"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."
"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or another and more often than not they are complaining about trim specific issues such as a lack of power or a dodgy outdated transmission.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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"No joke, last weekend I was going to my parent's house with my wife and another driver ran through a stop sign and 'T-bone'd me, impacting on the driver and rear door. We ended up about 100 feet off the road in a front lawn on the roof of the car, and we were able to crawl out my driver's window. Side air bags and solid frame let us walk away with bruises and scrapes."