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The 8 Best Used Midsize SUVs - A Top Subaru Outback Year And One To Avoid

Should you buy a used Subaru Outback or a new 2022 Subaru Outback this summer? Check out used prices, the best Outback year to purchase, and one you should avoid.

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With Subaru’s plant shutdown in the U.S. through May 2, it may be harder to find a 2021 Subaru Outback or 2022 Outback model this summer. Subaru will lose approximately 15,000 vehicles to the production shutdown affecting SUV shoppers this spring and summer. The microchip shortage is affecting new Subaru models, and it’s raising used car prices.

A new study from Consumer Reports reveals that demand for used cars is pushing prices up with the shortage of new vehicles. The average cost of a used car jumped 12.5 percent over the past year, from $21,020 to $23,643, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

As of this writing, Torque News reached out to a source close to Subaru and found 2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Outback, and 2021 Crosstrek inventory is holding up well right now. The source told us they are out of 2021 Subaru Ascent 3-Row family haulers completely.

If you cannot buy a new model now, which is the best year if you shop for a previously owned Subaru Outback? Consumer Reports ranked the most reliable three-year-old midsize SUVs, and the 2018 Subaru Outback scores one of the eight best used SUV choices. You can also check Subaru’s Certified Pre-Owned inventory in your area here.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

The best three-year-old midsize SUVs

In addition to the 2018 Subaru Outback, the other seven models Consumer Reports ranks high are, listed alphabetically, the 2018 Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, and Toyota Highlander.

Which used Subaru Outback should I avoid?

According to a report from online automotive resource CarComplaints, the 2013 Subaru Outback is a year you should avoid. CarComplaints listed 337 complaints about the 2013 Outback, with twenty-four complaints being about the engine.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows fifty-nine complaints were also listed for the 2013 Outback with the 2.5-liter engine. The majority of these complaints were due to excessive oil use because of the faulty piston rings.

Torque News reported in 2014, Subaru was sued over excessive oil consumption, and the 2013 Subaru Outback was on the list. Subaru of America settled the lawsuit, and owners received a “redesigned” $4,000 boxer engine in some of the vehicles found to burn excessive oil. It would be best to avoid buying a 2013 Outback with a 2.5-liter engine.

If you can’t find the 2021 Outback color and trim you want as supplies run low and don’t want to wait for the 2022 Outback models, a used vehicle is a good option. Used car prices are on the rise, but the 2018 Subaru Outback is one of the eight best three-year-old midsize SUVs.

You Might Also Like: The New Canadian Subaru Outback Wilderness Gets A Key Feature - U.S. Customers Are Left In The Cold

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Comments

Anne (not verified)    April 24, 2021 - 7:28PM

2012 outback was the worst car we ever owned. Would never own another Subaru again. 2
Headgaskets and $$$$$$$ later - omg so many problems - never again.

Marlon (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 5:04PM

In reply to by Anne (not verified)

I have a 2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i ..bought it brand new..Change oil every 3000 miles...change all other oils yearly.
Have had issue with front half shafts several times where they had to be replaced, issues with alignment, had the 5 speed manual transmission overhauled 2 twice plus a couple of clutches, been thru 3 circuit boards for air bags, 3 air bag recalls, 3 water pumps, now uses 1/2 quart oil every 500 miles, had new head gaskets installed, new alternator and power steering pump.
Plus it currently needs a catalytic converter for 1800.00 plus lower front bearings.
This car never ends with repairs. Will be my last Subaru...going to Toyota

Marlon (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 5:04PM

In reply to by Anne (not verified)

I have a 2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i ..bought it brand new..Change oil every 3000 miles...change all other oils yearly.
Have had issue with front half shafts several times where they had to be replaced, issues with alignment, had the 5 speed manual transmission overhauled 2 twice plus a couple of clutches, been thru 3 circuit boards for air bags, 3 air bag recalls, 3 water pumps, now uses 1/2 quart oil every 500 miles, had new head gaskets installed, new alternator and power steering pump.
Plus it currently needs a catalytic converter for 1800.00 plus lower front bearings.
This car never ends with repairs. Will be my last Subaru...going to Toyota

Elizabeth Patman (not verified)    April 24, 2021 - 9:24PM

Bought a 2018 Subaru Outback Limited recently. Love it! No complaints so far. 30 mpg to work. Mix of rural highway and towns. No oil excessive usage Comfortable. Drives well.

Dennis (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 9:29AM

I have a 2011 Outback with 269,000 miles on it. Just regular maintenance done. Great year for the Outback.

Tom (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 1:31PM

We had a 2013 2.5 Outback. Nightmare. We now have a 2010 and 2015. Fantastic. What a difference a few years can make!

Eric (not verified)    April 25, 2021 - 6:45PM

I have a 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport and while it has been reliable the engine definitely suffers from excessive oil usage. I always have to add a quart of oil between regular oil changes, it's not that big a deal but it is kind of annoying and I find it very unusual. I've owned 5-6 cars and have never ever had a low oil light come on in any of them except when there was a major issue. You can drive most cars way beyond the recommended oil interval without running low on oil. It's a very strange Subaru trait, but again I haven't had any other issues really other than just having to add oil on occasion.

VS (not verified)    April 26, 2021 - 1:46PM

When is Subaru going to recall the leaky engine cam carrier/timing chain cover problem? Oh most start leaking right after the 5 year PT warranty is up. $3300 to reseal the engine or risk a potential engine fire.
Did your rear sway bar fall off yet? loose bolts from the factory.
Ignition coil recall fixed by software? Not so fast, Subaru's are still stalling.
Best place for your badge of ownership is on your garbage can... Can that will be full of bad parts like wheel bearings, axle shafts, AC components, CVT parts and fairly new tires.

Abe (not verified)    April 28, 2021 - 6:59PM

2013 Outback 3.6R owner (6 cyl for those not in the know). 121k. Zero issues outside of regular maintenance. That’s too bad about the 2.5. Had a 2008 Outback 2.5 for over 100k and no issues.