Subaru Outback Years To Avoid & The Best Years: A Full Guide

With higher ground clearance than a typical wagon, the Outback provides a valuable alternative to SUVs and sedans. It is a potent offroad vehicle that is perfect for excursions. It has loads of room for cargo and lots of excellent technological amenities.

What Are The Best Years For The Subaru Outback?

1.     2003 and 2004 Subaru Outback

Despite being the oldest (and riskiest) model year, the 2003 or 2004 Subaru Outback is a fantastic buy if you have a minimal budget due to its fuel efficiency, straightforward design, and potent engine.

2.     2007, 2008, and 2009 Subaru Outback

The three Outback model years are good contenders despite being quite old in terms of vehicle age, mainly because they offer a variety of trim levels that cater to both new and experienced Subaru owners.

3.     2012 and 2013 Subaru Outback

2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon exterior.

Due to its improved CVT, increased safety features, and superior fuel economy, the 2012 and 2013 Outback are two of the line’s most vital entrants (continuously variable transmission).

4.     2014 Subaru Outback

With its exceptional dependability, strong safety and collision-avoidance features, and generous cargo space, the 2014 Outback can be an excellent investment.

5.     2021 Subaru Outback

The 2020 model year’s revised exterior is carried over to the 2021 Outback, which was much less troublesome than its predecessor. A rear-seat reminder system, adaptive headlights, and the passenger’s seat belt warning light (and chime) were all minor updates.

6.     2022 Subaru Outback

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness 4dr SUV interior.

The modified Wilderness variation of the 2022 Outback, which provides greater ground clearance, improved suspension, and branded all-terrain tires, among other minor modifications, distinguishes it from the prior variants.

What Are The Worst Years For The Subaru Outback?

1.     2005 and 2006 Subaru Outback

The 2005 and 2006 Outback model years experimented with cruise control technology but failed. Many owners complained that their cruise control was ineffective and could cause overspeeding, underspending, or non-responsiveness.

Oil coming out of the heads, the check engine light being on, the cruise control flashing, no acceleration, and head gasket leakage are all common issues.

2.     2011 Subaru Outback

Numerous problems with the 2011 Subaru Outback posed severe safety risks. A few of the reported powertrain-related issues for this model year included power steering that would occasionally cease, frequent engine stalling, and transmission failure. Transmission failure and stalling while braking, stopping, and shuddering are common issues.

3.     2017 Subaru Outback

The 2017 model year also had a fair share of complaints about its battery and battery charging mechanism, which resulted in cars failing to start often and frequently consecutively within the same month.

2017 Subaru Outback engine shown.

Common issues include a dead battery, a cracked windshield, and a touch-screen radio that freezes and won’t work.

4.     2018 Subaru Outback

Unfortunately, power drains and premature battery depletion were frequent occurrences for many 2018 Outback owners. As a result, there were several regrettable and uncomfortable situations where owners were left stranded and required the assistance of breakdown services to change the batteries.

Common issues include a dead battery, an easily cracked windshield, and steering that pulls to one side.

5.     2019 Subaru Outback

The 2019 Outback experienced several problems, but the windshield’s fragility was the most noticeable and common. Many owners stated that out of nowhere, cracks, dents, or scratches appeared on their windshields. Dead batteries, windshield cracks, and unintended acceleration are typical issues.

6.     2020 Subaru Outback

The windshield of the 2020 Subaru Outback randomly cracked, which was its central issue. Its blindspot warning system was also problematic. Numerous users claimed that there were several occasions when they were not alerted to nearby automobiles, which resulted in accidents.

Common issues include a cracked windshield, a blank touch screen, and a dead battery.

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

The 2015 Subaru Outback has the most complaints, which consists of 159 complaints.

What Problems Do Subaru Outbacks Have?

According to information we have found online, the most frequent problems with a Subaru Outback are excessive oil consumption, transmission failure, and easily cracked windshields.

What Is The Most Reliable Subaru Model?

The Subaru Impreza and Legacy are ranked here for having the most extended lifespans. These come in sedan and hatchback variations. In addition, the research claims that 95% of these cars are still in use today.

It’s not surprising at all that this is amazing. Subaru is not only renowned for its dependability; drivers also adore vehicles like the Impreza. Because some automobiles are so popular, sometimes even used older model years are pricey.

The Subaru Forester comes next, barely in front of the hatchbacks and sedans. This small SUV is a popular choice and a standard model. Consumer Reports and other publications ranked it among the top products overall.

In addition, 96% of Forester vehicles sold during the previous ten years are still in use today. Nobody should be surprised that the Forester is outperformed by only one other car from the manufacturer.

Lastly, Subaru’s midsize SUV wins the award for dependability. Yes, the Subaru Outback has been around the longest of all its models. According to data, 97 percent of Outback models sold in the last 10 years are still in use today.

As a result, it solidifies its position as the Subaru model that will survive the longest. Like the Forester, most critics, including Consumer Reports, rank it as one of the best cars in its class. Unquestionably, incredibly reliable vehicles receive higher ratings.


In conclusion, a lot of Subaru vehicles are dependable and long-lasting. Consumer Reports rating places Subaru consistently among the top 10 most dependable car manufacturers. It is simple to suggest purchasing any model from it.

Do you want a Legacy or Impreza sedan or hatchback? What about a compact or midsize SUV like the Forester or Outback? Whichever Subaru model you prefer, it will still operate correctly on the road in 2032, ten years from now.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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