The Outback continues into the 2016 model year better than ever, with a quieter cabin, more comfortable seating, and more premium features than most shoppers probably expect.

Pricing and Equipment

The Subaru Outback starts out at a reasonable $24,995 for the 2.5i trim level. This base model comes pretty well equipped with standard features including:

  • Projector low-beam headlights
  • Roof rails
  • Silver metallic trim
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls
  • A Starlink 6.2-inch multimedia system with four speakers

Even more equipment is available on the Outback’s higher trim levels: the 2.5i Premium ($27,395) and 2.5i Limited ($30,395), and the performance-oriented 3.6R Limited ($33,395).

Performance Pros

  • The Outback can tow up to 3,000 pounds, even with the four-cylinder engine.
  • Standard all-wheel drive and plenty of ground clearance for off-the-beaten-path driving.

Performance Cons

  • We find the Outback a little sluggish off the line, even with the six-cylinder engine, which is easily trimped by turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the industry today.
  • We'd love to see the true performance model we know Subaru can build.

Interior Pros

Subaru Outback Interior

The Outback’s interior is surprisingly well laid out for such a rugged vehicle. What’s more, its seating room is ample, and the front seats are plenty comfortable.

  • A peaceful cabin thanks to last year's revisions.
  • Plenty of room to seat three across the rear bench.
  • The low cargo floor makes loading and unloading easier.

Interior Cons

The Outback’s cabin is great, but there are some minor issues, like its limited rear-seat legroom, and a bouncy ride over not-so-rugged terrain.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

For such a rugged vehicle, the Outback is surprisingly quiet. This is accomplished with thicker floor panels, lower firewall, wheel aprons, and inner fenders; also helping out is the acoustic windshield and liquid-filled engine mounts.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine leaves us wanting more. It feels dated, and Subaru’s existing turbocharged four-cylinders deliver more torque with a flatter curve. We think it’s time to drop the six-pot for a boosted four-cylinder.

The Bottom Line

Subaru Outback Side

The Outback is the ultimate combination of SUV and wagon, as its 8.7 inches of ground clearance is plenty, its cargo area is large and easily accessible, and it handles more like a sedan than a crossover. What’s more, its low base price makes it attainable for most buyers.