Subaru Outback has features of a station wagon and SUV, built on the platform of the Legacy Sedan of the same manufacturer.
Like other Subaru vehicles, it also has the same model year compatibility to interchange parts.
It is available in 6 generations in various trim levels undergoing several upgrades and style changes.
What Year Subaru Outback Parts Are Interchangeable? According to our experience and customer reviews, you can interchange body parts and engines of Subaru Outback from 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2006-2009, 2010-2014, 2015-2019, and 2020-2022. In addition, you can swap the transmission system between 2000-2004, 2006-2009, and 2010-2022 models. Wheels and brakes are identical for model years within the same generation with some pre and post-year compatibility. Seats from the 1995-2004 Outback are a direct swap between these models, while later years require modifications due to side airbags.
This SUV has cross-compatibility between adjacent model years or vehicles within a generation.
Moreover, the engine, frame, and other structural parts are identical to the Subaru Legacy sedan.
Therefore, it is good news for SUV owners to quickly find many swappable parts from older vehicles.
Body parts include fenders, bumpers, headlights, rooftops, doors, and windows, to name a few.
They were interchangeable between different models until they underwent major facelift or cosmetic changes.
1995-1999 and 2000-2004 models have similar body parts, and you can use their components for replacement.
The third generation from 2006-2009 has an updated exterior with a different style from previous models.
The 2010-2014 year vehicles have extra width and length. Therefore, you can replace their body parts within the same generation.
2015-2019 models a larger body than previous models, and they have compatible body parts within these model years.
The 2020 model has a consistent exterior design with the previous generation, and you can swap parts between them.
Mentioned model years from the same group have almost all body parts identical.
They include front and back doors, windows, and hood.
You will also find the electrical components like headlights and taillights that are swappable between the mentioned model years for each generation.
First-generation Subaru Outback from 1995-1999 models has 2.2-liter EJ22 as a standard option.
A 2.5-liter EJ25 engine is also available as an option. Therefore, you can swap them in these models after checking SOHC or DOHC design.
Models from 2000-2004 with EJ22 or EJ25 engines are interchangeable.
To prevent the check engine light, you should check for transmission compatibility and EGR before swapping them.
EJ22 is a more reliable engine to replace than EJ25, but it has less hp rating. 2006-2009 models have the same short blocks, and you can swap them.
However, you need to retain intake manifolds and sensors for long blocks to prevent mismatch problems.
2010-2014 engines can interchange, and it is easy with the same camshaft design and the long block options.
Otherwise, you have to make several changes to make these work properly.
Moreover, you will also have to hire the services of a tuner to reconfigure the ECU settings to prevent any fault codes or issues later on.
2015-2019 variants have 2.5-liter FB25 and 3.6-liter EZ36D engines. You can change them within this generation only because of different pistons orientation.
The 2020 model also has an FB25D engine with all-wheel drive as a standard feature, and you can replace it with engines from the previous generation having the same options.
2000-2004 automatic transmission compatible with the 2.5-liter engine is a direct swap between any of the two variants in these years.
Similarly, earlier models are also compatible with the same and adjacent pre or post-years.
Models after 2004 have reversed the operation of solenoid valves for transfer clutch. Therefore, to interchange them with previous model years, you need to switch them again.
Moreover, you will also need to change axles in the 2006-2010 models to swap the transmission system.
2010-onwards vehicles have a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system instead of a conventional automatic transmission system. Therefore, they are compatible with vehicles after 2010.
Two other essential factors to consider while going for a transmission swap is their gear ratio and compatibility with turbo or non-turbo engines. They should match for efficient and successful operation.
Most suspension parts have cross-compatibility for several models.
However, they will not be a direct swap as you have to buy or retain a few components like springs and struts that are not compatible due to differences in size.
1995-2004 model years have interchangeable suspension parts with few modifications required.
Its third-generation variants have rear suspension identical to all models. You can replace them with minor changes.
Struts can have different heights, adding a lift to the vehicle body that is also desirable by some people.
The company introduced significant changes in the 2017 model’s front suspension design, but it is primarily a fine refinement of existing parts.
Therefore, you can easily swap it without making much effort to modify it.
1995 model has a smaller brake rotor compatible with 14″ wheels. 1996-2000 vehicles have 2-piston calipers and larger rotors, and you can change their parts.
2001-2009 Subaru Outbacks have double piston caliper brakes with larger rotors, brackets, and pads. They are compatible with 15″ and 16″ wheels.
2010-2014, 2015-2019, and 2020-onwards models also have similar brakes with minor yearly upgrades.
Therefore, you can swap them after confirming their suitability according to the installed wheels.
Seats from 1995 to 1999 year variants are interchangeable. It is a direct swap as a plug-and-play kind of arrangement.
However, you have to be careful to prevent damage to the paint while evacuating or entering seats in the cabin.
2nd generation models from 2000-2004 are also a direct swap because of modular airbags.
All variants from the 3rd generation for years after 2004 have side airbags connected with an airbag controller.
Therefore, you need to make modifications to work them properly. Mainly the problem occurs with the driver seat because of adjustable seat position and other advanced features.
Same generation models have similar seats and available features.
Therefore, they are easy to swap, and all of their functions work correctly for heated or ventilated seats. You can also try aftermarket solutions available with similar features.
Different models have diverse exhaust system components or their arrangement according to the engine type.
Moreover, they have an oxygen sensor controlled by ECU. Therefore, if you do a complete swap of the exhaust system, you will also have to work on ECU programming and wiring harness.
In addition, you will find multiple options from several vehicles for the same model year as your Outback having identical exhaust system parts.
Therefore, my advice is to interchange the faulty parts or pipe instead of complete replacement. It will be much easier to do and at a reduced price.
Offset and lug nut patterns are two variables to decide the compatibility of wheels between various models.
Other relevant parameters are wheel size, including width, diameter, and hub size. You can interchange the wheels between models from the same generation.
Therefore, 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2006-2009, 2010-2014, 2015-2019 and 2020-present year Outback models are compatible.
There can be a wheel size difference between the same model year for different trim levels.
Moreover, you will also find an overlap of swappable parts between adjacent model year vehicles before and after your vehicle model year.
Are Subaru Legacy and Outback parts the same?
Subaru introduced the first model of Outback back in 1995 based on the platform of the Subaru Legacy Sedan.
Most critical parts, including the frame, engine, transmission, body, and brakes for both vehicles, are similar, and you can interchange them.
However, other parts related to the style, shape, and interior are minutely different due to different color schemes.
Moreover, there can be a difference in size between a few parts, especially the suspension system, including struts and springs that you need to take care of while going for a swap.
However, you will also find parts in different stores marked with compatibility for Outback and Legacy vehicles.
Generally speaking, it is on a part by part basis to assess the compatibility between the two and depends on the specific model year.
Where to get compatible parts for Subaru Outback?
It is easy to buy new aftermarket parts for your SUV.
However, you have to visit nearby junkyards or salvage stores to get an exact match from the same model year you are looking for.
They also have an online presence with a parts list arranged according to the source model year and compatible models.
Therefore, it is good to look for such places to find parts for your SUV.
Furthermore, it benefits exactly matched components at a low price, which is a significant advantage over new or aftermarket alternates.
What other Subaru vehicles part are interchangeable with the Outback?
The Closest Subaru vehicle with an Outback is the Legacy. Therefore, they have several similar parts, including engine, transmission, brakes, and frame.
Other vehicles, including STi Forester, Impreza, WRX, and Forester have a lot of interchangeability, but only a few parts are compatible with this SUV.
Most of the spares from the same year Legacy are interchangeable with Outback except for suspension parts.
Moreover, the models with a 3-liter H6 engine have few parts compatible with other models.
Therefore, you can only look for the same generation Legacy models to find matching components.