Product Reviews

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Comfortable and versatile, the Outback is a Legacy wagon with more ground clearance. While the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is a bit sluggish, the XT's 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine offers much more power, but fuel economy suffers. The 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine is less responsive than the turbocharged one and returns 19 mpg. The base wagon gets 21 mpg overall. Handling is agile with good steering feel, and the ride is supple. The wagon has a useful cargo area, but the rear seat is snug. The Outback tends to slide its rear end a bit too readily at its cornering limits. Stability control is standard for 2009, but the system was slow to react in our tests. A redesign is now on sale.

See Reliability page for the latest 2009 Subaru Outback recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS available, standard from 2000. ESC available in 2001, standard from 2009. Side air bags available from 2000, standard from 2005. Head protection air bags standard from 2005.

Road Test

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 Out...

Highs

  • Steering, ride, fit and finish, controls.

Lows

  • Acceleration, braking, at-the-limit handling, rear seat.

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (243 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (170 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 (245 hp)