The Subaru Outback is a raised AWD wagon. It's a good alternative to an SUV and features a rich, nicely detailed interior. The Subaru rides comfortably and handles better in normal driving than its forebear. When pushed to its limits however, the Outback can abruptly slide its rear end if the driver goes into a turn too fast. Steering, ride, fit and finish, controls. Acceleration, braking, at-the-limit handling, rear seat.
Alerts
There are 9 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"FAST acceleration (Turbo model) Excellent handling on curves. The Best Handling car on ice & snow that I have owned in the past 45 years of driving (much of it in Northern Wisconsin)."

CHRIS B., IN (2005 Subaru Outback)

"A little short on acceleration. But the handling is excellent: on the rare occasions that require drastic emergency moves it feels like a sports car."

Anonymous, NV (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Love the powerful engine & acceleration. That's main reason I purchased this car (that, and safety ratings)."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"I live in Montana and the all wheel drive is a must. This car is great on snow and ice!"

Anonymous, MT (2005 Subaru Outback)

"We are senior citizens and don't need to squeal our tires when we accelerate. It goes through snow easily. Never gets stuck. (considering the snow in Maine, it is impressive)."

PAUL D., ME (2005 Subaru Outback)

"responsive handling and quick acceleration"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Pretty good for a 4 cylinder engine. Has some pick up and go."

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The 6 Cyl Engine has enough power for Highway driving without needing a turbo"

D B., DC (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration notably sluggish. Handling feels heavy and a bit truck like, BUT actual handling is quite good."

Anonymous, WI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"This car is 2.5 turbocharged..very quick..great for merging fwy traffic."

W C., WA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"all wheel drive is great in the snow!"

CHRIS T., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration and handling is good except for the turbo drive that caused the car to overheat at 9000 ft. And then require $5000 repairs to the turbo drive."

Anonymous, HI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Road handling is unimpressive considering the powerful turbocharged engine. Even with aftermarket heavier duty suspension parts, it is, at best, just OK. This is probably due to its elevated posture. Offroad use is somewhat limited by long body overhang at both ends, especially in the front."

Anonymous, AR (2005 Subaru Outback)

"weak acceleration, especially when carrying more than 1 passenger or A/C is running. Steering is vague and provides little feedback."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Amazing acceleration and excellent handling in all situations."

Michael L., MA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Comfort is good during drives"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The automatic transmission is in this six-cylinder version has distinct jumps from one gear to another"

Ian C., PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"fun to drive, go anywhere"

Michael R., MD (2005 Subaru Outback)

"We have the 6-cylinder engine. Very smooth and responsive. Love the handling of the car."

Edward B., ON (2005 Subaru Outback)

"good acceleration plenty of power"

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Once fitted with the Bilstein BTS suspension kit, available only in Japan, the USA MY05 Outback XT drives more like a poor man's Audi S4 wagon. Great upgrade. Bring money ($2,500)"

Mike S., GA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Engine knocks. Past 5 years, significant acceleration lags."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"A bit slow on acceleration but handles well for a car of it's size and model (wagon). Steering seems very tight, however."

Anonymous, MI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"This car was purposely ordered from the factory to include the 6-cylinder engine and VDC to provide the extra oomph for highway and mountain driving. This car adequately lives up to that requirement over the 4-cylinder that was available at the time of purchase and performs when required."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The car accelerates very briskly and handles like a champ."

Robert P., OH (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The Outback is still peppy, handles very well, and gets good mileage."

David E., NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Adequate power, great handling, minor gripe about gas mileage."

Joe H., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Does not have a lot of pep or power. I've driven other 4 cyl cars that were much better in this regard. Had trouble with it going thru the mountains in TN. The car really struggled and I shut down the A/C to make it easier."

Anonymous, GA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Very good acceleration Unstable ride from the factory"

Greg O., IL (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration remains wonderfully quick, but something in the suspension has deteriorated over time leading to rather sloppy handling. No-one has yet been successful in diagnosing this problem."

Darlene M., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent handling"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"It’s a little slow because it’s a 4 cylinder car."

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"very satisfied with the acceleration and the handling is great, particularly on any wet, snow or ice conditions, the AWD grips the road- or at least it seems to. Cornering is crisp as a sedan for this wagon. Sorry later years got bigger than this."

Maurice M., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"I love the security I feel from Subaru's all-wheel drive system, not just in snow, but in rain and dry weather as well. Front-wheel drive was good, but all-wheel drive is so much better. Acceleration is decent, and allows me to "goose it" whenever i need it."

L A., PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The car is 13 years old. I bought it two months ago. It runs smoothly, has decent acceleration, handles well, gets good mileage, etc."

James A., NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration is good and the Outback maneuvers well on city streets and on corners."

Anonymous, MI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration and handling are superb"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Our 2005 Subaru Legacy Outback had a new transmission installed in May 2016 by an authorized Subaru dealership. However, we notice that the engine hesitates upon acceleration, which is not expected, not is it a reassuring experience to have hesitation on Highway travel. As experienced drivers, we are now compensating for this lag in acceleration, but it makes us uncomfortable whenever our adult children borrow the car."

Amy S., NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration is poor."

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Outback)

"handles okay but can use a more pleasing acceleration"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Very good acceleration with the 2.5l turbo."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Ease and responsiveness in handling"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration is spirited; the car handles better than any other wagon I've ever driven"

James D., CO (2005 Subaru Outback)

"turbo acceleration is awesome. however, cornering is uncomfortable--feel the car leaning too much."

Erica O., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The seats are particularly uncomfortable. Makes no difference if you are large or small. Take a long trip and arrive sore and exhausted. I complained about this to Subaru at the NY auto show and they acknowledged that they heard this before (I'll bet) but they were concerned with safety. I asked if they thought say Volvo (good seats) was also concerned with safety. Hrumph, argle-bargle. I then got into a current Subaru which was a tad better not nearly enough better. For me buying another Subaru"

PHILIP G., NJ (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Terrible ride, squeaks, heated seats element burnt out prematurely, plastic caps for seat rails fell off, swtch at shifter was defective causing car not to start and making cruise control inoperative. I won't purchase another Subaru because they sent me a letter stating not to use the front passenger seat untill air bags are replaced. This was over ayear ago. They never stop sending me reminders to bring my car in for maintenance, but they're not concerned about my safety as evidenced by not do"

ROBERT K., MI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Love the heated seats. Front windshield de-fog is the only design complaint in this car - need to use AC to defog; not comfortable on cold days."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The seats in the 2005 Subaru Outback station wagon is that for my lean 6'2" body, they cause a bit of contortion to get into and are a little cramped once in."

BRIAN S., MT (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Back seat is tight on leg room and the lack of squareness of the rear doors make it difficult to get kids in and out of car seats"

DARYL G., PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"SEATS NOT GREAT, A/C SUCKS"

STEVE M., OH (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The seats in the 2005 have always been a comfort problem."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"speedometer could be bigger. During fogged windshield the defroster works well but When you switch to up/down air it all fogs again.So You have to back and forth. My previous car a Volvo Had choices to have both fog vents and heat at same time."

JOE D., WV (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The worst thing about the Outback are the seats. They are very uncomfortable, especially after a couple of hours or more in the driver's seat. As for in dash controls (navigation, etc.) there are no high tech features in this old Subaru. The other complaint I have is that the headlights burn out on a regular basis and I have had to replace them on average, I'd guess yearly....so much that I actually have to carry spares in my glove compartment! Very aggravating!"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"seats are poor for driver over 6 ft. tall. Cramped leg room"

CHRIS B., IN (2005 Subaru Outback)

"It seats low and the steering wheel is too low to the seat. It is difficult to get in and out of but is comfortable once seated"

DALE C., ON (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Noticeable road noise."

Anonymous, NV (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable seating with very good vision"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The car is now 12 years old, yet the front seats are as comfortable as when new. The car is easy to drive long distances, and we arrive as comfortable as when we entered the vehicle. The car has developed various rattles over the years, most of which seem to be in the dash board."

Darlene M., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Seating adjustments and riding comfort"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"still trying to figure out why the seat is not as comfortable as past models."

Maurice M., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Comfortable ride. Unfortunately, wind and road noise."

Anonymous, ON (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable, fairly quiet and a decently smooth ride. Nothing exceptional but overall very acceptable."

Anonymous, MI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"I really like the size and usability of this car and don't want a bigger model. I wish Subaru would consider the older population who need the ease of loadability of a wagon but don't need a larger vehicle"

Debra W., MD (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Too much wind noise from the window seals"

Anonymous, CT (2005 Subaru Outback)

"the ride is bouncy. passenger seat very uncomfortable."

Erica O., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are firm. Although they are not contoured very much nor super-comfortable, the seats are fine for passengers on short trips. For long trips, we bring along small pillows for our passengers’ comfort. As to interior noise, this is low inside the cabin. The ride is stable, and the car handles well and responsively on the road. We feel very safe riding in this vehicle."

Amy S., NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Seats and ride are fine. I notice noise more. I don’t Know if it was always there or if maybe it’s because the car is older."

Karla B., MA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are fairly hard and don't absorb much in the way of bumps in the road, etc. Not a very smooth ride, more sporty."

Anonymous, GA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Good seats Noisy ride Unstable ride"

Greg O., IL (2005 Subaru Outback)

"This car is very comfortable to ride in with very little road noise. Handling is also very good."

Anonymous, RI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The back seats are not deep and adults have a difficult time sitting there. For a short ride, it is tolerable, but on a long trip it would cause a problem. The new Subaru Outback is larger and I assume has more rear seat room."

Kathy B., WI (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are very comfortable and supportive even on long trips. The heater no longer works in the driver's seat bottom. The car is noisy but the ride is stable and secure."

Robert P., OH (2005 Subaru Outback)

"In 2005 when I was looking for an inexpensive all wheel drive, I tested Honda (CRV), Toyota (RAV4) and the Subaru. The Outback was FAR quieter than the others. Honda is my go to car company but Subaru has presented an excellent choice. Still a very comfortable car and still take 8 hour trips with no complaints. A/C still works great as does everything else as far as comfort goes."

Gregory B., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Front seats are very comfortable and offer a number of adjustments to ensure a comfortable driving position. Rear seats. on the other hand, are thin and quite uncomfortable for anything other than short ( a couple of hours) drives. As the car has aged, not surprisingly, the number of mysterious rattles has increased and, so far, no-one has been able to locate and fix them. Also, although the car has been examined by both the dealer and a local repair shop, no-one has been able to solve and increasingly sloppy ride."

Darlene M., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"seatback not comfortable (my old Passat was great)"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The front seats were likely designed for Japanese people with narrow bottoms, and can be uncomfortable without an added pillow"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The 2005 Outback was purchased as a used fleet vehicle with one year of use. We would not have purchased as a new vehicle because of cost, but the used price met our budget. When we test drove the car, we fell in love. It was the most comfortable, best handling vehicle we've ever had. And these were our first heated seats--we had been in MN for a year and this may have been the item that sealed the deal. When we replace this vehicle, I fully expect to replace it with another Outback or maybe Forester. I have loved the Subaru and my family (brothers, nieces/nephews) have purchased four Subarus since we've owned it."

Michael G., IN (2005 Subaru Outback)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Very comfortable car. 6 cylinder fuel mileage very poor! Every little rock chip dings the car, guess I would say paint is of poor quality."

Anonymous, NV (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Good value for the price I paid."

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"While it is no longer a "pocket-rocket" is still gives me safe reliable transportation-on all roads, and in all weather!"

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Subaru Outback)

"It's our little workhorse. Not fancy, but very reliable"

Anonymous, CT (2005 Subaru Outback)

"It has given good performance at a low overall cost for 10 years and with low maintenance problems during this time . With a a recommended head gasket replacement , S ubaru of America discounted the cost by $500 of the dealers estimate ."

Anonymous, MA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Extremely reliable daily driver, no unexpected downtime. Over 205,000 miles on the 2005."

Anonymous, VT (2005 Subaru Outback)

"We bought it used with 140,000 miles on it and it now has 182,000 on the odometer. After it was paid for, it needed a head gasket, a fan belt idler pulley and a wheel bearing or two. Nothing major for the mileage."

PAUL D., ME (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Gas mileage is low even for city. Car didn't come with hill grabber, so the manual clutch burns out often (need to lean on clutch for tight parking, etc.). Otherwise very reliable."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Great Ride!!! Get one!! Limited Repairs."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Considering the build quality, the safety ratings, and its performance, and despite some problems I have had with it, I feel I got more than my money's worth."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"I have owned many cars and this Subaru has been, by far, the most expensive to car operate and maintain of any vehicle I've ever owned. It has not aged well at all. Major problems began immediately after the 60,000 warranty expired and have continued since."

ROBERT P., OH (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Reliable, easy to maintain. Economical"

RICHARD W., WA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Flawless performance, great value for the price, especially compared with, for example, BMW, although I like the styling of my model better than the new one."

JOE H., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Very nice - reliable car that has been in out family for 12 years. We have over 158,000 miles on it and other than normal maintenance have had no major problems."

Jordan W., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"go anywhere car at a good price"

Michael R., MD (2005 Subaru Outback)

"An all around very useful and rugged SUV."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"As with any 14 year old car, things begin to need repair. However, in the beginning for the first 11 years little went wrong."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Outback)

"The Outback handles well, gets good mileage, is comfortable, and has an excellent safety rating."

David E., NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Essentially trouble free service, with minor repairs, for 13 years!"

Joe H., CA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"My car is almost 14 years old and has 192K miles. It's extremely reliable, and the parts that need replacement during a service visit are items like tires, brake pads, an alternator belt or a coil pack (this at 190K). I have really gotten my money's worth from this car, and it's still going strong. My car replacement account is growing larger and larger!"

L A., PA (2005 Subaru Outback)

"dependable awd for use in poor weather"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Outback)

"It is always in the shop. I would never buy another!"

Anonymous, ME (2005 Subaru Outback)

"AWD"

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Outback)

"Purchased new and no problems in the last 13 years of ownership. Good value for the money given the AWD system, crash safety and engine performance."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Outback)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I like the look of a station wagon instead of an SUV look."

RICHARD R., OR (2005 Subaru Outback)
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