"I got this car because my kids were too tall for a Baja. Other than the fact that there is not enough leg room in the back seat, this car has been great. I have carted 5 kids around for years with no major problems."
"Just rebuilt the transfer case at 84000. Have had other major repairs including the CV joints and the starter. Since this is our third Subaru I did not expect this. They are not as good as they used to be. We maintain our cars to factory specs."
"Have owned this car for six years now. Has been quite reliable. The AWD system is excellent and so long as you don't skimp on tires, the handling is very impressive. It is not a particularly large vehicle but plenty of room for a small family. My Great Dane could fit in the back (lying down of course) and much of this Subie's life has been spent with sea kayaks either on the roof or in tow.
The leather is nice but not extravagant. The instrument panel has only what you need, rather minimalistic in design. All features are functional in design.... while this sounds like how things should be in all vehicles you do not realize that this is not the case until you spend some time in someone else's car after owning the Subie. The best way to explain this is to say that, depending on your climate, you end up using all the options/features the vehicle is installed with and you do not feel like anything is missing (unless comparing to a vehicle at a different price point). There are no proprietary systems aside from the stereo. Nothing to subscribe to or else a feature does not work.
While I would not recommend the Subie as an off-road vehicle, the capabilities on-road have always been confidence inspiring. Fresh snow, ice, heavy rains, winds........ the Subie has admirably fended off any challenge it faced. The car is comfortable, reliable, and understated in its design. I would not hesitate to buy another and several friends and family members have switched to Subies after experiencing mine."
"I bought this car because with where I live I needed something that could go just about anywhere, but i wanted something smaller than the trailblazer I had before it. After two years of using this as my daily driver, I'm impressed for the most part. Brutal NY winters and my quarter mile long driveway were very rough on this car, leading to more than normal maintenance. This Subaru would routinely plow its way through close to 2ft of snow, literally covering the headlights and coming over the hood, and it just went. Also had no problems with atv trails or blazing its own trails through the woods. After two years of this hard use, the transmission and rear differential finally went. A costly $2300 repair. Moral of the story, the car will do it, but isn't built to do it all the time.
The engineering in this car is quite nice, so many little touches from hooks for shopping bags, tie down loops in the rear, etc. But in all their wisdom, these cars come with no good locations to hook a tow chain.
The base, N/A 2.5 is somewhat wimpy for a vehicle this size. Though, unless you plan on racing or doing heavy towing it's more than adequate for general driving. Though if I bought another(which I likely will), it will be either the turbo or 3.0."
"Most of what I have to say about the 2006 Outback is negative. I carefully maintain and garage the car, yet it's reliability is poor. It has only 87,000 miles, yet I have replaced the clutch, an axle/cv joint, both lower control arm bushings & front struts. Now I have a bad rear axle bearing, my brake master cylinder is starting to fail and the upholstery on the driver's seat has a hole.
I can understand why the clutch would fail. The 2.5 lacks torque and I have to feather the clutch to move it forward. Even my 1986 Tempo was more reliable than this.
On the positive side, it is great in the snow and it is fairly easy to service and repair."
"I would not have gotten the Turbo, but I was talked into it. Yes it has that get-up-and-go ability. The engine crumped at 72000. Subaru was gracious and replace the engine. I am forever grateful. So the engine is very good/almost new. This car is a dream to drive, but aren't all Subaru's? The cargo area is big enough for me. The car is comfortable for long trips too. I listen to books on CD and really appreciate the 6 CD deck. Overall I love this car."