How Long Do Subaru Outbacks Last?

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Knowing how long a vehicle lasts is an important deciding factor for purchasing a vehicle.

With a lineup such as the Subaru Outback, which has six generations’ worth of cars and various competitors, you have many choices to select from.

With so many different options to choose from, you might wonder “How long do Subaru Outbacks last?”.

While it may be different for you due to various factors, the Subaru Outback should last you a minimum of 200,000 miles, with reports also claiming that it can last over 300,000 miles, which is great for a station wagon.

I will be going over how the Subaru Outback compares to other popular vehicles in its class and talking about the life expectancy of all its parts, so make sure that you read the whole article so that you know all about the car.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Subaru Outback?

Does a Subaru Outback last long? Let's find out

Keeping in mind that the total miles you can travel with a Subaru Outback range from 200,000 to 300,000 miles, you can expect around 13 to 20 years of service before it becomes uneconomical for you to continue to drive your Subaru Outback.

This is mostly because beyond this range, repairs and servicing become too costly and are needed much more frequently, which makes it extremely annoying to constantly spend a lot of money just to have a new problem spring up.

This results in you paying more for repairs than buying a new car.

Everyone knows that if you take special care of your car, it will last longer, which is why later in the article, I will explain how you can maintain specific parts of your vehicle to get the most life out of it.

Does Subaru Outback Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

The Subaru Outback has a great life expectancy and is a very reliable and durable vehicle that should last you a long time before it becomes a problem.

This, however, can be said for a lot of different vehicles which fall into the Subaru Outback’s category. The Subaru Outback has had a great reputation based on its life’s longevity.

This is supported by various reports and the recommendations of the many people who own a Subaru Outback.

A study showed that the car is one of the most likely vehicles to make it to its 200,000 mark, which should easily indicate how will it can last when compared to other vehicles.

However, for the sake of confirmation, let’s compare the vehicle to a few of its competitors and see how well it holds up against them.

1. Subaru Outback Vs. Subaru Forester

I will first be comparing the Subaru Outback to a lineup of crossover SUVs made by the same company, the Subaru Forester.

I will be comparing all aspects of the vehicles which may correlate to how long the vehicle may last:

  • The Subaru Outback has a higher lifespan than the Subaru Forester.
  • The Subaru Outback and Forester have equal reliability scores.
  • The Subaru Outback has more complaints than the Subaru Forester.

Despite having the same reliability score and a shorter lifespan, the Subaru Forester is, in my opinion, more reliable and longer-lasting than the Subaru Outback as it has much fewer issues which means that it breaks down less often and is more dependable.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Subaru Forester Last?

2. Subaru Outback Vs. Subaru Crosstrek

Comparing the Subaru Outback to yet another lineup from the same company, now I will put it head to head against the Subaru Crosstrek, which is another successful subcompact crossover SUV, and see which one is more reliable:

  • The Subaru Outback has a bigger lifespan than the Subaru Crosstrek.
  • The Subaru Outback has less reliability score than the Subaru Crosstrek.
  • The Subaru Outback has more complaints than the Subaru Crosstrek.

This time, the advantage is clearly in favor of the Subaru Crosstrek, which, despite having less total mileage than the Subaru Outback, still proves to have fewer problems, and complaints and be more reliable which is why it is also more long-lasting than the Subaru Outback.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Subaru Crosstrek Last?

3. Subaru Outback Vs. Toyota RAV4

Comparing the Outback to a vehicle from another company, now I make direct comparisons to the Toyota RAV4, which is another compact crossover SUV:

  • The Subaru Outback beats the Toyota RAV4 in terms of total mileage by 50,000 miles.
  • The Subaru Outback has a less reliability score than the Toyota RAV4.
  • The Subaru Outback has more complaints than the Toyota RAV4.

This comparison is also similar to the Subaru Crosstrek, where the Toyota Rav 4 comes out on top as it has much fewer problems and complaints against it and a much higher reliability score which make it much more reliable than the Subaru Outback, despite its having more mileage than the Toyota RAV4.

Related: What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Toyota RAV4?

Life Expectancy Of Subaru Outback Car Parts

Every vehicle has many different parts that work together to make sure the car runs perfectly and without any issues.

Depending on how you use the vehicle and how much you drive, you subject these parts to a varying degree of wear and tear.

Which is why it is important to know how you can keep these parts running longer and the life expectancy of each component so that you can avoid having to constantly repair and replace parts and can make your current parts last a long time.

Below, I will be talking about individual parts, how long they last, and ways you can improve their lifespan.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Brake Pads

The brakes are an integral part of the car, and without proper brakes, it is extremely dangerous to go on a ride, so you should make sure that your brake pads are in tip-top shape.

The lifespan of a Subaru Outback’s brake pad is 30,000 miles minimum and 70,000 miles maximum, which means an average of 50,000 miles.

This can vary depending on where you drive and how you drive.

Driving in high congestion areas will have you break more often, resulting in more wear and tear on the brake pads, lowering their lifespan.

To increase the lifespan of your brake pads, make sure to avoid hard braking as this will more prominently damage the brake pads of your car otherwise.

Also, make sure that you regularly visit the mechanic to have them inspected so that you can have them replaced if needed.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Battery

While this depends on a lot of factors, some of these are outside your control, such as weather conditions, and others that relate to the type of battery you use and your driving habits, the average life span of a Subaru Outback Battery is four years with three years being the minimum amount and 5 being the max.

You can easily increase the life of your battery by keeping your car in a temperature-controlled environment, making sure that you don’t let it sit around for too long, and testing it regularly.

You should also make it a habit to clean the battery’s terminals. This helps avoid corrosion.

Also, make sure that the battery is properly fastened inside to not go loose due to a speed bump or through general vibrations.

These can damage or disconnect the battery, which will prevent the car from functioning.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Tires

Many factors affect the lifespan of your Subaru Outback.

Most of these are out of your control, such as weather conditions and the condition of the road, but some are plain you are doing.

The average lifespan of a Subaru Outback’s tires is 55,000 miles, whereas the minimum is 50,000 miles.

This, however, does not mean that your tires are sure to last 50,000 miles as anything can happen, and due to the factors below, they can last as low as 10,000 miles.

Tires are subjected to wear and tear whenever the car is being driven, so eventually, they will have to be replaced.

The Subaru Outback is an all-wheel drive as well, which also applies more force to the tires, which makes them wear much faster.

This can come extremely sooner than you think if you drive on rugged roads and terrain on a near-daily basis and if you neglect to maintain tire air pressure and any other small issues which may affect the tires while you drive the car.

Related: Best Tires For Subaru Outback

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Transmission

250,000 to 300,000 miles is what many people think is the average lifespan of the transmission being used by the Subaru Outback, and this is true for the most part.

This means that you should be able to see 275,000 miles from your Subaru Outback’s transmission before it starts to develop issues and concerns which are too expensive to fix.

To further increase how long it can last, you should make a habit of replacing the transmission filer inside the vehicle every 40,000 miles or so.

This can also be accompanied by flushing out the transmission fluid from the transmission and replacing them with new fluid.

Just make sure to flush the old fluid out completely. This is much less costly than having to buy a new transmission which you would have to if you don’t take proper care of it.

Related: What Are The Subaru Outback Transmission Problems?

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Spark Plugs

The spark plugs are a crucial part of the car as they allow you to start your vehicle by igniting the fuel.

This component of your Subaru Outback is very different when it comes to its lifespan.

According to the service guide of the company, the owner of the Subaru Outback should have the spark plugs replaced the first time after 60,000 miles have been driven.

All spark plug changes must then be subsequently changed every 30,000 miles making them have an average lifespan of 30,000 years.

Depending on the type of spark plug, you can have more or less durability. Everything else depends on how you treat the engine.

If the overall condition of the engine is bad, then it will no doubt have a direct effect on the spark plugs.

Aggressive driving also hurts their lifespan, so make sure to avoid that as it wears them down much faster.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Outback Key Fob

When talking about the key fob of a car, you do not necessarily talk about replacing it as it is simply a remote control that you only replace if your old one is broken or is not working properly.

If your key fob is perfectly fine and has no indication of damage, then it is probably a weak or dead battery inside the key fob.

This battery has an average lifespan of 3 years at the minimum and four years maximum, which is not bad at all.

Even if the battery runs out, you can simply open the key fob, take out the old battery, safely dispose of it and then add in a new battery.

If you add a better quality battery, it should last you even longer.

The key fob has no degradation and no wear and tear, so the fob itself should last you a lifetime so long as you don’t spam the buttons to the point where it breaks.

The key fob itself is pretty durable and should not break either if it is dropped. However, on the off chance that you do break it, you will have no choice but to get a replacement.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Subaru Outback?

As mentioned above, the Subaru Outback has an average range of 200,000 to 300,000 miles which is very respectable in its own right.

Having a high mileage vehicle is perfect as it provides a lot of value to the customer who can purchase the vehicle for good value and know that it is good for a long period of time before any issues start to arise.

That being said, if you are in the market for a used Subaru Outback, then a good mileage for you to purchase is around 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

This is the optimal amount of mileage you can buy the Subaru Outback, as at this stage, the vehicle should not have any problems or issues affecting it and should easily last you 7 to 10 years before reaching the point where it will require a lot of money to fix or need constant repairs to be capable of driving.

How To Increase How Long Your Subaru Outback Last

While I have been talking about ways to improve the lifespan of the various components of the Subaru Outback, I should also talk about the various ways you can make the car last longer as a whole so you can maximize the lifespan of the car and get most out of your purchase.

  • Avoid aggressive driving.
  • Avoid hard braking.
  • Try to drive on smooth roads.
  • Take your car to the mechanic for regular servicing.
  • Regularly check oil & oil filter.
  • Maintain proper tire pressure and rotation.
  • Keep adding fresh coolant and fluids for transmission, steering, and the brakes.

If you follow these simple methods, you should be able to prevent your Subaru Outback from generating issues that will have a negative impact on its lifespan.

Instead, this will make sure that your car lasts much longer than others and increase its total lifespan instead.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Subaru Outback

Each vehicle has its fair share of issues, concerns, and problems that can severely limit and damage the lifespan of the vehicle.

In this section, I will be listing and briefly explaining the issues which surround the Subaru Outback, which negatively affect it to the point that its lifespan is affected:

  • Engine failure.
  • Transmission failure.
  • Unexplained battery drain.
  • The battery is not keeping a charge.
  • The engine is not turning over.
  • Hub bearing is wearing out.

These are just a few issues that surround the Subaru Outback, which can have a severe negative effect on the life of the vehicle.

Engine & transmission failure is both very expensive and can signal the time to get a new car.

Bad Mpg and battery not retaining charge is also a huge negative as it forces the user to change the battery, which obviously has a defect.

Related: Subaru Outback Starting Problems

What To Look For When Buying A Subaru Outback

There are a lot of things to be on the look for when buying a new vehicle, and the same applies to the Subaru Outback, which has a lot of models as well as nuances that you should know about prior to purchasing a Subaru Outback; these include:

  • Model years (anything but the 2009 to 2015 models).
  • Model trim.
  • Mileage (if buying a used model).
  • Tire condition.
  • Engine model and condition.
  • Damage or corrosion or rust.

Regardless of whether or not you are buying a used Subaru Outback, make sure that you see all of these things before purchasing and confirm if all of this is in good condition.

The Subaru Outback models released from 2009 to 2015 are some of the worst models in the lineup, so make sure you look for any model other than those and actively avoid them.

Also, make sure that the rest of the car is to your liking, in terms of trims and whether it has any damage or not.

Having a perfect car can easily prevent you from adding on to any imperfections and increasing any damage already done, which may hurt the lifespan of the car.

Related: Best And Worst Years For Subaru Outback

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Subaru Outback A Reliable Car?

With the life expectancy that it offers along with the total mileage it can provide, you can easily believe that the Subaru Outback is an extremely reliable car.

The vehicle has great durability and uses quality materials in its build.

While it is not the most reliable vehicle when it comes to its vehicle class, most owners are satisfied with their Subaru Outback and believe it to be a pretty reliable car.

Q2. Does Subaru Outback Have A Lot Of Problems?

The Subaru Outback is a great lineup of cars that has been presented by the company, but none of the models are free of issues.

There are a lot of different issues which have surrounded the Subaru Outback, particularly the 2015 model, which is claimed to be the worst as it had issues ranging from its electrical systems to its engine, transmission, and all accessories, interior, and exterior, many of which are common in other models as well.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Subaru Outback?

While this may depend on the model you are planning to buy, most of the time, it is a good idea to buy a used Subaru Outback.

While I would recommend you ignore certain models like the 2015 Subaru Outback, which has a lot of issues, you should generally be okay with any used model.

Earlier models do not have nearly as much space or technology in them but make up for it in comfortability.

Q4. Does Subaru Outback Rust Easily?

It is common to associate rust with a Subaru, but this is probably because they are more used in cold areas.

Regardless of where you drive your Subaru Outback, you can rest easy knowing that your car won’t rust away as the Subaru Outback has a solid record for durability against rust.

Only a few owners have ever complained about their Subaru Outback developing any sort of rust which shows just how rust resistant it is.

Q5. Is Subaru Outback Expensive To Maintain?

When compared to similar vehicles in its class, the Subaru Outback is actually less expensive to maintain, beating the industry average by around $800.

The average amount you are likely to spend on the vehicles is around $8000 during a period of 10 years, but this is $7200 for the Subaru Outback.

This means it is much more affordable and less expensive to fix, maintain and get repairs.


The Subaru Outback is a very reliable car that has earned the respect of most, if not all of its owners, as well as the praise of the general public for being a very dependable vehicle that can last you years on end.

Hence you should not worry about how long do Subaru Outbacks last as the car itself is one of the most reliable, long-lasting and trustworthy.

It can easily last you 200,000 miles which you can stretch out to well over 300,000 miles given proper maintenance, servicing, and by making sure to follow all the tips and methods stated above in the article.