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:

    Headlights (models with HID headlights)
    High-intensity-discharge (HID) bulbs are used for the low beams of the headlights. These HID bulbs use an extremely high voltage. To avoid the risk of an electric shock that could result in seriou ...

    Unlocking the rear gate
    Unlocking the rear gate Pressing the “” button unlocks the rear gate. An electronic chirp will sound twice and the turn signal lights will flash twice. ...

    Off road driving
    WARNING ● Always maintain a safe driving speed according to the road and weather conditions in order to avoid having an accident on a sharp turn, during sudden braking or under other simila ...