2009 Subaru Outback Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Will buy another one!

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 2K9 Outback on July 5th 2008. It was the first 2K9 on the lot. Got it at the July 4th Sale. I have 168,000+ miles on her. Great reliability and a great daily driver. I used to drive 100+ miles a day for work and it is a whole lot better than my Durango or Tahoe!! I keep my vehicles for a long time and this one is still holding up well. I did have the infamous head gasket leak and got that repaired at my mechanic around 133,000 miles. Just basic maintenance and she is good to go! This is my first Asian car. I am a truck man but this car has converted me. Still have my Tahoe but I let my wife drive it. $40.00 compared to $80.00 for a fillup between the two. Love this car!!!



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Worst car i have ever

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

This was my first Subaru and it will be my last. I have owned all types of cars in my lifetime and this has been the worst. I have 94k highway miles on this car and now I have to replace the catalytic converter for $1,400, sensors, recalls, just replaced the muffler guard for $500 and the list keeps going. This car is severly underpowered and uncomfortable to drive and worse for passengers. I bought it because of the reputation but that was a mistake. To top it off the mileage is only 25 MPG on the highway. I have a family of 5 drivers and everyone hates this car. Don't waste your money on a Sabaru!



11 of 17 people found this review helpful

Well, that was a huge

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

Only 54,000 miles and the engine hatched. Not only is the car under the factory warranty, but also an extended warranty. Subaru is fighting us tooth and nail. Will have to sue Subaru to get the car fixed under warranty. Will stick with Toyota next time.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

2009 outback constantly rattles

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought a 2009 Outback last year and was so happy to have another Subaru. Several months after purchase I noticed a loud rattle in the front, took it to the dealership who told me there were issues with the 2008/2009 Heat Shields - and they replaced mine. The rattle problem seemed to be resolved, however 2 months later - it is rattling again. This time the dealership showed me Memo's of consumer complaints of the rattle - and stated it would probably continue because these Heat Shields are just 'clipped' together instead of being 'bolted' together. AND - be prepared for it to be much worse in the winter time. I wish I knew this in advance - very disappointed! : (




Great value and premium feel

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

We bought our Outback Limited to be the only family car, trading in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Volvo V70. The interior is every bit as nice as the V70 (and then some with the oversized sunroof and great speaker system). We've enjoyed the AWD in the rain and ice and it handles like it's on rails around corners. The only disappointment is the engine's acceleration at lower speeds. Whenever we pull into traffic and engage the "sport mode" to gain acceleration, my husband says, "Go hamsters!" It's also a tight fit for our family on road trips, but the addition of a cargo box on top of the car helps to create more interior space without killing fuel economy (still getting about 22-24 hwy).




A car for the mountains

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

This car is so tight on the mountain roads that it's almost a sin not go looking for bad weather to drive in. I was actually snow plowed in up to the windows and this car drove out like it was going over a speed bump. Highly recommend this vehicle.



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.

Talk About The 2009 Outback

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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