I am currently driving my third Outback, a 2011 Limited model with the optional 3.6 liter six-cylinder engine. I wouldn’t have bought my second Outback if the first one wasn’t very reliable, and I certainly wouldn’t have bought the third one if the second one wasn’t even more reliable than the first one. So, if people tell you of negative experiences with their Subarus, all I can say is that my experience runs counter to that.
I never experienced oil burning with any of my Outbacks, but because I opted for the six-cylinder engine with the second and third ones, that might explain why I have not experienced oil consumption problems.
How does one define “reliable”?
Well, the second Outback (a 2003 model) needed two repairs in the 7 years/110k miles that I owned it:
A purge valve failed, and was replaced under warranty.
A belt pulley’s bearings went dry, and had to be replaced at ~100k miles.
That’s it. No other repairs in 110k miles.
The current Outback now has ~81k on the odometer, and it has had a total of one repair in the 7 1/2 years that I have owned it:
The windshield washer pump was replaced–under warranty a few years ago.
Nothing else–other than maintenance…
All of that being said, I would only buy one of these cars if it was equipped with the optional six-cylinder engine:
Superior power with only a miniscule gas mileage penalty
Incredible reliability–with no history of head gasket problems or oil burning.
As to the quoted price, I can’t comment.