2006 Subaru Outback Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 175 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • 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 (251 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Best automobile

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

Subaru is "confidence in motion". I have owned many different brands, but the Subarus in that line up were the ones, that were the best bet for the money. The Outback 3.0 is the most reliable of the lot and I can say that I will always have a Subaru parked in my garage!




Worst car ever owned

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

My 2005 Outback is a money pit. I guess I got a lemon. Does the mfg. replace lemons? Head gaskets need to be replaced (poor design). I have had to replace both front axles, CV joints, hubs right rear and front, bushings bearings, etc...... already put $2000 in and expecting to layout another $2000 (no joke). I would recommend buying a HONDA. Oh yeah my father in law bought a new outback and already had to replace front right CV. At least his was under warranty. Maybe I am the isolated anomaly but it still hurts.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Great snow vehicle but man

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

This is my third Subaru and it will be my last. Pros: Fantastic AWD System, will flat out go in the snow ! Good gas mileage for a AWD, 27.5 highway, 23 city Easy to work on. Heated Windshield Cons: Cheap interior, Sub Standard factory Stereo System, Head Gasket leaks ! All 3 of my Outbacks have had head gasket issues, once they start leaking, they drip on the exhaust and the oil vapors come right in the fresh air ducts. If you buy one you WILL be eventually be putting head gaskets on it. At 120K miles, my steering rack is leaking oil bad, one head gasket is leaking and the cat converters are shot ($1860 at Subaru) I have a neighbor with a 2011 Outback that has oil leaks, BEWARE !



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Going back to toyota

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

I've had nothing but problems with my Subaru Outback since we bought it. We burn through breaks, head lights and the car smells of burnt rubber after minimal driving. When the ABS light came on I took it to the dealer and they couldn't diagnose it (they failed to mention I need to leave the car running with the light on to diagnose..so they said). Now that is has 104K miles they tell me it's the ball bearing, covered until 100K by warranty. Then the turbo went out, $1600 later it's still smoking when I drive. Today they tell me the head gasket is shot and it has two leaks. This car is a money pit. I04K miles and a lot of issues, I'm going back to Toyota.



14 of 16 people found this review helpful

Blown turbo(s)

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

This was my familes second Outback with the first one putting in 10 solid years of service. The only thing that was lacking for me was that there was not sufficient enough power for passing so I was excited to find the turbo model which added greatly to the cars performance numbers and made the car fun to drive. The first turbo blew right around 60k and the second was like clock work at 120k. Sure things break on a car but at $2500 a piece, and the same exact part with the same exact problem...not really. The first time it took 4 weeks to get my car fixed because the turbo was on back order and there were two other cars at the same dealer, with the same exact problem.



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

A lemon of a great

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Outback

4th Soob. Bought it used at 2 yrs old with 40k miles Fast forward 4 yrs now at 100k. The last 2 yrs have been a nightmare. Brakes, headlight bulbs, CV's, spark plugs, axles, 2 Oxygen Sensors (in December '10, failed April '11 - part under warranty-not labor. The car was great to drive in inclement weather, & was a looker, it was a mess under the hood. We've spent $2200 in the last 7 months. Took it in for brakes AGAIN last week only to find out that we had a bad head gasket. We used 3.5 qts of oil in 2000 miles! Estimates $1700, plus impending timing belt, water pump & steering pump $1200 more. Just traded for a new Forester. Praying this one isn't possessed by demons!



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

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs