Used 2006 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews
My 2006 Outback is the second one that I have purchased. I bought it sight unseen based upon my satisfaction with my 2000 Outback. My 2000 & I were in a near fatal road rage accident where I was forced off the road & hit a telephone pole head on at 50 MPH. I survived with very minor injuries but alas, the car did not. I really loved my 2000 Outback. I can't say the same about my 2006. As soon as I sat in it,I knew it was not the same vehicle. The seats were less comfortable, acceleration was not as good, the side view mirrors have huge blindspots due to the redesign. The windows whistle, The body is less sturdy, the glove box too small,cheap cup holders, donut tire, basically made cheaper.
My 2006 Outback Wagon has over 132,000 miles on it, and has been completely trouble free for 7 years. It drives no differently than it did when it was new. I'd actually kind of like a new car, but it's hard to justify the expense when this one is paid for and is so reliable.
Am 70 years old now, owned some very nice and powerful cars during my life, this one is the most satisfying of them all, by far, especially after replacing the OEM Yokohamas with Michelins (see below under "suggested improvements"), which actually make the car do what I am waxing about in this review!
I bought my 5spd OBXT Limited new back in '06. Have not had a single problem after 6 years and 53K miles. The car is bullet proof, both mechanically and cosmetically. Paint has held up extemely well, very chip resistant. As for traction, the car is unstoppable in snow. Two foot drifts barely register with the Subie's tenacious AWD and ample road clearance. If you live in or near a snow belt, these cars are at the very top of the food chain. Best part is performance. The XT has some STi DNA. It eats Audi A4's for lunch in the stoplight wars. Reliability, unflappable AWD, lightening quick w/turbo, sharp looking. Love it, love it, love it! I plan to hopefully ride it another 6 years.
Compared to other SUV's I tried, this one is the only one that didn't handle like a truck (compared to Ford Explorer, Nissan Xterra, etc.) and didn't get buffeted around in the wind. This is the 3rd one I've owned and it is still the best snow car I've ever driven (I ski and regularly go into snow country). It also quite adequately tows my boat. My only gripe is that the current model's "sport automatic" drive is not as smooth as my last one (2002).
For the last ten years I have driven a Lexus LS400 and my wife has driven a Mercedes E320. Both are just as excellent as they are reputed to be. When it came time to get a new car I looked carefully at all of the "usual suspects" (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura...). They are fine cars, but none were interesting enough to get me to prefer them to the Lexus with 150,000 miles. Until I looked at the Subaru Outback LL Bean. We've had it a month, and I am still extremely impressed with it in almost every way. Great job Subaru! My list was: "Safety, reliability, comfort, utility, value." I don't know of anything else within $10K that can touch the Subaru.
This is my first Subaru. It has a very solid feel to it, which I like. The interior is comfortable, and the sunroof is a thing of beauty. I love to bounce it around on rutted old roads while going fishing, and love how it handles in the snow and ice. I've always owned slightly larger cars, so it takes a bit of getting used to the size. The transmission is the only blemish I can mention. Going uphill it tends to never find its groove, keeps shifting up and down and up and down. Also it seems it takes the tranny a bit to warm up on cool mornings, it might try a clumsy double shift while accelerating out of the driveway.
I have owned 5 Subarus now starting in 1984, progressed from GL Wagons with 4WD to LL Bean Wagons with AWD. They are the most reliable well built cars I have ever dealt with. I have friends with Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, just name it. The LL Bean in my book surpasses them all.
I bought my 2006 Outback used with 78K miles. After 800 miles of driving, the weather turned cold and the tranny started slamming from 3rd into 4th. I took it to the dealer and they recommended I replace the tranny for $3400. There's also a rubber/oil burning smell when driven long distances. The radio and drivers window randomly stop working and the entire lighter assembly pulled completely out when I tried to unplug my car charger. This car must have been built the Monday after Superbowl Sunday before coffee. I'm so disappointed in this car. Subaru is supposed to be so reliable but I can't wait to trade it. The good is it does great in the snow. I had a 2003 Impreza and loved it!
This is our second Subaru. The first was a 1999 Forester. We bought this one because it had better ground clearance than the Forester, was more roomy and looked better. Ours is a stick shift which we like because of the better control and because we tow it behind our RV on trips. We average about 21 mpg in mixed driving and around 29 mpg on the highway. Love the car. No problems aside from an alignment problem when new which was taken car of by the dealer. Wife is an EMT and HAS to be able to get through...this does--and does it very smoothly! We'll get another in a couple of years as well.
So far so great with the Outback. The ride is very smooth, stable and comfortable and has very good ground clearance. Actually fun to drive. Controls are well positioned and easy to use- as is the trunk\hatch. Great MPG - 1st check was a little under 27mpg (mostly highway but awesome for all-wheel drive!). Very peppy - don't bother with the bigger engine - the 2.5L does very good getting up on the highway. Great safety and reliability ratings to boot. Very happy we went with the Outback.
My wife and I purchased a 2006 LL Bean Wagon as our family car. Herein lies the problem; it seems to have been designed by people without kids. 1) The LATCH system is recessed so far in to the seat that is it very difficult to reach. 2) Rear facing car seats require that the front seat is forward to the point that my knees almost touch the dash (I an 5'11"). I drive a VW GTI and, because of its larger passenger compartment, we often take it on trips and leave the "family car" at home
I learned this is a common problem with Subaru's. Burns oil. Oil level gets low. Oil light doesn't come on. Engine needs replacing. $7000.
I loved my Roo until the Check Engine Light came on. First it was the O-2 sensors code that came up. After a $400 cost to replace those, then came a code indicating Random Misfire and I replaced the plugs, then came a P20296 code showing eventually that it needed a new computer which will cost over $600 for a 2nd hand one - almost $900 for a new one. You have to get it re-keyed with a new Electronic Control Module. Nickel and dime to death isn't the word for it! When those codes come up, you have no cruise either! All of this has happened within a few weeks.
A great 4 cylinder car that has very good mileage on all-wheel drive. Many things are standard on this car, like ABS brakes and alloy wheels. Fun to drive, easy to make U-turns, and has ample power for going on vacations.
The Subaru Outback XT Limited is a sports car masquerading as a family wagon. With the 250 hp turbocharged, intercooled 2.5 liter Boxer engine and 5 speed manual transmission, it is a car for people like me who like to drive. In spite of its high road clearance (about 8.5 inches) it corners very well, and few drivers will ever take this car to its limits of adhesion. Apart from the driveability, this model has a load of creature comforts, including heated seats and a nice stereo system.
I test drove this vehicle about 6-8 times comparing it to Audi, Lexus, Toyota, Acura, Nissan, BMW and each time the handling and "feel good" factor made the Outback the superior choice for me. My wife and I travel to the mountain states each year and can't wait to get into the Outback and put it through mountain roads at a good pace. We also have a Lexus RX 350 and we both barter to use the Subaru each week. If there is a hint of rain or severe weather, the Subaru is the automatic choice. Acceleration and the combined handling with the fuel economy is propelling this vehicle to compete with "all time favorite vehicle owned" for our house. A smart choice.
Handling, safety and stability are all as advertised. I waited until I had driven this car on unplowed back roads in a New England snowstorm to post this review, and I must say the car handled extremely confidently in conditions that I otherwise would have shied from in previous vehicles. There is a feeling of solidity while still retaining an edge of sportiness with this sedan, and because there are relatively few 4-door Outbacks out there, it is a unique driving experience. Although I would recommend this car, please be aware it is not without some mind-boggling minor design flaws that make one wonder what some of the engineers were thinking when they put the finishing touches on this baby.
My '06 2.5i Ltd. (118,000 mi.) blew its head gaskets for the second time in less than 3 yrs. today. Replaced all 4 sets of wheel bearings at least once, broken front axle, wiring harness on back hatch, door handle, console cover broke off completely years ago, rear defrost never did work properly, etc. Never had a car in the shop as much as this one. Loved the traction - absolutely hated the total lack of quality in this vehicle. Not feeling the love... If you insist on a Subaru, but a model from '08 or newer - they are supposedly much more reliable.
To start, the Subaru was my mother's car for almost 10 years and she had bought it barely used with less than 2000 miles on it. Though this is not my car, I have driven it for several thousand miles over the past decade. My biggest complaints with this vehicle are its atrocious steering feel, terrible fuel economy, sub par reliability, obstructive visibility, and cramp inducing seats. Other than that the Outback is pretty average in all other categories. The steering feels loose and the wheel rotates several degrees before the wheels respond. It is a feeling similar to large sedans like a Lincoln Town Car, or offroad capable SUVs like a Jeep Wrangler. If the steering was looser for offroad purposes I would not mark it down, but the Outback is not capable of tackling anything more than a dirt road. The owners manual also warns you that it is not designed as an offroad vehicle. As a result, the car feels a lot heavier and less nimble than other vehicles in the same size category. Second, fuel economy is terrible. It averaged 17 in the city and 26 on the highway for average fuel economy of 22 mpg. This is 2 mpg better than the epa rating, but still worse than contemporary RWD V8s or AWD cars with similar power. Speaking of the AWD, it takes a huge toll on the suspension and steering elements after 10 years. We had to replace a part of the front axel shaft and cv joint as it had worn down and was creating a grinding noise at highway speeds. Parts like that should not wear out in under 60k miles. All other cars we have owned have not had any mechanical failures until reaching over 100k miles. This car was also subject to the Takata airbag recall and the dealer says that we will need to wait another 6 months before it can be fixed after waiting a year already. The final issue is the interior comfort and design. The materials of the interior are mostly cheap hard plastics with a few soft touch panels. The seats were as uncomfortable as you could get in a car. I would develop pain in my lower back and legs after driving or riding in it for about an hour. It is the only car I have experienced this even though I have done 5-11 hours non-stop (except gas) in other vehicles. Blind spot visibility is also poor as the front head rests and side pillars make it difficult to see anything out of the back seat side windows if you are backing out of a parking spot or checking the blind spot. To conclude, the 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0R is a very average wagon that I did not look forward to driving.
My 2006 outback is my 3rd vehicle. They say 3rd time is a charm. I am a former pickup truck lover that hated the gas mileage of trucks. I wanted AWD (better for dirt roads and bad weather), better fuel economy, better handling and reliability but also use for utility. The Outback covered all those grounds. 26-31 mpg on highway. Yes, folks I hit 31 mpg on highways of Montana and Maine. Excellent on dirt roads and deep snow. Handles better than my dad's '04 Acura TL. Performance rocks... beats both my old 6 cylinder trucks. Not bad for a base 4 cyl. Only complaints is that the oil filter is surrounded by exhaust piping, so it is a pain to remove, and tranny upshifts to early.
I purchased 2006 Outback because of price and ride quality, also reliability. The transmission started slipping at about 5,000, dealership tested and it was normal, and kept driving. Shortly after, the air conditioning wasn't cooling very well. Dealership replaced the expansion valve... works fine. Wheel bearing had to be replaced at 15,000 miles last year. Then recently, the window switch had to be replaced. Lastly, the torque converter, which is part of the transmission is bad and new transmission probably will be needed. The car is in the shop. I have had the car in the shop on/off for about twenty business days and counting.
I've owned 3 outbacks (1997, 2001 and currently, my 2006. The 2006 is superior to the 2nd generation outback. It's tighter in quality, with better handling and not as soft riding as the 2001. I don't know why some get such poor mpg, but I have kept the second trip odometer on actual mileage, and for 50k miles, I have averaged 26.8 mpg and, I drive lots in mtns, on any of the 4 mountain passes in the northern cascade mtn range. City mileage is about 24 - 25, but on long freeway hauls, driving 60 70 mph, I have hit 30 mpg, but usually get about 28 mpg. That said, if Subaru does not improve mpg levels (though they are far better than many USA all wheel drive cars), I might jump ship to Honda.
This is my second Subaru (first being a 1986 Brat). Have put over 50,000 on it in three years, have had absolutely no problems. This car has been through winter snow, off road in the high desert, city traffic, and has never failed to perform. It's not the flashiest car out there, nor the fastest, nor the one pulling the biggest load, but it will get you from point A to point B with minimum worry.
First Subaru. Good leg room for the driver with an automatic. Tight foot space with the manual transmission. Small feet are a good thing if you want the manual. There is less legroom on the passenger side which is something that I hadn't realized till after purchase. Check it out if the passenger is tall. Seats are very firm and take some getting use to. My wife preferred the Outback to the Forester so we got the Outback. Interior controls are typical of Honda and Toyota and well laid out. Controls are convenient. Back seat leg room is tight -- acceptable for short trips. Ride is comfortable on most surfaces. My driving in more higway than city: mpg is about 24-25 of the first 1200 miles.
After test driving just about every wagon made and a lot of SUVs and sedans, I came to the conclusion that the Outback XT is the best all-around wagon (and perhaps car) on the market. Turbo is peppy with only slight turbo lag; the 5 speed is a must-have for anyone who enjoys driving and reduces the turbo lag a lot. Interior fit and finish is great; nothing comes close unless you're willing to pay another $10K. I haven't needed the AWD yet, but trust Subaru's reputation and rally experience is worth something. Unfortunately, I had a freakish power- steering pump failure at 600 mile odometer reading (high-pitched squeal from the bearing). Dealer was great fixing it quickly under warranty.
4 cylinder automatic provides very good performance. Peppy & fun to drive. All wheel drive & good ground clearance give excellent dirt/backroad/snow handling. Folding seats & solid roof rack lets us take our kayaks, bikes & camping equipment. My only complaint is that I find it a little tight to fit in, particularly on the passenger side. But I'm 6'3" with size 15 feet. Back seat leg room is also tight. Other than that, I love this car. Definitely one of the most sensible overall cars on the road & very reliable. Ours is the most basic automatic available & it's very well equipped. Many standard features that are options on other makes. Love the heated seats!
This is my second Subaru. There's a world of difference between this one and the 2002 model I had earlier. The wheel wells are larger so I no longer get snow packed in them. (I live in a climate where we get 200 inches of snow a year, so this is important.) The car is roomier and there's more cargo space. The seats are more comfortable and the car is relatively quiet. I've owned a lot of cars, but this one is my favorite.
Only 3 months into this, but the car is great fun to drive, lots of versatility, poor gas mileage the only drawback. (Still better than the '93 Land Cruiser). Excellent road car, wonderful compromise between utility and fun to drive. One pesky factory defect, broken clips in the dash, requiring several trips to the dealer until they got the right parts. Good purchase experience. Fun to own a car that is still unlike everyone else. Looking forward to the all wheel drive in the snow.
I test drove all the smaller SUV/Crossover vehicles. I was surprised at how expensive the Subaru was and almost passed it over. But, I test drove one in AZ mountains and felt like I was in a sports car. It's the perfect car for me. Large enough to tote 2 dogs and lots of stuff around, yet small enough to be responsive and fun to drive.
A few things not quite as good as our 2004 Subaru Outback. Built in dust deflector does not work as well as the add-on available on previous models, sport shift is great, the seat belt sound is annoying; if you want to drive 50 feet in your driveway it will make noise, the Weather Band radio on the 2004 was wonderful, why was it excluded on the 2006? My biggest beef with the new Subarus is the lack of a full size spare like my old Forester (2000) had. When you live in the remote areas of the US, you don't want a donut tire!
Compared to my outgoing 2004 Honda Accord EX, I've discovered the following about my new Outback: it has more tire and wind noise, pretty weak standard sound system, no standard moon roof and preferred the Honda's interior center stack. That said, I am benefiting from the AWD, standard side curtain airbags, more horsepower, power adjustable driver seat, heated rearview mirrors/windshield wiper wells. I am experiencing a tach surge (up to 2500 rpm) at idle when coasting. The stick shift gates are a bit of a struggle to find the proper gears. I really miss the front console ambient lighting in my old Honda. Inside dome light does not adequately illuminate the front seat area.
This is my 2nd Outback. My first was a '00 5 speed manual. When I was in the Pacific NW, that car was my weekend savior, irrespective of the weather. I loved it. Well I'm pleased to say the new Outback is better in every way. 1st-incredible power with the 2.5l turbo. 2nd, shifting/clutching dramatically improved. 3rd, interior build and design is outstanding. 4th, handling has improved. 5th, ride quality and comfort are also improved. This car will get you there in any weather, and you'll have a blast along the way. Suggested improvements: get rid of the plastic popit fasteners for engine cover and oil cover-they're too easily damaged on removal (I bugged the dealer to give me a dozen).
This is a limited edition Outback, sun roof, leather seats, great stereo sound and stick shift! They don't make an Outback with stick anymore:( My daughter now has the car and the mechanics at Subaru keep asking to buy this car from her. The style is still very nice to look after all these years. Even after the novelty of the car being new wears off, we love it for its utility: can carry stuff in the back or skis/snowboard, bikes and canoes on the top. It comfortably carries people for play or business, it really is a great car to have. This older model doesn't have bluetooth or USB port, but that wasn't common in 2006.
We bought this '06 in '08 with 13k on it; it's been virtually maintenance free. We just put $950 into a new power steering pump; everything else has been scheduled maintenance. Pearlcoat white with ivory interior (and my wife is a bowhunter) and with the exception of 4 rust spots I've covered; looks great. I'll be selling this car out right when she buys new in the coming year.
A great, stylish, very comfortable and well-built car; drove cross country (NYC to WA) in third week of owning and car drove great. Now have 3800 miles and averaging 27 mpg in mixed highway / rural. Couldn't be happier with it. Considered Toyota Highlander Hybrid but couldn't justify price; also considered Honda CRV SE but didn't want Honda's usual road noise and CRV not nearly as stylish or comfortable as Outback. I highly recommend the Outback.
DO NOT BUY!!!! I had my computer go haywire, and it said that the engine was overheating, when it wasn't even close, and it wasn't even a hot day! The daytime lights went out twice. It is underpowered, and I wasted $30,000 hard earned dollars. DO NOT BUY!!!!!!
This is a good car- except that it sacrifices function for design. C'mon Subaru- We like you because of your functional cars! I bought it because unlike my Forester, it has enough leg room for my husband in the front when the child seats are in the back. I like it because it drives good, it looks good, it's all wheel drive, it has reasonable gas mileage, and has decent cargo space. If it weren't for the leg room issue, I would stay with the Forester, which I think has a much better design. I am writing this review because it has two features which annoy me to no end. 1. The shape of the rear door/window makes it near impossible to buckle a child in and out of a rear-facing child seat. My poor baby has sustained more bumps to the head getting in and out of the carseat than I can count. 2. The seatbelt chime is about to drive me over the edge- and I'm an avid seatbelt wearer. It also has several features which definitely get the thumbs down. 1. The slant of the front door/window makes it very awkward to get into the front seat. 2. There is very little storage space in the front. 3. The control panel for air & heat are not nice and straight-forward like those on the more basic subarus without dual climate control. 4. The rear cargo area is limited by the inward slope of the rear windshield. Of all of these complaints the only one that I feel is actually important is the rear-facing child seat issue. For me it is the deal breaker. I've still got a few years of rear-facing child seat use ahead of me, and as much as I hate to do it, I am now looking for a new car.
I've had my 2006 Outback 2.5i auto for over a year, and am generally satisfied. I commonly drive offroad and in heavy snow conditions, and the AWD performs well. The car has done well under some bad conditions, and the AWD system has probably kept me out of a few snowbanks due to bad driving. The car is super comfy, and with a Yakima roof rack, you can haul plenty of people and gear. My primary complaint is the shoddy fuel mileage. I average about 21 mpg, with MPG dipping into the 18 mpg range when driving in the mountains here in WV.
I was hoping my Outback would be a reliable, safe car for me and my kids to drive. This car has been a nightmare. The inside door panels had to be replaced because if you used the arm rest the fabric came up, the front seat handle broke off, the mud flap in the back was missing screws, the air conditioner made horrible sounds and had to be replaced, went through a "minor" puddle and had to have the car towed, abs and brake light comes on and to top it off the car died and oil began to come out of it. Roadside assistance won't come, unless I pay for the tow and have it towed to my house and then towed again in the morning to Subaru. I'm so glad I bought this car -- NOT. What a LEMON!
First Outback and likely we would get another. Good performer for the price. Got ours brand new for just over $20K. I have had brake noise issues since day one. I have taken it on several road trips, holds a nice amount of cargo and good MPG.
The Limited offers all the extras and the standard 4cyld is more than adequate for average usage. Good snow and ice traction keeps you going through all 4 season. A good highway car if you don't need lots of extra space. Drives more like a car costing much more and the build quality is outstanding. Drove this car cross country MA to CA and averaged over 28mpg. With a small trailer from CA to MI the average was almost 21mpg. Speeds were up to 75mph on both trips. Take it easy and get 30+mpg.
Having driven many of the Subaru wagons I thought I'd try this shorter version. Boy does it go. I think the AWD couple with the excellent handling will prove this model to be the best I have driven. Bring on the rain or snow.
My GMC Jimmy was coming off lease and I was forced to look for something else. I wanted four wheel drive to deal with the winter weather conditions of the Northeast. However, I was getting tired of paying for the poor gas economy of a mid size SUV. The Outback fit the bill perfectly. This is a very nice vehicle. It is well made inside and out. It drives very much like the 1984 Toyota Supra I owned for ten years. The 6 cylinder boxer is very smooth and powerful. Plenty of passing power, very stable and nimble in the turns. It is very easy to build up speed without noticing it. Good braking. All this and 4 wheel too. Buy it!
I have been driving expensive sedans, coupes and roadsters for years (BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Porsche) but recently needed a vehicle with good road manners, hauling capacity, decent mileage and that burns regular unleaded. I am tired of dropping $40- $50 for cars. My sister loves her WRX so I found myself test driving the 2.5i Limited. I am very impressed with this car! Rock solid, sure-footed, handsome inside and out. And on road trips I'm getting 27+ mpg. Kudos to Subaru. My first 2,000 miles have been great...many more to come.
I'm just one of those people who likes wagons, and need once a week extra room but don't need a typical sized SUV or a van for the rest of my driving. The Outback is pretty much a base model with a couple extra option packages, power seat, dimming mirror plus a host of standard equipment - certainly is a comfortable well designed car. Its ride is comfortable and fairly compliant. The base 4 cylinder isn't spectacular, but once up to freeway speeds is peppy. I'm averaging 27.9 mpg over the first 7,000 miles, 80% freeway and 20% city. I'd easily get over 30 on continuous 70+MPH drives. Great car so far.
Traded my 92x for the 2.5I with Navigation; I've had it a few weeks and love it. Vehicle is very solid, absolutely hugs the road and rides much smoother than I expected. It feels safe as a tank, and already I'm getting 27-28 mpg on the highway. The navigation system is cool, the guy has a slight Australian accent. You won't win any drag races with this car, but it is more than adequate for every day life on the highway. I had a car with 227 hp before and found it was an utter waste; great I can floor it for 3 seconds before I have to stop again in traffic. Thinking of an SUV but worried about gas, check this car out, you won't be disappointed. You will save on insurance too, very low risk.
Took this Subaru hunting season in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I live; the 2nd day our tent nearly collapsed due to 14" of heavy wet snow that fell while we were sleeping. We were 1/4 mile off the main road, had to cut trees off the road to clear the way. Drove the Subaru out breaking trail through 14" of heavy wet greasy snow and it never faltered or had any traction problems ... used to 4 wheel drive trucks and this was a wonderful surprise to me. Traction was great in a worst case scenario.
Great handling, mileage now averaging 27.6 mix of mostly highway and 10% city. Interior finish is excellent and everything works the way it should. Acceleration without turbo is very good and no problems cruising at 75. Radio and CD changer sound quality are very good. Much tighter handling than prior Toyotas.
I have looked for several months for a vehicle including Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Dodge and Chevrolet. The best bargain that I found was the Outback. Great fuel economy and the handling is great. I would recommend purchasing a new one without question.