Your Comprehensive Guide to Identifying Which Subaru Outback Model is Right for You

Are you dreaming of owning a Subaru Outback, but unsure how to tell which model is right for you? With so many different features, specifications, and trim levels available, it can be a challenge to differentiate between each model and determine which one best suits your lifestyle and needs.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the different Subaru Outback models, from the 2021 Outback to its earlier iterations. We’ll explain the different features, engine sizes, transmission types, and trim levels available in each model, giving you the tools you need to make an informed decision when choosing your dream car.

Which Subaru Outback Models are Available?

Before we dive into the features of each Subaru Outback model, let’s first identify the different models available on the market today. As of 2021, there are six main trim levels available:

  • Outback
  • Premium
  • Limited
  • Onyx Edition XT
  • Touring
  • Touring XT

Each model comes with slightly different features, engine sizes, and transmission types, making it essential to understand the differences between them before making your purchase.

Features and Specifications to Consider

Engine Size

One of the primary features to consider when choosing your Outback model is the engine size. There are currently two engine sizes available:

  • 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine: This is the standard engine size found in most of the Outback models and boasts 182 horsepower, making it suitable for both city driving and off-roading.
  • 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine: This engine size is only available on the Onyx Edition XT, Touring, and Touring XT models, and offers 260 horsepower. It’s a great choice for drivers who want a little extra power behind the wheel.
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Transmission Type

The Subaru Outback also has two transmission types available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Lineartronic® CVT: This continuously variable transmission (CVT) offers smooth, seamless shifts and excellent fuel economy. It comes standard on all Outback models.
  • 8-speed automatic transmission: This transmission is only available on the Onyx Edition XT, Touring, and Touring XT models, offering faster and more precise shifts.

Trim Levels

The different trim levels of the Subaru Outback can also play a significant role in determining which model is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at each trim level and the features they offer:

  • Outback: This is the base model, and it comes with standard features like EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, LED headlights, and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
  • Premium: The Premium model comes with additional features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
  • Limited: The Limited model offers luxury features like leather-trimmed upholstery, a power rear gate, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
  • Onyx Edition XT: This model comes with unique features like water-repellent upholstery, dual-function X-Mode, and a front-view monitor.
  • Touring: The Touring model offers even more luxury features, including Nappa leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.
  • Touring XT: This is the top-of-the-line model, featuring a 2.4-liter, 260-horsepower turbocharged engine, and every luxury feature offered by the Outback lineup.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

The Subaru Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), making it a great choice for drivers who expect to navigate rough terrain or encounter inclement weather. AWD ensures that power is sent to all four wheels, providing greater traction and control in any driving conditions.

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EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology

Another standout feature of the Subaru Outback is its EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. This suite of safety features comes standard on every model and includes features like pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

The Differences Between Outback Models

Now that we’ve explored the different features and specifications of the Subaru Outback models let’s take a closer look at how the models differ from one another. While all models share many features, there are specific differences to consider, especially if you’re looking at an older model.

One essential factor is the release year of the Outback models. For example, the 2020 Outback featured a total redesign from its predecessor, including a more significant and sleeker exterior, more advanced safety features, and an improved driving experience. The 2021 model carries over these improvements, but with minor feature changes and updates.

Another key difference to consider is the availability of specific features and trim levels across different models. For example, the Onyx Edition XT and Touring XT models both come with the turbocharged engine, but it’s not available on any other models in the lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the Outback models?

The Outback models differ mainly in their engine size, transmission types, trim levels, and specific features. The base model is the Outback, with higher-end models like the Touring XT featuring upgrades like a turbocharged engine and luxury features.

What engine is in the Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback comes with two engine sizes: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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Is the Subaru Outback good for off-roading?

Yes, the Subaru Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and is a great choice for off-roading or navigating rough terrain.

Which Outback model is the best?

The best Outback model for you depends on your specific needs and lifestyle. If you prioritize luxury features, the Touring or Touring XT models might be the best fit. If you want a little extra power, the Onyx Edition XT might be the way to go.

A Final Word

When it comes to choosing the right Subaru Outback model, it’s essential to understand the differences in features, specifications, and trim levels. By taking the time to review the information presented in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and choose the perfect car for your needs and lifestyle.

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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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