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Discussion Starter #1
Currently, I drive a 20 year old Honda, still going with over 200,000 miles on it, but I need something with a little more room even if the mpg takes a hit.

How reliable are outbacks in general, just browsing and reading up on them there seems to be a head gasket issue with the older ones, but the problem isn't prevalent in the 06 model and up. (please correct me if I'm wrong)
So do the 06+ models still have head gasket issues?
Are there any other common problems?

For example, if anyone is familiar with the early 90s hondas you know they usually get that surging idle, blown head gaskets, and the distributor sometimes fails.

Anything like that with the outback?

If I get one it's going to be a used one, so anything you can tell me about them is helpful.

Thanks.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,437 Posts
Head gasket failure is common and severe in the 2.5L engines up to 2000. Common and less severe (different problem) in the 2000-2004ish range. Less common and same severity in the years after 2004, but if you search this board you will find 07s and 08s with HG trouble.

We as individual users have no access to the stats on how many of which year have had that problem. So it may be much more rare in later years. The old ones obviously got a head start, so it may be a while before we really know, and by then these cars will be used up and gone anyway.

The turbo 4cyl and 6 cylinder engines are different and have roughly zero tendency to pop gaskets, though the turbo has troubles of its own.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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3,284 Posts
if you worry abt Head gasket, avoid any 4 cyl engine....Get the H6 (3.0 or 3.6). Those engine are bullet proof and in some older models, the H6 get more advanced AWD than the 4 cyl counter part (ie.. Tracking control).

Beside HG, The 4cyl also have to deal with timing belt replacement.

If you are unlucky and have to do both, The cost is a lot more than the price delta btw the H4 and H6 car....

The 3.6 engine run on regular gas but the 3.0 engine do recommend premium gas...but some here have reported running regular with no issue...
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 limited
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86 Posts
Well, my '07 w/ 57k miles has started seeping oil from both cylinder banks. I also use a bit of coolant, and there is a noticeable coolant smell when I've been driving for a while. So the 3rd gen OBs aren't immune to head gasket issues, either.

That and the 23.7 avg mpg I've experienced in the 6 months I've owned the OB have me regretting the purchase.
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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201 Posts
Remember...
When you visit forums such as this you're only seeing a microcosim of owners...specifically those who are either;
A. Suffer from a mild to sever case of OCD,
B. Suffer from a mild to severe case of owning someone elses previously abused car,
C. A little of both

I talked to the local Subie master tech...he said that while the HG's on the older models are a more common iissue...the "newer" models are MUCH less prone. Isolated, yes...Common, no.

ANY vehicle with a timing BELT is in basically the "same boat" as far as the replacement period, components etc...so there's no real unique disadvantage there.

My two O/B's have 200 & 230K on them respectively...one had the HG's the other not. Both have gone over 120K without timing belts. My '00 has the original water pump, tensioner, idlers...still going strong @200k...although it's all shortly to be replaced. No need to "push" it too far!

The 24.4 MPG is a little misleading. If I'm strictly on the highway, it's closer to 28 or so...also, it's STILL winter here, so the defrost is still going and it's being idled a little longer too.

Overall I've been pleased with Subaru. EVERY manufacturer has it's "issues", quirks, etc...

If you're judicious with preventative maintenance/oil changes etc...they're no more/no less reliable than most other brands...all things being roughly equal.

Oh...and my "collegedaughter" drives the other. So you KNOW it's living a little harder life!Lol!(well not for me...I'm the one tha'll be fixing it...so I take the laugh back. Can I do that?) If it can survive her...I'm sold!
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i LTD / Auto
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29 Posts
If I had read these forums much prior to car shopping I probably would have passed on the Outback. Glad I didn't! I'm just over 800 miles now and so far, so good! It sips gas and has been great to drive. My kids love it too. Comfy and great sound (HK).
 
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