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:

    Bottle holders
    CAUTION ● Do not pick up a bottle from the bottle holder or put a bottle in the holder while you are driving, as this may distract you and lead to an accident. ● When placing a beverag ...

    Drivetrain
    An expanded ground clearance further improves the off-road capability of the vehicle. The raising of the clearance does not alter the low center of gravity that is attained by mounting the engine ...

    Roominess & Cargo
    Front-seat legroom and headroom was fine for me (about 6 feet tall), even with the panoramic moonroof that comes on most trim levels. The seats have slight side bolsters that come in handy during ...