Used 2008 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

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$6,250 - $8,683

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Second Beaner

jim n., 03/16/2008
17 of 17 people found this review helpful

Traded our 2002 Bean Outback. This one is a much better performer but the interior has been redesigned for the worse. Controls were moved around to accomodate the opt. Nav. screen (which should be mounted on the dash). Climate controls placed low behind gearshift, audio controls lowered. You used to be able to adjust with a glance, now you have to take your eyes off the road. No storage for cds or loose change. The ashtray barely holds a chapstick. Rear seats no longer fold truly flat. Parking brake lever intrudes on drivers right leg. Odometer/temp/etc multigauge is useless and annoying.

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We Questioned next purchase and Now have another.

experiences1, 01/29/2014
2.5I Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
36 of 40 people found this review helpful

This 2008 subie is my 3rd subaru experience. I was reluctant to leave a review because I have been told I am too critical so you be the judge. 1998 subaru was very noisy engine wise other than that a head gasket failure at 135000 miles 2001 subaru brakes once every other year at the dealer. Coolent leaks at the heads of the engine maintained by conditioner. 2008 Head gasket leaks at 68000 miles needed replacing. wire harness broke to tail lights. Noisy catalytic converters replaced but they left off the shielding. replaced under recall which is good. 75000 miles has a skip. plugs and wires. 7/30/16 96000-113000 owner replaced timing belt and tension pulleys, coolant water pump and timing belt, oil pump seals , cam shaft seals as normal maintenance items. valve cover gaskets Wheel bearings x3 as they were noisy. dealer replaced one air bag and another takata air bag is due under warranty control arm bushings and front and rear sway bar links. intermediate pipe and resonator with seals (noisy) Still drives and handles great. has not left us stranded yet. that is good. brakes hold up well. 1/31/17 120000 update. wire harness at rear gate wire broke again (first time was at 70000 and just ordered a new harness (rear gate Cord) from subaru lost back up lights and antenna wires the remaining wires insulation is cracking and just opted for new. Drives and runs great 23 mpg normal city milage. Just purchased new 2017 Outback Limited My wife drove most everything in this price range and insisted on a Subaru.

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My first and last Subaru.

Alan Christenson, 10/27/2015
2.5I Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
23 of 25 people found this review helpful

We bought this car used in 2010 with 17,000 miles on it. It was a great car until it hit about 70,000 when it started having regular repair issues that really shouldn't happen. I fully expect to do maintenance on any vehicle for parts that wear out, but these problems are something different entirely. First it was the head gasket problem that most of these have, that came to just under $2,000 for repair (known issue that should have been covered by Subaru). Over the last three years I had problems with the ground wire in the radio that I had "fixed" three different times until it went out entirely and I had to have the radio head unit replaced for $500. The wires in the rear lift gate began breaking about a year ago causing my tail lights to go out. This is apparently a common issue as well and is very dangerous (no tail lights at night) and should have been recalled. That was $400 to replace. My catalytic converter is going out now and apparently it has been recalled in some states, but not in mine so it's going to cost me another $1,000. I also have problems in the passenger airbag light/switch that the dealership is telling me will be another $350 to fix. A little research on the internet tells me that it is bad soldering on a circuit board (another common enough problem that it can be found on youtube). Like I said, I gladly pay for regular maintenance and parts on a vehicle but these things are not "normal" problems and seem to be regular occurrences on Subarus. Tack on to this substantially decreased winter mileage (I expect some, but not 15%-18%), and I can't see myself purchasing another Subaru. Sure, you can probably pass them on to your children when you upgrade to a new one (just like the commercials show), but you're going to spend a lot of money to keep it that long and you'll be saddling them with something that appears to require regular, expensive repairs.

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2008 Outback i limited

experiences1, 09/27/2013
2.5I Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
15 of 16 people found this review helpful

2008 outback we bought new when our 1998 outback head gaskets failed at 135000 miles. We were unsure if another Subaru was in our future but after driving other alternatives we returned to this manufacturer. Very stable sure footed in even the worst conditions and very easy to drive. We are impressed with the design and body integrity. update 3/28/16 107000 miles same engine and transmission. suspension bushings are a common failure but major components great. Some interior panels develop waves and pockets that look like the thin foam under the imitation leather. Recall on air bags just completed. Letter from manufacturer stated dashboard may develop symptoms similar to mentioned in detail before about interior panels.

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2nd Subaru

redheadwolf, 06/13/2015
4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

After getting tired of my '99 Legacy Outback and it's constant overheating, (to be fair it has 256k miles on it) I decided I wanted a new car. I researched a lot in the 10-15k range. I chose the Outback again for the awd/mpg/style/room/reliability. It has everything you need. It is more comfortable than my '99 even though it's a base model. (Even comes with seat heaters!) I was able to get this car with 41,000 miles on it back in November. So far I've put 11,000 on it and it still runs excellent! I've taken it on dirt, up steep roads and gravel and it does it all. Last time I recorded just highway miles I got 28mpg! However, I usually average 24.

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Subaru knew this was a lemon and didn't tell custs

Steve, 04/13/2018
4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
11 of 12 people found this review helpful

Talk to independent car mechanics before buying this car. It is apparently widely known among mechanics that Subaru used sub-standard head gaskets almost ensuring an $1800 eventual repair. Subaru refused to admit it and forced their customers to foot the bill when it should have been a recall. Lots of other bad designs on this model too. Like a rear hatch handle that collects all the road grime and stops working because it won't spring back, even after a "repair" by the dealership. Like a dual-muffler design that traps exhaust moisture at the "Y" prematurely rusting it out. Like a welded heat shield above the exhaust pipe that resonates at certain rpm's and threatens to loosen your teeth fillings and drown out the sound of the radio. Like needing new brake pads/rotors more often than any other car I've ever owned. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this car.

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Best Bang For Your Buck!

GF, 06/09/2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Needed a 4 door wagon due to the new addition to my family. So I test drove an Audi A4 Avant (2.0T and 3.2 versions) and the Subaru Outback 3.0R was on par with the Audi Avant 3.2. Went with Subaru and saved $14K over the Audi. Also, plan to do a lot of outdoor family stuff (biking, camping, etc) so the additional ride height with the Outback made sense. I still have yet to open it up cause it's still in the break-in period, but this an excellent overall value. This car feels like I'm still driving my BMW. Subaru got this Outback right. Can't go wrong with Japanese build quality and a German driving feel at a Japanese price tag.

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Best Wagon for $30K

VDC_Scooby, 05/07/2008
11 of 13 people found this review helpful

The Outback handles great in every day driving around town or on the highway. Steering is light and responsive. The Outback's 3.0R engine delivers plenty of refined power with a hint of growl. The transmission delivers that power unobtrusively. I normally leave SI drive in Intelligent mode but when necessary "sport sharp" mode (S#) provides that extra punch. The Outback's raised ride height means more suspension travel (take that speed bumps!) and it has a smooth ride over rough surfaces. I think the Outback looks the part of a luxury wagon. The interior is upscale and comparable to my 2004 Passat. The materials feel substantial and fit and finish are excellent. Braking is very sure.

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Poor craftsmanship

minevem, 04/28/2011
13 of 16 people found this review helpful

We bought our car new 3 years ago. Although not a head turner, it looked sturdy and had better gas mileage than a SUV. Some standard features a plus. Steady on the road and safe in snow/rain. Poor built quality... Cheap cabin materials. The engine went out at 38000 miles and it took 2 weeks to repair shorted cable in the engine block... I was very disappointed with it this week - took it to the dealer to have the heat shield repaired - not covered by warranty, although the dealer said every Outback gets this problem at our mileage (49000). Door handle broke - not covered. The handle actually fell out...

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Great car! Fun to drive. Great performer

2008XT, 10/13/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

This is one of the best cars I have ever driven. The performance of a sports car in a functional everyday vehicle. We need to purchase another vehicle which will be another Outback, but I am not happy that Subaru stopped making the XT model. If you own one and would like be able to buy another one, call Subaru and complain. If enough of us do, maybe they will bring the XT back. In the meantime I guess I'm stuck with the 6 cyl.

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