2010 Subaru Outback
It was the 1996 model year when Subaru unleashed a clever combination of small station wagon garagability, and SUV-style all-road prowess, in the Legacy Outback. And as the world’s first “sport utility wagon”, it helped to inaugurate the crossover vehicle era.
Since then, crossovers have flooded the market. But, the compact Outback, with its low-roof wagon profile, has remained unique.
2010 marks the start of the Outback’s fourth generation, and like most crossovers, it has grown—but mostly on the inside. A longer wheelbase contributes to a big gain of nearly four inches in rear legroom, and nearly six extra cubic feet of cargo space.
Daylight between the Outback and the ground has grown slightly to 8.7 inches, more than many true off-road utes. New scuff-resistant black rocker moldings are evidence of its go-anywhere, do-anything intentions.
With many of the same styling cues as the new Legacy, body-colored D-pillars now set off new sectioned taillights, making the Outback look more like that traditional SUV than ever.
All-wheel drive powertrains are also shared with the new Legacy, including the brand’s first CVT transmission since the ‘94 Justy.
Standard is a carryover 170-horsepower 2.5-liter H4, with the Tribeca’s 256-horsepower 3.6-liter boxer-6 now an option.
Absent is the turbocharged 2.5-liter used by the Legacy 2.5GT. But the 3.6 makes almost as much power, and is far less peaky, thus better for off pavement use.
Inside, the Outback’s comfortable, higher-style interior doesn’t break any new ground, although the rear seats now recline. Leather and Bluetooth are available.
The new Outback ranges from $23,000 to just under $32,000, and is on sale now.
Ranges from $23,000 to just under $32,000