What’s Outback really like? How does it drive? Get the inside story from owners and motoring press experts


I have a 2003 Subaru Outback. It is still going strong and has been a reliable and excellent vehicle. It drives very well and feels safe and secure on the rural roads where we live. I have not wished to change it and think it likely that it will give many more years of good service

Subaru Outback
Richard of Ross Shire, 2018

There has to be a reason why once you’ve bought a Subaru – you will almost always buy another. My Outback isn’t the most powerful car in its class, it isn’t necessarily the most comfortable, it isn’t the most economical car to run (on paper!) and it isn’t the cheapest out there – so why am I now on my 4th Outback and probably my 10th Subaru from over the past 30 years? Well it isn’t ‘the best’ in any single aspect – but I remain convinced it is the best car out there and I’d like to try and explain here why we Subaru owners have such strong ties to our cars, be they Outbacks, Foresters (as my wife drives) or XVs (as driven by my mother in law). I could comment on the fact that many marques claim to be more economical to run, but when real world motoring in a ‘like for like’ product is compared, I believe the Subaru is actually more economical overall than other premium marques. In probably approaching 1 million miles in Subarus, I’ve only ever had one car which was of ‘average’ reliability – and that was the original XT Turbo which quite simply was way too far ahead of its time for an early eighties car. Other than the XT and besides routine servicing and wearing items like tyres or brake components I have never had to spend money on repairs. Couple this to the fact that I haven’t had to make do without a car for any more than a day at a time is a considerable saving compared to other marques where customers are routinely left without cars for several days a year. Over the past 30 years since I bought my first 1800 GLF, I have strayed into other marques believing the marketing machines that a premium German brand was more reliable or economical or durable – and I have always been disappointed and then traded back in for a Subaru. There is something quite special about returning to a Subaru after driving another marque which is hard to quantify – and the best way I can express it is that Subaru is Family! Where the Subaru beats the competition isn’t that it’s best in any one area it’s that it’s way above average in all aspects. There is however one area where the Subaru surpasses every brand that I’ve experienced and that’s dependability. Dependability is something a little more than reliability, although this of course is exceptional in the Subaru. Over the years I’ve depended on my Subaru to get me down an Alpine road when an unseasonal snow storm hit – and that was on summer tyres with no chains. I’ve depended on my Subaru when my wife had complications in labour to get me through torrential rain and gale force winds on the 25 mile drive to our nearest hospital. I’ve depended on the primary safety of the Subaru’s brakes and adhesion whilst swerving to avoid a ‘smidsy’ with my five year old son in the back. I know I can depend on my Subaru when a crisis looms – and it never lets me down on those occasions. The Subaru becomes a faithful, trustworthy part of the family. There are genuinely tears in our house when it’s time to trade an old Subaru in for a new one – after all our Subaru’s are family!

Subaru Outback
Peter of SKIPTON, 2018

Great - we like it. Comfortable and reliable

Subaru Outback
Gwendoline of AYLESBURY, 2018

I love the whole driving experience

Subaru Outback
Tom of Leeds, 2018

I have been very satisfied with the Outback since I acquired it. I have also been very happy with Carstins as a garage. Being very impressed with the brand my husband has just bought an XV from Carstins.

Subaru Outback
Elizabeth of COVENTRY, 2018

Our Subaru Outback is a vehicle that is quite exceptional in meeting our needs. Most important is that, despite being a "large" vehicle by UK standards, my wife - an IAM member - feels totally confident in quite variable four seasons conditions met here in the Scottish Highlands. A lusty 2.5 litre petrol engine returning some 40mpg - we have always used fuel tank catalysts in our vehicles - a huge capacity required for grandchildren and dogs and the low slung boxer engine plus AWD gives excellent road holding. It is, for us, the perfect vehicle, supremely easy to drive and comes up sparkling after ten minutes with a sponge and soapy water and a hose down. Well designed, excellently engineered and well supported by an excellent local dealer, the car is a pleasure to own.

Subaru Outback
Colin of BANCHORY, 2018


"Perhaps the best tribute we can pay to this now well-sorted car is that, despite a heavy schedule, atrocious weather and busy roads we never once felt stressed out. Here’s a car that’s always a pleasure to drive."

Subaru Outback
Belfast Telegraph, 21 April 2017

"Off-road, the Outback's permanent, symmetrical all-wheel-drive system helps it to stand out among its peers. Its approach, departure and break-over angles are greater than those of most rivals, too, helping you traverse even deeply rutted tracks with greater confidence"

Subaru Outback
Autocar, 05 April 2017

"Can Subarus still go off road? Well yeah they clearly can, obviously some more extreme than others"

Subaru Outback
CarKeys, 06 January 2017

"What a practical, capable car this is. It's Subarus flagship vehicle, selling in the hundreds of thousands world-wide and it's one that perfectly reflects the Brands' core values. It's hugely able on the road, nearly imperious off it, has acres of space inside and cabin quality has moved up a notch too."

Subaru Outback
Parker's Car Guide, 23 November 2016

"That's because its proven all-wheel-drive system allows the car to go almost anywhere, anytime, under almost any circumstance. This means that on those days where it should really be a snow day, but the school district just won't cancel, your kids are going to be the ones getting to school. "

Subaru Outback
Business Insider UK, 15 March 2016

"If the current crop of fashion-led SUV's bring you out in a rash, Subaru's polished yet no-nonsense Outback offers a good blend of versatility, useful technology, all weather practicality and understated style."

Subaru Outback
The Scotsman, 27 March 2015


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