NEW
Take our quiz & meet the car you’ll love.
2012 Outback

Consumer Reviews

2012 Subaru Outback

$5,621 - $16,665  MSRP Range
2012 Subaru Outback

Review Score

4.7 out of 5 stars

4.7

85 Reviews
96% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.7 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.5 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.8 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.4 out of 5 stars Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

Have You Driven the 2012 Subaru Outback?

Write Your Review
Write Your Review

What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 85 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

So far, an excellent choice

by Mr. Excitement from Des Moines, IA on Sun Jan 08 2012

I purchased the 2012 Outback 3.6R after test driving both the 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder versions and going with performance and ease of merging with fast traffic over better gas mileage. I bought this car in Phoenix for the AWD and cargo capacity and drove it to Iowa, where we now live -- and where it has yet to snow substantially. It figures. The car is surprisingly comfortable, quiet and agile in traffic. Fully loaded with cargo, there is a slight sway in the rear at high speeds (80 mph+), which I noticed driving relatively tight turns in the mountains of northern Arizona. However, a car like this is not meant to "hug" the highway, and one has to drive a station wagon with some common sense. It has fantastic pickup, but gas mileage is not the best (22 mpg combined city and highway). I have the fully loaded version -- navigation, back up camera (nice feature), moonroof, etc. The "premium" radio is a disappointment, and certainly not up to the quality of the radio in the 2002 Acura RL I sold recently. However, it's adequate if you fiddle for awhile with the settings. It's nice to integrate the cell phone through the car's electronics, although I haven't used it that much. Heating and cooling systems work as advertised; everything is logically laid out. I was somewhat disappointed to learn that the back seats don't fold down completely flat, but it's not a deal breaker. I have 3500 miles on it so far, with no rattles and zero problems. I looked at the 2012 Audi Avant A4 wagon, and while I loved the ride and "feel" of German engineering, I didn't buy it because of the cost of servicing it and reported reliability issues on some Audis. The Outback sits up a bit like an SUV, but it drives more like a car and is easy to get in and out of. So far, I can recommend this car enthusiastically.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

29 out of 29 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

Best of Both Worlds

by Long Distance Voyager from Twin Cities, MN on Wed Oct 12 2011

It scares this mid-50s owner to say this but, the Outback 2.5i Limited is a FUN car to drive. Coming out of a sedan was a hard decision. The Outback has lived up to all of my expectations. It has plenty of comfort, room and versatility for a long trip outdoors or to haul friends around town. The 2.5i engine and fuel tank offer the best highway range for a CUV, all while keeping up with the traffic. Don't worry about loosing the 6-CD changer with the 2012 year. The new model will take anything coming through a USB port or audio jack, even a memory stick with mp3 or wma audio files. Is it a perfect machine? No. Subaru should offer a gray leather seat color option for ALL exterior colors. The ivory color is bound to get dirty after a few month's use, maybe sooner if the jeans get wet after a hike in the rain. The headrest does not cradle my head as much as desired, probably because of a safety regulation.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

Not one thing to complain about!

by Subaru Convert from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada on Sun Oct 14 2012

Don't let anyone tell you that a Subaru is just for the old and slow. We live in Alberta, Canada, which means that we usually endure 6 months of snow, ice and cold. After spending another winter shovelling our way out of our street, we decided to look for a new 4-wheel drive to replace our reliable, but useless in snow, 06 Corolla. After extensive research we narrowed it down to 3 - the Subaru Outback, Acura RDX and Toyota Venza. Test drove all three and found both the Venza and RDX behind the Outback in styling, safety, mpg, comfort and last but not least- co$t. We purchased the 2012 2.5l Ltd model. Some might opt for the V-6 but we found that the "4-banger" has lots of power and gets a lot better gas milage(we averaged about 29mpg so far). Now, bring on winter and by the way, we are both in our late 60's but still travel a lot. Both our son and daughter are now considering Subarus for their respective families.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

2012 Outback 2.5i Limited

by new to subaru from California on Sat Apr 14 2012

5500 miles after first long road trip: 30-34.8 mpg on the flat highways was a real surprise. Around town averages 24-25. Very comfortable. I marked down on performance only because the hill climbs seemed to eat gas and really had to work hard. If I went slow and steady it performed great and still had power to accelerate if I needed. I also notice the CVT noise but it dosent seem overwhelming. Plenty of room for everyone and I love the little convenience touches. I am in a bad area for XM but thats the only complaint. I really do love the car and am completely sold on Subaru.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

4 out of 5 stars

Safe, Reliable but this is ridiculous

by One Nitpick from Maryland on Fri Jan 29 2016

Wife has been driving this car for four years, loves it. Great in the snow, plenty of room for grandkids and/or dogs. It's been very reliable inspite of her lack of regular maintenance. BUT; One of the headlights went out, figured I'd pop the hood and install a new bulb. Not so easy! Google it. Some owners suggest removing the fender to get in there. At the least you must remove the wheel well liner and then still need elf hands to get up in there. A hassle for the owner but a bonanza for the dealer!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

I'm impressed!

by Sold On Subaru from Weaverville, NC on Sat Dec 03 2011

I've owned my 2012 Outback 2.5i Limited for about 6 weeks and am thrilled with it. Subarus are the car of choice in the mountains of Asheville, NC. I love the AWD, the safety features, and the car is gorgeous! The Continously Variable Transmission is a great new feature, providing more power and better performance than the automatic transmissions of old. I love the new blue tooth and the USB port for my iPhone--I'm having no problems with the Harmon Kardon stereo system. I recommend this car without reservation--you won't be disappointed!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

First Subaru, and I'm in love!

by Dingo 8 from Gary, IN on Tue Mar 27 2012

I purchased the 3.6 engine, and just love it. The pick up is fantastic! I'm also a huge fan of the fit and finish inside, as well as the exterior styling. The headroom cannot be beat. The seats leave a wee bit to be desired in terms of comfort- I had to play with mine for quite a while until I was able to get it perfectly comfortable. To be fair, my last car essentially had the seat cushion of practically a La-Z-Boy recliner- way plush and squishy. However, given the handling of the Outback, sitting a bit more upright and supported is a good thing. I would unequivocally recommend this. I'm a convert. Just so you know, I previously owned a Jetta Wagon-VR6.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

Above expecations

by Traveler from St. Louis on Thu Sep 27 2012

We have owned our new Outback for 6 weeks, and have already put 3000 miles on it. My wife and I choose to purchase because we both loved the styling and the extra room it has. Coming from owning a Mazda Protege5 the outback offered much more room, more power, AWD, and so much more. I was a bit worried about getting lower gas mileage, but boy have I been shocked. Durring out latest Trip a total of 1923 miles we got 30.3 mpg. Over all 3276 miles on the car now getting 29.5 mpg Wow thats above what I expected. We had driven for 12 hours straight and we were both vary comfortable the whole time. Gauges are in perfect distance while driving. Their are a few minor flaws such as seeing the wiper settings (blocked by the shifter paddles) quality of the basic sound system. The CVT transmission works great and is smooth during acleration. Although when the air condition is own and you slow down it is a bit jumpy. I must say the Outback's ride is smooth taking bumps in the road fantastic. Over all giving the car 5 stars for getting more out of it then we expected.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

4 out of 5 stars

Great car but.........

by rf8892 from Rockford, il on Thu Jan 05 2012

Recently purchased my Outback 2.5 premium and am very happy with the car. The gas mileage is great compared to the 07 Hyundai Sante Fe it replaced. However, I did not go for the top-of-the-line stereo and now wish that I had. I'm 51 years old, have purchased a lot of vehicles since 1976 and I must say this is in the bottom 3 for sound quality. You would think they would include a better sound system for something that costs over 27000 dollars.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

5 out of 5 stars

So far great

by 2can from Mpls, Mn on Sat Apr 28 2012

We purchased the 2.5 premium model and so far are very happy. The visibility is great, super comfortable and rides very smooth for a crossover. It has great cargo room. We drive 50/50 city/hwy and we are getting 25mpg. The only disappointment is the sound system. My 2000 Cavalier and 2006 CRV had a better sound system. We will be adding a hitch to tow a smaller boat so will be curious as to how it handle that.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Your feedback has been sent to Cars.com

Next
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Our Take on the 2012 Subaru Outback

Editor’s note: This review was written in September 2010 about the 2011 Subaru Outback. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2012, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

Somewhere amid the parade of crossovers and wagon-like vehicles is the Subaru Outback. Once merely a version of the Legacy wagon, which has since been discontinued, it’s now a household name among family-car shoppers. Indeed, a year after its redesign, the Outback has sold more than the competing Toyota Venza and Honda Accord Crosstour combined.

The Outback’s formula for success is no secret. Where others have tried in so... Read More