2014 Subaru Outback Review

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior
  • comfortable ride
  • excellent visibility
  • clever roof rails
  • above average off-road capability.
  • Weak base stereo
  • fussy controls on upper trims.
List Price Range
$7,995 - $19,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2014 Subaru Outback models

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.

2014 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Subaru Outback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

unique wagon
zimboy,12/15/2013
i did lots of research looking for a car that combined practical space, versatile in all weather conditions, cross-over aspects, a sense of adventure but confidence....something different from the hundreds of dreary over-sized SUV's out there. always knew Subaru were renowned in the AWD adventure/sport category but was surprised by how versatile the Outback is.
Great for families (my intended purpose)
marbs34,12/02/2013
I really like this car, I've been looking into it for the last couple of years. All of the merits fit what I've wanted it for. Lots of room, reasonable gas mileage, car-like handling, off-pavement ability... This car gets it done, after the first couple of weeks getting adjusted to sitting up higher than what i traded in, (2013 Buick Regal GS) I took it on a road trip 400 miles each direction and was very happy with it's comfort for the trip. The seats are great,supportive yet soft while not creating circulation hot spots over long periods, the driver lumbar support is actually very, very good as well.
3 years old now and still love it
Steve S,10/23/2015
2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
I bought my OB in January 2014. I originally wanted a Forester, but later decided on the Outback for a better ride, more room and its availability, being that it was manufactured close to home here in the US. The Forester is mfg in Japan and was hard to find what I wanted. For what I wanted the price seemed reasonable. I got the base model with a special appearance package. I also bought one of their extended warranties, as I wasn't 100% sold on the CVT and heard some rumblings from other owners about oil leaks, but I suspect that is from the older engine Gen 2/3. This car is FAR FROM PERFECT. In fact there are some items that are downright annoying to me. However, I still love the car. Comfortable for long road trips, so far very reliable, great gas mileage (32 highway, around 28 around home/work, and winter months about 25 with the change in gas formulation we have here in Illinois). *Acceleration: well, it's a four cylinder with CVT. I'm in no hurry nearly 100% of the time, and in the few times I get frustrated stuck behind a slower RV, I have plenty of passing power -- for a few seconds of 4000 rpm plus revving to get speed, I think the trade off is worth it. *One winter during a snow storm, I had full traction on the snowy roads, while all the other cars (and even big SUVs) around me just had a hell of a time moving up a slight slope at the stop light! *Braking has been good, but sometimes on hard or long braking, it might get spongy. One reviewer had issue in his review. I think he's just a pedal jammer and drives too hard for car of this type. He's right, this car wasn't for him. *The 2015 reportedly is quieter than the 2014, but I'm satisfied. Hey! This is not a high dollar car! The only annoying sound I usually get is the higher revs with the CVT, but it's 95% of the time due to acceleration from a stop and only lasts a few seconds before all's quiet again. *Bluetooth: works well. The first few times it would drop my smart phone and I had to remember how to reprogram it, but it's held firm since then. The voice recognition used for making calls by name, I never use, as it's way too picky and difficult to deal with. *On my 2.5i base model, there is an "MPG" indicator which fluctuates up and down based on how much gas I'm giving and the speed and resistance of the vehicle. This is annoying to me, as it's a constant distraction. However, in the couple years I've had it, it has grown on me and I use it as a reminder to ease off the gas when I can. If you don't pay attention, you can unnecessarily apply more gas with no end result, especially with the CVT and its rubber band effect. In fact, on a start, for example, the engine expectedly revs up and I then ease off a tad -- the revs decrease, but the car still accelerates. *Headlights -- average. A distinct cut off at the top; this can be annoying to some. However, it's adequate and illuminates the road well. *AWD -- need I say anything on this? It's great! *Climate control is good and had good heat/cool distribution. My unit does not have individual/dual controls like other models might have. This is OK, as I usual drive alone. *So far, NO reliability issues. *Last summer 2016, my engine started making some knocking/pinging sounds. I couldn't quite place it, but it sounded like valve knocking. Oil? Actually, no. It was the serpentine belt which wore out prematurely. Thankfully, the repair was only $150 (appx). Warranty did not cover it, under normal wear and tear. This car is great for hauling cargo in, has a modest tow capability, practical, roomy, and drives well. It's not perfect by any means; you have to pay for perfection, if you can get it. It's not a rocket ship. As I mentioned before, I'm in no hurry and the few times I really need to get past a slow moving car, or a merge onto a highway, or dealing with a semi-truck, the four banger does have the power, you just need to feed it the gas and put up with the high revs for a few seconds. Normally, I typically don't exceed 2700 rpm in normal driving. ***4/25/16 update on noise. I replaced the four Continental ProContact tires that came with the vehicle; only 45000 miles. One tire was damaged. I decided to go with four new tires at a local tire shop and used Consumer Reports' recommendation of Michelin Defenders. Here's the update: my car I would estimate is about 25% quieter on tire noise. ***4/16/17 60K check. The dealership found my rear brake pads were at 0%. They thought they might have to replace the rotors and the cost would be much higher. Thankfully, they were able to smooth them off and just put on new pads.
Luxury Swiss Army Knife
jg63,06/12/2014
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.

Features & Specs

MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
173 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
173 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
173 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
173 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2014 Subaru Outback features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Subaru Outback

Used 2014 Subaru Outback Overview

The Used 2014 Subaru Outback is offered in the following submodels: Outback SUV. Available styles include 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 5A), 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), and 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Subaru Outback?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Subaru Outback trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited PZEV is priced between $7,995 and$19,500 with odometer readings between 14745 and204737 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium PZEV is priced between $8,295 and$15,500 with odometer readings between 76236 and133456 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited is priced between $9,346 and$15,900 with odometer readings between 54042 and204911 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i PZEV is priced between $11,900 and$11,900 with odometer readings between 86093 and86093 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium is priced between $12,683 and$12,683 with odometer readings between 85191 and85191 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited is priced between $18,993 and$18,993 with odometer readings between 28350 and28350 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2014 Subaru Outbacks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Subaru Outback for sale near. There are currently 23 used and CPO 2014 Outbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,995 and mileage as low as 14745 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Subaru Outback.

Can't find a used 2014 Subaru Outbacks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Outback for sale - 1 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $25,148.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $9,257.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Outback for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,369.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 10 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $10,196.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Subaru Outback?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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