Used 2004 Subaru Outback Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

11 Total Reviews

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Good for snow, but thirsty and noisy
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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The balance I need for my family
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jszilvagyi
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This car has offered the perfect balance of performance, comfort, fuel economy and reliability for my family. I have experienced cars that are better in one or two categories but this has been perfect for loading up my family for week long road trips as well as my daily commute.


Best Features

Subaru's AWD system is still the best I've experienced (also driven Audi and BMW). The car clearly communicates what the wheels are passing over without being rough. It is more agile than I would have expected from a car weighing as much as it does.


Worst Features

I would sacrifice some of the performance for better fuel economy by getting taller gears. I don't like that the engine runs at 3.5k rpm at 60 mph. I believe there is enough torque that it could handle these speeds at 2.8k or so and be more pleasant inside.


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Subaru loyality shot
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By spirit1
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I had to have the stereo replaced (after fighting with the dealership over it because they initially refused to repair it) while it was under warranty because of a faulty CD player. Soon after the repair, the speakers quit working. Some of them will work some of the time, but never all of them together and most often, none of them. Dealership won't back their work. With 50,000 miles on the car I had a dash light burn out. Soon after several instrument panel lights have burned out - windshield heater control, passenger side seat warmer button and the air circulating button. The cruise control lever sticks and often won't disengage. CV boot shaft just replaced. 62,000 miles. Now what?


Best Features

Comfortable car. Handles well.


Worst Features

Interior lighting. Poor longevity. Difficult and unreasonably costly to replace.


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SUV - Significantly Underpowered Vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Paul
on

Vehicle

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


Review

An OK car, but nothing to get excited about. I don't notice any particular benefit to the AWD, but northern NJ has pretty tame weather. The 4 cylinder is kind of wimpy in this fairly heavy car. Disappointed by cheap plastic in the interior. First day pulled the coin tray clear off the dash. Also, there are these silly little doors in the back that don't really close over storage areas. Most annoying - after 3 years, developed a whining sound at highway speed - exactly like our 2002 Impreza. Dealer wants $492 to replace some window gizmos. I think not. Our '97 Dodge Caravan doesn't sound like this. Probably last Subaru I'll buy.


Best Features

Cruise control and horn work well.


Worst Features

Get rid of the parking light switch on the steering column. Probably every Subaru owner drains their battery at least once by turning that thing on by mistake. Glad they changed the design of the rear end in 2005. In the 2004 model, the front looks stylish and aggressive, the rear looks dorky.


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Great car
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bill
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I've had my Outback a little over a year. I run my cars to death and they never set for long periods of time. I do newspaper delivery in this car. So you know the car has to be good. It gets driven anywhere from 60 miles to 150 miles everyday. The only problems I've had with it is the water pump went out, nothing new had a '97 legacy gt with the same problem. Recently the CV boot tore in half and threw grease all over the catalytic converter. Not a big deal. The water pump was bad for almost two weeks before I took it into the shop. Car has never really left me down. Now I have had some performance parts put on it to compensate. Overall a great car would buy again.


Best Features

Manual transmission, heated seats, not a bad stereo system, rear window wiper, good on gas a nice balance of light off road and performance/handling.


Worst Features

New tires that really grip, better spark plugs, new k&n air filter/short ram intake, also want a little bit better handling strut tie in bars to take away the body sway


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