Note: I rarely give something 5 stars. For me, 4 is high praise and I quibble about the three choices of poor, OK and great. If I didn't rate something 'great', it's because it was less but certainly more than just OK. That said, I've owned this car for 7 months. I've had to adjust to it rather than the vehicle adjusting to me. But taking the Outback on its own terms, this is what I'd say to prospective buyers: It's been a very competent car. Road handling in all weather, except wind, has been excellent. Because of it's 8.5" ground clearance which is great for loading and unloading, entering and exiting, it can be a handful on windy highways. And while it's notable, it's minor. Electric steering is responsive, making navigating city streets and parking lots easy. Turning radius is excellent. Braking is good. Acceleration is modest in the 4 cyl. Beware. It's fine around town. On the highway, and with people and luggage, it's another story. But once you learn it and adapt, it is fine. Gas mileage started soft but has gotten better and averages around 26, city and town. Highway averages 31 which I think is outstanding for a 'station wagon-y' vehicle with roof rack and 4wd. It's a joy to buy regular gas. Cabin is comfortable, attractive and uncluttered. We like it. Leather seats are quite comfortable on short or long trips. Rear seats have plenty of room. The seat backs adjust, a big comfort plus. And folding the seats down, a 60/40 split, is a breeze - from inside the car or from the tailgate. The tailgate on our car can auto open. It is a bit fussy, a love/hate feature on the car. Visibility is very good. Backup camera is essential and works very well in handling tight spaces. I give it a solid A. Cross traffic warning is a good option. Blind spot detection is OK but the side mirror warning light, no sound signal, is weak, especially in daylight. That's a big negative. Gauges are OK. Lighting is bright and distinct. Time and temp are tiny. Bizarre. Lots of radio and music options. We have iPhones. They work beautifully and are very easy to connect. The technology is definitely better than ever. That said, not all tech is the same. While the interface works, the voice prompt is clumsy with rigid prompts and responses. I find that disappointing but I can easily get over it. The sound/phone system works seamlessly and the sound quality of phone calls to and from the car is quite good. That's basic to the tech and important that it works as well as it does. The touch screen is large, easy to navigate and easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Remote start is really handy in winter but it takes some practice making it work from the key fob. The suspension was VERY stiff when we first got it. It was on the verge of being a deal breaker. I've seen that comment from others, too. But it has softened. It is firm and comfortable and not at all rigid. Road noise is quite modest. Heating and cooling work well, front and rear. Front and back wipers are solid. Best option: dimming side mirrors. I did not get adaptive cruise control and emergency stop. I'm sorry I didn't. I rode in an Outback with that option and thought it was outstanding. Oddity: no heated steering wheel which I miss a lot! Another oddity and major mistake: doors do not self lock above a certain speed. If you don't remember to do it yourself, your doors remain unlocked while you drive. Even our 2003 Passat had self-locking doors. It never occurred to me that Suburu would sell a car without them. Lastly, the most important aspect of any car is its safety - all the things about a car you don't see or care about until you absolutely need them. We were recently rear-ended on a highway while going 50 MPH. The pickup was doing 65. My young son was in the back seat. That could have been a very bad accident. The car performed flawlessly, stayed on center and steered to a perfect stop. Another car could have lost control, hit other cars to the side and caused a deadly pile up. The back is badly bashed in, of course. But despite the damage, all rear lights on the car still worked. Even the back up camera still worked! My appreciation and trust of this car took a big leap. This is not an exciting vehicle to drive. It drives you. If you can adjust to that, this is, as my son says, a "beast" of a car, in the best sense of the word. 10,000 is not much to base a review on. But it is enough to know this is a solid choice I don't regret making. If "Ranger" continues to perform the next ten years as he has the first seven months, this rolling Swiss army knife will have fulfilled its promise. It is off to a good, perhaps great, start. UPDATE: the original tires, Bridgestone Duelers, were very poor. 29,000 and done. Shocking. Advice: on a new Outback, sell them immediately and buy real tires. Shame on Subaru for marring an otherwise solid design.
Just passed our three year anniversary with our first Subaru Outback. It is my wife's primary vehicle. She loves it, Coco the Wonder Dog loves it, and her husband loves it. Versatile, practical and surprisingly comfortable. We have our Yakima bike rack on the back during summer months because we go to a local forest preserve several times a week to ride the trails. The only thing I hope Subaru does on the next generation is put a better sound system in the car. The one in it now is not bad, but it could be better. OK, our 2015 Subaru just passed 30K miles. We still love the Outback. As owners already know, it is fantastic in bad weather. Have not had any issues and it remains as solid and comfortable as the first day we brought it home. We just took delivery on our very first Subaru Outback. It is our first Subaru ever. My wife has been driving Honda Odysseys for many years and wanted to down size a bit, but still have room to haul stuff. She does a not of gardening. Our initial impressions of the 2015 Subaru Outback are very good. Comfortable, quiet, great driving position and great visibility. And it has a lot of space for hauling stuff. We purchased the 2.5i Limited. We like the leather seats and the soft touch materials. It seems very solid and refined for a vehicle designed to go off road. The performance of the 4 cylinder engine is just fine and the overall build quality is outstanding.
This is our 3rd Subaru. This 2015 Outback replaces my wife's 2005 Outback (which needed so much work at 104,00 miles that it wasn't worth fixing, i.e. timing belt, water pump, axles, valve cover gaskets, cat. converter, etc). All is good with the 2015 except for one VERY ANNOYING problem. The small triangular glass in the front passenger door has wind noise above 30 mph. The dealer has no idea how to fix it. It has been turned over to the Subaru engineers. We put clear tape over the outside of the window & that stopped the noise but my wife is embarrassed to have the tape there on her brand new car. Lets see how long it takes Subaru to figure this one out! Update: the factory and dealership fixed the wind noise problem. Car performs up to expectations. Engine has annoying rattling sounds on start up. The all season tires were not good in snow, so we put snow tires on for the winter. New emergency brake recall just issued. Overall a great car. Update: Another recall done. Rear suspension making creaking noises, took dealership two tries to fix it with new parts. Paint is extremely thin & scratches easily. Good gas mileage. Comfortable. Subaru's are great cars, not perfect, but what is? Update: Rear suspension creaking noise (trailing arm). Dealer has installed 2 new ones. The second one creaked the day they installed it. Very annoying when you have to bring the car back 3 times to try and fix. Dashboard airbag idiot light comes on intermitantly. Dealer says bring it right in when it comes on. My wife brought it to the dealership & was told no one was available to look at it until after lunch. (They could have told us that when we called to say we were bringing it in.). My dealership can't seem to fix anything on the car. Considering not buying any more Subarus.
I?ll preface my remarks with the fact that I am a long term Subaru owners who is driving their 5th Outback. My new Outback is a 2015 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. I?ve had this Outback for about 6 months and there are major problems with the electronics. Twice since I got the car the dashboard has lit up like a July 4th fireworks display while I was driving. The Eyesight shut down and every warning light illuminated the brake warning light was blinking red, the check engine light came on and every other icon or warning light was illuminated. The first time this happened I was driving on the highway at about 65 ? 70 miles per hour and all these lights came on, the cruise control which is tied into the Eyesight stopped working and I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. I was completely flabbergasted at the event. I called a local Subaru dealer and the service manager said it was too late in the day for me to get into their service department, but if the car seemed to be running ok just drive it home and take it to a local dealer the next day. I did just that and drove for about an hour to my home. The next morning I took the car to the local Subaru dealer at that point the car had about 6,000 miles on it. The next morning the lights were still illuminated and Eyesight was not operational. The dealer was perplexed saying he had never seen anything like what was going on in my car. He said was unable to find any codes that would cause the electronics acting like they had. He told me that he had to reset the computer a number of times to get the electronics to reset and work correctly. Then I was told that my EZ-Pass was causing the problem by its placement on the windshield. I showed him the Subaru TSB that showed where the electronic toll transponder should be mounted and he agreed that it was mounted correctly. He told me that he didn?t know what caused the problem and he would report it to Subaru Technical Assistance. I also called Subaru Owner Technical Assistance who told me that the dealer had entered the problem with the Eyesight and electronics was caused by the placement of the electronic toll transponder. I explained the correct dealer diagnosis should be ?I don?t know? but they said that wasn?t what the dealer put on his diagnosis, they would document my problem and let them know if it happened again. Well last week it happened again. This time I was driving on a secondary road at about 45 miles per hour and the same thing happened. The same wild 4th of July display the same Eyesight and cruise control. The same light show with brake warning flashing and check engine and all the icons illuminated. This time I called Subaru Owner Assistance from the side of the road immediately after calling the dealer and making an appointment for the next morning to bring the car in. Subaru Owner contact center was very nice and offered to send me a $100 gift card for my trouble. I told them that was very nice, but a solution to the problem was what I really wanted. They told me to contact them after I brought the car to the dealer. So I brought the car to the dealer early the next morning. All the lights were still illuminated except the brake warning light was no longer illuminated or flashing. The service writer at the dealer said I?ve never seen some of these light I don?t even know what they are. The dealer called me at 3 PM and told me the car was all set. When I got to the dealer I was told that the problem that caused all the lights etc. to illuminate was that the oil was so dirty that it blocked the oil lines/passages and caused the variable valve timing to malfunction and illuminate the Check Engine light which was designed by Subaru to cause all the warning lights to illuminate and the Eyesight system to shut down. This was caused by me not changing the oil at 5,000 mile intervals (the dealer stated 5,000 miles, Subaru?s recommended change interval is 6,000 miles between oil changes) but waiting to 7,500 miles. I was amazed by the stupidity of the explanation. The car has 15,000 miles on it the engine oil was changed at 7,500 miles with Mobil 1 Long Life (guaranteed 15,000 mile change interval) and the oil, which was changed again at the dealer on this visit, was not even dirty when I brought it in. The oil level is checked frequently and I never let it get down more than a ½ quart. I looked at the service writer that was giving me the car back and she was looking sort of sheepish. I said to her that this was the most asinine explanation that I ever heard and it made no sense. I called Subaru Owner Assistance and spoke to the same person I had spoken with the day before and all he could say was we'll put it in your file and let us know if it happens again. I recently changed servicing dealers and guess what? When the problem occurred again the new dealer was able to immediately diagnose and correct the problem. It turned out to be a simple reprogramming of the computer. I love my Subaru
New Battery solved problem - Battery has died 11 times in 9 months I have owned 2015 Outback Wagon. Three visits (7 days without car) to Dealerships have not detected any electrical problem (other than replacing alternator on second visit ). Still the car dies. Several instances seem to result from short trips to do errands. Also extended period of open power lift gate will deplete battery even with dome light off. Would love to remove power lift gate, but dealer says it will cost several 1,000's of dollars. Best feature is Eye Sight. Blind spot warnings work well and makes one feel much safer. Have had several occasions when Eye Sight failure light up, but restarting car several times has caused problem to go away. Battery failures are so pervasive that I have no confidence that car will start and constantly have to plan where I park so I can get jump start. I do appreciate the kindness of strangers who have helped. Suspect there is a design problem with undersized battery. Attempting to return car under Calif Lemon Law. This car is not anything like previous Subaru I have owned
Wilderness Green Metallic, Moonroof Package + Keyless Access and Start + Navigation System + EyeSight ($2,990 -- includes auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and Homelink; power one-touch moonroof; keyless access and start; 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen GPS navigation system; HD AM/FM radio with radio broadcast data system; single-disc CD player with MP3 playback; SD card slot; voice-activated controls and navigation; Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity; iPod control capability; iTunes tagging capability; dual USB ports; SMS text messaging capability; Sirius/XM satellite radio with Sirius/XM NavTraffic (subscription required); 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Harman Kardon 12-speaker system with 576 watt amplifier; Subaru Starlink smartphone integration featuring AHA infotainment, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Mirror Link; EyeSight driver-assist system with stereo camera radar technology and featuring pre-collision braking and throttle management, lane departure and sway warning and adaptive cruise control; steering-responsive foglights)
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
175 @ 5,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
174 @ 4,000
Continuously variable with six-speed manual mode with steering-wheel-mounted paddles
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
We found the Outback responds reasonably well to being held in place on the brakes (called "power-braking," wherein we have our left foot on the brake and right foot on the throttle prior to launch) before accelerating. This was worth about a half-second in terms of its 0-60-mph time. This size vehicle is crying out for either a turbocharger or a six-cylinder engine. It feels labored and underpowered as is. While the car is very quiet at idle, it's conversely rather loud during max acceleration.
With a soft, long-travel pedal, this Outback stopped from 60 mph in our simulated panic test with consistency (varying by just 2 feet across four stops), but also with SUV-like nosedive and a little bit of side-to-side wiggle.
Steering response is slow, the suspension allows significant lean and the combination of these two means the car is reluctant to transition from one turn to another in rapid succession (as in our slalom test). Furthermore, the Outback's nondefeat electronic stability control system (ESC) is sensitive to quick steering inputs and/or mid-corner corrections with the steering. The smoothest, most precise driver input was the most rewarded/least "corrected" by the ESC. On the constant corner of the skid pad, we found the ESC "off" mode (where we suspect it merely defeats traction control, leaving stability control intact) lets the Outback lean heavily on the outside front tire that it begins to skid and lose its ability to turn the car. With ESC on, the car would reduce the throttle automatically before this point to maintain a consistent arc. Steering weight was light and didn't seem to vary much with speed.