2018 Subaru Outback SUV


2018 Subaru
Outback SUV

Starting at: $25,895

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  • Air conditioning
  • Speed control
  • Power windows
  • 1-touch down
  • 1-touch up
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Illuminated entry
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Driver vanity mirror
  • Passenger vanity mirror
  • Front beverage holders
  • Rear beverage holders
  • Overhead console
  • Driver door bin
  • Passenger door bin
  • Rear door bins
  • Approach angle - 18 deg
  • Departure angle - 23 deg
  • Ground clearance (min) - 221mm (8.7")
  • Ramp breakover angle - 20 deg
  • AM/FM radio
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Speakers - 4
  • Wireless phone connectivity - Bluetooth
  • 1st row LCD monitors - 2
  • Primary LCD size - 6.5"
  • Smart device integration - Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Basic warranty - 36 months/36,000miles
  • Powertrain warranty - 60 months/60,000miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty - 60 months/ unlimited distance
  • Roadside assistance coverage - 36 months/36,000miles
  • Max seating capacity - 5
  • Front seats - bucket
  • Front center armrest - w/storage
  • Rear seats - bench
  • Split folding rear seat
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • Engine displacement - 2.5 L
  • Engine horsepower - 175hp @ 5,800RPM
  • Engine torque - 174 lb.-ft. @ 4,000RPM
  • Engine bore x stroke - 94.0mm x 89.9mm (3.70" x 3.54")
  • Compression ratio - 10.30 to 1
  • Curb weight - 1,643kg (3,622lbs)
  • GVWR - 2,130kg (4,695lbs)
  • Towing capacity - 1,225kg (2,700lbs)
  • Exterior length - 4,816mm (189.6")
  • Exterior body width - 1,839mm (72.4")
  • Exterior height - 1,679mm (66.1")
  • Wheelbase - 2,746mm (108.1")
  • Turning radius - 5.5m (18.1')
  • Front legroom - 1,090mm (42.9")
  • Rear legroom - 968mm (38.1")
  • Front headroom - 1,036mm (40.8")
  • Rear headroom - 988mm (38.9")
  • Front hiproom - 1,410mm (55.5")
  • Rear hiproom - 1,397mm (55.0")
  • Front shoulder room - 1,476mm (58.1")
  • Rear shoulder room - 1,455mm (57.3")
  • Passenger volume - 3,061L (108.1 cu.ft.)
  • Interior cargo volume - 1,005 L (36 cu.ft.)
  • Interior maximum cargo volume - 2,076 L (73 cu.ft.)
  • Rear cargo - liftgate
  • Power door mirrors
  • Spoiler
  • Bumpers - body-color
  • Roof rack
  • Engine liters - 2.5
  • Cylinder configuration - H-4
  • Horsepower - 175hp @ 5,800RPM
  • Torque - 174 lb.-ft. @ 4,000RPM
  • Number of valves - 16
  • Variable valve control
  • Sequential multi-point fuel injection
  • Engine location - front
  • Recommended fuel - Regular Unleaded
  • Transmission - continuously variable automatic
  • Mode select transmission
  • Manual-shift auto
  • Drive type - all-wheel drive
  • Fuel economy combined - 28mpg
  • Fuel tank capacity - 18.5gal.
  • Fuel economy city - 25mpg
  • Fuel economy highway - 32mpg
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • ABS brakes
  • Brake assist
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Dual front side impact airbags
  • Overhead airbag
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Panic alarm
  • Perimeter/approach lights
  • Ignition disable
  • Security system
  • Electronic stability
  • Traction control
  • Anti-whiplash front head restraints
  • Adjustable head restraints - driver and passenger w/tilt
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Rear anti-roll bar
  • Power steering
  • Speed-sensing steering
  • Alloy wheels
  • Front tires - 225/65HR17.0
  • Rear tires - 225/65HR17.0
  • Wheel size - 17"
  • Fully automatic headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Rear window wiper
  • Rear window defroster
  • Front reading lights
  • Display - analog
  • Tachometer
  • Outside temperature display
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Trip computer
  • Exterior parking camera rear


  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
2.5i 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Search New $25,895   175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl  continuously variable auto  25 / 32  
2.5i Premium with Starlink 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Premium with Starlink Search New $27,995   175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl  continuously variable auto  25 / 32  
2.5i Limited with Starlink 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Limited with Starlink Search New $32,695   175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl  continuously variable auto  25 / 32  
3.6R Limited with Starlink 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 3.6R Limited with Starlink Search New $35,395   256-hp 3.6L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  
2.5i Touring with Starlink 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 2.5i Touring with Starlink Search New $36,490   175-hp 2.5L 4-cyl  continuously variable auto  25 / 32  
3.6R Touring with Starlink 2018 Subaru Outback SUV 3.6R Touring with Starlink Search New $38,690   256-hp 3.6L 6-cyl  continuously variable auto  20 / 27  


Driving Impression

New Car Test Drive

In addition to practical merits, Outbacks ride and handle well. In each version, crisp, carlike steering is complemented by a supple ride. Outbacks promise comfortable, composed motoring, even better for 2018, due to suspension tweaks. Limited and Touring models ride a little firmer, but differences are subtle.

Rolling through winding roads, an Outback is easy to enjoy. Standard torque vectoring can brake each wheel individually, to improve stability during brisk cornering.

The base four-cylinder yields adequate acceleration, feeling almost lively in urban driving. Passing power diminishes on upgrades and at higher altitudes. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder sounds rough and noisy at times, especially when slowly lugging up hills. The continuously variable transmission, or CVT, stresses smoothness. It’s an improvement over the rubber band feel of earlier CVTs, but there is still that feeling of elasticity between the power pedal and engine response. Using the shifter paddles on the steering wheel, the driver can induce the CVT to mimic a conventional automatic transmission with gears: Pull back on a paddle and the transmission will feel like it is downshifting to a lower ratio for quicker acceleration.

Subaru’s 3.6-liter six is smoother and produces greater thrust. Six-cylinder Outbacks accelerate effectively, even when filled with passengers and luggage. We prefer the responsiveness and power of the six-cylinder. The six-cylinder engine costs more, however, and it is only available on upper models. And fuel economy is lower.

Either way, the Outback is ready for gravel roads and two-tracks. Its 8.7-inch ground clearance helps it on rough roads, though it’s limited by long front and rear overhangs that might scrape on primitive trails. An X-Mode off-road setting alters throttle response and traction-control operation, while engaging hill-descent control helps the driver maintain control on steep, slimy downhills. We found the Bridgestone Dueler all-season tires on one of our test models lacked grip on packed snow at low temperatures. Real snow tires would turn one of these cars into an unstoppable winter machine. For fast travel on gravel roads, these cars are among the best.

On paved roads for everyday driving, the Outback is fairly smooth and reasonably quiet. It handles very well. The suspension is relatively soft and offers a relatively large amount of travel, great on rough roads. It’s easy and enjoyable to drive quickly on smooth, winding roads, but it doesn’t offer the crisp transient response of an Audi with a sports suspension.

Subaru’s four-cylinder engine is impressively thrifty, EPA-rated at 25/32 mpg City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined. Fuel-efficiency isn’t the forte of six-cylinder models, EPA-rated at only 20/27 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. Both engines use Regular-grade gasoline, while some of the competition requires more expensive, higher-octane Premium.

Walk Around

New Car Test Drive

The styling has been revised for 2018, led by a new grille and bumpers, but the changes aren’t easy to discern. Though closely related to the Subaru Legacy sedan, the Outback conveys an outdoor-oriented demeanor, reinforced by bodyside cladding,

The hefty roof rack that comes on most models is highly functional, with stowable crossbars. A slimmer rack is used on Touring models, and cross bars are optional rather than standard.

Interior Overview

New Car Test Drive

Comfortable and roomy inside, the Outback features a particularly functional, cleanly designed dashboard. Soft-touch materials appear here and there. Limited and Touring editions combine simulated wood with genuine leather. Most Outbacks have French stitching on seats and dashboards.

Cloth upholstery in base and Premium models feels durable, while upper-trim Outbacks look and feel upscale.

Not only are front seats comfortable, they provide great views, especially useful for the driver. Nicely supportive and well-bolstered, they are mounted on long seat bases.

The center stack is not the prettiest, if sitting in the seat admiring the interior is something you like to do. Once underway, however, the controls for climate and audio prove to be ergonomically excellent, making it easy to changes settings in a flash. For example, one highly visible button turns on the seat heater; no need to work through menus as other automakers have you do. The navigation map on the center stack is big and easy to read, better than most of them. The radio on our test car annoyingly turned on every time the car was started.

Back-seat riders can rejoice, because they get plenty of space: 38.1 inches of legroom, to be precise. Additional sound deadening and laminated side glass for 2018 help curtail wind and road noise, making an already-quiet vehicle even more hushed.

Raising the tailgate reveals 35.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, with rear seatbacks upright. Fold those seats and cargo space grows to 73 cubic feet. Liftover height is far lower than competitors provide.


New Car Test Drive

The Subaru Outback is a practical wagon with outstanding all-weather capability and excellent handling in slippery conditions. Well-equipped in each trim level, the Outback blends impressive utility with a classy cabin.

Driving impressions by Andrew Ganz, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.

Model Lineup

New Car Test Drive

Outback 2.5i ($25,895) comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and roof rails. The 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Outback 2.5i Premium ($27,995) adds a power driver’s seat, heated front seats and mirrors, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Two option packages include the EyeSight safety suite.

Outback 2.5i Limited ($32,695) includes perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, Harman Kardon audio, 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring, power front seats, heated rear seats, pushbutton start, power liftgate, and moonroof. An option group adds EyeSight and navigation. Outback 2.5i Touring ($36,490) features black cladding, dark gray wheels, Java brown leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, lower-profile roof rack, woodgrain trim, and EyeSight safety group.

Outback 3.6R Limited ($35,395) and 3.6R Touring ($38,690) get the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $915 destination charge.)

Based on 2008 -2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.