Reliability, Safety & Features

The prior Outback had above-average reliability, but the new one hasn't been on the market long enough to gauge. In crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Outback received the highest score, Good, in front, rear, side-impact and roof-crush tests. The current generation is an IIHS Top Safety Pick — which is no easy feat these days, given IIHS' addition of roof-crush tests. Standard features include six airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Click here for a full list of safety features.

The Outback 2.5i comes with power windows and locks, remote entry, cruise control, air conditioning and a CD stereo with an auxiliary jack and steering-wheel audio controls. Move up to the 2.5i Premium or Limited, and you can have alloy wheels, power front seats, heated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded Harman Kardon stereo. A conventional moonroof (not the dual moonroof available in prior Outbacks) and the navigation system are optional.

The six-cylinder Outback 3.6R comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission; the CVT automatic runs $1,000 in the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium (it's standard on the 2.5i Limited). Load up a six-cylinder Outback, and the price tops out around $34,000.

    See also:

    Locking and unlocking from the outside
    To lock the driver’s door from the outside with the key, turn the key toward the rear. To unlock the door, turn the key toward the front. Pull the outside door handle to open an unlocked door. ...

    Shift lock release using the shift lock release button
    Perform the following procedure to release the shift lock. 1. Apply the parking brake and stop the engine. 2. Remove the shift lock cover using a flat-head screwdriver. 3. While depressing the ...

    Lubrication oil circulation in the refrigerant circuit
    Operate the air conditioner compressor at a low engine speed (at idle or low driving speeds) a few minutes each month during the off-season to circulate its oil. ...