The Subaru Outback has long been a 'tweener type of vehicle, as it is too small to be an SUV, yet too utilitarian to be a station wagon. This firmly plants it in the classification now known as the crossover market. Despite the confusion, the Outback remains one of Subaru's best-selling vehicles.
Using extreme care not to rock the boat too much, the 2013 Outback arrives with only basic changes from the 2012 model year. The front fascia has been slightly revised, giving the Outback a smoother nose. Subaru also revised the Outback’s standard 2.5-liter engine to get an additional 2 mpg in the city and 1 mpg on the highway, along with a revised constantly variable transmission and suspension. A few extra optional features also make their debuts in 2013, including remote start, adaptive cruise control and a collision-avoidance system.
The Outback 2.5i is the base trim level for Subaru’s wagon model. This model starts off with adequate performance from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and mates to a standard six-speed manual transmission. The 2.5i’s exterior is pretty basic, as it comes with 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps keeping things slightly stylish. It does feature standard projector headlights, which put out a more direct headlight beam for better night vision, but the rest of the exterior features a rather basic, like b lack mirrors, two-speed wipers and body-colored door handles. The interior features more of just the basics, as a relatively common four-speaker audio system with a CD player, auxiliary input, iPod control and Bluetooth connectivity keep you entertained, and the seats are wrapped in cloth.
The 2.5i Limited trim level is the highest you can get with the fuel-sipping 2.5-liter engine. This trim level starts off with replacing the standard six-speed manual transmission with a Subaru’s Lineartronic constantly-variable transmission with six-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. There’s not much that the Premium trim level left off on the outside, so there are only minor exterior additions on the Limited package, like windshield wiper deicers for cold-weather buyers. The interior is where the 2.5i Limited really takes hold, as it starts off by adding a four-way power passenger seat to the mix, as well as heated front seats and full-leather upholstery, giving the Impreza a luxury-car-like interior. Adding a little extra class to the inside is woodgrain-pattern accent trim and an LCD multi-function display allows you to clearly read the information it displays. Last, but certainly not least, the 2.5i Limited pleases everyone inside the cabin with dual-zone automatic climate control and a 440-watt, nine-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system.
The 2.5i Premium trim level starts adding a little more class to the Outback, starting with the addition of 17-inch aluminum wheels and standard fog lamps. The 2.5i Premium also does away with the black mirrors, which are eyesores, and replaces them with body-colored ones. The 2.5i Premium retains the cloth interior, but adds in a 10-way power drive seat and steering-wheel-mounted audio, Bluetooth and cruise control for added convenience. Along with the integrated controls, the steering wheel also gets wrapped in leather, giving it a more luxurious feel. Lastly, the 2.5i Premium eliminates the four-speaker radio and replaces it with a more eardrum-friendly six-speaker unit.
The 3.6R trim level acts as the base trimming for the performance model Impreza and it adds in a 256-horsepower, 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Helping add to the sportiness of this model, Subaru also installed four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, replacing the 2.5i’s solid rear discs, plus the discs are slightly larger. Keeping with the sporty theme, Subaru includes projector-beam headlights, fog lights and body-color side-view mirrors on the 3.6R trim level, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior, much like on the base 2.5i model, is kept rather simple, featuring cloth interior, manual seat adjusters, manual climate control and a four-speaker audio system with steering-wheel-mounted controls.
The 3.6R Limited is the top-line trim for the performance variant of the Impreza wagon. The exterior is nearly identical to the base 3.6R, but it does add in windshield wiper deicers for folks living in cooler climates. Inside the cabin is where the Limited trim level really shows its colors with its standard leather upholstery, power driver and passenger seats, heated front seats and woodgrain trimming. The Limited trim level takes things to a new level by tossing in standard dual-zone climate control and a Harman Kardon audio system that features nine speakers, 440 watts of power, HD radio and much more.
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|Build & Price|
2014 Subaru Outback$25,367 | 3,621 mi
2014 Subaru Outback$26,488 | 1,730 mi
2014 Subaru Outback$26,988 | 2,418 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$22,780 | 9,336 mi
2013 SUBARU OUTBACK$23,495 | 17,419 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$24,981 | 4,484 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$25,488 | 23,525 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$26,467 | 16,487 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$26,477 | 16,699 mi
2013 Subaru Outback$26,477 | 22,228 mi
2012 Subaru Outback$19,995 | 35,212 mi
2012 Subaru Outback$22,970 | 41,291 mi
2012 Subaru Outback$25,000 | 43,156 mi
2012 Subaru Outback$25,988 | 46,027 mi
2012 Subaru Outback$25,995 | 27,678 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$15,995 | 83,469 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$18,477 | 61,149 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$18,488 | 64,594 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$18,718 | 63,311 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$19,789 | 62,430 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$20,490 | 34,676 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$21,488 | 61,574 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$21,990 | 25,636 mi
2011 Subaru Outback$22,988 | 26,901 mi
2010 Subaru Outback$12,995 | 145,553 mi
2009 Subaru Outback$19,592 | 40,465 mi
2005 Subaru Outback$6,787 | 172,747 mi
2005 Subaru Outback$7,996 | 113,364 mi
Powerful base engine and loaded base model, but poor mpg for a four cylinder and a very high base price
Powerful base six-cylinder, luxurious look and Volvo pedigree, but subpar fuel economy and outrageous base price
Standard AWD, base model with leather interior and excellent base power, but nearly double the price and terrible city mpg
Competitive base price, powerful base engine and nice styling, but may be too SUV-like for some buyers