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2008 Outback

Consumer Reviews

2008 Subaru Outback

$3,066 - $11,070  MSRP Range
2008 Subaru Outback

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

49 Reviews
98% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.3 out of 5 stars Performance
4.7 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 49 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Tremendous Value

by Geno from Placerville, CA on Fri 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

46 out of 46 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

CR-V What?

by Ninetyfivem3 from Gulf Coast, Texas on Mon Jul 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

32 out of 32 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

An Absolute Joy

by An Old Lady Car Fanatic from Tacoma, WA on Sat Dec 08 2007

I've owned only CR-Vs as my utility vehicle, but have always admired the Outback. I am a car fanatic, and have had more cars than I can count in my day. In October 07, I finally joined the Subaru fold and I haven't looked back! My 08 Outback Si automatic is the gorgeous Newport Blue. Having the heated cloth seats in the Pacific Northwest makes every drive a joy. Maybe focusing on the heated seats first trivializes what is overall the most practical, comfortable and best handling AWD on the market today, but finding heated CLOTH seats without having to buy leather was a key selling point for me! I researched for months before finally test driving the Outback. Again and again, reviewers noted that the 4cylinder automatic did not have enough power. After test driving the Outback for an afternoon, I found this assertion to be wrong for my type of driving. Not once did I feel I didn't have adequate merging, passing, or climbing power. I was sold on the Outback, and took advantage of Costco invoice pricing and the $1500 rebate. More important to me than jackrabbit starts are handling, safety and ride comfort. My 08 Subie has all in spades. The turning radius and "point and go" handling is confidence inspiring as is the ground clearance of the AWD. WA state just experienced horrific flooding, and after driving my Subie through torrential downpours for days in a row, I was amazed at how solidly she hugs the road. Not a single moment of hydroplaning or slippage. Two weeks ago, I put my two dachshunds on their dog bed in the back and headed to the WA coast. Averaging 29 mpg on that trip was a delight, and I had great fun putting the Subie through the twisty roads. It's no wonder the Outback is one of the most popular vehicles in the Northwest. It is a beautiful piece of engineering with a much needed interior freshening. My only request of Subaru at this point would be to put auto up windows and auto locking door features in. But, that is just a tiny quibble. I would not hesitate to recommend an Outback to anyone looking for something more practical, cheaper and with better handling characteristics than an SUV.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Solid and Sexy

by Fred from southern Maryland on Fri Aug 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 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The best all round vehicle ever!

by El Lobo Gris from Austin, TX on Sat Oct 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Another great Outback

by hartman5551 from on Mon Apr 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. 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.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

New Subie Convert

by Coop from Wyoming on Sun Oct 07 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 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.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Quality and value....great in Montana winters

by Tregs from Helena,Montana on Sun Jul 06 2008

I've bought six new vehicles in the last 10 years and finally found a car that isn't in and out of the shop.Reliabilty and value is great.Were photographer's and spend much time in the mountains of Montana.The all-wheel drive system, along with the VDC gives you the confidence in the snow we need to go just about anywhere.I always feel in control with the Outback.Plenty of room for our equipment and easy to access.Well built and solid....Were totally impressed.Certainly buy another one.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Great car for woods or snow but also the Highway!

by Al from 07042 on Tue Apr 25 2017

This is a great car for the woods or snow, as everyone knows, but also a very comfortable car on the highway as well. This is a great little car that is super practical and certainly safe. I would enthusiastically recommend this vehicle to anyone who needs a reliable, reasonably fun vehicle for family trips, outdoor activities, snowy terrain or highway driving.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Subarus are for Moderates! IMMODERATELY Good Car!

by Successful PhD professional; scientific writer from Philadephia Suburbs on Wed Jul 11 2007

I owned a 2001 Impreza previously; its phenomenal AWD ability to dodge unexpected obstacles in the road at full speed saved me from very serious injury/death at least twice! Don't walk away from near-death lightly; I replaced that worthy trooper with an automatic transmission 2008 2.5i Outback: outstanding choice! This car is a good, solid, cargo-carrying jewel. This car is for sensible people who don't believe that it's all about drag-racing to the next stoplight; this crate would go through anything but water deep enough to float in! I was amazed to discover that I recently got 33.3 mpg going from Gettysburg to Phila suburbs! Show me another AWD which can do that? Excellent assertive styling; sufficient power-to-mass ratio to keep you out of trouble; it would not be realistic to consider this solid intrepid car underpowered. It is a great overall car and I wouldn't hestitate to drive it to the Yukon; you pick the season. Excellent feature to have IPOD aux plug to connect to your stereo! Great rugged styling, best Outback ever built. Handling is positively silky for a car this large; wonderful. Third Subaru I ever drove, and man I love this car; well done Subaru...I wouldn't drive anything else anymore. Seriously consider getting Satin White; this ain't a refrigerator white; it glows like silk...

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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

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Our Take on the 2008 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback gets a little better for 2008, in part because it’s been cleanly separated from its Legacy sibling: Now, the Outback is only a wagon, the Legacy is only a sedan. The Outback is as competent as any Subaru product of late, but it hasn’t shaken the automaker’s characteristic rough edges.

Some may appreciate these Subaru-isms, which give the car a distinct feeling and, at the very least, spare it the anonymity that plagues too many midsize cars. Others will feel the opposite: that the quirks are too hard to accept and, with a few compromises, something more conventional can meet their needs.

The Basics
The Outback gets a few styling changes for 2008, most notably a... Read More