2018 Subaru Outback SUV

#44
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$25,895 - $38,690

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY BODY STYLE

Overview

The station wagons are becoming rarer by each passing day. The 2018 Subaru Outback, however, is still marching strong on the path paved by the iconic Volvo wagons of the bygone days. Its strong points are same - everything. Be it space, practicality, safety, comfort, value for money and good fuel economy.

The Subaru Outback has spacious first and second row seats, composed ride quality and best in class cargo space (a trademark of the Outback). All these make it a great mile muncher. However, engine choice is either a budget-friendly and efficient but pesky 4 cylinder or a powerful but considerably expensive 6 cylinder.

Subaru prefers to call the outback as a " Sports Utility Wagon" and for good reasons. Roof rails not only give it the rugged SUV looks, they are actually usable for those excursions. The standard AWD with 8.6-inch ground clearance makes it more capable off-road than many SUVs on market. All these ensure this station wagon continues to be the jack-of-all-trades.

See detailed review »

Pros

Lots of cargo space

Standard All Wheel Drive

Spacious interior

Agile handling

Cons

Lacks luxurious features of the competitors

Optional 3.6 L engine is expensive and thirsty

Base 2.5 L engine lacks punch and has coarse idle

What's New?

Standard Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Cosmetic changes to exterior and interior

Sound-insulating glass and updated suspension for quieter ride


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25895

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

139 mph

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

152 cu. in.

horsepower

175 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

174 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

cvt

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.8 in. ventilated disc brakes/12.4 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

108.1 in.

length

189.6 in.

width

72.4 in.

height

66.5 in.

curb weight

3622 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

108.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

35.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.4 sec.

standing ¼-mile

17.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/28/32 mpg

highway range

592 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Wilderness Green Metallic color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Twilight Blue Metallic color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Tungsten Metallic color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Magnetite Gray Metallic color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Ice Silver Metallic color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Dark Blue Pearl color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Crystal White Pearl color  2018 Subaru Outback SUV in Crystal Black Silica color
Wilderness Green Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.8

Engine

6.3

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

7.6

Exterior

6.3

Safety

8.9

Driving

7.2

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i

2.5i

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$25,895

Configurations
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Engine: H-4 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (25/28/32)
Torque: 174 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Premium

2.5i Premium

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$27,995

Configurations
2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Engine: H-4 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (25/28/32)
Torque: 174 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Limited

2.5i Limited

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$32,695

Configurations
2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Engine: H-4 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (25/28/32)
Torque: 174 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 3.6R Limited

3.6R Limited

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$35,395

Configurations
3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT)
Engine: H-6 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/22/27)
Torque: 247 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Touring

2.5i Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$36,490

Configurations
2.5i Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Engine: H-4 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (25/28/32)
Torque: 174 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 3.6R Touring

3.6R Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$38,690

Configurations
3.6R Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT)
Engine: H-6 Transmission: CVT
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/22/27)
Torque: 247 lbs.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 4, 2018

7.4

Overall Rating


7.8/10
Features

 

6.3/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.6/10
Interior

 

6.3/10
Exterior

 

8.9/10
Safety

 
 
 

The Subaru Outback has spacious first and second row seats, composed ride quality and best in class cargo space (a trademark of the Outback). All these make it a great mile muncher. However, engine choice is either a budget-friendly and efficient but pesky 4-cylinder or a powerful but considerably expensive 6 cylinder.

Subaru prefers to call the outback as a “Sports Utility Wagon” and for good reasons. Roof rails not only give it the rugged SUV looks, but they are also actually usable for those excursions. The standard AWD with 8.6-inch ground clearance makes it more capable off-road than many SUVs on market. All these ensure this station wagon continues to be the jack-of-all-trades.

Features

7.8/10

The Subaru Outback starts at $25,895 for the base Subaru Outback 2.5i. While this trim gets you a small 2.5 L boxer 4 and basic features like fabric upholstery and analog instruments, 2.5i premium ($27,995) is impressively loaded with features like heated front seats and dual-zone climate control. However, if you need more bang, larger 3.6 L boxer 6 engine can be had in 3.6R Limited ($36,490).

Trims 2.5i 2.5i Premium 2.5i Limited 2.5i Touring 3.6R Limited 3.6R Touring
MSRP $ 25,895 $ 27,995 $ 32,695 $ 36,490 $ 35,395 $ 38,690
Features
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-MODE.
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control with Active Torque Vectoring.
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
  • SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Raised roof rails with integrated cross bars.
  • 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Includes 2.5i key features and adds:
  • Available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
  • SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security.
  • Available Blind-Spot Detection/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
  • Fog Lights.
  • All-Weather Package w/ heated front seats.
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Includes 2.5i Premium key features and adds:
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery.
  • 12-speaker 576-watt-equivalent Harman Kardon premium audio system.
  • 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • All-Weather Package w/ heated front and rear seats.
  • Keyless Access with Push-Button Start
  • Power Rear Gate.
  • Includes 2.5i Limited key features and adds:
  • Exclusive Java Brown Leather-trimmed upholstery.
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
  • Low-profile roof rails.
  • Heated steering wheel.
  • GPS navigation system.
  • LED Steering Responsive Headlights.
  • Includes 2.5i Limited key features and adds:
  • 256-hp SUBARU BOXER engine.
  • LED Steering Responsive Headlights.
  • Includes 3.6R Limited key features and adds:
  • Exclusive Java Brown Leather-trimmed upholstery.
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
  • Low-profile roof rails.
  • Heated steering wheel.
  • GPS navigation system.

We Recommend

Many of us look at Subaru Outback as a do-it-all value for money station wagon. If you look at it this way, the 2.5i Premium delivers tremendous bang for your buck. You can have it for $27,995 with a very efficient 2.5 L boxer 4 engine and features like heated front seats and dual-zone climate control. Also, a power tilt/sliding moon-roof is optional.

Engine

6.3/10

The 2018 Subaru Outback comes with two engine options. The delightfully efficient but boringly slow base 2.5 L boxer 4 or an impressively powerful but somewhat thirsty 3.6 L boxer 6. Both engines are mated to a CVT. The suspension is firm but not stiff and the outback will surprise you with its agility.

The name “outback” has a message – the off-road capability of this car. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and a standard and capable all-wheel-drive system, this station wagon can put many SUV to shame when going gets tough. The roof rack adds a good dose of toughness.

Engines and Transmission

The 4-cylinder engine used in the majority of Outback models is merely adequate for acceleration and passing, and its standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) is efficient but won’t snap off shifts like a traditional automatic. The 6-cylinder engine on upscale models packs good power but also commands a significantly higher price. – Kelley Blue Book

Subaru is one of the few prominent manufacturer (along with Porsche) that use the flat engine. The base outback has a 2.5 L flat 4 (or boxer 4) engine developing 175 hp and 174 pounds-feet of torque. It feels underpowered in the almost 3600 pounds Subaru station wagon. However, it’s nothing you can’t live with and it delivers excellent fuel economy too.Then other engine is a 3.6 L flat 6 developing 256 hp and 247 pounds-feet of torque.

It has more than sufficient power and it perfectly complements the agile handling of the Outback. It delivers all those power in a smooth manner and does not suffer from low-speed coarseness experienced in 2.5 L engine.

Models Subaru Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
MSRP $ 25,895 $ 22,200 $ 24,150 $ 21,580
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Gas engine 2.4-liter 4 cylinder Gas engine 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Gas engine 1.8L turbocharged  inline4 Gas engine
Transmission 6-speed cvt automatic transmission 6-speed automatic transmission CVT automatic transmission 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission
Power 175 hp @ 5800 rpm 185 hp @ 6000 rpm 184 hp @ 6400 rpm 170 hp @ 4500 rpm
Torque 174 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 178 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 180 ft-lbs. @ 3900 rpm 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.3 7.4 6.3 6.1

Acceleration

The base engine is slow – very slow. It’s slowest in segment taking 9.4 seconds for reaching 60 mph from standing start. The Golf alltrack, for comparison, can do the run in 7.5 seconds. The much more powerful 3.6L boxer-6 engine equipped outback, however, can sprint from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds.

“The Outback is anything but quick when equipped with the smaller 2.5-liter flat-four engine. Exacerbating the issue is the Outback’s standard CVT, which fails to present even the illusion of peppy acceleration.” – Car and Driver

Model Subaru Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
0-60 MPH 9.4 sec 8.3 sec 9.3 sec 7.5 sec
Quarter mile 17.2 sec @ 82.6 mph 16.4 sec @ 81.7 mph 16.0 sec @ 89 mph 15.9 sec @ 87 mph
Engine 2.5L 2.4L 2.4L 1.8L

Ride and Handling

The Outback rides with composure at slow or high-speed thanks to the stiffened suspension setup. However, it’s still capable of gobbling up those rough spots to keep your family comfortable. Even off-road driving is smooth thanks to the high sidewall tires on 18-inch wheels. The outback possesses surprising agility within tight spaces making city driving effortless.

“The Outback shares its platform with the Subaru Legacy, so it’s of little surprise that it feels like a sedan on the open road, albeit one that rides higher off the ground. If anything, that attribute grants it improved ability to absorb bumps and road undulations, if not its ability to corner sharply.” – Kelley Blue Book

Braking

The Subaru Outback braking performance is average in the class. The 2018 outback has 12.4-inch brake rotors up front and 11.8 rotors at the back. The Outback takes 126 feet to stop from 70 mph. That’s more than the VW Golf Alltrack which takes 122 feet. The poorest performer here is the Hyundai Santa Fe sport taking 139 feet to stop from 60 mph.

“The brakes don’t feel all that powerful around town, with a spongy pedal feel. At our test track, the Outback stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is typical for a vehicle of this size, but did it with considerable nosedive.” – Edmunds

Model Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
Brake pads-front(in) 12.4 12.6 11.1 11.3
Brake pads Rear(in) 11.8 11.9 10.2 10.7
Curb weight(lbs) 3622 3624 3307 3120
60-0 MPH 126 ft. 139 ft. 116 ft. 122 ft.

Hauling and Towing Capacity

The Subaru Outback towing capacity is independent of the engine you choose – 2700 pounds. The VW Golf Alltrack can tow only up to 1500 pounds (and doing so voids the warranty!). The Santa Fe Sport can tow 2000 pounds or 3500 pounds depending on trim.

Model Subaru Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
Towing Capacity(lbs.) 2700 2000 1500 1500 (voids warranty)

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

The Subaru Outback gas mileage depends on the engine you choose (obvious). The small 2.5 L boxer 4 delivers stellar fuel economy – 25 mpg in city and 32 mpg on highway. That’s more than Volkswagen Alltrack (22 city/32 hwy/27 combined). The much more powerful Outback 3.6r delivers 20 mpg in city and 27 mpg on highway.

Model Subaru Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
Mpg city 25 21 26 22
Mpg highway 32 27 32 32
Mpg combine 28 24 28 27

Interior

7.6/10

“There’s nothing fancy here, just plenty of passenger and cargo room, terrific outward visibility, solid build quality and easy-to-operate controls.” – Edmunds

The name “Outback” has another hidden meaning – the space out at the back. It was best in class and continues to be best in class. The front and rear seats are spacious too and the seats are supportive. The driving position is good and Subaru has worked on sound deadening for 2018 Outback resulting in a pleasantly quiet ride.

  • Tilting and telescopic steering column
  • Heated steering wheel (Optional)
  • Power driver’s seat (Optional)

Seating and Comfort

The Subaru Outback can seat five people and it accommodates them spaciously. The outback has best front legroom, shoulder room and legroom among the competitors. The seats are generally comfortable but feel a bit firm. The armrest is well cushioned and the door panel has soft-touch materials. All combine to make long distance commute a breeze.

Excellent front headroom and really good elbow room thanks to the big door cutouts. In the rear, there’s decent headroom and good elbow room and kneeroom. Foot space under the front seats can be a bit scrunched. – Edmunds

Model Subaru Outback 2.5i Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger volume (cubic ft.) 108.1 108.0 105.9 94.3
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 40.8/58.1/42.9 39.6/59.4/41.3 40.1/57.9/41.3 38.6/55.9/41.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 38.9/57.3/38.1 39.1/58.3/39.4 39.2/55.6/40.4 38.6/53.9/35.6

Trunk Volume

The Subaru Outback has 36 cubic feet of storage space with all seats up – behind only the CR-V, an SUV. Folding the second row reveals a cavernous 73 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s more space than anybody will need. The load floor is almost flat making camping inside the car a possibility.

Model Subaru Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
All Seats Up 36 35 39 30
Second Row Folded 73 72 76 67

Infotainment System

The biggest change for 2018 Subaru Outback is the availability of Android Auto and Apple Carplay. The base Outback 2.5i gets a 6.5-inch touchscreen and 4 speaker audio system. All other trims get 8-inch touchscreen and 6 speaker audio system. The Harman Kardon premium audio system is standard in 2.5i limited and higher trims.

Exterior

6.3/10

The Subaru Outback has a typical station wagon long glasshouse. However, it rides far above other station wagons and even some SUVs. All these lend it a unique sleek but raised stance on the road. The functional roof racks and liberal body cladding lend it a rugged look. The 18-inch wheels complement the look well filling the wheel arches fully. Fog lamp is not available in base 2.5i.

“The latest-gen Outback continues to cross over from a lifted wagon to a crossover SUV. Updates for 2018 embolden the Outback’s attitude.” – Kelley Blue Book

Exterior Features

  • Roof Rails
  • Body-Color Door Handles
  • Fog Lamp
  • Projector-Beam Halogen Headlights
  • Body-Color Folding Side Mirrors (Optional)
  • Power Tilt/Sliding Glass Moonroof (Optional)

Dimension and Weight

The Subaru Outback has a curb weight of over 3600 pounds – significantly higher than the golf (3395 pounds). The 8.7 inches of ground clearance in the Outback is more than the SUVs here – Santa Fe Sports and Honda CR-V. The Outback’s 189.6 inches of total length (highest here) will make parking a task.

Model Outback 2.5i Santa Fe Sport Honda CR-V VW Golf Alltrack
curb weight(lbs) 3622 3624 3307 3395
Length(in) 189.6 185 180.6 180.2
Width(in) (w/o mirror) 72.4 74 63 70.8
Height(in) 66.1 66.1 66.1 59.7
Ground clearance(in) 8.7 7.3 6.7 6.9
Wheel base(in) 108.1 106.3 104.7 103.5
Track width(in) F/R 61.8/62.2 64.3/64.7 63/63.7 61/59.9

Safety

8.9/10

Subaru’s Eyesight driver assistance package is standard on touring trims and optional on outback premium and Limited trims. Apart from these, the 2018 Outback crash test results are impressive. It got 5-star rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick + from IIHS.

Safety Features

  • Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Brake Assist
  • Brake Override System
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Rear-Vision Camera (high-resolution)
  • Subaru advanced frontal airbag system (SRS)
  • Side curtain airbags (SRS)
  • Seat-mounted front side impact (SRS)
  • Driver and front passenger seat cushion airbags (SRS)
  • Whiplash-protection front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints
  • Rear height adjustable head restraints
  • Height adjustable three-point front seatbelts
  • LATCH System

NHTSA ratings

Overall Rating

5 Star

Frontal Crash

5 Star

Side Crash

5 Star

Roll Over

4 Star

IIHS Reports

Crashworthiness

Side impact test

Good

Small overlap front passenger side

Good

Moderate overlap front

Good

Roof strength

Good

Front crash prevention

Good

Competition

Subaru Outback vs Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The Golf Alltrack is the only jacked-up station wagon here. It is the go-to station wagon if you love to drive. Plus, it has great interior quality and everything is made in typical German high quality but understated manner. However, the outback is a far more practical choice with way more interior space and far better off-road capability.

Subaru Outback vs Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is a 5 seat version of the 7 seat Santa Fe. It’s spacious and comfortable but lacks the practicality and off-road capability of the outback. However, if you fall for the look of the vehicle more than anything else, the Santa Fe Sport looks decidedly more chick.

Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is an SUV rather than a jacked up station wagon. The CR-V is the ruler of its own territory and it crosses the line with the Outback in terms of pricing and interior space. The CR-V betters the outback in terms of fuel economy but the outback is better when going off the beaten path.

Final Verdict

The new 2018 Subaru Outback continues to strengthen its position as a value for money station wagon that can take you places you never imagined. While other cars have strength in a specific area, the outback is a do-it-all vehicle. It’s comfortable, spacious, fuel efficient and comes with Subaru Eyesight suite of driver assistance systems.

However, the engine option can get confusing. While the small 2.5 L boxer 4 is efficient, it’s also underpowered. The powerful 3.6 L boxer 6 is considerably expensive. Also, the Subaru Outback lacks the optional high-end luxury items available in competitors.

The VW Golf Alltrack is closest to Outback in terms of body style. Get the Golf Alltrack if driving dynamics come higher in your list of priorities than practicality. SUVs like CR-V and Santa Fe are also available in this price range if that’s what you want. However, the outback is far more capable off-road than these SUVs.

Top Cars

2018 Audi Q5 SUV
8.9/10
2018 Jaguar F-PACE SUV
8.9/10