2012 Subaru Outback

MSRP $23,295 - $31,695

Ranked #7 in Suv

7.9

Overall Rating

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2012 Subaru Outback Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 10, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Possibly the most value-laden family wagon out there, the 2012 Subaru Outback continues to impress. Utility and style, power and performance, and especially the all-wheel-drive traction that’s standard across the lineup, combined to keep this midsize people-hauler near the top of the tire-kicking list. Further perks include competitive pricing, strong safety scores, and that traditional Japanese reliability and resale value.

2012 Subaru Outback Latest Updates

  • Nov' 10, 2021 : All-New 2023 Subaru Solterra To Debut on November 17 Read More »
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Pros

Affordably priced 

Good fuel efficiency

Best off-road prowess 

Surefooted driving characteristics

Ample legroom 

Plenty of cargo room

Cons

Uninspiring four-cylinder drivetrain

Unintuitive navigation system 

Braking performance not up to the mark 

Thirsty six-cylinder engine 

What's New?

New standard sound system with iPod interface and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming capability

New nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system available as option


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$23295

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

123 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

150 cu.in.

horsepower

170 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

170 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

107.9 in.

length

188.2 in.

width

71.7 in.

height

65.7 in.

curb weight

3389 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

105.4 cu ft.

cargo volume

71.3 cu ft.

towing capacity

2700 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

19/22/27 mpg

highway range

396.0 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$23,295 onwards

Premium$24,795 onwards

Limited$26,095 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Subaru Outback in Bronze Metallic color
Bronze 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

Pricing and Feature

7.0

Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

9.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

7.0

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.9

Overall Rating


The Subaru outback carries forward for the 2012 model year with only a slight update in the audio system. The car is otherwise aging and is offered with two engines while all-wheel drive is standard in the Outback. It also has excellent cargo space, an attractive design, and has excellent features available. It competes against the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, Toyota Prius V, and Hyundai Elantra Touring.


8.0/10
Features

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety


2012 Subaru Outback Features

8.0/10

The 2012 Subaru Outback is offered in the following submodels: Outback SUV. Available styles include 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 3.6R Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 3.6R 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), and 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Subaru Outback models are available with a 3.6 LL gas engine or a 2.5 LL gas engine, with output up to 256 hp, depending on the engine type.The Used 2012 Subaru Outback comes with an all-wheel drive.

Trim

Base

Premium

Limited

MSRP

$23,295

$24,795

$26,095

Key Features

16-inch steel wheels

Adds to Base

Adds to Premium

 

Roof rack rails with fold-out crossbars

17-inch alloy wheels

CVT automatic

 

Automatic headlights

Body-color mirrors

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

Full power accessories

Fog lights

Wood trim

 

Cruise control

Rear privacy glass

Leather upholstery

 

Keyless entry

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system

 

Air-conditioning

Eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar

Four-way power passenger seat

 

Height-adjustable driver seat

Bluetooth phone and audio streaming capability

Heated front seats

 

Cloth upholstery

Cargo cover

Windshield wiper de-icer

 

60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats

Six-speaker sound system

Heated mirrors

 

Four-speaker sound system

iPod/USB audio interface

 

We recommend

The Limited trim offered is a value for money trim. The additional features justify the slight increase in price over the Premium trim. The standard features along with the premium trims additional features make present an offer that is hard to refuse. 

2012 Subaru Outback Engine and Performance

9.0/10

The hidden strong suit of the 2012 Subaru Outback is lightweight. It performs adequately with just a 170-horsepower, 2.5L engine because the base vehicle weighs less than 3,400 pounds which is hundreds of pounds less than its closest competitors. The flat-four engine is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or an all-new continuously variable transmission (CVT) which boosts fuel economy substantially, and is nowhere near as annoying as some CVTs from other carmakers. 

On a full-throttle takeoff, it revs the engine to its strongest power band quite quickly but somehow manages to keep the engine from being as loud and intrusive as are other fours fitted with CVTs. Level highway cruising is accomplished with engine speeds of less than 2000 RPM, and for drivers who want more control, paddle shifters behind the steering wheel permit simulated "upshifts" and "downshifts" among six "ratios" for quicker power delivery or quieter running.

Model

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring

MSRP

$23,295

$20,195

$26,550

$19,495

Engine

2.5L Flat-4

2.5L Inline-5

1.8L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed manual 

6-speed automatic

CVT

5-speed manual

Power

170 hp at 5,600 RPM

170 hp @ 5,700 RPM

134 hp @ 5,200 RPM

138 hp @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

170 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

177 lb-ft @ 4,250 RPM

105 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

136 lb-ft @ 4,600 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

8.8

9.1 

11.7 

9.8 

Quarter Mile (seconds)

15

16.6 

18.1 

17.2 

Top Speed (MPH)

130

127 

112 

122 

While most Outbacks will be fitted with the four cylinder engine, there's an optional 256-hp, 3.6L flat-six that comes paired with a five-speed conventional automatic. It is a nicer driving experience that is smooth, torquey, and quiet and also moves the Outback off the line in a surprisingly quick fashion. 

2012 Subaru Outback Fuel Economy

9.0/10

The 2012 Subaru Outback returns a fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined. Having an all-wheel-drive powertrain, it delivers quite decent economy numbers for its size. 

Model

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring

MPG (City)

22

24

44

23

MPG (Highway)

29

31

40

31

MPG (Combined)

24

26

42

26

Fuel capacity

18.5 gal

14.5 gal

11.9 gal

14.0 gal

Range (City/hwy)

407 / 537 miles

348 / 450 miles

524 / 476 miles

322 / 434 miles

Being a hybrid car, the ToyotaPrius V is the most fuel-efficient and offers stunning mileage of 44 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 42 mpg combined. The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, on the other hand, features the similar output to the Subaru, but offers a front-wheel-drive drivetrain and delivers fuel efficiency of 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. 

2012 Subaru Outback Interior

8.0/10

The Subaru Outback can comfortably seat 5 passengers in total, combining both the front and second row of seats. The interior design of the Subaru Outback is quite appealing, and the quality of materials is not cheap. The materials are good enough for their class and price. The front seats are very comfortable while the rear seats have an abundance of space. 

Model

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring.

Seating capacity

5

5

5

5

Front row

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.8/56.3/43.0

38.4/54.8/41.1

39.6/55.9/41.3

40.0/55.4/43.5

Rear row

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.3/56.1/37.8

38.1/53.1/35.5

38.6/55.2/35.9

39.4/54.7/36.4

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

34.3 cu. ft.

32.8 cu. ft.

28.6 cu. ft

24.3 cu. ft.

The Outback’s rear seats also offer a good amount of headroom and legroom. The cabin provides an excellent amount of outward visibility, and it feels airy for the most part. In terms of cargo space, the Subaru Outback has the highest in the segment of 34.3 cubic feet. That said, some highlighting interior features are:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Power adjustable driver’s seat
  • Moonroof

How intuitive is the 2012 Subaru Outback infotainment unit?

The 2012 Subaru Outback now comes with a standard sound system that has an iPod interface and connectivity along with the Premium trim. It also offers Bluetooth connectivity of the phone and streaming of music via Bluetooth connectivity. Though a 4-speaker stereo system comes as standard, people in need of richer audio needs can go for the 9-speaker Harman Kardon Audio System. Auxiliary audio input now makes it to the list of standard features. Some of the highlighting features of the infotainment features are:

  • iPod interface
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • MP3 Player
  • 4-speaker audio system
  • Auxiliary audio input

2012 Subaru Outback Exterior

7.0/10

The 2012 Subaru Outback rolls on 16-inch steel wheels. However, starting from the 2.5i Premium, it gets 17-inch alloy wheels. The wagon comes with automatic headlights and roof rails as standard. Many other features like fog lights, body-colored mirrors, larger brakes, and more come with upper trims.

Model

2012 Subaru Outback

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen

2012 Toyota Prius V

2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring.

Curb Weight (lbs)

3498 lb.

3186 lb.

3274 lb.

2937 lb

Length (in.)

188.2 in.

179.4 in.

181.7 in.

176.6 in.

Width (in.)

71.7 in.

70.1 in.

69.9 in.

69.5 in.

Height (in.)

65.7 in.

59.2 in.

62.0 in.

59.8 in.

Ground clearance(in.)

.87 in.

5.4 in.

5.7 in.

5.9 in.

Wheelbase (in.)

107.9 in.

101.5 in.

109.4 in.

106.3 in.

The Subaru Outback is the heaviest car in this segment in terms of curb weight. The Toyota Prius V comes in second, followed by the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen. The Subaru here has a clear advantage over its rivals because of its impressive higher ground clearance which no other rivals offer. That said, the Outback’s highlighting exterior features are:

  • Fog lights
  • Daytime Running Lights 
  • Front underguard
  • Black folding side mirrors
  • Body-color folding side mirrors
  • Windshield wiper de-icer and heated side mirrors 
  • Roof rails with integrated and retractable crossbars

2012 Subaru Outback Safety

8.0/10

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety(IIHS) has crash-tested the vehicle, and it has awarded the Subaru Outback the highest rating of ‘Good’ in the major crash tests. Even the reputable National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) has evaluated the vehicle and granted an overall rating of 4 out of 5-stars, which includes 4-stars for frontal crashes and 4-stars for side crashes. Some of the salient safety features that comes equipped with the Subaru Outback are:

  • Anti-lock braking system
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Front side-impact airbags
  • Curtain side airbags

2012 Subaru Outback Final Verdict

Mileage with the 6-cylinder powerplant is often noted to be below advertised numbers, and the four-banger endowing the 2.5i trims is considered to be lacking the necessary oomph for confident merging and passing. Frustrations with the available navigation system, among other techno-gizmos, disappoint more than a few owners, while a few others find that a breakdown of bolstering and fabric besets the cloth-upholstered front seats ovesr what seems to be a disturbingly short time. Finally, several owners grouse that the electrically operated parking brake takes a lot of getting used to and that the standard tires remain noisy and prone to early wear.

On the positive side, owners offer hearty praise for this midsize wagon’s cabin and cargo space, its practicality, its 4-cylinder mileage numbers, its 6-cylinder pep, and, of course, its standard AWD configuration. High safety scores and traditional Subaru values also rate high in owner satisfaction with this latest Outback offering.

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