2008 Subaru Outback

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2008 Subaru Outback Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Subaru Outback was new.

The 2008 Outback receives a very good ranking for its plentiful power, impressive off-road capability and reassuring crash test results. But the Outback can't match the fuel economy or fine-tuned transmissions of others in its class.

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.5
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged and V6 engines
  • Confidence-inspiring all-wheel drive
  • Excellent crash test results
  • Disappointing transmission performance
  • Cramped back seat

2008 Subaru Outback Overview

The 2008 Subaru Outback combines a car-like ride with an SUV's off-road prowess and exterior styling. As Road and Track puts it, "The Outback combines the virtues of a small SUV with carlike ride and handling." In fact, many seem to view SUVs as the Outback's primary competition. It's the Outback's SUV appeal that makes it a standout wagon.

For 2008, Subaru has made a number of changes, including a redesigned instrument panel and revised interior fabrics. While the Outback is beginning to creep toward premium territory, auto writers warn that this transformation comes with a heftier price tag.

The Outback is available in the base model, 2.5i, 2.5i L.L. Bean Edition, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Limited L.L. Bean, 2.5 XT Limited or 3.0 R L.L. Bean.

  • "With rugged styling cues, a higher ride height and all-wheel drive, the Subaru Outback Wagon is a reasonable alternative to an upscale SUV." -- Forbes
  • "For 98 percent of America's drivers, there's nothing it won't do better than a herd of traditional SUVs." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Subaru Outback, ride of choice for the fun-loving family-laden driver, gets spruced up for the 2008 model year. Gone is the bulky plastic skirting of previous generations, replaced by more refined styling complete with a chrome-trimmed grille and larger fog lights." -- CNET
  • "There are trendier cars and sportier cars and even more practical cars, but when it comes to blending all three, Subaru deserves whatever attention it gets." -- U.S. News
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