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 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

"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)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"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)


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

What Owners Say

"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)


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)
Change Vehicle