Monday, October 28, 2013

Used Car Review - Subaru Outback (2006-2009)

For today, Myk Belmonte will feature a vehicle that can do the job but uses less road space.

2006-2009 Subaru Ouback

It was a Tuesday night when I tried to Google search the word "Outback". The results gave me the steakhouse restaurant, that place in Australia, a power company based in the US, and even a 2012 movie. How about the vehicle by Subaru? Well, it wasn't on the top slots, let's move on.

Both versions from the Legacy (Outback) and Impreza (Outback Sport) are made, but let us focus on the former. If the Legacy has a newer model, then the Outback will have its own. What we have on these pages is the third generation model released in 2003, together with the Legacy. There is even a sedan version but was dropped in 2007. Still a favorite among New England and Colorado motorists since they get all wheel drive without the heft of an SUV.

With Subaru's return to the Philippines in 2006, the Outback name was introduced for the first time locally. It carried the 3.0 boxer engine and came in fully equipped. It was sold until 2009, with the fourth generation model launched in October 2009.

Value and Costs
Hate the heft of an SUV? Well, the Outback is a sensible choice for just P700,000-P750,000. With just the Volvo XC70 on the same price range, it is a matter of preferences. With this vehicle having a 3.0 petrol engine, there is a reason for its low resale values.

The Outback is a reliable vehicle, so there is nothing to worry about. Maintenance costs isn't for the cheapo or kuripot ones, with this vehicle having a 3.0 engine. Parts have higher prices and of limited availability, too.

Exterior and Interior
We wouldn't blame you if you mistaken this car as a raised Legacy wagon. Besides, all components are derived from the Legacy. We wouldn't bother that much with the styling since this car does not have the intention of getting stares. There is a huge moon roof and roof rails that would remind you are driving a wagon.

Of course, build quality is top notch with high quality plastics abound. It was good thing that Subaru gave a differentiation from the Legacy, since both vehicles have different personalities. The steering wheel has controls for the audio and cruise control; while the climate controls are blocked by the automatic shifter, but you wouldn't change fan speeds every time. The rotary switch for the SI Drive system is situated in the center tunnel. For the space, well, some might find the rear seat tight but still manageable.

A horizontally opposed 3,000cc six cylinder that has 245hp at 6,000rpm and 297Nm at 4,200rpm is the standard engine. With this vehicle weighing 1,575kg, this engine suits the Outback better and does not have the tendency to strain.

Driving Impressions
You would have tons of driving fun behind the wheel of the Outback. Let's deal with the SI Drive's functions; choose the Intelligent mode for normal driving (city) situations and it will give you good fuel economy (at the expense of slow acceleration), go for Sport mode to reward you with linear acceleration and fast throttle reaction (just step on the pedal and it will speed up), and the Sport Sharp will give you power at the earliest time (you can reach the redline with this). Steering this 4,730mm wagon is easy and keeps you on same ground. Bringing out the worst, it can accomplish well on mud and sand (and even snow, for those who live in North America). The ride can get firm at worst, but still tolerable.

If Volvo can do it, why can't Subaru. With their expertise of churning out all-wheel drive vehicles, they can do it successfully. The Outback has a following among people who wants the practicality of a wagon without the bulkiness of an SUV. Subaru made a winner here.

The Good:
  • Does light off-road tasks
  • Smooth engine
  • Does not hog road space
The Bad:
  • Power sapping automatic transmission
  • Somewhat tight back seat
  • Can be costly to maintain
The Pick: 3.0 R

Engine: 3,000cc EZ30 F6 gasoline
Power: 245hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 297Nm @ 4,200rpm
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 7-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P2,240,000
Price (Now): P700,000-P750,000
Rivals: Volvo XC70
On Sale: 2006-2009

Subaru Greenhills - (02) 727-3687
Subaru Global City - (02) 822-4389
Subaru Alabang - (02) 519-7123

Photos courtesy of

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