Subaru Outback

The Essentials

  • Price from £28,870
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 44.1mpg
  • What is it? Spacious beefed-up four-wheel drive might not be the best estate on sale but attracts a devoted following.


  • Enough space for the whole family and the dogs (or sheep)
  • Lots of luxury goodies included on every model
  • Four-wheel-drive is useful in sticky situations


  • Other estates are better value and cheaper to run
  • Not everyone will like the electronic handbrake
  • Neither the drive nor the styling is show-stopping
  • Drive

    Comfy, if a little wallowy through corners. Four-wheel drive will keep you feeling safe in sticky conditions

  • Inside

    We love the standard electric drivers seat adjustment but some dash buttons are hard to read

  • Safety

    Plenty on board to keep you and your precious car safe and sound

  • Reliability

    Subaru is a brand with a fantastic and long-held reliability record

  • Space

    There's masses of space for passengers inside and their luggage/dogs/hay bales in the boot

  • Standard and extras

    You won't have to lift a finger - standard kit includes everything from automatic headlights and wipers to Bluetooth connectivity

  • What's it like to drive?

    Outback buyers have a choice of two engines – a 2.0-litre diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox or an automatic 2.5-litre petrol. The diesel is much more flexible, although it's still rather unresponsive at low revs. The ride is comfortable, but take it easy on twisty routes as rear passengers might not appreciate the Outback's body sway on bends; the steering is a bit sluggish, too. The standard four-wheel-drive will make short work of icy driveways or muddy gateways.

  • What's it like inside?

    Subaru, with this luxury interior you're really spoiling us. Everything from dual-zone climate-control to an electrically adjustable driver's seat is fitted as standard  so no excuses for not getting comfortable. All Outbacks get leather upholstery, an electric sunroof and Bluetooth, too.
    There's no shortage of space either with plenty of head and legroom, and a big boot that expands with the seats folded completely flat to an impressive 1677 litres.

  • How reliable is it?

    Subaru's excellent reliability record should offer peace of mind on that score. The Legacy Tourer it's based on scored top marks in Euro NCAP crash tests and there's plenty of safety and security kit as standard.

  • Should I buy one?

    Some rival estates offer better value, lower running costs and higher resale value so it's not a convincing thumbs-up for the Subaru. However it does come with lots of equipment, so if it's an Outback or nothing, you could still do worse.