Used 2004 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews - 94 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

2004 Subaru Outback

Average Consumer Rating

94 Total Reviews

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Looking for a commuter?
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Levi
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

If you are looking for a commuter car to get you absolutely anywhere, this is the car for you! With that being said let me tell what you don't get with the commute. The sound system is terrible, as is most subaru sound systems. When I got the car, the front drivers side speaker was already out. Don't forget, there are only 4 speakers in this car. The ride quality, is terrible. It is a heavy wagon of a car weighing in at 2tons with two people in the car. a naturally aspirated 2.5l 4cylinder in this bad boy will not accelerate worth a damn. You will find at about about 80k miles is when you start noticing some major problems. Head Gasket will blow at no later than 125k miles. It's the BIGGEST problem with these engines. Head Gasket always blows sooner rather than later, all because Subaru put a cheap, flimsy head gasket in. the automatic is the worst transmission I have ever had to drive, EVER. it will take about 3 seconds from a dead stop with your foot on the throttle before you actually start to move. If you have this car, expect 1st gear to go out on you as soon as possible. Why? Subaru put in a terrible transmission that does not do the job. I would have preferred a 5 speed manual rather than the 4 speed automatic. Let's talk a little bit about the suspension and ride comfort. with every turn or corner you take you will think you are about to roll over. The body roll is incredible in this vehicle. If you have a car full of people you probably will never notice it with the weight evenly distributed. If you are a single guy like me you will not appreciate the ride whatsoever. you will have every bump feel like you are a rag doll in an open container being shooken around. The road noise is bad, let's just be honest. You hear a lot of everything with the windows rolled up and you cant hear your music with the windows rolled down. Heated seats are nice but don't stay on after they have been on for about 20 min. Odd. Also, there is the legendary subaru fluid smell that you will always have fresh in your nostrils when driving this car. It's an unknown scent that every legacy has. Not oil, not AC, not clutch fluid, just a scent of a subaru. Lastly, the lighting. The oversized headlamps are ridiculous. The fog lights give off more light than the actual headlight itself, or the brights for that matter!! The daytime running lights on these cars are notorious for sucking gas and power away from the engine. The DRL's are a waste and I found myself unplugging them altogether because they really didn't do anything but take power away from the car. The AWD part is wonderful, Subaru is a rally car, so they know how to drive on all terrain. That's pretty much it though about this car. Gas mileage was pretty consistent seeing as how you couldn't move but one speed, slowly. Save yourself some time in searching for the right car, go with a Toyota. Owned a 99 toyota 4runner since 99, brand new. 325k all original miles on engine and transmission. Still running strong!! I'm only at 67k miles on the subaru and had to replace battery, and alternator already, probably going ot have to do spark plugs soon and transmission flush since transmission is acting up already. 4runner, didn't replace those until 125k miles. See the difference? Thanks for reading this review, I hope it was beneficial to all.


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My baby!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jimmy
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Outback H6-3.0 VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I purchased this car 4 or 5 years ago from a local dealer. Although it has had its problems, which are expensive to repair (my local Meineke does not like me to bring it to them because "everything is just a little bit different than a regular car) ... so far they have not refused to service it. Rust is a definite problem and I've had the rust repaired several times. Despite my review I'd buy another one in a minute!


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Won over!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Brad
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Outback H6-3.0 VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I have owned and driven many different makes of cars and trucks and non of them new, and this one has won me over to Subaru. It has its quirks that many people have listed as major problems, but if you are buying a used car or any car there are the ups and downs. With this one, there are a few, in the gearing there is a lurching at a low speed if you don't feather the clutch right, I am a larger fellow and it can be difficult to get in and out of and in winter with a coat it is annoying, there is a flaw in the design of the fender panels that leads to a rotting problem in the steel, and for the life of me I don't know why they don't give the wheels more clearance it packs snow like crazy! However with all of that I must say the thing performs! I have climbed hills where other AWD and 4x4 vehicles ended up in the ditch, any problem I have had with it is nothing I haven't seen worse in other used vehicles and most of the time come's down to general maintenance, any company produces its lemons, and I must say I haven't had cause to deal with a Subaru customer service, never owning a car new enough to be under any warranty, but I trust this vehicle to get me to where I need to go no matter the obstruction.


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6 Years Old and 125k miles
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By CT Dave
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Outback H6-3.0 L.L. Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

This car has been a workhorse, grocery getter, commuter car, and family truckster for us. It still runs great and we hope to get 200k out of it. The exterior has held up well. The car has been dependable.


Best Features

1) All wheel drive allows us to make it through any kind of weather, even the plows follow us. 2) Sound system is nice. 3) fit and finish are better than most brands. 4) heated leather seats


Worst Features

1) Seats are low, not so comfortable on very long trips. 2) The 4-speed transmission seems dated. 3) H-6 engine requires premium fuel, pricey? 4) The car seems narrow, wish it were 3 inches wider.


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Good for snow, but thirsty and noisy
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Raj
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)


Review

This is a fairly spacious little wagon that works well for our family of four and dog. The car shines in the snow, which we've had plenty of the last two winters. The reliability has not been so impressive - frozen calipers, broken primary pulley - and the clutch is pitifully heavy. The engine is torquey but thirsty - lots of sub-20 mpg tanks around town this winter. During the summer, I dream of selling the thing, but it's effectiveness in the snow keeps it in the family (for now).


Best Features

Heated seats, AWD system, stereo, torque of the 2.5 L motor. Nice factory roof rack and plenty of space in the rear. Rugged cloth seats are comfortable and hide the dirt from kids and dogs.


Worst Features

Reverse engineer Honda's clutches and use what you learn in the Outback. Same for gearbox (more like a gearbag). Add a sixth gear or raise the final drive ratio - thing spins 3000 rpm at speed limit on the highway. Sort out exhaust rattles.


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