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2018 Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback OEM Exterior Photo
OEM Interior Primary
OEM Exterior Standard
OEM Exterior
Interior Profile
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Used Car Price Range
$13,999 - $24,799
$13,999 $24,799
Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 2.5i 4dr All-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $25,895
2018 2.5i Premium 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,995
2018 2.5i Limited 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $32,695
2018 3.6R Limited 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $35,395
2018 2.5i Touring 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $36,490
2018 3.6R Touring 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $38,690
Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Overview

Though Subaru didn’t invent the all-wheel drive sport-utility wagon, it certainly have done the most to popularize it in the US. The formula is deceptively simple: combine the capability and capacity of an SUV with an economy car’s efficiency and ease-of-use. That Subaru’s Outback has had two decades of success pulling it off proves just how well the company has managed to blend ruggedness, refinement, and roominess while remaining reasonably-priced.

What's New for 2018

Though it’s due for a complete redesign for 2019, Subaru has nonetheless made significant changes to the 2018 Outback, with revised front and rear fascias, improved interior materials and features, new multimedia capabilities, additional safety technology, and a more refined and quieter ride.

Also quieter is the cabin as a whole thanks to reshaped exterior mirrors, better sound insulation, and refinements made to the standard continuously variable transmission, which now features a seven-speed manual-shift mode as well. All these improvements come at a significant cost, however, as Outback prices rise an average of $2,500 across the six-model/four-trim range for 2018.

Subaru Outback

Choosing Your Subaru Outback

The heart of the Outback line is the 2.5-liter flat-four engine, which despite having a relatively meager output of 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, a CVT ,and all-wheel drive to contend with, along with the Outback’s not insubstantial curb weight, is the overwhelming choice among buyers – it provides enough power and enough economy (EPA ratings of 25 mpg city/32 highway/28 combined) at a low enough price. There are four separate trims for the starter engine: 2.5i, Premium, Limited, and Touring.

The available 3.6-liter flat six will appeal to customers that need more power – the carmaker’s largest-displacement motor, the 256-hp, 247-lb-ft six-cylinder is only available in the Limited- and Touring trims. It's coupled to a more robust continuously variable transmission that shares its paddle-shifter controls and new seven-speed "manual mode" with the four-cylinder's CVT. Unfortunately, the six-cylinder's additional 81 hp and 73 lb-ft demand a hearty sacrifice – a significant drop in EPA mpg ratings, to 20/27/22.

Subaru Outback

2.5i

The Outback line starts here, at $26,810 (including a $915 destination charge) for the base 2.5i model. It’s the sole trim with manually-adjustable seats and HVAC controls, basic analog gauges, and a 6.5-inch LCD display for the Subaru Starlink infotainment system system. And while the last item does include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora, and Bluetooth connectivity, it does so with only an AM/FM stereo and four speakers, and a complete lack of optional extras. This also means 17-inch alloys, auto up/down on the driver’s window only and fabric upholstery.

Subaru Outback

2.5i Premium

Starting at $28,910, the Outback Premium gives owners a chance to partake in more of what Subaru has to offer, so it’s no surprise that this represents the volume trim. At this point, Outbacks come standard with fog lamps, a power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate controls, and body-colored exterior rearview mirrors that – thanks to the included All-Weather Package – are heated like the front seats and windshield. Also included is an upgraded Starlink infotainment system with a larger eight-inch display, cloud-based Magellan navigation software, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and a CD player, plus two additional speakers.

Options here include the $1,695 Power Moonroof Package, which includes a moonroof (duh) and a power liftgate. The $1,995 EyeSight Driver Assist Technology Package adds the entire EyeSight safety suite (adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist) blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and the power tailgate. There's also a package that marries the EyeSight suite with the Power Moonroof Package and adds an integrated navigation system – it rings up at $3,590.

Also, from here on out, a subscription to Subaru’s “Starlink Safety and Security Plus” service – a SiriusXM Services-based alternative to General Motor’s OnStar – is available for $49 the first year ($149 for two after that), and includes remote locking, a horn-and-lights-based vehicle locator, security alarm and automatic collision notifications, and roadside-assistance and stolen vehicle recovery services, all via a built-in AT&T 4G LTE wireless setup.

Subaru Outback

2.5i Limited

If leather upholstery is a must, so is the $33,610 Limited trim. The $4,700 jump from the Premium is a steep one, but includes as standard the Premium’s two option packages and adds a memory function for the driver’s seat, a power passenger’s seat, heating for the rear seats, proximity entry with push-button start, 18-inch alloys, and a 576-watt Harmon Kardon premium audio system with 12-speakers, including one center-dash and a subwoofer.

The only available option package costs $2,085 and includes the navigation system and EyeSight suite previously offered on the 2.5i Premium. The upside is that the EyeSight system benefits from rear automatic braking, while the headlights are bending LEDs that can look around turns.

Subaru Outback

2.5i Touring

This is Subaru’s all-in trim, and at $37,405 it should be. In addition to including every aforementioned option, the $3,795 it costs over the 2.5i Limited includes unique piano black interior trim, special Java Brown-hued leather, low-profile silver-tone roof rails, and a host of exterior trim “upgrades” including body-color door handles and lower door cladding (both with chrome inserts), and a rear bumper cover.

EyeSight with the bending LED headlights and rear automatic emergency braking is standard, as is a heated steering wheel, and navigation. There are no available options, only dealer-installed accessories.

Subaru Outback

3.6R Limited

Adding the six-cylinder engine adds dual exhaust outlets to the Limited trim and $2,700 to the MSRP – bringing the cost of entry to $36,310 – but it adds the bending LED headlights as standard. Otherwise, the 3.6R Limited enjoys the same content as its four-cylinder counterpart.

Subaru Outback

3.6R Touring

At $39,605, the 3.6R Touring is far from cheap. But along with all the worthwhile additions found on the 2.5i Touring, it comes with an ample dose of power that almost makes the $2,200 premium demanded by the bigger engine on this trim seem worthwhile.

CarsDirect Tip

While the changes made to 2018 Outbacks might make paying the premium they demand make sense, seeing as how it’s due for an imminent redo, waiting on the savings that come from replacement makes more sebse. That said, the Outback is a very popular vehicle, so not every configuration will see incentives. If a particular Outback is the one you have to have – we recommend the 2.5i Limited – it’s best to bite the bullet and buy now so as not to be “stuck” getting a better deal but for more – or less – Outback than you wanted.

Get your price on a Subaru Outback >>

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Writer

Lightly updated for its fourth year on the market, the 2018 Subaru Outback features exterior styling revisions, an updated infotainment system, and a number of improvements designed to reduce engine, road, and wind noise. More station wagon than SUV, the Outback offers standard all-wheel-drive (it is a Subaru, after all) and crossover practicality, but car-like ride and handling.

There are some problems, though. A thirsty optional six-cylinder engine guzzles rather than sips, advanced active safety features aren't available on all models, and the interior on top-trim models lacks the luxury touches most buyers expect. Still, the Outback is the smart choice for customers wanting SUV versatility without moving to a bigger, taller vehicle.

Best Value

The 2018 Subaru Outback starts at $26,810 with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, and rises to $39,605 for a Touring model with the 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine. A CVT automatic is the only transmission available.

By forgoing a leather interior and the thirsty flat-six engine, you can save over $7,000 over the 3.6R Touring trim by picking the midrange 2.5i Premium with standard features like automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Included in those savings is Subaru's whole suite of active safety systems (all listed as optional extras).

Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
  • Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 175 hp / 174 lb-ft
  • Transmission: CVT automatic
  • MPG: 25 City / 32 Highway
  • Exterior color: Crystal White Pearl
  • Interior color: Slate Black Cloth
  • Options: Eyesight + Blind Spot Detection & Rear Cross Traffic Alert + Power Rear Gate + High Beam Assist + Moonroof Package + Navigation System ($3,590, auto-dimming rearview mirror, moonroof, power tailgate with automatic close and height memory, navigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams).
  • Base Price: $28,910
  • As Tested: $32,500

Performance Pros

Subaru Outback
  • Even with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Outback is comfortable and composed on most roads.
  • Subaru's continuously variable transmission doesn't have the odd, elastic feel of many of its competitors.
  • Thanks to additional sound deadening, more laminated glass, and new outside mirrors for 2018, both road and wind noise are down.

Performance Cons

  • The 2.5-liter engine offers only adequate performance, without much reserve power for passing – especially up hills.
  • The 3.6-liter engine lacks the acceleration of Subaru's own 2.0-liter turbo, available in the Forester XT.
  • Although 2018 sees some tweaks in refinement, the 2.5-liter engine can still sound rough under hard acceleration.

Interior Pros

  • Front seats are very supportive with long lower cushions and bolsters that aren't overly-firm.
  • Plenty of room in back with 38.1 inches of legroom and 35.5 cubic feet of cargo room behind the back seats.
  • Laminated side glass plus additional sound-deadening materials added this year make the interior library quiet, even at highway speeds.

Interior Cons

Subaru Outback
  • The leather used in Limited and Touring models can hardly be called premium.
  • A power passenger seat is only available on Limited and above trims.
  • Subaru's advanced active safety features aren't available on the base model.

Our Favorite Thing

8.7 inches of ground clearance, standard all-wheel-drive, and a car-like ride give the Outback an advantage over most competitors in its class.

Our Least Favorite Thing

Despite a number of recent upgrades, the interior of the top-trim $39,000-plus Touring model still lacks the luxury touches many buyers expect in this price range.

Right For

Subaru Outback

A smooth, quiet ride, plenty of interior room, a slew of available active safety features, and standard all-wheel-drive make the latest Outback a great choice for smaller families.

Wrong For

The Outback's conservative, utilitarian design, along with a top trim that's still a few steps below the class leaders will probably turn off buyers looking for luxury and style.

The Bottom Line

Although it emphasizes function over style, the Outback's car-like handling, overall versatility, advanced safety features, and standard all-wheel-drive capability make it one of the best offerings in its class.

Read Less

Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L H-4 / 175 HP / 174 ft.lbs.
Transmission
Lineartronic 6-spd sequential shift control CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
25 / 32 / 28 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
5
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L H-4 / 175 HP / 174 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
25 / 32 / 28 Mpg
Brakes
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
18.5 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$71
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
73.3 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
108 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
189.6 "
Exterior Width
72.4 "
Exterior Height
66.1 "
Front Headroom
40.8 "
Rear Headroom
38.9 "
Front Legroom
42.9 "
Rear Legroom
38.1 "
Front Shoulder Room
58.1 "
Rear Shoulder Room
57.3 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,622 Lbs.
Wheel Base
108 "
Turning Radius
18.1 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
17.0 " Silver Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Bumpers
Body-colored
Grille Moldings
With Chrome Bar
Rear Spoiler
Lip
Exhaust
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
5
Seat Trim
Cloth
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
4-way
Front Armrests
6-way
Rear Armrests
Center
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Am/fm Stereo, Seek-scan
Speakers
4 / 6
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver
Tinted Windows
Light
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
2
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2018 Subaru Outback for Sale

11 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
Subaru
3.6R Limited 4dr All-Wheel Drive
Color: Silver
Mileage

54,157 mi

Map location icon

Kia of Irvine (44 mi)

Phone: (888) 973-2598
Subaru
3.6R Limited
Color: Blue
Price

$13,999

Mileage

164,202 mi

Map location icon

Royal Auto Dealer (38 mi)

Phone: (626) 262-9494
Subaru
2.5i Premium
Color: Whc
Price

$14,495

Mileage

120,518 mi

Map location icon

Pacific Auto Center (10 mi)

Subaru
2.5i Limited
Color: Crystal White Pearl
Price

$16,127

Mileage

134,819 mi

Map location icon

Honda of Reseda (21 mi)

Phone: (818) 609-7441
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