All About the 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition

The 2009 Subaru Outback was lauded for its offroad abilities and plush interior, and the Special Edition brought a little extra to the base trim.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The 2009 Subaru Outback was well-received for its family station wagon style, blended with high ground clearance and all-wheel drive. It made a comfortable ride for the school carpool and could get you to your destination safely through snow and rough terrain. 
To widen its net for consumers, in 2009, Subaru released the Outback 2.5i Special Edition, which was a step up from the base level and a small step below the
trim. While each trim level has its pros and cons, some drivers opted for the Special Edition over the Limited, not only because of its lower price point but because the Special Edition offered a 5-speed manual transmission, while the Limited did not. 
To learn more about the 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition—and how it stacks up to other trim levels—check out this guide from trusted
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What is the 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition? 

The 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition was a midsize crossover station wagon that brought a few performance perks and comfort upgrades to the line, giving a nice option between the lowest-priced base trim and the costly Limited grade.
Its starting MSRP was about $1,600 more than the base model, starting at $24,895.

2009 Subaru Outback overview

Before we dig into the Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition, let’s take a broad look at the 2009 Subaru Outback across trim levels. 
First, it’s worth noting that the 2009 model would be the last of the Outback’s third generation. It was the last time the model came with an available 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine, and also the last time it was so small. The fourth-generation outback would grow nearly 3 inches by the wheelbase, and about 3.5 inches in width, making for a much larger cabin. 
The 2009 Outback filled a niche market for American drivers. It was a spacious family vehicle with 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space and an AWD system that could tackle bad weather and even a little bit of light off-roading. 
It was an oddity that could comfortably seat five people plus their luggage, get 170 horsepower on the 4-cylinder (and 245 with the flat-six), do some light off-roading with 8.4 inches of ground clearance, and still get a combined 22 mpg
It’s no wonder this model has a dedicated fan following of enthusiasts. 
Key specs (base model)
  • Starting MSRP: $23,295 
  • Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 
  • Horsepower: 170 hp
  • Torque: 230 lb-ft at 6,000 RPM
  • Transmission: Automatic or manual 
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What’s special about the Special Edition?

The Special Edition offered everything that the base trim had, plus a premium Harman Kardon sound system (which came standard for every trim level besides the base). The Special Edition wasn’t much more expensive than the base trim’s MSRP, but it packed a lot of perks. 
Here’s what the Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition added to the Outback’s base trim:
  • Heated front seats
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Power driver’s seat
  • Fog lights
  • Heated side mirrors
  • 17-inch alloy aluminum wheels with performance tires
  • Locking rear differential
MORE: The best used Subaru to buy

2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition vs. Limited

One glaring advantage of the Special Edition over the Limited is that driving enthusiasts would much prefer to have an available 5-speed manual transmission. You can get one on the Special Edition, but not on the Limited trim. You’d have to step up to the Limited XT trim, which was about $3,300 more expensive than the Limited. 
However, the Limited was certainly not without its merits. Here’s what it had to offer, that the Special Edition did not:
  • Privacy glass
  • Standard moonroof or sunroof/moonroof combo
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • CD changer
  • Climate control
  • Dual-zone air conditioning
  • Leather seats
  • Power passenger seat
Even though the 2009 Subaru Outback is now 13 years old, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the trim levels and their respective specs, so you know which grade you prefer when you set out shopping.

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