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The Subaru Outback receives a fairly significant mid-cycle refresh for 2013. Chief among the changes are a modified body structure and suspension, which result in less body roll and reduced interior noise. Additional refinements include new audio systems, a restyled front end, and a new 4-cylinder engine that is both more powerful and fuel efficient.
The 2012 Subaru Outback offers a wide range of equipment among its six trim levels. The popular mid-level Premium wagon models add an improved 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth phone and wireless audio streaming plus an iPod connection. The clever standard roof rack with foldaway crossbars is mildly revised.
For 2011, Subaru adds folding side mirrors to all Outback models and makes XM Satellite Radio part of the harman/kardon audio system. New features include a rear vision camera with 3.3-inch rearview mirror display (part of the Power Moonroof package) and mobile Wi-Fi device that turns the Outback into a rolling hotspot capable of accessing the internet up to 150-feet from the car.
Not only does the 2010 Outback sport a rugged new look, it offers a host of improvements. Among the most notable is a new continuously-variable transmission (CVT) on four-cylinder models, a new 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, an additional four-inches of rear-seat legroom, a clever roof rack with pivoting cross rails and an available DVD navigation system allowing music streaming via Bluetooth connectivity.
The 2009 Subaru Outback drops the L.L. Bean trim, while a new Special Edition package is offered on the base car consisting of heated front seats, a power driver's seat, windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors, fog lights, a limited slip rear differential and 17-inch alloy wheels. A new 440-watt harman/kardon stereo is standard on all models except the base 2.5i.
Subaru builds the Outback for active individuals who shudder at the thought of driving a fuel-thirsty SUV. Based on the popular Legacy sedan and wagon, the Outback takes Subaru's four-wheel-drive philosophy one step further by increasing ground clearance, adding protective side cladding and offering a host of accessories designed to carry various types of equipment and cargo. Offered in four wagon and two sedan trims, and the smaller, Impreza-based Sport version, the rugged Outback models range from simple (2.5i), to sporty (2.5 XT Limited), to simply luxurious (3.0 R L.L. Bean Edition). Engine choices vary by model and include a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder and a refined six-cylinder. Of course, Subaru's legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive is standard, as is the ability to go just about anywhere four wheels can travel.
By Master Cylinder (WA) on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality of construction, looks, handling, safety"
Cons: "Electronics complicated for 65+ duffers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is our 3rd Subaru. #1 was a 1996 or 7 Legacy Outback Wagon, #2 was a 2001 Forester. We were hitting high mileage on the Forester and wanted some new wheels. We don't even bother looking at other manufacturers any more because, we have gotten spoiled by those first 2 and you get a lot of car for your dollar. We love the AWD. Subaru knows AWD like nobody else. We travel from Washington to the Rockey Mountain states often in summer and winter and it feels like its glued to the road no matter what kind of road you're on. The interior is a bit spartan, but comfortable, heated seats are great, we like the reclining rear seats and the gnerous cargo area. The steering is positive with a crisp, accurate response. Suspension isn't mushy, you have a good feel of the road. The CVT tranny feels weird, but you get used to it. You don't get those shif-up/down transitions so, at first, it seems to be sluggish, but really, it isn't. What Subaru does with 2.5 liters is amazing. I've driven dozens of rental cars over the years because of my job, from New Jersey to Washington State, and not one of them, IMHO, can come up to the overall comfort, quality, value and fun to drive factor, of the Subaru. And last, take a good look at the welding and panel fit. Subaru makes a darn good car. We feel the quality in it everywhere but in the wallet."
26 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Medisyn (NY) on Thursday, February 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "MPG, Comfort, Winter Premium PKG"
Cons: "Towing capabilities just has to work a little hard"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I work for a Sales Company which has me on the road for approx 45k miles/yr. I have had my 2012 Outback for almost 1 year and I really enjoy the comfortable ride. Heated Leather seats are GREAT for the minus teen temps here in Upstate NY. I have had 3 Escapes,1 Liberty and 1 Forrester. There is no better, comfortable ride than the Outback! The Bluetooth, IPhone hook up is user Friendly and helps me communicate with customers while on the fly without worry of getting a ticket for being on the phone while driving. I have had ZERO problems and I have 41k on this Outback already. In 55MPH zones I'm averaging 30 MPG On the Interstate approx. 28.5. I would buy an Outback again!"
23 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Fritz (Minneapolis, MN) on Saturday, February 06, 2010
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
"A solid, well built car. The 3.6 is a strong, smooth engine. The navigation system is easy to use and the stereo sounds great. The car "sticks" to the road and handles the snow and cold with ease. Rear seat legroom is much improved over previous models. This is my 4th Subaru, and it easily my favorite. The car is a great value, especially when reliability and safety are considered."
14 people out of 14 found this review helpful