IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

The Outback has “best of both worlds” appeal; it’s got better off-road capability than a traditional car and more carlike handling than the typical taller crossover. What’s more, it’s solidly built and offers an excellent range of comfort and safety features.

BUT…

The turbocharged engine exhibits a bit of “turbo lag”—a delay in power delivery before the turbo spools up.

WORTH NOTING:

The Onyx Edition and Wilderness models come with special StarTex water-repellent upholstery.

WHAT IS IT?

The Outback is Subaru’s popular SUV-flavored midsize station wagon; it’s based on the same basic platform as the Subaru Legacy midsize sedan, but it adds a raised ride height, beefy roof rails, and rugged-looking lower-body cladding. A 182-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is the base engine, and a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four is the step-up choice; both are paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive. Trim levels run through base, Premium, Limited, and Touring models with the 2.5-liter engine, and Onyx Edition XT, new-for-2022 Wilderness, Limited XT, and Touring XT with the turbo 2.4. Standard safety features on all include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering function, and a head-up display. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, and Subaru’s DriverFocus driver monitoring system are available. Other available features include heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, navigation system, hands-free power liftgate, 180-degree front-view camera, and a power sunroof.

WHAT’S NEW?

As mentioned above, the Outback roster gains a Wilderness model with off-road-focused enhancements including a higher ride height, all-terrain tires, beefier matte-black body cladding, and a ladder-type roof rack, as well as unique trim touches. The other models in the Outback lineup get a higher level of standard equipment.

FUEL ECONOMY

The EPA rates the Outback at 26 mpg city/33 highway with the 2.5-liter engine, and 23/30 with the turbo 2.4. The Wilderness model’s special gear drops its EPA rating to 22/26. In Consumer Guide® testing, an Onyx Edition XT averaged 23.9 mpg in 65-percent city driving, a Touring XT averaged 25.0 mpg in 80-percent highway driving, and a Wilderness averaged 23.3 mpg in 55-percent highway driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

For many shoppers, the Outback offers an ideal blend of passenger-and-cargo versatility, on-road refinement, all-terrain capability, and luxury, and wraps it all up in a rugged, adventurous-looking package that boasts a generous list of safety and convenience features. The unique features of the new-for-’22 Wilderness model are aimed at enabling outdoor adventures a little further off the beaten path.

BASE PRICE RANGE $26,945 – $39,945
BODY STYLES 4-Door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES 182-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl; 260-HP, Turbocharged 2.4-Liter 4-Cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 23-33 MPG

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