The Outback came to market as a more crossover-like version of the Subaru Legacy station wagon in the late 1990s. Complete with ads starring Crocodile Dundee, the lifted, cladded, and ruggedised version of the Legacy eventually became the more successful model and now the Legacy wagon is gone completely. Offering most of the benefits of a larger crossover with the driving habits of a car, the Outback is an excellent segment-breaker.
For 2021, Subaru has made just small changes to the Outback. All trims now get Adaptive LED headlights, previously only offered on top trims, while there is also a new rear seatbelt reminder. Touring and above now have a standard heated wheel.
The Outback comes in five trims, Convenience, Touring, Limited, Premier, and Outdoor. While the first four are offered only with a 2.5L flat-four making 182 hp, Limited, Premier, and Outdoor are offered as XT models (Outdoor is XT only) with a 2.4L turbocharged engine and 260 hp. All get all-wheel drive standard, and all use a CVT automatic.
Convenience trim comes with Subaru's Eyesight driver assistance suite including pre-collision braking, brake assist, and throttle management, as well as adaptive cruise, lane centering, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Other standard kit includes dual stacked 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreens, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats (with 10-way power adjust for the driver), automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, twin rear USB ports, LED fog lights, active torque vectoring, hill descent control, backup camera washer, cargo cover and roof rails.
Touring gets 17-inch alloy wheels and auto-dimming mirrors along with a sunroof, passive keyless entry, leather-trimmed and heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, Starlink connected services, blind spot monitoring, reverse automatic braking, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, a hands-free power tailgate and an 11.6-inch portrait-style infotainment screen.
Limited and Limited XT models add navigation along with a 12-speaker sound system on the larger screen as well as leather seating, driver's seat memory with adjustable thigh-support cushion length, heated rear seats, eight-way power front passenger seat, and 18-inch wheels.
Outdoor XT is a slightly more off-road oriented trim that adds dual-function X-Mode AWD electronic control system and a front-view camera. It also gets a full-size spare in case of off-pavement flats. The seating is a soft-touch all-weather upholstery designed for easy clean-up while the interior has light green accents.
Premier and Premier XT add Nappa leather seating as well as ventilated front seats. A CD player is included along with front-view camera, power-folding side mirrors and a drive distraction mitigation system that monitors the driver's eyes to make sure they're on the road.
Naturally aspirated Outback models are rated for 9.0 L/100 km city, 7.1 highway while XT trims should get 10.1/7.9
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