12 Best Family Cars: 2017 Subaru Outback
A multi-year Best Family Car award winner, the 2017 Subaru Outback is among the most practical, sensible and versatile vehicles money can buy. Many ingredients go into this Subaru's secret sauce, from its standard all-wheel drive to its fuel efficiency, advanced safety features and stellar resale value. Each is impressive on its own. Combined, they make the Outback a standout.
Wagon or SUV? The best of both
Long seen more as a high-riding station wagon than an SUV, the reverse can now be said about the latest-generation Outback. Whatever you call this 2-row, 5-passenger crossover, it's capable. Like an SUV, this Subaru has an ample 8.7 inches of ground clearance and above-average ride height that affords a good view out. Combined with its all-wheel drive (AWD) and X-Mode off-road system, the 2017 Outback enables and even encourages adventure-minded families to find new paths to fun.
This Subaru's wagon-like cargo area, meanwhile, makes it an excellent hauler. Whether you're packing climbing gear, the kid's stroller or a month's worth of groceries, the Outback boasts a surprising amount of room behind the rear seat. Even more space can be had by folding the 60/40 rear seats, which creates over 73 cubic feet of room.
Ready for child seats or growing teens
Whether your family stage has you cradling infants or herding teens, the Subaru Outback is ready to accommodate. Regarding the former, we found this Subaru crossover among the best vehicles available for securing child seats. The lower anchor is very easy to access, while the seatback’s ability to recline helps in fitting boosters. Upper tethers were also easy to attach, and we didn't need to remove the headrests to do so.
Families with older children benefit from generous legroom. Two adults can easily find comfort in the rear, and a third person can fit in a pinch.
Safe, efficient and convenient
Subarus and safety have long gone hand in hand, and the Outback only builds on that reputation. A host of active safety features are offered, highlighted by Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology that keeps an unblinking electronic eye on what's ahead, behind and to the sides of the vehicle. In addition to frontal pre-collision braking, for 2017 the Outback offers reverse automatic braking, which can stop the vehicle if it detects an obstacle while backing up.
While the hope is that those safety systems will only be needed rarely if ever, the Outback offers plenty of other features that can be appreciated every day. We like the power-operated rear liftgate, 576-watt Harman/Kardon audio system and heated leather seats. The new, top-line Outback Touring model could pass for a luxury vehicle with its perforated leather seating and ivory stitching, wood and metal interior accents, and heated steering wheel.
Whether you opt for an Outback with the standard 4-cylinder engine that achieves up to 32 mpg or a 3.6R model with the stout, 256-horsepower 6-cylinder, you'll have a highly functional and capable crossover that is ready to loyally serve your family with years to come.
More 2017 Subaru Outback
To learn more about the 2017 Subaru Outback, you can read our full review. If you’re ready to take the next step, build and price your own Outback to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.