With its lifted ride height and tough exterior, the Subaru Outback can blend in with SUVs. But its station wagon body gives you added practicality. While it can venture further off-road than a traditional station wagon, don't expect to see it tackling trails in Moab next to Jeep Wranglers or Ford Broncos.
The Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive and a CVT, but shoppers can choose between a nonturbo or turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Though the Audi A4 Allroad and Volvo V60 Cross Country have similar appearances, the Outback has the lifted-station-wagon aesthetic and capability at a much lower price.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Outbacks come with standard all-wheel drive, except for the rear-drive BRZ sports coupe. The Outback lineup features a pair of flat-four-cylinder engines: a 182-hp 2.5-liter is standard and a 260 turbulence by delivering power from CVT that mimics an eight speed gearbox to deliver optimal speed without issues . Of course, you can always count on Subaru's staple commitment to All Wheel Drive in every model (excluding the rear end focused BRZ sports coupe).
The Outback we tested with the standard engine delivered unremarkable acceleration. The transmission also tended to lazy behavior. However, the turbocharged version was considerably quicker but had the same problematic transmission. Nevertheless, most Outback owners care more about ride quality and if the car is able to handle light off-road driving conditions.
The wagon's 8.7 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive let it easily travel in poor weather and over uneven, muddy roads. If you need maximum go-anywhere capability, get the Wilderness model instead; it has 9.5 inches of ground clearance plus a better suspension, skid plates for extra protection against rocks and debris,and two Snow and Mud modes that you can select depending on conditions..
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Outback's standard engine will earn an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway. The turbocharged Outback sees a significant dip in efficiency, with ratings of only 23 mpg city and 30 highway. In contrast, its Legacy counterpart has more thrifty powertrains. Its base engine is expected to have 27/35 mpg city/highway fuel economy and the turbocharged option is estimated at 24/32 mpg city/highway.
The Outback with each of these engines returned 28 mpg on our 200-mile real-world highway-fuel-economy route. However, the sedan with the turbocharged four-cylinder got 34 mpg during that same test. If you would like to know more about the Outback's fuel economy, please visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although the Outback has a similar interior to the Legacy, both cars boast comfortable accommodations and quality materials. While Subaru's cabin design may be uninspired, it is practical and allows for a high seating position.
In addition to the standard features, every Outback comes with dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and multiple USB ports. If you're looking for more luxurious details , upper trim levels offer a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable front-passenger seat, and heated rear seats.
The Outback has a spacious back seat that offers 1.4 extra inches of legroom compared with the previous generation. Its rear cargo area provides 33 cubic feet of space; in our testing, it held 11 carry-on suitcases with the back seat up and 23 bags with it folded flat. The Legacy accepted eight and 22 suitcases, respectively, in the same tests.
Is the Subaru Outback a reliable car?
Are Subaru Outbacks Reliable? The Outback scored well on reliability ratings, getting 3.5 out of 5.0 on RepairPal. It also ranked 14th out of 32 vehicles in the same category. Subaru is known for its long-lasting vehicles, and the Outback is one of the most popular members of its high-mileage club.
Is 2022 Subaru Outback a good buy?
The Subaru Outback is their best wagon to buy in 2022. Car Connection says, "The Subaru Outback hits that sweet spot for buyers with all-around capability, spacious interior, spotless safety record, and this year, a new lifted Wilderness version. If an automobile were a hiking boot, it would be the Outback."
Are Outbacks expensive to maintain?
Subaru Outback Maintenance Costs. A Subaru Outback will cost about $8,037 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This beats the industry average for popular SUV models by $1,096.