The 2013 Subaru Outback is a great SUV that is supposed to find its place on the market among the fierce competition of SUVs, such as the Toyota Matrix, the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, and the Acura TSX. It’s a vehicle that was specifically designed to appeal to the American consumer, with a powerful engine, good fuel efficiency and good performances on off-road terrains. This latest generation Outback, which uses the same platform as the mid-sized Subaru Legacy, has several improvements over its predecessors, mostly concerning the fuel economy and the engine power.
This 4-wheel-drive SUV comes with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder Boxer engine, with Dual Active Valve Control System, providing 173 horsepower, and 174 lb-ft of torque. It has a 6-speed manual transmission, but you can opt for a continuously variable transmission, as well. Standard systems that cater to traction and stability control include the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and the Traction Control System. The VDC system monitors brake pressure, steering angle, wheel speeds, and reduces engine torque to help the vehicle stay on the driver’s intended path. Braking is facilitated with 4-wheel disc ventilated rear and front brakes, along with the 4-sensor ABS with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution. The base model provides a respectable fuel economy, burning 21 mpg in the city, and 28 mpg on the highway, which is better than previous models, and about the same as its main competitors in the SUV category.
The Outback features a classic crossover exterior design, with big roof pillars, a large, wagon-like rear end, and a couple of roof rails with retractable cross bars. Up front, there is a wide, rectangular grille and large fog lights, as the most eye-catching features.
Inside, the Outback is pretty well equipped, with standard power windows, reclining rear seats, air conditioning, and tilt/telescoping steering column. As far as entertainment is concerned, there is a CD stereo, with Bluetooth and audio streaming, as well as iPod connectivity. While the interior is not very luxurious and doesn’t have any high-tech features, it does have its advantages, such as the easy to use controls located on the center console, and the abundant front and rear leg room.
You know that you don’t have to worry about safety and reliability when buying a Subaru. The Outback is equipped with some of the best safety features you can find on a car, such as the collapsible steering column, the brake override system, side-curtain airbags, keyless entry system, and many more.
Since handling and performance in tough, off-road conditions are not the Outback’s strongest points, it’s best for people who have families with a couple of children, that need a vehicle to drive their kids to school or soccer practice, or for the occasional road trip, and it’s a pretty good purchase, since it only costs $23,495.