2014 Subaru OutbackBuying Guide • Review • Research
The Top 10 Reasons Why You May want to Buy a 2014 Subaru Outback:
The 2014 Subaru Outback is the latest in a line of vehicles that dates back to 1994, and it has only improved with time. Today, the Outback has evolved into a well-rounded vehicle that stands out with distinction among its competition. With that in mind, here are the top ten reasons to own a 2014 Subaru Outback, along with a quick look at the few where the competition might win out. [ For the 2015 model see - Subaru Outback Pros and Cons ]
Reasons to buy a 2014 Subaru Outback - the Pros
1) The Look
Subaru’s vehicles have distinct looks that make them stand out from other cars in their own unique ways, and the 2014 Subaru Outback is no exception. Its look incorporates some sport utility elements, and the integrated roof rails help define the Outback’s style. With a load-bearing capacity of 150 pounds, they’re functional and convenient too. In addition, the Outback’s high, 8.7-inch ground clearance, which means that it can go off-road with the confidence to get its wheels dirty.
The Outback comes in four trims – three with the efficient 173-horsepower, 2.5L 4 cylinder engine, and one with a bigger, 256-horsepower, 3.6L 6-cylinder engine that’s great for towing. Both available engines provide good responsiveness, but power isn’t everything, and the Subaru has a superb grip on the road.
It’s not easy to achieve great handling performance with a ground clearance as high as the Outback’s, but Subaru’s engineers have succeeded in doing just that. Systems like Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (more on that in just a moment), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, and Vehicle Dynamics Control all contribute to the Outback’s ability to handle any situation with confidence.
3) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
A significant aspect of Subaru’s great on- and off-road performance comes from the 2014 Subaru Outback’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. It’s standard on all Outback models, and delivers power to all four wheels simultaneously for optimal traction. Whatever the conditions, the Outback’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is one of the best in its class.
4) All-Weather Package
The Outback’s available All-Weather package is great for those who need it, while giving those who live in calmer climates the option to save the money. During winter months, the windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors, and heated seats are incredibly convenient. Driving in cold or inclement weather is a relaxing experience – it’s not only safer in an Outback, but also more comfortable.
5) EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
The Subaru Outback was given a “Superior” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its EyeSight collision avoidance system. EyeSight uses front-mounted cameras to analyze the speed of cars ahead of the Outback and warn the driver when there is danger of a collision. It also helps to manage braking, and can stop the vehicle on its own at slow speeds. If EyeSight detects a potential collision and determines that the driver isn’t pressing the break firmly enough to stop in time, it assists. Eyesight also includes an adaptive cruise control system, as well as lane departure warnings.
6) Overall Safety
In addition to the Eyesight collision avoidance system, the 2014 Subaru Outback utilizes a wide array of other technologies to help protect its occupants in a collision. There are six airbags in the Outback – front airbags, front seat-side pelvis/torso airbags, and side-curtain air bags. The airbags use an advanced system that analyze a variety of situations, including rollovers, to deploy them in ways that best protect the driver and passengers. Even the Outback’s frame was engineered with safety in mind.
7) Fuel Efficiency
The Subaru Boxer 2.5L engine comes with an available Lineartronic CVT system that greatly enhances the Outback’s fuel economy. Outback models with this system have fuel efficiency ratings of 24 city / 30 highway mpg – impressive numbers for a midsize crossover. Outback models without the system still get great efficiency ratings, with the 2.5L engine getting 22 city / 29 highway mpg, and the 3.6L engine getting 17 city / 25 highway mpg.
8) Cargo Space
The 2014 Subaru Outback has 65/35-split fold-down seats in the rear that allow for a significant increase in cargo capacity. This capacity is further enhanced by a rear, underfloor cargo area that maximizes all of the available space in the vehicle. Outside, the roof rails include a unique crossbar system that increase their carrying capacity when in use, but also fold down into the rails to improve the airflow around the vehicle.
9) Off-Road Potential
While the Outback isn’t made to tackle mountains, it can handle almost any typical off-road situation that most drivers will encounter. The combination of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and high ground clearance means that owners don’t have to worry about gravel, mud, rough terrain, or any number of other potential hazards that would cause drivers of lesser cars to turn back towards the road.
10) Family Adventures
The Outback is perfect for families that like to get away to the outdoors. There aren’t many campsites that the Outback can’t reach, and it’s well-equipped to travel in out-of-the-way locations and potentially adverse conditions. The combined cargo capacity of its interior and exterior storage features can store the needs of an entire family, pets included. The ability of the 3.6L engine to two moderately heavy loads adds to the vehicle’s utility by allowing it to handle most types of trailers.
While the 2014 Subaru Outback has plenty of upsides, it has drawbacks as well. Here’s a look at a few of the reasons that might make a potential owner take pause.
Reasons You May Not Want to Buy a 2014 Subaru Outback - the Cons1) Interior Materials
The Outback simply doesn’t have the enhanced luxury features of many competitors. That’s not to say that the interior doesn’t look good overall, but some of the surfaces don’t look quite as appealing as they do in competition like the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.
The standard entertainment system is adequate, but that’s about it. While it does feature 9 harman/kardon speakers with amplification, supports satellite radio, and has Bluetooth connectivity, it doesn’t have the technological flash displayed by competitors like the 2014 Volvo XC70.
3) Navigation System
While not lacking in quality, many drivers complain about the complexity of the 2014 Subaru Outback’s navigation system. New Outback owners will want to take the time to get a handle on the system before heading too far into unknown terrain. Competitors like the 2014 Acura TSX Sport Wagon offer more intuitive systems.
The Outback has adequate horsepower for most types of terrain, but many drivers wish there were a bit more power in the standard engine. The fuel economy of an Outback equipped with a 2.5L engine is among the very best in its class, but the 2014 Audi Allroad sacrifices some of its efficiency to offer an impressive 220-horsepower turbocharged power plant.
Overall, the 2014 Subaru Outback stands out from its competition by offering superior outdoor capabilities in a safe and efficient package. It can handle rough terrain, and rough weather, with an ease that makes it a premier choice for owners living in the harsher parts of the world – it’s not called the Outback for nothing, after all. This performance, combined with its enhanced storage capacity and safety features, make it ideal for families who enjoy the outdoors. The 2014 Subaru Outback is the perfect vehicle for family trips to destinations off the beaten path.