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.
Alerts
There are 13 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

"Hit a deer and slammed on breaks and it withstood impact and did not lose control."

David P., PA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very smooth and quiet on the road. Can easily find myself having sped up to way over the speed limit without realizing."

Jordan G., ON (2009 Subaru Outback)

"smooth drive, absorbs bumps we;;"

Joan H., NE (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very solid in the snow and other slippery conditions."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Really handles well, corners well ( I raced cars in my younger years) acceleration is fair but mileage is good as a result. We live in a snowy northern environment the AWD is a god-send."

Anonymous, MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Good snow car"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The Subaru is a workhorse, so there is no finesse in how it handles. When you try to accelerate hard (such as merging onto a highway), the 2.5 engine just turns and looks at you, saying "what?"!"

Monica S., MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The engine is very responsive, relatively fuel efficient, & has been problem free. The steering is also very responsive."

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"It drives like a sports car, good handling and excellent cornering"

Anonymous, MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Could use better acceleration, handling is good."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"everything is great about the handling of this car."

PATRICIA M., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Great climate control, comfortable seats. Insufficient leg room for tall drivers and leg room for passengers is insufficient for all both front and back. Acceleration is acceptable in city driving but the 4 cylinder engine is not adequate for highway driving. Overall steering control and driver position is great."

Anonymous, IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The cruse control shifts down too low in calm driving that causes the engine to work harde than necessary."

Anonymous, CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The steering feedback is surprisingly good and the turbo provides strong acceleration to merge onto highways."

MATTHEW S., NY (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration could be better."

LOUIS C., NY (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Basic 4 cyl is a bit under powered. OK in traffic, but interstate merging is sometimes challenging."

Anonymous, VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Noticeable lag when you want to accelerate fairly quickly. You put your foot on the gas and nothing happens for a second or two, and then the car takes off. If there's a fair amount of traffic I don't change lanes because of this."

Anonymous, NH (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very good read handling and passing acceleration. Great car in snow conditions"

RICHARD B., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Overall, I'm happy with the car, its looks, comfort, driveability, (highway at 80+ mph, as well as camping, back roads driving) especially with Michelin Defender tires. It's my 2nd Outback, both purchased from private owners thru Craigslist. Acceleration is hesitant, not prompt. There is a delay in response when needing quick acceleration, as in passing. This was true of my 2006 Subaru Outback as well. It's the most significant dislike about the car. The factory install clock, climate and radi"

MARGARET M., TX (2009 Subaru Outback)

"On July 30 we experience 6 inches of rain in 2 hours. I was driving home, crossing the Patapsco River bridge at Woodstock, MD, and climbing Woodstock Hill (45 degree slope and winding) while water was rushing down the road. The Subaru all wheel drive was fantastic. I got home safely."

KATHLEEN B., MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"All wheel drive is a blessing in bad weather especially snow. Acceleration is about as good as it gets with a 4 cylinder engine."

A M., DE (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Over time the acceleration is sluggish"

JOHN M., MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"We purchased this car (used) because it is turbo-charged. Makes all the difference when it comes to handling."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"could use more horsepower for acceleration"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"steering - somewhat numb"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"I like the AWD system even on dry roads. When I drive rental cars with FWD or RWD the tail always seems to wag on turns, and the handling is sloppy overall. The Subaru feels like it takes turns on rails, even at a higher speed than one should take on curves, such as if something comes up suddenly on a road I'm not familiar with. It inspires a lot of confidence that it'll always behave as expected."

GLENN C., NC (2009 Subaru Outback)

"acceleration from a stop is not that great"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"It is a dog. VERY slow compared to our Forester. Huge difference lacking turbo, mistake."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Definitely underpowered."

DARCY H., VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Would have been better with a 5 speed transmission."

CARLTON M., IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Good: I live in snow country and this Subaru is virtually unstoppable in snow when shod with dedicated snow tires. Bad: Brake lines failed due to rust. It was covered under an extended warranty, but was scary, none the less."

RICHARD B., MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The acceleration and gas mileage on this vehicle are disappointing. I expected more."

HOWARD N., MO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Handles snow and ice like a dream."

Anonymous, NM (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The 2009 Outback still has good acceleration and very good handling, on all types of roads and terrain."

James B., IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"both acceleration and handling adequate"

Anonymous, NS (2009 Subaru Outback)

"For a 4 cylinder engine, it has,good pick,up. Easy to handle."

Therese M., OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"I've managed fairly well in winter conditions in a mountain area. I do get snow tires as well, but the all wheel drive seems to help me manage better than friends who don't have it. Acceleration seems adequate for my purposes, mostly on country roads."

Anonymous, NY (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The acceleration is weird. It is fine if you don’t need to go fast, fast. If the ac is on and you need to merge onto the highway, it can shift weird through gears. It almost lags and then kicks in. I dont like that. I wouldn’t buy the bottom of the line unit again."

Nathan R., MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent acceleration and handling. It’s what I like about Subaru."

Kathleen B., MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The outback handles fantastically. I like to rake it on long trips because it hugs the road."

Curtis S., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Even with 66,000 miles the acceleration is strong and instantaneous. No lag whatever."

Allan R., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The acceleration is more than adequate considering the types of activities it is designed for. The handling is exttremely good for an all wheel drive crossover vehicle. I am very satisfied with the braking. I am very happy with the AWD capability in deep snow and mud."

Anonymous, IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The car handles like it was brand new. Easy to drive and very responsive!"

Anonymous, NC (2009 Subaru Outback)

"sluggish acceleration OK handling"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"the AWD in the snow"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"This vehicle has been excellent for driving in snow."

Richard B., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"I like the steering responsiveness, and the handling. One thing that worries me is a delay when I need to punch the pedal into a lower gear, or even to accelerate in the same gear. It seems endemic to Outbacks, was the same with my previous (2006) model."

Margaret M., TX (2009 Subaru Outback)

"corners exceptionally well due to low center of gravity -- sports car like"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Acceleration and handling are both smooth and impressively responsive!"

Anonymous, NH (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Modest acceleration,superb handling for this type of vehicle."

Bruce B., BC (2009 Subaru Outback)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The Outback is standard transmission which I like. It is peppy, comfortable and very stable on the road. I have been totally satisfied with the outback, I think it Subaru's finest product."

Curtis S., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Noisy inside, seats are good not great."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Quiet ride, smooth, comfortable seats"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"For an economical wagon, it is solidly built and gives the ride quality of a heavier, larger car. Handles well, after a tire change from the factory tires which tended to slide. Fairly quiet car."

Neal K., CT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"None of these stand out. All are good....not outstanding"

Anonymous, MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable and quiet once the OEM tires are replaced. It handles like a much larger heavier car that it is."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Three hub and wheel assemblies have broken. Air conditioning has been repaired multiple times. Electrical system currently made car inoperable in dealer repair shop!!!"

David P., PA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The driver's seat is good, but every other seat is torture! The back is impossible to sit in if you are over 3 ft tall."

SUSAN R., CT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"passenger front seat- legs cramp- need better ergonomic seat"

Anonymous, RI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are too firm for traveling long distances."

Anonymous, OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Too much road noise"

Anonymous, CT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The seats are a bit narrow and the ride is a bit firm, so that makes the ride less comfortable than some other cars."

Anonymous, PA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"This car has a has a relatively high level of road noise. On some types of pavement the noise level is objectionable for the passengers, even with the windows closed."

Anonymous, VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"we love the seat heaters"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Heated seats, fully adjustable"

ARTHUR F., VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The front seats are very comfortable but the back seats are short on legroom"

JOHN M., MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Headrests throw the head too far forward. Seats force the body into a C shape, compressing the diaphragm and rounding the shoulders into a most unhealthy position. The seats themselves were very uncomfortable. After two hours of driving we had pain in our hip joints. We had to buy seat cushions in order to be able to drive the car for any distance. The front windows have an odd shap that menaces the head and neck when entering and exiting the car. Ergonomically, the whole car is badly desig"

MARILYN S., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The seats in this 2009 Subaru are torture racks. I will pay a lot of attention to the seats in the next car I buy."

ROBERT P., PA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Not enough leg room for a taller driver"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"fan for outside air and a/c does not work well unless it is on "high"."

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"seats - very uncomfortable"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Too much road noise."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Front seats are easy to adjust. Needs a better lumbar support. Front seat head rests interfere with viewing when turning head to view sides of the car especially when backing out of a parking space."

A M., DE (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Good: reliability, fuel efficiency Bad/Poor: headlights on "dim", comfort (seats are tough on the back)"

FRED D., MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Cabin headspace and legroom are just ok for me, but I'm not tall or big. Cramped for a larger person."

SONIA D., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Seats comfortable. Road noise very distracting."

Anonymous, OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Rough ride High cabin noise"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Exellent seats, very good ride, exceptional handling."

Bruce B., BC (2009 Subaru Outback)

"seat upholstery wears out on drivers seat back due to deep contours good seat support."

Anonymous, NS (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Too noisy. I think that Subaru has addressed this in later models"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The outback rides and handles well. I love,the seats. A solid car."

Therese M., OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"This is my fourth Subaru. Almost all of them have had a fairly noisy ride. I'm hoping that newer models have corrected this. It can be distracting, is tiring at times, and leads to having to turn up the volume on radio when I'm listening to news or other non-musical programs (lectures, discussions, etc.)"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are a bit tight and do not provide the level of support other cars provide."

Anne C., NC (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Seats are like lazy boy."

Anonymous, NM (2009 Subaru Outback)

"I think because of ALL Wheel Drive, the floors are higher in Subaru than most cars. I have long legs, and the high floors force my knees up, making any trip longer than 30 miles VERY uncomfortable. In addition, the Subaru seats are poorly cushioned. Not a good long distance driver for me."

Anonymous, OH (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable"

John M., MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very comfortable seats, easy to adjust, high enough when entering the car to be very comfortable. Solid build, no rattles or noises, very quiet ride. Dash is clear and easy to see and access, visibility is good. Roomy."

Kathleen D., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"I love my Outback in the snow and rain. You can’t beat how it handles. That being said, it has a smooth ride but it’s a bit choppy with its acceleration which messes with how comfortable the ride is. Sometimes I doubt if it’s going to make it to the next gear but then all of the sudden it catches and kicks in. This is odd because I think this engine is not supposed to do that. I have some relief if I put it in sport mode and then the ride is comfortable again. Strange. So far, I have 120,000 miles and works well so I’m keeping it. The center armrest unit wasn’t designed well. It’s broken in two places and that’s really annoying. I’m probably going to replace it just for peace of mind."

Nathan R., MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Compared to all my previous cars the ride is hard, boucy and uncomfortable."

Al A., CT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"quiet smooth ride"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Seats fit me well and comfortably, and I can reach the pedals and see over the dash and hood. I'm 5 ft. 0 in. tall and this car is one I feel safe with. I can't fit in many cars, and won't even rent one that fits me enough to feel safe. The rest of the car is one that I can reach everything that's important. When Subaru changed the Outback in 2010, it got too big for me. I can't even reach the roof to wash it!"

Margaret M., TX (2009 Subaru Outback)

Value

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

What Owners Say

"Subarus are great values. They do most everything you need and hold up well."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Has been very reliable and was the best for all functions/road conditions when I lived up North. More economical and comfortable than a truck but other than heavy hauling provides excellent utility."

Vince K., FL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Purchased in 2010 & received good price point. This was excellent considering all that was included in the price & the great service I have had"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"When we got it the price seemed fantastic! I looked at Outback when I bought my Forrester and it has risen quite a bit. I would buy another Outback when we decide to trade in the 2009 ."

Curtis S., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"it is comfortable, good driving, and economical"

Anonymous, OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Overall quality is very good"

J B., IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Recently excessive repairs ~4K for PS pump, plugs/valves replacements due to leaks, exhaust/manifold cover rusting, Cv boots, bushings and other minor things which in aggregate seem out of ordinary for 7yr old car under 60K miles. Didn't get our money's worth on this one."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"When I compare my Outback to other crossover vehicles, I am amazed by the quality, reliability and the price. Fabulous vehicle."

TERRI D., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Too expensive. Headgasket should not fail at 70000miles. Neither the "boots" over the CV joints."

BERNARDUS V., CT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"reliable and easy to drive"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Have had 3-4 close calls in freeway incidents and the car handled exceptionally well. I have avoided all accidents. I believe the car in one instance saved my life because it handled so well. It costs more than similar vehicles an it primarily lives in CA but it has been driven in some brutal conditions from Wyoming to Minnesota for about 6 winters and is a darn tough car. My only complaints the headlights get dingy and yellow and needed replacement 2 X already - low beams got darn near impo"

PATRICIA M., CA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The Outback was in good condition and had relatively low miles; hard to find good, used Outbacks."

Anonymous, OR (2009 Subaru Outback)

"This is the 3rd outback we have had. This one also liced up to expectations..fine handling, response in inclement weather, Seats are very comfortable...all in all I am very satisfied with this vehicle, and feel very safe driving it..Itresponds well to maneuvers..."

Anonymous, MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"My relative dissatisfaction with Subaru has to do with the cost to maintain these. This is my third Subaru. I drive 7,000 miles per year but the cost of routine maintenance has averaged $250/mo since I got it new. Now at 8yrs old with 60,000 miles it is averaging $300+ per month. It is not worth keeping it. I am better off selling, using a car sharing service and no longer maintaining it. I can't even consider giving it to my teen because they couldn't afford the maintenance. My first Sub"

PAT H., MA (2009 Subaru Outback)

"After nine years my 2009 Subaru Outback still performs satisfactorily in all kinds of weather with decent mpg."

James B., IL (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Comfortable low-to the ground driving on windy winter roads, with all-wheel drive to keep it going in tough spots. And room for a lot of 6-ft lumber and other cargo on my 80-mile trips to town."

Anonymous, MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"We have had this 2009 Subaru Outback for 9 years. Other than one minor adjustment and regular maintenance we have not had to make a single repair. the car still seems to run like the day we bought it. I have been driving cars for over 50 years and have never had a car with such an impressive reliability record. Based on that record, combined with its safety scores and general level of comfort, I don't know that I would ever buy a car other than a Subaru. Seriously. Why would I?"

Daniel C., MI (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Excellent value and reliability!"

Anonymous, NH (2009 Subaru Outback)

"Very few repairs--the largest was replacing the AC compressor. Reasonable mileage. Love the hauling capacity since I use it as my "work horse" for hauling supplies, plus road trips."

Anonymous, MT (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The outback is a premium car. It gets good mileage, is comfortable and I like it a lot. It is a standard transmission which allow it to be "peppy." I think the investment was well worth it--it is a nine year old car and runs like a charm."

Curtis S., CO (2009 Subaru Outback)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"We chose a dripped down model to economize. We should have gotten a few upgrades."

Anonymous, NC (2009 Subaru Outback)

"The color (dark blue) always looks dirty. I would look for white next time."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Subaru Outback)
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