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#2

in Wagons

MSRP: $23,495 - $32,095
Invoice: $22,123 - $30,034
MPG: 24 City / 30 Hwy
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Subaru Outback Review

The 2014 Subaru Outback ranks 2 out of 10 Wagons. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Subaru Outback, as well as reliability and safety data.

Test drivers think the 2014 Subaru Outback’s comfortable ride, spacious interior and standard all-wheel drive make it a smart choice for any family considering a wagon or SUV. For having the best combination of factors that appeal to families, we named the Outback our 2014 Best Wagon for Families. 

The base Outback has a four-cylinder engine, which reviewers say has adequate power in most situations. Still, some note that the four-cylinder Outback struggles when passing and merging on the highway, or if it’s loaded with people and cargo. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but most reviewers tested models with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), which they think operates smoothly. The 2014 Outback gets its best fuel economy estimates with the CVT, delivering an EPA-estimated 24/30 mpg city/highway. A more powerful six-cylinder model is available, and reviewers like the additional power it provides. Test drivers think the Outback’s handling is composed and comfortable, which they think makes it a good choice for families. The Outback has standard all-wheel drive, and reviewers think it provides good traction in slippery conditions.

Automotive writers say that the 2014 Subaru Outback has a nice-looking, practical interior. They agree that the Outback has very comfortable and spacious front seats, and they think the rear seats are especially roomy. A few critics find the navigation system complicated. The Outback can hold a good amount of cargo for a wagon and more than many compact SUVs. The base 2014 Subaru Outback has standard Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a four-speaker stereo. Available features include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. A moonroof, a backup camera and navigation are optional, as is Subaru’s EyeSight system, which uses two cameras located near the rearview mirror on the windshield to “see” obstacles and potential hazards. EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, low-speed pre-collision braking and lane departure warning.

  • "At least in the case of the Outback, we're guessing brand loyalists will continue to flock to Subaru and revel in the fact that the object of their cult crush doesn't sacrifice utility for refinements." -- AutoTrader
  • "With its generous cargo capacity and commendable off-road performance, the 2014 Subaru Outback wagon offers far more utility than many competing crossover SUVs. It's a good option for families, especially those who enjoy the great outdoors." -- Edmunds
  • "It offers a comfortable ride, standard all-wheel-drive and a spacious interior along with better fuel economy than comparably sized crossovers." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 2014 Subaru Outback is somewhat like a wagon and perhaps more like an SUV. To practical buyers it offers the spacious interior and versatility of a more-or-less traditional midsize SUV, with driving attributes and fuel efficiency more in line with a wagon. But perhaps its strongest virtue is the all-weather capability delivered by its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive." -- Kelley Blue Book

Other Wagons/SUVs to Consider

Test drivers say the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has an upscale interior and sporty handling. Unlike the Outback, the Jetta SportWagen is available with a diesel engine, which gets great fuel economy for the class.

Reviewers think that the Honda CR-V has agile handling, good fuel economy and a spacious interior. The CR-V also comes with a longer list of standard features than the Outback. One of the features included is a backup camera, which isn’t available on the base Outback.

Compare the Outback, Jetta SportWagen and CR-V »

Details: 2014 Subaru Outback

The 2014 Subaru Outback seats five and has standard all-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard. The Outback comes in four trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional, and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission are available on the top trim. The Outback was redesigned in 2010 and receives only minor changes for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Subaru Outback specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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