2019 Subaru Outback

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2019 Subaru Outback Review

The 2019 Subaru Outback is living in the future. While the car-buying public struggles to choose between crossovers, SUVs and family sedans, the Outback offers all of that in a well built, safe and capable wagon (kind off) that gives you the versatility of an SUV, the appeal of a crossover and the comfort of a traditional mid-size sedan. Why Subaru doesn't sell more of these is a wonder, because the Outback covers so many bases, and performs well in so many aspects that it would make perfect sense that everyone should be driving one. Sadly the reality of it all is more complicated, and the Outback, despite its appeal as a multi-purpose-vehicle, still has its flaws. Subaru has done a good job of keeping the Outback, which is now a quarter of a century old, relevant and capable, and revisions to the latest model make it more appealing than ever.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2019 Subaru Outback Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Outback?

The most notable update for 2019 is the inclusion of Subaru's superb EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package. This suite of safety tech includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlamps. This package was an optional extra for 2018 but now comes standard across the Outback range, making a safe car even safer. The interior gets a new overhead light in the front (we're blown away!) and a standard five-inch LCD display mounted in the dashboard. Front passengers are also blessed with two USB ports

Pros and Cons

  • It's good at doing a bunch of things
  • Excellent visibility
  • It can actually go off-road
  • It is safer than your house
  • It retains its value
  • The base engine leaves you wanting more
  • Throttle response is touchy
  • The six-cylinder engine is thirsty

What's the Price of the 2019 Subaru Outback?

The base 2019 Outback has an MSRP of $26,345. The 2.5i Premium goes for an MSRP of $28,445; the 2.5i Limited starts at $32,845; the 2.5i Touring will set you back $36,795; and the more powerful 3.6R Limited costs $34,995. These prices exclude tax, registration, license and a $975 destination fee. The Outback represents good value for money when taking into consideration that is one of the safest and most capable off-road crossovers on the market. Ford's Escape starts at an MSRP of $24,105, over two grand less than the Outback, but fails to match the Outback in terms of safety and off-road capability. An interesting option could be the 2019 VW Golf Alltrack, which starts at an MSRP of $26,895.

Best Deals on 2019 Subaru Outback

2019 Subaru Outback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5i Premium
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5i Limited
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
3.6R Limited
3.6L Flat 6 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5i Touring
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Subaru Outback Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 2019 Subaru Outback was never meant to be a track day weapon but handles better than you'd expect from a glorified mud-wagon. Subaru's cars lean towards sportier handling, and you can notice it when driving the Outback. Although a bit vague when on center, the steering feels precise and turn-in is good, and the steering wheel loads up with medium to strong feel. As mentioned, the Outback wasn't designed to hit the apex perfectly, and you'll notice the tires starting to give sway when you're pushing it hard through the corners, with the softly sprung suspension causing a fair amount of body lean, but again, nothing comes as a surprise, and the handling remains predictable. The combination of a suspension setup with more travel than the average car mated with a lower center of gravity makes it accomplished at going around twisty bits better than its competitors. The standard all-wheel-drive helps the Outback on and off the road and with the X-Mode enabled, the Outback makes short work of light trails.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Subaru Outback A Good car?

The 2019 Subaru Outback sits in a unique position, offering the car-buying public a relatively affordable crossover SUV that's really a station wagon, but drives better than a traditional SUV and offers SUV levels of cargo space and passenger room, but sips fuel like a regular family car. Sounds confusing right? It's actually very simple; the Outback is a practical people carrier and is quite capable off road, but still delivers the handling and comfort of a pure road-going car. The standard features list won't blow you away, nor will the engines, but the overall package is just too good to ignore.

What Subaru Outback Model Should I Buy?

The best bang for your buck will be the 2.5i Premium. It adds the upgraded eight-inch Starlink infotainment system with added speakers, climate control and power adjustable seats (they're heated as well). The 2.5i Premium is competitively priced, and lives alongside its rivals the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but offers a more competent AWD system and better tech as standard. The engine and gearbox combination isn't class-leading, but the 2.5-liter flat-four will do fine if you're not planning on towing something heavy. The biggest selling point however will be a long list of safety features and the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

2019 Subaru Outback Comparisons

Subaru Forester Subaru
Mazda CX-5 Mazda

2019 Subaru Outback vs Subaru Forester

Subaru's range of crossover vehicles can get blurry at times, and most Subaru salesmen will tell you that one of the most frequently asked questions is "should I get the Outback or Forester, or maybe the Crosstrek?". Differences between the Outback and Forester will be clear enough for people who know the lineup, but in essence, the Outback is more of a family-sized station wagon, while the Forester is categorized as a compact crossover or SUV. The Outback is available with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer motor pushing out 175 hp or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer motor that produces 256 hp. The Forester is powered by the same 2.5-liter engine, but in a different state of tune, and produces 185 hp. Both are comparably equipped and boast Subaru's class-leading safety tech. The Outback is a visibly longer car and offers more interior space than the Forester and is better suited to larger families, whereas the Forester will work perfectly for single couples and smaller families. The Forester's higher roof gives it more practical cargo space. The 2019 Outback starts at an MSRP of $26,345 while a base model Forester starts at $24,295. The Outback is, however, more refined and caters to an audience seeking something more sophisticated, while the Forester feels cheaper and more rugged.

See Subaru Forester Review

2019 Subaru Outback vs Mazda CX-5

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is a more stylish alternative to the Outback, as Mazda has been designing some seriously good looking cars in the last decade or so. It will appeal to those who are looking for a crossover that looks more streetcar than SUV and that thread proceeds to sew its way throughout the rest of the car, especially when it comes to the CX-5's road-holding capabilities; it feels like a normal road car and is surprisingly fun to drive. The CX-5 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 187 hp in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim, comparable to the Outback's 2.5-liter boxer engine. A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 hp can be found in the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models. Downsides include much smaller cargo space, an infotainment system that's not on par with that of the Outback, and a space saver wheel (gross). The Outback will comfortably outdo the CX-5 when it comes to driving over rough terrain. The base model CX-5 starts at $24,350 MSRP plus $1,045 destination charge excluding taxes, title and license fees. The decision on which to buy comes down to needs - as the CX-5 is a compact city-slicker, while the Outback is a spacious adventure-mobile.

See Mazda CX-5 Review
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