Subaru Outback Interior

#1 in Wagons Interior Score: 8.3 / 10
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2017 Subaru Outback Interior Overview

Critics write that the 2017 Subaru Outback’s cabin is nicely designed and features soft-touch materials. An infotainment system comes standard and is easy to operate, while also functioning well. The Outback has a roomy cabin and a spacious back seat.

  • "The overall interior quality and noise levels also tend to be a bit better as well -- especially compared to Subaru's Forester -- with a nice array of soft-touch materials in places where you frequently look and touch." -- Edmunds
  • "The Subaru Outback crossover SUV for 2016 essentially shares its interior with the 2016 Subaru Legacy sedan – a good thing. The layout is clean and functional, and we especially like the latest touch-screen infotainment system's design." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "The Outback has made strides in terms of comfort and quality of cabin materials, but it's still not as refined as it could be. It lacks that last little bit of interior quality and overall refinement that sets the best apart from the very good. With this redesign, it's now better able to complete (sic) with European wagon competitors from Volkswagen, Audi, Volvo and BMW, but I don't see it being able to pull in many of those buyers based on its interior." -- (2015)


The Subaru Outback seats five and comes standard with cloth seating. Leather seating, heated seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat can be added as options.

The Outback’s LATCH system is rated Marginal, the second-lowest rating, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are too deep in the outboard seats, and it’s difficult to maneuver around them. It’s also easy to confuse the indistinguishable upper tethers with other hardware.

The Outback features enough space for all occupants and the accommodations are comfortable overall. Its back seat offers ample head- and legroom, plus the ability to recline.

  • "In terms of passenger space, the Outback's cabin is similar to that of a midsize sedan (it shares much with the Subaru Legacy), meaning you get a generally comfier and more spacious back seat than what's offered in most small SUVs." -- Edmunds
  • "The seats are comfortable in all positions, especially the roomy, reclining rear seat (thanks to the Outback's tall roof)." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Interior space is very comfortable for four, with plenty of headroom and legroom for all, plus rear seats that recline and fold easily." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Interior Features

The Outback’s standard features include a four-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, HD Radio, a USB port, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and an infotainment system with a 6.2-inch touch screen and smartphone integration. Optional features include dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a six- or 12-speaker audio system, a moonroof, navigation, a proximity key, push-button start, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic pre-collision braking, reverse automatic braking, and automatic high beams.

Reviewers find the infotainment system and buttons on the center stack easy to use. They appreciate the familiar smartphone gestures like pinching and swiping, and note the navigation system functions without any problems.

  • "Unlike past Subarus, the 2017 Outback is graced with a modern and reasonably user-friendly touchscreen interface -- available in either 6.2- or 7-inch sizes. Though some functions require a bit too much dexterity (pressing down on a radio preset button to program it, for instance), it is generally one of the easier systems to use. It's also packed with an abundance of features and smartphone-connectivity apps." -- Edmunds
  • “If the car is equipped with navigation, that screen allows you to use the now-intuitive pinch-and-expand finger movements to zoom in or out. The rest of the center stack controls are easy to use, and there's a handy cell phone slot on the center console.” -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The optional upgraded navigation unit gets a 7-in screen and incorporates spoken commands as well as pinch and swipe controls. We still think the head-unit look is a little generic, but it's much nicer than anything Subaru has offered before and really does get the job done. Navigation commands are easy to use and logical to execute." -- AutoTrader (2015)

See 2017 Subaru Outback specs and trims »


The 2017 Outback features 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and 73.3 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Both of those values are highest in the class, and more than what most compact SUVs offer as well. A power rear liftgate is optional. Critics appreciate not only the class-leading volume, but also the shape and height of the cargo hold, which they say makes it easy to load.

  • "We consider the 2017 Subaru Outback an alternative to compact crossover SUVs and a major reason for going with the Outback is what you'll find inside. Its cargo area is large (73.3 cubic feet maximum), boxy and a bit lower to the ground, making it easier to load big items or dogs inside." -- Edmunds
  • "Cargo space in this SUV is obviously leaps and bounds better than the Legacy sedan. That goes double with the seats folded." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Where the Outback offers added functionality is, of course, at the rear, where the wagon configuration is good for a whopping 73.3 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats folded flat – two more cubes than its predecessor." -- Autoblog (2015)
Review Last Updated: 10/6/16

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2017 Subaru Outback Pictures