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Subaru Outback

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Spun off the Subaru Legacy mid-size sedan platform, the Outback started as a four-door, five-passenger wagon with increased ground clearance and more rugged styling. Subaru has had sales success with the Outback, first marketing it as a smaller alternative to sport utility vehicles or crossovers. Later versions grew closer in size to crossovers. Like all modern Subarus except the BRZ, the Outback is only offered in all-wheel drive; the system is best for inclement weather and light off-roading. For a time, Subaru also offered a different model, called the Outback Sport, based on the smaller Impreza sedan. The Outback is built at Subaru’s Lafayette, Ind., manufacturing facility.

Good Fit For
Small Families

Small Family vehicles include mid-size and larger sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, SUVs and minivans with four doors and five seats.

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Towing

Towing vehicles can tow a minimum of 2,000 pounds (see specifications for maximum). May require specific trim level and/or optional features.

Popular Competitors

4 Generations

Outback - 4 Generations

2015–2019 Outback

Redesigned in 2015
2015–2019 Outback Generation, 2019 Subaru Outback model shown Showing the 2019 Subaru Outback

There were subtle styling changes for the 2015’s exterior, including smaller cladding, a larger grille and a new headlight design. All versions got a continuously variable automatic transmission for improved fuel economy. The interior saw a redesigned multimedia interface, nicer materials and more rear seat room. There was a new optional power liftgate, a backup camera became standard and new active safety systems were available. Tweaks for 2018 included new touchscreen options and a retuned suspension and transmission.

  • MSRP Range $26,345–$38,995
  • Consumer Rating Not yet rated
  • Combined MPG 22-28
  • Body Styles:

    SUV

  • MSRP Range $25,895–$38,690
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.9) 324 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-28
  • Body Styles:

    SUV

Notable Features in 2018
  • Lightly revised styling for 2018
  • Five-seat, all-wheel-drive wagon
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Camera-based EyeSight safety system available
  • Reverse automatic braking available
  • Steering adaptive headlights with automatic high beams available
  • MSRP Range $25,645–$38,195
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.8) 291 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-28
  • Body Styles:

    SUV

Notable Features in 2017
  • Five-seat all-wheel-drive wagon
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Camera-based EyeSight safety system available
  • Outback Touring is new top trim level
  • Reverse automatic braking available
  • Current List Price $17,804–$31,064
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.7) 111 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-28
  • Body Styles:

    SUV

Notable Features in 2016
  • Lane departure prevention now available
  • Five-seat all-wheel-drive wagon
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Camera-based EyeSight safety system available
  • Current List Price $15,483–$27,927
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 114 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-28
  • Body Styles:

    SUV, Wagon

Notable Features in 2015
  • Redesigned for 2015
  • Five-seat all-wheel-drive wagon
  • Four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Camera-based EyeSight safety system available

2010–2014 Outback

Redesigned in 2010
Showing the 2014 Subaru Outback

The 2010 redesign created a taller, wider Outback, resulting in more interior space at the expense of handling. The Outback dropped the turbo and went back to two engine choices. A continuously variable transmission debuted, paired with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and optional with a new 3.6-liter six-cylinder, which replaced the 3.0-liter. A new rear suspension contributed to increased cargo room and a smoother ride. The new, bigger size made the Outback more competitive with the growing crossover class.

  • Current List Price $12,461–$24,065
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 115 reviews
  • Combined MPG 21-26
  • Body Styles:

    SUV, Wagon

Notable Features in 2014
  • Standard AWD
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • Revised suspension for flatter cornering
  • Available backup camera
  • Current List Price $10,466–$21,526
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.5) 125 reviews
  • Combined MPG 21-26
  • Body Styles:

    SUV, Wagon

Notable Features in 2013
  • Updated styling
  • New four-cylinder drivetrain
  • Standard AWD
  • Four- or six-cylinder engine
  • Revised suspension for flatter cornering
  • Current List Price $8,269–$18,941
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.7) 69 reviews
  • Combined MPG 21-25
  • Body Styles:

    SUV, Wagon

Notable Features in 2012
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine
  • Revised roof-rack crossbar design
  • Manual or automatic
  • Newly available stereos
  • Current List Price $6,535–$17,859
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.8) 137 reviews
  • Combined MPG 21-25
  • Body Styles:

    SUV, Wagon

Notable Features in 2011
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine
  • Swiveling roof rails
  • Manual or automatic
  • Related to Legacy sedan
  • Side mirrors now fold
  • Current List Price $5,607–$16,211
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.7) 80 reviews
  • Combined MPG 21-25
  • Body Styles:

    SUV

Notable Features in 2010
  • Full redesign for 2010
  • Larger, restyled interior
  • Choice of two engines
  • Optional CVT automatic transmission
  • 3.6-liter six-cylinder replaces 3.0-liter
  • Standard AWD

2005–2009 Outback

Redesigned in 2005
Showing the 2009 Subaru Outback

With new SUVs added to Subaru’s lineup, the redesigned 2005 Outback kept the same proportions as its predecessor but had a stiffer body structure. A selectable engine control for sporty or efficient driving was offered in 2007 with a new turbocharged four-cylinder and automatic transmission, then in 2008 with the six-cylinder. Modest exterior styling changes included the availability of more monochromatic paint schemes. The interior featured a streamlined dash and controls with improved materials. The sedan and L.L. Bean Edition were discontinued.

  • Current List Price $5,022–$13,654
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.7) 37 reviews
  • Combined MPG 20-23
  • Body Styles:

    Wagon

Notable Features in 2009
  • Standard AWD
  • Wagon body style
  • Three available engines
  • Stability system now standard
  • No more L.L.Bean edition
  • Current List Price $4,600–$12,408
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 42 reviews
  • Combined MPG 20-23
  • Body Styles:

    Wagon

Notable Features in 2008
  • Slightly modified front styling
  • Standard AWD
  • Sedan or wagon body styles
  • Three available engines
  • Current List Price $3,734–$11,598
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.4) 26 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-25
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Notable Features in 2007
  • Legacy-based construction
  • Turbocharged 2.5 XT Limited wagon
  • Four- or six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • More ground clearance than Legacy
  • Current List Price $3,016–$11,232
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 40 reviews
  • Combined MPG 25
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Notable Features in 2006
  • Redesigned Outback for 2005
  • Legacy-based construction for Outback
  • Impreza-based construction for Outback Sport
  • Turbocharged 2.5 XT Limited Outback wagon
  • Four- or six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • More ground clearance than Legacy
  • Current List Price $3,462–$10,178
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.1) 45 reviews
  • Combined MPG 26
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Notable Features in 2005
  • Redesigned Outback for 2005
  • Legacy-based construction for Outback
  • Impreza-based construction for Outback Sport
  • New turbocharged 2.5 XT Outback model
  • Four- or six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Additional ground clearance

2000–2004 Outback

Redesigned in 2000
Showing the 2004 Subaru Outback

In its first year, the 2000 redesign offered only a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that was generally regarded as being underpowered. A well-regarded 3.0-liter six-cylinder joined the lineup in 2001. A new multilink suspension improved ride, and a variable torque distribution system increased performance in slippery conditions by sending power to the wheels with traction. Safety items such as stability control and side airbags became available, though sometimes only on more expensive trim levels. The Outback was also offered as a sedan.

  • Current List Price $739–$8,291
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 21 reviews
  • Combined MPG 22-25
  • Body Styles:

    Wagon

Notable Features in 2004
  • Legacy-based Outback
  • Impreza-based Outback Sport
  • Four-cylinder or six-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • Additional ground clearance
  • Current List Price $977–$9,193
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.2) 24 reviews
  • Combined MPG 24
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Read About the 2003 Model 2003 Outback Articles
  • Current List Price $638–$5,978
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.6) 16 reviews
  • Combined MPG 23-24
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Read About the 2002 Model 2002 Outback Articles
  • Current List Price $51–$8,399
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.4) 18 reviews
  • Combined MPG 26
  • Body Styles:

    Sedan, Wagon

Read About the 2001 Model 2001 Outback Articles
  • Current List Price $32–$6,716
  • Consumer Rating
    (4.1) 24 reviews
  • Combined MPG 24
  • Body Styles:

    Wagon

Read About the 2000 Model 2000 Outback Articles

Our Recent Articles on the Outback


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