In-depth Reviews

Subaru Outback estate - Interior & comfort

The quality of the Subaru Outback's interior is good but it's not very stylish

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.6 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

3.5 out of 5

Subaru Outback dashboard

There wasn't an awful lot to love about the interior of the previous version of the Outback and it's obvious from the current car that the Subaru got the message. Inside, it feels very well built and the materials used are generally of excellent quality. The interior easily matches what you'll find inside rivals such as the Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer.

Sadly, not much has changed from a style point of view. Some of the buttons are placed in odd positions and various switches are labelled in different fonts, which doesn't do anything for the cabin's aesthetics or give the impression that a huge amount of attention has been paid to the overall design.

However, the recent addition of a new infotainment system is a welcome bonus, as it looks slick and is responsive to use.

So the interior is functional rather than stylish, which will suit some buyers, but those seriously considering upmarket rivals such as the Audi A4 Allroad as an alternative are likely to notice a big difference with the Subaru.

Equipment

There are just two trim levels to choose from when you’re buying an Outback: entry-level SE and higher-spec SE Premium. Both come with plenty of equipment, including a new infotainment system that’s slick and easy to use. There aren’t a huge number of options to choose from, but most buyers won’t need anything extra.

The SE trim level includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, roof rails and spoiler, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, a rear camera, a sat-nav infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB radio and Bluetooth functionality) plus tinted windows. SE Premium cars come with 18-inch alloy wheels, a leather interior, electric sunroof and an electric boot lid, among other changes. Both models get a keyless entry and start system.

Technology

The Outback’s infotainment system is a bit of a mixed bag. The main ‘home’ screen has big icons, but elsewhere on the touchscreen some of the buttons are small and fiddly to use. While the screen itself has a reasonably clear display, its gloss finish reflects sunlight and shows up fingerprints quite badly. It’s also a little slow when switching between functions, although once on the move the sat nav provides clear and accurate guidance and the point of interest search function is excellent.

All Outback models are equipped with Subaru's new EyeSight technology. This system comprises two colour cameras that scan the road ahead, identifying other cars, pedestrians and obstacles. The idea is that the cameras relay information to the lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking systems.

The Outback also features a system called ‘lead vehicle start alert’. This comes with the EyeSight package and warns you (with a buzzer and light) if the traffic ahead starts moving while you remain stationary. It’s an excellent idea that could save many beeping horns and fraught moments in stop-start traffic.

Recommended

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

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

Top 10 best small estates 2021

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

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

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

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