I had the 2008 2.5i. This vehicle has a lot of good - the engine seems to have more power, the continuous shifting makes for a smoother ride and better acceleration. On the "just ok" is the control screen. It's big, it catches dust and glares, the weather is useless for me because I don't live in a select city. Why would I use the navigation when I have my phone with all the addresses and a voice that talked me through the directions? The two data points that I do hunt for (literally) are the time and outside temperature. These are small and tucked at the bottom of the screen.
I started with the good, to be fair.. However, there are two things I hate (hate) about the car. Unfortunately, they are in your face, all the time. #1: wind noise, wind, wind, wind. It sounds as though the window isn't closed so you are constantly trying to close the windows. #2: the rear gate is sllllooooowwwwwwww to open and close. I am constantly standing by the gate , waiting for it to open or close. I hate that too. Really hate it.
After getting tired of my '99 Legacy Outback and it's constant overheating, (to be fair it has 256k miles on it) I decided I wanted a new car. I researched a lot in the 10-15k range. I chose the Outback again for the awd/mpg/style/room/reliability. It has everything you need. It is more comfortable than my '99 even though it's a base model. (Even comes with seat heaters!) I was able to get this car with 41,000 miles on it back in November. So far I've put 11,000 on it and it still runs excellent!
I've taken it on dirt, up steep roads and gravel and it does it all. Last time I recorded just highway miles I got 28mpg! However, I usually average 24.
Obviously it's the seat warmers.... Hah!
I really like that the rear seats fold down flat.
The ground clearance is really nice too!
Don't know what the newer models are like, but the interior dash area, like the radio buttons and such seem really cheap.
This 2008 subie is my 3rd subaru experience. I was reluctant to leave a review because I have been told I am too critical so you be the judge.
1998 subaru was very noisy engine wise other than that a head gasket failure at 135000 miles
2001 subaru brakes once every other year at the dealer. Coolent leaks at the heads of the engine maintained by conditioner.
2008 Head gasket leaks at 68000 miles needed replacing. wire harness broke to tail lights. Noisy catalytic converters sheilding replaced under recall which is good. 75000 miles has a skip plugs and wires. ok
Very stable. Comfortable ride awesome in the in climate weather. body holds up well and nice design. heated seats and heaters everywhere are perfect in snow and ice.
Engine mostly in regards to the head issues. Surprised so many issues. Please correct the engine issues. I can deal with the other minors.
2008 outback we bought new when our 1998 outback head gaskets failed at 135000 miles. We were unsure if another Subaru was in our future but after driving other alternatives we returned to this manufacturer.
Very stable sure footed in even the worst conditions and very easy to drive. We are impressed with the design and body integrety.
under carrage and seams coated for a long life and easy care. Very stable and great in snow and ice. Good visability and noise control adequate storage for items. good brake life, tire life, acceptable bulb life, reasonable Maintenance times although expensive.
Luggage rack rails could be a option ( never use or slightly use rack. Imposes a wind resistence
head gaskets failed at 60000 (oil leakage) nearly 1800 to correct on a carefully maintained Subie. Wire to rear hatch broke at the pivot point requiring repair bends too close for wire strand count to forgive the motion
quirky remote start. Heat sheild and catalytic
noice when cold (one replaced under recall but still some noise) as exhaust routing is tight.
My air conditioner compressor failed in my 2008 Outback after 45,000 miles.
The compressor was no longer covered by warranty.
It cost me over $900 to replace the compressor, including parts and labor. My mechanic suggested I write a letter to Subaru of America to ask for reimbursement.
I wrote a detailed letter to Subaru of America.
Subaru of America wrote back with perhaps the lamest correspondence I have ever received, stating that "Subaru is not responsible for defective parts or workmanship from subcontractors." Needless to say, I will never purchase another Subaru product.
My Outback is average or below average in every way, from handling to craftsmanship to fuel economy.