2009 Subaru Outback Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Subaru Outback

  • Straddling the midsize wagon and crossover SUV segments, the 2009 Subaru Outback offers more off-road chops than other wagons and better handling than crossover SUVs. Keep in mind, though, that a third-row seat is unavailable.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Secure handling, excellent safety ratings, standard all-wheel drive, zesty acceleration in 2.5 XT and 3.0 R trims, distinctive styling inside and out.

  • Cons

    "Cozy" backseat, lacks the third-row seat of crossover SUVs, not as fuel-efficient as you'd expect.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Subaru Outback is no longer available in L.L. Bean trim, but stability control is now standard across the lineup. Additionally, the 2.5i Special Edition makes its debut, and all models except for the base 2.5i receive an upgraded nine-speaker sound system.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Virgin2 outback

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

After over 25 faithful years to UAW built car, that was it. GM left me hang again. I first bought a 97' Corolla, too small, and bad on the northern Michigan snow. I spotted my 09' Outback, blue with silver on the bottom online, and went for a test drive. I admit,,I had pudding face. It's now late 2011, my used 09' with 24K mi drives better than my Trailblazer did new. I have owned this car all summer, and love driving it. MPG is 28-29 hwy, and I am ready for another road trip. I will buy a brand new Outback as soon as Subaru improves the look over the 2012. Thats one ugly stepchild to the 05-09. Never fear leaving the UAW behind.




Fabulous!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I've had my SiSE for just over 2 years. Gas mileage is over what I expected - 31 hwy and 27 mixed. Had snow in South GA last winter - I was the only one not sliding all over the road! LOVE this CAR!




Not for me

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought the Outback after my 99' 4Runner with only 92,000 miles through a rod. This was not my first choice of car, but made sense economically at the time and now I regret buying it. The ride is very rough, especially for a car chassis. The engine is very underpowered, especially when loaded for road trips and the mileage is crap. I get 22-23 commuting and on road trips with bikes on top, I get 18. The vehicle is also very small for road trips, etc. for a camping/biking road trip, you can only take one other person and gear. I will be taking a look at a new 4Runner or Tacoma since I can get the same gas mileage and have a lot more power and room.




Awesome car, but

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Not happy with fog lights - they shine directly down to the ground even after dealer adjustment. Does not improve visibility at all. Inside of windshield has a scratch near top that can be felt with a finger nail. Other than that the car is great and the gas mileage ranges from 27-31 after 7000 miles.




Finally bought the outback

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Very pleased with my purchase, and happy I opted to go for the extras on the SE model. I find the engine to be quite capable and powerful for both city and highway driving. The car feels well grounded and handles well. Nicely designed inside and out, it returns quite a bang for the buck in regards to all the features, in my opinion.




Fun to drive practical car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

My wife has a Forester and I've had other Subarus in the past. My son still drives my old 94 Legacy. My new 09 Outback is the best car I've ever owned. I waited until Subaru's spring event with $2K rebate + 2.9% to buy. The Outback seems quieter and more powerful than my wife's 07 Forester, although both have the same 2.5 engine. The handling is very secure, and it's fun to drive with its tight steering. This car inspires confidence on the road. Varying my speed during the break-in period, I have managed to get 28.3 calculated mpg on my first two tanks. It will probably be better when I am not varying speed & I think that is very good fuel economy for an AWD vehicle.



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Full 2009 Subaru Outback Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Subaru Outback is no longer available in L.L. Bean trim, but stability control is now standard across the lineup. Additionally, the 2.5i Special Edition makes its debut, and all models except for the base 2.5i receive an upgraded nine-speaker sound system.

Introduction

The 2009 Subaru Outback has come a long way. A decade ago, Crocodile Dundee was serving as this jacked-up wagon's pitchman in a series of campy television commercials. Today, the Outback has moved decidedly upmarket, with refined exterior styling and a sleek interior layout that rivals that of some entry-level luxury cars. At heart, of course, the Outback remains a Subaru Legacy wagon on stilts, so its premium pretenses aren't entirely convincing. Nonetheless, the Outback offers a unique combination of good looks, SUV-grade ground clearance and a midsize car's handling characteristics -- as opposed to the supposedly "carlike handling" of 4,500-pound crossovers.

Of course, not many Outback owners are going to put those 8.4 inches of ground clearance to use -- but since the Legacy wagon is no longer sold in the U.S., the Outback's the only game in town if you want your midsize Subaru to hold more junk than what fits in a trunk. Happily, the Outback doesn't feel like it's teetering on tiptoes while cornering. Indeed, it feels very much like the Legacy sedan on which it's based, which means sharp steering, sure-footed grip and noticeable but easily managed body roll. Those Legacy roots also help keep curb weight down -- the Outback weighs in at approximately 3,350-3,600 pounds, depending on trim level. That's hundreds of pounds less than even the lightest crossover SUVs.

So what's not to like? Most glaringly, the lack of passenger capacity. There is no third-row seat, which is available on most crossovers, and the backseat is rather tight. The Outback may technically be a midsize wagon, but Subaru markets it as an SUV substitute -- and in terms of passenger accommodations, it doesn't measure up. Then there's the fuel economy, which isn't as high as you'd expect given the Outback's relatively light weight. In fact, if you go with either of the two optional engines -- the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or the 3.0-liter six-cylinder -- your gas mileage will be squarely in crossover-SUV territory.

That said, the 2009 Subaru Outback has a lot going for it. All-wheel drive is standard, impressive power is available in 2.5 XT or 3.0 R trim, and it's among the safest cars on the road. It doesn't hurt that the Outback boasts unusually sophisticated styling for a midsize car. But we'd still recommend taking a look at competing wagons and crossovers as well, including the Volkswagen Passat wagon, Ford Taurus X, Hyundai Veracruz, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Toyota Venza. Premium alternatives include the Saab 9-5 wagon, Volvo V70 and Volvo XC70.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Subaru Outback is a midsize wagon with standard AWD. There are five available trim levels: base 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i Limited, 2.5 XT Limited and 3.0 R Limited.

Standard equipment on the base trim includes 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, keyless entry, an outside temperature display, full power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning and a satellite-radio-ready audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. The 2.5i Special Edition adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, roof-rail crossbars, heated exterior mirrors, a power driver seat, front seat heaters, an upgraded 440-watt audio system and a 12-volt power outlet. The 2.5i Limited tacks on a dual-pane sunroof, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an in-dash six-CD changer.

The 2.5 XT Limited comes equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as well as the 2.5i Limited's roster of features, and adds a hood scoop, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and a power front passenger seat with lumbar support. The 2.5 XT Limited also includes SI-Drive, which allows the driver to adjust the electronic throttle's responsiveness and -- if applicable -- the automatic transmission's shift points. The top-of-the-line 3.0 R Limited comes with a six-cylinder engine and adds faux wood accents, electroluminescent gauges and a steering wheel with leather and real mahogany trim.

A navigation system is optional on 2.5i Limited, 2.5 XT Limited and 3.0 R Limited models.

Powertrains and Performance

The AWD 2009 Subaru Outback has three available engines. The 2.5i models are powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that puts out 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5 XT Limited gets a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter engine good for 243 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque. Powering the 3.0 R Limited model is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that generates 245 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque.

The 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition and 2.5 XT Limited models come with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic; 2.5i Limited and 3.0 R Limited models are automatic-only.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 20 mpg city/26 highway and 22 combined for 2.5i models; 18 city/24 highway and 20 combined for 2.5 XT models; and 17 city/24 highway and 20 combined for the 3.0 R.

Safety

The 2009 Subaru Outback comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and anti-whiplash front head restraints. In government crash tests, the Outback earned a perfect five stars across the board for frontal- and side-impact collisions.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Outback's cabin has an uncluttered and classy ambience, thanks to simple controls, tasteful faux wood and aluminum accents and high build quality. Seat comfort is generally good, though bigger adults may find the backseat tight on legroom and shoulder room compared to roomier wagons and crossovers. Car seats are easy to install, as that rear seat is broad and flat. With the rear seats up, there are 33.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Flip them down and 66 cubic feet are available.

Driving Impressions

If you're that rare Outback owner who elects to venture off-road, we'd recommend keeping to light-duty trails. Nonetheless, the 2009 Subaru Outback acquits itself surprisingly well in the grass and dirt, thanks to all those inches of ground clearance. On paved roads, the Outback does a pretty good impression of the now-discontinued Legacy wagon -- only enthusiastic drivers will detect the Outback's distinctly higher center of gravity. The base engine is just adequate, and it's a real snooze when paired with the slow-witted four-speed automatic. The 2.5 XT's turbocharged-4 is downright quick, however, and the 3.0 R's six-cylinder power plant provides broad-shouldered passing power.

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Talk About The 2009 Outback

2009 Subaru Outback Discussions See all Started By

cincinnati_dan
cincinnati_dan
05-04-2012
I read that there will be 3 different types of AWD systems in the 2013 Outback (I think the 2012s, and maybe older Outbacks, have these 3 types as well, but I am not sure). Is one better than the oth...


luck11
luck11
05-08-2008
Hi. I plan on replacing my 2005 Subaru Outback XT later this fall. I am looking for an SUV and currently considering the Tribeca, the Toyota Highlander and the Veracruz. Some drawbacks of the Tribeca:...


jim2345
jim2345
08-30-2008
I have heard that all new Outbacks for 2009 will feature VDC (traction/stability control) as standard equipment. I'm wondering if this will make a difference to the AWD systems offered - does anyone ...



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