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2005 Subaru Outback

2005 Subaru Outback

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$1,809 — $10,261 USED
10
Photos
Wagon
5 Seats
26 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • AWD operation
  • Seat comfort
  • Automatic-transmission operation
  • Ground clearance

The Bad

  • Ride comfort on rough surfaces
  • Limited offroad capability
  • No low-range gearing

What to Know

about the 2005 Subaru Outback
  • Redesigned Outback for 2005
  • Legacy-based construction for Outback
  • Impreza-based construction for Outback Sport
  • New turbocharged 2.5 XT Outback model
  • Four- or six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Additional ground clearance

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2005 Subaru Outback Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
At Subaru, the Outback is a quasi-SUV version of the company’s Legacy line. Known as sport utility wagons, these Outback variants feature SUV-like styling cues and higher ground clearance.

Like the Legacy, Outback sedans and wagons have been enlarged a bit for 2005. A turbocharged engine is available for the first time in the 2.5 XT model. Subaru also offers a smaller Outback Sport that is based on the company’s Impreza.
(Skip to details on the: Outback Sport)

Outback sedans come only with a 250-horsepower horizontally opposed six-cylinder. Wagons are offered with the six-cylinder, the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and a normally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The full wagon lineup consists of the 2.5 i, 2.5 i Limited, 2.5 XT, 2.5 XT Limited, 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition and 3.0 R VDC Limited.

For 2005, the engine sits at a lower position in the chassis. Ground clearance has increased to 8.4 or 8.7 inches, depending on the model. Towing capacity has grown to 2,700 pounds in vehicles with the four-cylinder and 3,000 pounds in models with the six-cylinder. The Outback 3.0 R includes a tire-pressure monitor.

Subaru offers three combinations of transmission and all-wheel-drive system: the five-speed automatic works with Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive; the four-speed automatic teams with active all-wheel drive; and manual-shift models use continuous all-wheel drive. Models with Vehicle Dynamics Control include a limited-slip differential....

Vehicle Overview
At Subaru, the Outback is a quasi-SUV version of the company’s Legacy line. Known as sport utility wagons, these Outback variants feature SUV-like styling cues and higher ground clearance.

Like the Legacy, Outback sedans and wagons have been enlarged a bit for 2005. A turbocharged engine is available for the first time in the 2.5 XT model. Subaru also offers a smaller Outback Sport that is based on the company’s Impreza.
(Skip to details on the: Outback Sport)

Outback sedans come only with a 250-horsepower horizontally opposed six-cylinder. Wagons are offered with the six-cylinder, the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and a normally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The full wagon lineup consists of the 2.5 i, 2.5 i Limited, 2.5 XT, 2.5 XT Limited, 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition and 3.0 R VDC Limited.

For 2005, the engine sits at a lower position in the chassis. Ground clearance has increased to 8.4 or 8.7 inches, depending on the model. Towing capacity has grown to 2,700 pounds in vehicles with the four-cylinder and 3,000 pounds in models with the six-cylinder. The Outback 3.0 R includes a tire-pressure monitor.

Subaru offers three combinations of transmission and all-wheel-drive system: the five-speed automatic works with Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive; the four-speed automatic teams with active all-wheel drive; and manual-shift models use continuous all-wheel drive. Models with Vehicle Dynamics Control include a limited-slip differential. The five-speed automatic operates adaptively, and sudden throttle application yields a positive downshift.

Exterior
The 2005 Outback looks sleeker than its predecessor, but most changes are technical modifications. The car’s dimensions have increased slightly. Using aluminum on the hood and tailgate (on wagon models) helps reduce weight by as much as 180 pounds. Torsional rigidity and bending stiffness are modestly better.

The Outback’s track width has increased by an inch. The 2.5 XT has a functional hood scoop and a dual exhaust system. A power moonroof is available. The 2.5 XT and 3.0 R models have 17-inch wheels, but other models use 16-inch wheels.

Interior
Like the Legacy series, each Outback model seats five occupants. Wagon models feature a 60/40-split, folding rear seatback. Standard equipment in the 2.5 i includes an eight-way power driver’s seat and remote keyless entry with a security system. Limited models feature leather-trimmed upholstery, an in-dash six-CD changer, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated front seats and mirrors.

Under the Hood
All Subaru engines have a horizontally opposed, or flat, cylinder configuration. In 3.0 R models, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder produces 250 hp and 219 pounds-feet of torque. A turbocharged four-cylinder in the 2.5 XT yields 250 hp and 250 pounds-feet of torque. Regular 2.5 i wagons get a normally aspirated 168-hp four-cylinder. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard in all but the 3.0 R models, which have a standard five-speed-automatic transmission with a manual-shifting provision. This transmission is optional for the 2.5 XT. A four-speed automatic is optional for the 2.5 i.

Safety
Side-impact and side curtain-type airbags and active front-seat head restraints are standard. Four-wheel disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are also standard.

Driving Impressions
With its all-wheel-drive lineup, Subaru occupies a unique niche in the passenger-car market. Outback sedans and wagons are easy to drive and have extra advantages over the Legacy for driving on less-than-perfect roads. These cars make a satisfying alternative to a sport utility vehicle.

Performance in the turbocharged Outback 2.5 XT is largely the same as an equivalent Legacy. But at higher altitudes, the Outback exhibited considerable turbo “lag” when passing or merging. Acceleration from a standstill is reasonably quick; but at higher speeds, pushing the gas pedal to the floor under certain conditions may momentarily produce no response at all.

The six-cylinder 3.0 R, also tested at higher altitude, was lacking in response when accelerating at higher speeds. At lower altitudes, performance will likely be more impressive. The six-cylinder engine is more refined than the turbocharged four-cylinder; it’s a more appealing vehicle in terms of drivability.

Like the Legacy, the Outback rides smoothly on good surfaces. The ride can be a bit rough as the pavement becomes harsh.

Outback Sport
Like the Legacy-based Outback, the Impreza-based Outback Sport features SUV-like styling cues. The Outback Sport is available only in wagon form and is powered by a 165-hp, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that teams with a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. The Outback Sport was face-lifted for 2004 with revisions to the hood, front fenders, headlights, grille, bumpers and taillights. All-wheel drive is standard. A new Special Edition for 2005 features a rear spoiler and interior comfort enhancements, and the Outback Sport’s engine gains electronic throttle control. Back to top

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
53 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Subaru most reliable cars...gas & oil drive foreve

by Mojos Subi from Boise, Idaho on May 25, 2020

Drive Comfort styling longevity Subaru has it all I've owned 2 now put gas and oil and you can drive them forever great all-around cars repair history on these cars you don't have to do much worth ... Read full review

(3.0)

The most unreliable car that we have ever owned.

by Bensbar from Ahoskie on August 27, 2019

This car was for a new driver! has so much wrong with it that I wonder how it passed inspection. If it was new it would of been good. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Subaru Outback currently has 9 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Subaru Outback has not been tested.

Latest 2005 Outback Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Outback received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Latch or Latch system

* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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