2005 Subaru Outback Review


Pros & Cons

  • 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.
  • Desirable features reserved for top-line models, smaller backseat than most competitors.
List Price

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Solid all-terrain capability, nimble handling, a varied engine lineup and a luxurious interior make the Outback an excellent all-weather family vehicle. If you're thinking of buying a traditional SUV, you may find this Subaru a better fit.

2005 Highlights

An all-new and vastly improved Outback is introduced in sedan and wagon body styles. Highlights include a new turbocharged engine, a stronger H6 motor, a stylish new interior and increased ground clearance for more serious off-highway adventures.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2005 Subaru Outback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The 2005 2.5XT Limited is the one to get
Ken Schory,09/19/2016
2.5 XT Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Check its service record. This is not a maintenance-free car, but its build quality and service requirements are much better than I expected. After almost 12 years of ownership and more than 150,000 miles on the odometer, I am still rewarded by the excellent driving experience this car provides. I consider it the "Swiss Army Knife" of vehicles because its power and handling are excellent, its ergonomics are superb, and it carries (along with its roof-mounted cargo box) enough camping gear for an extended road trip. While the manual transmission isn't the world's best (shifting isn't exactly snick-snick), the mere fact that it HAS a manual transmission is exceptional and rewarding. At about 95,000 miles, I invested in a significant update to a number of components, so at 152,000 miles it still handles much like a new car, and I always look forward to opportunities to take road trips with it. The seats in this model are superb, as is the instrumentation. The large sunroof is excellent. The sound system produces very satisfying audio quality, even though I did not buy the optional sub-woofers. In today's world, in which far too many vehicles suffer from huge blind spots in the rear-quarter areas, this Outback has superlative 360-degree visibility. At the end of the day, my wish is that Subaru would produce this exact-same car again, updated to incorporate current technology. I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But if you're looking for a rewarding used car, and if you love "the driving experience," I'd highly recommend a close look at a 2005 Outback 2.5XT Limited (with manual transmission, if that appeals to you). UPDATE, MARCH, 2017: In December, after more than twelve years of ownership, I was motivated to trade in my '05 Outback for a 2017 Forester 2.0XT Touring, which I consider to be more in line with my current driving needs and style than the new Outback. Looking back on my Outback, I still feel it stands out as a specific model worth considering; it's "special." If the features and functions of that car meet your needs, and if you're lucky enough to find one that has been well maintained, I'd suggest you jump on it. But before doing so, given its age, you should probably have a mechanic go over it carefully, taking a particularly close look at such items as the turbo, radiator and seals.
Bad Catalytic converter $$
2.5i AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
I have owned many Subaru's and really loved them all except for this problem. Catalytic converter is bad and estimated replacement is $2,000 to $3,000. I have spoken to some Subaru and non Subaru mechanics and all have said this is a common problem. I am not getting any satisfaction from Subaru USA and this has turned a loyal customer into a doubter. They tried a computer fix that did not work. They blame problem on hills and high speeds. The car also had bad rear bearing that were replaced as a recall.
Green Bean
3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
I saw the car on the lot and fell in love with the color (Willow Green) for starters. Thought the flared fenders and rugged looks were awesome. I took it for a ride and the seamless power from 0 to 70 was awesome. It does have a few second delay when you step on it so If you are counting on the 250 horses to make up for the close pull out in traffic, think before you put your nose out there. The huge sunroof is a bit chattery when closed and almost impossible to have open while going over 50 from the wind noise. I tried to buy a sunroof deflector from the dealer and the one listed ONLY fits the sedan, not the wagon.
Best automobile
3.0 R VDC Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
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!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested

More about the 2005 Subaru Outback

Used 2005 Subaru Outback Overview

The Used 2005 Subaru Outback is offered in the following submodels: Outback Sedan, Outback Wagon. Available styles include 2.5 XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5A), 2.5 XT Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A), 2.5i Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 3.0 R AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5A), 2.5i AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5i Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 XT Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5i AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and 3.0 R VDC Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5A). Pre-owned Subaru Outback models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 250 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2005 Subaru Outback comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2005 Subaru Outback comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Subaru Outback?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Subaru Outback trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i is priced between $5,650 and$5,650 with odometer readings between 146141 and146141 miles.
  • The Used 2005 Subaru Outback 3.0 R is priced between $6,599 and$6,599 with odometer readings between 146000 and146000 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2005 Subaru Outbacks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Subaru Outback for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2005 Outbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,650 and mileage as low as 146000 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Subaru Outback.

Can't find a used 2005 Subaru Outbacks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Outback for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,508.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,408.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Outback for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,814.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,766.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 Subaru Outback?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Subaru Outback lease specials