2014 Subaru Outback Wagon Review, Pricing & Pictures | Edmunds.com

2014 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Review of the 2014 Subaru Outback

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • With its generous cargo capacity and commendable off-road performance, the 2014 Subaru Outback wagon offers far more utility than many competing crossover SUVs. It's a good option for families, especially those who enjoy the great outdoors.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Spacious interior; comfortable ride; excellent visibility; clever roof rails; above average off-road capability.

  • Cons

    Weak base stereo; fussy controls on upper trims.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Subaru Outback gets minor changes to its trim levels and equipment. Notably, 2.5i Premium models now have standard heated seats, while the base 3.6R trim level has been discontinued.

  Average Consumer Rating (18 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Transmission and/or fuel delivery problem

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

After shifting into drive, the transmission waits a beat (about 1 long second) and then shifts. When the car is in drive, the fuel delivery and/or timing surges periodically. Both make for a jerky drive. The gas pedal is VERY touchy. The gas pedal must be pressed very lightly at first, so as not to give passengers whiplash on start-up from a stop. For short drivers (5'-5'4") the headrest can be uncomfortable. Instead of a flat surface, it bulges out and tips forward, pushing the driver's head into a chin downward position. It is not tilt adjustable. Eyesight is helpful, however, it once stopped the car on a highway when the car in front moved left to make a left turn.



12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Luxury swiss army knife

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

Sold my BMW 330xi and got my new Outback 3.6R Limited. I've gone from the "ultimate driving machine" (which drove great, but didn't have a lot of room for people and stuff, didn't have a lot of ground clearance, and was getting very expensive to maintain) to the "ultimate do absolutely everything pretty well" machine. Tons of room for its exterior size. Plenty of power. Nice ride. Great value. Well built. Amenities are pretty good for this price point. While I miss a bit of how the old car drives when pushed hard on a curvy road, on all other points, I prefer the Subaru.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Never expected to like it

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I have had my subaru Outback fro two months and I honestly never thought I would like it so much. I went for it mainly for the value and comfort. it really is a fun car to drive and has great gas mileage. I never even concidered a Subaru, my wife talked me into looking at them. the only issue i have found is that the control for the radio are a bit hard to reach while your driving and the sound system is just OK.



21 of 21 people found this review helpful

Love this car

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I traded in my 04 Highlander for the Outback, primarily because I needed a small SUV type vehicle that would get better gas mileage, and be comfortable on trips etc. This Outback met all my expectations. The seats are very comfortable, gas mileage is better now that the engine is broken in and the Chicago weather is warming. I get about 27MPG in mixed suburban/highway driving with the 2.5 engine. I noticed that the mileage suffers when the engine is cold (runs richer) and can take some time to warm up on real cold days. Constant short trips will kill gas mileage, fyi. Engine has plenty of pep which was an initial concern and I was impressed on how quiet and refined it is.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Car for areas with snow

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I know that this model will be replaced this summer with a newer version, but I love it and needed a replacement for my previous Outback. The car has plenty of room, comfortable seats, and handles snow and other bad weather with ease. I chose the Eyesight feature and found it excellent. The newer version should be even better. It has the capability of stopping accidents, and controls your cruise control to ensure that you are following the vehicle ahead of you at a safe distance even when they slow down. The car can carry most things a homeowner would want either on the roof rack, or in the back with the rear seats folding flat.



27 of 27 people found this review helpful

It's a winner

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

My first Subaru was a 2006 Outback 3.0R LL Bean model, and my second is the 2014 Outback Limited 2.5 with the CVT. They are nothing alike, and and I like each of them for different reasons, but they do have one thing in common. Both came out on top of after an exhaustive comparison of other brands. Frankly, I prefer the 06 because it was a much more engaging car to drive. However, the new model was more of a sensible purchase. It's significantly larger and more flexible, gets much better mileage, and has more bells and whistles. I heavily considered a Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and also an Audi Q5 and Volvo XC70. I can afford the last two but it was hard to justify their prices.



Full 2014 Subaru Outback Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Subaru Outback gets minor changes to its trim levels and equipment. Notably, 2.5i Premium models now have standard heated seats, while the base 3.6R trim level has been discontinued.

Introduction

For many years, shoppers wanting a wagon with some outdoor capability have turned to the Subaru Outback. Since its introduction almost 20 years ago, it has been the great SUV alternative. Outbacks are known for their cargo space and dexterity in the dirt, but they've always been held in equal regard for their excellent manners on paved roads. The 2014 Subaru Outback is much larger than the original Outback and competes directly with midsize crossovers aimed at families. Although it might not hold the same appeal for the granola crowd as its smaller predecessors did, this Subaru is still a strong choice for anyone who craves a little adventure.

Since every Subaru Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive and boasts a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance, it's one of the most capable crossovers off-road. You won't be able to follow a caravan of Jeeps up the Rubicon Trail, but dirt trails, snowy mountain passes or muddy country roads won't stop this Subaru wagon.

Equally important, the Outback has an impressive 71 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity for your camping and outdoor sports gear. And when you opt for the four-cylinder engine, this crossover wagon is capable of hitting 30 mpg on the highway. If you're looking to tow a small trailer, the available six-cylinder engine enables the Outback to pull up to 3,000 pounds. Also standard is a roof rack with built-in cross rails that conveniently fold out of the way when you're not using them.

There aren't too many options if you're looking for a midsize wagon or crossover with some off-road capability. The Toyota Venza is a bit more carlike behind the wheel and has less cabin noise and nicer interior materials, but it won't go all the places the Outback can. On the higher end, the Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70 share the Outback's rugged aesthetic (and some of its capability), but they cost significantly more. Another option is a true SUV like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which offers even more off-highway capability, though it, too, tends to cost more. Of course, you could also look at mainstream crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, which offer similar interior room but aren't really hardy enough to go too far off the beaten path. Ultimately, the 2014 Subaru Outback is a pretty unique vehicle and if you have an adventurous spirit, we recommend it highly.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Subaru Outback is a five-passenger wagon offered in four trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The numbers refer to engine displacement.

The base 2.5i comes with 16-inch steel wheels; roof rack rails with fold-out crossbars; full power accessories; cruise control; air-conditioning; a height-adjustable driver seat; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. An option package allows you to upgrade the base Outback (CVT models only) with 17-inch alloy wheels and foglights.

The 2.5i Premium model has all the base car's equipment, along with 17-inch wheels, foglights, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a cargo cover and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

If your 2.5i Premium has the continuously variable transmission (CVT), you can opt for the Power Moonroof package, which adds a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera. Available as part of an upgraded Power Moonroof package is Subaru's EyeSight driver assist system, which includes adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system and a collision warning/mitigation system with brake intervention. Also available is a package that combines the moonroof with a navigation system that features a 7.0-inch touchscreen display, smartphone app integration and a rearview camera.

Stepping up to the 2.5i Limited adds dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood trim, a four-way power passenger seat, an upgraded gauge cluster and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with HD radio. Options for the Limited are similar to the 2.5i Premium, but now the EyeSight system can be purchased in combination with the navigation system. In addition, there's a Special Appearance package that bundles the moonroof, EyeSight and nav system with unique exterior styling details, keyless ignition/entry, driver seat memory functions and perforated leather upholstery.

The 3.6R Limited comes with a six-cylinder engine, but otherwise its standard and optional equipment is identical to that of the 2.5i Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

The all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback is offered with two different engines. The 2.5i models use a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed ("boxer") four-cylinder that produces 173 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The CVT provides the functionality of an automatic transmission.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder with the CVT are 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Models with the six-speed manual return 22/29/24. Both results are pretty good for an all-wheel-drive four-cylinder crossover.

The 2014 Outback 3.6R Limited comes with a 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine good for 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic with shift paddles is the only transmission offered. In Edmunds performance testing, the 3.6R accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, a strong time for a six-cylinder-powered crossover or wagon. However, EPA fuel economy is below average at 17/25/20.

Safety

Every 2014 Subaru Outback comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags that cover both rows.

A rearview camera is available starting on CVT-equipped Premium and Limited models. Subaru's optional EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning functionality (it will also warn you if you're swaying within your lane during highway travel). The EyeSight system uses two cameras mounted inside the upper edge of the windshield, which Subaru says reduces the potential for damage compared to conventional radar systems mounted in the front bumper. EyeSight can also detect pedestrians and is capable of braking the Outback if the driver takes no evasive action.

In Edmunds brake testing, the 3.6R came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, a bit longer than average for this type of vehicle.

In government crash tests, the Subaru Outback earned a five-star overall rating, along with five-star ratings for its performance in front- and side-impact crash protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's testing, the Outback received the highest Top Safety Pick+ accolade after earning a Good rating (the highest possible) in the moderate-overlap front-offset crash test, as well as the side-impact and roof strength tests. It also earned an Acceptable rating (second highest) in the new small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

With its redesign a few years ago, the Subaru Outback traded its traditionally smaller footprint for more family-friendly dimensions. That extra room is immediately evident when you get inside, where even rear seat passengers now enjoy excellent headroom and legroom. The rear seatbacks also recline for greater comfort.

Behind those rear seats you'll find 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding them down yields 71.3 cubic feet, which is on par with the Venza and CR-V. For anything that doesn't fit inside, the Outback features built-in roof rack cross rails that swing inward when needed to attach bikes, snowboards and kayaks. Loading up recreational gear is also made easier by the Outback's reasonable overall height, as it's shorter than most other crossover SUVs.

Practical as it is, the 2014 Subaru Outback's cabin has a lot of hard plastic, which is tolerable on base models but feels a bit too down-market once you get to the Limited trim level. Most buyers will find it worth the leap to the 2.5i Premium trim level, as the base 2.5i model's standard four-speaker stereo sounds tinny and flat. The touchscreen interface in navigation-equipped Outbacks can be frustrating at times, as the menus are complicated and the on-screen buttons are not always responsive to touch.

Driving Impressions

The Outback's last growth spurt opened up plenty of interior room, but it lost the previous generation's quick handling in the process. On the other hand, the current Outback has a very forgiving ride that makes it a natural for road trips. Subaru says it stiffened the wagon's structure and retuned the suspension to reduce body roll and improve handling for 2013. We have yet to test an Outback that incorporates these changes, but when we do, we'll update this review.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Subaru Outback's standard all-wheel drive and 8.7 inches of ground clearance make it a natural for light off-roading. Of course, the Subaru is not meant to keep up with rock-crawling Jeeps, but ferrying kayaks and mountain bikes to campsites and trailheads is a cinch.

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers adequate performance and respectable fuel economy with either the six-speed manual or the CVT. It's a good choice if your primary concern is fuel economy. But if you live in the mountains or frequently haul full loads of passengers or cargo in your Outback, you'll be better served by the six-cylinder.

Talk About The 2014 Outback

2014 Subaru Outback Discussions See all Started By

Karen_CM
Karen_CM
01-28-2014
Welcome to Edmunds discussion dedicated to 2014 Subaru Outback purchase experiences. If you have recently purchased a 2014 Outback, please share your experience here. If you have leasing questions, p...


Karen_CM
Karen_CM
01-28-2014
Welcome to Edmunds discussion dedicated to 2014 Subaru Outback leasing questions....


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
08-19-2014
2015 Subaru Legacy and Outback Earn 2014 Top Safety Pick+ Award | Edmunds.com The redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan and the companion 2015 Subaru Outback wagon earned the 2014 Top Safety Pick+ award...



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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Subaru Outback Wagon in VA is:

$101 per month*
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