2022 Subaru Outback Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The Outback is among Subaru’s best-selling models. Not only is this midsize crossover great from running daily errands, but it’s also rugged enough to handle a drive through the wilderness. Meanwhile, a roomy interior design and exceptional safety scores make the Outback a highly recommended family vehicle. Another highlight is the SUV’s impressive list of modern technologies. Let’s find out why car shoppers should consider buying one.
What’s New for 2022?
The biggest news for 2022 is the arrival of an even more adventurous Wilderness model. It receives a few special off-road upgrades and exclusive styling cues. Subaru also now equips every trim with standard LED fog lights.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Subaru Outback – The Pros
1. Made for Folks Who Prefer an Outdoor Lifestyle
The 2022 Subaru Outback is a great pick for outdoor lovers. It comes properly equipped to take you off the beaten path. A standard full-time AWD system and 8.7 inches of ground clearance enable you to confidently tackle most trails. When the conditions become tougher, drivers can activate the SUV’s X-MODE feature for enhanced stability. Roof rails with integrated crossbars come standard, which enable travelers to secure their extra gear.
2. Efficient Standard Powertrain
Drivers seeking greater fuel savings should stick with the Outback’s standard powertrain. Its four-cylinder engine produces a sufficient 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. To ensure maximum efficiency, Subaru pairs this engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Most people will have no complaints about the Outback’s fuel consumption. It returns an EPA-rated 26 mpg town/33 mpg freeway, which is good mileage for an AWD-equipped SUV. Some family sedans are not quite as frugal.
3. Available Turbocharged Truly Elevates Performance
To get the most performance from the 2022 Subaru Outback, buyers should choose its available turbo engine. It develops a pleasing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration will be much stronger. Road tests show the turbocharged Outback can hit 60 mph in as quickly as 5.9 seconds. Few models in the class are as swift. The extra muscle will also come in handy when driving in mountainous areas and towing a load.
4. All-New Wilderness Model Offers Enhanced Off-Road Capabilities
The standard Outback is certainly able to handle a weekend camping expedition. However, drivers who need a more capable off-road machine should consider the all-new Wilderness model. Subaru equips it with a raised suspension, which increases ground clearance to a whopping 9.5 inches. Drivers will have an easier time toppling more challenging landscapes. Yokohama all-terrain tires further enhance the crossover’s off-road prowess. When venturing through the rough backcountry, owners will also appreciate this model’s water-resistant upholstery.
5. Practical Interior Design
The 2022 Subaru Outback is a rewarding family hauler. Its cabin provides outstanding head- and legroom in both rows. Drivers can also take advantage of the SUV’s more than 32 cubic feet of cargo space. Because the Outback sits higher than most cars, parents won’t need to bend down when getting their toddlers in and out. Easy-to-use interior features add to the Outback’s practicality. It only takes a few seconds to adjust the vehicle’s climate control settings.
6. Starlink Multimedia System
Most automotive critics rank Subaru’s Starlink Multimedia interface among today’s best infotainment systems. The Outback’s standard unit features dual 7.0-inch touchscreens. Physical controls make the entire system easier to operate. As expected, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built into the interface for simply smartphone connectivity. A mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is available for folks who need to access the internet. Up to eight devices can link to the hotspot at once, which is a big plus for modern families.
7. Nice Amenities Are Available
Although the 2021 Subaru Outback is not marketed as a luxury vehicle, it feels like a premium model. In terms of overall interior quality, this crossover ranks among the segment leaders. This is especially true for the higher trim levels. The value-packed Premium trim features heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Available heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats promote an even more comfy drive. When loading items into the cargo area, the optional hands-free tailgate will prove its worth.
8. Nice-Sounding Harman Kardon Audio System
Some people will find the Outback’s base stereo system to be inadequate. Folks who want to enjoy the best possible sound should step up to the available Harman Kardon premium audio system. It features a total of 12 speakers, which help create an exciting atmosphere for music fans. A built-in amplifier helps ensure maximum clarity. Whether you’re taking a cross-country journey or enjoying your morning commute, look forward to hearing a more entertaining soundtrack.
9. Elite Level of Passenger Safety
When it comes to passenger safety, the 2022 Subaru Outback continues to impress. It comes standard with some thoughtful driving aids, including pre-collision braking and adaptive cruise control. Folks who tend to spend a lot of time on the road will greatly benefit from the available DriverFocus technology. Facial recognition software enables the system to monitor for signs of fatigue, thus helping to prevent a sleep-related accident. Meanwhile, Subaru’s excellent LED Steering Responsive Headlights improve visibility on twisty roads.
10. Easy to Drive
The new Outback is an easy SUV to drive. Although the Outback isn’t the most athletic vehicle in the class, its accurate steering and car-like driving dynamics inspire you with confidence. This vehicle handles far better than a traditional truck-based SUV. Another impressive quality is the Outback’s excellent outward visibility. Drivers can obtain a good view of their surroundings.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Subaru Outback – The Cons
1. Base Powertrain Gives Up Some Performance
In an effort to conserve the most fuel, many people will likely choose the Outback’s standard powertrain. However, they should not expect to experience an adrenaline rush. When equipped with its standard powertrain, the 2022 Subaru Outback takes around 8.7 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph. While there is enough pep for highway merging, Subaru’s continuously variable transmission does somewhat hinder performance. Driving enthusiasts will want the turbo engine.
2. Subtle Exterior Styling
Over the years, the Outback’s exterior design hasn’t drastically changed. While many longtime Subaru fans like its low-key styling, other car shoppers may desire a bit more flair. Lower trim levels tend to blend into the crowd. Drivers who desire a more exciting look should consider the Outback’s Onyx XT trim, which receives unique body cladding and special wheels. The Wilderness trim also stands out more on the street.
3. Optional Infotainment System Is More Difficult to Use
The Outback’s higher trim levels receive a larger 11.6-inch touchscreen. While some people may like this display’s sharper graphics and split-screen capability, it’s not as easy to operate. According to some testers, it can be difficult to access certain menu functions. Drivers who prefer simplicity will be happier with the standard Starlink Multimedia interface. Drivers find the smaller 7.0-inch infotainment display to be a breeze to use.
4. Just Average Reliability
When it comes to dependability, the 2022 Subaru Outback does not stand among the class leaders. While its average reliability scores are unlikely to turn away loyal Subaru fans, it’s important to note that some competitors are deemed to be more dependable. For instance, the new Toyota RAV4 has an above-average reliability rating.
5. Voice Recognition Technology Needs Improving
According to quite a few car reviewers, the Outback’s voice recognition technology needs to be improved. It tends to have trouble understanding natural language. When attempting to make verbal commands, this could become a source of frustration for some drivers.
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How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Subaru Outback vs 2022 Honda Passport
Like the Subaru Outback, the Honda Passport is geared towards outdoor enthusiasts. Not only does the Passport deliver a strong performance, but it also gets good marks in passenger comfort. However, don’t expect the Passport to be as efficient as the Outback. A noticeably lower starting price gives the new Outback another advantage. While the Passport is a safe vehicle, certain accident-avoidance technologies are exclusively offered on the Outback.
2022 Subaru Outback vs 2022 Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most rugged SUVs you’ll find. It also has a reputation for being extremely reliable. Unfortunately, fuel economy is not a strong point for the 4Runner. It only returns 19 mpg on the freeway. There’s also noticeably more room in the Outback’s rear seat. Although the 4Runner does come standard with some helpful safety features, an NHTSA four-star overall safety puts it a notch behind the new Outback.
2022 Subaru Outback vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
Many car experts recommend the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s a great family vehicle that comes with a long warranty. However, the Santa Fe’s rather sleek styling does reduce the driver’s outward visibility. Adventure seekers will also find the Outback to be a more suitable off-road machine.
There’s much to like about the 2022 Subaru Outback. Comfort and safety remain two of the crossover’s biggest priorities. However, it also proves to be a capable off-road performer. This is one of the reasons why the Outback is a favorite among outdoor lovers.
While the new Outback is a great choice, be aware of its potential weak points. Performance with the SUV’s base engine is just adequate. Some drivers may also prefer a bold-looking vehicle.