12 Best Family Cars: 2018 Subaru Outback
While the Subaru Outback is a smart, practical versatile choice for families, its unique attitude is what makes it stand out among the crossover crowd. It has Subaru’s go-anywhere attitude, combined with the cargo volume of an SUV and the ride quality of a comfy sedan. This Subaru is a multi-year Family Car favorite that continues to make a strong case as an alternative to the traditional SUV. It’s a far cry from the wood-paneled family trucksters of the past, now much more crossover than station wagon.
The comfort of a wagon with the versatility of an SUV
If your family likes the idea of exploring the countryside, the Outback is a perfect fit. With an SUV-like 8.7 inches of ground clearance –- same as a Jeep Cherokee -- plus standard all-wheel drive and welcome features like hill descent control and hill hold on every Outback, you can visit the great outdoors with ease. But you can enjoy this all-season capability without having to rough it. The 2018 Subaru Outback offers a comfortable ride and quiet, roomy cabin comparable to an upscale midsize sedan, with available features such as Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, front and rear seat heaters, heated steering wheel, and more. There’s even an available 6-cylinder engine, but the 4-cylinder provides plenty of power while being less expensive and more fuel-efficient.
Its interior has plenty of room for five people, plus a generous cargo area that offers more than 35 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and about 73 cubic feet of room with the rear seats folded. That’s comparable to the space you’ll find in the back of some of the country’s best-selling five-passenger SUVs. It’s enough room for everything from strollers to a full setup for a picnic, or all the equipment you’d want for a rock-climbing trip.
Smart for families of all ages
Another reason the Outback continues to be on our list of the best Family Cars is its ability to accommodate little ones as well as it does teens and adults. Our child seat evaluations have shown that upper and lower anchor access is excellent, seats are easy to install and remove, and that with the seats in place, there’s still good legroom up front.
Older kids and grownups will appreciate the Outback’s legroom and comfortable seats. The two main rear seats are surprisingly comfortable and a third adult can fit in the middle seat if need be.
Practical and safe
The Outback is offered with a bevy of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. There’s blind-spot detection and rear-cross traffic alert. A rearview camera is standard on every trim level, and reverse automatic braking is available, which can stop the vehicle if it detects an obstacle while backing up.
When fitted with the base 2.5-liter engine, the Outback provides fuel economy of up to 32 mpg. Opt for the 3.6R Limited, which is equipped with near-luxury interior amenities as well as a 256-horsepower, 3.6-liter engine, and you still get fuel economy as good as 27 mpg. Either way, you’ll enjoy a versatile, spacious SUV alternative with fantastic resale value that’s ready to serve your family’s needs for a long time.
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