In-depth Reviews

Subaru Outback owner reviews

"The Subaru Outback is a practical family car and it's also good off-road – but rivals are more stylish"

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.6 out of 5

64%of people would recommend this car to a friend.

Owner Rating

  • 2reviews
  • 5reviews
  • 2reviews
  • 1reviews
  • 1reviews

Common Problems

  • Electrics (3 cases)
  • Engine (1 cases)
  • Electrics, Engine, Gearbox / clutch (1 cases)
  • Electrics, Other (1 cases)

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

2.0D SE Premium Lineartronic

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

40
Review
For some reason I wanted to go back to Subaru, having previously had a Forester which I can say was the best car I have ever owned. Was sort of forced into a diesel at the time in order to get the Eyesight system (brilliant!) with some reasonable semblance of economy. As you would expect, the Subaru has done everything expected of it with nonchalance: it's just one of those cars that you know can handle anything the road throws at it, and as such it gives you confidence. When the satnav says "go over the roundabout" I think "yes, I could"! On the negative side, the battery goes flat if not used for 10 days or so. Having had to call on the breakdown service on the first occasion at 11 pm in Manchester airport, I had the car checked out and there was nothing wrong. On subsequent occasions I have had a dealer suggest to me that I should keep a starter pack in the car, and Subaru suggested that I should keep the car on trickle charge when not in use. One dealer told me that the car will draw 0.3amp just to keep the memories in the electronic systems - seems a lot to me. Seems like a throwback to the 70s when you had to take your car for a run every week just to keep it going. Apart from the above, I would thoroughly recommend the Outback .
Reliability
Apart from battery issues as mentioned, very good.
Performance

3 out of 5

But it's not really about performance is it, it's more more about the fact it will just keep on going regardless.
Running Cost

3 out of 5

Pity Subaru don't do a service deal like other companies.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

sx diesel

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

42
Review
First class ! I bought this car having had two previous Subarus which were completely trouble free. The car feels very safe in the worst of weather as is very well put together, it is creak and rattle free. The dealer network, while only small, has always been excellent. A highly recommended car.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Premium SE Manual

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

48
Review
With seven months of ownership under my belt and over 25,000 miles covered to date, I can confirm that the Outback is a very solid and reliable car. With an average commute of over 100 miles each way to work, the time passes in comfort and security, no matter the weather, traffic or general road conditions. On a steady run between 70 to 75 mph, I can see over 50mpg and a range of over 600 miles between fill-ups. The interior with Sat Nav, leather, a large sunroof and excellent seats soak up the miles and I leave the vehicle without any aches or pains. Excellent overall visibility mean confident positioning of the car on the road. More power from the engine would be preferred, and I may consider tuning at some stage. With two services done to date, tyre wear has been good (close to 6mm left) and maintenance trouble-free (although the known diesel glow-plug issue saw them changed!). Overall, a choice for someone who values solid build quality and a name to trust.
Reliability
Aside form the known diesel engine glow page issue, no other concerns
Performance
Engine needs more power that is clear (although the torque sweet spot is generally fine). At 148bhp, this really should be >180bhp. Tuning will be something I will look into in the future.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

With over 600 miles between fill-ups this was a basic need given my mileage. See an easy +50mpg on a long run. Service costs are not unreasonable for the type of car.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

2.0D SE Premium Lineartronic

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

34
Review
Since my first review, I have had further problems, all based on the electrics, the most recent being the most serious as it involved intermittent and unpredictable total loss of power, leaves one feeling very vulnerable. In total, this car has been off the road at dealers for over 9 weeks in its first year. Doesnt say much for Subaru's reliability.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

disel eyesight premium

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

27
Review
Subaru make a big deal of their new eyesight technology, previously I have had two Outbacks with no problems, however, this model seems to be different, the eyesight system has failed intermittently since 2 weeks of purchase (300 miles) and despite numerous trips to the garage has as yet not functioned consistently with Subaru being less than helpful re provision of spare parts etc. It would be interesting to see how common this problem is with the new Outback

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

2.0d se premium

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

43
Review
This Outback is not as good as the 2012 Forester I traded in for it. The Forester had 90k miles on it and had never given me any trouble apart from some of the control button lights on the drivers doors failing. But the Outback is nowhere near as problem free. 1. Same light faults as Forester. 2. Sat Nav won't update. 3. Glow plugs failed three times in 12 months. 4. Clutch judder when cold. 5. Front wheel alignment easily put out by speed bumps, having to get it corrected every 4 months. 6. Brakes are not that good for a big, heavy car. Dealer and Subaru UK not very helpful once the warranty has expired. The usual about if you didn't pay for the work there's no warranty on it after the 3 years are up. Absolute pathetic customer care.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

2.0 D SE Premium Lineratronic

Year of registration

2016

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

40
Review
I wanted a car that was understated but did the job of being a good solid car with comfort and security and with my wife having a Subaru Forester that she loves I felt I should try the Outback having had other estates and family saloons. The car is solid, well built, reliable, comfortable and gets on with the job without being fussy. It holds the road superbly and feels safe at all times. I think it maybe a while before I change to another make or model as I suspect this will not be my last Subaru Outback. What also makes its special is that the dealership is well established and all the staff know the product so well and are so helpful. We cannot speak highly enough of the Subaru cars we have and the dealership
Reliability

5 out of 5

Very well built
Performance

5 out of 5

It does the job that is required.
Running Cost

4 out of 5

Not great but more than happy as there are more important issues that I wanted in the car

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

SE Lineatronic

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

44.5
Review
I live in a rural community and have previously owned two Legacy Estates and an XV interspersed with Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi. I just keep coming back to Subaru. Why Subaru? Frankly, when the conditions get bad a Subaru doesn't stop. The car is extremely well built and interiors are very functional, it is very comfortable for long journeys and will accommodate 5 six footers without having to fiddle with the seats. The Eyesight technology is very useful (once you get enough confidence to used to it properly). The 7 speed CVT auto box is not my favourite but despite appearances performs well and the X Drive all terrain system works well. The Outback has a top class Ncap Safety rating. Dealerships are thinly spread but customer service from the ones I have used is good. These vehicles are not out to win the Glamour stakes. They are well build honest cars that are good all rounders and built to last.
Reliability
A faulty glow plug fixed the next day. Nothing other than that.
Performance
Better than it seems. Smooth rather than startling with the CVT gearbox. Manual is more engaging.
Running Cost
Average MPG 44.5 since delivery and 6500 miles. No service costs

Owner Review

3 out of 5

Version

SE Premium

Year of registration

15

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

39.5
Review
Bought the Outback in August as a company car for its supposed reliability. In the six months of ownership apart from four new tyres £550 and a £500 service its had the exhaust valve unit replaced £510 and the glow plugs £430 changed today with the engine warning lights just come on again, meaning another trip to the garage and the adaptive cruise/eyesight not working as they cut out with the engine light on. Who knows what error code it throws up this time! When working it's a great car. Very comfortable on long journeys and the adaptive cruise is brilliant. However, I am really disappointed with how much it's costing me compared to my previous Passat, which I put over 100,000 miles on and only needed the usual tyres, pads etc and a Mazda 6 which I had for two years of fault-free driving. Part of buying this was the thought of the balance of the five year warranty but this actually only covers the engine and drivetrain which the exhaust and glow plugs are not part of. Either way, I doubt I could buy another Subaru after this one.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

2.0d premium lineartronic with eyesight

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

44
Review
This is my 5 th Subaru (2004 Forester, and 4 Outbacks since). Most refined and premium car yet. Does nothing brilliantly but is a super practical family car and is very good at that. Have looked at alternatives down the years but have always come back to Subaru because of that. No other car has the mix of practicality, reliability, standard kit , individuality and price that this car has. I have never been let down with any of my Subarus. I also have a very good Subaru garage which is very important. This is the best Outback yet!

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Se Premium lineartronic

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used
Review
Replacing an Audi A6 I wanted the size but not the cost. The outback did that well. I was however sceptical on what I would think after a few months but still went ahead and bought one on the promise of reliability and a drive to get a boxer engine. Having now done 17,000 miles and been to Scandinavia, the Alps and a few other spike places in Europe, I can't praise the car enough. Everything just works as it should. It's reliable although maybe not as top notch on mpg as I was getting with the Audi, I do however feel that I'm getting a better deal overall and that makes me happy. No problems so far at all. Service was fine and I'm happy.
Reliability

5 out of 5

Absolutely top notch, no issues at all.
Performance
Performance is more than acceptable although going from a six cylinder to a four cylinder still makes itself felt sometimes.
Running Cost
Running costs are ok. Service costs and mpg are ok although not amazing.

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