Subaru Outback Best and Worst Years

Subaru Outback Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!)

In 1994, it all began with a car with four doors, seating five people, and having a lot more style and ground clearance.

The Subaru Outback has developed its character and distinguished itself from the Subaru Legacy, the model on which it was based.

It markets itself as a more compact sport utility vehicle that would gradually get bigger with subsequent models.

The product, which is exclusively available in four-wheel drive and is made right here in the United States in Lafayette, Indiana, is capable of driving slightly off the road and is also available in a sports version.

Subaru Outback Best and Worst Years
Subaru Outback Best and Worst Years

VIDEO: 2006 Subaru Outback Review

2006 Subaru Outback Review

Subaru Outback Best and Worst Years

Depending on the source, several Subaru Outbacks’ best and worst years exist. The most excellent Subaru Outback years, according to, are 2003–2004, 2005–2009, and 2012–2014. The 2013 Subaru Outback, according to Fourwheel Trends, is the poorest model year in the Outback’s history. The 2010 Outback has the most issues of all the third-generation Outbacks, according to The 2013 Subaru Outback is the poorest vehicle the manufacturer has ever produced, claims The finest years for the Subaru Outback, according to, were from 2005 through 2009. Remembering that a particular Subaru Outback’s reliability may vary based on its maintenance record, mileage, and other elements is vital. Before making a purchase, looking at the Subaru Outback’s dependability is advised. The Subaru Outback is an overall dependable vehicle with outstanding performance and amenities, but it’s crucial to pick a dependable model year and consider the car’s maintenance history before buying.

What Years To Buy? List Of The Top Years For The Subaru Outback

What Years To Buy? List Of The Top Years For The Subaru Outback
What Years To Buy? List Of The Top Years For The Subaru Outback

Please let us know which Subaru Outback model years are trustworthy, and which are not so we can choose the best ones.

Subaru vehicles often have a lot of great features and few issues, making them incredibly dependable and enjoyable to drive. But, of course, all of this is at its optimum during the best years.

Subaru Outback 2005

The Subaru Outback’s third generation, which debuted with a stylish new redesign, experienced the highest increase in performance.

A 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged XT variant with 250 horsepower was available along with the Subaru Outback in 2005. The vehicle included supportive seats, automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and considerable ground clearance.

Unlike Outback Sports, whose structure was based on the Subaru Impreza, it was built on the Subaru Legacy. As a result, the vehicle could keep the already-earned usefulness at reasonable prices while adding luxury and performance.

The most noticeable feature is how dependable it is, continuing to function with little to no maintenance even after operating for over a decade.

  Subaru Outback 2007

The 2006 Subaru Outback was less popular than the 2005 model despite continuing a strong third generation and building on the success of that year.

The 2007 model, however, changed that because it has fewer general issues and continues to offer the same practical features and comforts, including the extra ground clearance, AWD and automatic transmission, and a nice cabin.

The choice between acceleration and gas mileage offered by the optional clever drive was always welcome. The Subaru Outback continued to be a competitive SUV substitute.

Subaru Outback 2008

The Subaru 2008 Outback, the second-to-last model of what many people believe to be the best generation of Outbacks, kept up with the many features and facets that made the generation as a whole stand out in the first place.

The model included the following:

  • Three different engines.
  • Standard all-wheel drive (AWD).
  • A well-liked automatic transmission.
  • Significantly altered front styling options.
  • A choice between a wagon and a sedan body style.

The car had a sturdy interior, excellent ground clearance, and maintained comfort and ease.

Subaru Outback 2021

The most recent version of the Outback was relatively similar to that of the previous generation, but it had a new platform design that lowered noise levels, enhanced handling, and improved ride quality.

The cabin of the 2021 Subaru Outback was comfortable and roomy, and it got good gas mileage. Moreover, the journey was comfortable and safe because of the numerous standard safety measures.

The model is incredibly adaptable and offers outstanding value, making it a wise choice when comparing Outback’s recent variants.

Subaru Outback 2022

The 2022 Subaru Outback, the newest model to join the market, keeps the same features it offered with the redesign completed in 2020.

The interior is excellent, with plenty of space, plush seats, and a quiet, noiseless cabin. The doors are created with skill and allow for simple entry and escape.

The engine provides good mileage and fuel efficiency. The vehicle also has several contemporary safety features to ensure a safe, pleasant, and smooth ride. Despite being relatively new, this particular model has received generally favorable reviews.

Subaru Outback 1994

The 1994 Subaru Outback, one of the best models ever made, hit a home run when it released a vehicle of such caliber, launching its first generation. It has proven to be one of the most capable and dependable models the company has ever released.

The car can quickly produce 125 horsepower with independent suspension, a hydraulic amplifier, and a disc drive braking system, all while achieving good fuel efficiency.

The vehicle, ranked among the top 10 in a 2003 Top Gear survey, is evidence of Subaru’s dedication to producing high-quality automobiles.

Subaru Outback 1996

The 1996 Subaru Outback was launched by the firm two years after the initial Outback’s triumph, and it was yet another home run.

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This vehicle’s all-wheel drive (AWD) received high accolades for its ability to quickly move through the snow, where even Jeeps and Rodeos would become stuck.

Lumbar support and seat heaters are welcomed interior features. Another quite dependable model can easily last you decades of travel and use with little upkeep.

 Subaru Outback 1999

The 1999 Subaru Outback, the final model to complete the first and most fantastic generation, offered users the same high-quality features we saw during the first generation, which began with the 1994 model. This model’s AWD is likewise nothing to laugh at.

The car handles well, has decent suspensions, and has easy steering, so it drives well even on rough roads and takes corners gracefully.

Once again, dependability is in the spotlight because the car needs an oil change to last for decades.

Years To Avoid On The List Of The Worst Years For The Subaru Outback

Years To Avoid On The List Of The Worst Years For The Subaru Outback
Years To Avoid On The List Of The Worst Years For The Subaru Outback

Models from these years received the short end of the stick because they came with various flaws and problems. After all, not all models are created equally.

Subaru Outback 2013

Without a doubt, the 2013 Subaru Outback is the worst model the firm has ever produced, with numerous significant issues that have led to complaints from the NHSTA and customers.

The primary issue with this model is the engine, which uses far too much oil. As a result, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the company for allegedly selling engines with defective piston rings, which allowed oil to leak past them and burn rapidly, forcing customers to spend a small fortune on oil changes. This oil consumption issue was so severe that the company was named a defendant in the lawsuit.

Other difficulties included steering and gearbox troubles. As a result, Subaru settled with the plaintiffs, compensating them for their losses.

Subaru Outback 2015

The 2015 Subaru Outback is the first model in the new generation of the Subaru Outback, which debuted in 2015. This model was the subject of the most complaints because it had a novel design and numerous novel issues.

The battery was prone to failing and caused severe problems. The battery would occasionally be so bad that the engine wouldn’t even start.

The windshield was also inexpensive and of poor quality since it would spontaneously fracture while driving, which is quickly unsafe.

Subaru Outback 2017

Many of the issues from prior versions were carried over into the 2017 Subaru Outback, particularly the battery issues.

Frequently, the battery would stop functioning, preventing the engine from starting. Also, the windshield was still in horrible shape since it was cracking seemingly out of nowhere.

Its poor quality caused it to break even in the rain, which is unacceptable. The car also had some acceleration issues, making it difficult to accelerate.

It was frustrating because the touchscreen would frequently freeze and not work.

  Subaru Outback 2018

The 2017 model demonstrated that the firm was making noticeable progress and was somewhat superior to the hated 2015 model; nevertheless, it took another step backward when it introduced the 2018 Subaru Outback, which had more issues than the previous year.

This did not, however, indicate that the earlier problems had also been resolved because the problem with the dead battery continued to plague engines worldwide.

Random cracking of the windshield was still a concern. The GPS and touchscreen both had significant bugs. Additionally, the steering was jerky and pushed in one particular way.

Subaru Outback 2014

Subaru had to introduce a product as the final generation model that featured several subpar models to save the generation. So, sadly, they introduced the 2014 Subaru Outback, which had numerous issues.

The brake pads were of low quality and would quickly lose their effectiveness. The practice of pausing before speeding should be formed early on.

Because Subaru itself could not identify the cause of this issue and resolve it, the entire model failed.

Subaru Outback 2016

The 2016 Subaru Outback maintained the record of failure started by the 2015 model, demonstrating to customers that this generation was not worth investing in.

Although it had fewer issues than the 2015 Outback, several issues still put it on our list. Rapid battery loss frequently prevented the engine from starting.

The car battery, described as an electrical nightmare, needed to be jumped many times a week to start the engine. In addition, the inside elements, such as the touchscreen, were still lacking, and the windshield was still prone to cracking.

  Subaru Outback 2011

The 2011 Subaru Outback, the second model to debut in the 4th generation of the Outback, arrived on the market with more issues than its predecessor, including many lighting and transmission issues and hundreds of NHSTA complaints.

The car’s headlight and bulbs frequently burned out, occasionally causing the headlight casing to melt completely!

It will cost a lot of money to fix this. The transmission would frequently jerk and break down. The Takata recall had an impact on that model. This entailed metal shards launched into the cabin by airbags that exploded upon deployment.

Subaru Outback 2010

The Subaru Outback’s fourth generation debuted with a fresh, well-redesigned makeover that increased the car’s height and width and added interior space.

The Subaru Outback model from 20210 also had many issues, from brake lines failing to complete engine failure. The engine frequently stalled, leaked oil, and occasionally failed.

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The transmission had a unique and obtrusive sound, and the torque converter would lock when the brakes were applied. This model was included in the Takata recall, meaning its airbags were hazardous.

How Safe Is Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback has outstanding safety features and is a reliable vehicle. The 2022 Subaru Outback reportedly achieved the most fantastic accolade, a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to

The Outback is one of four Subaru vehicles receiving a Top Safety Pick+ certification for 2022, according to The 2021 Subaru Outback achieved a 5-star safety rating from The Outback is the only vehicle to receive a Top Safety Pick+ designation, according to

The 2022 Subaru Outback received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to

Remembering that a particular Subaru Outback’s safety could differ based on its maintenance history, mileage, and other aspects is crucial.

Before buying, looking at the Subaru Outback’s safety ratings is advised. The Subaru Outback is an attractive choice for families because it is a safe vehicle overall and has good safety features.

Reliability of Subaru Outback

Depending on the source, the Subaru Outback’s dependability varies. Despite some of the difficulties that have been documented, Subaru Outback vehicles over the last ten years are usually thought to be more dependable than the typical vehicle, according to

The Subaru Outback has a Reliability Rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 on, placing it 10th out of 26 midsize SUVs. The Outback received a high dependability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 on RepairPal, placing it 14th among midsize SUVs, according to

The Subaru Outback’s overall reliability rating is 53.3, which is not exceptionally reliable compared to certain other vehicles, according to

The 2023 Subaru Outback has dependability issues, but compared to other cars, it’s still quite acceptable, claims Remembering that a particular Subaru Outback’s reliability may vary based on its maintenance record, mileage, and other elements is vital. Before making a purchase, looking at the Subaru Outback’s dependability is advised.

The Subaru Outback is an overall dependable vehicle with outstanding performance and amenities, but it’s crucial to pick a dependable model year and consider the car’s maintenance history before buying.

How to find the best deals on a Subaru Outback?

How to find the best deals on a Subaru Outback?
How to find the best deals on a Subaru Outback?

By investigating the most current discounts and special offers provided by Subaru dealerships, one can locate the best deals on a Subaru Outback. Information about lease specials and finance offers for the 2023 Outback may be found on websites like and

Asking about any current specials or discounts at nearby Subaru dealerships is another approach to uncovering bargains. According to, the Subaru VIP program offers a no-haggle price and a simplified buying procedure, which is the best way to purchase a new Subaru Forester, Outback, or Crosstrek.

It’s also advisable to consider buying a used Subaru Outback as they are frequently available for less money than a new one. When buying a used car, it’s crucial to do your homework on its history and current condition to ensure it has been carefully taken care of.

The finest Subaru Outback model years, according to, are 2003–2004, 2005–2009, and 2012–2014. It’s crucial to remember that different offers and promotions might be available depending on the location and dealership.

Finding the best prices on a Subaru Outback can often be done by checking local dealerships, studying current discounts and promotions, and considering used cars.

Tips for maintaining your Subaru Outback

A Subaru Outback needs routine care and maintenance to remain dependable and long-lasting. Following are some pointers for caring for a Subaru Outback:

Recurring upkeep: Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the car running smoothly and avoid serious problems down the line, such as oil changes, brake inspections, and tire rotations. A Subaru Outback’s maintenance schedule can be found in the owner’s manual or online at the dealership.

Verify fluids: Every 30,000 miles, coolant, and brake fluid should be changed to maintain their effectiveness. Regular checks should also be made on fluids such as transmission, power steering, and windshield washer.

Check the brakes: Rotors and brake pads should be inspected and replaced. Broken brakes can endanger the driver’s safety and harm the car’s other components.

Check tires: Tires should be inspected for damage, wear, and proper inflation. Tires that are correctly inflated can enhance handling and fuel efficiency.

Resolve issues quickly: Any problems, including warning lights or strange noises, should be fixed immediately to avoid more damage and expensive repairs.

Observe the owner’s guide: The owner’s manual offers crucial details unique to the vehicle, like maintenance schedules, suggested fluids, and other vital information.

Keeping a Subaru Outback reliable and long-lasting requires routine maintenance and swiftly addressing problems. Despite some of the difficulties that have been documented, Subaru Outback vehicles over the last ten years are usually thought to be more dependable than the typical vehicle, according to

According to, a Subaru Outback’s annual maintenance costs $607. Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to consider the specific Subaru Outback model’s reliability.

How Can You Tell Whether Something Is a Lemon?

Purchase a vehicle history report.

There is no better initial step when purchasing a used car than to obtain a car history report. Two well-known services offer this information for little money: Anyone looking to purchase a used car will find the information provided by CarFax and AutoCheck extremely helpful.

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The reports let you know the number of past owners, whether or not it had any accidents, how frequently it required maintenance, and the current title.

The final section is among the most crucial since it contains the lemon label, which attests that the car followed the correct legal procedures to be designated as a lemon.

However, in some areas, dealers must inform a customer if the vehicle is a manufacturer buyback, which is a reliable way to determine whether a vehicle has a lemon title. However, it is the responsibility of the buyer to conduct a thorough investigation into the vehicle’s history.

Therefore, consumers may need help if they accidentally purchase a secondhand lemon because they must inspect it first.

Owner Background

You can view the owner’s history on the vehicle history report, which should indicate whether the manufacturer has purchased the vehicle back. While owners can claim a car is a lemon in a legal dispute and ask the automaker to buy back the problematic vehicle, that is a guaranteed technique to determine if the car was labeled a lemon.

You can also determine if the vehicle was sold or traded before it was given a lemon tag if the prior owner may have missed an issue. It also implies that the car’s persistent issue must be apparent.

Repair Record

Look carefully at the vehicle’s repair record and try to identify any recurring issues. Recurring problems in cars with lemon histories are simple to spot. You can determine whether the issues with the car are minor wear and tear concerns, such as those with the clutch or brakes, or a more severe problem.

Check to discover if the repairs were necessary or carried out even when the car was brand new. It can assist in determining whether the car is a lemon or if an incident like a collision or modification caused a misdiagnosed issue.

Are the repairs significant or minor? A severe repair would deal with the drivetrain or suspension, whereas a superficial one would address non-driving-related issues like window or seat controls.

Severe repairs would be more challenging, but handling a car might not be a hassle if a car was considered a lemon for a less severe cause.

The report also shows whether repairs are being made at a dealership or a general shop. Like you would with any used car, examine the vehicle’s general condition and health and determine whether routine maintenance has also been carried out.

This will assist you in deciding whether or not you should consider purchasing this car.

Inspection before purchase

Is the car still a good investment? You should get a pre-purchase inspection if the flaws are not too concerning or if you believe the automobile may have been incorrectly labeled as a lemon.

A mechanic can determine whether the problems are repairable and why the car was considered a lemon.

A technician can assist you in determining whether or not a recurring issue is indicative of more severe problems or worries about the quality of the vehicle.

Their satisfaction with the car might help determine if it is a worthwhile investment or a lost cause.

Subaru Outback FAQ’s

Which Outback year is the most trustworthy?

The Subaru Outback’s prime years ranged from 2005 to 2009. Subaru concentrated on improving the vehicle’s performance at this time, introducing the turbocharged XT model with a 2.5L engine that produces 250 horsepower.

What were Subaru Outback’s greatest and worst years?

The greatest Subaru Outback years are 2003–2004, 2005–2009, 2012–2014, and 2021–2022, according to industry reviews, statistics, and customer input. Years 2010–2011 and 2017–2020 are the worst.

Is the 2017 Subaru Outback a bad year?

The Outback had a terrific year in 2017, effortlessly covering over 250,000 kilometers without experiencing any mechanical problems. It is a great deal and well worth the money for $23,187-29,583. Excellent fuel efficiency, crash test ratings, and cutting-edge entertainment systems are available.

What Subaru Outback is the most affordable?

The $35,345 Onyx XT is the 2022 Subaru Outback with the turbo engine that is most reasonably priced. The Onyx XT has a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbocharged engine that produces 260 horsepower, and it includes standard features like a power sunroof and side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

What year Subaru Outback is the safest?


The 2022 Subaru Outback won the highest accolade from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), a 5-star rating! The NHTSA has given the Subaru Outback the following safety ratings for 2022: Rating for overall safety: 5 stars.

Lead Writer and Editor at Discover Seldric | + posts

John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer

Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.

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