Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Subaru Outback OVERVIEW
Subaru’s sport-utility wagon has been attracting considerable attention in recent years, offering buyers something different than the usual crossover models. Though the ride is similar to a solidly-built station wagon, Outback’s raised ground clearance and off-road capabilities invite comparison to a small SUV. Totally redesigned for 2015, the Outback has standard all-wheel drive, like most Subaru models.
What's New for 2016
New Subaru Starlink Safety and Security features come in two packages: Safety Plus, and Safety Plus & Security Plus. EyeSight driver-assist technology adds Lane Keep Assist. New auto on/off mode operates wipers along with the headlights. Subaru says electric power steering has been returned for a more linear, natural feel.
Choosing Your Subaru Outback
Lower trim levels have only one engine choice: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder “Boxer” that makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Subaru’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder, generating 256 horsepower, comes only with the top-end 3.6R Limited. Both engines mate with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that has a six-speed manual mode and paddle shifters, to make virtual gearchanges when desired. The available EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, and the new Lane Keep Assist.
Fuel economy is estimated at 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the four-cylinder engine, but only 20/27 mpg (city/highway) with the six-cylinder.
Four trim levels are offered, but optional packages can add such features as a moonroof, power rear liftgate, blind-spot monitoring, navigation, EyeSight system, and keyless start to upper trims.
Unless saving money is paramount, it’s advisable to avoid the base 2.5i, which costs a little too much considering its modest standard-equipment list. Moving up to a 2.5i Premium costs only $2,400 more, and provides an appealing selection of features, appropriate to a vehicle of this kind. If that’s not sufficient, several available packages can be specified to add the items you need the most.
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