Notes: A relatively dependable vehicle that handles well in bad weather, but increasing concerns about turbo failure in the GT probably means you should look elsewhere if you want a car with a little pep in its step.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,794 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 052011


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated while driving 70 mph, he was unable to accelerate and the vehicle began to decelerate. The contact was able to continue driving approximately 30 mph. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who replaced the turbo mechanism. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that they would investigate the problem. The current and failure mileages were approximately 62,000.

- Niles, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 282010


  • miles
Ltr fwd fm (va) owner of a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT concerned that service bulletin released by Subaru only alerted dealerships not the vehicle owners re turbocharger defect, reply to roanoke, va ofc. While driving, the vehicle started make a whining sound from the engine compartment. The whining quickly turned to a rattle and then rapidly to a clanging noise. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and upon inspection, it was determined the turbocharger was blown. Apparently, Subaru engineers decided to route lubricating engine oil to the turbocharger through a banjo bolt. The banjo bolt has an internal mesh screen that filters the oil and ensures that the oil flowing to the turbo is clean. If the screen is clogged or blocked in any way, this will result in decreased flow of oil to the turbo. A turbo with inadequate oil flow will basically self-destruct and send tiny shards of metal into the engine's compressions chamber.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #4

Dec 312007

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,840 miles
Turbo charger and engine blown with 63,000 miles. Happened on a freeway while traveling at a steady (not accelerating or decelerating) 45 mph. Purchased extended warranty from dealership at time of purchase, but am told that they will not cover the damages because I changed the oil (full synthetic) myself at the time of last oil change, while I was doing a brake job. It took the dealership over two weeks to diagnose the problem and was not initially given a rental or loaner. After contacting Subaru of America, I was approved for a rental for 3 days, but had to return the car after that time period. It has now been more than a month and a half, and I still do not have my vehicle, or a rental.

- Pearblossom, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 182008

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,798 miles


Turbo charger seized and failed @ 32,000 miles with approximately $2000 in damage. Vehicle was approximately 2000 miles overdue on oil change (100% synthetic) per owners manual, and therefore Subaru will not honor powertrain warranty and claims no responsibility. Turbo failure is a documented problem not only with the Legacy, but also with several other Subaru models equipt with this turbo. A recent Subaru techinical service bulletin (#02-103-07) address' this issue.

- Waterford , MI, USA

problem #2

Jul 102005

Legacy 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
The suburu Legacy turbo we bought in June has a major, life-threatening safety issue. We quickly found that on turns with acceleration the power steering fails. Initially our dealer could find no problem. When we demonstrated it to them they kept the car. Unable to find anything they drove another like car from their lot and found the same issue. They told us it must be a normal feature of turbo engines with AWD. Even backing onto a parking space, I've had this happen and turning left onto a busy street I have narrowly missed causing an accident several times. It seems our dealer will (kindly) put us into some other car, without the turbo, but before someone is killed we wanted to report the problem.

- Saint Johnsbury, VT, USA

problem #1

Jan 012005

Legacy 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100 miles
Early 2005 (build date in 2004) Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT turbo stutters, hesitates or stumbles at middle rpms (2000-3000). Occurs most noticeably in upper gears, on excessively hot or cold days but occurs all the time. One dealer admits to hearing of the matter, the other claims not to have - though I know of two other owners who have complained to the same dealer. Subaru of America now has an ECU reflash - though it has only improved it slightly. Soa refuses to recall or release a tsb on the matter. Both local dealers refused to address the issue, or contact soa on the matter.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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