Model Details

2012 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

4.6
Average based on 44 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 44 reviews

So far, an excellent choice

by from Des Moines, IA on January 8, 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...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

Outback really got the roof rack WRONG!

by from St. Paul, MN on August 13, 2012

I have owned 4 Subaru vehicles in my life -- 3 Outbacks and 1 Forrester. Wasn't a big fan of the Forrester -- but have always liked the Outback. It was perfect for me -- a single female, a roof that w...
I have owned 4 Subaru vehicles in my life -- 3 Outbacks and 1 Forrester. Wasn't a big fan of the Forrester -- but have always liked the Outback. It was perfect for me -- a single female, a roof that was 'reachable' for loading bikes, kayaks and canoes, excellent in winter driving conditions, and great safety ratings. I just turned in my lease on the Forrester for a 2012 Outback -- and couldn't be more disappointed with the roof rack. All previous Outbacks had a roof rack that served a person's needs just great. Not the new one. That one feature has colored how I feel about the Outback in every other category. I am an outdoor enthusiast -- I bike, hike, canoe, kayak, alpine ski, cross country ski, etc. I went to load my kayak recently (which is a 17'+ boat) and realized that when I put my Thule rack crossbars on the rack, I have about a TWO FOOT spread for a 17+' boat! Not exactly the kind of security you want. I can probably figure out some other set-up, but will have to invest in NEW fittings to fit their rack -- which is going to limit the # of boats I can haul because it doesn't give me enough width across the car to carry my canoe and my kayak. Subaru markets this car to people who live a rugged outdoor life -- and then they put a roof rack on that is really limiting. If all you want to do is haul a luggage rack on top -- I guess it's fine. If you want to haul some serious toys -- I urge you to look very closely at their set-up. I am so frustrated that I can say with fair confidence that Subaru has lost a customer for life. How could they get that soooo wrong? Why fix something that wasn't broke?
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Outdoor sports (hiking, cycling, etc.)

Does recommend this car

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

2012 Outback Premium, 2.5 liter, 6 spd trans

by from Denver CO on January 5, 2012

My wife bought a Ruby Red 2012 Outback Premium to replace her 2002 Honda Accord. It has the 4 cylinder 2.5 liter engine, 6 speed manual transmission, sunroof package, and heated seat package. She lov...
My wife bought a Ruby Red 2012 Outback Premium to replace her 2002 Honda Accord. It has the 4 cylinder 2.5 liter engine, 6 speed manual transmission, sunroof package, and heated seat package. She loves the look of the car, the visibility, comfort, handling in snow, the heated seats, and apparent safety of the car. The ride is fairly firm but comfortable. The car has ample room for two adults in back with good leg room. There is plenty of storage space behind the back seat. We haven't tried the fancy roof rack yet. Fit and finish are excellent both inside and out. The car developed a rattle underneath after we had it for a week or two, but then it disappeared and has not returned. The 2.5 liter engine does not provide lively acceleration and hill climbing here in Colorado requires some patience. Gas mileage is fairly good and she gets around 23 MPG in her 15 mile commute to and from work that often has stop and go traffic on the freeway. The mileage should get a bit better as the weather warms up and the engine breaks in. From my viewpoint, the car is stable and handles reasonably well for its size. It is not nimble by any means. The steering is a bit numb and this car is not a sports or sporty sedan by any means. (I had encouraged her to buy a Mazda Speed 3 Hatchback so you can see what kind of car I like.) I disagree with those who say the boxer-type Subaru engine emits a pleasant sound. To me it is noisy with a sound resembling a rod knock especially if revved to merge with traffic. However, the engine has quieted down noticeably after 1,500 miles so I suspect it was just breaking in. Like all our other cars, we plan to keep it for 10 years. I think it will prove to be a fine purchase in the long run and plan to have it take us on many hiking and bicycle trips. Most of all, my wife likes it!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

Not one thing to complain about!

by from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada on October 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 shove...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

I'm impressed!

by from Weaverville, NC on December 3, 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 ...
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!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car

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

First Subaru, and I'm in love!

by from Gary, IN on March 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 ...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Above expecations

by from St. Louis on September 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 Maz...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

2012 Outback 2.5i Limited

by from California on April 15, 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 see...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

Best of Both Worlds

by from Twin Cities, MN on October 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 plen...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

So far great

by from Mpls, Mn on April 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 ...
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.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?