2006 Subaru Outback Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Flat 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Subaru Outback

  • Solid all-terrain capability, nimble handling, a varied engine lineup and a luxurious interior make the 2006 Subaru Outback an excellent all-weather family vehicle. If you're thinking of buying a traditional SUV, you may find this Subaru car a better fit.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive, generous standard equipment list, exemplary build and materials quality, strong power from turbo and H6 engines, balanced ride and handling dynamics, capable performance off-road.

  • Cons

    Automatic transmission upshifts too early, desirable features restricted to top-line VDC model, smaller backseat than most competitors.

  • What's New for 2006

    A navigation system has been added to the options list for 2006, and trim levels have been realigned. Non-turbo four-cylinder models get a bump in horsepower (now up to 175) thanks to a new variable valve-lift system.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (8 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Too small for a family

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

My wife and I purchased a 2006 LL Bean Wagon as our family car. Herein lies the problem; it seems to have been designed by people without kids. 1) The LATCH system is recessed so far in to the seat that is it very difficult to reach. 2) Rear facing car seats require that the front seat is forward to the point that my knees almost touch the dash (I an 5'11"). I drive a VW GTI and, because of its larger passenger compartment, we often take it on trips and leave the "family car" at home




I love this car

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

I had a Subaru Legacy before this Outback. I love this car. I have the 6 cylinder, and it is sporty and functional at the same time. Well designed and luxurious for this type of car. I compared it to all other models in its class including the RAV4 and it stood way above the others!




Great vehicle

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Bought the LL Bean with the 6 cylinder. Not cheap but when I considered that I will burn 300 gallons less per year, the choice was easier. Nice ride, peppy motor and the stereo is great. The sunroof is the coolest on the market. I have no problem throwing the dog and decoys in the back for some hunting or showing up at a business meeting. Great vehicle.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My 5th and best subaru

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have owned 5 Subarus now starting in 1984, progressed from GL Wagons with 4WD to LL Bean Wagons with AWD. They are the most reliable well built cars I have ever dealt with. I have friends with Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, just name it. The LL Bean in my book surpasses them all.




Solid car

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

This is my first Subaru. It has a very solid feel to it, which I like. The interior is comfortable, and the sunroof is a thing of beauty. I love to bounce it around on rutted old roads while going fishing, and love how it handles in the snow and ice. I've always owned slightly larger cars, so it takes a bit of getting used to the size. The transmission is the only blemish I can mention. Going uphill it tends to never find its groove, keeps shifting up and down and up and down. Also it seems it takes the tranny a bit to warm up on cool mornings, it might try a clumsy double shift while accelerating out of the driveway.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Drive one!

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Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

I test drove all the smaller SUV/Crossover vehicles. I was surprised at how expensive the Subaru was and almost passed it over. But, I test drove one in AZ mountains and felt like I was in a sports car. It's the perfect car for me. Large enough to tote 2 dogs and lots of stuff around, yet small enough to be responsive and fun to drive.



Full 2006 Subaru Outback Review

What's New for 2006

A navigation system has been added to the options list for 2006, and trim levels have been realigned. Non-turbo four-cylinder models get a bump in horsepower (now up to 175) thanks to a new variable valve-lift system.

Introduction

We've been fans of the Outback since its inception. Little did Subaru know that back in 1995, when the Japanese automaker introduced a gussied-up Legacy Wagon called the Outback, that it was about to revolutionize the way Americans thought of sport-utility vehicles. Essentially a trim package that included gray trim, white-lettered tires and a catchy name, the Subaru Outback became a phenomenon in 1996 after it was billed "The World's First Sport-Utility Wagon." That's the year Subaru raised the suspension, added large headlight-size foglights and boosted power.

Although an excellent alternative to SUV ownership, the Outback began to lose its edge as more and more manufacturers added kinder, gentler crossover SUVs to their lineups. By the early years of the 21st century, Subaru's heavy-duty wagon was surrounded by a population of car-based SUVs that could do most of what it did, while offering more room for growing families. So for 2005, the Outback underwent a full redesign during which it slimmed down, powered up and slipped into some more stylish digs.

Like the Legacy, the Subaru Outback takes on a sleeker, more angular look this year, but it has a more aggressive grille, raised hood strakes and, on the wagon, dark tinted rear glass. Additionally, Subaru decided that buyers were no longer so enthusiastic about the "just in from the woods" aesthetic of the original Outbacks, so all models wear black-letter tires instead of the expected white-letter sidewalls. In spite of its more upscale look, the Subaru Outback is actually more rugged than ever before. Ground clearance ranges from 8.4 to 8.7 inches depending on the model you choose -- previously, the tallest Outback stood just 7.9 inches off the ground.

Inside, the cockpit has a much more cohesive look along with a classy two-tone ensemble. Meanwhile, there's some big news under the hood. A modified version of the WRX STi's 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque has joined the lineup. Models with this engine are an intriguing alternative to the pricey H6. It has torque and an available manual transmission, and it's the faster of the two and an obvious choice for weekend enthusiasts. For those who prefer the smoothness of six cylinders, the H6 motor picks up variable valve timing and lift this year so that it, too, is up to 250 hp. For those on a budget, Subaru will continue to offer a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine as well.

The 2006 Subaru Outback is a wagon with no equal when it comes to off-road capability and, with a powerful engine lineup and sharp reflexes on pavement, you'll find it fun to drive even when the weather isn't terrible. A small backseat will keep it from competing with larger-capacity SUVs, but for the family of four looking for stylish transportation for all seasons, it could be a perfect fit.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Subaru Outback is available as a wagon or sedan. Wagons come in 2.5i, 2.5 XT, 3.0 R, 3.0 R L.L. Bean and 3.0 R VDC Limited. Limited Packages are available on 2.5i and 2.5 XT models. The sedan comes in a single L.L. Bean trim. The 2.5i models include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a CD player, a power driver seat, cruise control, trip computer and a rear limited-slip differential. Opt for the Limited package and you'll get heated leather seats, a wiper de-icer, a CD changer, dual-zone automatic climate control and dual moonroofs. Upgrade to the 2.5 XT and you get 17-inch wheels, bigger brakes, sport seats and a Momo steering wheel; order the Limited Package to get leather upholstery and the moonroofs. The base 3.0 R model is equipped much like the XT, while other 3.0s come with a full load of luxury amenities, plus a tire-pressure monitor, steering wheel audio controls and mahogany trim. The L.L. Bean model offers perforated leather upholstery, while the VDC wagon is your ticket to stability control and an upgraded stereo. A navigation system is also standard on the VDC; it's optional on the XT and L.L. Bean.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2.5i model is powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that makes 175 horsepower. The 2.5 XT upgrades to a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0 models come with a 3.0-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder (H6) good for 250 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque. Either 2.5-liter engine can be equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is available on 2.5i models while 2.5 XT models get a five-speed auto. The H6 is only available with the five-speed automatic.

Safety

All Outback models have four-wheel antilock disc brakes with EBD, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints. Stability control is reserved for the top-line 3.0 R VDC Limited wagon.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, the Subaru Outback has a clean design with high-quality materials. Turbo models have darker interiors with metallic trim and electroluminescent gauges, while 3.0 models get matte-finish wood grain trim on the console that matches the real mahogany trim on the steering wheel. The seats are supportive, but the backseat is a bit tight for adults. Wagons provide 33.5 cubic feet of capacity behind their rear seats; 66 cubes with the seats folded.

Driving Impressions

Out on the road, the 2006 Subaru Outback rides smoothly and feels surefooted in the corners. Taken off-road, it can scamper up a rutted hillside with more gusto than just about any crossover SUV. Although the base engine provides only adequate power, acceleration is quick with either the turbo four or the H6. Unfortunately, the Outback's automatic transmissions still leave much to be desired, as they sap power by upshifting too early.

Talk About The 2006 Outback

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs