Subaru Outback - Problems, Statistics, and Analysis

Subaru Outback owners have reported a total of 5,015 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 (571 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 power train (608 problems). The second most common problem is related to the vehicle's engine and engine cooling (586 problems).

Table 2. Common problems of Subaru Outback

Problem Category Number of Problems
  Power Train
608
  Engine And Engine Cooling
586
  Air Bag
546
  Electrical System
410
  Visibility
350
  Vehicle Speed Control
350
  Equipment
347
  Service Brakes
310
  Exterior Lighting
249
  Suspension
242
   
  Steering
238
  Other Fuel System
165
  Structure
128
  Tire
98
  Gasoline Fuel System
89
  Wheel
75
  Seat Belt
53
  Electronic Stability Control
42
  Unknown Or Other
35
  Seats
33
  Latches/locks/linkage
21
  Traction Control System
13
  Parking Brake
12
  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 196185,6541    
1.06
  2017 158228,4462    
0.35
  2016 203151,5583    
0.45
  2015 340152,7114    
0.56
  2014 192123,0745    
0.31
  2013 240118,3936    
0.34
  2012 21797,6327    
0.32
  2011 571138,2978    
0.52
  2010 36876,5849    
0.53
  2009 11238,91710    
0.29
  2008 24267,43211    
0.33
  2007 14444,55912    
0.27
  2006 35958,80113    
0.47
  2005 31682,14114    
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
48
  2018 Outback
123
  2017 Outback
68
  2016 Outback
70
  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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