Favourites
Subaru Outback Review logo

Subaru Outback Review

heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback

1/10

Subaru Outback

2/10

Subaru Outback

3/10

Subaru Outback

4/10

Subaru Outback

5/10

Subaru Outback

6/10

Subaru Outback

7/10

Subaru Outback

8/10

Subaru Outback

9/10

Subaru Outback

10/10

1 / 10

00/10
heycar rating
"Rugged all-weather estate car"
  • Launched: 2014
  • Estate
  • Petrol, Diesel

Browse cars on heycar:

Quick overview

Pros

  • Brilliant in all weathers when the going gets tough
  • High level of equipment as standard
  • Spacious and practical interior

Cons

  • High running costs, especially fuel economy
  • Limited range of trim and engine options
  • Cabin lacks premium feel of key rivals

Subaru Outback cars for sale on heycar

9
Number of cars available
£21K - £39K
Price bracket of these cars
GreyGreen+ 2 more
Colours available on heycar
5 doors
Door options available

Read by

Subaru Outback Front View

Overall verdict

Subaru Outback Front Interior

On the inside

Subaru Outback Rear View

Driving

Subaru Outback Rear Side View

Cost to run

Subaru Outback Front View

Prices and Specs

Overall verdict

"The Subaru Outback is the thinking person’s off-road vehicle. Don’t let its relative rarity fool you – the Outback is hugely popular in North America. Highlights include a generous level of kit, a spacious interior and supreme all-weather dependability."

Subaru Outback Front View

A ‘rugged estate’ sounds like a luxury retreat you might find in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. The kind of place you’d fly to in order to break free from the daily grind and drop off the grid. Some escapism in the middle of nowhere. The kind of place, in fact, that would need a fleet of off-road vehicles for airport transfers. A car like the Subaru Outback.


Subaru calls its off-road wagon a ‘rugged estate’ and the link to North America is far from coincidental. Although the Outback is a niche purchase in Europe, the all-wheel-drive station wagon is a big deal across the Atlantic. Around 181,000 found homes in the United States in 2019, making it Subaru’s biggest seller.


Over here, it appeals to a select group of people. Buying a Subaru Outback is a purchase driven by necessity and need. Head rules heart. Other off-road estate cars are available, but few offer such a compelling blend of reassurance, surefootedness, equipment and reliability.


Key to its appeal is Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. The permanent all-wheel drive sends power to the wheels with the most traction, so you can corner with confidence. All weathers, all seasons and all road conditions – the Subaru Outback is unlikely to put a foot wrong.


In a world of efficient small turbocharged petrol engines and electrification, an all-wheel-drive estate car with a 2.5-litre petrol engine might seem a little outmoded. In many ways, this is part of the Outback’s appeal.


The cabin majors on functionality and robustness, but the current Outback has narrowed the gap to the premium players in this small but competitive segment. As a result, fit and finish is better than ever, while the Outback is packed with the kind of standard equipment that would be optional on rival cars.


It’s also incredibly spacious, with a cavernous boot that doesn’t come at the expense of cabin space. There’s a generous amount of headroom and legroom for four adults, or five at a push.


There’s more, because the Subaru Outback is one of the safest cars in its class, with a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating to its name and a clever ‘EyeSight’ suite of driver assistance systems. Put simply, EyeSight uses two cameras to monitor the road ahead, taking preventative measures if it detects a potential collision.


What’s the catch? Well, the cabin is unlikely to win any awards for flair or imagination, while the running costs will be expensive. A 2.5-litre petrol engine isn’t especially economical, while Subaru servicing and maintenance tends to be pricey.


However, thanks to a comprehensive warranty and Subaru’s reputation for reliability, the Outback represents a rather astute purchase. Buy one and you’ll join a small but fiercely loyal fanbase. Read on to discover what you’re missing out on.


Is the Subaru Outback right for you?

Do you live at the end of a gravel track? Does your commute to work involve a mountain pass, a muddy lane or babbling brook? Do you live in a region where weather conditions are best described as ‘changeable’? Is all-wheel drive a necessity rather than a fancy badge to impress your mates?


If the answer to at least one of these questions is ‘yes’, the Subaru Outback is right for you. Subaru’s permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system is well proven, offering supreme all-weather traction and grip. It’s not the cheapest car to buy or run, but the Subaru Outback is likely to offer years of rugged dependability. Little wonder many Subaru owners keep coming back to the brand. 

What’s the best Subaru Outback model/engine to choose?

While some manufacturers overload you with various trim levels, engines and options, Subaru has adopted a ‘set menu’ approach with the Outback. Aside from two trim levels and a small suite of colour options, it’s a case of ‘take it or leave it’.


Fortunately, the Subaru Outback comes preloaded with a generous level of equipment. Many of the features on even the entry-level version will be options on rival cars, so this needs to be taken into account when considering whether to buy one.


The 2.5-litre ‘Boxer’ petrol engine is a modern classic. It sounds fantastic, so you’ll feel like a rally hero on your daily commute. It also offers a smooth and linear delivery of power, albeit with a niggling sense that it’s woefully out of touch with the shift towards electrification and efficiency. The old diesel engine is worth considering if you’d like some economy to go with your traction.

What other cars are similar to the Subaru Outback?

Three cars immediately spring to mind: the Audi A4 Allroad, Volvo V60 Cross Country and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. These cars share the same raised ride height, rugged styling and all-season dependability. We should also mention the Skoda Octavia Scout and discontinued Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer.


However, we’d argue that the Subaru Outback is just as much a rival to the modern breed of SUVs. It might lack the raised driving position and image-friendly body style, but the Outback is nicer to drive, with a large boot and excellent off-road manners. SUV rivals with a Subaru badge include the Forester and Subaru XV.

Learn more

Subaru Outback Front Interior

On the inside

Subaru Outback Rear View

Driving

Subaru Outback Rear Side View

Cost to run

Subaru Outback Front View

Prices and Specs

Browse cars on heycar: