2004 Subaru Outback Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Standard all-wheel drive, comfortable ride on pavement, capable performance on dirt, well-appointed interior.
- Not as capable as an SUV in terms of pure off-road capability or interior volume, four-cylinder models lack power, upscale models are expensive.
Most helpful consumer reviews
H6-3.0 L.L. Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
This car has been a workhorse, grocery getter, commuter car, and family truckster for us. It still runs great and we hope to get 200k out of it. The exterior has held up well. The car has been dependable.
H6-3.0 35th Anniversary Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
This is the best AWD money can buy, I am so used to it now whenever I drive any other car it is always a comparison to an outback and everything else is disappointing, I specially like the solidly build chassis and suspension, wish there was little less body roll, I drove this car uphill in 1.5 feet of snow and it was like driving a battle tank, I love the sure footed handling, I tried a 4 wheel drive Passat and Volvo, BMW, Jeep, etc and nothing performs like it, I drove it in the mountains in Catskill all winter, I found many jeep 4x4 stuck in the same tracks as mine, love the robust engine. Cross country trip was so comfortable, no problems so far, I am at 100000 miles, VDC should be standard.
H6-3.0 VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I have owned and driven many different makes of cars and trucks and non of them new, and this one has won me over to Subaru. It has its quirks that many people have listed as major problems, but if you are buying a used car or any car there are the ups and downs. With this one, there are a few, in the gearing there is a lurching at a low speed if you don't feather the clutch right, I am a larger fellow and it can be difficult to get in and out of and in winter with a coat it is annoying, there is a flaw in the design of the fender panels that leads to a rotting problem in the steel, and for the life of me I don't know why they don't give the wheels more clearance it packs snow like crazy! However with all of that I must say the thing performs! I have climbed hills where other AWD and 4x4 vehicles ended up in the ditch, any problem I have had with it is nothing I haven't seen worse in other used vehicles and most of the time come's down to general maintenance, any company produces its lemons, and I must say I haven't had cause to deal with a Subaru customer service, never owning a car new enough to be under any warranty, but I trust this vehicle to get me to where I need to go no matter the obstruction.
H6-3.0 AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
If you're shopping for a used Subaru, buy an '04. Very dependable car, no trouble. Mine has more than 100K miles and getting 27 mpg. According to a local Subaru mechanic, '04 is the best year for Subarus. Run from the '05s. See my review for our '05 Outback XT under title "Money Pit". It's hard to believe the cars are from the same manufacturer. The '04 has been a perfect car and the '05 was a horribly expensive nightmare. We're keeping the '04 and plan to put another 100K miles on it.