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Subaru Outback Review

The 2016 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.

The 2016 Subaru Outback impresses critics with its outstanding all-wheel drive traction and substantial passenger and cargo space.

The 2016 Outback comes standard with a four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission, which operates like an automatic. The base engine has sufficient power for highway merging, automotive journalists say, but it struggles when the Outback is climbing steep hills or loaded with passengers and cargo. Most reviewers agree that the available six-cylinder engine feels more powerful. The base 2016 Subaru Outback gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is good for a wagon and crossover SUV. All-wheel drive is standard in the Outback, which is unusual for the class, and critics agree that the Outback has excellent traction on slippery surfaces. They also note that the Outback has a comfortable, quiet ride and corners with composure. Some add that it handles with unexpected agility for its size.

The interior of the 2016 Subaru Outback features top-notch materials and superb build quality, critics say. They add that the Outback has spacious rear seats with plenty of headroom for taller adults. The Subaru Outback has more overall cargo space than most wagons. Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, smartphone app integration and a 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system. Available features include a moonroof, navigation, a Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, an upgraded 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and STARLINK Safety and Security features, which include collision notification and maintenance reminders. Test drivers say the Outback's infotainment systems are user-friendly.

  • "Essentially a wagon version of the Legacy midsize sedan with additional ground clearance and SUV-flavored styling cues, the Subaru Outback offers a roomy cabin, a sure-footed all-wheel-drive system and excellent fuel economy relative to its size." -- Left Lane News
  • "This car's charm is not hard to pinpoint. The Outback oozes appeal in the pragmatic transportation sense, if not the car-folk sense. With palpable refinements throughout, the 2015 makes a solid case as the ultimate automotive appliance." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "This is the go-anywhere, do-anything wagon for those who aren't sold on the idea of high-riding SUVs. It's comfortable, quiet, gets competitive fuel mileage, handles well on pavement and can scurry along dirt roads with pretty much anything this side of a Jeep or Land Rover." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "In going mainstream, the Outback has lost some of the rugged charm it exuded through its first three generations. But the 2015 Subaru Outback is more than ever what the market wants: a comfortable, nondescript midsize crossover that can take you to unbelievable places." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

Subaru Outback Pictures & Videos

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Other Wagons to Consider

The Ford C-Max Hybrid has a lively powertrain, according to critics, and it gets much better fuel economy than the Outback. Reviewers also appreciate the C-Max Hybrid's spacious rear seat and attractive interior.

Though it's not a wagon, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUV's base engine delivers plenty of power, test drivers say. The Santa Fe Sport's interior earns praise because it features high-quality materials, a roomy back seat and straightforward infotainment controls.

Compare the Outback, C-Max Hybrid and Santa Fe Sport »

Details: 2016 Subaru Outback

The 2016 Subaru Outback seats five and is available in 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited trims. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (automatic) are standard. The 3.6R Limited model has a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. The Subaru Outback was fully redesigned in the 2015 model year and sees few major changes for 2016. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 and 2016 model years.

See 2016 Subaru Outback specs »

Review Last Updated: 7/28/15

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