The 2017 Subaru Outback wisely adopts the motto, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The midsize wagon still comes with standard all-wheel drive and possesses the remarkable ground clearance that you would find on more hard-core SUVs, not on a family wagon. While it's different from other vehicles in its class, it would be hard to argue with the Outback's practicality. We're happy to see it remain as an affordable must-drive car for those who are looking into crossovers and compact SUVs and are willing to broaden their horizons.
All the assets that make the Subaru Outback popular are back: superb safety features, a low profile for easy loading and unloading, spacious seating (especially in the rear, where most compact SUVs suffer) and fantastic ground clearance that provides confidence in off-road conditions.
The Outback's impressive optional EyeSight safety package returns, with a forward collision warning system (which includes automatic braking and pedestrian detection), lane departure warning and automatic intervention. For 2017, it packs in more features: reverse automatic braking and automated high beam headlight control.
Also new for 2017 is the addition of a modern touchscreen interface, available in two sizes. It features user-friendly navigation and a host of smartphone-connectivity applications.
The fuel economy for the 2017 Subaru depends on the engine. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder variant will give you a combined 28 mpg (25 city/32 highway), which is a subtle improvement over most SUVs in the compact range. The more powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine drops the numbers slightly to a combined 22 mpg (20 city/27 highway).
As with the 2016 Subaru Outback, the 2017 Outback comes in several different trim levels. Starting with the base Outback 2.5i, Subaru adds practical options to the Premium level, such as a windshield wiper de-icer and automatic climate control. The luxurious Limited increases safety features and adds some style and sound enhancements. For a more spirited drive, the 3.6R Limited gives the car extra power over the regular Limited.
New this year is a Touring level (both for the 2.5i and 3.6R) that effectively makes the car fully loaded and improves the interior/exterior visual aesthetics of the vehicle.
The 2017 Subaru Outback remains a smart choice for shoppers looking for an alternative to the compact SUV segment. Rely on Edmunds for assistance on your quest to finding the 2017 Subaru Outback that is right for you.