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:

    Folding down the rear seatback
    WARNING ● When you fold down the seatback, check that there are no passengers or objects on the rear seat. Not doing so creates a risk of injury or property damage if the seatback suddenly ...

    Installation of child restraint systems by use of lower and tether anchorages (LATCH)
    - Child restraint systems and seatbelts can become hot in a vehicle that has been closed up in sunny weather; they could burn a small child. Check the child restraint system before you p ...

    Installation of child restraint systems by use of lower and tether anchorages (LATCH)
    WARNING ● Child restraint systems and seatbelts can become hot in a vehicle that has been closed up in sunny weather; they could burn a small child. Check the child restraint system before ...