Subaru Outback - Problems, Statistics, and Analysis

Subaru Outback owners have reported a total of 4,763 problems for their cars built in the 24 model years listed in the chart below. The chart shows the number of problems reported across all service years for each given model year of the Subaru Outback. The 2011 Subaru Outback cars have the most problems reported (538 problems).

Table 1. Total number of problems by model year for Subaru Outback

  Common problems of Subaru Outback

The following chart shows the 27 most common problems for Subaru Outback cars. The number one most common problem is related to the vehicle's engine and engine cooling (575 problems). The second most common problem is related to the vehicle's power train (575 problems).

Table 2. Common problems of Subaru Outback

Problem Category Number of Problems
  Engine And Engine Cooling
575
  Power Train
575
  Air Bag
518
  Electrical System
376
  Vehicle Speed Control
345
  Equipment
313
  Visibility
304
  Service Brakes
297
  Exterior Lighting
243
  Suspension
238
   
  Steering
225
  Other Fuel System
157
  Structure
121
  Tire
98
  Gasoline Fuel System
89
  Wheel
73
  Seat Belt
51
  Electronic Stability Control
39
  Unknown Or Other
35
  Seats
31
  Latches/locks/linkage
21
  Traction Control System
13
  Parking Brake
11
  Child Seat
6
  Air Brake
4
  Interior Lighting
3
  Forward Collision Avoidance
2

  Compare Reliability Across Model Years Using PPMY Index

It would not be fair to compare the Subaru Outback of an older model year to newer model years since older vehicles have been in service longer and thus are expected to have more problems. In order to compare the reliability across Outback model years, we use the PPMY index which is defined as the problems reported per thousand vehicles per Year. A smaller PPMY index indicates greater reliability of the given model year cars.

    PPMY = P / S / Y * 1000,

where P = total problems reported during the life of a Subaru Outback model year; S = total units sold of the model year; Y = years since the debut of the model year (the age of the vehicle).

The results are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Use PPMY Index to Compare Reliability Across Outback Model Years

Outback
Model Year
Problems Sales [1] Vehicle
Age
PPMY Index
  2018 158111,9131    
1.41
  2017 131228,4642    
0.29
  2016 187151,5583    
0.41
  2015 327152,7114    
0.54
  2014 179123,0745    
0.29
  2013 225118,3936    
0.32
  2012 19597,6327    
0.29
  2011 538138,2978    
0.49
  2010 35376,5849    
0.51
  2009 11238,91710    
0.29
  2008 23567,43211    
0.32
  2007 13544,55912    
0.25
  2006 35858,80113    
0.47
  2005 31182,14114    
0.27

  Number of Problems Reported During the First Year

Another way to measure the reliability across the model years of the Subaru Outback is to use the total number of problems reported during the vehicle's first year in service, as shown in the Table 4.

Table 4. Number of problems in vehicle's; first service year

Model YearProblems Reported
  2019 Outback
12
  2018 Outback
119
  2017 Outback
67
  2016 Outback
69
  2015 Outback
173
  2014 Outback
56
  2013 Outback
58
  2012 Outback
28
  2011 Outback
67
  2010 Outback
104
  2009 Outback
9
  2008 Outback
12
  2007 Outback
13
  2006 Outback
9
  2005 Outback
26
  2004 Outback
15
  2003 Outback
12
  2002 Outback
14
  2001 Outback
28
  2000 Outback
36
  1999 Outback
19
  1998 Outback
17
  1997 Outback
8
  1996 Outback
2


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