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The Subaru Outback has a quiet cabin, a spacious rear-seat and a capacious cargo area. Handling is good in routine driving, but clumsy when pushed to the limits. With its four-cylinder engine and CVT, the Outback gets very good fuel economy for this class. Acceleration is just adequate, though, and the engine can be noisy when it's pressed. The optional six-cylinder engine is quieter and quicker, though less fuel efficient.
Alerts
There are 13 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.
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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.
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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

The Subaru Outback has a quiet cabin, a spacious rear-seat and a capacious cargo area. Handling is good in routine driving, but clumsy when pushed to the limits. With its four-cylinder engine and CVT, the Outback gets very good fuel economy for this class. Acceleration is just adequate, though, and the engine can be noisy when it's pressed. The optional six-cylinder engine is quieter and quicker, though less fuel efficient.

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
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (170 hp)
  • 3.6-liter 6 (256 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Subaru Outback owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

12V power plug

“I plugged in my Sirius radio and GPS into 2 different outlets. The fuse blew, and the outlet in the console has not worked since”

Anonymous, MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“While using a usb adapter it would short out causing the airbags to short out and the seat alarm to go off continuously”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“Wouldn't stay on bright”

Anonymous, UT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Headlight bulbs do not hold up very well and it seems - I was told by service dept the bulbs burn out more quickly because they burn hot”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Have had to replace two headlights at cost of over $100 each time - not happy about that”

Anonymous, ME (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Bright light relay went bad - replaced by dealer (free, out of warranty) after I explained how they could find the defect in the daytime running light relay per Subaru forum”

Anonymous, IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Left headlight went out”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Burned out ( one)”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Headlights on this model are impossible to replace without taking the tire off and removing the inner fender. Had to take it to a mechanic which cost me an extra $30 per replacement lamp and parts of two afternoons”

Stephen W., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“One of the headlights will go our and they must be changed by the dealer, can't get to them without disassembling the wheel well”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Each headlight has gone out. Recently a rear light has gone out. I have had previous cars for years without a light burning out. I was disappointed with the headlight service when a light went out again within a week and another subaru dealer discove”

Anonymous, MT (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“1 headlight burned out. I had it replaced by a non-Subaru shop. Very difficult to clamp it in correctly. Mechanic warned me that he was not able to seat the headlight bulb correctly. It sat crooked and other cars flashed their beams at me. By the time I got it to a Subaru dealer, the heat of the lamp had melted the housing and I had to pay $350 to replace the entire lighting unit -- driving lights, headlights, signal lights, etc”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Low Beam headlights were replaced due to recall notice”

Stephen C., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Headlight lamp failed, had to be replaced. Did it myself, but it was VERY difficult to get to (had to access by taking inner fender off), many scratches and abrasions trying to reach it. Still not sure it got properly seated! Wouldn't surprise me if it failed again soon, but then I'll have the dealer do it. Whew!”

Thomas S., MO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Low beam bulb burned out - VERY difficult to replace DIY”

Anonymous, IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“They burn out often and changing them is ridiculously difficult for such an important item”

Dennis L., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“They keep burning out at an alarming rate. Both the high and low beams. The DRL module quit also. And the lenses cloud over and make the lights useless as well as unsafe. But that issue, cloudy lenses, seems to be common to ALL cars with that type of cover. This is dangerous. Why doesn't the government demand the use of a material that does not get cloudy?”

Chris G., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Some how your computer has decided that I have TWO Outbacks and is asking me these questions twice. I have only one Outback”

Chris G., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced 3 headlights”

Howard F., NJ (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“apparently there was some sort of short in the system and they had to remove the entire front bumper to correct the headlight problem”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Both head light bulbs had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NM (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Have had to replace headlights more frequently than any Subaru we've ever owned (this is our 8th Subaru)--at least four times”

R C., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed to change several bulbs - with subaru one has to take apart front end to get to the lights and this is expensive There is no easy way to get to the front lights also subaru radio died - had to replace in addition the backup camera died”

Neil S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I replaced one headlight 3 times and the other twice. Subaru said they have headlight issues but found no solution. I sold the car due to this continuous problem”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The passenger side low beam headlight has been replaced twice since 2012. And it's a pain in the ass to change it yourself”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Lights not easy to acsess”

Michael S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Three headlights have blown in the past 5 months”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Water got inside headlight and gets fogy in cold weather”

Colin W., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Our low beam headlights have prematurely burnt out. More than the bulbs being fairly expensive, replacing them is very tedious if done independently or expensive if done via a mechanic. I have come to understand Subaru has a known problem with the automatic headlight setting... it causes a surge which burns out the bulbs. To my knowledge, Subaru has not offered a fix to date”

Les B., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced both lowbeams 4 to 5 times since purchased new”

Henry C., GA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Same issue as headlights - seems like the bulbs burn out more frequently than they should”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Fog light came loose in housing, dealer claimed that I struck something( I do not believe it so) Cost over $100 out of pocket”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Puddle lights did not work...replaced under warrenty”

Bob P., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Puddle lights on driver side stopped functioning. Dealership said "problem with harness" repaired with out cost to me”

K H., IA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Puddle LED lights stopped working”

Eric N., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Puddle lights have shorted out on drivers side. Although a $200 accessory (both sides) they want over $450 to replace on side!!!”

Stuart K., ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Shorts found in fog lights, license plate lights and tail/brake lights. Three tries to fix”

Robert I., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Fog lights and tail lights regularly burn out”

Chris G., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“See the previous comment”

Chris G., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Since new, I've replaced 6 running lights, 3 headlights and both strings of puddle lights”

Howard F., NJ (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Several bulbs burned out”

K M., OH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“brake lights - died - acceptable but the back up camera died - not acceptable”

Neil S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“All four front running lights failed at once. Again, Subaru had no answer”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

“I have to press multiple times, sometimes, to get driver or all doors open”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“2x reset key code at $60 each time and airbag lamp replacement-Cost $358”

Lawrence M., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

“Warning system displays but the tires are fine. Reset by dealer but continues to display”

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Tire pressure monitor registers "false positive" a couple of times a year--weather changes?”

R C., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
USB port

“no longer works”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

“Warning lights come on unexpectedly--dealer hasn't been able to diagnose problem. Car seems to perform okay”

R C., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The check engine light and cruise control light both came on at the same time and wouldn't go out. After trouble shooting by the dealership (like they had never fixed this problem before and without calling Subaru for help), they found a loose wire in the wiring harness near the fire wall”

Tom F., IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“All warning lights came on twice while driving”

Anonymous, WV (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“4 warning lights come on at once and when the car is checked I am told I didn't put the gas cap on right. I don't believe that. I think there is a problem with the emission sensors and gas. The problem has happened 3 times now, all on long (hours long) trip after I get gas. One of the warning lights means you aren't suppose to drive but I do because I know there is nothing wrong with the car”

Anonymous, NM (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Warning lights randomly come on”

Anonymous, AL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“"check engine" light comes on sporadically, usually without diagnosable reason. Same with tire inflation warning, although once it was accurate (nail in tire)”

R C., MT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

“Recall over the motor cover”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Recall due to potential fire hazard”

Carl B., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Recall on wiper motor”

Anonymous, NE (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Will fix under warranty”

John K., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This was a recall”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“Windshield wiper switch went bad and had to be replaced”

Jonathan O., MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

“When putting the car in reverse there is a delay before the camera comes on. The display tells me the car is a Subaru. I know that already”

S A., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“The backup camera shows a blue screen for a few seconds then completely disappears”

Crystal T., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“broke down and doesn't work”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Back up camera works intermittently”

David S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Does not work, blue screen”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Screen in rear view mirror goes blue from time to time; distance lines are obscured from time to time by heavy lines. Screen goes completely blank (no image) and screen shows no image of rear”

Harold S., MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Camera no longer functions”

Anonymous, RI (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“I listen to audio books and if I miss a thought I cannot reverse just a short distant. I have to go back to the beginning of the track which can be quite long sometimes. This will prevent me from buying a foreign car again”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Just stopped working and it ticks me off because it was an expensive item for the car, and the dealer suggested I just purchase a replacement system”

James A., OK (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Thermometer stopped functioning. Also remaining miles to drive on tank of gas stopped functioning”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“unable to use both jack plugs at same time - only one at a time will work”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car and bluetooth don't always communicate well”

John B., VT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Have to unplug iPhone and have iPhone speaker working, then plug back in b4 it transmits through car speakerstt”

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I am not technologically sophisticated enough to figure this out for myself and need the dealership to help me”

James A., OK (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Unreliable”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Not intuitive. Poor instruction manual. Dealer had difficulty determing how to stop the navigation system. Adjusting sound quality takes an engineer”

S A., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Difficult to input destination. Menu and controls difficult to understand”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“I find the navigation system too restrictive given the limitations when driving. A passenger can't enter anything without stopping the car. On a highway, this feels almost as dangerous as the driver entering information while driving”

C S., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“unreliable, difficult to use, counter intuitive”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Does not provide as much info (e.g., announcing street names) and is not as reliable (e.g., indicates the wrong side of the road for a site) as our Garmin was”

Anonymous, NL (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“GPS screen would freeze and not refresh with current state information”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Navigation system freezes up and the buttons do not function . GPS sometimes fails to work. Many times the GPS takes the longest route Memory function on GPS has failed”

Stuart K., ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Phone voice sounded like being underwater on receiving end”

Steve L., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Paired with my first iPhone 2nd iPhone paired for one day and cannot get to pair again”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Horrible bluetooth interface; very difficult to pair, often locks out phone, can only register one phone. very poor microphone quality; dealership says this is all "normal"”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This bluetooth system is the most difficult to use of any cars I have ever paired with my iPhone”

C S., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Still does not pair consistently. Had trouble with radio which is built into naviagation”

David H., IN (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Since the dealer replaced the amplifier twice (still buzzing annoyingly), I cannot get my new iPhone to pair with the Bluetooth at all. Also, the "calendar" doesn't work anymore, even with this brand new system”

Brenda H., IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Amplifier broke...replaced under warrenty”

Bob P., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Radio would go to full volume for no reason at all and could not turn off without turning vehicle off, this is very dangerious as it is sudden. Dealer had to replace with a new unit”

Anthony S., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Sirius cuts out so often that it is frustrating to listen to. Also the radio will often change stations with no provocation. This is the Pioneer system that came with the car. Their GPS system is also not as informative or reliable as our previous Ga”

Anonymous, NL (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“There is a constant buzzing or humming noise when the car is running or even with just the key in the ignition turned to "on." Under warranty, have had the amplifier replaced twice and now the third one is doing it again. Starts in cold temps”

Brenda H., IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“pinched wire”

Anonymous, OK (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“In warm weather (>60) speakers crackle and stop working. Errr”

Anonymous, WY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel controls

“The dealer replaced the volume control for the sound system and it broken once again and now out of warranty”

James D., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“volume control and mute button on steering wheel”

David U., BC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“volume and mute controls on radio”

David U., BC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Steering wheel control buttons don't always do what they should. Often, the volume button will change the radio station or input mode and vice versa”

John B., VT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Voice command is quirky. I speak very carefully when "dialing by name" and have to "cancel" and try again about half the time”

Crystal T., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Voice control requires exact words, has strange time-outs, and is generally not worth the trouble”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“no volume control when using bluetooth for the phone. Volume is set to very high”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 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

Antilock system (ABS)

“The abs light came on during a trip. Nearest Subaru dealer reset comport system under warranty at no cost”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

“Front calipers marred the roters - both not warranteed. My local mechanic discovered in annual inspection. Very unusual for standard gearbox”

Steve B., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brakes engaging causing premature wear - brakes replaced under warranty”

Gary K., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“drive side rear caliper had a frozen pin that prevented the caliper movement”

Joseph C., NH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

“Pads and rotors replaced around 26,000 miles”

Milagros O., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“brake pads replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“After 77,000 miles had to have regular brake pad and caliper replacement”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Live on a dirt road and brakes get full of mud & crud when driving”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

“Needed new brakes pads at 18000”

C J., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed new brakes all around at 21000 miles. Service not performers by dealer. Dealer replaced front brake pads again 800 miles later. Claimed shop used non-Subaru brakes. I was "taken" by the dealer who returned the pads to me. They are fine a”

Norma W., NY (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“Rear brakes needed to be replaced. This the first time in my 55 years of driving the rear brakes wore out in 35,000 miles”

Micheal H., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“rear pads and rotors wore out after 28000 miles”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brakes needed replacing at 40,000 KM. Unacceptable. Dealer rationale: we do not use our breaks enough”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brake, disk and pads had to be replaced at less than 30000miles. Installer indicated this is a problem with this model”

Peter S., NH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced rear brake pads and machined rotors at 49,700 miles. Seems premature for rear brakes. Front pads still OK at over 57K miles”

Anonymous, MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brake pads where replaced and disk turned on warranty”

Pierre L., QC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brakes replaced at 30,000 at cost of $750.00 Front brakes replaced twice so far”

Judith H., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“At less than 35000 miles I had to replace pads and rotors both front and rear. This car lives in a rural area where there is little stop and go traffic”

Peter S., NH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brake pads needed replacement at 30K miles”

Anonymous, MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced rear brakes at 47,000 miles. I don't know if this is regular wear and tear or premature”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear brakes needed replacement at 20,000 miles”

Anonymous, MD (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Not sure how premature it was, but the brake pads needed replacing and i don't drive the car that much. I work at home and seldom use the car so i was surprised at the brake wear”

Doug M., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Have had to change pads and rotors 3 times in last 35000 miles. Have used different vendors for parts with same result. Car has not been in major accident to cause problem”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Have had to have the brakes replaced fully, front and back”

Christine B., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

“Rotars need replacement at 52000 miles even though the original pads did not need replacement . I was told the rotors were made thinner to save weight”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front rotors had to be replaced at around 26,000 miles, along with the pads. I don't know if this is normal or excessive wear. I don't think we're especially hard on brakes”

Milagros O., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“rotors have had to be resurfaced since car was purchased. Never had this problem before and I have owned many cars”

Anonymous, NM (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The rear brakes were screaming coming down a mountain, after a bit of this and that the shop showed me where the edges on each side of the normal wear were rusted badly. When the pad come in contact with the rust it caused the screaming noise. By the”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rotors needed replacement. This item was selected due to cost. It was a typical full brake service that was required and this is relatively costly at the dealership”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car required front rotor replacement at in 50,000 miles. The dealership also said the rear rotors were almost down to minimum allowable thickness. We chose to only replace the front rotors plus new pads on all four positions. The bill was $580. We do not drive in the mountains or do anything else that should have led to rotor wear. I have never needed new rotors on a car with this few miles”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rotors needed resurfacing although little wear on the pads”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“2nd time replaced in 4 years”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Brake pads needed replaced”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Some interior noises; frequent brake squeaking; frequent odd road hum/noise”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Water on passenger side floor from blocked drain”

Jeanne C., OH (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“In 2014 the air conditioner was leaking water into the passenger side floor. The problem was fixed, however now in 2015 the same problem has returned, car going in for service next week”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear hatch window seal leak”

Anonymous, BC (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Experienced leaking into the passenger side a year after having car and again last year. We are wold it was due to a clogged hose from the windshield, one that we cannot clear ourselves..so involves a service call. But, crossing fingers have not ex”

Sharon K., MA (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“When it rained puddles formed on the rear trunk liner. Dealer said the top brake light was leaking, replaced it for $180 and the problem is gone”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Third bake light in hatch leaked water”

Robert M., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“REAR HATCH LEAKS WATER FROM RAIN OR CAR WASH”

Anonymous, SD (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“rear windshield leaks from top into the back of the car”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear window weather stripping has loosened and causes/allows air noise”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear cargo area loose trim clamps on rear door”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“We live in Michigan. With the onset of cold weather, or a cold snap, the dash rattles and squeaks over bumps. Nothing during the summer”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A rattle in the passenger front door”

Kathleen M., NV (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“On going issue with front suspension rattles on dirt roads and we live on a dirt road!”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The brakes make a clunking noise when you put on the brakes”

Karen T., TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Makes a lot of noise when beginning acceleration. Very annoying. We think it has something to do with the brakes but not sure”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Unsure)

“Lift gate required adjustment. Repair completed under warrantee”

Dewayne H., MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Loud rattle from front end going over bumps. Dealer determined that front disc brake calipers had excessive freeplay and installed what they called a disc brake kit under warranty”

David W., WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Exhaust pipe rattle been back to dealer three times and still have rattle”

Robert K., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“noise affiliated with brake drums over rough road”

David U., BC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“brake drum rattles over gravel roads”

David U., BC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front suspension squeeking noise when going over speed bumbs”

Pierre L., QC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Severe thumping/rattling coming from front driver side suspension or brake system. Was never diagnosed by dealer even after 8-10 complaints”

Marcel M., TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Minor Interior noise from dashboard and rear cargo bay. Heat shield rattles at low RPMs”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rattle in the suspension/driveline on the right side”

Steve G., ID (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“sun roof rattles”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Heat shield came loose and rattled. Was repaired 2 years ago and is now loose and rattling again”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“Combination of engine noise and wind”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“LOTS OF ROAD NOISE”

Anonymous, SD (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“This is my second outback , my first outback had terrible wind noise coming from the passenger side window. My current outback does have a quieter ride however when driving over 50 in the cold weather it sometimes has a terrible wind noise as if your”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The front passenger side window does not close properly at times. It is an intermittent problem. Also, the engine is very loud almost all the time”

Kathryn F., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The Continental tires are extremely noisy, taken back to dealer 2 times for loud singing noise. Replaced with Fusion Tires and now very quiet!!”

John W., NH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Pasager side window had a wind noise problem since car was new”

Marcel M., TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wind and road noise is quite noticeable at highway speeds”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“system going off on dash”

Hugh D., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited Unsure)

“An emission control pipe failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NH (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Catalytic converter”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel cap

“check engine light came on and the fuel cap had to be replaced”

Tom H., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Leak in fuel vacuum system. Twice! Lost cruise control each time.Replaced fuel cap first time under warranty. Reset warning lights second time. Drivable each time but no cruise. Fault can be reset IF driven 6-8 miles 4 to five times. Nuisance more th”

Gary W., MO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A self defined "minor leak" caused almost every alarm on the dashboard to flash and disabled the cruise control during a long road trip. The leak was never found and the code was reset with no re-occurance”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The cruise control goes out & then it's always blamed on the fuel cap which has been replaced. It's frustrating because the cruise control goes out while I'm out on the highway on the weekend”

Ann C., TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Panel dashboard lights lit up with engine problem. I called the dealer from the road to explain the problem. He told me to bring it in the next morning. He cleaned the cap and put it back on. Problem solved. We were on our way No charge. They were ve”

Birney A., MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Seal fails. All idiot lights turn on. Can't use cruise control. Happened twice”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Fuel cap emission control sensor failed and lots of lights came on. Was told that problem was due to fuel getting into cap. Problem most likely caused by my tendency to really fill the tank. Probably too full. Have started to let gas pump just shut off then remove nozzle”

Anonymous, TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car warning lights come on and when checked it ALWAYS comes back as "fuel cap". This has happened four times since new and while covered twice under warranty it no longer is covered. ANNOYING”

Gary W., SC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“required replacement requires extremely tight closure or will reflect system failure when there is no problem”

Anonymous, KS (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

“car needed new fuel pump within 2 months of purchase”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Check Engine light activated by one or more problems with sensors monitoring fuel in gas tank”

Anonymous, NC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine stalls sometimes when coming to a complete stop. Issue is not yet resolved. The Mass Air Sensor has been cleaned with some improvement”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light came on. Evaporative fuel system small leak was the analysis. Probably a loose fuel cap. Che ked out and no leak found. Alarms reset”

Anonymous, WV (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“defective MAP sensor”

Manuel G., MO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Three times while on extended trips the engine light has turned on disabling cruise control and making other lights flash on the control. In all three cases, the problem corrected itself after a period of time and driving, 300-800 miles”

James M., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace both O2 sensors”

Dave S., TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light appears, 2nd time in 2 years. Both times indicate a small evap. leak. Both times appeared while driving on inter state. Took in to different dealerships to reprogram & repair”

John K., IN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“all four went bad - very expensive!!”

Brent B., CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Fixed February 2016. 1000 miles later same problem. Waiting game 2 weeks for an appointment”

Arthur B., MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“"rear" 02 sensor failed. Hard to diagnose. Dealer was to replace for $200+. I complained to the regional service, since I hear that many of these have failed, and they reduced the price to $95”

Thomas S., MO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light came on but went off after about 100 miles and all back to normal. This was the 4th similar occasion. The other 3 times it required Subaru service at Columbus, GA; Hilton Head, SC & Lakeland, FL. All times it occurred while driving on major highways”

John K., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Not sure what sensors but lost cruise control, anti-sway, had code 456 evap small leak checked for rewrites, rewrite available”

Donald K., SD (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

“Car was shuddering under light acceleration. Dealer diagnosed the problem, replaced the torque converter under warranty”

Anonymous, MA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Noise & rumbling. Expensive repair (but covered under warranty). One visit to diagnose and order parts - second visit (expected 2 days) for repair”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Torque converter was not fully disengaging, car would stall coming to a stop. Purchased extended warranty, which covered the $1500 repair”

Raymond C., NH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Recently when stopping short the engine would die like driving a stick and not throwing out the clutch when you stop. I went online to SUBARU Owners.org and found that 2011 & 2012 models had defective Torque Converters and that some people contacted Subaru and were sent $500.00 to help with the repair. Many people thought this should of been a recall but it's not at this time. I Emailed Subaru and also was went a check for $500.00, I took the car to a Subaru dealer and had the motor pulled, Torq”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to be replaced at 88,000 miles at a cost of $1400 including the 90k service”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Will need replacing eventually. The car is stalling when stopped”

Anonymous, AL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Was stalling. Told that it was a torque converter problem. Was told that it was a problem with Subarus. Had it replaced. Paid for the fix”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Torque converter lockup stopped releasing reliably upon car return to stop causing frequent idle stalls unless shifted into neutral”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This is the same car”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car was stalling at stop lights randomly shortly after I bought it with 90000 miles on it”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Reverse gear went out”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Uneven gear engagement. Shift points faulty”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Transmission went out shortly after purchase, but was covered by dealer warrenty. Shifting into first can be difficult when it is cold outside”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Total transmission failure would not shift. Clutch was fine”

Michael S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“CVT started slipping and losing power. They don't rebuild and only offered a replacement which cost $4,000”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“At 90,000 miles the clutch stopped working. It cost $1,300 to have the dealer install a new clutch pack”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The clutch went out completely and had to be replaced. About a week of it feeling odd - sporadic, then went out”

Penelope P., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 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

“car has constantly expelled warm air during A/C use. Has been in the shop 4 times but still is not fixed”

Anonymous, NM (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Took three trips to the dealer to get it fixed properly”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

“sometimes will blow only hot when a/c is turned on or will just stay on when I've pressed 'off' Course it never happens when I bring it in, so the service people ignore me. It pisses me off. Hard to believe I have the only lemon system”

Janet G., NC (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The blowers do not blow the air the way it should, resulting in some warm spots and other cold areas in the front seat area”

SUSn G., WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Climate Control does not hold temperature at the set temp. On sunny days interior gets very hot”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Hot air will blow from the bottom & cool air from the top on the driver's vent. When it's hot I have to roll the window down before the air conditioner will work”

Ann C., TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“Blower motor failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Fan motor made noise and failing. Needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The fan is very loud in the car when the heat or ac is set to anything over the lowest setting”

Chris S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The condensate drain hose clogged several times, and was difficult to keep clear. This caused the condensate to not drain outside and accumulate in the interior of the vehicle, on the front occupants' carpet/floor pans”

William G., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

“Poor heat delivery when on "floor setting"”

Gary K., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Very little heat come from floor vents. Feet get cold in winter”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“There is very poor heating out of lower vents by the feet”

Chris S., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Mfr failure to design heater/ventilation system to prevent entry of squirrels and mice”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“High pressure AC hose burst. Dealer replaced hose and re-charged AC ($328), no issues since”

Joseph I., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 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

Doors or sliding doors

“Shocks leaked did not stay up for rear hatch door”

Tom B., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear window leak”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Sunroof

“Came new from the factory with a problem opening and closing the sunroof properly. I didn't know it wasn't working. Finally it quit opening / closing altogether. Dealership repaired it through factory warranty although it took weeks to get it done”

Robert S., WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“We've had problems with the sunroof since we bought the car, it would jam open or closed. After the warnty period a dealer replaced the rails last year and it seems to be OK for now”

Micheal H., MA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The rails became uneven resulting in the glass panel becoming jammed when opening or closing. It was fixed under warranty”

Randy H., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“very expensive repair. parts had to be replaced because original parts defective so had to get new tracks and pulleys. cost over $1000”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Sunroof gets stuck ... sometimes does not open all the way and sometimes it does not close (need to apply steady pressure to close sunroof). Brought car to dealer, which hires a subcontractor to repair the sunroof, however after spending $120 the problem is not fixed! We need to bring the car back to the dealer. Very frustrating!”

Joseph I., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Sunroof would not close after opening. Dealer said tracks that guide sunroof were defective. Despite identifying the problem as a defect, dealer charged full price (~$1700) for complete replacement with a new sunroof/track mechanism”

Anonymous T., NC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“rear gate raisers had to be replaced”

Bert S., NJ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Very hard to close and latch without dash warning light coming on. Hs been adjusted twice”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The tailgate began rattling when driving on uneven pavement. The dealership wrapped tape around the latch post and charged $85 for the "fix"”

Eric B., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

“The driver side window has come off the internal rails and cannot be opened or closed. We've had to stop using the window at all until we pay for a very expensive repair”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Luggage rack bolt loose resulted in water leaking into the interior of the car”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“Rubber gasket around driver side door jab wore away caused by egress into the vehicle”

Patrick B., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“The roof rack black paint peeled off”

Tom B., FL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“within 6 months the hood had spots where clearcoat had flaked off. The said it was sap and not there fault. our 2000 outback sat in the same place for 12 years and never had a problem. they just did not want to fix it under warranty”

Karen T., TN (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Within few months paint started to crackle and fade, especially on hood. Has deteriorated too rapidly over time. Doesn't matter how often I wash or polish it, it acts as if paint being eaten away. Very dissatisfied with paint job”

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Dealership was unable to identify cause of paint damage to lower edge of back liftgate and bumper. It appears that the windshield washer fluid may have accumulated and corroded the paint at the lower inside edge of the liftgate and also dripped down”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Couldn't get enough clearcoat when purchased so pitch and bird droppings and sun has damaged paint and headlight covers. I did remove pitch and dropping since I saw it”

Susan M., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Clear coat right below tailgate rear window flaked off even though car is waxed twice per year since new. Dealer assessed it and asked Subaru to cover the expense WHICH THEY DID. No deductible”

Gary W., SC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

“Bought the car used. Turns out it had a small accident to the right rear dogleg. The wheel housing area just in front of the right rear wheel. The repair is difficult due to layers of metal and it started rusting at the area it was repaired. Car has been driven in western PA and NY, which use salt in winter”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Have owned 3 Outbacks to date. Live in the Midwest. First one that has ever had any rust. It is surface rust from a rock strike, never had that on my earlier Outbacks”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 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

“The car is an AWD. The camber is incapable of being adjusted. My right rear passenger's side wheel is out of alignment with the camber being off. AWD vehicles require replacement of all 4 tires upon any one or more going bad. Gets very expensive,”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“went through a set of tires in two years due to uneven tire wear from alignment out”

Anonymous, BC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Wheels had to be aligned after replacement of front lower control arm bushings”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Bushings had to be replaced as a result of state inspection - wear”

Anonymous, ME (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace both front lower control arm bushings”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“One of my struts leaked/broke. Made clunking noise when I drove over bumps”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“In the winter, the rear "clunks" going over bumps. Sounds like there's ice in the wheel well or the struts are frozen. Dealer has never been able to reproduce the issue”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced the Power Steering O Ring Seal Replenish hydraulic fluid Cost: $225”

Lawrence M., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

“Bad bearing driver side front wheel”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front wheel bearing had to be replaced”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“ecu reflash under warranty problem may not be corrected”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“"O" ring malfunction - difficulty diagnosing oil leak. fixed the "O" ring hopeful that fixes the issue”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Slight oil leak after 15 mile daily commute. At work and in garage”

B R., OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“regular leaks for nearly last 2 1/2 years”

Brent B., CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The car seems to leak a small amount of oil, which mechanics say is "normal"”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“1. Excess oil consumption 2. Oil spots on the ground”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Due to a faulty head gasket an oil leak was caused”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It uses to much oil It has failed latest oil consumption test”

Anonymous, MO (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)
Engine knock or ping

“Check engine light code indicated sticking valve lifters. Since access is difficult, requiring partial disassembly of the engine, we replaced all valve lifters”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 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

Rough shifting

“Trans. seemed to stay in lower gears too long. Dealer provided a no-cost software upgrade that eliminated the problem”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Dealer had to re-set code because of rough shifting”

Anonymous, OK (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“Clutch depresses stiffly”

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“At approximately 110,000 we began to experience a grinding and/or catching noise when shifting into 3rd gear. Dealer mechanic stated plastic part in transmission will eventually need to be replaced at cost of $2,200”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

“Started slipping or skipping gears at approximately 5000 or after first dealer service”

B R., OR (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Would not stay in gear”

David S., WA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

“Subaru was able to fix that day”

Anonymous, WA (2012 Subaru Outback)

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

Driveline vibration

“Vibration with associated increase in noise”

Don M., CA (2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Premium 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“There's been a vibration since shortly after I purchased the vehicle. First they blamed the rims, the balancing, but it keeps coming back. Last year (after warranty ran out) I replaced a front wheel bearing. It now feels like another will soon need to be done”

Anonymous, NS (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Car vibrated when stopping or idling”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
4WD/AWD components

“vehicle feels like getting hit in rear by another car when letting off fuel pedal and then reapplying fuel a great big thump , feels like transmission is about to let go have had in shop 4 times to address problem so far have not fixed problem I will”

Anthony S., VA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 3.6-L 6 Cyl)

“CVT transmission failed. Rear wheel bearing failed”

J B., PA (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Stability control (ESC)

“The master cylinder for the VDC system had to be replaced costing $900”

Kevin B., NE (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“defective battery replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Left car at stay and drive at a hotel in N.Y. When we returned they said car did not start so they charged the battery. The next day it would not start so we had it charged and took it to the dealer”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback Unsure Unsure)

“Battery had to be replaced after 5 years”

Gordon D., CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

“misfire in cylinder 3 that repeated several times over about 3 months. Got a check engine light. Dealer changed plugs around and finally replaced all plug wires which solved the problem. No repeat in past 6 months”

Richard W., NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Alternator

“Alternator failed under load and had to be replaced”

Gordon D., CO (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 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

“All of the exhaust valves had to be rebuilt”

Irvine H., NJ (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

“Head gasket leaked on the coil which generates misfires. went to the deauler to reset the engine failure signal, at which time the garage said everything is fine. The engine failure sign reappeared two days later. Had to return to the dealer to get t”

Anonymous, QC (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head Gaskets are known to go with high miles so while motor was pulled for Torque Convertor replacement I had the Head Gaskets done”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Faulty head gasket cause a slow oil leak and caused mixing of coolant and oil to cause the engine to overheat and blow”

Anonymous, CT (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“In 2015 there was a valve guide that failed in the engine. Thankfully that repair was under warranty. In March 2017 an intake manifold gasket failed”

Anonymous, NB (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

“Converter went bad. Took about 12 months to determine the problem after replacing a number of oxygen censors”

Dana H., SD (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Loose/rattling heat shield

“The dealer replaced all three of the heat shields around the exhaust pipe as it exits the engine and they still rattle annoyingly!”

James D., IL (2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

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