In the 90’s when the SUV market was expanding at an amazing rate. Subaru decided that many customers liked the elevated driving position and tough guy styling of the SUV barges of the day, but that they wouldn’t want to share the bouncy ride or the prodigious fuel consumption of the large SUVs. When it debuted, the Outback, which was labeled a sport utility wagon, was about the only vehicle in its class and started selling strongly right away. It was based on the Legacy, but with a raised platform for better outward visibility and ground clearance. In 2010, the Outback won the Motor Trend Sport Utility vehicle of the year and it remains the same for 2011. It’s easy to think of the Outback as a SUV without all the drawbacks of an SUV. A large interior and lots of ground clearance, good on road manners and a strong ability off the road are what has made the legacy such a favorite.

Engines to power this 3700 SUV are a 2.5 liter four cylinder or a 3.6 liter 6 cylinder.

Bodystyles: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.5L H-4, 3.6L H-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission
Models: 2.5i, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Premium, 3.6 R, 3.6 R Limited, 3.6 R Premium

A new feature for the 2011 Subaru Outback is a rear vision camera, added to Premium and Limited models, which is bundled with the Power Moonroof package. The rear vision camera includes an auto-dim mirror with Homelink, compass display and a 3.3-inch hi-resolution display in the mirror. Manual folding mirrors have been added and models equipped with harmon/kardon audio now feature XM satellite radio.

A new color, Caramel Bronze Pearl, replaces Harvest Gold Metallic. Ruby Red Pearl, previously only available on the Legacy and Tribeca, is now available on the Outback.

To go with the new exterior colors, Subaru is now offering a new Ivory interior.

The Outback 2.5i, Limited and Premium all share the same 2.5-liter 170 hp, 170 lb-ft flat four engine while the 3.6 R, Limited and Premium share the new 3.6-liter 256 horsepower, 247 pound-feet flat six engine. All Subarus come with the automaker’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive, aiding in performance and safety in all weather conditions.

The Outback’s available and optional safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain first and second row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, traction control, and an all-wheel drive.

2.5i: 21-22 mpg city/27-29 mpg highway
2.5i Limited: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway
2.5i Premium: 19-22 mpg city/27-29 mpg highway
3.6 R: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
3.6 R Limited: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
3.6 R Premium: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway

  • Simple styling
  • Good mileage
  • Superb off-road capability
  • Ample room
  • Limited power on some models
  • Some cheap interior bits

Less is more works well


  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Toyota Venza
  • Volvo XC60
  • Toyota 4Runner

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