Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
Overall, the Subaru Legacy Outback is well conceived. Its all-wheel drive powertrain is a major plus on slippery roads. The Outback rides comfortably and its interior is reasonably roomy and quiet. But the wagon has its shortcomings: Normally competent handling can become tricky at the limit, acceleration is a bit poky, and fuel economy is unimpressive.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2000. ESC available in 2001, standard from 2009. Side air bags available from 2000, standard from 2005. Head protection air bags standard from 2005.
Road Test

Overall, the Subaru Legacy Outback is well conceived. Its all-wheel drive powertrain is a major plus on slippery roads. The Outback rides comfortably and its interior is reasonably roomy and quiet. But the wagon has its shortcomings: Normally competent handling can become tricky at the limit, acceleration is a bit poky, and fuel economy is unimpressive.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (165 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 (212 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2001 Subaru Outback owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“The rear bumper cover came loose after a relatively minor bump into a brick wall”

C L., MA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint cracking on fender”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Paint on the trim around the windows has been peeling off”

Anonymous, NJ (2001 Subaru Outback)
Rust

“The rust was everywhere there was a bolt or mount hole in the roof; roof rack mounts, rear side glass upper trim, rear hatch hinge mounts, and sunroof mounts. The whole sunroof assembly actually flew off at fwy speed when a truck passed close in the opposite direction!”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Both rear quarter panels have rusted terribly”

Anonymous, MI (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“About 6 years ago we had to have a lot of welding and body work on the suspension a d rear rocker panels. That work needs to be done again”

Gene S., NH (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rusting at one wheel well”

Anonymous, MD (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This vehicle is rusting everywhere! Paint is fading on hood, body is rusting on the inside door frame, exterior near rear wheels and underneath. Hatch handle is also rusting causing it to stick and now manually has to be pushed down before shitting hatch or it will remain in the open position and latch will not close. Also had a beak dust shield rust and come loose cutting the inside of a tire. Tire could not be repaired”

Anonymous, NC (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“both left and right quarter panels in the arch above rear wheels”

Robert F., WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust in the rear wheelwells typical of the model. Rust in rear latching mechanism”

Philip L., VT (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Extensive on rear fenders and tailgate”

Peter F., MN (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Has rust near the rear of the car”

Sheldon T., NJ (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust in rear wheel wells seen on most Subaru Outbacks of this year. I had even purchased rust warranty!”

V S., NY (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust showing up many places”

Jack N., WI (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Just spent 2000 + repairing rust around wheels and having car painted”

Joanne C., PA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust on body beneath the gas tank and on the left side over wheel”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Both rear quarter panels are exhibiting rust. Have not established cost of repairs. Will fix if cost is reasonable or let it go until it no longer will pass inspection”

Anonymous, NH (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“Rust around rear wheel wells as all Subaru Outbacks of this vintage seem to have in this environment”

Anonymous, MI (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust where the rear quarter panels meet the rear side panels. Both sides”

Anonymous, MO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Behind rear doors, front of back rear well”

Anonymous, NH (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“just seems like interior is aging quickly”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

“failed gasket at 55,000 miles,. Cylinder head rebuild at 98,000”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“This vehicle will only fire on three cylinders, varying which three at any given time. The dealer has tried to fix it at my expense, but cannot figure it out”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“3rd head gasket replacement -- 2.5l issue”

Osgo O., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car has a blown head gasket, which is endemic for that model and year. It has caused overheating regularly, which I have treated through the use of Blue Devil coolant additive. When driven at highway speeds for any distance, the treatment seems to degrade, causing the leaking head gasket problem to reemerge, necessitating another application of Blue Devil”

Aaron W., VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“2nd head gasket failure since 2014”

Anonymous, NC (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“There were oil leaks which required gasket replacement which required engine removal to fix. Also had to replace wheel bearings. I'm not sure what categories these problems fit”

Sandra G., WA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“oil leak, requires head removal, very costly”

Calvin A., HI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Second replacement of the head gasket since purchase. This time, the factory head gasket lasted only about 80,000 miles”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“2nd headgasket to blow. This time I replaced the engine with a 2011 engine with 40,000 miles on it”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“2nd issue with the same problem. Replace approx 3 years earlier”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Typical of 2001 Outback. Head gasket failed under warranty at around 20K--fixed under warranty, and drivetrain warranty extended to 80K. Now leaking oil again at 128K”

Anonymous, MA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Faulty head gasket caused coolant leakage and subsequent overheating, resulting in warping of cylinder head. Costly repairs required removal of the engine to repair/replace defective components”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Had a burning smell due to oil leaking - found out it was because of leaking head gasket. I had it done, along with timing belt because of mileage, then probably due to being disturbed, the alternator and water pump went out”

Anonymous, IN (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“there was a recall on my make and model, but i received no notification about this, and subaru won't cover it, because i didn't have a problem at the time of the recall. now radiator fluid leaks and causes a awful smell”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Coolant leak found to be head gasket failure due to faulty engine/seal design. This is 2nd time head gasket needs to be replace. First time was Subaru recall for free. Now have to decide on engine replacement -$2000-$2600”

Robert L., CT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“serious leak”

Anonymous, AK (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I knew the head gasket was a common problem in my model year, so when I started having coolant leakage without an obvious source, that was my suspicion. Otherwise a rockstar car, so worth it to have the repairs done”

Lindsey R., MD (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Uneven shifting and sluggishness, especially when on an incline. "Slapping" sound occasionally when giving more gas”

Mark R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“We had 70,000 miles on this vehicle when the engine blew up. It was 8 years old at the time so our warranty had expired but we were very upset with the problem. Also, at 50,000 miles, we had already had to replace the transmission because it went bad”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Subaru Outback Base Unsure)

“No problem with the replacement (salvaged) engine. the previuos engine seized due to a rod bearing failure”

Kenneth B., BC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“seized....and cost of replacement of compressor and drainage of system and replacement will exceed the value of the vehicle...so having replaced it”

Anonymous, ON (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When the engine was hot and the car stopped the A/C would stop working”

Joseph C., CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“noisy compressor, refrig. leak”

Calvin A., HI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wasn't cooling. Recharged it. Now is fine”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Quit working”

Anonymous, KY (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Electric wire connection”

John B., SC (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Air conditioner keep losing refrigerant due to worn seals”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Had to replace it. A non-replaceable valve gave out”

Anonymous, MO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“The compressor went out”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

“Heater core failed requiring complete disassembly of the dashboard to replace”

Anonymous, KY (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leak in heater core but almost $1000 to fix”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Refrigerent replaced at Subaru dealer, where I bought he car with less than 30000 used in 2003 replaced in 2013...now it is leaked out again, I will take itto a private garage”

Robert F., WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Seals rotted due to age - replaced and refilled system”

Brian M., GA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Hoses were old and needed replacing”

James M., CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Very slow leak--have to add more refrigerant every 3-4 years to keep things cool in summer”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“After 15 years and "O" ring gave up the ghost”

Anonymous, UT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“leaking o ring on compressor”

Anonymous, AZ (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“All of the coolant leaked out over the past 13 years. It took 2 trips to the repair shop to get it fixed. This was not a Subaru dealership”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

“Only works when ambient temp is below 80 deg. F”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Original equipment lasted 197000 miles and 16 years -AMAZING. Decided to replace to keep car performing safely since we plan to keep it on the road as our second car”

Anonymous, MA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“One was pretty badly worn and another is starting to go. Pretty costly repair and can be dangerous”

Anonymous, WI (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Bushings

“age and mileage issue”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“I had to have the fuel pump replaced. On the Ford Focus I had to have the power steering pump serviced and the system flushed”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaking fluid from fittings”

David R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Although, it's leaked for years, my mechanic has been able to keep it under control. He does say eventually I'll have to have the power steering replaced. Please...it's a 14 year old car. She doesn't owe me a thing! I love this car!”

Beckwith R., CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Lost total power steering due to failure of pump”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Original equipment lasted 197000 miles and 16 years- AMAZING. Decided to replace as we want the car to continue performing safely and intend to keep it on the road”

Anonymous, MA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“They wore out”

David R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Right rear strut corroded and broken Dealer claimed the whole assembly wouyld have to be replace. A private garage was ablt to loosen parts and replace only those needed at a lower price that the dealer”

Robert F., WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car swayed a great deal when it hit any unevenness in the road, creaked and shook”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Leaking and seems to drift a bit”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rack and pinion replaced with new”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

“Many rounds of balance and vibration including alignment, and replacing steering rack and balancing tires”

Thomas M., CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Tie rods were in need of replacing. 2nd time in life of car”

James M., CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“The tie rod end was loose and worn so I had to get it replaced”

Clark C., MT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Noise on turning --badly worn wheel bearings on the left side”

Robert P., VA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“Water leaks in when it rains, damaging the upholstery and electrical systems, and, annoyingly, dripping on the driver seat & front passenger. We're not sure where the water comes in, possibly through the moonroof. Repair folks and personal attempts to fix via silicon gel work some, for awhile. This issue will make us get rid of this car”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car has overheated five times in the past two years. The last time, after waiting an hour for the engine to cool down a bit, I was able to coast down the mountain road and get back home. The next day, I checked the radiator and coolant tanks. Bot”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Serious water leaks in trunk ( hatch back area). Had this problem in the past. At that time it was from the sunroof, And was expensive to have it tested and repaired. Don't know where it's leaking from this time”

Anonymous, NJ (2001 Subaru Outback)

“Had to change the radiator”

Thomas J., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Air leakes around driver's window”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Bad air noise on driver door over 40 MPH. bad water leak in cargo area during rain”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“fixed radiator in 2009 when timing belt broke (not milage but 6 years since last change) had to have it worked on and will replace soon”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Around moon roof. Had to be sealed, made unUSble”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Both the seals and weather-stripping have failed, the car is no longer really water tight”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sun roof leaks and water runs into cargo area”

Anonymous, GA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The seal/weather stripping on the driver and passenger doors, as well as the tail lift door allow air and moisture in. The sunroof also leaks. When snow on the car melts off, the water leaks through the front dome light onto the console. The water al”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“windows had insufficent insulation and & had no cage to run in”

Arthur C., NC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“wind noise is a result of the weakening where the front windows insert into a stabilizer on both front doors. The stabilizers wear out and allow wind noise”

Anonymous, GA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wind noise when driving 50+MPH and some other noise of unknown origin at highway speeds 60+MPH”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“It's pretty loud on the highway, it seems to come from the drivers side front window. I have to turn the radio up loud. All I can say is, 'so what?'”

Beckwith R., CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“driver's side window towards upper front of window some how always has wind noise while traveling and no one can figure it out”

Kathryn G., FL (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Driver's side and passenger side mirrors, where the mirror met the A-pillar, there is some kind of vortex, or venturi effect happening that creates an annoying sound”

David A., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Replaced it”

Doug P., WA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Totally rusted out and fell off”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited Unsure)

“Failed due to age - replaced”

Brian M., GA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Old age”

Anonymous, UT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When we take our car for its emissions test every other year, it fails. We take it to a repair place, where we are told that the catalytic converter, among other things, is failing to meet emissions standards. They make $80 worth of repairs, which”

Dave S., WA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Presumably due to normal wear and tear, the exhaust system developed a few leaks and had to be replaced”

C L., MA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Exhaust has become increasingly louder over the past few months. Estimated $700 to replace. I have not had repair done”

Sharon G., MI (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“For last several years, when temp is below about 30 degrees, I have a strong exhaust smell in the cabin. Dealer says they run rich when started but this continues. Have to keep heater on recirculate to keep from asphyxiating”

Anonymous, IN (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

“Muffler was the original and needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NS (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“The exhaust system is original. I have retired it by welding. I am told in one year I will need a whole new exhaust system”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“replacement muffler only lasted 2 years”

Anonymous, NJ (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“see previous answer”

Stephen A., QC (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Have had some rusting issues with the mid-pipe especially, but the car did live in upstate New York for a good chunk of its life, so not unexpected”

Lindsey R., MD (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“most likely just an age / mileage issue as the entire exhaust system had to be replaced and, as the parts are only available "OEM" seemed quite expensive. But after 13 years and c. 200,000 km, this may well be an entirely reasonable replacement”

Stephen A., QC (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“Alternator drive-pulley failed (disintegrated) while on a long road trip. Resulted in loss of battery power and lights on a dark country road”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Serpentine belt wore out and tore”

Mark R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Difficult to fill up gas tank

“When filling up, we have to continually restart the fueling process. The evap/hoses are an issue with this car”

Osgo O., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Random smell of hot raw fuel coming from engine (second time). Hard to find source”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Hose connection leak”

Anonymous, WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Garage said I needed to replace the head gasget,but it would be very expensive. I decided not to replce it”

Arthur C., NC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket leak. Had the heads resurfaced and new gaskets put in”

Anonymous, GA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Valve seals replaced. It was a huge job requiring the engine to be removed”

Anonymous, GA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“slow oil leak over past year. replaced gaskets”

Anonymous, NH (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Main seal leak”

Anonymous, WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Slight oil leak from one of the head gaskets. Head gasket was previously replaced around 130k miles. I believe this to be a design issue for this engine as Subaru has recommended addition of an oil seal conditioner at every oil change”

Anonymous, NC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“head gasket”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“perpetual "check engine" light due to emissions sensor that was replaced. Codes for "check engine" change & too generic to diagnose. Cannot turn off "check engine" light”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The egr on the V6 VDC, is not standard and cannot be offline tested. Multiple units have failed in my car and the check engine light is continuing to be illuminated because of this unit. You can reset the computer and it will turn on again within minutes”

Jimm B., WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Fuel pump

“Complete failure resulting in being stranded on the road”

Thomas M., CO (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“very expensive to replace”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car refused to start. Service supervisor reported that the fuel pump was not operating and needed to be replaced”

Harold F., WV (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Failed while driving on highway”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“sensor went bad and kept the check engine light on. no issue with how the car functioned”

Morgan F., PA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light often on due to O2 sensor which was replaced, so now "check engine" light has many different codes when diagnosing for problems, gave up & just have it on all the time now”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car "choked" upon purchase in 2004, replaced one or both of sensors ..can't remember. Car ran reliably if with little power uphill in higher altitudes. Currently, check engine light comes on every time we reach a certain altitude. Will eventually”

Joanne C., PA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check Engine Light remains on with noone able to fix. Local mechanic, subaru specialist, or dealer”

Anonymous, NC (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Hoses that connect fuel lines to injection rack crack and loosen during cold weather causing intense gas smell in the cabin. Has happened twice in the last 2 years”

Steve T., MD (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“The calipers have been replaced 4 times under warranty of the dealership. Either they do not know what they are doing (not likely) or there is a systematic issue yet to be determined”

Jimm B., WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Parking brake

“The parking brake was loose and needed to be tightened twice”

C L., MA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The Subaru is a heavy vehicle, i guess i'm not surprised it uses up brakes. We live in 'hilly' country”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Have replaced brake pads and rotors multiple times. Rarely last over about 18 months. I don't brake abruptly or excessively so it seems brakes should last longer”

Anonymous, IN (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“calipers locking up on the brake pads. The original parts failed twice one on each side of the car”

Jimm B., WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Had breaks and rotors replaced at Merchants uneven wear on brakes had to replace pads at Pep boys”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“they warp rapidly”

Donald B., OR (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Rotors warp when they get warm”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“right rear brake line corroded and failed”

Anonymous, NJ (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed new pads and aligment”

Robert N., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Age-related problem--had to replace one of the CV differentials”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“Rebuild rear drive shaft. Replaced fuel pump, fuel filter, combination switch. Replaced valve cover gasket and right front axle SB 8011”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“Drivers side axle had to be replaced because a universal joint in the axle was leaking grease onto the transmission housing, and the heated oil was creating a burning smell. This axle joint is not related to the CV joing”

Anonymous, NC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Cracked driveshaft (2 places) Also had to replace rear axle VERY expensive due to AWD”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Just had a leaking axle that needed to be replaced to avoid future complications. Axle cost was about $400”

Alex L., CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Differential

“Experienceing a loud clicking noise when the vehicle is in motion. Clicking is proportional to speed. I have not had it taken apart to confirm the root cause”

Anonymous, WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transfer case

“Sharp turning vibrated the vehicle. And, would vibrate at high speeds (70+ mph). We replaced it”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“two sides of joint were frozen, so drive shaft only articulated in one direction”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“cv joint leaking grease. axles replaced about a year apart”

Ellen F., FL (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“While on a long trip it began making metallic grinding noises and I had to stop, buy a new one and find someone to change it before continuing. Failure at some point was expected because the rubber boot had split open a few years ago”

Anonymous, CT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“Even after swithch replacement the lower heat left front sear does not work...possibly worn or loose wires in the seat itself...not a BIG deal, but none the less if it is an accessory on the car you want it to work correctly”

Robert F., WI (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“they do not work”

Anonymous, NV (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Seat controls - movement

“Drivers seat is motor driven and no longer works. Can no longer move forward or backward”

Anonymous, MI (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Does not operate”

Anonymous, MD (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“tailgate hinge mount area was so badly rusted out that new metal had to be welded in and new holes drilled. And this has always been a west coast car, having spent its entire life in San Francisco until I bought it last year”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“the outback gate (5th door) frequently won't release the latch after opening so I have to lever the handle to the closed position before closing”

Anonymous, ON (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The backing to the tailgate came off, is very expensive to replace and difficult to put back on. When baking up the back-up-lights now reflect into my vision making it difficult to see anything at all”

Robert N., CA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front driver's seatbelt fails to retract anymore”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

“A metal pipe in the cooling system burst. A few months later, a rubber pipe in the system burst. In both cases, the engine overheated and I had to stop until I could get the problem repaired”

Anonymous, MA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)

“It overheats when the temperature is above 30C¿”

Anonymous, QC (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car has had overheating problems due to a blown head gasket. I have used Blue Devil coolant treatment multiple times, with success, but the head gasket problem remains and overheating will continue until the head gasket is repaired permanently”

Aaron W., VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Slow coolant leak at first. Stop leak gave me 4 - 5 months. Car overheated and had to park until decision made to replace engine. Two years earlier replaced radiator”

Robert L., CT (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Both our Subarus' radiators failed at the return hose nipple. The nipple sheared off requiring a radiator replacement”

Anonymous, KY (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“radiator began leaking and was replaced. Note that this is the 2nd time the radiator has been replaced, the first time was by the dealer at 60k miles”

Anonymous, NJ (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had a radiator leak that resulted in replacing hoses and thermostat”

Kosuke V., VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

“Over the years there have been at least 5 headlamps replaced for this car (previously owned a Saturn for over 10 yrs and replaced the headlamp one time)”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback Limited Unsure)

“taillight lens cracked and filled up with water”

Samuel W., VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Left tailgate brakelight corrosion. Water leak along window/tailgate seal caused ultimate corrosion”

Anonymous, NV (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The engine warning light comes on always and when our mechanic looked at it he couldn't find anything wrong. This was 6 years ago. Sometimes if we tightened the gas cap the light will go off until we get gas again”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“ABS light comes on for no apparent reason. After cross country travel had the brakes & wheels fixed. The light still came on after repair (along with the check engine light). After ignoring both for about a month (car did not act poorly) lights st”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Subaru Outback Limited Unsure)
Keyless entry

“Actually, I must have clicked on the wrong thing. I want to say that a good portion of our Subaru dashboard does not light up, making night driving difficult. The estimated costs for repairing this don't seem worth it for a car this old, so we've p”

Dave S., WA (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Going through deeper snow seems to strain the clutch producing a burning smell. I've had to have clutch repair on this vehicle twice”

Anonymous, AK (2001 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The clutch had to be replaced, and also the flywheel. It cost $1300”

Gene S., NH (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It was the original clutch we replaced so we thought it had lasted a long time. There were no problems replacing it”

Anonymous, CO (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This was the 2nd clutch replacement since we bought the car in 2006”

Anonymous, CT (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace clutch & have clutcjhpedal adjusted Clutch replacement VERY expensive due to AWD”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“2014 was the second alternator i've had installed, and because the battery is the first suspect, i've replaced the battery twice, although nothing was wrong with the battery”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This was not the manufacturers fault. Rats chewed up the erg harness that controlled the O2. The parts replacement had difficult with this model and sent the wrong harness”

Jimm B., WA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Starter

“Starter was replaced a few months ago. I could hear the solenoid clicking but it would not turn despite have plenty of battery power”

Kosuke V., VA (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine would occasionally not turn over when key turned on. Usually occurred when cold in the morning. Had to replace starter”

John L., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

“Hard shifting during cold temperatures”

David R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Won't shift until warmed up for 10 minutes or shifted manually”

David R., OR (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Leak at seal where electronic control cable connects to transmission. Had to replace $285.00 cable”

E G., NC (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Required transmission flush and pan gasket. Quite expensive”

Steve T., MD (2001 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

“Electronic dashboard went dark”

Joseph C., CA (2001 Subaru Outback H6 VDC 3.0-L 6 Cyl)
Steering wheel controls

“turn signal problems”

Anonymous, AK (2001 Subaru Outback Base 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Change Vehicle