2008 Subaru Outback Owner Satisfaction - Consumer Reports
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 .To counter this, stability control became standard with all trim lines for 2009.
There are 8 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

"Good acceleration and braking along with very good vision all around from high seating position. Excellent in Winter snow braking and handling."

Gerry C., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent in both acceleration and handling."

Ralph M., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"acceleration lags. the newer models are much better"

Margaret S., MI (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Seems to have a jerky change in gears"

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration is terrific! I probably won't get another outback because they are no longer turbocharged. I can set the cruise in the mountains and it always stays on the mark!"

Steven E., CO (2008 Subaru Outback)

"4wd is super stable on whatever surface"

Zhongjie Z., WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Throttle response is not smooth. Engine lags initially then surges when accerating."

F H., VA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very good acceleration and handling. Good audio. Good comfort rating."

Dennis S., WI (2008 Subaru Outback)

"It's power is underwhelming. I had a '97 Outback prior to this one and it performed better. 2.5L engine, no turbo for both cars. The '97 was a manual transmission, but even so - this '08 feels weak."

MARTIN K., MI (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Good acceleration. All-wheel drive makes car handle extremely well."

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Steering is stiff. Brakes always have pulled to the right"

MICHAEL B., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Fairly sluggish acceleration, OK handling. After all, it is a wagon."

PAT B., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Would like more power. Next time I will get a v6. I would like a firmer ride"

LEE B., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Handles great, and good car for dirt roads and New England winters. Acceleration on highway can be slow."

DOROTHY B., MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"not enough torque and power along with 4 speed automatic transmission tends to cause significant downshifting when trying to maintain highway speed and passing speed especially on hills -Engine needs to run at high RPM to maintain speed under the conditions stated above"

NUBAR N., NJ (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Good acceleration and handles very nicely"

Anonymous, DE (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very nimble and quick, handles uphill without slowing down, steering is very responsive. First car I've had that is genuinely fun to drive."

DORIS C., FL (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I had a problem with the CD/Radio unit. Toyota fixed, howler I had to take it back because the CD player didn't work. That was three weeks ago. The dealership said that can't get a hold of the manufacturer and can't get an answer. Still waiting. It's now out od 36000 miles warranty. Before it was covered. I never checked out the CD player. The dealership seems to be cooperating they don't return my calls or update me on the issue James Hodge Toyota 2314 W Shawnee Bypass, Muskogee, OK 74401 (918)"

ROBERT H., OK (2008 Subaru Outback)

"This model needs more power and or more gears in the transmission. Slow acceleration at speeds above 45 MPH because transmission is already in top gear. This needs a 5 or 6 speed transmission. Very slow to pass other vehicles."

JAMES J., CO (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Reliability and handling"

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"quick acceleration; no hesitation. handles well on curves; quick response."

Anonymous, MN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Reliable, accurate. very safe vehicle"

Lynn R., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"This is a good driving car. It handles well. Have never had any feeling that the acceleration and handling endanger my safety."

Phillip F., IN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Four cylinder engine is so underpowered that it shifts on the interstate and sometimes shifts up and down repeatedly on hills."

Mandy V., AZ (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Handles well in all conditions"

Kathryn T., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"acceleration is just "OK" not much torque in engine"

Anonymous, IN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Handles very well in bad weather due to all wheel drive."

Virginia L., PA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Getting noisy"

Anonymous, VT (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The all-wheel drive is a big help with icy roads in winter, and the car has great visibility all around."

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The transmission seems to cause the car to lunge in 1st and reverse gears and occasionally accelerating out of a corner in a higher gear. Also, road noise is more than I would like. Otherwise the Outback provides a firm, comfortable ride with light, responsive steering."

Stewart L., WA (2008 Subaru Outback)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"There is a lot of road noise. The seats are comfortable"

Anonymous, OK (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Front seat comfort is good, though I get sciatica when driving long distances, as driver or front seat passenger. A/C doesn't work as well in the back, and back seats can be bumpy. Very noisy; probably need a new muffler."

DOROTHY B., MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Electrical seat adjustment for driver is limited in extent and axis"

DAVID S., VA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"This age Subaru is smaller than the new ones. It's hard to get in and out of the driver's seat sometimes because of that. I am not a larger person but I have long legs and my knees bump unless I adjust and then readjust the seat when I am having trouble with my knees."

MARY L., WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The ride in this car is not as comfortable as American or Japanese made vehicles. When I have to drive 525 miles to visit my family my back and hips are sore. The ride with the Buick and Olds I used to own was much more comfortable. I'm 5'7" and 140 lbs. so probably fairly average."

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Seats uncomfortable on long trips."

Anonymous, ID (2008 Subaru Outback)

"As a disabled driver, I am thrilled with the electric fingertip controls for adjusting the seats and rear view mirrors."

CONNIE F., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very limited room in backseat for adult passengers."

PAOLA S., PA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Motor is very loud"

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"While the ride is wonderful, seats are very uncomfortable for driver and passengers on travels exceeding 100 miles. Cabin noise is minimal, however I have experience less in other vehicles"

Anonymous, TN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"had to add a memory foam seat for comfort, poor acceleration wind noise when going fast"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Car doesn’t take rough street well. Ride is uncomfortable, loud."

Michael P., NJ (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are very comfortable. I can easily drive for 11 or 12 hours at a time. The ride is pretty good. There is a lot of noise considering the price."

Thomas P., IN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"We love our Subaru! We’ve owned 3 so far. So thank you. Only complaint: My 6’2‿ son is too tall for the front seat of my 2008 Outback. I was hoping to pass the car down to him."

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Noise on freeway. Front seats are uncomfortable. Passenger seat has insufficient leg room"

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Seat is getting lumpy"

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"For an older car it still rides pretty well."

Anonymous, MI (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Good all around seat support"

Kathryn T., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The multi-adjustable drivers seat is adequate. The non adjustable passengers seat is not comfortable after ~1/2 hour."

Kathy B., NJ (2008 Subaru Outback)

"It is very good in the rain or snow and the AWD system works flawlessly."

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Drivers seat support is hard on the back."

Anonymous, IN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are not comfortable for long drives. I drive 525 miles to visit my family, and am very glad to get out of the car when done. It's fine for short trips. Also - there is a lot of road noise so I have to turn the radio up quite a bit. I used to have a Buick Regal and it was much more comfortable. Also my Mazda was much more comfortable on long trips."

Marilyn W., OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I'm 6 ft 4 In, which is tight for me."

Edward G., MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Seats after 10 years are still excellent for support and all around comfort. Also decently quiet for a utility-based vehicle."

Gerard C., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"The comfort in the Subaru is average. It is fairly noisy. The seats are ok but after long trips one's legs do feel discomfort."

Phillip F., IN (2008 Subaru Outback)


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

What Owners Say

"It's a good car in inclimate weather, but I've had issues with maintenance."

Anonymous, OK (2008 Subaru Outback)

"It's a 2008 and still running, altho I need to spend $500 on repairs!!"

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Car has always been comfortable and extremely practical with seat configuration and lots of room in the back, especially with rear seats folded down; decent gas milage; and very comfortable on ling trips."

Gerry C., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Comfortable. Good capacity. Problems: Premature brake wear-out; poor gas milage."

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I previously owned a 2001 Outback. The 2008 and 2001 were nearly the same price (with similar features). However, the 2008 does not have a full size spare, which I feel is a major drawback for this type of vehicle."

ELAINE R., MD (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very unhappy about major expensive repairs at very low miles: replaced all struts at ~63k miles and head gaskets at ~68k."

AMY C., OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Overall I love this vehicle for it performance in all driving conditions. The primary negative is the electronics have long been troublesome; specifically, the radio, info system, cruise control have been inoperable for sometime."

Anonymous, TN (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Best buy in years!"

Anonymous, NV (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Engine blew up at 95000 miles requiring rebuild with a new short block, and now the new short block is using oil excessively, likely will need to be replaced again! Bad Value!"

CRAIG L., IA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I Purchased this vehicle in NY and saved Approx $15,000. over what the same vehicle would have cost in Canada. Importing this vehicle was very easy and took about 20 mins at the US Customs office and another 20 mins at the Canadian Customs. I would do it again, even with the difference in the Cnd $ vs the US$ because of the15 year emission system guarantee on US vehicles vs 3 years on Canadian Sold vehicles even though the vehicles are identical."

B B., ON (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very practical, well designed, good value for the price."

JEFF S., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"since I had so many repairs, didn't get good value. Also, the car is undependable, so not a good value."

LARRY R., CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Very very reliable - the one problem I had was easily fixed by the dealer. Car is solid - has over 100,000 miles"

DOUGLAS Y., TX (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Reliable, well built, economical maintenance."

Dan M., PA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Quality and reliability"

Anonymous, OR (2008 Subaru Outback)

"very reliable good cargo space good gas mileage considering the type of vehicle it is."

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I have had 10 excellent years and 96K miles in y Outback and expect more years yet. This car is very reliable though I always keep up with maintenance and never have had problems. Even the gas milage is still decent for an old car. It has a very flexible use of inside space."

Gerard C., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"For the money it is reliable and easy to drive, and it offers good safety for winter driving. The bad thing with my car is that it dropped a valve guide, shattered a piston, and cost me a new long block, at 83k miles, $5k out of pocket."

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Outback)

"all wheel drive, fog lights, two-tone paint, roof rack, etc for less than 23K at the time"

Robert R., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"I think you good good value for the overall package in comparison to other brands."

Michael P., NJ (2008 Subaru Outback)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Good looks"

Anonymous, KY (2008 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent visibility, flexible layout very good for carrying a variety of things. Clean lines without being flashy."

JEFF S., NY (2008 Subaru Outback)
Change Vehicle