2012 Subaru Outback

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$8,587–$19,047 Inventory Prices
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Subaru Outback. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Price and fuel efficiency
  • Off-road capability
  • Strong six-cylinder drivetrain
  • Ride comfort
  • Backseat and cargo room
  • Handling

The Bad

  • Some inconsistent cabin materials
  • Uninspiring four-cylinder drivetrain
  • Braking performance when loaded
  • Front-seat thigh support for taller drivers

Notable Features of the 2012 Subaru Outback

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine
  • Revised roof-rack crossbar design
  • Manual or automatic
  • Newly available stereos

2012 Subaru Outback Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The five-seat Subaru Outback is an alternative to traditional crossovers. Though Outback sedans existed in previous years, the current Outback is only available as a wagon with a tall stance. It competes with models like the Toyota Venza and Volvo XC70.

New for 2012
For 2012, all Premium models have a new CD stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free phone connectivity and iPod compatibility. A newly optional Harman Kardon stereo features a 4.3-inch screen, song-tagging capability and satellite radio. The roof rack's crossbars have a new design, too.

Exterior
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Outback's stance is taller than most wagons. Standard on the base 2.5i are 16-inch steel wheels; 17-inch alloys come on all other trim levels. Like the Legacy, the Outback's headlights recall Nissan and Infiniti designs, but the prominent bumper distinguishes it more than the Legacy. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Standard body side moldings
  • Available 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Projector beam headlights
  • Available power moonroof

Interior
The Outback's cargo space is a bit deeper and wider than the prior generation, but its overall size and shape aren't quite as versatile as those found in some small SUVs. The backseat is split, 60/40 and folds down to extend the cargo area forward. Interior features include:

  • Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise-control buttons
  • Standard keyless entry
  • Available ...
Vehicle Overview

The five-seat Subaru Outback is an alternative to traditional crossovers. Though Outback sedans existed in previous years, the current Outback is only available as a wagon with a tall stance. It competes with models like the Toyota Venza and Volvo XC70.

New for 2012
For 2012, all Premium models have a new CD stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free phone connectivity and iPod compatibility. A newly optional Harman Kardon stereo features a 4.3-inch screen, song-tagging capability and satellite radio. The roof rack's crossbars have a new design, too.

Exterior
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Outback's stance is taller than most wagons. Standard on the base 2.5i are 16-inch steel wheels; 17-inch alloys come on all other trim levels. Like the Legacy, the Outback's headlights recall Nissan and Infiniti designs, but the prominent bumper distinguishes it more than the Legacy. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Standard body side moldings
  • Available 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Projector beam headlights
  • Available power moonroof

Interior
The Outback's cargo space is a bit deeper and wider than the prior generation, but its overall size and shape aren't quite as versatile as those found in some small SUVs. The backseat is split, 60/40 and folds down to extend the cargo area forward. Interior features include:

  • Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise-control buttons
  • Standard keyless entry
  • Available Bluetooth audio streaming capability
  • Available dual-zone climate control

Under the Hood
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter six-cylinder come in the 2.5i and 3.6R models, respectively, delivering 170 horsepower and 256 hp. Mechanical features include:

  • 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • 256-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder
  • Six-speed manual transmission (2.5-liter)
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission with manual mode (2.5-liter)
  • Five-speed automatic (3.6-liter)
  • Standard all-wheel drive

Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist
  • Electronic stability system
  • Side-impact airbags
  • Side curtain airbags for front and rear seats

 


Latest 2012 Outback Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Great all around car

by DaleL from Utica NY on March 30, 2018

Hard to find another vehicle that has the room, all wheel drive and still rides like a car while still getting nearly 30 mpg. The way it handles, all most makes me wish for snow. Read full review

(5.0)

Great vehicle to own

by Btsumerix4 on March 23, 2018

The outback is great in the snow and has tons of room. It also does fairly well on gas. The outback drives very smooth and handles nicely Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Subaru Outback currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Subaru Outback has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Subaru

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original date of first use. Roadside assistance: 1 year from date of purchase
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 152 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Outback received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker