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2022 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
57 reviews
MSRP Starting at
$27,645

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4 out of 5 stars

Outback Premium Good Value

William, 10/25/2021
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
74 of 75 people found this review helpful

We looked at a number of smaller SUVs before settling on the Outback. The main thing pushing to the Outback versus others (CR-V was the other finalist) were a) the superior all wheel drive system and the ability to tow. Most small SUV have essentially no towing capacity, Subarus do.. Also all wheel drive is not created equal and we have a steep sometimes snow covered driveway. Reviewing multiple real world tests showed that Subaru really has superior traction management system to most others. So the Subaru won on these fronts. Also helping was that the interior, even on the lower trims, is very nice. The absolute worst was the RAV, it is of the 'ultra cheap' interior trim school. We initially started to buy the Onyx version with the turbo engine since reports said the base 2.5L was underpowered. However neither my wife or I liked the throttle response of the turbo, it was very non-linear in power delivery. So we tried a "premium" with the base engine and preferred it. While some claim the turbo is quieter we really couldn't see that it was any better, both base and turbo engine make themselves heard under load, but in normal conditions they are silent. As to power, we found the base engine to be adequate. No it doesn't accelerate fast but it has enough power and will cross the Sierra Nevada mountains (7000 foot elevation change) at 70mph without trouble. At freeway speeds I don't hear the engine, it's most audible at lower speed accelerations. As to what's good and what's not so good. As stated the power is fine, the car is quiet, rides nicely, and corners well. Seats are comfortable even without all the extra adjustments that the upper models bring. Storage space is very good. It has great outward visibility, a major failing on many small SUVs. It has lots of features even in the premium trim level. Subaru did go overboard in running so much through the central screen. It is annoying to have to access the screen and go down a level just to do things like turn on the seat heaters. The voice control system is a joke, doesn't work at all don't even bother trying it! Subaru has a feature that allows you to wave a hand in front of the emblem on the tailgate to 'hands free' open the tailgate. This is their version on Ford's wave your foot under the bumper. It doesn't really work that well, it takes a long time to recognize the command so we really don't use the feature. Safety systems take some discussion. The blind spot monitoring is great. The lane guidance is fine IF you turn off the steering assist. As it comes from the factory it always has a level of steering assist that makes the car feel like it won't track in a straight line. Turn it off and it tracks perfectly. The adaptive cruise works very well. However with adaptive cruise comes the option of turning lane centering or active steering. My experience with this is very negative, to the point of being dangerous. If you turn on active lane centering the car ping pongs in the lane. If the road turns it will tend to run wide, ping pong, then leave the lane! At that point the system issues a warning and shuts off as it leaves the lane. I guess it was intended only for straight roads but even on straight roads you feel like you're having a tug of war with the system due to the ping pong behavior. While it sounds like a lot of negatives these aren't big issues. The positives far outweigh the negatives. We love the car, for the price it is hard to find something as comfortable, reliable, and capable. If you stay away from the higher models and options it remains a good deal. Like most Subar

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 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 ride comfort and space, great with snow/ice

Jim in North Carolina, 07/19/2021
updated 01/26/2022
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
32 of 34 people found this review helpful

I traded a beautiful 2020 Ford Escape Titanium Hybrid for a 2022 Subaru Outback Limited. I needed better seat comfort,quiet smoother ride, and more storage for my wife's travel wheel chair. I am sure I made the right choice. It has an excellent sound system and tech features. I liked the fuel economy of the hybrid but the Subaru is not bad and worth every penny spent to get features I need at this time in my life. I still want to travel and have comfort, room and safety. Jim in North Carolina

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 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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1 out of 5 stars

Subaru electronics wrecked a great car

socalh2oskier, 10/28/2021
Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
70 of 77 people found this review helpful

This car drives great. It is comfortable. It is quiet. It is roomy. It has great cargo capacity. The interior is upscale. Why, then, such a low rating? One word: electronics. Subaru has wrecked an otherwise great car with its stupid touch screen panel that controls damn near everything. Besides being slow and not intuitive, the screen icons need to be pressed exactly right or they don't work. Thus, you need to really take your eyes off the road to use the damn thing, which makes it downright dangerous, in addition to being a huge annoyance. Most troublesome is the fan speed icons. They should have made the touch screen area bigger for those. I use them all of the time and invariably I miss. A simple toggle switch would be so much better. I traded a 2019 Outback 3.6R for this XT. I loved the way the 3.6R drove and the way the controls were set up. I should have kept that car--it is far superior in ease of use. Oh, one more thing--the NAV system in Subaru is horrible. Don't rely on it for anything. It didn't work well in my 2019 and it doesn't work well in the new one either. About 30 percent of the time it takes you nowhere close to your destination. I use my phone instead. So, in summary, I love the way the new car drives. But I HATE this moronic touch-screen control system. Who is the idiot at Subaru who thought this would be a good thing? Even worse, Subaru took away a lot of great storage space to make space for the giant, annoying, ugly touch screen. Update: So, after driving several hundred miles, I like this car even less. The only thing good about this car is that it drives quiet and smooth. In almost every other way, this car is much worse than the 3.6R it replaced. Storage area in the front used to be great. Now, it is extremely limited--mostly because they took away storage in the console to make space for the annoying touch screen. And storage in the doors used to be useful, but now it is so narrow you will smash your fingers trying to get something in or out of there. And let's talk about gas mileage. Subaru claims 30 mpg highway. But I am averaging far less--only about 25-26 mpg on the highway. I averaged about 27-28 with the 3.6R. I like the firm seats in the 3.6R better. The seats in the 2022 are much softer. One good thing--my wife likes the softer seats in the new car better. And, one of my biggest gripes, and this would have been a deal killer had I known--the new electronics system won't recognize my ipod nano touch (7th generation) that contains over 2,000 songs that I can no longer access anywhere else. My 3.6R connected fine with the ipod nano. Apparently the new unit was purposefully designed to only connect with newer electronics. When my lease was up on the 3.6R, I was trying to decide whether I should buy the 3.6R, get a new Outback Touring XT, or try a Mazda CX-5 Signature. I regret my choice with the new Outback. And this is from someone who has owned a long line of Subarus dating back to the early 90s. Bottom line, Subaru with this generation is getting far away from the simple and reliable cars that developed a cult following. Instead, Subaru appears to be all in for stupid, complicated electronics. Subaru, are you listening? The complicated electronics take away from the car's character and make it less pleasant to drive. Please, please, please dump the annoying and dangerous touch screen and bring back the simplicity of the previous generations, like the old 2.5XT, or the more recent 3.6R. This new car will likely be okay for someone has never owned a previous generation Outback. But for those who, like me, are coming out of the previous generation, this car is a HUGE step down--a GIGANTIC mistake by Subaru. I will be looking to trade this heap at the first reasonable opportunity, probably for a Mazda CX-5 Signature. At least the Mazda doesn't have a touch screen.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
1 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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4 out of 5 stars

Not a techie

peashooter, 01/16/2022
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

I am not a fan of bells and whistles so I turn most off. Too much can and does go wrong. Having worked with electronics for decades I am not fan of having it control everything in a car. I plan on getting 300,000 miles on our Outback. After the warranty runs out I will do my own maintenance. With the way Subaru engines are layed out it will be so much easier to do so. I can reach the most replaced parts. They are easy to get to without too much trouble. Had a 97 legacy wagon with over 300k before it gave up the ghost. Most reliable car we've ever had. Interior has solid looks and feel, appears well made, not cheap. Handles great in curves without too much body lean .Easy to drive 30+ highway/city and lots of room. We can actually get 3 people in the back seat.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 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
5 out of 5 stars
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1 out of 5 stars

Electronics ruin the car

JC, 12/20/2021
Touring XT 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
29 of 32 people found this review helpful

Constant issues with the electronics on this car, facial recognition system that sets the seat and mirror position fails multiple times per day and moves the seat and mirror to a default position that you cannot adjust. Safety features regularity produce false alerts and fails entirely at least once a week. Main touch screen fails weekly at a minimum while driving. Dealership service department described these problems to me as known behaviour.

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