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2014 Subaru Outback

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2014 Subaru Outback Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

The 2014 Subaru Outback is somewhat like a wagon and perhaps more like an SUV. To practical buyers it offers the spacious interior and versatility of a more-or-less traditional midsize SUV, with driving attributes and fuel efficiency more in line with a wagon. But perhaps its strongest virtue is the all-weather capability delivered by its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. If Subarus are known for anything, it's their well-deserved reputation for dealing with just about any weather condition Mother Nature can toss their way. Other vehicles might offer most of what the Outback delivers, and may be more engaging to drive or present more stylish faces, but the Subaru's all-around proficiency on good days and bad gives it a unique spot among its competition.

You'll Like This Car If...

Need a lot of interior room? Reasonable fuel economy? Rugged durability? All-weather capability? Good results on crash tests? And all that at an affordable price? The 2014 Outback should be high on your list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Just because it's an SUV doesn't mean the Outback can deal with a trailer over 3,000 pounds or more than five occupants; if those are your requirements you need something bigger, a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. And if you don't need all-wheel drive, there are less-expensive, although smaller, choices.

What's New for 2014

In 2013, the Outback received significant updates, and for 2014 the changes are minimal. The 2.5i Premium models now include, as standard, the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield de-icer) and the display audio system (4.3-inch screen, six speakers, SiriusXM Satellite Radio).

Driving the Outback

Driving Impressions If fuel economy takes precedent over quick acceleration, the 2013 Subaru Outback's 2.5-liter four with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) is your best bet. The 173-horsepower engine has to work...

a bit but, once up to speed, the CVT finds and holds the engine's peak torque, providing a good balance of response and efficiency. The CVT does take some getting used to, as there are no discernible gearshifts, as with a traditional automatic. The standard steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, however, allow the driver to simulate manual gearshifts, for quicker passing and merging. With an estimated 30 mpg highway and an 18-gallon fuel tank, the Outback can cruise well over 500 miles before refueling. On the road, the Outback demonstrates an impressive sedan-like feel, in part because the low center of gravity of its powertrain more than offsets its tall bodywork. Steering is precise and predictable, and only some slight wind noise intrudes on the reasonably quiet ride.

CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (CVT)
Subaru's take on the popular, fuel-saving transmission-without-gears features a paddle-shifted manual mode that mimics the shift points of a manual transmission without needing a clutch pedal. Best of all, the Outback CVT's estimated 24 city/30 highway mpg is better than with the 6-speed manual.

SYMMETRICAL ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Perhaps Subaru's biggest claim to fame is its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which continually sends power to all four wheels for optimum traction. If you live where the weather can turn foul and the roads slick, this could be reason enough to consider the Outback.

2014 Subaru Outback Details
Interior

The roomy, versatile Outback cabin is stylishly functional and remarkably roomy. Of particular note is the rear seat – we were able to fit three 6-foot adults in the rear seat, everybody was comfortable and none had knees touching the backs of the front seats. Equally comfortable are the wide front seats, which clearly are configured for adults, a reclining rear seat further improves comfort, while the upscale Limited and Premium trims offer power driver's-side lumbar support and leather seating. A dash-mounted electronic parking brake frees up console space for water bottles and latte cups. Automatic-transmission models also feature steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Exterior

The Subaru Outback is admittedly not the most stylish thing on the road, but it is clean and purposeful. The high roofline promises (and delivers) ample interior space, the generous ride height (with 8.7 inches of ground clearance) announces its off-road and bad-weather capabilities, while the sturdy black roof rails provide secure mounting when carrying extra stuff on the roof (and the roof-rail crossbars stow away when not in use, to reduce aerodynamic drag and wind noise). Up front, the headlights, front bumper and prominent grille give a sleek appearance that blends well with the overall rugged character.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For 2014, the Outback is offered in four trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. Base 2.5i models feature all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails and a 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and a USB port. The Premium trim adds alloy wheels, fog lights, a 10-way power driver's seat, the All-Weather Package and the display audio system, while Limited versions include leather seating, dual-zone climate control and a 440-watt harman/kardon sound system. Safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, and Subaru's EyeSight driver-assistance system (includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane-departure warning).

Optional Equipment

Most options for the Outback are dependent upon trim level. The CVT automatic transmission is the lone option on the base 2.5i, with Premium and Limited models offering a Power Moonroof Package with a power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror and rear backup camera. Limited models offer voice-activated navigation, the EyeSight safety system and a Special Appearance Package with metallic gray exterior adornments, wood-grain-style interior trim and keyless access with push-button start. The standard sound system has been upgraded for 2014, but audiophiles may want to choose the optional 9-speaker harman/kardon setup.

Under the Hood

The Outback is available with a choice of two "boxer" engines. "Boxer" means the cylinders are horizontal and opposed to each other, so the pistons go back forth somewhat like a boxer's fists, and the engine is low and flat, which reduces the height of the center of gravity – which in turn aids handling. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder delivers 173 horsepower, not best-in-class but enough muscle for satisfactory performance. Matching this engine with the CVT automatic will produce the best fuel economy, but the 6-speed manual offers sportier performance. The most refined choice for the Outback is the 3.6-liter 6-cylinder and its conventional 5-speed automatic, whose strong acceleration and passing power come at the expense of fuel efficiency: An estimated 18/25 mpg city/highway (versus the 4-cylinder CVT's 24/30).

2.5-liter boxer-4
173 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 24/30 mpg (automatic)

3.6-liter boxer-6
256 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg

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2014 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 255 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Excellent vehical

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This outback was owned by my brouther who past away. He was in the hospital and that is why the low milage. The car has been kept in the garage and cleaned once a month. I need to sell to pay bills for the estate. he bought the car from C&S and they valued it at $27,000 retail."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Awesome, Luxury vehicle

By on Thursday, January 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, I paid top dollar, with no regrets."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car, it has beautiful interior, outside is white with black trim, it is sexy. Drives like a dream, feals very heavy and the rear camera is super efficient. The. Leather is definitely old school with the smell and padding of top of the line luxury vehicle. Love my car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good AWD crossover with poor reliability

By on Friday, December 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good AWD, Smooth H6 Engine"

Cons: "Poor Reliability and Quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought Subaru 2010 Subaru 3.6R. The car is comfort, smooth and Subaru AWD system is really good for New England Winter. However, I will not recommend this car until subaru has better quality. Engine oil leak at 44k mile 3 month after warranty expired. Interior material start color bleach. My friend bought 2013 subaru 2.5i also has engine oil problem at only 15k miles"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Thursday, December 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "AWD, Mileage, Handling, Versatility, Snow"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great car that I bought new as I usually keep cars till they wear out. I fully expect this car to last to 200,000 miles or more. I use this car to transport kayaks and bikes and it is perfect in that regard. It drives better in the snow than a Jeep. Its low center of gravity gives one a great feeling of solidity and security. This car has quickly become my favorite vehicle ever."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

2014 2.4L Preium - There are better choices

By on Sunday, November 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "AWD -great in winter, Lots of cargo space"

Cons: "CVT, Cold interior in winter"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"CVT transmission is worst feature on this vehicle. Slow acceleration and high RPMs are common when trying to get this vehicle moving especially in cold winter weather. Cold interior when it is really cold outside. My 2002 Camry does a much better job of interior heating. Engine burns a quart of expensive sythetic oil every 5200 miles. Subaru dealership considers this "normal". Again, my 02 Camry with 171,000 miles on it uses about the same amount of oil. How much oil will the Outback be using at 171k?"

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Loaded, reliable, safe, luxurious snow machine

By on Monday, November 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Seats, NAV, sound, snow car"

Cons: "mileage 85K- due to weekly 180m trip to mountains"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Loaded: (NAV, CD/MP3 harmon stereo, perforated leather heated electric front seats, moon roof, back-up camera, built for snow safety, great gas mileage, lots of room for toys."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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