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  • This topic has 28 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Jamze.
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  • Subaru Outback
  • vinnyeh
    Full Member

    New (to me) car time and the prev generation Outback seems on the surface to tick a lot of boxes.

    Does anyone on here own, or has previously owned one, and wants give some feedback. Reviews in the UK press seem mediocre, but aside from economy and size of dealer network are there any standout issues? Looking at something two-three years old, so still with at least a couple of years warranty left.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I have one. 2010 diesel. bought it at 95k for £6k, now on 160k.

    It’s nice to drive, comfortable, massive inside. I bought it when I was doing a B-road commute across dartmoor in all seasons. for a big, high car handles remarkably well but its no sports car…

    big end bearing started failing at 120k, subaru UK came through with an out of warranty, goodwill short block replacement (~7k). still not sure why but it meant not having to write the car off.

    my local subaru dealer is great, but stacked. you have to book a month ahead for anything. which is awkward at the moment as my DPF has decided its the end of it days. waiting for a call back to tell me if it’s expensive, or really expensive.

    not sure I’d buy another but then my requirements have changed a bit.

    welshfarmer
    Full Member

    As mentioned above, the diesel flat 4 should probably be avoided as it has not proven to be very reliable. The petrol models are not very economical but there is just something about the marque. Once driven they will grow on you and you will forgive them any number of foibles. A bit like Defenders I guess. You either get it or you don’t. If you do you will love it for sure. Saying all that, they are certainly a bit more mainstream these days and a little less idiosyncratic, which is a shame.

    alaric
    Full Member

    I have a 2012 model, diesel, that I’ve had from new.

    It now has over 120,000 miles.

    It needed a new DPF after 8 years, and earlier this year new exhaust and wheel bearing.

    Other than that, it’s only needed routine servicing, brake pads last 40,000—50,000, tyres 50,000-60,000.

    The quoted combined fuel economy was 44.1 mpg, and I still get this nowadays on the average tank with a mixture of driving and 50+ on long runs.

    It’s a very comfortable motorway cruiser or open road car, but the clutch is a bit heavy, so it’s a bit harder work than the usual in traffic and town.

    As above, interior space and load capacity is excellent.

    Definitely worth considering!

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    out of interest, how much was the DPF. waiting for a call back from the garage.

    mine says that it does ~45mpg on average, i’ve seen 55mpg on a steady motorway run.

    however, if you measure it at the tank, its about 10-15% less.

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    Not exactly your car but a aftermarket DPF for a VW Caddy 2.0 diesel cost me €350 and is certified and Euro spec. VW wanted €1500.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I have a legacy from the generation before, love it. Reasonably big, stupidly fast, really pretty well nailed together.

    The diesels have never been as good though. For a long time they all broke. Now, they’re past that but they’re just not especially great. The economy and performance don’t really keep up with competitors so you’ve got to really want a subaru

    orangemad
    Full Member

    I had a Mondeo, and wanted another one in 2021, but there were literally none available at a sensible price. All I wanted was a big family estate car, the Mondeo was perfect, but apparently nobody wants estate cars anymore!

    I looked at the Skoda superb, VW Passat and basically anything that was an estate and not an SUV. Then I had a wild card idea and looked at the Outback. They were no more expensive than a Superb of equivalent age and mileage and better in every respect. Why is it mainly the expensive German manufacturers which continue to make good size estate cars? 5 series, E class, A6, all of which are much more expensive.

    The standard kit list is extensive. The 4wd system, is the best in the class, if in doubt turn up to one of their off road days!

    Personally I would rather a slightly longer boot and less space in the rear seats, after all I never sit there!

    My model is a 2020 petrol, which averages 34-35mpg, real world driving. On long motorway journeys, my best is 42mpg.

    My wife likes driving it as well! It’s not a sports car, you don’t go into a corner and think you will end up in the ditch, it’s too grown up for that! It has plenty of grunt for uphill overtakes!

    It came with the balance of a 5 year warranty. Costs wise, I have just been quoted £400 for the next service and £300 ish per end for discs and pads.

    Tyre wear doesn’t seem out the ordinary. I don’t see the need for electronic boot closures, or an electronic hand brake. If they cut these, the vehicle would be cheaper. I would also prefer it, if the boot lid wasn’t slightly angled like a hatchback. It is an estate car, so please maximise boot space !

    Subaru are in a catch 22. They would sell more cars, if they had more dealers. If they sold more cars OEM parts would be cheaper. Outbacks are as common as Ford Focus in NZ and Oz, so I don’t know why they aren’t more popular in the UK?

    Overall, I love mine! Petrol is 20p ish per litre cheaper than diesel at the moment, there is no ad blu needed. So the fuel cost per mile isn’t too far off my diesel Mondeo which averaged 48 mpg.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    my mileage has dropped off a cliff recently due to a job change and with the petrol/diesel price differential, I’d probably consider a petrol one now instead.

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    Avoid the 2010 diesel unless it’s had a new engine.
    Someone forgot to drill oilways in the crank, resulting in Big End failure.
    Otherwise they’re good, IF they’ve been looked after properly.
    Yes, they’re thirsty but that’s offset by not going wrong (given the exclusion above)

    cp
    Full Member

    I’ve had a couple of Subarus, a 2004 Legacy and my current car, a 2009 Outback, so both based on the ’03-09 BL/BP platform.

    It would take something special to get me out of the current outback tbh. There’s an element of familiarity when getting back in it after other cars but I really do think Subaru are a level above others in terms of solidity and build quality. Modern VW group etc… cars feel so plasticky and tinny by comparison.

    Anyway, it’s comfy, I can do 4+ hour drives and jump straight out with no aches. Mine’s a diesel (and it hasn’t blown up yet after 96k), and it’s a lovely engine actually with progressive power and quite revvy. smokes a bit at full tilt but it pre dates them fitting DPF’s.

    Lots of interior space, and a large boot.

    Running costs… day to day servicing/wear items is decent in the grand scheme. I buy parts myself and either fit myself or get my local subaru specialist to fit them. Couple of recent examples:-

    Clutch and DMF flywheel were £600 all in parts (proper OE Sachs) and labour
    Wheel bearings are circa £50 parts and £40 labour (weirdly three corners have failed withn 1k miles or so of each other!).

    Tyres last longer than your average 2wd car as the drive is split evenly – I get 40-50k out of a set and they wear very evenly. I do swap between summer and winters which i think also extends life (IMO summer tyres wear much quicker in winter).

    Brake pads and discs are similar price to other ‘mainstream’ manufacturers.

    Both the websites below are great for parts IME.

    http://www.partsinmotion.co.uk

    http://www.importcarparts.co.uk

    EDIT – I should add… on winter tyres, as long as they have ground clearance, they literally will go anywhere in any conditions. quite impressive.

    bruceandhisbonus
    Free Member

    I have a 2016 Subaru Levorg (1.6T Petrol) which I guess is a less burly version of the outback. I was looking for a mid sized estate a couple of years ago and it just happened to pop up locally. I hadn’t considered a Subaru but when I went to see it I was impressed. Hardly see any about – I think because they priced themselves on a par with a BMW 3 Series which most people would go for.

    Economy is rubbish, performance is average but it has a bonnet scoop so who cares. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Subaru to anyone.

    alaric
    Full Member

    The DPF wasn’t cheap, but wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, but the number’s meaningless because it was done after I’d moved to Switzerland with the car – prices here are wildly different from the UK, especially for anything with labour involved!

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    Just had a call back from garage. £800-£1000 depending on the sensors to be replaced. That’s for a non-Subaru part, that would be >£2000!!

    alaric
    Full Member

    however, if you measure it at the tank, its about 10-15% less.

    I used to keep a spreadsheet from when I first bought the car, and the guage was close enough to call accurate, using a spreadsheet is only as accurate as the consistency of the cut off on the pump allows….

    aggs
    Free Member

    If your a Subaru fan you will love owning an Outback. The petrol ones may be the best option reliability wise they are pretty rock solid and the maybe worth the extra fuel costs.
    But it depends on your mileage I suppose and where you live. Is it worth having the 4 wheel drive? Other cars may be a more sensible choice.
    Tyre wear is slow due to the 4 wheel drive, but if u damage one tyre it’s a hassle as even wear is meeded across an axle (so they say in the manual). So you may need to replace a pair of tyres!
    If you live near an Independent specialist that may help service costs.
    We owned a lovely 3.0l Legacy Estate very reliable and we nearly got it to 200,000 miles before the dreaded rust ended its life. A fantastic car.
    Manual 6 speed gearbox was lovely.
    I would love a 3.6 l Outback a pretty rare car.
    I have not really looked at prices of Subaru’s lately but you may pick up a great well lolked after car which depreciation has already taken place on. We bought out Legacy for £2500 covered nearly 100,000 miles in it and traded it for £2000 just before the MOT ran out!

    jon_n
    Full Member

    I would love a 3.6 l Outback a pretty rare car.

    I’ve had one for the past 4 years or so. Someone else posted above, once you have had a Subaru they get under your skin and I’d be inclined to agree, this is my 4th (2 x Forester 2.5 XT, a JDM 2.0 Turbo Legacy and now the 3.6 Outback).

    The motoring press don’t seem to ‘get’ Subaru when they review them.

    It might not be as sporty a drive as a BMW. But it’s not trying to be sporty, it’s a big estate car. The suspension is comfortable and floaty, so you don’t need new fillings every time you go over a pot hole.
    The inside might not be soft touch faux suede, with heated/cooled massaging ruffled leather seats like a Merc. But the seats are comfortable, it’s hard wearing and I don’t need to worry about getting in after a muddy walk as it’s fairly easy to clean down.
    Subaru don’t seem to build cars to win magazine reviews, they build well thought out cars that last and are easy to live with day to day instead, but that’s not what the reviewers focus on..

    It’s just about to tick over to 160K miles and it still going strong – I’ve thought about replacing it but have really struggled to think of what would be much better to change to – Subaru stopped importing the 6 cyl petrols not long after mine was made, I think a 4 cyl would be a let down after how fast/smooth/wafty the 3.6 is.

    cp
    Full Member

    Subaru don’t seem to build cars to win magazine reviews, they build well thought out cars that last and are easy to live with day to day instead, but that’s not what the reviewers focus on..

    Absolutely nail on the head there.

    wind-bag
    Free Member

    OK, it’s not an Outback, but not far off:

    I watched this before the drive to work this morning and it certainly made me smile getting into my Outback.

    Stevet1
    Free Member

    Late to this thread but it is relevant to me, I’ve been looking at mid sized estates for over a year, mainly golf and octavia although also looked at Peugeot and Seat but despite there obvious practicalities none of them really appeal. The Outback though just seems to appeal more, but it seems completely overkill as a family and biking estate? Am I going to face large maintenance bills and service costs? The mpg on paper at least is a good 10mpg less than the golf and octavia 1.4tsi petrol versions probably due to the awd system. And it’s a bit longer – longer even that a passat which I’d previously discounted as being too long.
    So go on, persuade me why this would be better than a golf estate (yawn) or Octavia for a family with kids just entering their teens.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Heh, I just bought another ’04 legacy turbo. I may have a problem.

    I don’t know if it’s applicable to current models, but, the only thing I’ve really found lacking is rust protection. My daily is a recent import so it’s fine, but the 2006 uk car I bought for parts was in bad shape- not holed, not terminal, but every single bit underneath had enough corrosion to be an issue for servicing, parts consumption etc. That’s why it was scrap money- perfectly good car overall but it’d need a little bit of attention, to pretty much everything. And it’s definitely not alone, my mate’s wrx and his dad’s foz are much the same, all much worse than the 2 fords I’ve owned of similar vintage despite having had apparently easier lives. I suspect a lot of the steel is a little thinner, just from the feel of things- not a bad thing, it’s good design but there’s definitely less spare metal in the arches frinstance.

    That said, I suppose there’s an increased chance of subarus getting driven a lot on unsurfaced roads and in bad winter weather, etc so that might be part of it. But the first thing I’ll do with this one is rustproof the balls out of it and I’d probably be the same with any out-of-warranty subaru

    crosshair
    Free Member

    Was gutted my normal Legacy mk4 estate was rusted out beyond economic repair last year 😞
    Loved it.

    Trouble is the ones about aren’t cheap cheap now so I ended up buying a focus instead. But every time I get in it I miss the Subaru.

    ceept
    Full Member

    I had a 58 plate, which I loved, but the motor died at 98k.
    I eventually got a 62 plate one a few years later, bought on 28k, traded a few years later on 150ish. DVLA shows it’s still on the road today.

    All it had were a tyres, brakes & 2 wheel bearings. I wanted another one, but a bigger caravan purchase required a heavier car ☹️

    It did have the glow plugs unplugged though as they kept popping the fuse 🙂

    At some point about 130ish miles, it logged code P242F (IIRC) for ash build up in the DPF. This code is timed to log based on milage/number of regens rather than the actual DPF condition.

    Fortunately my local friendly auto-diagnostics guru reset it, so the ECU thought a new DPF has been fitted & it was fine for a load more miles before we parted company.

    defblade
    Free Member

    @Stevet1
    Not overkill at all, exactly right!
    First off, get on to uklegacy.com for any questions.
    Servicing and maintenance on UK cars will be much the same as any other car, given permanent 4wd will wear tyres faster.
    As mentioned, don’t touch the diesels.
    I had a JDM Legacy estate, so the same car effectively, but on lower suspension and with a spicy engine. I never noticed the length of it being any sort of issue, but back seat passengers appreciated the space, and the boot was very bike friendly. It was the kind of car that shrinks around you when driving, rather than feeling like a big empty box.
    The mpg should be offset by the car being considerably cheaper to buy than the boring ones mentioned, all else being equal; although it may be that bit harder to shift on afterwards for the same popularity reasons.
    Some of them are rusty, some aren’t, so buy on condition and enjoy 🙂

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    P1467..

    ceept
    Full Member

    This:
    https://ecutek.zendesk.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207777049-Subaru-Diesel-2008-2012-DTCs

    Suggests it’s an ash code, which if it’s like my newer one was, is based on milage/use. Might be worth asking a trustworthy garage to reset it before chucking loads of money at an old car.

    Where are you based?

    plus-one
    Full Member

    Had my golf Gtd estate coming up 3 years now. It’s 66 plate had 3 services and mot’s since I’ve had it. Only had new pads on front it’s been a pleasure to own.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    It’s in my local Subaru dealership (Ashburton) getting sorted now. It’s having a non-Subaru dpf fitted…

    Jamze
    Full Member

    I watched this before the drive to work this morning and it certainly made me smile getting into my Outback.

    That GL Wagon lookalike makes me laugh. Impressive if there’s only one, ‘cos some really hard landings in that vid.

    If I’m spending my own money on cars, it’s usually Subaru or Mazda. Had 2L petrol turbo and NA Imprezas and Foresters. All of them have been consumables only, zero issues. Can’t say that for the various VAG, BMW and Vauxhall company cars I’ve had. Interiors have a 90s Japanese car vibe but wear well. Turbos are high 20s mpg, NA low 30s so there is that to be aware of. Currently have one of the later XT Foresters. Auto gearbox is a bit marmite. It’s a CVT but has various modes that pretend to be a normal auto with gears. Never tried any of their newer hybrid ones.

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