The Outback has been one of Subaru's most popular models for a long time. A wagon-slash-crossover sibling to the Legacy sedan, the current version was introduced for the 2015 model year. The Subaru Outback , with changes including a slightly new look as well as tweaks to the steering, suspension and continuously variable transmission.
For the 2019 model year, Subaru has made more technology standard on all Outback models, including its EyeSight active-safety suite and dual USB ports. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, all-wheel drive and rugged styling, the Outback has a reputation for thriving at the end of dirt roads -- but it's just as well-suited to urban commuters.
Powertrain and specs
The Subaru Outback has two different engines, both of which are paired with a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. The base choice that will suit most Outback buyers best is a 2.5-liter flat-four rated for 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. It returns 25 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. The other option is a 3.6-liter flat-six that serves up a healthy 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet. The downside is fuel economy falls to 20/27 mpg. Both engine options are rated to tow up to 2,700 pounds.
The Subaru Outback is spacious enough to carry five adults comfortably. In terms of cargo space, there's a generous 35.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 73.3 with them folded down. Of course, with roof rails included as standard, many Outback owners will carry bulky items -- kayaks, skis, bikes and so forth -- on the roof.
The Outback's base infotainment system is a 6.5-inch touchscreen with AM/FM radio, a CD player, two USB ports, satellite radio and built-in support for phone apps such as Pandora, Aha radio and (it is a Subaru, after all) a bird-watching app called eBird. The system also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. A 5.0-inch color trip computer is also standard on all Outbacks as of the 2019 model year.
The upgrade infotainment option is an 8.0-inch touchscreen which adds a few more features, including NFC phone pairing and text-to-speech capability for incoming text messages. It can optionally be equipped with integrated TomTom navigation. Subaru's Starlink telematics service is also offered. As with similar offerings such as OnStar, it allows owners to monitor their vehicle remotely, receive stolen-vehicle alerts and it can notify emergency services if the vehicle is in a crash.
Subaru now bundles its EyeSight active-safety suite as standard on every Outback. That includes pre-collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. Optional tech includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams and automatic reverse braking.
Options and pricing
Pricing starts at $27,320, including destination, for the 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, EyeSight, the 6.5-inch touchscreen, dual front USB ports and roof rails. The 2.5i Premium costs $29,420 and adds a power driver's seat, heated seats, heated mirrors, windshield wiper de-icers, dual-zone climate control, fog lights and the 8.0-inch infotainment system. There are two option packs: For $1,100 the Outback can be upgraded with blind-spot monitoring, a power liftgate and turn signal indicators in the mirrors. A $2,495 option pack adds to that a moonroof, navigation and automatic high beams.
The Outback 2.5i Limited costs $33,820 and adds 18-inch wheels, heated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, push-button start, leather upholstery and a power liftgate. For $2,150, buyers can add a moonroof, navigation, LED headlights and automatic reverse braking. The 2.5i Touring model is $37,770 and builds on that with chrome exterior trim, a heated steering wheel, Java Brown leather, LED headlights and navigation.
The two Outback 3.6R models, as the name suggests, come equipped with the 3.6-liter engine. The 3.6R Limited is $35,970 and its equipment list essentially matches that of the 2.5i Limited, albeit with dual exhausts. The $39,970 3.6R Touring, meanwhile, matches the equipment roster of the 2.5i Touring.
The 2019 Subaru Outback is available nationwide now.