Product Reviews

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The Outback is a more rugged-looking wagon version of the Legacy. While the body proportions are still wagon-like, the Outback's ground clearance is comparable to an SUV's. Acceleration is just adequate with the 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which can be noisy when pressed. Fuel economy is quite good thanks the CVT transmission. The optional 3.6-liter six-cylinder is quieter and quicker but not as fuel efficient. Handling is responsive in routine driving but becomes sloppy when pushed to the limits. The ride is very comfortable. The cabin is quiet, and rear-seat and cargo space are generous.

See Reliability page for the latest 2012 Subaru Outback recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS available, standard from 2000. ESC available in 2001, standard from 2009. Side air bags available from 2000, standard from 2005. Head protection air bags standard from 2005.

Road Test

The Subaru Outback has a quiet cabin, a spacious rear-seat and a capacious cargo area. Handling is good in routine driving, but clumsy when pushed to the limits. With its four-cylinder engine and CVT, the Outback gets very good fuel economy for this...

Highs

  • Ride, rear seat, fuel economy, controls.

Lows

  • Acceleration, engine noise, slow-acting stability control.

Best Version to Get

Most Outback buyers are likely to get the 2.5i Premium trim level, which includes popular features like alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, and heated front seats. That stickers just shy of $28,000 with the CVT transmission and without added options. A manual transmission is available onl...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (170 hp)
  • 3.6-liter 6 (256 hp)