Notes: The 2014 Outback is showing an early trend of problems with hesitation when accelerating.

The vast majority of owners experiencing this problem have reported that Subaru has not been able to find the cause of the engine hesitation, or fix the problem.

Especially because this is a potential safety defect, we are flagging the 2014 Outback as a model year to watch out for.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
15,700 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
2014 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Dec 172019

Outback 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I bought this car used last year had only 59k miles. Some 3 months later making a turn I noticed it completely stop moving thank god no one was behind me. Then it happened a month later then I took it to the local dealer where the car was first soled new. I was told there is no re call and they don't see any problem but if it happens again turn it off and on again then you will be fine. This is in Salisbury Maryland. The point was some one will kill me before turn off and on again.

I plan to take it again to them next week hope will not be told the same unfortunately they are the only dealer near me.

- Amare M., Ocean City, US

problem #23

Aug 142019

Outback 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

When starting from a stopped position the car would hesitate significantly and again while traveling between 20 and 40 mph. attempting to accelerate to maintain speed. We tried injector cleaner, high octane gas, best brand gas (Mobile 1) injector cleaner again and nothing makes a difference. We're concerned that this is an accident waiting to happen because when trying to merge into moving traffic it'll not take off until it really shoots forward causing the vehicle to almost collide into the rear of the leading vehicles. I guess it's time to file a complaint with the federal trade commission.

- Charles H., Bronson, US

problem #22

Jul 282018

Outback Limited 2.5h

  • CVT transmission
  • 28,318 miles

I bought this Outback used from Heritage Subaru in Catonsville. With on 28,000+ it looked like new despite being 4 years old. It ran great during the test drives, no problems. The morning after I bought it I started it up and it hesitated so badly as I backed out of my drive way I wasn't sure I would get to the street. Once out I put it in Drive and headed up the street, it hesitated again. Every time I tried to accelerate it gave me a 2 to 3 sec pause. It seemed to be worse Turning in to traffic from a stop. It seems to get better as the engine warms up. There are times when driving on residential streets at low rpms it acts like it only firing on three cylinders. At highway speeds the car runs fine.

There have been several days when it ran fine. Usually it runs like crap.

I've had it in for repairs at Heritage Subaru, on Rt 40 in Catonsville. They claim they can't even get it to duplicate the behavior. They calm they have run it through every test they've got but since it doesn't hesitate when they drive they can't fix it.


- James Y., Catonsville, US

problem #21

Jul 282017

Outback 2.5 I Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 33,657 miles


I have had this same problem previously and took it to the dealer. They could not find what was causing the problem. This is a serious problem which could lead to serious injury or death.The US government should demand a recall from Subaru to fix this problem which many Subaru owners are experiencing.

- rrekinder, Danese, US

problem #20

Sep 162016

Outback LX 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,997 miles


- Charles W., Burlington, Canada

problem #19

Jan 232015

Outback Premium 2.5i Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

hesitation when startimg frpm stop, then lunges ahead

THIS PROBLEM ONLY HAPPENS OCASIONALLY BUT WHEN IT DOES IT CAN SCARE THE HELL OUT OF ME. I see an opening in the trafic and (with plenty of time to merge) I go and the car doesn't it just eases out but will not go ... Then it takes like a bat out of Hell.. Very annoying in a parking lot or when turning left on a busy street... I have spoken to the service writer at the dealer and they are aware of other complaints but no recalls have come forth.. This is a very dangerous problem...

- Joe P., SanPablo, CA, US

problem #18

Dec 012015

Outback Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles


We noticed the hesitation immediately but I wrote it off to bad fuel. However the hesitation continues and Subaru continues to deny or ignore the issue. Now I see it is a national epidemic. Too bad because otherwise it's a nice car. BUT, this has almost gotten me and my wife hit and ran over on multiple occasions. OBVIOUSLY there is a serious problem with the vehicle not responding to the accelerator but why not admit it and let's find a fix. I find that often, when I accelerate and let off (as changing my mind to not pass) then accelerate again, there is nothing there. The car simply won't respond. I suspect it is a costly issue and the manufacture will only step up when the lawsuits are painful. Too bad, I thought Subaru was different. So they say. I wanted another Chevy Tahoe... Looks like I'll get my wish.

- Jd D., Roseburg, OR, US

problem #17

Feb 042014

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

Had a 2003 Subaru Outback Limited for 10 years. Never had a problem. So, our first choice for our next car was another Subaru Outback, this time called Premium. I very soon experienced engine hesitation after a near stop, not a complete stop, but a near stop. At least 5 times I have had very near accidents since the engine will not respond for at least 3 seconds. Especially dangerous when entering traffic trying to make a left turn entry. I figure it won't be long before someone, hopefully not me, will have a serious accident, if not fatal. Of course, going to court will only benefit lawyers. I have not been given a good reason nor a fix for the problem. Reasons range from cold engine, to not getting a larger engine, to a normal response from the Continuously Variable Transmission.

- patcab, Wimberley, TX, US

problem #16

Nov 112015

Outback LTD 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 31,000 miles

Car will not accelerate at times when going down hill and then turning to go uphill. Usually occurs at slow speeds as when turning or a light changes to green as I am approaching. With traffic behind, and oncoming this is a major SAFETY issue.

I have talked to the dealer and the service mgr plays dumb......however if you get a service rep aside and talk to them....they know all about this complaint and indicate no alerts from Subaru or known fix. The car has received the ECM change.

Update from May 18, 2016: Have had two ECM updates in last year. No improvement and now the problem is present starting up from a stop....not just slowing down and then speeding up again. No solution from Subaru of AM or dealer.

- skier1a, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #15

Oct 012015

Outback 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,641 miles

The vehicle hesitates on acceleration. It is worsening. Otto's Subaru in Ottawa, ON told me that it may be due to the fluids not being warm enough. They said this over the phone without even seeing the vehicle. Get serious. So there was not a problem until after 29k at which point the fluids need a warm fuzzy hug or they will cause my vehicle to hesitate? I found this answer to be as useless as it is condescending.

I highly doubt this has to do with fluids. I suspect something in the fuel system, the parking brake system or a computer board.

- thermos, Ottawa, ON, Canada

problem #14

Oct 122015

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 29,000 miles


Numerous times now, delay in acceleration 5 sec. Shop did remap of computer but still having issues.

Update from Mar 18, 2017: 50 K miles and intermittent shows up still, they never found the problem. I can only tell you that it happens more in hot weather and noticed that if you step on brake and holding at intersection while you are pressing on the gas pedal , it will happen. Confusing the computer for the tranny I think so don't ride the brake when looking to take off or get a jump on a light or whatever!!!

Update from Jul 29, 2019: so update 90,000 miles, hesitation problem once in a while still happens in heat, starting problem still is happening....extended crank times and they still have not cured it, lucky I haven't gotten stranded. I am just living with it until I get rid of car...otherwise car is fine.

Update from Feb 19, 2020: still happens intermittently, extended crank and hesitation shop never cured it. Now wheel bearing hubs, front and left rear, struts front twice replaced, 67,000 and they tell me I need them again. 30k and they are bad again? Now tranny issue at 97,000, noisey when car starts, over rpms on acelleration , had tranny service done, no difference I can only guess its gonna go right after extended tranny warranty ends at 100K. Shop syas operating normal, cant repro problem, but we all know and Subaru knows the trannys are weak

- Dennis H., Massapequa, NY, US

problem #13

Oct 012014

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Cars stalls on acceleration for 5-10 seconds and have and several close calls in intersections. Has been to the shop and they did a soft wear upgrade to car but problem still there. Seems to happens in slow bumper to bumper traffic mostly. Was told to change my gas but I cannot narrow down to what gas it happens with!!! It is a dangerous problem and I have had the crap scared out of me several times…I do not feel safe in this car! And the Pro Conti tires suck in the snow. This is my 3rd Subaru, my 2003 Outback was the best car I ever owned with over 200k, I'll take that car over the new one!

- Dennis H., Massapequa, NY, US

problem #12

Jun 152014

Outback Premium 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,500 miles

Purchased new 2014 Subaru Premium Outback. It was my second Subaru - first was a 2012 Impreza. I soon experienced engine hesitation after starting from a stop, ie, stop sign, red light, etc.. Initially thought problem was bad gas and treated it as just a nuisance.

However, recently was crossing a very traveled highway during commute hour on Friday afternoon and engine hesitated (stalled) as I was crossing the highway. I had 70 mph oncoming cars heading right for the drivers door and expected to broad sided (T-Boned) which would have been fatal. After about 5 seconds engine came off idle and I was able to escape and avoid a terrible accident.

Took car back to North Park Subaru and discovered that these vehicles have a Brake Override System (BOS) that immediately reduces the engine to idle and that might relate to the problem. However since problem is intermittent and could not demonstrate it their fix was: "The Vehicle Operates As It Was Designed To Do So."

I have been to the dealer three times and to Subaru of America (New Jersey) three times and they refuse to allow or admit that there is a problem with the 2014 Subaru Outback. I'm in a real dilemma as what to do. Options are SELL, TRADE to OTHER BRAND, APPLY LEMON LAW, or SUE. Unfortunately the most desirous would be for Subaru to fix this critically existing safety issue.

Eventually people will die if this safety issue is not addressed and fixed. Then only the trial lawyers win.

- hgodwin, San Antonio, TX, US

problem #11

Dec 082014

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 23,000 miles

I've had the car for 1 1/2 years and notice the problem with accelerating from a stop position. I told the dealer about the problem and they said this is common for this vehicle. I can see this could cause an accident if you need the vehicle to move and it stalls. Other than that my wife drive the car and loves it. I hope that Subaru looks into the problem and get a fix for it.

- Victor J., Ardsley, NY, US

problem #10

Jun 012015

Outback Commodité 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 17,039 miles

Our Subaru Outback 2014 has an intermittent acceleration problem (the car won't move when you press the pedal). You have to release and press the pedal 4 to 9 times before the car moves. The car reacted well when it's cold or hot outside, but when there is a big variation of weather (dry to wet) the problem happens. The car is very unsafe. My life was in danger two times. It's happened a minimum of 15 times between Nov 13, 2013 to June 1, 2015.

- badsubcar, Gatineau, Canada

problem #9

Jan 252015

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,200 miles

Let me begin by saying I don't normally write reviews, but I had to with regards to this car. I bought a 2014 Outback 2.5 in September of 2014. I took out a personal loan for this car because I heard they were the greatest thing since sliced bread and bulletproof in the snow. I also live in Massachusetts, so I need a good winter car. Boy was I wrong!!!

Avoid the 2014 Subaru Outback at all costs. I learned a very painful financial lesson. Let me begin.... I can count at least three occasions (all three times occurred during the winter months, after the car had been warming up) that there was a 3 to 5 second delay from the time that I pressed the accelerator to the time the car would move forward. It occurred once when I pulled out into oncoming traffic. Very scary, and luckily no one was hurt. I then read online how this is becoming a common problem in 2014 Outbacks.

In addition to the engine hesitation, I had a water leak from the sunroof that stained my headliner (and no All purpose cleaner would clean it up). This was the only car that had a water leak out of the many I've owned. In addition, the stock tires that came with the car (Continental Pro Contacts) were awful in the snow. The tires had absolutely no grip, and I actually got stuck in the parking lot at work (So much for that Great Asymmetrical AWD). Plus there is no guarantee that Subaru fixed the notorious head gasket problems that plagued previous Outbacks.

I was very disappointed in this car, so much so that I traded it in after 7 months, and took a loss (and bought a 2015 Nissan Altima- I love the car. I'll buy a good set of Michelin winter tires for it when the time comes). In my opinion this car is extremely overrated (if not dangerous), and now I'm paying a personal loan for a car that I traded in (and a car payment on top of that). Don't buy the hype folks.

- Matt S., Oxford, MA, US

problem #8

Dec 032014

Outback Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles

Hesitation occurs when pulling out into traffic or accelerating at low speeds

A seemingly systemic problem in search of a solution. Potentially catastrophic should one be caught at an intersection or approached from the rear by autos proceeding at a normal to fast rate of speed

No doubt the manufacturer will pay heed to this problem when confronted by a fatality and litigation

- Ivan L., Rochestetr, NY, US

problem #7

Sep 012013

Outback 3.6L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

When the engine is warm, if the car is stopped waiting to turn or for a red light, when the accelerator is pressed, it may take as long as 5 or 6 seconds before the car responds. The engine stays at the normal idle RPM. If the accelerator is pressed further, the car suddenly jumps forward after several seconds. This is an extremely dangerous defect, particularly when making a turn with oncoming traffic or if there is an obstruction in front of the car. The local dealer states that they have never had this complaint from any customer although the internet is replete with Subaru owners who are experiencing this problem. Why isn't Subaru acknowledging the problem and developing a "fix"?

- Jim D., Reno, NV, US

problem #6

Nov 052014

Outback Limited I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles

Our 2014 Subaru Outback has an intermittent stall problem that lasts for several seconds (counted to 15) at low speeds when trying to accelerate into traffic. It has caused 2 near collisions and my wife will no longer ride in the car because of it. This issue has been broached with the dealer several times since new and were told that it is a common complaint and an engineering defect in the CVT transmission by the Service Manager and that his car has the same problem. The Zone rep. drove the car briefly and said it was normal and that they were NOT going to work on it but would give us an allowance on a 2015 model. This car drives normal 99.9% of the time because this only happens in slow in town driving of which we do very little but when it fails it could be catastrophic. We are in our seventies and purchased this car new because it has all the hi-tech safety devices on it such as Eyesight collision avoidance but this is of no use it we are t-boned in heavy traffic. Since when is an engineering defect in a drive train NORMAL! Apparently this is a cover up of an inherent problem. This problem is anything but normal and saying that is insulting my intelligence as well as calling my wife and me liars!

We left the car with instructions that they could drive it home or wherever until such time that the problem occurred (and gave them a list of the perimeters that seemed to cause the problem to manifest itself) then they should fix it under the new car warranty but they told us that it was just going to sit there until we pick it up as they are not going to do anything with it. We also asked if they would buy it back if they are refusing to repair it and the of course declined that also. This indicates to us that they don’t want it either.

At this time and date the car is still in their possession we may be forced to dump it at great cost to us if they continue to fix it! We have tried every option open to us and their reply has only been that it is NORMAL!

- franko27, Marana, AZ, US

problem #5

Oct 182014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles

Saw other complaints of same problem. From a stop, car hesitates on accelerating. Have had 2 close calls when making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic.

- Lawrence Y., Abington, MA, US

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