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2009 Subaru Outback

Overview
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2009 Subaru Outback Review

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Subaru builds the 2009 Outback for active individuals who shudder at the thought of driving a fuel-thirsty SUV. Based on the popular Legacy sedan platform, the Outback takes Subaru's four-wheel-drive philosophy one step further by increasing ground clearance, adding protective side cladding and offering a host of accessories designed to carry various types of equipment and cargo. Offered in wagon trim only, the rugged Outback models range from simple (2.5i Wagon), to sporty (2.5 XT Limited), to luxurious (3.0 R Limited). Engine choices vary by model and include a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder and a refined six-cylinder. Subaru's legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive is standard, as is the ability to go just about anywhere four wheels can travel.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the sure-footed traction of all-wheel drive but shudder at the thought of driving a big, fuel-inefficient SUV, the 2009 Subaru Outback is the answer. All-wheel-drive confidence and new safety features add up to a prudent and pleasurable road experience, heightened by a comfortable highway ride.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need an off-road vehicle that can also tow heavy loads and seat seven, the Outback is no match for a truck-based, V8-powered SUV.

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Subaru Outback drops the L.L. Bean trim, while a new Special Edition package is offered on the base car consisting of heated front seats, a power driver's seat, windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors, fog lights, a limited slip rear differential and 17-inch alloy wheels. A new 440-watt harman/kardon stereo is standard on all models except the base 2.5i.

Driving the Outback

Driving Impressions Ride comfort leads the 2009 Subaru Outback's list of benefits. On rougher surfaces, though, the suspension tries its best to maintain a level attitude but some occupant-tossing may occur. Acceleration...

with the turbocharged engine is swift; nudge the pedal at a standstill and the XT Limited will move forward with enthusiasm, though response to pass or merge on the highway isn't quite so assertive. Quiet-running, an Outback maneuvers well, but requires more steering effort than some drivers might find reasonable. Overall, the XT Limited isn't quite as much fun as you might expect of a smaller, turbocharged car, but that's easily outweighed by its sensible utility.

All-Wheel Drive
This could be Subaru's number-one selling point, since no other manufacturer makes such a system standard on all models.

Semi-Manual Shift Mode (SI-DRIVE)
Tapping a steering-wheel button in the 2.5 XT Limited lets you downshift briefly without going into full manual mode. This can be handy when road or traffic conditions change suddenly, and the transmission resumes normal operation as soon as the temporary situation ends.

2009 Subaru Outback Details
2009 Subaru Outback photo Interior

Like most aspects of the Outback, its dashboard and control layout convey a down-to-business personality. Subaru notes that the Outback's seating position provides a more "commanding" view than ordinary wagons. Two-toned interiors are fitted with cloth upholstery on the base 2.5i and 2.5i Limited trims, while the 2.5 XT Limited and 3.0 R Limited receive leather trim. Seats are inviting and supportive, but front and rear seat legroom is only average. Visibility is excellent all-around and the Outback runs quietly at all speeds. The sporty 2.5 XT Limited and 3.0 R Limited uses an electroluminescent LED instrument display, and a five-speed manual is offered on the both the base trims and the 2.5 XT Limited.

Exterior

Subaru calls the Outback the "world's first sport utility wagon," calling attention to its pronounced wedge-shaped profile. Its SUV-like attributes are subtle but noticeable. Aerodynamic ground-effects components blend with more pronounced wheel arches to give it a bolder stance. There's a spoiler on the liftgate and, on the 2.5 XT Limited turbo model, a functional hood scoop feeds air to the engine's intercooler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon includes front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), cloth upholstery, power windows and locks, cruise control, remote keyless entry, 100-watt stereo with six speakers and MP3 compatible CD player, air conditioning, tilt/telescopic steering wheel and an alarm system. The 2.5i Limited adds a panoramic sunroof, power driver's and passenger seat, Sportshift automatic transmission, dual-zone automatic climate controls and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. The 2.5 XT Limited adds a 243-horsepower turbocharged engine, leather seating and SI drive control, while the 3.0 R Limited adds a six-cylinder engine, five-speed automatic transmission, leather seating and an auto dimming rearview mirror with compass.

Optional Equipment

The 2.5i Special Edition package adds to the base car an eight-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar, heated front seats, fog lights, heated side mirrors, 440-watt nine-speaker harman/kardon audio system with single MP3 compatible CD player, limited-slip rear differential, windshield wiper de-icer, a cargo cover and cargo tray, 100-pound roof rack cross bars and 17-inch alloy wheels. Practical-duty accessories include a bike carrier and ski attachment set. Buyers have three engine choices and three types of all-wheel drive from which to choose, but they are available according to model rather than as separately ordered options. Individual options include upgraded audio, remote start, SIRIUS or XM Satellite radio and DVD navigation.

Under the Hood

The Outback offers three engine options: A 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. The normally-aspirated 2.5-liter boxer engine produces enough power to suit most non-enthusiast drivers. It also offers the best fuel economy. The turbocharged 2.5-liter engine provides nearly the same horsepower as the 3.0-liter six-cylinder, but offers more torque at a lower rpm and the option of a manual transmission, perfect for performance driving. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder found on the luxury models is strong and smooth and is matched with Variable Torque Distribution, which is Subaru's most sophisticated all-wheel-drive system.

2.5-liter Boxer-4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (manual), 20/26 (automatic)

2.5-liter Boxer-4 Turbocharged
243 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
241 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24

3.0-liter Boxer-6
245 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
215 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24

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2009 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 369 Ratings for the 2005 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

excellent car, only spent 450.00 in repairs

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,250

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "nice to drive, very reliable"

Cons: "slow from first gear,"

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

"this automobile has been very good. Only mechanical repair has been rear bearing replacement and grease tubes. has slight dent in upper rear door due hit by the mirror of hit/run vehicle. service on oil, lubes, transmission, timing belt accomplished as required on schedule."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

This car is a workhorse

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Workhorse"

Cons: "Cup holders in an inconvenient spot."

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

"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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

High number of Repairs

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "All weather"

Cons: "Repairs"

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

"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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great mid-sized car; excellent in bad weather

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"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."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Great in general

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

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
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Will go just about anywhere"

Cons: "Somewhat pricey repairs"

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

"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."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

I must be the only person who hates his/her Subaru

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great in snow."

Cons: "Reliability is poor."

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

"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."

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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