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Like most wagons, 2019 Subaru Outback rewards you with an extra amount of cargo space. However, above-average ground clearance and Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical AWD system enable the rugged Outback to explore the backcountry. Meanwhile, a spacious cabin ensures excellent comfort for families.
While the Outback has long been commended on its superb crash scores, the arrival of a standard EyeSight safety package makes the 2019 model even more secure. A new infotainment system and dual USB ports now come standard as well. Let’s find out which Outback trim works best for you.
Compare the 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i vs 2.5i Premium - What is the difference?
With starting price of $29,420, the base 2.5i trim will satisfy drivers who’re on a budget. You will likely find the list of standard features to be quite satisfying. Subaru's Starlink infotainment system is the biggest highlight. This interface boasts an updated 6.5-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support. Popular mobile apps, like Pandora and iHeartRadio, are integrated into the interface. Some of the other commodities include a reversing camera, a four-speaker stereo system, Bluetooth, and dual USB ports.
You also get some great safety technologies with the standard EyeSight package. When on the verge of crashing into a vehicle, pre-collision braking can bring you to a full stop. The other advanced driving aids include lane departure intervention and adaptive cruise control.
Like most of the other trims, the Outback 2.5i comes standard with a non-turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It develops a sufficient 175 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque. An automatic CVT sends power to all four wheels.
In regard to styling, the Outback 2.5i’s raised roof rails and protective body molding accentuate its adventurous design. Although the standard 17-inch wheels don’t pack much style, they look okay. Projector-beam halogen headlights come standard as well.
If you find the base Outback 2.5i to be too lightly equipped, step up to the Outback 2.5i Premium. Although it comes equipped with the same four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, you’ll enjoy more creature comforts. Several cold-weather upgrades are found on the Outback 2.5i Premium, including heated front seats and heated outside mirrors. The electroluminescent instrument cluster looks more modern than the standard analog gauges. Replacing the base stereo is a six-speaker system with satellite radio. Dual-zone climate control, a larger 8.0-inch multimedia screen, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat also come equipped on the Outback 2.5i Premium.
Some worthy options are available on the Outback 2.5i Premium. While an auto-dimming rearview mirror and blind-spot monitoring enhance safety, a power tailgate makes it easier to load stuff. A power sunroof is available as well. If you plan to travel often, get the 2.5i Premium trim’s optional navigation system.
Compare the 2019 Outback 2.5i Premium vs 2.5i Limited Trims. What is the difference?
When sitting behind the wheel of the Outback 2.5i Limited, you’ll be enveloped by a greater number of luxurious features. Leather upholstery and wood-grain accents give the interior a more upscale character. Your family will enjoy the 2.5i Limited trim’s heated rear cushions. You can also take advantage of the more amusing Harman Kardon premium sound system. Other niceties found on the Outback 2.5i Limited include keyless ignition, rear air vents, and driver-seat memory functions. Automatic rear braking can be added as an option.
In comparison to the lower trims, the Outback 2.5i Limited does look more stylish. A set of 18-inch machine finished wheels give it a bolder stance. Low-profile roof rails also help give the Outback 2.5i Premium a sleeker appearance. Adaptive LED headlights for improved nighttime visibility are optional.
Compare the Outback 2.5i Limited vs 3.6R Limited - What is the difference?
In regard to standard equipment, the Outback 3.6R Limited and the Outback 2.5i Premium are virtually the same. However, there’s more power under the hood of the Outback 3.6R Premium. Its six-cylinder engine develops a heartier 256 horsepower.
Compare the Outback 3.6R Limited vs 2.5i Touring Trims. What is the difference?
The Outback 2.5i Touring sits near the top of the lineup. It comes standard with all of the Limited trim’s optional equipment. A slightly nicer interior also gives the 2.5i Touring trim an advantage over the 3.6R Touring trim. It comes outfitted with perforated leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel. All of Subaru’s available safety tech comes equipped on the 2.5i Touring trim.
To further separate the Outback 2.5i Touring, Subaru gave it some special exterior treatments. A different set of 18-inch wheels and darkened exterior trim give it just a bit more sportiness. Unique roof rails also help separate the Outback 2.5i Touring.
Compare the 2019 Outback 2.5i Touring vs 3.6R Touring - What is the difference?
In contrast to the 2.5i Touring trim, the 3.6 Touring trim is motivated by the stronger six-cylinder engine. You won’t notice a difference in this trim's exterior or interior styling.
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Which One Should You Choose?
The base Outback 2.5i is a good buy for the money. A standard Symmetrical AWD system enables it to match the off-road prowess of the other trims. You’ll also enjoy the Outback 2.5i’s standard equipment, especially the Starlink infotainment system. Subaru’s Eyesight safety package is another one of the base Outback’s main attractions.
For a little more than $2,000, you can upgrade to the Outback 2.5i Premium. Aside from cold-weather creature comforts like heated front seats and a windshield wiper de-icer, the Outback 2.5i Premier also adds satellite radio. Blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert is optional.
Although the luxurious 2.5i Limited trim may add niceties such as heated rear seats and a Harman Kardon premium audio system, it does cost nearly $33,000. The more powerful 3.6R Limited trim is even more expensive. Before you choose between the six-cylinder engine, first sample the cheaper and more efficient four-cylinder.
Atop the range sit the 2.5i Touring and 3.6R Touring trims. These models may not worth the extra cost. You can save some cash by choosing either the Outback 2.5i Limited or the Outback 3.6R Limited.
2019 Subaru Outback Key Features
Subaru’s updated Starlink infotainment system is sensational. While a 6.5-inch multimedia touch screen comes standard, a larger 8.0-inch display is available on the upper trims. Clear text and big buttons ensure easy operation. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make setting up your smartphone a piece of cake. Because Google Maps can be easily displayed on the infotainment screen, you don’t really need the available navigation system.
On the day of your test drive, you’ll be able to pick from two different engines. The base four-cylinder engine is responsive enough for most people. However, acceleration is on the slow side. A combined fuel economy rating of 28 mpg makes this engine highly recommended for commuting. Because this “Boxer” engine sits lower to the ground, it’s able to promote a better weight balance. You should also consider the much stronger six-cylinder engine, which boosts the Outback’s performance and towing capacity. Fuel economy with the six-cylinder drops to a combined 22 mpg.
Although the 2019 Subaru Outback may have a rather high ride height, it still manages to offer good handling on the road. Active Torque Vectoring comes standard, which gives the Outback a more stable feel when encountering curves. Electric power steering also comes equipped on every trim.
You don’t have to pay extra for Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist package. It comes standard throughout the 2019 Subaru Outback lineup. During real-world testing, the forward collision braking system performed very well. Not only did the system promptly alert drivers of an imminent collision, but it also applied the necessary brake pressure. Most trims also come equipped with blind-spot monitoring, which makes you far less likely to cause a highway crash. Available starting on the Limited trim, the LED Steering Responsive Headlights turn to provide a better view of the road.
If possible, it’s a good idea to skip the standard four-speaker stereo system. Don’t expect it to sound very entertaining. The 2.5i Premium trim’s six-speaker unit with satellite radio is a bit more stimulating. Most music fans will prefer the 576-watt Harman Kardon system, which surrounds the cabin with a total of 12 speakers. You’ll appreciate the clear audio quality.
All versions of the 2019 Subaru Outback come standard with a Symmetrical AWD system. This advanced AWD system along with 8.7 inches of ground clearance help the Outback to overcome heavy snow. You can also use the Outback for off-road traveling. When the going gets a bit tough, you can activate the Outback’s X-Mode feature. It seeks to optimize traction on slippery ground. Hill descent control assist with crawling down steep slopes.
Roof rails are found on every new 2019 Subaru Outback. This is a big plus for the families who enjoy outdoor adventure. From kayaks to skis, you’ll be able to carry a lot of extra cargo. When not in use, the integrated crossbars can be folded away.
• Compare the 2018 Subaru Outback Trim Levels