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2004 Subaru Outback

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 626 Ratings for the 1996 - 2004 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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One Tough Car

By on Saturday, December 20, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded in on GMC Acadia

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable, great gas mileage, great on or off-road"

Cons: "small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"All you really need to know about a Subaru is that if you're strapped for money, you probably can't find a more reliable vehicle that can do it all and get great mileage while doing it. I bought the car with 120k miles on it for $4700. Drove it for three years (45,000 miles). I never changed the oil and finally on a 2500 mile round trip it started knocking. I checked the oil, which it had not burned any of, and it was as thin as water. I changed the oil and the motor stopped knocking and I drove it another 5000 miles before trading it in on a new GMC Acadia. Subaru vehicles can be trusted to get you from point A to point B. Trust them."

Best car I have ever owned.

By on Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dependable car for a family."

Cons: "Tends to get alot of body rust around wheel wells."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought my 2003 Outback in 2011 with 65,000 miles. I have driven back and forth from Florida, gone through many mounds of snow and sleet, as well as icy roads. Replaced the water pump last summer. The check engine light came on at 105,000 miles, had all my belts changed, and general 100,000 work done, and light still on. Back hydraulic hinge for hatch back rusted off. Not sure why that would have happened, as no water gets into back. Still is the best car I have ever owned, has never left me stranded. Have always been a Jeep person, but after owning a Subaru, and not having to put very much money into the vehicle after almost four years and after almost 50,000 miles. Great car. Every one I know who owns one loves them. I have heard issues about head gaskets, but I have not had one major engine issue."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Lots of issues when keeping for more than 4-5 yrs

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
2/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Recommend if plan on only keeping for 4-6 years"

Cons: "Only buy if you have money to waste"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Drivers side rear began rusting after 5 years with no accidents or scratches on it; now quite bad and needs lots of body work before it will pass inspection again. Check engine light repeatedly goes on for more than half the life of car. Paid lots of money to have it fixed many times, but light just comes back on again after a few weeks. Each year before inspection time must go to shop and they do something to make the light go off and blame it on something that has costed anywhere from $120-$700. Have records to prove it. Head gasket went close to 100,000 miles which is an outrageous repair bill due to labor. Car has only 135,000. 2nd subaru kept more than 4-5 years; best to get rid of them financially wise after 4-6 years. Had 5 Subaru's all together due to needing good awd and not caring for SUVs; I always buy new trying to avoid someone elses problems; 2 rusted quite bad when not very old, despite being garaged and not scratches or accidents. All had issues with rear hatch latch, except my 2012 had none yet. 3 had issues with check engine light like above. I like the car, but it is a matter of luck whether you get one worth keeping for the long term to get money's worth. They look nice and run good when new, but after warranty is gone, plan on spending to keep it for the long haul. I do like the AWD and ground clearance and the 2015, like others in the past have nice new features, but if you look around enough long enough they can seem to be a step behind and it is a matter of luck on quality. I have had better luck with Honda and worse with Ford. I always buy the Subaru limited with all the nice options, but would be more content if they were built to last longer without expensive time consuming issues."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent condition, great car

By on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, easy to drive, great for carrying stuff"

Cons: "No BLUE, no keyless entry"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car several years ago with less than 30k miles on it and have used it to travel to work around LA as well as several road trips. A great vehicle, always reliable, never any trouble. Aside from normal maintenance, it has new battery, newish tires, and some recent body work to clean up some scratches and minor dings. I would pass it on to a friend or family member, but everyone I know has new cars. I need something small and light for me, as I'm getting older and don't want to drive a wagon anymore. Call me if you need a safe and reliable vehicle to schlep kids or stuff around."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

good car, finicky details, great in snow

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great snow car, good looker, better gas mpg"

Cons: "upkeep...period"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"if you don't mind tinckering with a car and messing around with mechanical issues, this is a better car than most, but having had higher than expected mechanical issues one being head gaskets repaired 2x in 30k, i just am tired of the car and it must go. I have had other Honda/Toyota/nissan with similar milage and they never had the upkeep this subby did."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great design

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have had no major problems with car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good in snow!

By on Saturday, September 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Bought this car new. Have kept up on the maintenance pretty well. Has had some issues, needed a head gasket replacement twice. Has rust behind both rear wheel wells, and I notice other wagons like mine do also. Always expensive to get something fixed on it as it has a complicated electrical system. It is real good in bad snowy weather though. Still has the original exhaust system after all this time too! I wouldn't buy another Subaru though."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned!

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun and economical to drive."

Cons: "Front and rear bumpers are difficult to keep paint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car! Even with 105,000 miles I've had no major issues. I wish it had a little more cargo space. And the front and rear bumpers are difficult to keep paint on. Those are my only complaints. Gets great gas mileage. Still looks stylish after 12 years. Great on winter ice and snow."

13 people out of 18 found this review helpful

A great car for all seasons, especially winter

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 375,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Safe, reliable, good handling, affordable"

Cons: "Only 20-22 mpg; ok ride in the back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love love this car! Great for winter driving, especially with snow tires; safe, reliable, good handling, affordable, easy to drive and park and maintain. Great versatility with back seats that lie flat for carrying large items. Had a great engine that our dealer KILLED by not putting the "t valve properly" and then not admitting or covering their error. Put in a second engine - working great except needed head gasket job (1st engine hadn't). Need to clean out wheel wells to avoid rust. Had to body work on one back "dog leg." Would love a Subaru solution to great (not just good) radio reception and blocking interference, but then that's a frustration with all cars."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Nice vehicle

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 188,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, lots of cargo room"

Cons: "Could run with regular, but ran best with premium."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This was a fun vehicle to drive. As it got older it needed some repairs, but this is common with all vehicles. I liked the H6.0 engines pep, my only knock on it was it ran best on premium which adds up over a years time. The engine compartment was also quite crowded which made it difficult to change the spark plugs."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Carries all my stuff, always sticks to the road"

Cons: "Slow to accelerate."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. I'm very upset a kid on a cell phone just smashed into the back of mine, totaling it in the eyes of the insurance co. I was fine. Not a bump, scrape or ache. I'm already looking for a new one. Haven't even considered considering another vehicle."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

could use a little more power

By on Saturday, June 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "sturdy car, responsive handling, comfortable ride"

Cons: "could use more oomph"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"very responsive and stable on the road with easy handling even when driving at high speed with a very smooth and comfortable ride but could use a little more power and a little better gas mileage. also tends to have high road and wind noise in certain situations. I bought it as a 5 year old second hand car with 21,000 miles on it and had several costly repairs over the years including having to replace a leaking head gasket at around 90,000 miles but overall though has been very reliable and predictable to own and operate. I have owned 3 Subaru cars in the past 22 years and in general was very satisfied except for 1 pre owned 30th edition year 2,000 model legacy sedan that turned out to be a serious lemon and gave me nothing but trouble the whole time until it suddenly blew an engine one day while driving it on a busy street."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Amazing value

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 248,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "value. dependability. Safety"

Cons: "pull out cupholder is jammed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought in 2004 for $6000 put 90000 miles on it, now has 248000 miles . Only systems that ever failed were the A/C compressor and the alternator. Never a problem with any of the power systems or accessories. Amazing reliability."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good and reliable

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car was kept in garage, mechanical maintenance kept up to date, no accidents, minor body issues. Most suitable for college student who needs reliable and safe and serviceable wagon. Just had new brakes done, new rubber and no mechanical problems. Have service records."

great car. Parts are hard yo find

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, safe,fun to drive"

Cons: "expensive parts and repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have owned this car for 14 yrs. It's reliable, comfortable and practical. The only flaw I can find is that parts and service are hard to find in Puerto Rico and when you find them they are quite expensive. I would recommend this car to others."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Sturdy and reliable, drives like a race car!

By on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "very reliable, amazing handling, sturdy body"

Cons: "Go with leather even if after-market."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Driving hundreds of miles on and off road this car never failed to perform. With stick shift handling in snow, mud, gravel, and heavy rain has been a pleasure. Mechanically sound and reliable it never complains. I took good care of it and it never let me down."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Good car, just wanted to upgrade.

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Excellent in snow conditions"

Cons: "A little to low for older folks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I am just replacing with a new Subaru Outback. This was my 4th Subaru, so now my 5th."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Never Let Me Down

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 205,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great little Traveler!!"

Cons: "Not the best comfort!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car used as a spare to leave at my vacation home. I have used it to drive back and forth to my home and 20 gal in my regular vehicle verses 6.5 Gal in the Subaru it has 5 speed and every hill I am in neutral going about 60 to 70 miles an hour down hill!! It may not have the best pick and go but as a very dependable fuel economic driver it has my vote!!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I love this car, she is just starting to show sign

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, handles great in winter driving"

Cons: "con is how the snow builds up on tires so quickly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"signs of aging, oil leaking , some rust around car door"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

My family purchased her 3'years ago subaru love

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 168,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great solid stable car great gas mileage for a 6cy"

Cons: "None absolutely none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought this 2004 Subaru llbean edition with the h6 cyl loaded and we love her we have put over 60000 miles on it ourselves. When we bought it it had around 110000 miles now 168000 and counting. Only regular maintenance needed brakes battery etc. just Mobil 1 oil changes and lots of love it has come in very handy and it's features are very luxurious. Heated wiper are mirrors and side windows. Just amazing.car drives amazing and is unstoppable in the bad weather! Period. We love it and would recomend it to anyone."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Drives well, a workhorse -but with Deluxe features"

Cons: "I love this car!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Just recently got this car (~ Feb. 2014)- paid cash and have since re-packed one set wheel bearings, fixed AC leak - and brakes all around. These fixes brought the overall price up to approx. retail value around Boston - around $8k. 19 mpg combined, leather, moon roof - excuse me: Dual Moon Roof package. And still well under 75k miles. Other important info: My 1st Subaru, following long term (since new) of 2005 Chev. Cobalt LS, with 150K miles - complete with death-trap ignition accessory. Any Questions?"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

I'd keep this car for the rest of my life!

By on Monday, June 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 184,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "In snow, it is the best!"

Cons: "I can't think of any!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have driven this car with very little need for repairs, however, it does have 184,000 highway miles on it, and I have put some money into it recently. It has new seals and head gasket, new brakes, new tires, and the engine doesn't leak oil. I've had new timing belt put in January, not that it was needed, but just that it was easier while working on the head gasket & seals. I've also had serpentine and power steering belts replaced when they looked worn. My only accident in this car was when I was rear ended at about 15 mph while stopped at a light. There was no real visible damage, but they replaced the rear bumper. This has been the best car I've ever had. The visibility is the best, the comfort is wonderful, and I would keep it forever, but I feel I need a newer car. I have had it gone over throughly by a very reputable shop, and the only thing they said needed attention sometime in the future is the rack & pinion, but that there was no hurry on that. In the snow, friends would call me for a ride when their own cars wouldn't be able to navigate the snow and ice. I've stopped in the middle of a Seattle hill, and been able to put it in gear and continue up the steep hill. What a great car!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

No the best but fear enough.

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 149,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Very decent car for the money back when I first bought it. I still own it and it runs like a rock. Just a typical wear and tear maintenance. Never trouble on winter time so far."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Head Gasket leaked at 105,000 miles.

By on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great in winter"

Cons: "older models head gasket issue"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I bought this car in 2010 for 5000.00 with 102,000. At 105,000 miles the head gasket started to leak $30.00 per gallon antifreeze antifreeze. $2200.00 later head gasket was replaced. Worst factory sound system I ever heard. Window whistles. I will say my wife loves it and we both agree it is a fun car to drive."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Safe, durable and like a tank through snow.

By on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A safecar."

Cons: "Hard to get in and out of if you are elderly."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Whenever the weather has been bad or conditions are dangerous, we always say,"Take the Subaru."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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