2004 Subaru Outback Overview


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2004 Subaru Outback Overview

On the cusp of middle age, Subaru celebrates its 35th year by issuing a 35th Anniversary Special Edition wagon in its 2004 Subaru Outback lineup. With the 3.0-liter, 212-hp, 6-cylinder engine and 4-speed automatic, it varies from the other 3.0 wagons only in its unique badging and alloy wheels. The only other significant changes to the all-wheel drive SUV alternative are new 16-inch tires for the VDC models and upgraded leather trim for the shifter and steering wheel in the Outback Limited and L.L. Bean Edition.

The 2004 Outback's full-time all-wheel drive is accompanied by a standard limited slip rear differential, and makes the transition smoothly from city to country roads. A 7.3-inch ground clearance, lower body cladding, large tires, and heavy duty suspension can tackle tough driving conditions, though it's not an off-road vehicle, due to lack of low range gearing. A 2.5-liter, 165-hp H4 engine powers the base wagon and Limited sedan and wagon. A 3.0-liter, 212-hp H6 powers the 3.0 sedan, VDC sedan and wagon, and L.L. Bean Edition wagon. All models have ABS brakes and dual front airbags, with all but the base model having side impact as well. The 2004 Outback earns five stars in front crash test ratings. For maximum stability, the VDC models come with variable torque distribution, traction control, and a stability system, which can also be turned off if desired. All models have heated seats and mirrors, power driver's seat, cruise control, and keyless entry. Leather seats, a sunroof, 6-CD player, and wood accents are added with the Limited, Bean, and VDC models.

Holding nearly as much cargo as SUVs, but improving on the safety, handling, and fuel economy (22/29 mpg), the 2004 Outback is popular with families. Rear seats are comfortable for children, but have limited adult legroom. The wagons are great for camping or other outdoor activities, and feature a cargo cover and roof rack. AWD is the Outback's biggest selling point, but drivers also like that it's quiet and smooth, and praise its overall reliability. Cargo room is spacious, and the 6-cylinder has good pickup and power. The 4-cylinder suffers a bit in the power department, and owners say the seats lack comfort and support for long trips. Cupholders are poorly placed, and the interior plastic looks cheap. There is reported wind noise at high speeds.


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    Subaru Outback Questions

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