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.
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"We have been thrilled with the performance of the all wheel drive and impressed at how little we have had to spend to maintain the mechanicals since acquiring this 2002 when new. The superb mechanical quality has outlasted the paint ( which we've redone) and the plastic components of the interior doors."

BRUCE T., WI (2002 Subaru Outback)

"The Outback hugs the road which really notice when driving in the mountains or when driving in all sorts of severe weather. Also felt secure the one time hydroplaned on Cape Cod -- tires back on the road after a brief few minutes."

Anonymous, IL (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Reliable handling, great turning radius, very good braking"

PAM H., BC (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Is a 4-cyl w/Turbo. Am so pleased w/ability to accelerate that will definitely want a similar engine if/when I purchase a new vehicle. It handles nicely & grips the road well. I'm not an "old" driver!"

Anonymous, MO (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Although there is a brief lag first, acceleration is really fast. Ride is smooth and very solid around turns."

Anonymous, OR (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Very nice handling, after replacing some oem parts with quality aftermarket parts"

VINCENT F., NY (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Fun to drive - has that little Subaru growl even after 14 years."

Anonymous, NY (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Big hesitation when wanting to accelerate - VERY annoying."

Anonymous, WA (2002 Subaru Outback)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"I am older and would like more room in the front seat and the back seat areas. I would add more up to date protective devices to my driving comfort."

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are near perfect for good lower back support and the head rests do not push the head forward so there is no support for the lower back as the modern cars do. I've been in different brands of new cars and they are all extremely uncomfortable because of the head supports ."

Anonymous, IL (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Driver seat support is terrible.Not enough options in the electric seat control."

Anonymous, MA (2002 Subaru Outback)

"There was a wind noise and whistling in the cabin for about a month before I researched common causes online, where I learned that the sound came from the side view mirrors. I was able to get the noise to go away with no tools and for free just by squeezing the plastic part together to prevent any gaps for air to whistle through, and the problem has gone away for almost a year now with no reoccurrence."

LEVI T., UT (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Leather seats, still in great condition after 14 years. Climate control is easy and fast, never a problem. The car is a bit noisy on highways, but not bothersome."

ROBIN B., CO (2002 Subaru Outback)

"The seats do have certain pressure points that can become uncomfortable after several hours. Also, the noise factor does seem to be higher than other vehicles."

CAROL F., WA (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are too rigid---not comfortable."

GARY S., MO (2002 Subaru Outback)

"Handling on the curves of the road and great in snow."

JOAN H., MO (2002 Subaru Outback)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Probably needs engine seal work, because of oil smell when driving. This seems to be a recurring problem."

Anonymous, WA (2002 Subaru Outback)

"My Subaru does not use oil. It had got me to my destinations every time. I had a flat tire once and my daughter had not left the jack in the car. I used up the battery by running the radio too long. Other than those two items and I made it to my destinations on time."

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Subaru Outback)

"We bought it for $4000 with 130,000 miles so we can't complain about the value since it's still running fine at 150,000. But filling the Subaru with premium ($35-50) after we're used to filling the Prius with regular ($20-30) is quite a shock!"

WILLIAM F., IL (2002 Subaru Outback)

"I paid $9,000. in 2005 for this vehicle which had 87,000 miles on it."

Anonymous, PA (2002 Subaru Outback)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"It is an LL Bean edition and I have admired this for a long time"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Subaru Outback)

"LL Bean, beautifully designed, a sun roof and moon roof, speakers front and back. I can't think of anything I don't like."

ROBIN B., CO (2002 Subaru Outback)
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