Should I Choose a 4 or 6 Cylinder Subaru Outback?

Are you in the market for a Subaru Outback but not sure whether to go for a 4 or 6 cylinder engine? This can be a tough decision, but fear not, as we have got you covered. In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of both engines, their performance, fuel efficiency, and maintenance to help you make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • The 4-cylinder engine is more fuel-efficient and cost-effective but has a lower horsepower and torque.
  • The 6-cylinder engine provides more power and better acceleration but is less fuel-efficient and more expensive.
  • The choice between the two engines depends on your driving needs and preferences, as well as your budget and environmental concerns.

Performance

Let’s start with performance. The Subaru Outback is known for its balanced handling and all-wheel-drive system, but the engine you choose will determine how powerful and responsive your car will be.

4 Cylinder

The 4-cylinder engine is a 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. This engine is the standard option for most Outback trims and is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The 4-cylinder engine provides adequate power for daily driving and light off-roading. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around nine seconds, which is decent but not impressive. The engine is also responsive and smooth, although it can get noisy when pushed hard.

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6 Cylinder

The 6-cylinder engine is a 3.6-liter flat-six that delivers 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. This engine is only available for the higher-end Outback trims and is paired with a CVT or a five-speed automatic transmission.

The 6-cylinder engine provides more power and better acceleration than the 4-cylinder engine. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in around seven seconds, which is quick for a midsize crossover. The engine is also refined and quiet, even at high speeds.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is an important factor to consider when choosing a car. You want a car that can take you far without breaking the bank. Let’s see how the 4 and 6 cylinder engines stack up in terms of fuel economy.

4 Cylinder

The 4-cylinder engine is the more fuel-efficient of the two. It has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. This means you can travel up to 594 miles on a single tank of gas, based on the 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

6 Cylinder

The 6-cylinder engine is less fuel-efficient than the 4-cylinder. It has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. This means you can travel up to 499 miles on a single tank of gas, based on the 18.5-gallon fuel tank.

Maintenance

Maintenance is another factor to consider when choosing a car. You want a car that is reliable and easy to maintain. Let’s see how the 4 and 6 cylinder engines compare in terms of maintenance.

4 Cylinder

The 4-cylinder engine is generally reliable and requires less maintenance than the 6-cylinder engine. It has a timing chain instead of a timing belt, which means it doesn’t need to be changed as often. The engine also has fewer parts, which means there are fewer things that can go wrong.

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6 Cylinder

The 6-cylinder engine is generally reliable but requires more maintenance than the 4-cylinder engine. It has a timing belt that needs to be changed every 100,000 miles or so, which can be costly. The engine also has more parts, which means there are more things that can go wrong.

Cost

Cost is always a factor when choosing a car. You want a car that fits your budget and provides good value for money. Let’s see how the 4 and 6 cylinder engines compare in terms of cost.

4 Cylinder

The 4-cylinder engine is the more cost-effective option of the two. It is standard on most Outback trims and starts at around $26,800. This means you can get a well-equipped Outback with the 4-cylinder engine for a reasonable price.

6 Cylinder

The 6-cylinder engine is more expensive than the 4-cylinder option. It is only available on the higher-end Outback trims and starts at around $35,000. This means you will have to pay more if you want the added power and acceleration of the 6-cylinder engine.

Which One Should You Choose?

Now that we have gone over the pros and cons of both engines, you may be wondering which one you should choose. The answer depends on your driving needs and preferences, as well as your budget and environmental concerns.

If you are looking for a car that is fuel-efficient and cost-effective, the 4-cylinder engine is the way to go. It provides enough power for daily driving and light off-roading and is reliable and easy to maintain. The 4-cylinder engine is also more environmentally friendly, as it produces fewer emissions and consumes less fuel.

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If you are looking for a car that is more powerful and has better acceleration, the 6-cylinder engine is the better option. It provides a smoother and quieter ride and is ideal for highway driving and towing. The 6-cylinder engine is also more suitable for drivers who value performance and don’t mind paying more for it.

FAQ

Is the Subaru Outback reliable?

Yes, the Subaru Outback is generally a reliable car. It comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Is the Subaru Outback good for off-roading?

Yes, the Subaru Outback is a good car for off-roading. It has a high ground clearance, all-wheel-drive, and X-Mode, which optimizes the engine and transmission for off-road conditions.

Is the Subaru Outback expensive to maintain?

No, the Subaru Outback is not expensive to maintain. It comes with a low cost of ownership and requires routine maintenance like any other car.

Which transmission is better for the Subaru Outback?

The CVT is the preferred transmission for the Subaru Outback. It provides a smoother and more fuel-efficient ride than the five-speed automatic.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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