2022 Subaru Outback

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2022 Subaru Outback Test Drive Review: Off The Beaten Track

If ever there was one model that could save an entire genre, it's the Subaru Outback. Some say wagons don't sell in the United States. Subaru begs to differ. While the body shape accounts for a miniscule 1.4 percent of the overall US car market, a whopping 85 percent of the volume comes from just one model, the Outback. By lifting the suspension, tacking on some body cladding, and marketing it as a pseudo-SUV, Subaru has managed to enter the cheat code on how to sell wagons, and the Outback formula just continues to improve.

Built on the same Subaru Global Platform that debuted last year on the Legacy sedan, the new Outback sees improvements to its steering response, ride comfort, and handling. There's also more technology inside, including a massive 11.6-inch touchscreen display. The 2022 Subaru Outback loosely competes with compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but due to its wagon shape, offers a completely unique style. Two engine choices are available, including a 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer four, but in true Subaru tradition, every model gets standard AWD. We spent a week-long test drive with a Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT packing the more powerful engine to find out what makes this the most popular wagon in America.

Read in this review:

2022 Subaru Outback Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 Subaru Outback?

If anyone ever said a wagon couldn't go off-road, the 2022 Subaru Outback lineup aims to dispel that myth with the addition of a new trim called the Outback Wilderness. This features greater ground clearance, unique style, all-terrain tires, and suspension geared for better off-road handling. The interior gets water-repellent upholstery.

Elsewhere in the range, all models now get LED fog lights and the Premium trim gets rear air vents.

Pros and Cons

  • Surprisingly capable off-roader
  • Lots of interior space
  • Solid safety record
  • Lots of standard tech
  • Drives better than ever
  • Not the most exciting exterior styling
  • Lackluster performance from the base engine
  • CVT feels rubbery
  • Less vertical space than some crossovers
  • Infotainment is a little sluggish

Best Deals on Outback

2022 Subaru Outback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$26,945
Premium
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$29,145
Limited
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$33,595
Onyx Edition XT
2.4L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$35,145
WILDERNESS
2.4L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$36,995

2022 Subaru Outback Exterior

It must be said that the exterior styling of the 2022 Outback is not all that exciting, especially compared to other crossovers in the USA. It takes a function over form approach, and while some might like this, it's not to everyone's tastes. The base model and Premium come standard with 17-inch wheels, growing to 18 inches from the Limited trim upwards with the exception of the Wilderness. All models get steering-responsive LED headlights and LED fog lights for the new year. A hands-free power rear tailgate is standard on Limited models and above, and Touring models, Limited XT, and Touring XT cars get a power moonroof. Some models feature unique styling elements. The Onyx Edition XT we tested has Crystal Black Silica-finish wing mirrors and matching black-finish alloy wheels. 2022's newest addition, the Wilderness, rides on 17-inch alloy wheels finished in matte black but also sports Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires. This trim sports hexagonal LED foglights, unique two-tone decals, and model-specific raised roof rails with a 700-pound carrying capacity.

2022 Subaru Outback Front View Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Rear View Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Front Angle View Subaru
See All 2022 Subaru Outback Exterior Photos

2022 Subaru Outback Dimensions

Classified as a wagon, albeit one with crossover-like styling and ground clearance, the 2022 Subaru Outback is a semi-SUV that rides on the new modular architecture that was introduced for the 2020 MY's new generation. This gives most models dimensions that include an overall length of 191.3 inches, a width of 73 inches, and a height of 66.1 inches including the roof rails. The car rolls on a 108.1-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is an off-road friendly 8.7 inches, which is a class-leading figure. There are variations, primarily in the case of the new Wilderness, which is wider at 74.6 inches, taller at 66.9 inches, and has extra ground clearance for a total of 9.5 inches.

The curb weight of the 2022 Outback varies from trim to trim, with the lightest models weighing in at 3,637 lbs while the heaviest variants weigh up to 3,937 lbs.

  • Length 191.3 in
  • Wheelbase 108.1 in
  • Height 66.4 in
  • Max Width 73.0 in
  • Front Width 61.8 in
  • Rear Width 62.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,637.0 lbs

2022 Subaru Outback Exterior Colors

Despite Subaru's best efforts at making the Outback look appealing, it is hard to get over this family wagon's bland styling in anything but the Wilderness trim. Nevertheless, Subaru does provide the vehicle a few exciting color options that make the best of the exterior design. The base model is offered in six different colors: Crystal White Pearl, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Abyss Blue Pearl, and Brilliant Bronze Metallic, the latter being new on the base model this year. Higher trims unlock more colors including Crimson Red and Autumn Green metallics, and Cinnamon Brown Pearl, but only the Wilderness gets access to Geyser Blue as one of its six available hues. Being an outdoorsy kind of vehicle, the Outback looks best in shades of green, gray, and blue, with Autumn Green's military appeal looking particularly good.

  • Abyss Blue Pearl
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
  • Cinnamon Brown Pearl
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Geyser Blue

2022 Subaru Outback Performance

The performance of the Subaru wagon is a tale of two engines. From the base model, all the way through to the Outback Touring, Subaru has opted to go for a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces a mild 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to an all-wheel drive system in typical Subaru fashion, but only one transmission is available, a continuously variable automatic. From the Onyx Edition XT onward, the Outback gains some serious power thanks to the help of a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four producing 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. When it comes to performance figures, you can expect the base engine to motivate the Outback from 0 to 60 mph in around 8.7 seconds. The turbocharged engine offers a lot more hustle for its extra muscle, getting the Outback to 60 mph in around 6.3 seconds in independent testing.

What is more important here is that in any configuration, the Outback puts its power down cleanly and without drama to all four wheels, a boon for drivers who live in snowy and wet areas where hunting down top speed is less of a focal point. The Outback also offers impressive towing capacities, with naturally-aspirated models being able to haul 2,700 lbs, while turbo vehicles will up that figure to an impressive 3,500. That blows competition like the Honda CR-V out of the water.

2022 Subaru Outback Frontal Aspect Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Rear Angle View Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Wheel Subaru

2022 Subaru Outback Engine and Transmission

Subaru knows its target market and has cleverly packaged the 2022 Outback to match its buyers' needs. The Outback in base form is a humble performer that will happily cruise along on the daily commute and will be happy on rutted tracks in the great outdoors. Its 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer four-cylinder engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, which doesn't sound like much. In reality, it translates into a car that feels slightly sluggish and out of breath, especially at highway speeds. Power is sent to all four wheels via a CVT transmission that emulates an eight-speed auto transmission. The transmission feels lazy and exacerbates the 2.5-liter engine's lack of low-down grunt. The turbocharged 2.4-liter engine is the one to go for if you're in more of a hurry. This powerplant delivers a solid 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The power difference between the two engines is night and day, and if you're planning on doing any trailering, then the 2.4-liter engine will be your only choice. The turbo engine is plagued by the same lethargic CVT transmission around town, but it compensates for this with lots of low down torque. On the highway, it is an impressive cruiser, and in off-road scenarios, the extra torque is mighty helpful!

  • Engines
    2.4L Turbo Flat 4 Gas, 2.5L Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

2022 Subaru Outback Handling and Driving Impressions

Like its Legacy sibling, the Outback rides on Subaru's new Global Platform. This architecture is stiffer and offers more structural rigidity, both of which aid in steering response, ride comfort, and handling. When you first set off, the Outback may surprise you with its accurate steering, which feels more car-like than SUV-like. Ride comfort is generally excellent, though we felt that the Legacy in its Limited XT form was far quieter in the cabin. We were also pretty surprised by the handling which, despite a fair bit of body roll, felt pretty car-like.

Subaru seems to have a knack for building cars that drive better than they look from the outside. The Outback is no sports car, but it feels far from dull. Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system grips the road like a vice and uses brake-based torque vectoring to motivate the car around corners. An X-Mode allows drivers to drive through heavy snow or mode, and even features hill descent control in case you approach a steep decline. This mode has been recalibrated in the Wilderness model, deploying even more low-end grunt to make the most of the all-terrain tires and off-road suspension, giving it some serious off-road clout despite lacking a low range transfer case.

The Outback won't impress Jeep owners, but average consumers who live in snowy climates will be more than satisfied.

2022 Subaru Outback Fuel Economy

The car-buying public is acutely aware of fuel consumption, especially in this segment of the family car market, and the good news is that the Subaru Outback isn't the thirstiest in its class. You'll get the best gas mileage in any of the trims fitted with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine. In this configuration, the Outback will return a gas mileage figure of 26/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined - figures that match the AWD Honda CR-V 1.5-liter. The more powerful turbocharged Outback suffers slightly more at the pumps but still returns a respectable 23/30/26 mpg, while the all-terrain tires and raised ride height of the Wilderness see it suffer the most at 22/26/24 mpg. During our testing though, we only averaged 19.5 mpg in the Onyx Edition with the turbo motor. With a maximum fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons, the 2022 Outback should achieve between 444 and 536 miles in mixed driving conditions.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/33 mpg
* 2022 Subaru Outback Base CVT

2022 Subaru Outback Interior

Subaru's exterior design may be lacking flair, but the Japanese brand has worked on its interiors in the last couple of years. The result is better quality and better design, but still not to the same level as a brand like Mazda. The 2022 Outback delivers a quality interior that can be equipped with high-quality trim materials, including durable cloth and leather. Not forgetting the type of buyers who stay loyal to the brand, a selection of rugged materials can also withstand whatever you're likely to throw its way.

The interior design feels grown-up, and the build quality is up there with the class leaders. Getting in and out of the Outback requires no major hassles, and even tall adults won't find any problem entering or exiting this car. Once inside, the Outback cradles front seat passengers in a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat and a four-way manually adjustable passenger's seat in base trim, while Limited cars and above get a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power adjustable lumbar support and an eight-way power-adjustable front-passenger's seat. The seating position is commanding and gives a good view of the road ahead. Rearward visibility is also impressive.

2022 Subaru Outback Dashboard Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Steering Wheel Design Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Gauge Cluster Subaru
See All 2022 Subaru Outback Interior Photos

2022 Subaru Outback Seating and Interior Space

Though its overall dimensions are vastly different from the majority of compact crossovers, the Outback remains competitive with these vehicles when measuring interior volume. Front seat passengers receive a roomy 40.1 inches of headroom and 42.8 inches of legroom. The Outback seats five, with plenty of space for three adults in the rear. Rear seat passengers have an adequate 39.1 inches of headroom and a generous 39.5 inches of legroom. The Honda CR-V's back seat is slightly larger but the Outback holds a big advantage over the Toyota RAV4, proving that maybe crossovers aren't all as practical as they're made out to be.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.8 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2022 Subaru Outback Interior Colors and Materials

With such a massive selection of trims, new customers have a wide array of upholstery choices. The base model ships out with Slate Black cloth seats and a polyurethane steering wheel, but from the Premium you can also select Titanium Gray or Warm Ivory - exterior paint-dependant - and a leather-clad steering wheel is standard. The Limited trims mimic these colors but upgrade to leather, while the two Touring trims only have access to Nappa leather in Java Brown. Exclusive to the Onyx Edition XT is Gray StarTex with green stitching, a vinyl-like upholstery that wipes down easily and resists mud and other elements. The Wilderness also gets this material but has unique Wilderness logos embossed on the headrests and orange stitching.

2022 Subaru Outback Trunk and Cargo Space

One of the most significant benefits of going with the Subaru station wagon is the fact that it provides tons of cargo space. Behind the rear seats, the Outback provides 32.5 cubic feet of space. This might be eclipsed by traditional crossovers like the Honda CR-V's 39.2 cubic feet, but it has more than other similar-sized vehicles like the Mazda CX-5. You'll be able to fit enough camping gear for four behind the rear seats. If more space is required, the reclining 60/40-split rear seatbacks fold flat to unveil a generous 75.7 cubic feet - on par with the best compact crossovers and more than enough space to squeeze in a pair of mountain bikes. Onyx models also get crossbars on the roof rack for even more storage space, while the Wilderness gets model-specific roof rails with a 700-pound carrying capacity.

In the cabin, small items can be stored in the small front overhead compartment, glovebox, center console bin, and underfloor cargo-area storage compartment. Subaru has also included eight cup and bottle holders throughout the cabin.

2022 Subaru Outback Front Seats Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Rear Passenger Seats Subaru
2022 Subaru Outback Trunk Space Subaru

2022 Subaru Outback Infotainment and Features

Subaru Outback Interior Features

There's a healthy number of standard features spread out across the Outback trim lineup. Lower in the lineup, manually adjustable seats, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control, and automatic climate control are standard. But from just one rung up, the front seats gain power adjustment (passenger power adjustment only from the Limited) and heating and the cabin benefits from dual-zone climate control. Keyless access, a hands-free power tailgate, heated rear seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror are standard from the Limited-badged trims, while the Touring options get a heated steering wheel, power sunroof, and ventilated front seats. Every model gets some form of the Subaru EyeSight driver-assist suite comprising adaptive cruise control, pre-collision auto-braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Reverse automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring are standard on Limited-badged models, while the Touring and XT Touring get a driver attention warning, too. From the Touring trim, a 180-degree front camera is added.

Subaru Outback Infotainment

Subaru offers the Outback with two different infotainment setups. The base arrangement, which is the rarer option, includes dual touchscreens with the top unit handling radio and infotainment duties and the button one showing the climate controls. Our Onyx Edition XT tester packed the optional 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system, which pairs a massive touchscreen with a few surrounding physical controls for the temperature, volume, and radio tuning. In terms of design, the Starlink system looks a bit cartoonish and the response times could be quicker. Some controls, like the fan speed settings, are finicky to use but overall we found the system to be mostly intuitive. Navigation is available - standard on the Touring - but all trims get access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lower trims receive a lackluster four-speaker audio system, and the six-speaker audio system isn't much better. The available Harman Kardon 12-speaker surround-sound system is the one to get if you are an audiophile, with 572 watts for a decent punch.

2022 Subaru Outback Common Problems and Reliability

Subaru prides itself on building reliable cars, and many Outback owners are repeat customers for that very reason. Now three years into an all-new model, just three recalls have been recorded. Two occurred for the 2020 model while just one, for a CVT select level cable nut that may be too loosely fastened, was leveled against 2021 MY vehicles. The 2022 model has not been recalled at all.

As for warranty coverage, the Outback is covered by Subaru's three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty with wear items covered for the same period. The powertrain limited warranty is more extensive at five years/60,000 miles, while the rust perforation warranty covers the same time period with no mileage restrictions.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

2022 Subaru Outback Station Wagon Safety Rating

In recent years, Subaru has become the master of safety ratings and the Subaru Outback is no different. The NHTSA's review of the Subaru Outback in 2021 yielded a five-star overall rating which we expect to roll over to 2022, while the IIHS review saw the Outback pick up a Top Safety Pick + award.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

2022 Subaru Outback Key Safety Features

The main reason why the Outback scores so well in road safety tests is its long list of active driver assistance systems, but the Outback also comes with all the passive systems you'd expect, including eight airbags with a driver's knee airbag and front passenger seat-cushion airbag. Standard AWD, traction, and stability control keep things stable on the road, along with the usual plethora of braking-related acronyms. Active driver assistance systems that come standard across the range include advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, pre-collision braking, lane departure, and sway warning, lane keep assist, and high beam assist. The Premium trim adds a Starlink safety and security system, and Limited vehicles get blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking. Touring models and higher add a 180-degree front-view monitor.

Verdict: 🏁Is the New Subaru Outback a good car?

A comparison between the new Subaru Outback and its competitors proves to be a tricky task because it is so unlike any other crossover or SUV sold today. Though it has a raised ride height, the Outback looks and feels like a wagon, which should appeal to buyers looking for a more car-like driving experience. Subaru's new Global Platform has improved the Outback's handling tremendously, and the changes should impress buyers who are expecting a dull feel from behind the wheel.

Subaru managed to price the Outback above, but surprisingly close to popular crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Those crossovers present a very different curb appeal than the Outback, which aims for a more rugged outdoorsy vibe. With plenty of ground clearance, standard AWD, excellent road manners, and tons of technology, the Subaru Outback proves why a wagon can be as good as a crossover. If you are looking for something with looks that are off the beaten path and can drive off it too, the Outback is an excellent choice.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wagon?

After successful sales last year, the price of the Subaru Outback hasn't changed much for the new model year. The base model has only increased in price by $150 and now carries an MSRP of $26,945. From there, the Premium asks $29,145 and the Limited at $33,595. The cost of the Subaru Outback in Touring trim is $37,495. Great value for money is to be had from the first turbocharged trim, the Onyx Edition XT, at $35,145, and the off-road biased Wilderness at $36,995. The last two trims in the lineup are the Limited XT and Touring XT at $37,995 and $39,945, respectively. These prices exclude a destination fee of $1,125, or $1,275 in Alaska.

2022 Outback Wagon Models

For 2022, eight configurations of the Subaru Outback station wagon are available: Outback, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, Limited XT, and Touring XT.

The base model, Premium, Limited, and Touring all make use of the same naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-pot engine delivering 182 hp and 176 lb-ft. The remaining trims enjoy the extra power provided by the turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (260 hp and 277 lb-ft).

The base model features single-zone climate control, dual front USB ports, manually adjustable front seats, and a seven-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, four speakers, and Bluetooth streaming. Active driver safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, pre-collision braking, lane keep assist, and high beam assist.

The Premium trim adds a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats. dual rear USB ports, a leather steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and an 11.6-inch infotainment display with six speakers.

Going for the Limited will bag leather upholstery with an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated rear seats, two-position driver seat memory, keyless access with push-button start, a hands-free liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and safety features such as blind-spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic assist, and reverse automatic braking. The Limited includes a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The Limited XT adds a standard power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation, and driver attention warning.

Touring and Touring XT models include the power moonroof, ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel. Added driver assistance features include a DriverFocus distraction mitigation system and a 180-degree front-view monitor.

The Onyx Edition XT is based on the Premium but gets the turbocharged engine black 18-inch alloy wheels, black mirror caps, and StarTex water-repellent upholstery. It also benefits from the 18-degree front camera and a hands-free liftgate.

New for 2022, the Wilderness trim builds on this spec with off-road-focused suspension, a raised ride height, 17-inch alloys with Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires, underbody bashplates, reconfigured gearing, and unique styling elements.

See All 2022 Subaru Outback Trims and Specs

2022 Subaru Outback Additional Packages

There are a limited amount of optional packages available for 2022, with some trim levels going without these options entirely. The base model is only offered with optional accessories such as a bike rack or all-weather floor liners, but the Premium can be equipped with two packages. The $1,400 package adds blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assist and rear-cross traffic alert, keyless access with push-button start, and a hands-free power liftgate. The second costs $2,995 and adds all of the above plus a power moonroof and navigation. Limited models have a $2,045 package that bundles a heated steering wheel, navigation, a DriverFocus distraction mitigation system, and a power sunroof. The Onyx Edition XT and Wilderness both gain access to a $1,845 package that adds a power moonroof, navigation, and reverse automatic braking.

Even on models without access to packages, a few standalone items may be worth investing in. These include a wireless charging pad for $292 or an auto-dimming rearview mirror at $365 on models that don't come with this as standard.

πŸš—What 2022 Outback Model Should I Buy?

We are admittedly a bit power-obsessed here in the CarBuzz office, which is why we'd recommend opting for the Outback in one of its turbocharged trim levels, either the Wilderness or one of those with an XT suffix. The Onyx Edition XT that we tested will be fine if you don't require a ton of bells and whistles, though we didn't love the basic audio system or the tougher StarTex upholstery. If you are already willing to step up to an XT trim level, we think the Limited XT is worth the $2,850 premium over the Onyx Edition, especially if you plan to add the Starlink infotainment and moonroof for $1,845 extra. For $37,995, the Outback Limited XT includes both of these features as standard, and adds thicker glass for improved sound deadening, real leather, and the Harmon Kardon audio system.

As for the Wilderness, this trim appeals to a very niche market. If you find yourself regularly going camping or mountain biking in tricky areas, the added off-road prowess here could come in handy, but for most buyers, one of the other models will be better suited.

2022 Subaru Outback Comparisons

Honda CR-V CarBuzz
Toyota RAV4 Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru Outback182 hp26/33 mpg$26,945
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$25,350
Toyota RAV4 203 hp27/35 mpg$26,350

2022 Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V

The compact crossover SUV market is filled with extremely capable cars, and the Honda CR-V is one of the best out there. A recent redesign has seen this SUV up its game in a big way. Under the hood of the CR-V, you will find a lively 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. This places the CR-V precisely in the middle of the Outback's 2.5-liter and turbocharged 2.4-liter options. The CR-V will return fuel economy figures of 27/32/29 mpg in AWD guise, which is right around the same figures as the Subaru. On the road, the CR-V is comfortable to drive but its taller construction makes it less engaging to drive. It's also not as capable off-road as the Subaru is, especially in Wilderness trim.

On the inside, the CR-V offers a premium experience and exudes Honda's legendary build quality, but the most notable feature is the abundance of space, both in the front and back. The CR-V swallows more cargo behind its rear seats than the Outback, but the overall capacity provided by both is remarkably close. In terms of features, the two cars are closely matched and are both as safe as houses. So which is better? Well the CR-V is arguably more comfortable and luxurious and has a better infotainment system, even if it is smaller. But the Outback drives better, is more capable, more rugged, and loses out on very little. We believe the wagon deserves to be saved, and what better way to start than by buying the Outback.

See Honda CR-V Review

2022 Subaru Outback vs Toyota RAV4

The RAV4 dominates the world of subcompact SUVs with sales figures of over half a million cars annually and provides a trusted ownership experience. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the RAV4 produces 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, placing it between the 2.5-liter and turbocharged 2.4-liter engines on offer in the Outback. Power is sent to either the front or all four wheels via an automatic transmission. The most economical model will return 28/35/30 mpg city/highway/combined, which is marginally better than the Outback, but the RAV4 can be had in hybrid or plug-in hybrid Prime forms which deliver both better gas mileage and stellar performance. On the road, the RAV4 is comfortable enough, but the Outback feels more car-like in the way it rides and handles. Both are relatively well-matched off-road, and both can tow similar amounts, but in Wilderness form, we'd trust the Outback off the beaten track a little more.

Passenger space is on par with the Outback, and behind the rear seats, you get more trunk space, but with the rear seats folded down, the Outback reverses these roles. The Subaru has more to offer in terms of features in the base configuration, but the Toyota provides an equally impressive standard safety suite. Starting at $25,850, the RAV4 is an attractive proposition for less money with arguably better reliability, but we feel that for a little more money, a mid-spec Outback is a more complete package, even if it lacks the sales success.

See Toyota RAV4 Review

Subaru Outback Popular Comparisons

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2022 Subaru Outback Video Review

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