2011 Subaru Outback Review
The 2011 Subaru Outback continues to offer value and versatility. Unlike previous generations, the latest Outback diverges further from its wagon roots and embraces the crossover trend.
Redesigned for the 2010 model year, the 2011 Subaru Outback receives only a handful of small changes.
With bulging fenders, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and a rather upright stance, reviewers have taken well to the looks of the Outback. Autoblog describes it as “a properly designed vehicle with significantly contrasting planes, lines and details.” For 2011, Subaru has added to those lines with new folding exterior mirrors – something drivers accustomed to parking in tight spaces will appreciate.
The Outback’s pleasant interior carries over for 2011. New for 2011, Premium and Limited trim models can be equipped with a Rear Vision Camera with a 3.3-inch display in the rear-view mirror.
Despite a sales hike of $200 for all 2011 Outback’s over their 2010 counterparts, the Outback still represents a terrific value. Reviewers say drivers accustomed to light off-roading or snow will greatly appreciate the Outback’s standard all-wheel drive system.
While both four and six-cylinder engines are offered with the Outback, reviewers contend that the standard 170 hp 2.5-liter flat-four provides enough power for most buyers. When equipped with the optional continuously-variable-transmission, the four-cylinder Outback is capable of an EPA rated 22 MPG city and 29 MPG highway.
Buyers interested in towing should check out the less fuel-efficient, but more powerful six-cylinder Outback, which has a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds – enough to tow a small boat or trailer.
Although the crossover market is flooded with options, reviewers agree that the Outback’s generous cargo-space, standard AWD and sufficiently powerful four-cylinder engine make it one of the better choices in its class.
Other Wagons/SUVs to Consider
Fitting somewhere between a wagon and an SUV, the Subaru Outback can be cross-shopped with many vehicles. Its most direct competitors are the Toyota Venza and Honda Accord Crosstour. These vehicles fill the same niche as the Outback, boasting wagon-like design, taller seating and capabilities for light off-road or foul-weather adventures. The Venza offers a standard automatic transmission but also costs about $3,000 more than a base Outback -- and it doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive.
The Accord Crosstour only comes with a six-cylinder engine, but is priced similarly to the six-cylinder Outback. The Subaru, however, comes with standard AWD (something only available on the top-of-the-line EX-L Accord Crosstour) and 20 more cubic feet of cargo space. Although reviewers have mixed opinions on the Accord Crosstour’s styling, its raked rear hatch may appeal to buyers who value style over the more utilitarian look of the Outback.
Details: 2011 Subaru Outback
The Outback is available in the following trims: the base 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited. All receive a $200 price bump for the 2011 model year.
- "If you were hoping this new Outback was going to remain a tidy AWD wagon made smarter for you and roomier for guests, you'll be disappointed with Subaru's newest SUV." -- Edmunds
- "The AWD base 2.5i opens nearly $3,000 below a comparable FWD Toyota Venza, the vehicle tabbed as its most likely rival." -- Motor Trend
- "Outback is bigger and better than before, but it's still a proudly eccentric and weirdly wonderful mashup of station wagon, SUV and Australian off-road pretense. " -- Popular Mechanics
- "If you need a very good car and you don't need flash, get the 2.5i with some frills. If you need a very good car and you want a little bit of zip, get the 3.6. Either way, you're buying a terrific piece of equipment that offers the fortitude of a bison wrapped in the appeal of a pony." -- Autoblog
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