2006 Subaru Outback from Australia and New Zealand


A lower quality version with a prettier body shell than previous models


I have owned a Outback 1998 before this 2006 Outback, and was happy with it, even though it blew both head gaskets.

I have owned this 2006 for 3/4 of a year, and done 20,000km, and concluded that it is of lesser quality than the 1998 version for these reasons.

1. Similar engine is slower than before.

2. Body shell is thinner than before; I have put dents in it just by leaning on it.

3. The stereo is near impossible to install a line in for an iPod or whatever; it's a molded dash with a radio and CD, with the AC all interlinked.

4. Inner driver's door handle squeaks, as it is made of two components, not one, and gives you a real cheap feeling.

5. Trim around the sun roof falls off, and I had to glue it on.

General Comments:

The car looks better than the earlier models, and has had no mechanical faults under my watch yet. Fingers crossed. It has proved reliable so far, but the quality of the build has definitely fallen from previous years.

I hope the decrease in engine performance has lead to an increase in engine reliability. Only time will tell.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd October, 2010

2006 Subaru Outback Base 2.5 non-turbo from North America


Outstanding Outback!


Had new wire set, spark plugs and coil assembly replaced for $453.00 at 37,583 miles after the car began to occasionally shudder and vibrate after cold start. In 2 days, the check engine light went on/stayed on, the cruise control was inoperative (the Subaru mechanics said the cruise always becomes inoperative, and blinks whenever something goes wrong).

Both headlights went out simultaneously first thing in the morning. The Subaru service department said the "old setup" always goes out in tandem. They supposedly replaced them with "the updated lights" and will fail independently from now on. $100.00 charge.

General Comments:

Otherwise reliable vehicle, only trailing my previous Honda vehicles by a slight margin.

My vehicle does not have the Vehicle Control Dynamics (VDC) feature, and tends to be a bit tail-happy at the limits.

Moderate imperfections in the road while braking tends to upset the efficacy of the car's stopping power, and the ABS kicks in pretty eagerly. Very unnerving when this happens AND you need to stop quickly at the same time.

The stock sound system is quite weak compared to my Honda Accord EX. I'm getting ready to install a set of Infinity Reference speakers in the front doors. Hopefully that will help with the sound quality. I will follow that up with an amplifier and subwoofer, keeping the stock head unit for now since I work in some very unsafe areas in Detroit, and don't want to attract any attention to my car.

Love the windshield wiper warmers, heated side mirrors, heated seats, All Wheel Drive and extra ground clearance in the Michigan winters!

I have the ivory cloth interior, so it's a nice happy place to be.

The temperature, trip odometer., fuel economy displays are much appreciated. It says I can average up to 32 average miles per gallon on mostly freeway driving, despite my relatively aggressive acceleration and hard stops. Not too shabby for an AWD wagon!

This manual transmission helps with acceleration, and the automatic trans. is a dog, but you don't buy this vehicle (especially in wagon form) to go racing. That said, it is a flexible, reliable and very enjoyable vehicle all around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2010

2006 Subaru Outback 2.5 from North America


Great value for small family who wants to be active, but doesn't want a big honkin' SUV


Brake rotors and pads replaced at 50,000.

Front and rear suspension bushings replaced.

Two sets of tires.

General Comments:

The good:

Great car handles well and has plenty of power for a 4 cylinder. Good gas mileage too for AWD.

A bit small on the inside - not a ton of room in the back for an infant seat and other stuff or people. Probably 2 car seats is the limit.

Top-notch interior materials - feels like it should cost way more than it does.

Safe! Plenty of airbags.

Reliable - car hardly has any problems. Bought it as a former rental car with 7K miles, and looking forward to running it to 250+

AWD is fantastic in the snow.

The bad:

Stock tires were cheap and had to be replaced at 23,000.

AWD means you will wear through tires faster than the tire ratings say.

New brakes needed at 50,000 - but that's a wear and tear item.

* Suspension bushings needed to be replaced * - from what I can tell this is the only major issue with this model year. Subaru has not issued a recall, though they probably should since these parts should not wear out as quickly as they did. A $250-$350 job per pair of bushings, depending on where you get it done.

Dealer service is pricey, get a good independent mechanic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2009