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4 out of 5 stars

2021 Outback Limited - the good and the bad

Eric S, 12/15/2020
2021 Subaru Outback Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
65 of 68 people found this review helpful

I had a 2016 Outback Limited for 5 years and traded it in for a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland so I could be cool. I didn't like the Jeep for various reasons (mostly the unbearable road noise) so I traded it in for a 2021 Outback. I test-drove the XT as well but didn't notice enough of a difference to warrant the extra cost and worse gas mileage. I mostly like the Outback but here are my (nit-picky) complaints: you can't put the visor all the way up b/c of the Eyesight Driver Assist thingy blocks it, so it only goes 3/4 of the way up. Subaru didn't think that one through; no cap-less gas tank? Sheesh, Subaru; base engine is underpowered, but that's what you sacrifice to get good gas mileage; the auto-stop start is rough (Jeep's was smooth); too much touch screen and not enough buttons: heated seats and auto stop-start should ALWAYS be a physical button (are you reading this, Subaru?). You have to go into SUB menus for both, which is a pain (especially when it's cold and there is a huge delay when navigating through the screens); rear-camera picture quality is so-so; advertised gas mileage is false: my combined average is about 24 mpg (slightly better than my 2016 Outback) and that's driving like a normal person; there is a slight vibration when the car is idling in drive. I hope that goes away. Here's what I LIKE: overall, the value is good. I got mine basically loaded for about $36k; rear leg room is good and the back seats recline; the cargo space is great; the liftgate is awesome; the safety features are great - you basically can't do anything wrong without the car yelling at you (each of these features can be disabled); the "leather" is nice; if you have kids, get the rear sun shades. I love being able to start the car and adjust the temp from an app on my phone. The AWD is awesome. Overall, it's a good car. My friends make fun of me for driving a wagon, but whatever. It's the overall quality of this car that makes it worth it. The guy who sold me the car told me today that Subaru will have an update in the summer of 2021 for wireless Apple CarPlay, so that's cool. So this car is worth it if you're a "big picture" person who cares about overall quality and function.

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5 out of 5 stars

A BMW for the Fixed Income Set

scatback43, 10/25/2020
2021 Subaru Outback Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
113 of 122 people found this review helpful

We traded a 2018 3.6R touring. This is a much better car - tighter, quieter, faster and with much, much better seats. I liked the naturally aspirated 3.6, an engine always dismissed as "old" by car magazines enamored of the 66 year-old Chevy small block. The new turbo is more powerful but less civilized. Voice command is still hopeless, but the face scan technology is a wow and will customize the outside mirror settings to the individual driver as you get in the car, a big safety plus. I also like the button that defeats auto stop/start; yes, there is one if you know where to look. The front seat passenger has 8-way power instead of the two-way as in the 3.6R, and Carplay now fills the entire 11" screen. The problem with Edmunds - as with all the major outlets, not to mention Doug Demuro and his spawn - is they never drive the cars at night. Heads up, there, fellas. It's one of the Outback's strengths.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Great all-round all-wheel drive

SB, 11/11/2020
updated 05/16/2022
2021 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
68 of 73 people found this review helpful

We have had an Outback since 2014. For winter driving even in really bad conditions, this is an ideal car with class beating symmetrical all-wheel drive. We also use snow tires in the winter which helps greatly with traction and to a small degree with braking too. I have had occasions to drive up deep snow packed and slippery hills with no problem whatsoever. I was a little concerned going from a 6 cylinder to a flat-4, but even driving in fast moving traffic when we go to a big city, I have been able to keep up with lane changes and 70+ mph traffic. The flat-4 Boxer engine has a lower center of gravity which helps in handling. The turbo-charged newer version would be a game changer. Will be updating to a newer model in the next couple of years and will definitely be visiting a Subaru dealer. A world-beating symmetrical all-wheel for this price is great value. The CVT transmission has a slight lag with sudden acceleration, but it's fine once you get used to it.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Driving Subaru

Diamond Jim, 12/08/2020
2021 Subaru Outback Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
44 of 47 people found this review helpful

So far very pleasant experience. Rides nice, handles nice. Very comfortable vehicle. Power is good. Lots of bells and whistles!!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Love my new Outback

Linda, 12/29/2020
2021 Subaru Outback Limited XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
73 of 79 people found this review helpful

I previously owned a Subaru Forester, which I also loved but drove both the Forester and Outback and there was a big difference in how it feels. The Outback was quieter and more comfortable. If you are looking at them, make sure to drive them both as I was prepared to get another Forester and ended up with the Outback!

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