Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $8,500*


2001 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition 4-door wagon


2000 Subaru Legacy GT 4-door sedan


2000 Subaru Legacy interior


2002 Subaru Outback 4-door sedan


2002 Subaru Legacy GT 4-door wagon

Pros:
  • All-wheel drive
  • Cargo room (wagon)
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Seat comfort (Legacy)

Considerably better than its predecessor, the Legacy isn’t an attractive value apart from its AWD system. A six-cylinder Outback wagon stands out for SUV looks and all-wheel-drive traction, without the thirst and clumsiness of a truck-based vehicle.

Overview

Subaru’s largest all-wheel-drive sedans and wagons were redesigned for 2000. New styling added six inches to length and one inch to width, on a wheelbase about an inch longer than before.

SUV-flavored Outback wagons, which had accounted for 65 percent of recent sales, became a separate model line, but shared the basic Legacy design. Those wagons featured a raised roofline. Outback sedans also were offered. Both Outback models had an elevated suspension that provided 7.3 inches of ground clearance–an inch more than the Legacy.

Legacy sedans came in L, GT, and GT Limited form. Wagons were offered in Brighton, L, and GT trim. Outback wagons came in base and Limited form, while only an Outback Limited sedan was available.

All models retained Subaru’s 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, which switched from dual-overhead cams to the less-costly single-cam format and received various internal modifications to produce more torque at lower engine speed. Horsepower was unchanged at 165.

A five-speed manual gearbox was standard, with a four-speed automatic transmission optional. Outback sedans came only with automatic. Legacy GT models got a limited-slip rear differential to enhance traction in very slippery conditions.

Front seatbelt pretensioners and antilock braking were standard. Side-impact airbags were standard in the GT Limited sedan and Outback Limited, but not available in other models.

Rivals to the compact Legacy included the Mazda 626, Mitsubishi Galant, and Volkswagen Passat. Outback went against the Audi A4, Saturn L-Series, and Volkswagen Passat.

Yearly Updates

2001 Legacy/Outback
Budget-priced Legacy models disappeared, but the remaining versions gained some standard equipment, including an outside-temperature gauge, variable-assist power steering, and automatic-off headlights. The Brighton wagon was gone, leaving L and GT sedans and wagons, and a GT Limited sedan. A new Outback VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) wagon and an L.L. Bean Edition both used a 3.0-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission. The VDC wagon had Subaru’s first antiskid system, plus Variable Torque Distribution four-wheel drive.
2002 Legacy/Outback
New H6 and VDC Outback sedans debuted this year, joining the six-cylinder Outback wagons. An All-weather Package with heated front seats and mirrors now was standard on Legacy GT models.
2003 Legacy/Outback/Baja
Joining Outback and Legacy sedans and wagons was the Baja, basically an Outback wagon with an open rear cargo bed. Baja was 6 inches longer overall than the Outback wagon, seated four instead of five, and came with 2-tone leather upholstery. Added midyear was a Baja Sport with cloth upholstery. The wall separating cargo bed from cabin has a panel that folds to create a pass-through beneath the fixed rear window. Roof lights and a bed-extender cage were options. All Legacys and Outbacks got revisions to suspension and front styling, and OnStar assistance is newly standard for H6 sedan, L.L. Bean, and VDC Outbacks. Also new for 2003 were Legacy L Special Edition models with upgraded features over the base L versions. In addition, the Legacy 2.5 GT replaced Legacy GT and GT Limited models and included a manual shift gate for the automatic transmission. Outback Limiteds, the H6 sedan, and the L.L. Bean wagon now came with an in-dash CD changer.
2004 Legacy/Outback/Baja
The Baja gets a new optional turbocharged 210-hp 4-cylinder engine in 2004, while siblings Legacy and Outback get special 35th Anniversary Editions this year, which included added standard features on each.

Engines

transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

Legacy models used a 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that produced 165 horsepower. Outbacks came with four-cylinder power or, starting in 2001, with a “flat” six-cylinder dual-overhead-cam engine rated at 212 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission was standard on most four-cylinder models, but six-cylinder Outbacks came only with a four-speed automatic. Optional on the Baja in 2004 was a 210-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, making 45 more horsepower than the standard 4-cyl.

ohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 165
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
21/28
22/27
22.5

Turbocharged dohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 235
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
18/24
18/23
dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 212
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

20/27

Road Test

Acceleration is adequate with manual shift, but a Legacy/Outback feels sluggish with automatic. Though it shifts smoothly, the automatic usually maintains too high a gear–and then is reluctant to downshift. As for economy, a five-speed GT Limited sedan averaged a satisfying 22.5 mpg.

Base Legacy and Outback models soak up pavement irregularities better than some larger, more expensive cars. Sport versions and Baja have a ride that is slightly more stiff and jarring. Steering feel and highway tracking are excellent, but plenty of body lean is evident in turns, and tires on early Brighton and L models have modest grip. With their stiffer suspension settings and bigger tires, GTs furnish genuinely sporty handling, but at the expense of some sharp reactions over bigger bumps and tar strips. Brakes are easily modulated and provide terrific stopping power. Wind and road noise are easily managed, while the engine delivers a prominent snarl.

Front seats are comfortable for most drivers, though some may find them lacking in long-distance support. All controls are within easy reach. Outward visibility is very good. Rear head, leg, and foot room are plentiful for two adults, on a nicely supportive seat. Tall doors make getting in/out easy. The sedan’s trunk is efficiently shaped and liftover is low, but volume is unimpressive. Outbacks blend a little SUV feeling with compact-car convenience, adding a ride that’s more civilized and controlled than on any truck-based SUV. Despite copious body lean in turns, an Outback handles far more competently than any SUV. Four-cylinder acceleration is sluggish, and the automatic transmission is reluctant to downshift. Six-cylinder engines are smoother and deliver greater performance, but aren’t quite as peppy as some might expect. Baja model makes little sense for practical use, and slow sales back that claim.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Subaru Outback Limited wagon

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 50

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 184.4 68.7 55.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.4 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 36.6 43.3 34.2
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 184.4 68.7 58.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.4 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 36.6 43.3 34.2
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 187.4 68.7 59.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
68.6 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.5 37.2 43.3 34.3
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 187.4 68.7 63.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
68.6 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.5 37.2 43.3 34.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine mounts
Description: Due to the multitude of configurations (bolt holes, accessory attachment points, etc.), cylinder heads for 2.5L engines are extremely difficult to interchange, often making the simplest solution replacement of the engine. (2000-04)
Vehicle noise
Description: Some early build models made a clicking noise under the dash when the HVAC is switched to “recirc” mode. (2000)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak from the courtesy-light housing, especially on cars with the dual sunroof, due to a leaking seam. (2000)
Pedals
Description: Some owners have complained about the brake pedal being too low or requiring too long a stroke. Dealers were adjusting the pedal height by changing the length of the pushrod. (2000)

Recall History

2000 Legacy
Description: The left-side steering-knuckle arm was incorrectly assembled. Steering control could be lost, if left uninspected.
2000 Legacy
Description: Antirust coating could shrink, causing a torque decrease in the bolt that secures the transverse-link bracket to the vehicle body. If the bracket becomes too loose, the transverse link could separate from the vehicle.
2000-03 Legacy/Outback
Description: Road salt may cause some vehicles’ rear suspension subframe to rust, affecting control of the vehicle. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
2001 Legacy
Description: A casting flaw in the right-front bearing housing could result in loss of steering control.
2001 Legacy
Description: Incorrect seatbelt was installed in the rear-center position. The belt is too short.
2001 Legacy
Description: Underhood fuel hoses can age and become less flexible, allowing fuel leakage at low temperatures.
2001 Legacy
Description: Manual seats have been improperly welded. Latch mechanism can break, making seat adjustment impossible.
2001-03 Legacy/Outback/Baja
Description: Defective transmission parking-rod assemblies were installed on certain vehicles with automatic transmissions. The vehicle may not remain in “Park.” Dealer will inspect and replace all affected parts.
2001-04 Legacy/Outback
Description: Errors with the cruise control cable could cause the driver to not be able to decelerate. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2002
Description: The brake master cylinders may not function properly at low temperatures. The brakes may not release after being applied.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.