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2021 Subaru Outback: Most Dependable Vehicle on the Road

Brian Hensley

With 97% of the Outbacks sold in the last ten years still on the road today, choosing a 2021 Subaru Outback as an investment vehicle is a no brainer.

What’s New for the 2021 Subaru Outback?

The 2021 Subaru Outback wagon has not seen many changes from previous years, but it stands as one of the most longest-lasting, durable, and safest vehicles on the road today. In fact, 97% of all Subarus sold in the last ten years are still on the road and running well.

2021 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

2021 Subaru Outback – subaru.com |  Shop 2021 Subaru Outback on Carsforsale.com

The Subaru Outback still comes with a standard Symmetrical all-wheel-drive that includes X-Mode, the best all-wheel-drive system in its class. But a new standard for this year to add to your safety is the Advanced Safety Eye-Sight Driver Assist Technology. Added in with LED Steering Responsive Headlights and you’ll be safe where ever you travel. Plus, Subaru has made Rear-Seat Reminder a standard this year.

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $26,795

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

26 City / 33 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

A rugged exterior design

8.7 inches of ground clearance

11.6-inch touchscreen available

Plenty of space inside

Great roof rail setup

Could have better stopping distance

Stop/Start technology is a little slow

Minimum to no changes from previous years

2021 Outback Specs

Trims & Pricing

Base - $26,795
Premium - $29,045
Limited - $33,595
Onyx Edition XT - $35,145
Touring - $37,495
Limited XT - $37,995
Touring XT - $39,945

2021 Subaru Outback Powertrain

2021 Subaru Outback 2.5L H4 engine - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback 2.5L H4 engine - carsforsale.com

To start with the engine options, on the lower trim models you will be receiving a 2.5-liter Direct Injection Subaru Boxer engine. Like in the past, we’ve found this engine to be a bit sluggish. Only pushing out 182 horsepower and 176 Ib-ft of torque, this will get you from 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Torque levels are also low, making it hard to take your dream off-road driving trips. But for around the city driving, you shouldn’t have much of a problem.

2021 Subaru Outback 2.4L turbocharged H4 engine - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback 2.4L turbocharged H4 engine - carsforsale.com

On higher-end trim options, starting with the Onyx Edition XT and then the Limited XT and Touring XT, you will receive a 2.4-liter Direct Injection Turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine. This will give you some extra power that you’ll enjoy on the back roads, merging on expressways, passing slower traffic, etc. Both engines will be backed by a very trustworthy CVT transmission.

All trim models come with Subaru’s X-Mode to work in-sync with the Symmetrical all-wheel-drive System. With the push of a button, X-Mode engages and monitors and manages brake appliance, torque between wheels, engine output, transmission, and it can adjust gear ratios to help you get out of some real sticking situations. You may not be able to tell which wheel is spinning and which one is stuck, but X-Mode uses its technology to get all four wheels planted on the road/trail gripping and going straight again.

Towing

This amazing wagon can tow up to 3,500 pounds when equipped with the turbocharged 2.4-liter engine. And even more impressive, the Subaru will still keep an average of 30 mpg on the highway while doing it.

2021 Subaru Outback Fuel Economy & MPG

The fuel economy for the 2021 Subaru Outback is really quite impressive for a vehicle that has the capabilities of an SUV. With the 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine, you’ll get an EPA estimated 26 City / 33 Hwy and for the 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged Boxer engine, you’ll get 23 City / 30 Hwy.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

We’re pleased to say that the 2021 Subaru Outback is truly a wagon you can depend on for space for everyone and just about everything. A six-foot person could fit into one of these Subaru Outbacks no problem. With 40.1 inches of headroom in the front and 39.1 inches in the rear, you should have no problems here. Although you do lose a little headroom in the front if a moonroof is optioned up. That headroom drops down to 37.7 inches with the moon roof.

Legroom in the front is 48.8 inches and for the rear is 39.5 inches, which is a little better than in previous years. There is plenty of passenger volume for the average-sized adult to fit inside even if you’re seating the driver and four other passengers.

2021 Subaru Outback interior - subaru.com
2021 Subaru Outback interior - subaru.com

Cargo volume numbers come in well, the Outback even offers more space than some larger crossovers. With the rear seats folded in the upright position, you get 32.5 cu-ft of cargo space, and with them folded down, you get 75.7 cu-ft of cargo space. That’s not to mention the easy to reach and use raised cargo rack on top of the Subaru wagon. Between the cargo space and the rack, you have plenty of room to go on long trips or vacations with more than just two people.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Subaru Outback infotainment- subaru.com
2021 Subaru Outback infotainment- subaru.com

All 2021 Subaru Outbacks come with an available STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus System (except for the base model) that will handle all of your technology needs. From music, navigation, phone integration, apps, and more, the screen is about the size of a tablet, with high resolution, and easy to use functions.

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2021 Subaru Outback gauge cluster - subaru.com
2021 Subaru Outback gauge cluster - subaru.com

The gauge cluster is very simple looking. You have a digital tachometer with an engine temperature gauge at the bottom of it on one side of the cluster. On the other side of the display, you have an MPH gauge with your fuel gauge at the bottom of it. In the center of the four easy to read gauges, you have a small informational center. This gives you small bits of information like when X-Mode is engaged or if you’re not staying in your lane, safety alerts, car maintenance alerts, and more.

Safety Features

2021 Subaru Outback EyeSight - subaru.com
2021 Subaru Outback EyeSight - subaru.com

The 2021 Subaru Outback received a safety rating of five out of five stars from NHTSA, and the IIHS gave the best rating of Good in all six crash safety test. With standard LED Steering Responsive Headlights and EyeSight driver assistance suite standard the Outback’s safety rating is sure to stay up there.

All 2021 Subaru Outback models receive Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Pedestrian Detection, Front Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic High Beams, and Lane-Keeping Assist.

Available safety features include Blind-Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking, some of which come standard on higher end trim models.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trims & Pricing

2021 Subaru Outback base - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback base - carsforsale.com

Base – $26,795

The 2021 Subaru Outback base models offer you a wonderful safe vehicle to drive through just about everything. With its standard Symmetrical all-wheel-drive and X-Mode, standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and available DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, accidents should be the last thing on your mind.

There’s plenty of legroom for everyone even if you’re driving with four other passengers and more than enough cargo room for long trips. For those trips, you will get a STARLINK dual 7.0-inch Multimedia center to handle all your technology needs.

2021 Subaru Outback Premium - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Premium - carsforsale.com

Premium – $29,795

With the Premium trim package, you will be upgrading to an 11.6-inch screen STARLINK Multimedia Plus for your technology needs. Navigation is optional, but you will have 4G LTE Wi-Fi capabilities so your phone can help with navigation. Dual-zone climate control will also be added to aid to everyone’s comfort and convenience. Like with the base model, you’ll get dual front USB ports, but two will be added to the rear row seats for those passengers as well.

2021 Subaru Outback Limited - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Limited - carsforsale.com

Limited – $33,595

The Limited gives you an option to spruce up the look of the exterior a little with available 18-inch alloy wheels and a power tilt-sliding moon roof. You’ll also enjoy leather-trimmed upholstery and a hands-free rear gate with automatic close. And you can take advantage of a few extra safety features like Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Reverse Automatic Braking.

2021 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT - carsforsale.com

Onyx Edition XT – $35,145

This Onyx trim steps you up in power by adding a turbocharger to an already potent 2.4-liter Subaru Boxer engine. This upgrade works great with the all-wheel-drive and Dual Function X-Mode for Mud and Snow. Adding to the Onyx look, the Subaru gets Crystal Black Silica-finish side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and for comfort and protection, you also receive StarTex water-repellent upholstery.

2021 Subaru Outback Touring - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Touring - carsforsale.com

Touring – $37,495

Stepping up to the Touring Subaru Outback, you’ll have standard STARLINK Multimedia Navigation on your 11.6-inch infotainment screen. Added in with your rear-vision camera, you will receive 180-degree front-view monitoring. Also, standard on the Limited, the Touring comes with an auto-dimming rearview compass mirror with HomeLink.

2021 Subaru Outback Limited XT - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Limited XT - carsforsale.com

Limited XT – $37,995

The Limited XT throws all kinds of standard features at you. 18 x 7.0-inch aluminum-alloy wheels black with machine finish, body-colored door handles, two-position driver’s seat memory, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, power mirror memory, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system to really get the listing experience you deserve.

2021 Subaru Outback Touring XT - carsforsale.com
2021 Subaru Outback Touring XT - carsforsale.com

Touring XT – $39,945

The last in the bunch, the Touring XT. This one also comes with a 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine backed by a CVT transmission. And just about all of the other available options that come on the other Outback trim models can be added or deleted. You will see some extras like the body-colored door handles with chrome inserts, Satin chrome-finish power-folding side mirrors with turn signals, a CD player with your STARLINK Multi-Media Navigation System, and Nappa leather-trimmed upholstery.

Warranties

The New Car Limited Warranty is good for 3 years or 36,000 miles. Powertrain Limited warranty will take you 5 years or 60,000 miles. Wear Item Limited Warranty gives you 3 years or 36,000 miles. And Rust Perforation Limited Warranty offers five years of protection with unlimited miles.

What we think

2021 Subaru Outback - subaru.com

2021 Subaru Outback – subaru.com |  Shop 2021 Subaru Outback on Carsforsale.com

The 2021 Subaru Outback is an outstanding wagon that offers features that some crossovers and SUVs simply can’t. It is both safe and comfortable for drivers and passengers. It has capabilities like a crossover or SUV but still handles like a car. And with 8.7 inches ground clearance and Symmetrical all-wheel-drive with X-Mode, unless you’re doing something out of the ordinary, you most likely won’t have any reason to worry about getting stuck anywhere.

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Brian Hensley
Brian Hensley

Brian is an automotive enthusiast who grew up with a whole family that has gasoline running through their veins. We love the dragstrip and participate in bracket racing, heads up racing, street night, and more. You can also find him and his family at many other Michigan/Detroit auto events like the North American International Auto Show, Autorama, the World-Famous Woodward Dream Cruise, and any other auto events in and around the region we can make it to.

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