2018 Subaru Outback
- Updated front and rear fascias for a more aggressive look
- New infotainment system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Updated designs for center console and steering wheel
- Part of the fifth Outback generation introduced for 2015
- A more spacious and comfortable cabin than those of many rivals
- Roof and cargo-loading heights are lower than those of most SUVs
- Excellent visibility in all directions
- Off-road ability is above average
- Acceleration is lackluster, especially with four-cylinder engine
- Gas and brake pedal feel make it hard to drive four-cylinder smoothly
2018 Subaru Outback pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Outback does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4 / 5
There are a lot of choices in the SUV segment. Read some of our reviews and you'll quickly learn they all have their respective strengths and weaknesses. The 2018 Subaru Outback, though, is strong in just about all areas you'll really care about, including fuel economy, interior volume, off-road capability and standard in-car technology.
The Outback's standard 2.5-liter flat-four engine gets an EPA-rated 28 mpg combined, which is pretty respectable for a vehicle of this size. It also features a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, plus hill hold and hill descent control, to help get off the beaten path with ease. And with 73.3 cubic feet of interior cargo volume, 60/40-split fold-down rear seats, and standard roof rails, you'll be able to bring all your toys and supplies while you're roaming the countryside. This year's Outback is packed with the latest technology, too. Every 2018 Outback now comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as part of its updated touchscreen display.
But the Outback does have one weakness: performance. While its four-cylinder engine may get good mileage, its 175-horsepower output is down on power compared to its class. (There is a six-cylinder engine available, though.) The Outback is also not particularly crisp or willing to drive with enthusiasm around turns. It's a compromise we wholeheartedly accept, however. If you're looking for a capable crossover SUV that's useful for just about any situation, give the Outback a look.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Subaru Outback as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs for this year.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Subaru Outback is a five-passenger wagon that comes in six trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 3.6R Limited and 3.6R Touring. The base model covers the essentials (roof rails, Bluetooth), while Premium and Limited trims include conveniences such as heated seats, leather and satellite radio. Touring trims are fully loaded, and 3.6R models have similar equipment but include a more powerful six-cylinder engine.
The base 2.5i starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (175 hp, 174 lb-ft) and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that feeds power to all four wheels. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, hill descent control, hill holding assist, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, roof rails (with integrated crossbars), air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, Subaru's Starlink 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB interface.
The 2.5i Premium adds rear privacy glass, heated exterior mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, foglights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, a cargo cover, a bigger 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, three additional USB ports (one front and two rear) and six speakers for the sound system. The Power Moonroof package adds the obvious plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A power liftgate with memory height is also optional.
The 2.5i Limited bundles the Premium options plus 18-inch wheels, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a front bumper underguard, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, driver-seat memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat, rear air vents, heated rear seats and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Xenon headlights are optional on the 2.5i Limited.
The 3.6R Limited gets the xenon headlights as standard equipment and a more powerful engine, but it is otherwise the same as the 2.5i Limited.
The Premium and Limited trims can be upgraded with Subaru's EyeSight system (adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights and upgraded gauges). Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are included in the Premium version of EyeSight, and navigation can be bundled with this package. The Outback Limited's version includes navigation, automatic braking for rear collisions and steering-responsive LED headlights. Note that Subaru bundles these items into one big package, so you can't order them individually.
The 2.5i Touring and 3.6R Touring trims include the standard features and options from the Premium and Limited trims, as well as the Driver Assist Technology package. Touring models also have different 18-inch wheels, dark exterior trim, fixed low-profile roof rails without crossbars, premium leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, and a heated steering wheel.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (2.5L flat-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Subaru Outback has received some revisions, including an updated infotainment system with larger screens, improved interior materials, and additional noise mitigation measures. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 2018 Subaru Outback.
Noise & vibration3
Ease of use4.5
Getting in/getting out4
Audio & navigation
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Outback safety features:
- EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
- Scans the road ahead to enable adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and automatic foglights.
- Blind-Spot Detection/Lane Change Assist
- Uses radar sensors to detect vehicles in blind spot and shows visual indicator in side mirror. Indicator also warns of unsafe lane change.
- Starlink Safety and Security Plus
- Notifies first responders if an airbag deploys. Can also connect to emergency or roadside assistance services.
Subaru Outback vs. the competition
2018 Subaru Outback
2018 Honda CR-V
Subaru Outback vs. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V, when equipped with optional all-wheel drive, is a strong contender to the Outback. Both models have similar interior space and available technology features. With the CR-V, you get better economy and acceleration with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine (compared to the Outback's four-cylinder). But the Outback has better long-range comfort, more ground clearance, and a design better suited for off-road trails.
Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Forester
It's natural to take a look at Subaru's Forester when considering the Outback. The Forester's styling is more like a traditional SUV, and its available turbocharged engine provides impressively quick acceleration. The Outback has the edge on size and highway comfort, however. Both Subarus have a robust all-wheel-drive system and extra ground clearance that result in similar off-road performance..
Subaru Outback vs. Ford Edge
Compared to the Ford Edge, the Outback comes up short on power. The Edge has a strong turbocharged four-cylinder engine as standard, and its optional V6 engines are also more potent than the Outback's six-cylinder. The Edge is also bigger and roomier. The Outback counters with lower pricing, standard all-wheel drive, better fuel economy and superior off-road capability.
2018 Subaru Outback for Sale
Is the Subaru Outback a good car?
Thanks to its standard all-wheel-drive system, enhanced ground clearance and roomy interior, the Outback is perfect for those with active outdoor lifestyles. It also boasts comfortable front and rear seats, a suspension that easily soaks up the bumps, and an easy-to-drive demeanor. On the downside, the Outback's standard four-cylinder engine isn't a performance machine. But if you want more power, a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine is available for more authoritative passing power.
How can I get a Subaru Outback deal?
Edmunds can help you find a great local price on a Subaru Outback. See 2018 Subaru Outback deals and incentives in your area.
Does the Subaru Outback have good MPG?
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is EPA rated at a combined 28 mpg (25 city/32 highway). We largely verified these numbers with a posting of 28.9 mpg in our evaluation. Overall, these numbers are on par with the Outback's street-biased crossover competition. The 3.6-liter six-cylinder is EPA rated at a combined 22 mpg (20 city/27 highway). This is also similar to what you'll see from other six-cylinder-equipped crossovers in class.
Does the Subaru Outback have good resale value?
If you're ready to buy, you're probably wondering about the Subaru Outback's resale value. How much will a 2018 Subaru Outback be worth in two or five years — or whenever you decide to sell? Check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator. It includes projected annual depreciation over the first five years of ownership based on Edmunds' robust market transaction data.
2018 Subaru Outback Overview
The 2018 Subaru Outback is offered in the following submodels: Outback SUV. Available styles include 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 CVT), 2.5i 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 3.6R Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT), and 2.5i Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT).
What do people think of the 2018 Subaru Outback?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Subaru Outback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Outback 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Outback.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Subaru Outback and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Outback featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2018 Subaru Outback?
2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT)
The 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,097. The average price paid for a new 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT) is trending $2,886 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,886 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$34,211.
The average savings for the 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT) is7.8% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
The 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,220. The average price paid for a new 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is trending $2,056 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,056 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$30,164.
The average savings for the 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) is6.4% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 3 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2018 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) 2018 Subaru Outback for sale near. There are currently 28 new 2018 Outbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,942 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Subaru Outback. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,976 on a used or CPO 2018 Outback available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2018 Subaru Outbacks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Subaru Outback for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $14,543.
Find a new Subaru for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,355.
Compare prices on the New Subaru Outback for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.