Subaru Outback Years To Avoid

Subaru Outback Years To Avoid

While many versions of the Subaru Outback provide a reliable and enjoyable ride, there are specific Subaru Outback years that you should avoid if you want a stress-free ride. 

Just like other car brands like the Honda Fit, Ford Edge, Acura MDXwhich have had their worst years, Subaru Outback is no different.

While the Subaru Outback has been around for several years, some models have experienced more problems than others. 

Before labeling which Subaru Outback model to avoid, let’s brief you on this car.

• The Subaru Outback is known for its standard all-wheel-drive system, which provides excellent traction and stability in various driving conditions.

• The Outback has gone through multiple generations since its debut in 1994, with each iteration offering safety, technology, and performance improvements.

• The Outback has a spacious cargo area, making it a practical choice for those who need to carry a lot of gear or cargo.

• And some Outback models are designed to be fuel-efficient, making them a practical choice for those who prioritize economical driving.

Remember that specific features and facts about the Subaru Outback can vary by model year and trim level, so it’s always good to check the details of the particular model you’re interested in.

With that out of the way, here are common issues with this car model.

Common Issues with Subaru Outback Models

If you own a Subaru Outback or are considering buying one, you must know of some common issues reported with specific models. 

• Faulty Head Gasket

One issue noted is a faulty head gasket, particularly in older Outback models. It can lead to coolant leaks and engine overheating, resulting in expensive repairs. 

• Issues With The Transmission

Another issue that some Outback owners have experienced is a failing transmission. It can cause shifting problems, jerky movements, and even complete transmission failure. 

Some Outback models have had electrical system issues, including power windows, door locks, and dashboard lights. 

While these issues are not present in every Outback, it’s worth considering them when deciding on a specific year and model. 

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly research any used car you’re interested in and consider getting a pre-purchase inspection to avoid surprises.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Car

When buying a used car, especially a Subaru Outback, there are several factors to consider to make an intelligent purchase. 

• Make Sure It’s Budget Friendly

Firstly, you should think about your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a vehicle. Remember that older Outback models might come with lower price tags but could have more issues.

• Research, Research, Research

It’s essential to thoroughly research the specific model and year you’re interested in. 

Look for reviews, consumer reports, and forums to understand common problems associated with that Outback version. 

This way, you can avoid buying a year with a high frequency of issues.

It’s essential to consider the car’s overall condition, including its mileage and maintenance history. A well-maintained Outback with lower mileage is generally better than a high-mileage vehicle with a sketchy service record.

• Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Lastly, if you need to become more experienced in assessing a used car’s condition, consider getting a pre-purchase inspection from a trusted mechanic. 

It will help identify potential issues that might be obscure to the untrained eye. 

Considering these factors, you can make an accurate decision when buying a used Subaru Outback and minimize the risk of encountering significant issues.

Best Years for the Subaru Outback Model

Regarding the best years for the Subaru Outback, a few models stand out for their reliability and performance. 

One of the top choices is the 2014 Subaru Outback. This model received high ratings for its spacious interior, comfortable ride, and fuel efficiency. 

Another great option is the 2016 Subaru Outback, which offers improved technology features and a refined driving experience. If you’re looking for a more recent model, the 2019 Subaru Outback is a popular choice. 

It boasts advanced safety features, a comfortable cabin, and impressive off-road capabilities. Overall, these years have proven reliable and received positive reviews from owners. 

Consider these options when searching for a stress-free ride in a Subaru Outback.

Years to Avoid When Purchasing a Used Subaru Outback

Finally, when buying a used Subaru Outback, there are specific years that you should avoid to ensure a stress-free ride. 

One year to be cautious about is the 2013 Subaru Outback. This model is known to have issues with the transmission and engine, leading to expensive repairs. 

Another year to avoid is the 2010 Subaru Outback, which is reported to have electrical system problems, including power windows and door locks. 

The 2005 and 2006 Subaru Outback models have had head gaskets and engine overheating issues. 

Steering clear of these specific years can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs. 

It’s always a good idea to research the specific year and model you’re interested in and consider getting a pre-purchase inspection to ensure you make an intelligent choice.

Understanding the Impact of Mileage on Used Car Value and Performance

When buying a used car, one of the critical factors to consider is the mileage. 

The mileage of a car can have a significant impact on both its value and performance. Generally, lower mileage is desirable as it indicates that the vehicle has been driven less and is likely to have less wear and tear. It can result in a more reliable and durable vehicle.

On the other hand, a car with higher mileage may have more mechanical issues and require more frequent maintenance and repairs. 

It’s important to note that not all high-mileage cars are problematic, but it’s crucial to inspect the vehicle and consider its maintenance history thoroughly.

Regarding the Subaru Outback, a higher mileage might be satisfactory. 

These vehicles are known for their reliability and durability, even with higher mileage. 

However, it’s still important to consider the car’s overall condition and maintenance and service records.

How to Inspect a Used Subaru Outback Before Making a Purchase Decision

Before deciding to purchase the Subaru Outback, inspecting the vehicle thoroughly to ensure you’re getting a reliable and high-quality car is crucial.

Here are some critical steps to follow when inspecting a used Subaru Outback.

Firstly, start with the exterior. Check for any signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, or rust. Make sure all the doors and windows open and close smoothly. 

Inspect the tires for tread wear and ensure they are worn evenly. Additionally, check for any signs of oil leaks underneath the car.

Next, move on to the interior. Test all the features, including the air conditioning, heating, and audio system. Check that all the buttons and controls work correctly. 

Inspect the seats for any tears or stains. Remember to look at the dashboard for any warning lights that may illuminate.

Under the hood, inspect the engine bay. Look for any signs of leaks or corrosion. Check the oil level, color, coolant, and transmission fluid levels. It’s also a good idea to listen for strange noises or vibrations when the engine runs.

Finally, take the Subaru Outback for a test drive. Pay attention to how it handles, accelerates, and brakes. Test all the gears and listen for any unusual noise. Take it on different road surfaces to see how it performs.

By following these steps and thoroughly inspecting the used Subaru Outback, you can make an accurate decision and get a reliable and stress-free ride. 

Remember, if you need more confidence in your inspection skills, consider bringing along a trusted mechanic for a professional opinion. 

Happy car hunting!


In conclusion, when buying a Subaru Outback, it’s essential to research and consider several factors before purchasing. 

By being aware of the common issues with specific models, considering the mileage impact, and thoroughly inspecting the car before buying, you can avoid potential headaches and make an intelligent choice.

While you should avoid the years of the Subaru Outback due to reported issues, there are also standout years that offer reliability and performance. 

The 2014, 2016, and 2019 models have received positive reviews and are worth considering if you want a stress-free ride.

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