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:

    Cruise control indicator light
    The cruise control indicator light illuminates when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position and turns off after approximately 3 seconds. The light illuminates when the CRUISE main sw ...

    Front passengers SRS frontal airbag
    The front passengers SRS frontal airbag uses a dual stage inflator. The inflator operates in different ways depending on the severity of impact. The total load on the seat is monitored by th ...

    Position light
    1. Turn the bulb socket counterclockwise and pull out the socket. 2. Pull the bulb out of the socket. 3. Install a new bulb. 4. Install the bulb socket by turning it clockwise. ...