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

"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)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"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)


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

What Owners Say

"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)


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)
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