Model Details

2008 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

4.5
Average based on 28 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 28 reviews

Tremendous Value

by from Placerville, CA on May 13, 2011

I bought an '08 Outback with 49K miles, partly for the AWD aspect since we live in the mountains and get snow and a lot of rain. What's really impressed me is the comfort, which I would rank with the ...
I bought an '08 Outback with 49K miles, partly for the AWD aspect since we live in the mountains and get snow and a lot of rain. What's really impressed me is the comfort, which I would rank with the BMWs and Mercedes I've owned ... for far less money. Everything about the car seems so very well thought out. Mine has the 2.5L 4-cylinder, and while not a candidate for drag racing, it's definitely quicker than other reviews had led me to expect, and it handles extremely well for a car with such high ground clearance. I'd recommend the Outback to anyone. Side note: I've rented a Forester, and I much prefer the Outback.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

silky smooth

by from Northwest , In on November 21, 2011

This is my first Subaru. I've only had it for about 1000 miles right now. First off , I really like how this generation of Outbacks (2005-09) handle. I knew in the first 100 feet of my test drive that...
This is my first Subaru. I've only had it for about 1000 miles right now. First off , I really like how this generation of Outbacks (2005-09) handle. I knew in the first 100 feet of my test drive that I was driving a car built for people that love to drive. The suspension is firm without being harsh , a nice taut feel to it. Most suprising , how unbelievably smooth this thing is at speed ... any speed really. Between the Michelin tires that came on it and the motor , I think this may be the smoothest riding car I can recall ever being in. You simply cannot feel any buzz or vibration in the car anywhere , unless you are really getting into the gas pedal , which is to be expected. Fuel mileage is not to shabby , about 27.5 on the open highway , about 24mpg on my mixed daily commute. Those numbers are hand calculated , the cars computer is about 1.5 mpg optimistic. Con - Seats are not the most comfortable seats I have been in. It may be that I need to get used to them , but the first weekend I had it I had to do a 4 hour road trip , not entirely pleasant. I don't care for the angle of the seat bottom , and if things are unpleasant at the bottom , the misery works its way to the top eventually. In my 35 minute daily commute , I haven't really noticed it though , and may actually be getting used to it. Powerwise , the 4 banger is sufficent for 90% or better of your typical driving needs. It is geared really well , tons of pep off the line , but runs out of steam up top like every other 4 cylinder out there. Bottom line , I'm really digging this car ... can't wait till winter to see what AWD does for me. i know it won't be a snow machine like my F250 Super Duty diesel 4x4 was , but I'm curious how well it will go.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Got what I was looking for

by from Mill Valley, CA on August 23, 2011

This is my first Subaru. I'm really happy with it. It's a good combination of functional and sporty. I have a 5 year old so I wanted a car that had good safety features and had room to carry the gear ...
This is my first Subaru. I'm really happy with it. It's a good combination of functional and sporty. I have a 5 year old so I wanted a car that had good safety features and had room to carry the gear associated with being an active outdoor family. I was considering a Volvo V70 too, which seemed a little roomier, and just as safe and reliable. I felt like the Subaru's 4 wheel drive might give me better performance during the occasional trips from the SF Bay Area into the winter weather of the Sierras, and it had a better turning radius which is good for the narrow roads in our town. I also liked the styling of the Subaru a little better. I'm six feet tall so the Outback it does feel a little tight, but not in an uncomfortable way. The "cockpit" just feels like it wraps around you and doesn't have any "extra" space. Everything else that I like about the car seems to make up for that so far, although I could imagine it starting to feel a little too tight if I was on a long road trip. Overall, it seems like a good car and pretty much what I was looking for.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

'08 Outback - great!

by from Boston, MA on April 9, 2012

I have owned my used '08 Subaru Outback for about two months, and so far so good! The interior is very comfortable and the layout of the various features/gadgets/controls is practical. I love the carg...
I have owned my used '08 Subaru Outback for about two months, and so far so good! The interior is very comfortable and the layout of the various features/gadgets/controls is practical. I love the cargo room in the back, and the back seats are fairly roomy as far as back seats go. Thus far, the engine seems to run great too. I have a PZEV Outback, which is loud when you initially turn the car on, but it subsides after 20 - 30 seconds, and it runs very smoothly/quietly after that. Highway mileage has been fabulous (about 30 mpg), although my only complaint really thus far is the city mileage (and I drive in the city a lot). The car only gets 15 to 17 mpg in the city for me. All in all though, I am extremely pleased with my purchase thus far!!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Solid and Sexy

by from southern Maryland on August 27, 2010

The 2008 Subaru LL Bean wagon with the H-6 engine is a fantastic combination of solid performance, design, and visual appeal. Fuel economy is better than on my 2005 wagon, and the subtle changes to th...
The 2008 Subaru LL Bean wagon with the H-6 engine is a fantastic combination of solid performance, design, and visual appeal. Fuel economy is better than on my 2005 wagon, and the subtle changes to the exterior change it from acceptable to "wow" in appearance. IT even has a "snap-in" feature in the cargo area for an animal transport cage. Yes, the front seats are a tiny bit narrow, but that's the worst feature you'll find on the car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

New Subie Convert

by from Wyoming on October 7, 2007

I chose the Outback XT Ltd for its combination of power, all-wheel drive, road clearance, and reliability. The looks, features, and refinement of the latest generation got my interest going. The ride ...
I chose the Outback XT Ltd for its combination of power, all-wheel drive, road clearance, and reliability. The looks, features, and refinement of the latest generation got my interest going. The ride is fairly firm but well-dampened, and very quiet at 75 mph+. It is easy to blow past 80 without realizing it. The body feels very solid. The seats are firm but not too, and have excellent, adjustable lumbar support. Visibility is good all around. There's a little turbo lag. The stick shift has nice, short throws and is pretty crisp. The first four gears are well-spaced, but a taller 5th or better yet a 6th gear might improve fuel economy. Still, the transmission is well suited to the engine and is a pleasure to use. Handling is good except toward the limits. There's good on-center steering, but turn-in is slow and hesitant. If the driver has set up properly for a curve, body lean and understeer are mild. However, an abrupt lane change or correction makes it feel like the rear is about to slide. So I've doubts about emergency maneuvers and the ability of the stability control to cope. It seems this is mostly the fault of the OEM Bridgestone Potenzas: they’re squirmy under higher cornering forces. Tires with a stronger sidewall and grippier tread would most likely help. Fuel economy is about what I expected; not shabby, not great: 19-20 mpg in town, 26-27 highway. I have some quibbles. The auto climate control hunts for the set temperature. The audio and climate controls are too small to find by feel and lack intuitive simplicity. However, kudos for the steering wheel stereo mute button. It'd be nice to have auto-up to go with the auto-down driver window. An MPG gauge residing within the speedometer bobs in rhythm to the accelerator. The seat cushions could be a little longer (I'm 5'11"). The back seats could use a little more leg and foot room. Other reviewers have complained about the lack of interior lighting. Perhaps Subaru fixed this on 08's because the front reading lights go on with the rest of the lights providing adequate light. Cargo area is sufficient but a little tight for my two Labs. The front seats have to be moved forward to accommodate the rear headrests. Quibbles asides, I'm very pleased with my new Subie. It goes from rough trailhead to long-legged interstate flyer without missing a beat. Count me a Subie convert.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Another great Outback

by from on April 18, 2011

This is my third, before a 1996 and still have a 2004 (6cyl). These are amazingly reliable vehicles. The 2 I have now have 220,000 miles total, no unexpected repairs, lots of Wisconsin to coasts trips...
This is my third, before a 1996 and still have a 2004 (6cyl). These are amazingly reliable vehicles. The 2 I have now have 220,000 miles total, no unexpected repairs, lots of Wisconsin to coasts trips. Mileage on the 2008 26 in the winter, 29 in the summer -- live in rural country, your experience may include much more urban stop-and-go. Problems: all outbacks have troubles with automatic temp heating systems, in my experience. Seats have too little thigh support. But, the 4cyl took me and 3 bigger passengers to the Big Horns with no problem; lots of available power. The back seat passengers liked the size of the 2004 better than 2008. I would buy another, but they've changed the Outback, for the worse I think.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

The best all round vehicle ever!

by from Austin, TX on October 31, 2009

I've had my Outback Turbo XT with manual transmission for just over a year, and I must say that I've found the perfect match! I love how I can change the driving style by a click of the button, if I w...
I've had my Outback Turbo XT with manual transmission for just over a year, and I must say that I've found the perfect match! I love how I can change the driving style by a click of the button, if I want to accelerate off a red light like Andretti, I can by flipping the S# button, and boy do you feel that power! If I want to take it easy on a longer drive or in traffic and conserve gas, flip it to I and I can rest at ease knowing my car is doing its best to conserve energy. The fact that the clearance on my Outback beats most large SUV's is phenomenal for a car this size. I've gone off-roading in Big Bend and I've been able to go down trails Explorers couldn't dream of tackling.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

CR-V What?

by from Gulf Coast, Texas on July 28, 2008

My options for purchase were the CR-V and the Outback. If only I'd been able to take the sub on a fishing trip. I could have saved weeks worth of research on the two cars and purchased the subaru and ...
My options for purchase were the CR-V and the Outback. If only I'd been able to take the sub on a fishing trip. I could have saved weeks worth of research on the two cars and purchased the subaru and been happier driving it! :) After driving 3 small sedans from honda civics to volkswagen jettas I decided that my lifestyle of weekend fishing/camping/mountain biking trips was long overdue for a vehicular face-lift. And my search ended on the crv and the outback. By the books the subaru won because it came in standard transmission and the cr-v did not. I like the std trans on this car because I am able to control the speed and get up and go of it. I didn't like the high revs of the cr-v whenever you gave it the gas. Plus there was no std trans. After driving the outback for a little over a month and putting just under 4,000 miles on it and giving it one heck of a trial, I can honestly say I purchased the right car. Even my wife is happy because the back seats are big enough for the kids on the way. Boy was I glad I chose the subaru. How many times can I say I LOVE THIS CAR. All Wheel Drive and Posi-track or 4 wheel drive ARE NOT the same thing. lol. Big trucks get stuck and I roll right past them. I love it! I've climbed more hills, not gotten stuck and found more fishing holes than one my age can dream of. I can safely carry 2 kayaks on top without the worry or fear that I am over stressing the engine. Conservative driving (55 mph can't do that much anywhere!) with no boats yielded me 33 mpg. Generally in the city and on the road I avg about 26 mpg And the ride... the ride is sooo smooth! My only complaint. And its a personal preference only: the steering wheel has a bar in the middle at the bottom where I like to put my hand. Otherwise, this car is phenomonal. Gas mileage is great (considereing the AWD). The storage capacity is fantastic and the design inside and out is trendy and sporty too. I also like the door handle in the rear hatch door to pull down to close so you don't get fingerprints on the door. The Outback has gone above and beyond any expectations I could ever have for it.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

CRV vs. Outback

by from on May 2, 2009

I own both a 2007 Honda CRV and 2008 Subaru Outback and love them both equally. So much so, that I almost purchased a second CRV in 2008. My wife was logically opposed to owning his and her CRV. Havin...
I own both a 2007 Honda CRV and 2008 Subaru Outback and love them both equally. So much so, that I almost purchased a second CRV in 2008. My wife was logically opposed to owning his and her CRV. Having almost bought an Outback in 2007 I revisted the Outback in 2008 and decided to make the leap. I doubt I've ever researched a car as much as I researched the Outback. The fit and finish on the CRV is superior to the Outback. However, the Outback handles better than the CRV and offers better visibility behind the wheel. One blazing issue with the CRV is that it has two blind spots the size of Texas. I do have to admit that I enjoy driving the Outback more than the CRV, despite the fact that the CRV has better acceleration and crisper breaking. The Outback suffers from cramped rear seating, an unimpressive stereo, and a lack of storage space. Both cars get almost identical gas mileage, about 22.5 MPG, more city than highway. I suggest that anyone interested in either vehicle test drive both and decide their individual merits. Last word, all things being equal, we prefer the Outback when going out on road trips.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?