Everything on the Subaru Outback: Prices, Mileage, and Specs

Everything on the Subaru Outback: Prices, Mileage, and Specs

Is it a station wagon? Is it a compact SUV?

In the case of the Subaru Outback, it's technically both.

The Subaru outback falls into two different categories of vehicle. It can be considered both a station wagon, thanks to its design, and also a crossover compact SUV, thanks to its AWD functionality and raised ground clearance.

As a wagon, the Outback boasts one of the lowest MSRPs of its class, starting at $26,795. What's more, the Touring XT trim, which starts at $39,945, is less expensive than the base trims of competitor wagons such as the Audi A4 Allroad and Volvo V60.

As a crossover compact SUV, the Outback actually sits at the higher end of pricing when sized up among others in that class. In terms of cost, the Outback is on par with its sibling, the Subaru Forester, which starts at $24,800, and the Toyota RAV4, which starts at just over $26,000.

Regardless of whether you choose to call it a wagon or a compact SUV, the important thing to remember is that the Subaru Outback – named after the rugged, arid Australian Outback, one of the most expansive, untouched natural reserves left on Earth – is durable, versatile and reliable. 

The Outback is a wonderful choice if you want a car that can handle off-road excursions but is still comfortable in the city. It's one of the more reasonably priced wagons on the market these days, too, with an MSRP that ranges from roughly $27,000 to $40,000, depending on the trim level.

With a spacious interior that's crafted of top-notch components, an upsized cargo bay, plenty of safety tech features and an AWD drivetrain that will have you raring to head off-road, the Subaru Outback doesn't disappoint.

If you're considering the Outback, keep in mind that the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 both have comparable characteristics to the Outback but usually retail for slightly less.

What different trim options are available on the Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback comes in eight different trims; following the base model, which starts at $28,070, comes the Premium for $30,270, the Limited for $34,720, the Onxy Edition XT for $36,270, the Wilderness for $38,120, the Touring for $28,620, the Limited XT for $39,120 and at the top of the line the Touring XT for $41,070.

Used Premium models can be found for $15,000-$17,000, however, and used Limited editions for $20,000-$23,000. Simply put, opting for a used version allows you to have an upper-tier edition of the Outback for significantly less than the price of a base new model.

Shift's certified mechanics provide each car a thorough 150-point inspection before they're approved for sale. Shift also provides detailed vehicle history reports, so you can be assured that your used car – be it an Outback or another model altogether – is as good as new.

How has the Subaru Outback changed since it was first released?

Since its debut in 1994, the Subaru Outback has gradually evolved with each passing model year.

Among the noteworthy edits in recent years are an optional automatic reverse braking feature in 2017, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2018 and Subaru's EyeSight active safety features package in 2019, which, much like the name suggests, keeps an eye on traffic. It also adjusts the cruise control automatically to maximize the vehicle's fuel efficiency, alerts the driver if the vehicle starts to drift out of its lane and automatically engages the brakes if it detects an oncoming collision.

All 2019 and newer Subarus are equipped with Subaru’s in-house EyeSight safety package, allowing them to earn the highest possible rating for front-crash prevention from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In 2020, Subaru unveiled a completely reworked Outback, one that provides better handling and additional cargo and passenger room than earlier models. The 2020 edition also allows for the option of a peppier 260-horsepower turbocharged engine and an infotainment interface with an upsized 11.6-inch touchscreen, too.

The 2021 Outback includes a pair of additional new safety features, specifically LED headlights that pivot in time with the steering wheel, making for a better illuminated path and an alert system to remind the driver if they've left anything or anyone in the back seat.

What sort of safety and tech features does the Subaru Outback have?

The Outback is equipped with Subaru's in-house Starlink infotainment interface, with two 7-inch touch displays; and each trim – save for the base model – comes with a 11.6-inch touch screen. This system is, for the most part, simple to use, and unlike many of the Outback’s rivals it features actual knobs for controlling audio and temperature, making it even easier to navigate.

Regardless of the trim, all Outbacks feature Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a four-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth and two USB ports.

Also among the menu of upgrade options are two additional USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, HD Radio, wireless device charging, a Rockford Fosgate sound system and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo.

Premium add-ons include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and proximity keyless entry.

Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (from $20,300)

Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (from $20,300)
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What type of engine options does the Subaru Outback have?

The Outback comes with two flat-four-cylinder engines: a basic 182-horsepower 2.5-liter and an optional 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter upgrade. Both come with a continuously variable automatic transmission – or “CVT” – that simulates an eight-speed gearbox. All Outbacks also feature standard all-wheel drive, which is a Subaru benchmark. Thanks to this, as well as nearly nine inches of ground clearance the Outback can easily handle itself in adverse weather and iffy road conditions. The Wilderness model provides maximum versatility both on and off the pavement, with its tougher suspension, skid plates to guard the car's undercarriage, and specific Snow and Mud driving modes.

The base engine on the Outback can also tow up to 2,700 pounds, while the turbocharged edition can haul up to 3,500 pounds.

As far as fuel economy goes, the base model Outback banks 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Subaru Outback (from $24,450)

Subaru Outback (from $24,450)
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Subaru Outback (from $24,450)
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What is the Subaru Outback’s interior like?

The Outback can accommodate up to five people with ample leg and head room for riders both in the front and back. The Outback has sturdy, comfy seats, and   thin roof pillars allow for excellent outward visibility, too. This not only makes for a more pleasant ride for the passengers, it makes for a safer driving experience, too.

The Outback has an abundance of load capacity, with 32.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 75.7 cubic feet with the back row folded down. The Premium trim comes with the option of an automatic liftgate, which is standard on all higher-level trims.

In terms of aesthetic, the Outback's interior is stylish yet functional and without too many frills. Higher up in the trim range brings upped luxury factors by way of leather upholstery and heated front and back seats.

With its roomy cargo and passenger space, a polished interior, a long list of standard safety and tech amenities and refined handling both on and off the road, all in all, the Subaru Outback is an excellent wagon. 

And it’s a great compact SUV, too.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team