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2006 Subaru Outback

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 337 Ratings for the 2005 - 2009 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10
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Avoid NA 2.5 go for the turbo 4 or na 6

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

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 style"

Cons: "poor lower trims"

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

"I decided to wright this review because I was noticing a lot of people bashing on the car or one thing or another and more often than not they are complaining about trim specific issues such as a lack of power or a dodgy outdated transmission. This is ultimately true about the na 2.5 having a low amount of power but what do you expect from a car that is not geared toward speed but rather simplicity, thats why they used an engine thats design has been around for almost two decades. This also goes for the transmission as well, most of the outbacks that were sold came with the na 2.5 and 4 speed auto transmission. If you want a really solid car that will never let you down look no further than the na 3.0 liter. Subaru had just came out with a brand new engine called the "ez30r" which was an improvement over their previous 6 cylinder from 212 horse power to 250. This new engine comes in two trim levels the LL Bean edition and the VDC model. Now if you want something with a touch more power than that take a look at the XT trims because they come with a 2.5 liter turbocharged and aftercooled engine. It makes the same 250 horsepower as the six but makes thirty more foot pounds of torque but with this extra power comes more responsibility, when looking for an xt you must insure that the previous owner knew how to take care of a turbocharged car by preforming normal service such as using high quality synthetic oil and premium gasoline. Now about the 4 speed clunky old transmission, you need to worry because both the 3.0 and the 2.5 turbo come with a 5 speed auto which is miles better than the 4 speed, and if you are interested in getting a manual you'll have to look at the xt because the 3.0 did not come with the option of a 5 speed manual transmission. Over all im happy with my 05 outback ll bean edition, even at 190k miles she still happily revs out to the 7k redline when ever I wanna get on it, hope I helped some people in the right direction."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

NOT happy!

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Does great in the ice and snow"

Cons: "Poor reliability, Autotrans models are sluggish"

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

"Bought this car used with 32000 on the odometer. It is now at the local Subaru dealer (again), having the engine rebuilt. At 45 years old I have owned a LOT of cars in the 30 years I've been driving. I was an ASE certified mechanic for some time and definitely know my way around under the hood. This car has very easily been hands down the most expensive to maintain vehicle I have ever owned. Since I bought it I've had two major mechanical failures, first the front CV boots (both sides) failed, spewing CV grease all over the engine compartment and the catalytic converter which to this day emits a horrendous smell from the burning grease. Then at 97000 miles a (piston) rod began knocking. At this point I am looking at $6400.00 to repair the engine. I'd have just sold the thing if I didn't still owe more than $14,000 on it. Oh, and lets not forget about the fact that due to the overly sensitive transmission failure probability, you can NEVER just buy 2 new tires for this car. Unless you want to buy a new transmission, you'd better replace all 4 tires every time, and I don't even want to GUESS how much a transmission rebuild is on this car. Bought this car because I have always heard about Subaru's reputation for reliability. Suffice to say, I am NOT impressed."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

My third one - still love Outback, but not latest.

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable, comfortable"

Cons: "engine slow on long hills"

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

"The have made the new Outbacks larger and more like every other SUV. I particularly enjoyed the smallness of the 2008 (it fits in my tiny garage) and wonder what I will try next."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Perfect for New England weather.

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Capable in any weather"

Cons: "mediocre fit and finish & material quality"

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

"A great overall vehicle to own. Fit and finish deteriorates as the miles accumulate. Engine has always rattled which gets annoying every time the engine starts up this seems due to rusted out fittings on the heat shield which is where i believe the manufacturer cuts costs. Any problems with the vehicle has been covered by warrantee: (faulty front drive shaft). A big quality issue is with the "premium" wheels; the finish deteriorates alloy oxidizes and they look terrible! have been replaced 2 times, problem still occurs. Premium radio bass rattles the doors from about 20K miles on. Other than the above problems, overall great car to own."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

the speed of a hybrid with mileage of a V6

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "premium features, solid All Wheel Drive"

Cons: "bad gas mileage, slow performance, weird throttle"

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

"My 2006 Subaru Outback has 150,000 miles and the catalytic converter is failing. Cost of ownership is too high. All maintenance has been kept up to date. Mileage is terrible. For a slow four-cylider, I can't get above 27 mpg on a very low speed, highway tank. Going 70 on a roadtrip, I get 24mpg. Cargo space is amazing but the back seats don't have enough leg room for adults or space for rear-facing baby carriers. The throttle and clutch engagement make it difficult to drive, so my wife doesn't like driving it, despite her daily driver having a manual, also. Want to know how much I like it? Although it has premium features like seat heaters and mirror defrosters, I'm going to replace it with a new car while keeping my wife's 2001 Saturn SL."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

cool but not super.

By on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,345

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "its fast"

Cons: "its old (well to me it is)"

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

"i love the stander AWD. It has a good sound system. we drove it from montana and back 2 times."

I love this car!

By on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 232,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Pep, looks, speed, hauling capacity"

Cons: "More comfortable seats; more front storage"

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

"It took me through snowdrifts, across rushing floodwater up to bottom of doors and never stalled. I've hauled everything under the sun in it and it usually fit. Also, I don't know how I lived before and how I'll live after having a turbo charged vehicle. It is just awesome. Like driving a sportscar while hauling 2x4's, a two cases of paper towels and groceries for a week."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A resonable car until 122k miles.

By on Thursday, May 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"The car did as we expected for 122,000. Then a crack in both heads was revealed when the exhaust valve guide slid and bent the valve. Apparently not an uncommon issue, and the dealer's response was it sounds like you had some bad luck. Here is the good luck they are 2 1/2 hours away, an I am still sleeping in my own bed."

This car is solid!

By on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great in snow; low cost of ownership"

Cons: "Not a lot of fun"

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

"This has been my commuting car since 2009. I've driven it through awful snow without a problem. It's not fast. The 4 speed transmission isn't smooth. The Harmon-Kardon sound system is amazing. I've put NO money into it for repairs. If you want a bomb-proof reliable car, this is it."

good car

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"good car"

great car but I had lifestyle change

By on Thursday, April 24, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: too much hard driving in the future; wanted to let it age gracefully

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: "very quick, reliable, stylish, roomy, comfortable"

Cons: "needs premium gas, turbos supposedly dicey"

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

"I loved this car. Have always owned nice cars (BMW, other Subarus) but this was tops: snazzy looking, speedy, comfortable, and for its power and time, good gas mileage. Never let me down despite huge commutes night and day over nine years across country, good weather and bad. Although it never had engine problems (I was careful about oil changes, premium gas, and other maintenance), the suspension and other replacements were starting to cost money--after costing me nothing for 8 years except the routine servicing-- and I was looking at more heavy commuting on lousy NE roads, so I decided to get a new car requiring only regular gas and non-turbo to handle that and let this red rocket age gracefully with someone who'll take good care of it, have fun shutting down BMWs, etc., but not need to drive it so hard as I had to for work and now have to for family-medical reasons."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

The best that I have owned.

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,500

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
8/10

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

"A best buy and I love mine.."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS CAR

By on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 197,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "design inside and out, great for dogs and camping"

Cons: "Manual Transmission.. I'm too old for shifting"

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

"My ONLY complaint about this car is the manual transmission because I have a bad back and neck. It's just a little too much having to shift. Other than that, I love this car. It handles beautifully, window visibility is good. Exterior and interior is a great design. It's a SUBARU! and I love it."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

dissapointed in reliability

By on Monday, March 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

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

"we bought this car with 70000 miles and replaced the wheel bearings 3 times and both cooling fans failed at the same time. Both front axle boots cracked and leaked and they had to replace the axles to replace the boots. Now I just spent $2700.00 for new head gaskets and timing belt and one of the heads was cracked and had to be replaced. When I got it back from that repair within 2 weeks the check engine light and cruise control light came on and they said it needs a catalytic converter and several sensors for $1200.00!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Never getting another one.

By on Saturday, March 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 151,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
1/10

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

"I started with a 96 Subaru Outback, and when I went to buy this one I expected the same quality. I am highly disappointed as it has had problem after problem. Dealers tell me this is normal wear and it's an "old" car. No, it's not. And this is not normal. I take care of it, but this car does not take care of me. It is always disappointing me in some way, and I do not consider it reliable as it has left me stranded on the side of the road on more than one occasion."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

This is the most reliable, best car for the value

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, well maintained, one owner"

Cons: "A little body scratches but fixed with factory kit"

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

"I have owned this car since 2006. I bought it brand new and it has been my main vehicle of transportation. I love the heated seats in winter and the turn radius the interior light tan leather is still as clean and pretty as when it was bought. It is roomy, comfortable and can be down shifted for mountain driving or freeway speed. I have had no major mechanical problems and I have always kept up the regular maintenance."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

"Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru"

By on Friday, February 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Everything else: handling in snow and in general"

Cons: "Reliability, head gaskets"

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

"I think I finally understand this slogan. I love my 2008 Subaru Outback. I have wanted one for several years. I finally bought mine about 4 months ago with 82,000 miles on it. I knew that Subaru's were infamous for head gasket issues, so I purchased an extended (3rd party) warranty. Within 4 months, I started having an oil leak. Turned out to be a leaking head gasket. Luckily, Route 66 (my warranty) covered the whole thing. They were awesome. Cost around $2,000 all said and done. I was really dissapointed. 85,000 miles...blown head gasket...that's pathetic. It embarrasses me that Subaru claims reliability and claims to have fixed the problem. Well, it is officially not fixed. BUT, I love this car. I like the handling even more than I thought I would. I think for a wagon, it's pretty classy and has enough room for me and my pup. So, Love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, because even though these cost you out the butt to fix, you still love them. Poor reliability, but I really like everything else. Not sure I would recommend it to friends or family unless they were ok with spend the money it costs to keep these going. Hey Subaru!! Fix this problem. This is embarrassing. A representative at the Subaru dealer told me, "Subaru recommends that you replace the head gaskets at 100,000 miles." Are you telling me that head gasket replacement ($2000 repair) now is routine maintanence? Emabarrassing. But, I still love it. Hope this is the last big repair I have."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love my subaru

By on Monday, February 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"great purchase, 0 maintenance."

Great driving machine

By on Tuesday, February 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, sure footed in all conditions"

Cons: "No true cons, just a little crampt"

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

"Little crampt I am 6' wish the drivers seat went back just another inch, great to drive otherwise reliability and sure footed on any surface are by far the defining attributes of this car! Mechanically sound never had any issues will be replaced with another Subaru in the future, solid design though like all newer vehicles not taking the home mechanic in to account short of checking fluids be prepared to purchase a few speciality tools just to do minor maintenance."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love my subaru limited outbak

By on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,470

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: "everything is a po"

Cons: "could be a bit better on gas mileage"

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

"This car has been so so wonderful - sure footed in steep mountains on little cow paths - great in the snow - great in rain... I love how it handles and the running radius. It is easily the best car I've ever owned - now I am selling to it buy a 2011 Outback limited. Great great products! And this is one really good looking car to boot! sexy..."

very good car

By on Saturday, January 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very good car"

Cons: "needs more front seat room"

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

"good realible car w/snow tires in winter GREAT"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good all around car

By on Monday, December 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 186,400

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great handleing on snow and wet roads"

Cons: "Expensive reapirs, head gaskets and axles"

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

"I've owned my Outback for 7 years, bought it with 70K and now it has 186K. Good all around car and I do love the AWD, but if you're not driving on snow or roads that require AWD save your money and get a car that requires less maintenance. Subaru's are good cars but after 100K be prepared to repair on a regular basis, and it's not cheap! 2.5Outbacks are known for bad head gaskets and that's a $2400 repair at the dealer."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

well, it at least gets decent mileage

By on Saturday, December 28, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good gas mileage"

Cons: "EXPENSIVE repairs and our old mechanic hates it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Sorry, but at 5 years old and barely 100k on it, the last thing I expected was to have a blown head-gasket - thought that ongoing issue with this engine had been corrected by Subaru by the 2005 models. However, after the 14 mpg of my old F150 and 19 mpg of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, I like the 29-30 mpg average and feel secure with its all wheel drive...one of the most expensive cars for repairs we have ever had and we had a VW diesel for a while, too, along with a pricey Nissan"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Handles well but significant reliability issues

By on Sunday, December 22, 2013

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Handles well in snow; good power"

Cons: "significant electrical issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought my 2005 Outback 3.0R wagon new in 2005. Pros: Handles well; with good winter tires sticks well to the road. Good power ( despite the slight 2-3 second lag); good visibility. Windshield wiper heater strip ( keeps wipers from freezing up) is effective. Cons: My car has had significant electrical problems. Shortly after I owned it the oxygen sensors had to be replaced. Subsequently at 25,000 miles the entire electrical circuit board behind the dash had to be replaced (on warranty) and the mileage rolled back to zero. Subsequently the AM! Radio doesn’t work and the CD player discharges a large static discharge after 20 min of use. Dealership denies they are to blame. Catalytic convertors had to be replaced as well shortly thereafter. Currently (100,000 miles) the (new) battery goes dead if the car is not driven every 3-4 days. An independent garage specializing in Subarus has found a 3 amp drain from the battery to the heater block; it’s fixable by replacing the electrical circuit board that was already replaced 75,000 miles earlier ($1000 cost). Mechanics said this is a known defect in that circuit board. Drivers side seat heater overheats and burns occupant after a few minutes. Minor design flaws include an overhang over the rear window that makes it impossible to properly clean it. Only one keyed lock on driver’s side. Difficult to heat or maintain climate control for rear passengers. Carpet on rear seat backs gets very dirty when cargo is carried. All minor issues compared to electrical problems."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I wish I had my Outback back!

By on Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I owned and sold this car
Reason: divorce

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quick acceleration. Good ground clearance."

Cons: "None"

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

"A 2006 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean edition with 3.0 liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine was the best car I have ever owned. When I was driving over the mountain, passing big rigs was no problem. I just put my foot down on the accelerator and instantly felt a burst of speed that took me out of harm's way. The power felt good! This was NOT a sluggish car. I like the ground clearance. Also, I enjoyed carrying my dog in the back, and he liked it too!"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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