The Outback is the flagship of Subaru's North American lineup. It is essentially a station wagon version of the Legacy sedan prepped for outdoor duty with extra ground clearance, some protective body cladding, and upgraded running gear.
Buyers can choose from four trim levels, ranging from the comfortable 2.5i through the Premium and Limited to the heavily-loaded Touring. Base MSRPs range from $25,645 for the 2.5i to $38,195 for a 6-cylinder Touring. The Premium and Limited allow for the purchase of some option packages such as voice-activated navigation and Subaru's advanced EyeSight sensor suite which are standard on the Touring.
Power comes from either the familiar 2.5-liter flat-four or, as an option on the Limited and Touring trim levels, a 3.6-liter flat-six and is sent through a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) to all four wheels as is Subaru tradition. Fuel economy estimates are 25 city MPG and 32 highway MPG for the four-cylinder and 20 city/27 highway for the flat-six.
- X-Mode sounds like something from a video game but is actually the off-road variant of the 'sport mode" button in some cars, effectively adjusting driveline settings to better handle slow and slippery terrain.t
- Subaru is pursuing safety in a big way. The Outback features excellent brakes and has earned top crash-test scores, and its camera-based emergency braking and lane-departure systems are among the best in the industry.