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2012 Subaru Outback

$7,954 — $18,538 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
21-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 6 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

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

What to Know

about 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

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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

 

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
73 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

A dependable car on snowy roads.

by Shonuff from Yucaipa, CA on November 15, 2018

This car met all my needs, it has plenty of leg room both in the front and back seats, very comfortable, nice seat warmers, and lots of room for your stuff. Read full review

(4.0)

LIving up to expectations

by miagooch from Philadelphia, PA on October 16, 2018

Car has exceptional room. Comfortable with many seat positions. Handles well. Accelerates moderately. Back seat is comfortable for passengers. No USB ports and only 2 lighter outlets. Drives well with ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Subaru Outback currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Subaru Outback has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Subaru

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 years/80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    Coverage available for purchase

  • Powertrain

    7 years/100,000

  • Dealer Certification Required

    152-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Outback Stories

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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