Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years

The Subaru Outback has solidified its place in automotive history as a reliable and versatile choice for drivers seeking a blend of rugged capability and everyday comfort.

Not all years are created equal when it comes to this iconic model. This comprehensive analysis delves into the best & worst Subaru Outback years, exploring their performance, features, safety ratings, and overall value.

Join us on a journey through time as we uncover which Subaru Outback years shine brightest and which may leave something to be desired.

Subaru Outback Generations:

The Subaru Outback has evolved significantly since its debut in 2000, with each Generation bringing new features and improvements.

The second-generation Outback, introduced in 2000, showcased a more refined design and enhanced off-road capabilities, making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Its spacious interior and smooth ride quality further solidified its position as a versatile and practical vehicle.

2nd generation (BH)2000-2004
2nd Generation (BH)2005-2009
3rd Generation (BP)2010-2014
4th Generation (BR)2015-2019
5th Generation (BS)2020-2024

When buying, it’s important to know about the different generations of the Subaru Outback because each Generation may have other features, technology, and performance capabilities. Understanding generational differences can help you make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences.

Subaru Outback Best, Neutral, and Worst Years:

When evaluating which years of the Subaru Outback are best, neutral, and worst, it’s important to consider various factors:

  • Owner-reported reliability
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer satisfaction scores
  • reliability scores
  • NHTSA recalls
  • Investigations of car
  • complaints of car
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

Exploring the various factors, the graph below shows the performance of the Subaru Outback each year.

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years

Following the table, Subaru Outback models are divided into three categories: the best, neutral, and worth years.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
2nd generation (BH)200120022000
2nd Generation (BH)200720062005
3rd Generation (BP)201420132010
4th Generation (BR)2016
5th Generation (BS)2022

Neutral years in the context of car reliability refer to those years when a vehicle exhibits average performance without any significant highs or lows. It means the car is neither exceptionally reliable nor particularly unreliable during these years.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can harm a car’s standing during neutral years, as more complaints and recalls can lead to a reduced reliability score.

Neutral years indicate a lack of standout performance in terms of reliability, with the vehicle maintaining an average level of dependability.

So, let’s go to the specifications of the best, neutral, and worst Years

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years in 2nd Generation (2000-2004)

best years for subaru outback

From 2000 to 2004, the second-generation Subaru Outback saw highs and lows in the model’s history.

The 2nd Generation of Subaru Outbacks saw notable advancements like enhanced capability and comfort features. Not all years were created equal.

Best Subaru Outback Year: 2001

The best Subaru Outback year within the 2nd Generation would be the 2001 model. This year saw significant engine performance and design improvements, making it a strong contender in the SUV market. The 2001 Outback offered enhanced safety features and technology, catering to the growing demand for advanced vehicle safety.

While the 2001 Outback excelled in many areas, it did have some minor engine problems to be aware of. Some users reported fuel leakage in cold weather and occasional brake issues under similar conditions.

The improvements and advancements in the 2001 model make it a standout choice for those seeking a reliable and capable SUV.

Neutral Year: 2002

The 2002 Subaru Outback continued to uphold the brand’s reputation for reliability and performance despite not reaching the same level as its predecessor. It maintained a good track record while carrying over technological and safety features from the previous year.

Some owners did report minor engine and brake issues similar to those experienced with the 2001 model. There were reports of fuel leak problems during cold weather, indicating potential areas for improvement in this model.

Subaru Outback Years To Avoid: 2000, 2003, 2004

The 2000, 2003, and 2004 Outback models have been reported to have various problems that may impact their reliability and safety. The 2000-era Outbacks had transmission and engine issues similar to the Ford-Firestone tire problem, potentially leading to safety concerns.

The 2003 model faced airbag inflator and vehicle control problems, while the 2004 model had issues with accelerator pedal unresponsiveness.

It’s worth noting that there was a significant recall in 2016 for certain Outback models, including the 2003-2004 and 2009-2011 versions. This recall impacted up to 302,127 vehicles and underscored the importance of thoroughly researching the history and potential issues associated with specific model years before making a purchase decision.

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years In 3rd Generation (2005-2009)

subaru outback years to avoid

The 3rd Generation Subaru Outback produced between 2005 to 2009, saw its fair share of highs and lows.

These fluctuations in quality across the different years of the 3rd Generation Outback highlight both successes and shortcomings within Subaru’s innovative lineup during this period.

Best Year For Subaru Outback: 2007

The 2007 Subaru Outback is often considered one of the best years for this model. It showcases Subaru’s commitment to innovation with its Symmetrical AWD system, providing stability on diverse terrains. The availability of engine options, including the 2.5L flat-4 and 3.0L flat-6, offers versatility to suit different driving preferences.

The emphasis on safety features such as Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist enhances the overall driving experience. The upgraded infotainment system provides enriched entertainment, while premium trims offer plush leather upholstery for added luxury.

The 2007 Subaru Outback combines performance, safety, and comfort to make it stand out as an excellent choice for those searching for a reliable and versatile vehicle.

Neutral Years: 2006

In 2006, Subaru made significant strides in improving the safety features of their vehicles, particularly in the area of airbag safety.

The 2006 models were built on the foundation of their predecessors, with enhancements such as the introduction of Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) for improved stability.

It’s important to note that there were some reported issues with gas pedal loosening, as highlighted by the NHTSA.

Subaru Outback Years To Avoid: 2005, 2008, 2009

The 2005 Outback may have had appeal with its ground clearance and turbocharged engine. Still, it also suffered from suspension issues that led to unpredictable swerving in wet conditions and brake line corrosion, causing brake fluid leaks and reduced braking efficiency.

These concerns were significant enough to prompt a recall in 2014 for 2005-2009 Outback models, highlighting the severity of these issues.

The 2008 and 2009 models aimed to address past problems but still had lingering concerns. It’s essential to carefully research any specific vehicle you are considering purchasing within these model years and pay close attention to the vehicle’s maintenance history and any potential signs of the issues above. Always consider getting a thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic before making a purchase decision.

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years In 4th Generation (2010-2014)

The 4th generation Subaru Outback, spanning from 2010 to 2014, saw significant improvements in design and technology compared to its predecessors. With an emphasis on fuel efficiency, safety, and comfort, this generation aimed to cater to both performance-oriented drivers and those seeking practicality.

Best Years For Subaru Outback: 2014

The best year for the Subaru Outback would be the 2014 model, as it marked the top of the fourth generation. It introduced enhanced safety features such as the EyeSight Driver Assist system, which significantly improved driver assistance and collision avoidance.

The 2014 model boasted upgraded infotainment with better connectivity, making it more convenient for drivers and passengers.

The 2014 Subaru Outback featured a robust engine and off-road capability that received high praise from users. Some minor complaints were noted regarding its interior design and road noise.

Neutral Year: 2013

The 2013 Subaru Outback and the 2014 model are both known for their standard all-wheel drive, spacious interior, and ample cargo space. The strong fuel efficiency and commendable safety features have also received praise from drivers and critics alike.

Some owners have reported minor issues with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) and occasional concerns about dashboard electronics.

The Subaru Outback is a reliable and versatile vehicle that excels in providing a comfortable and safe driving experience. Its all-wheel-drive system makes it suitable for various road conditions, while its spacious interior and cargo space make it a practical choice for families or outdoor enthusiasts.

Subaru Outback Years To Avoid: 2010, 2011, 2012

It’s advisable to avoid the 2010, 2011, and 2012 models due to various issues reported by consumers. The fourth generation faced challenges, including airbag inflator problems, engine stalling, and reliability issues in these years.

There were recalls in 2019 and 2020 related to airbag inflator problems, which may raise concerns about safety.

Consumer complaints about the continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the 2011 and 2012 models include noise and transmission failure. Subsequent models have addressed some of these issues.

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years In 5th Generation (2015-2019)

The 5th generation Subaru Outback, spanning from 2015 to 2019, represents a significant leap forward in terms of technological innovation and safety features, with its integrated driver-assist technologies, such as adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

The Outback offered an enhanced level of convenience and security for drivers. This period also saw improvements in the driving experience over the previous generation, with refined handling and a more comfortable ride contributing to its appeal.

In below video We gave best tips on how to find best used Subaru Outback.

Best Subaru Outback Years: 2016, 2017

The 2016 and 2017 Subaru Outback are widely regarded as some of the best years for this model in this generation. These two years introduced advanced safety features such as EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which significantly enhanced the vehicle’s safety profile.

The refined infotainment system made it easier for drivers to integrate their devices and navigate with ease.

Both years received praise for their fuel-efficient and reliable engines, making them appealing options for those seeking a dependable and economical vehicle.

The overall build quality of the 2016 and 2017 Outbacks consistently garnered positive reviews from critics and owners alike, cementing their reputation as standout models in the Subaru lineup.

Neutral Years: 2018, 2019

The 2018 and 2019 Subaru Outback underwent evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary ones. Despite this, the vehicle maintained a strong safety and technological foundation, ensuring its reliability and modern features.

The introduction of slight refinements in comfort and design, along with improved noise insulation and suspension for a smoother ride, enhanced the overall driving experience for owners.

These years were not without their challenges as Subaru Outback faced recalls for fuel pump failures. This issue caused apprehension among potential buyers, highlighting the importance of thorough research and consideration before making a purchase decision.

Subaru Outback Year To Avoid: 2015

The 2015 Subaru Outback is a year to avoid due to several issues, including an NHTSA recall for a steering column defect. This recall affected specific 2015 and 2016 models and could potentially lead to a loss of steering ability. Buyers are urged to check the vehicle VIN for manufacturing dates specially manufactured between February 29, 2016, and May 6, 2016, before purchasing to ensure they are not affected by this issue.

There have been common complaints of electrical system issues causing sporadic glitches and inconsistencies, further adding to the reasons why the 2015 model should be avoided.

Best & Worst Subaru Outback Years In 6th Generation (2020-2024)

The 6th generation Subaru Outback, spanning from 2020 to 2024, has seen some notable improvements in terms of engineering and design.

The 6th generation Subaru Outback offers a range of features and capabilities.

Best Years For Subaru Outback: 2022, 2024

The best years for the Subaru Outback are definitely 2022 and 2024. These models represent the pinnacle of this generation, offering advanced features and improvements that make them stand out.

The introduction of the EyeSight X Driver Assist Technology in these years ensures top-notch safety, giving drivers peace of mind on the road.

The new 2.4-litre turbocharged engine strikes a great balance between power and fuel efficiency, making the driving experience enjoyable and economical.

The upgraded interiors with high-quality materials and larger touchscreens with faster processing in the infotainment system also add to the overall appeal of these models.

Neutral Year: 2023

The 2023 Subaru Outback is a solid middle-ground model that focuses on refining existing features to provide a better driving experience. One notable improvement is the adaptive cruise control system, which has been tweaked for better traffic response, making long drives more convenient and stress-free.

The infotainment system has been updated for improved connectivity and user experience, ensuring that drivers and passengers can stay connected and entertained on the road.

The 2023 Subaru Outback offers subtle yet impactful enhancements to its features, making it a reliable choice for those seeking a comfortable and technologically advanced vehicle.

Subaru Outback Years To Avoid: 2020, 2021

The sixth generation of Outbacks from these years faced criticism for various problems, including windshield and electrical issues. The 2020 model was particularly criticized for its prone-to-crack windshields and electrical system glitches, which could cause infotainment freezes or reboots.

The 2021 model continued to experience similar issues, with safety technology occasionally giving false alerts that caused unnecessary panic for drivers.

It’s important for potential buyers to weigh these concerns when considering a Subaru Outback from the 2020 or 2021 model years. While these issues may not be present in all vehicles, it’s essential to research thoroughly and potentially test drive any specific vehicle to ensure it meets your expectations and standards for reliability.

Subaru Outback Average Resale Values:

Subaru Outback’s Average Resale Value is outstanding because Subaru Outback is a very good SUV like the Honda Accord and Honda CR-V. Below is a graph for proper overview:

best year for subaru outback

Final Words:

The Subaru Outback has seen its fair share of highs and lows over the years. While certain models have stood out for their reliability and practicality, others have been marred by mechanical issues and design flaws.

It’s important for potential buyers to carefully consider the specific model year they are interested in, taking into account factors such as safety ratings, performance, and overall consumer satisfaction.