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 7 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

"Love the Manual Transmission. It's FUN to drive and has always felt safe in bad weather."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Love the way this car drives and handles. Slight hesitation from day one of owning if you mash the pedal from a dead stop."

John R., NJ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Amazing acceleration and again the handling is great for winter time in Michigan. Living and driving in the lake effect area is very difficult but the Outback makes with a cake walk."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration with the 3.0 6cyl is more than adequate."

Raymond B., PA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The acceleration and handling has been very good, especially in the winter. It goes through the snow with ease."

Ralph B., WI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This is a very reliable car"

FRANK G., NJ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The last of Subaru's "Sport Wagons". The 6 cylinder is a good choice. It is not the turbo but works well. Handling is very good. Would not know I was driving a wagon. Very quiet and comfy. Love the manual option on the transmission."

JERRY W., MO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Fantastic in the snow or conditions with poor traction, very secure feeling when driving."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"It has great acceleration. It is fabulous in the snow."

ELLIOTT R., MA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I have found that the 2.5lt motor is somewhat underpowered for any off road travel."

GEORGE C., NV (2006 Subaru Outback)

"It's not super fast, unless your in the snow then it will beat anything on the road best car I've driven in the west Michigan winters, also able to take it off road into places other all wheel drive vehicles can't make it to"

STEVE L., KY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The car has great pickup and is great in the snow. Subaru are one of the most owned cars in Door County Wisconsin."

RALPH B., WI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Not the fastest horse on the track, but this car has the torque you need to get through traffic. The 5-speed transmission shifts firmly and the clutch still grabs at 102k miles. The handling is neutral with a slight tendency to understeer. The AWD system in the Subaru is one of the top 3 in the business."

Anonymous, NJ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This car handles very well. Picks up speed well & there is no problem. Like I have had it forever!!"

SARAH H., PA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration poor, but I'm satisfied with it."

KEVIN S., NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Turns easily; easy to park; handles well in snow and wet roads."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Great handling in water conditions especially with 4 snows."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent handling on snow and ice."

D P., NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The accelerator pedal on this car is difficult to use when you are trying to accelerate slowly and smoothly, either forward or in reverse. It makes for a jerky, at times uncontrolled, jump. It seems to be engineered for fast, jack-rabbit starts. Not pleasant."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Drives like a luxury car"

CHARLES C., VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"good -- see previous comment"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I like the acceleration and handling is generally good. The handling in winter snow is great (and is the main reason I bought the car). Handling on bumps in road (nasty potholes around here) is not as good."

Anonymous, ON (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Despite only a 4-cylinder engine, has the capacity to climb mountain roads easily and quickly. Also handles well - very firm and reliable steering. Already mentioned the 4-wheel drive, which is crucial for winter/snow driving."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Great handling today as the day I purchased the car, no rattles, no issues whatsoever"

J D., AZ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Poor acceleration as the car ages. Not so much get-up-and-go as it used to have."

Anonymous, CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"AWD reliability in snow, rain, ice"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Poor accelleration"

Robert R., WA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I have the base model and the acceleration is very poor. Trying to merge into freeways/highways basically means putting the petal to the floor. If I could buy it again I would have spent the extra money and gone with the 3.6 liter engine"

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This is our 5th Outback and we love them. Our oldest son bought a new one last year and our youngest has one or our hand me downs! We are a Subaru Outback family. Outbacks are awesome cars and we always buy them used from a family friend who buys a new one every 5-years and gives us her old one. Only down side to this is the 4-cyl is a bit skimpy and the gearing/torque ratios creates an engine pitch at 60MPH that always has me looking for that 6th gear (it only has 5)! Other than that we highly recommend Subaru Outbacks!"

Jerome S., NC (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Our model has a 2.5L turbo with a manual transmission and drives like a sports car."

Christopher H., VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The Subaru handles great in the snow, but you need to be careful on ice. Regular driving on the express ways and county roads is great. especially as old as it is."

Ralph B., WI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Our Subaru has not problems acceleration at all. It has the get up and go with no problem and handles great in the winter. In Michigan, you have to have a good vehicle when the snow starts to fly from November thru April, with drifts up to your windows, the Subaru has no problem with traction in the snow."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The 3 litre six provides very good acceleration. Handling is good for the type of vehicle. It's a go anywhere beast in the snow with winter tires."

Raymond B., PA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This 2006 Subaru has a manual transmission, which is more fun to drive, but not as easy to shift as other manuals I have owned. It is a 4 cylinder engine so acceleration is adequate to safely enter and maneuver in traffic, but not as good as a 6 cylinder would be. The all wheel drive handles nicely and feels stable and safe."

Anonymous, NM (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration and handling are excellent for my needs."

Gary S., CT (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This car is still fun to drive, 12 years later. I've kept up with maintenance and while I've spent a decent amount of money, I'm happy with what it's cost to keep thing thing fun to drive. The technology is really lacking and that inability to install a custom radio (dual zone climate controls and radio are all one unit) has made me frustrated that I can't add new infotainment system to enjoy the driving experience!"

John R., NJ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The acceleration is very strong with the turbocharged dual overhead cam engine. Handling is fine considering the type of vehicle but there's a tradeoff for the raised ride height. The steering has good feel and road feedback."

Anonymous, SC (2006 Subaru Outback)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"We have had very good luck with our Subaru. It was great on long trips. Lots of room for hauling thinks. The seats are comfortable. The noise is normal for a small car, not great, but acceptable."

Ralph B., WI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"They are simply a "good fit" for us and, like the Civic, afford both comfort and good visibility, The seat warmer, our first ever, is a nice-to-have during winter weather."

Anonymous, ON (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Seats ok for long trips. Road noise gets annoying"

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"It rides a little stiff but it is great for winters in Michigan. the leather seats are amazing. I used to drive a older Honda Civic and believe me....the Outback have very little noise."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Road noise is excessive. This would be an OK commuter vehicle, but on a longer trip, there is no place to put anything."

Gary C., WA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The 6cyl engine adds an extra level of quiet. The leather seats are very adjustable and supportive."

Raymond B., PA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Road noise is annoying. Seating space seems smaller than our 1996 Outback."

GARY C., WA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The rear seats are uncomfortable in that there is no foot room on the floor."

J A., ME (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Climate control is irritating. I get the temp I like, but it gets warmer or cooler depending on the speed I'm driving, so I'm constantly fiddling with it to stay comfortable. I wishi it would simply maintain the interior temp to whatever I have it set for."

KATHLEEN S., AZ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are comfortable and worked great till we had kids now we have to push front seat so far forward it is uncomfortable for front seat passengers to fit in with the car seat in the back."

Anonymous, ID (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Seat Belt consistently tore seat covers, got tangled up many times, did not rewind many times."

Anonymous, DE (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The legroom in both front and back are tiny. A normal person can't even sit for long periods of time in the back seat. Terrible."

MELLISSA R., CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"limited leg room in back seat"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The seats, despite the fact that they are very adjustable, just aren't comfortable for long drives for either the driver of passenger. They're too firm/not very padded"

Anonymous, ME (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The front seats are very comfortable. Firm and supportive with multi adjustments."

Anonymous, CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The seat is limited in accommodating tall people. Uncomfortable for long journeys."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"a bit bouncy ride"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The 2006 Outback was not the best design. The footwell for driver and front passenger are narrower than we had in our 2001 Outback, and a bit of cargo space was lost in the back due to inward sloped styling. The seats are not the most comfortable - on road trips they get uncomfortable faster than other cars we've owned."

Anonymous, OR (2006 Subaru Outback)

"we live in a mountenous and dry area and our warn seats come in handy during the ski season, the car is easy to handle in the snow"

WILLIAM O., NV (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Brake shoes rattle. Can be fixed but it comes back. Beginning to hear wheel bearing noise. Three of them have been replaced."

ALFRED F., FL (2006 Subaru Outback)

"AC is not sufficient at times. Comfortable seats, acceptable noise level"

Anonymous, GA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"WE bought this car to keep for 10 years or more. We spent the extra money on the Subaru because we wanted a reliable car that would last. However, it has had numerous problems from CV boot replacements, engine seals (oil leaks), electrical problems, rear suspension. In years 9 and 10 we have spend $4000 CAD on repairs. I did not expect this from a Subaru. However, our next car will be a Subaru because i want the AWD for the area we live in Canada."

JEFF H., ON (2006 Subaru Outback)

"On long trips the seats begin to be uncomfortable."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This isn't a bad car but it has a lot of road noise on the highway and is not very comfortable on long drives"

TERI H., NV (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The seat belts on the several Subarus I have owned are lousy. They commanly fail to retract; this leaves them to block door opening, get dirty from door grease etc. The dealer failed to correct the problem and acknowledges that the seatbelts are a problem."

DONALD A., ME (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The front seat headrests were dreadfully uncomfortable -- I replaced with them with small ones quickly."

Anonymous, TX (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I have found the seats to be uncomfortable for a longer drive. May be due to my getting older, but I want a different car for that reason."

Anonymous, GA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are a bit narrow--during long drives this is especially noticeable. The ride is firm and well controlled. The vehicle handles well for a high SUV/wagon. Noise is a bit on the high side--wind/road noise on the highway is higher than I would like."

Carl M., FL (2006 Subaru Outback)

"This car is foo big for me. and now the seat doesn't go up all the way and I can't see over the hood. Also the doors are too heavy for me to close, including the trunk. I am short and my husband is tall.. He can see just fine and he has no trouble closing the doors. This car should not be bought by short people."

Anonymous, OR (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The 3.0R model's seats are very supportive and adjustable. The leather is still in great condition for 12 year old vehicle."

Raymond B., PA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The front seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable for long trips. The noise level while cruising on the highway is pretty low. There is some gear whine during acceleration which is annoying."

Anonymous, SC (2006 Subaru Outback)

"An extremely comfortable car to drive. Siimilar to my Volvo."

Raymond D., ME (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Very good for a wagon"

Roy W., MA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The car is comfortable but am not as pleased with the way the car bounces around when going over bumps in road in the city (generally speeds of 50 km/h or lower)."

Anonymous, ON (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Car is very comfortable, however after two years the drivers side seat is tearing from where I sit and turn to get in on and out of t the seat. Poor quality"

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Unable to adjust driver's seat fully upright. The seat back always remains slanted back."

Anonymous, CT (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable seats and easy to adjust as needed"

Anonymous, TX (2006 Subaru Outback)

"smooth ride; mirrors are well positioned; noise from drivers side window (air leak);"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Outback)

Value

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

What Owners Say

"it's a nice car. Fun to drive. AWD is nice in snow. It's been reliable. It was not a bargain, but it was good value for what we paid for it."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Had for 11 years without any major repair. Still does not need oil."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"It has been a great car in our snowy climate. It plows through snow safely and easily; great on hills also. It's had a good, long ,life and we intend to keep it as long as possible."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"We have 150,000 miles on it and have had only wear repairs, brakes, tires, and battery. This year we just had the head gasket replaced and timing belt replaced."

RALPH B., WI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Repair bills have been high. Cylinder head gaskets were leaking oil and had to be replace at a major expense. Internet research shows that Subaru is having many cylinder head gasket leakage problems and has not owned up to the problem. I have owned cars since the 1960's and cylinder head gaskets were a problem on cars built in the 50's and 60's but pretty much disappeared after that time. How this is not a NHTSA safety issue is beyond me."

BARBARA W., OH (2006 Subaru Outback)

"A 10 year old vehicle that looks & handles as well as mine does is a good value in my opinion."

ROSALIE E., FL (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Great car, no real problems since 2006. people in mountain regions would be happier with bigger engine. good value, end of year price was right."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I liked everything about this car except for some expensive repairs around 100,000 miles, including leaky head gasket and replacement of timing belt."

JON B., MA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"head gaskets can be a problem"

Anonymous, NM (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I bought a package with only a few options and don't find it lacking."

Anonymous, CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"oil leak caused engine failure"

CHRISTOF S., CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The car has managed to hold up an additional 4 years beyond the last payment."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Several wires in the wiring harness to the rear tailgate on my Outback wagon broke requiring expensive repairs to the wiring."

JAMES S., CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Great Value for the price. I bought the car used from a private citizen with low miles. Very few problems other than routine maintenance."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent ride, good gas mileage, and SAFETY. All for what I still think was a reasonable price. Let me say that we have put many many miles on the FIVE Subarus we have owned. I love this car!"

R U., CO (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The car has been very reliable. Very few problems in the long time I have owned this car."

Gary S., CT (2006 Subaru Outback)

"I bought this 2006 model new in early 2007. I got a good price. The car has held up well and still looks good. I have maintained it regularly, and repairs have been reasonable for the age and mileage."

Carl M., FL (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The Outback has been a very reliable and trouble-free car. There have been a few repairs needed over its 12 year life, but these were relatively minor. Fuel economy is 28mpg on the highway, and 20mpg in local mixed driving."

Richard C., VA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"When we bought it new it was a bit pricey."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Outback)

"The all wheel drive has been reliable, and seems to make for safer driving under conditions such as newly wet roads, snowy roads, and mud. Overall, it has been reliable, but after 10 years is starting to need some engine tweaks."

Anonymous, NM (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Exceptional. Low cost, durable"

Roy W., MA (2006 Subaru Outback)

"While everyone says I should get 300,000 miles on this car...how much $$ do I have to put into it to get it there. I added up the big ticket items and in the past <3years, I've put over $8,000 into this car. For a car and brand that supposed to be so reliable and dependable, that seems like a lot. Has greatly discouraged me from ever getting another Subaru. In addition, the Service Dept. of the closest dealer is rude and disrespectful."

Anonymous, FL (2006 Subaru Outback)

"Decent mileage for a larger car; very good mileage over long trips. Comfortable seats and handling over long trips. Reliable car - comparatively few trips to the repair shop. 4-wheel drive has been very convenient for all of our winter trips to Lake Tahoe - no chains!!!"

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Outback)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Needs air vents in the back seats. Needs more comfortable seats. Needs more competitive styling in the interior."

ANITA S., FL (2006 Subaru Outback)
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