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Subaru definitely has a reputation for making reliable and rugged SUVs. If you are looking for a well-rounded sport utility vehicle that does it all, the Outback is usually a good bet. However, the 2015 Subaru Outback has a problem that might make it worth skipping over for a similar but more reliable SUV.

How reliable is the Subaru Outback 2015?

Subaru is a reliable brand, but the 2015 Outback isn’t the most reliable option in its past. Most years of the Subaru Outback years on Car Complaints show fewer issues than the average vehicle. The 2015 version was just an off-year for the popular Outback, with more owner complaints than any other year.

Drivers complain of electrical problems the most for the 2015 Outback. Most of those relate to the battery not working correctly, either dying entirely or not having enough power to turn the engine over. Sometimes, the battery can be jumped and will work again for a little while. Other reports that the battery must be replaced, sometimes every two years.

The typical repair cost is $200, but this can happen even before 30,000 miles. Based on comments from actual owners of the 2015 Subaru Outback, all of the trim levels and engine types were impacted.

There is no recall for the 2015 Subaru Outback battery issue

A 2015 Subaru Outback in the fall foliage
The 2015 Subaru Outback | Subaru

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also collects comments and gives safety ratings for the 2015 Subaru Outback. On the NHTSA listing for this model year, there are 450 complaints from drivers. Many of those relate to the electrical system as well. One of the most recent comments from April 8, 2023, notes that the battery needed replacement. “The battery has been in need of replacement at least every year, if not twice a year, since purchase,” the comment states.

There are five recalls for the 2015 Outback, but none relate to battery issues. There is an urgent “do not drive” order related to a malfunctioning steering column. This can cause a loss of steering and increase the crash risk. The recall date is May 11, 2016, so this has probably been remedied if you are looking to purchase a used one.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a fix for the battery issue. One driver said he purchased a battery with a warranty so it could be replaced if it died prematurely. The 2015 Subaru Outback battery remains an issue, with complaints from last week.

One other issue plagues the Outback

A few Subaru Outback problems under “airbags” and “powertrain” are worth noting. Some drivers report unexpected acceleration, either before or after parking. Reports state that the 2015 Subaru Outback would sometimes lurch or accelerate forward without warning. Most of the time, the airbags did not deploy. There is no resolution for this problem from the owners; most dealerships said it could not be replicated.

The 2015 Outback has more issues than similar years. Car Complaints show that 2014, 2016, and 2019 have proven to be more reliable options. There are more good years than bad in the grand scheme of Subaru SUVs. The 2015 Outback is merely a blip on the radar.


The Most Complained About Subaru SUVs in Recent Years