager did not call me back. I called again again on 7/11/22 and was told someone would call me back. The same rep called me back on 7/12/22 and told me Subaru would not pay for the repair because the car was out of warranty. I let her know that even though the car officially failed the oil consumption test at 111,000 miles, the first problems occurred at 75,000 miles. She said she would have a manager call me back in 24-48 hours. She stated that she didn't know that I wanted to speak to a manager. (The person that answered the phone the previous day showed this was in my file, however.)

    Today, 7/20/22, I called again. I was told that my case was closed. I asked to speak to a manager and he called me back within the hour. He told me the best Subaru would do is $2,000 paid to the dealer to help cover the cost of repair. I asked if I could get the repair done at another garage since other estimates I received were around $5,500. He reminded me that it was out of warranty. I reminded him of the class action lawsuit and the extension of the warranty on 4 cylinders to 100,000 miles. He said my vehicle was not covered and some vehicles don't last as long. (Sad indeed to hear Subaru tell you this. I'd like to see them advertise this.)

    Bottom line, I wish I never owned a Subaru. With the $2,000 they are offering me toward the repair at a Subaru dealer, I'll still have to pay more than if I took it to another mechanic - whom I trust more by-the-way. I am a woman and have been anxious driving my car for the past ~3 years not to mention the long hours waiting at Subaru and the frustration and anxiety of having to drive to the dealer at just the right mileage for the oil consumption test each time. I keep oil in the car and continue to check. I can't drive 1,000 miles without losing a quart of oil.

    I don't wish this on anyone. If you are thinking to buy a Subaru please check online for oil consumption to see for yourself the extent of the problem. Subaru will tell you this is normal. It is not normal. They will also tell you that it is only happening with certain makes and models. What's worse is that my dealer knew about oil consumption but kept insisting my vehicle was not experiencing it. (Also, the manager told me that the rep that was supposed to call me back each time sent me an email. I checked my inbox, junk, deleted and archives. I did not receive an email from them. I share this because I am certain this is pretty standard treatment so others should know what to expect. I was actually told by an ex Subaru rep that the above events would occur.)

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed June 3, 2022

    I'm an owner of 3 Subaru outbacks. Past 2 did not have much problem. My recent Subaru Outback Wilderness (less than a year with low mileage) Battery Died. I guess it was a lemon & took it to dealer & they did not perform any diagnostic check on why it died & simply recharged the battery. So, I contacted Subaru Customer Advocacy dept & explained all my problems. They assured me it will be fixed or at a minimum battery will be replaced. At the new Subaru dealer, my car was kept for almost a day, findings were battery was weak & they recharged it. I tried to contact the Customer Advocacy dept again but did not get a response. I'm now nervous on when & where my battery will be dead again.

    A brand new car owner should not have such experiences. Based on my investigation, Subaru does have a known Battery problem & there is a pending class action lawsuit pending on it. FYI. So, if you owned a Subaru, pray that there are no issues with it, if you have one, they'll make you run around the dealer & customer advocacy dept without resolving the problem. No more Subarus for me....

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed May 1, 2022

    UPDATED 6/24/2022: First off Subaru claims to be this great family company. They claim they donate over 140 million dollars in donation to pet homeless and a few others. I brought my brand new car in that has a weak windshield (broke at 30 mph, broke at 45 mph and third time it broke we were barely taking off from a red light and a pebble broke it again), faulty cheap parts ( coolant pump) that go out in the middle of the highway. The passenger window rolls up halfway before rolling back down automatically and my dash turning on and off at will.

    When you look up issues with the car, thousand and thousands of complaints about the same issues but Subaru acts like it a one I a million thing. They tell me it never happens and I just got the one in a million car with issues. Subaru can supposedly donate over 140 million but can’t take responsibility for their cheap parts in their cars. I wish we could start a class action and have them refund everyone with faulty vehicles. I will never buy from Subaru ever again. Bad company that sold out and now has a bad product. How can you be safe in a car when the windshield will crack if you fart in its direction?

    ORIGINAL REVIEW: I bought a brand new 2020 Outback in 2020. I put less than 20k miles on it and my windshield has broke twice, my dash turns on and off at will and it can’t connect or drops my phone connection even if plugged in. I have complained and took it in multiple times but they pretend I am crazy and my car is the best type of vehicle on the road. I have been reading more and more content on how poorly these cars are made and how the company treats the people buying them. Why do we need a lawsuit to get what we paid for? I just want a working car with a safe windshield.

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    Reviewed April 22, 2021

    I bought a pristine 2003 Subaru Outback for my 18 year old grandson. Subaru's reputation for saving lives does live up to its claim. He was coming home from school, went around a turn, 1/2 mile from our house, hit gravel, he overcorrected and hit a small tree which in turn the car rolled on to the driver side where it came to rest. He climbed out through the passenger side. Thankfully, he only wound up with a few scratches and a lot of bruising, and hurt pride and ego. The car was totaled but did protect him from seriously getting hurt or even worse. I have three other Subarus and will be get him another Subaru. Thank you Subaru.

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    Subaru Outback Company Information

    Company Name:
    Subaru Outback