2010 Subaru Outback: Love/Hate

LHOutback1
My husband and I have officially begun the sometimes-intimidating process of shopping for a new car. If you visited Cars.com over the summer, you likely saw my 11-year-old SUV on the homepage illustrating the government’s Cash for Clunkers program. My car is one major repair — or one major pothole — away from becoming a trade-in.
 
Because of positive reviews from a couple of Cars.com co-workers who own new Subaru Outbacks, the all-wheel-drive wagon has crept onto our shortlist. To say I was looking forward to spending a long weekend driving the Outback is an understatement.
 
Love: Cargo area
The cargo area of the Outback is spacious without making the car look like a grocery getter; there were no flashbacks to ‘80s wagons here. The 60/40-split folding rear seats are standard, increasing the space dramatically without eliminating all the rear seats. Also standard across all trims (in the cargo area only) is the all-weather mat, which is a huge plus in my book. You don’t even want to know what the carpet in the back of my SUV looks like after multiple interstate moves and Christmas tree hauling.
LHOutback2

Hate: Um, uh ... I’ll get back to you
I can nitpick with the best of ‘em, but I really struggled to come up with something I hated about this car. Now that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong with this car — one co-worker mentioned disliking the lack of folding side mirrors, and another had some qualms with the stereo system.  In the limited time I had this car, though, there just wasn’t anything that jumped out at me. It looks like the Outback may get to stay on our shortlist for now.
By Amanda Wegrzyn | February 19, 2010 | Comments (11)

Comments 

DL

one of the best things about that rubber mat in the trunk is that it has a very high lip all around, essentially making it a tray that's relatively spill-proof. that's one of the few things about our '04 Forester I like. ;)

oh, and its complete lack of any stability control = fun drifting sessions on the snow (closed course, professional driver, blah blah)

H

My husband and I have officially begun the sometimes-intimidating process of shopping for a new car.

Why should it be intimidating...you've got Cars.com where confidence comes standard :)

Zack

Love the cars, hate their advertising, especially the one with the moron giving the taxi driver a "thrill" ride. I wish the cabbie would have puked all over that punk's back seat.

steve_mh

While I like the Outback & the Forester, the mpgs aren't so good. Put a diesel in it and I'd buy one tomorrow. Guess I'll have to look at the VWs.

Mike

Subarus are mostly for granola-head weirdos. You can find a normal car for the same money. A regular SUV like a Nissan X-Terra or Jeep does the same thing for less money.

Nate from Oakland

I'm disappointed.

Disappointed that Subaru has given up on the Legacy wagon and now only offers the Outback in North America. Disappointed the diesel isn't here yet. Disappointed that their whole lineup -- Outback, Forester, Tribecca -- look so similar to all the other crossover SUVs from all the other makers.

The non-Outback Legacy wagon was great: same roomy interior as the Outback, but lower to the ground. Less puffy body panels than the Outback (which seems to mirror Pontiac's design model). Lower roof rack for easier loading of bikes and skis and bins and whatever else fits on the roof. Lower tailgate height for the dogs to jump in. Sportier, lower CG handling.

Where the 2010 Outback is suddenly this overgrown yet mini wonder SUV, the Legacy wagon being sold in Europe, Australia and Japan has the clean, sporty lines comperable to sport wagons from VW, Audi, Volvo and BMW. Which are probably some of the brands I'll be looking at when my 2005 Legacy wagon has reached the end of the road.

I know wagons have an image problem for many, but when it comes time for an easy-to-load yet fun-to-drive do-everything, go-everywhere car, their utility can't be beat.

And I can tell you right now that my 5'6" wife would never get her 30 pound bike onto the roof of the new overgrown Outback.

Shorebreak

Are the seats any more comfortable than they were in 2002? I traded mine in after having a continuous backache for six months driving the vehicle. The driver's seat was too hard, too much lumbar jabbing into the lower back (even adjusted all the way in), and with little thigh support. If they are any better now I might consider purchasing a Forester or another Outback.

This is the writer’s choice but still I go for Subaru in my garage room. I never keep myself away to drive this car.

Pulse

"Subarus are mostly for granola-head weirdos. You can find a normal car for the same money. A regular SUV like a Nissan X-Terra or Jeep does the same thing for less money."

But the build quality is horrible on both of the cars you mention.

-happy weirdo with granola bar hanging from mouth

LovingMy2011

I bought a 2011 2 weeks ago and totally delighted with it. It has the 6 speed manual and 2.5 4 cylinder engine. More than enough pick up for highway merging. I am averaging about 27 mpg. Today over a 110 mile trip averaged 33 mpg. Spacious interior and my 95 lb german shepherd loves the hatch area.

Outback Blues

I llike the looks of the Outback, in particular because the back doesn't have that smashed down look like the Honda crv, Nissan, Infiniti etc. but! I hate the following:
1. No memory set buttons for the driver's seat! Wha...?
2. The darned thing SHUTS OFF when you open the door if you have remotely started it (factory installed remote)! The reason they gave? "in case a child opens the door"... ok, I'll just start it twice no problem, I'll absorb that PIA because some parents can't watch their kids...and oh, btw, the remote starter LOCKS the doors first so...there's that. Seriously, who came UP with this "safety feature"?
3. Sunglasses holder only fits very small flat glasses.
4. gas mileage on my 4 cyl is awful.
5. Frankly the smaller version of this car was perfectly adequate, not sure why they bloated it up. Still, it was the least of all the SUV evils for my needs.


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