In-depth Reviews

Subaru Outback estate

"The Subaru Outback is a practical family car and it's also good off-road – but rivals are more stylish"

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Plenty of safety kit
  • Capable off-road
  • Well built

Cons

  • Dull interior
  • No diesel option
  • Rivals are more refined

The original Subaru Legacy Outback went on sale over 25 years ago and it was the first estate car with the looks of a 4x4 off-roader. It’s now in its fifth generation and Subaru has sharpened up the looks, upgraded the interior and thrown in some new technology.

The Outback is fitted with Subaru’s tough four-wheel-drive system, which means it can show some bigger and pricier 4x4s a clean pair of heels off-road. It also has a 200mm ride height and panels that protect the underside of the car to help it over rough terrain. A 173bhp 2.5-litre petrol is the only engine option, while there are two trim levels – SE and SE Premium – each of which has a lot of equipment.

Basic SE trim is well kitted out with the likes of 17-inch alloy wheels, sat nav, heated seats and Subaru’s EyeSight safety features, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, so there’s little sense in paying more for the SE Premium.

Subaru no longer sells the Legacy (the car on which the Outback is based) in the UK, but the Outback is similar to the new Subaru Levorg estate, which replaced the Legacy. In terms of rivals, the Outback competes with niche estate cars that have been tweaked to better handle off-roading, including the Volvo XC60, Audi A4 Allroad, and Audi A6 Allroad. The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer and Skoda Octavia Scout occupy a similar place in the market.

Although it takes a bite out of fuel economy and emissions, the car's Lineartronic automatic gearbox is great if you plan to use the Outback off-road, as it has a special mode that sets the car up for slippery surfaces and maximises grip.

The Subaru Outback finished 20th out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK.

Recommended

Top 10 best cars for winter 2021
Top 10 best cars for winter - Dacia Duster
Dacia Duster SUV
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best cars for winter 2021

Rugged Subaru Outback starts from £33,995
Subaru Outback estate
Subaru Outback estate
7 May 2021

Rugged Subaru Outback starts from £33,995

Most Popular

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

More on Outback

Top 10 best cars for winter 2021
Top 10 best cars for winter - Dacia Duster
Dacia Duster SUV
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best cars for winter 2021

We select a great group of 4x4 cars to help keep you on the road and moving this winter
Rugged Subaru Outback starts from £33,995
Subaru Outback estate
Subaru Outback estate
7 May 2021

Rugged Subaru Outback starts from £33,995

An all-new Subaru Outback is a four-wheel drive estate with real off-road and towing ability
Best cars for winter
Best cars
3 Jan 2020

Best cars for winter

We select a great group of 4x4 cars to help keep you on the road and moving this winter.
Top 3 used rugged estates for £10,000
Top 3 used rugged estates for £10,000
Skoda Octavia Scout estate
16 Aug 2019

Top 3 used rugged estates for £10,000

“Dear Carbuyer, I need an estate car that can handle the outdoors, that’s family friendly and good to drive. What does £10,000 buy?”
Best car manufacturers UK: Driver Power 2019 results
Lexus
24 Apr 2019

Best car manufacturers UK: Driver Power 2019 results

The UK's best car brands revealed, based on results from our 2019 Driver Power survey
Out and about with the Subaru Outback (sponsored)
Subaru Outback
25 May 2018

Out and about with the Subaru Outback (sponsored)

The Subaru Outback is the perfect choice for drivers who rack up cross-country miles as well as short journeys
Facelifted 2018 Subaru Outback unveiled
Subaru Outback estate
10 Apr 2018

Facelifted 2018 Subaru Outback unveiled

More technology for updated rugged estate, but no more diesel engines
New Subaru Levorg: prices, specs and release date
Subaru Outback estate
14 Aug 2015

New Subaru Levorg: prices, specs and release date

Tough estate set to join Outback and Forester models in September
New Subaru Outback: on sale next month
Subaru Outback estate
23 Mar 2015

New Subaru Outback: on sale next month

The new Subaru Outback will cost from £28k and sports a range of new features and improved quality
New Subaru Outback estate pictures
Subaru Outback estate
4 Apr 2014

New Subaru Outback estate pictures

The new Subaru Outback will be unveiled at the New York Motor Show this month
Subaru Outback estate (2009-2014)
Subaru Outback estate
2 Apr 2014

Subaru Outback estate (2009-2014)

"You won't buy a Subaru Outback for it's fuel consumption, but four-wheel drive and decent practicality mean it's worth a look."
New Subaru Outback revealed
Subaru Outback estate
2 Oct 2013

New Subaru Outback revealed

The new Subaru Outback will go on sale in November with a range of updates

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks