Used 2009 Subaru Outback Wagon Consumer Reviews

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$6,995 - $12,500

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High number of Repairs

jdillon2, 04/11/2015
2.5i Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
27 of 27 people found this review helpful

We have owned 4 different Subarus. We bought the 2009 Outback new. It has had three major repairs since purchase. The most recent was a rebuild of the transfer case which cost $2200. We never had these types of major repairs before. I expect better from Subaru being an owner since 1991. They just aren't as good as in the past.

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Continuous costly repairs

Mark, 11/05/2015
2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
21 of 22 people found this review helpful

This was my first, and last Subaru, I bought. I thought the car would be reliable after reading and researching prior models. This car is the closest thing to a lemon I could think of. After 6 months of ownership the interior of the vehicle was breaking apart. Small holes in the stitching in the doors and the center counsel lid broke. Subaru repaired the lid and it soon broke again. Very cheep. The handling and engine performance became horrible after a couple of years. As of today, the power steering unit is shot - not sure what this will cost yet to replace. I recently had the transmission leak and the thermostat sensor replaced at the dealership ($600.00 plus). Then a month later the valve cover gasket broke causing oil to run into and foul out the plugs. This repair cost over $850.00 once they figured out what was wrong with it. I'll sum it up here, this is a terrible car. Don't buy one, it's no Toyota. It gets horrible gas mileage and over time has no engine power. It just screws you over with repairs.

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200+K miles without a wrench put on it!

Mario, 11/29/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

This car was our 5th Subaru, and it is being replaced by a newer model. All of our Subarus went well over 200,000 miles without ever having to take them into the dealer for a repair. The only time any of our Subarus were in the shop was for normal engine maintenance that required tools or expertise beyond the average owner's ability or tool ownership (even spark plug changes need a 'special' tool to accomplish); eg. timing belt, cam belt & cam seals, water pump at about 85,000 or more miles. I did all oil & oil filter changes at 5000 mile intervals and air filter changes, myself. You also can save a little money by buying spark plugs at an auto parts store and just pay the labor to have a dealer install them. These cars are so trouble-free, you get in it, turn the key and the engine always starts. On my first Subaru wagon a 1985, at about 125,000 miles a slight hesitation on acceleration off idle developed. I took it in to the local Subaru specialist shop to diagnose & fix it. When I picked up the car, the mechanic told me (jokingly) I should be ashamed of my self for the cause of the problem. The ORIGINAL spark plugs were still in the engine - I never changed them! He couldn't believe I hadn't yet changed the plugs. Well, that's what happens when you get in your car and it starts EVERYTIME! I should also add, the 2009 Subaru never gave us any trouble, just like all our previous Subies ('85, '87, '96, '01). So, we're buying another Outback, this will be our 6th Subaru (4th Outback). [Update: 2015 Outback 2.5 4cyl Ltd.] Fantastic vehicle! Will practically drive itself! Bought it used with all the bells and whistles available (Sat radio, GPS Navigation, Eye-sight, heated seats front & BACK!, dual range heat/cool, etc.) We absolutely love this car! Had just over 9K miles on it when we bought it, now we have 28K. Oil & filter changes are a piece of cake, since the filter is now on the top side of the engine. Also another great change Subaru made is the 6 speed Constant velocity transmission. Subaru just keeps getting better & better. We travel weekly from the mountains (Lake Tahoe) to the valley (Sacramento area) so I think the gas mileage would actually be higher for someone that lives in the valley.

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'09 Outback

Hal Edmonds, 09/13/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

The last of the original Outback models, before they got too big. Good handling, decent fuel economy, reasonable comfort, great reliability, good resale. Hard to beat a Subaru.

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Wish We'd Learned About Head Gasket Problem

Subie Driver, 01/25/2016
2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
18 of 20 people found this review helpful

We bought the car used with around 60K miles. At 125K, we encountered a major problem that despite all of my research prior to buying the car I somehow never heard about: head gasket problems. Apparently some head gaskets for this model are prone to fail, and ours did - on a road trip, no less. The car was failing, with major oil seepage both into and out of the motor, and we couldn't schedule an indie shop for a repair in time, so we had to have it repaired at the dealership (ouch). While we were assured after the repair it was good for 100K miles or more (a better head gasket was installed), we decided to jump ship. The car, after all we put into it, basically had no resale value for us - we could only hope to recoup what all we'd spent on it. So keep this defect in mind if you're considering an Outback of this model year. In all, we spent $25,000 total for a car that lasted us 70K miles. Not a good used car purchase at all. Before the catastrophic failure, the car was quite good. We had driven the next generation, but thought it rode too truck-like, and was kind of noisy, with an unrefined drivetrain. It was also hard to see out of and had uncomfortable front seats. This generation was more car-like and the better for it. It was incredibly versatile - drove like a sedan (and was fairly luxurious with the heated leather seats and wood trim), but had more cargo room than similarly sized/equipped SUVs of the time. The downside was the drivetrain, which, though not as noticeably as the same-level one in the next generation, was still unrefined; it was a bit noisy and had some vibration. At lower speeds the transmission would frequently pause before engaging, clunking abruptly when it finally did. Also the dual climate control didn't work well, leaving both front seat occupants unhappy. Overall, though, the car was comfortable and efficient both in town or on the highway and was like a Swiss pocket knife in terms of usability, perfect for hauling everything from furniture to dogs to groceries, while still being easy to park and decent on gas, and it was completely reliable before the head gasket failure. Build quality was excellent, too, with interior and exterior materials holding up fantastically. A big issue was finding people who knew how to work on it. If you're far from a major city, you may have a hard time finding people who understand this relatively rare car and how to properly outfit it with brakes, tires, etc., as well as service things like the differentials. Not sure what happened with this model, as Subarus are generally known for being exceptionally reliable. It was a big factor in our decision to buy it. Our experience has, understandably I think, soured us on Subarus. Rationally are not, this is the kind of thing that takes years to overcome (decades, in my case) before you're willing to plunk down that much hard-earned cash for something. We ended up buying an Acura TSX Sportwagon. While the visibility and cargo capacity aren't as good as the Outback's were, the build quality is noticeably better - and that's great peace of mind.

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