Product Reviews

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The quasi-SUV Outback has an updated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that now produces 173 hp. Paired with a CVT it got 24 mpg overall in our tests. A 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic are also available. Suspension tweaks made the ride considerably stiffer, but did tidy up the sloppy on-limit handling a bit. The Outback showcases Subaru's new EyeSight driver-assist system, with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure warning. The base trim now has an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth capability, but the optional navigation system is not very intuitive.

See Reliability page for the latest 2013 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 Outback wagon has long been a popular all-wheel-drive alternative to a small SUV, especially for those living in more northern climes. It's a very practical package, with great visibility, a roomy back seat and a spacious cargo hold. Fuel economy...

Highs

  • It's the only game in town if you want an affordable family-sized wagon with all-whee drive
  • Versatile and roomy interior and cargo area

Lows

  • Four-cylinder engine is noisy and pickup is sluggish
  • Optional six-cylinder engine is quieter and smoother, but a little thirstier and a lot more expensive

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 (173 hp)
  • 3.6-liter 6 (256 hp)