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.
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)


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)


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 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)


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)


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)
Change Vehicle