Cons: "Expensive to fix, expect big ticket failures"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"The Subaru ownership experience is a mixed bag. I've owned 3 of them (2001 and now a 2009 Outback plus a 2003 Legacy).
These are among the safest vehicles on the road.
Day to day Driving dynamics/handling is excellent
The interior is very functional and comfortable
AWD in weather is fantastic
If you've owned a bullet proof Honda/Toyota (I've had 4 of them) and you go in believing Subaru has their reliability you're going to be dissapointed. My 2001 ate wheel bearings (6 of them over 120K miles) and blew the head gasket at 110K miles. My 2003 had the head gasket blow at 65K miles and my 2009 (just off warranty at 42K miles) blew a strut.
These cars has never left me stranded but they have had issues that required large cash outlays to fix. Because Subaru is a much smaller company that Honda/Toyota the pricing for parts is also greater.
I have enjoyed all of the Subarus I've owned and believe they are well designed vehicles. Having said that if you buy one then be ready to spend on a couple thousand dollars on unscheduled maintence/problems. My Toyotas (95 Camry and 06 Sienna have gone 150K miles with virtually no unscheduled repairs)."
"Handling and and performance on icy roads and in the snow are excellent. Mileage is consistant 28-30 MPG. The check engine light has gone on five times in 30,000 miles. The light was reset by the Subaru dealer who cannot determined the cause of the activation. The Subaru Corp.has advised me in writing that this is how the car was "designed to perform". The car, which has a manual transmission, sometime stalls in first gear when driven slowly on steep inclines. The rubber gasket is loose around the back passenger window causing water to leak into the car."
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."
"Pro's: Turbo is really quick, comfortable and well appointed interior, great heated seats, good looking exterior
Cons: Stock Bridgestone tires are just awful, headlamps keep burning out, paint thin, windshield chips easily"
"I've had my '05 OB XT since November 2004, and I haven't had any problems beyond what Subaru already took care of -- that is, replaced DRL's with real DRL bulbs, and replaced an cooling fan relay that caused a short in the ECU and made the cooling fans run constantly. I traded an Audi A4 Avant for this car as I was moving to CO and wanted more "offroad" capability -- and I got it, with better acceleration and equal gas mileage (with some aftermarket improvements in tires and some parts). While it doesn't handle as well as my Audi did on the road, it's not meant to -- but it still handles pretty darn good. With snow tires, it's bombproof in the snow or offroad in all but the worst high-clearance conditions. Death Valley, Escalante, and CO backcountries have been no problem (with good judgment applied). I now have almost 56K miles on it and it's getting better gas mileage than ever! True to Subie heritage, I think this car will last well over 100K and perform just as well."
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."
"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."
Pros: "handling, price, trunk space, gas mileage, smooth ride"
Cons: "poor legroom, boring console"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've lived in MA, GA, and TN since I've owned this car and I love how well it handles in wind, hail, rain, snow, and ice. I'm not in love with the design or space (two carseats essentially eliminate the entire back seat), but I'd buy it again and suffer being cooped up just for how safe and in control I feel driving it; really smooth ride and handling even at high speeds. I agree with the other reviewer's seat comments - not enough leg room or padding (I've done frequent 1200-1500 mile treks in it, so I can say you really feel the lack of these after spending a day or two behind the wheel). On the plus side, you would be surprised just how much you can pack in the trunk. I average 24 mi/gal on the highway (at 80 mi/hr with the car packed to the gills - probably would be even better without the load), and between 22-27 mi/gal around town depending on AC use."
"I've got the Legacy Outback X/T limited like the one in the picture. (Who knows it might even be the same one because its red.) Has the 5 Spd turbo with the big split sunroof.
Overall I am really happy with this car. I bought it new and have had it for a little over 5 years. I am about to put 100,000 on it soon.
No real maintenance issues except for the clutch. The throwout bearing went out at a little over 90,000, so I had to replace the whole clutch assembly. The worst part was that there was about another 50,000 miles left on the clutch plate and pressure plate. (A failure of a $50.00 part led to a $1,000 repair.)
The only other maintenace has been oil changes, tuneups, brakes, 2 CV boots and tires. (If you buy soft Michelins, you will need to replace all four tires every 30,000 miles or so.)
Performance: the 2.5 L Turbo moves out.
Ground clearance, suspension and handling.
Comfort: Dual Climate Control/Air Conditioning, and heated seats
Brand: This model looks a lot better than the new (redesigned) Outbacks. (You can probably thank Toyota for that.)
Headlights burn out every 2-4 months, and I am really careful not to touch the bulb when I replace them.)
The interior carpeting fades/wears quicker than I would like.
I'm going for 300,000 miles on this one, so I hope I can check back in every so often to update you."
"This is my fourth Subaru (1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and they still make a great car. I have had this vehicle for 14 months and have had no problems at all. The mileage is good, 22 to 29 mpg, the all- wheel drive great for snow and ice, the ride is pleasant and responsive and the zip is there even though this is "only" four cylinders."
"I have had my outback xt since oct. 2004 and it has been a great vehicle. Of course there are some issues I have had to deal with like the sound system is not the best and you have to get the dealership to install the headlights. You can pick out things that are wrong with most every car and it is all very little things with this car. I had to replace the tires at 22,000 miles but I spent the money and got some really good all weather tires. Now the car is handling amazing. This car, with it's AWD, has saved my life at least 2 times. I live in Colorado and it handles unbelievable in the snow now that I have good tires. Having the XT and 250 hp makes going up mountain passes so easy and it is so nice not feeling like your car is straining itself to get up the mountain. I also get amazing service at my dealership in Fort Collins so if you are not getting good service, try and find another dealership you can take you car to. Great service makes all the difference. Overall, this is a great car for people who are active and travel through harsh conditions. It is the ultimate outdoor adventure vehicle. Oh, and did I mention the sunroof goes into the backseat."
"For all the good traits, there are a few that make me think twice about buying a second one. First off, the dealer's service department is awfull. Won't go back there.
2005 LL Bean. 41K miles. Looked stunning brand new, but interior finishes scratched, and showed wear quickly. Leather finish on drivers seat lost color from wear.
Soft low profile tires and brakes had to be replaced before end of lease. That investment will probably dictate that I buy it when lease ends this month.
Performance is exceptional. Gas miliage (21 mpg at best) is marginal. Should own a vehicle that gets at least 30.
Exterier remains new looking when cleaned.
Solid vehicle with no mechanical issues, but I have changed each headlight bulb at least 3 times. What's up with that?"
"Love it! This is my 5th Subaru, all have had over 100,000 miles. Every day driving is fun, but where the car really shines is in inclement weather, especially snow. I live in Chicago and we get a lot of snow, not once have I been stuck. Last year we had a blizzard, only me and a couple of SUV's and the snow plows were out. I went thru 8" to 10" inches of snow and high drifts. It felt like I was driving on dry surfaces. A lot of SUV's got stuck, not me!
Comfortable driving on long trips.
Next car I get, is going to be another Subaru, but I have at least 23,000 miles to go!"
"Trouble free driving is the best way I can say it. Easy handling, good gas mileage, easy to change your own oil. Has all the essential features most any driver would want. Consumer's Report rates the Outback at the top of the list of good cars in its class. I like the true station wagon style that few other makers offer in a moderate price range. Plenty of storage space in the back. The all-wheel drive is so helpful in winter snows.
If there is one downside the engine noise when accelerating aggressively is a bit louder than normal, but I rarely find myself in that situation and the noise doesn't really bother me."
"We have a 2008 Outback Limited with 20K. My wife and I are professional photographers. We spend a lot of time in the mountains of Montana, winter and the summer. The interior, with the seats down, holds all of our equipment with room to spare. The ground clearance is excellent. We have yet to find a road we couldn't negociate. After owning two new 4 wheel drive pickups, the Outback AWD system W/VDC and the sure footed versitility and handling is far superior to either truck. The car is solid with no rattles or mechanical issues of any kind. Replaced the Potenza tires with high performance Dunlap 3-D's. In Montana we tend to drive bettween 80 and 90 mph on the highways. Mileage is as expected, 25 plus highway, 20 plus city. I'm 6'3" and very comfortable with the interior and heated seats. Moonroof is great. Sportshift a major plus on the backroads. Headlights and fog lamps light the road up extremely well. Red gauge lights are easy on the eyes. We both feel safe and secure on any road condition. Now that the Subaru has proven itself to my satifaction, I'm in the process of buying there little sports rocket...the STI. Can't wait. We'll be customers for years to come."
"We bought our outback new in 2005 and LOVE it. Every single day we say it out loud. It is a smooth ride, great power in the mountains, handles well, packs all our camping gear with ease, love the stereo, the quality, everything. Only one area was the factory tires - not the greatest but with new tires, perfect. We will own Subaru from here on out. We fully intend to own this car long enough to be my six year olds first car. Can't say enough good things about it."
"I bought a used 2005 Subaru Outback wagon 2.5i exactly a year ago now. It has exceeded every expectation I had for it. The gas milage is as good, if not better sometimes then the listed averages. On average I get 27.8 mpg for combined city/hwy driving and on hwy get 30 on average. My only complaint would be the tires that come on the vehicle. The Potenza tires, although they road smooth, had to be replaced soon after I bought the car. They only had 31000 miles on them and had no tread left. Like others said, three adults across the back seat is a tight fit, but the rest of the interior is like a luxury car (w/o the steep price). My two labs love the trunk space and the car handles great in all conditions. I couldn't have found a better car for the price."
"This car is superb. I bought it 3 years ago and it is worth more now than I bought it for. It is a bit slow uphill in the mountains, but I shouldn't be driving that fast anyhow. :o) the criteria for me with respect to purchasing a c ar was AWD and the ability to hold 4 adults comfortably. I routinely drive on mountain roadtrips and everyone loves the legroom. I thought about the WRX instead of the Outback, but the lack of legroom in the back wasn't so great. I generally get about 26mpg (higher in summer, less in winter) and I am very pleased with the comfort. The seats and console are way better in this model than in the older setups. Super car and a great value..."
"I Love this car, Old reliable with leather, and AWD. I've destroyed the great Northeast in all weather conditions. I only need to stop for fuel, washer fluid, and the occasional oil change. 84,000 miles and nothing needs done that wasn't scheduled. I changed the front brakes myself, but they really didn't need it yet. The car is the great commuter, even knocking into the mid 30MPGs when you behave. It is still great fun on the backroads, and can hold more than I ever imagined. Lighter and larger than the old outback, and more everything else too. All it needs is a stereo upgrade to accompany me on long voyages, not just trips, but voyages."
"Bought our '05 2.5i Outback new at the end of '04. Loved it at first, but there are some annoyances that have developed. Fairly loud interior; we are going to buy new tires soon, and perhaps that will help. Rattles in the dash that the dealer has not been able to resolve. Sluggish acceleration at times (ours is an automatic - never again!). This can be frightening when trying to pull out quickly in traffic, as the car searches for a gear, barely moving, with traffic speeding toward you. Head lamps seem to burn out quickly. There are some big positives for this car though. The handling in wet weather is terrific, especially when braking on Oregon's wet roads - zero skidding. And the AWD always takes us up the mountains with ease, better than friends' 4WD vehicles. We have never gotten stuck in the ice or snow. Gas mileage is good - I average 25 or 27 mpg, depending on how aggressively I drive.
Hopefully Subaru will come out with a hybrid version someday!"
"Love this car. Lots of carrying capacity. Hauled a lot of trash to dump. Makes hauling to beach easy. Very reliable.
Bought used. Only failure I've had was alternator & that was just recently. Easy driving. Good road holding. Best brakes I've ever had on any car I've owned and that is close to ten. Fixes mostly easy and relatively inexpensive. As I said, bought used, have had it almost 3 years and it always goes in all weather. We get lake effect snow here and I never hesitate to go if I'm needed."
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."