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Mixed feeling for the 2002 Subaru Outback by Mountain Momma from CA on 09/01/2011. Trim: 2002 Subaru Outback Wagon, Owned 10 years.
Pros: Love the zippiness, handling & AWD on narrow mountain roads. It's comfortable on long trips.
Cons: Within 1 year the driver's door gasket started to hiss. The passanger side started to do it too about 4 yrs later. The break roters warp easily. Both the front axles had to be replaced 2 times in 8 yrs because the boot tears/wears out easily. The head gasket blew out (145,000 miles) and overheated the engine with no warning. VERY EXPENSIVE to fix. It took 8 months & had to pull out the engine 5 times to get it completely fixed, in/out of the shop with oil leaks, etc. During this time, we found out that Subaru knew of a bad gasket for this generation of Outbacks but will not own up to it.
Overall review: I bought the car new off the lot, fall 2001 (10 yrs ago). We were very happy with the car overall for 8 yrs. We only had "wear & tear" type repairs. Then, the engine head gasket blew out 1.5 yrs ago. Haven't had any problems in 1 yr but nervous to take the car out of town because of the repair ordeal that lasted 8 months. The first 5 yrs it had good gas mileage (24-27mpg). But now I'm lucky to get 20 mpg. I bought a Subaru because of all the excellent reviews from friends & coworkers (we live in mountains). I was VERY disappointed about the engine having to be replaced/overhauled after 145,000 miles.
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