2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Considering the fact that 2020 was a year in which the Subaru Outback was significantly upgraded, it makes sense that very little has changed for the 2021 model year. Subaru has added a few safety mechanisms that people may appreciate. There is now a system that reminds rear-seat passengers to put their seatbelts on, and an audible alert and visual warning will be given if the front passenger doesn't have his/her seatbelt on. Plus, there are adaptive headlights in every trim.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
Subaru starts out the lineup with a base model that doesn't have a specific trim name. The Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT are the other options.
In the base model, there is standard all-wheel drive as well as a STARLINK infotainment system with smartphone compatibility. The touchscreen measures seven inches. The base model can keep people safe, thanks to a number of driver-assist technologies. Inside the cabin, there is automatic climate control and cloth upholstery.
The Premium has a few key upgrades. First, it has an 11.6-inch touchscreen. It also has Wi-Fi capability and a two-zone climate system. Its exterior has been upgraded with LED fog lights, and its power-adjustable front seats have heating elements built into them.
In the Limited, the rear seats also have heating, and all the seats are trimmed in leather. The rearview mirror can automatically dim, the vehicle can hit the brakes if its about to back up into an object, and the audio system has double the number of speakers that are found in the Premium.
The nicest trim available with the standard 2.5-liter engine is the Touring. It looks the part, with a power moonroof and chrome exterior accents. Notably, it has integrated navigation and a 180-degree front-view camera that can be a huge help with parking. Instead of having regular leather seats, it has Nappa leather seats.
The remaining trims all use turbocharged engines. The Onyx Edition XT has fewer features than the Touring has, but the tradeoff is that it's more powerful. The Onyx Edition XT has StarTex upholstery and lacks the moonroof and premium audio system. The Limited XT and Touring XT are very similar to their non-turbo counterparts. One difference is the the Limited XT has navigation and a moonroof.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
People first have to consider whether the turbocharged engine is worth the additional cost. For many, it will be, and that's why the XT trims would be recommended.
However, there are others who will be completely satisfied with the standard engine. In this case, a lot of money can be saved by getting the base model. It has most of the technology components that a customer may want, and it has plenty of advanced safety systems. If someone has nicer tastes, perhaps the Limited would be the best choice since it has leather seats and other upscale amenities.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
Every Outback has a large touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM. On the base model, the screen is seven inches, and all the other trims have 11.6-inch screens. Navigation is standard on the higher trims, as are a CD player and Harman Kardon sound system. Every trim except the base model has Wi-Fi capability.
How Does It Perform?
Two engines are available with the Subaru Outback. The standard engine can create 182 horsepower, and it has a displacement of 2.5 liters. The other engine is slightly smaller, with a displacement of 2.4 liters, but it has a turbocharger. This difference in design gives it the ability to generate 260 horsepower. Towing capacity is 2,700 pounds with the 2.4-liter engine and 3,500 pounds with the turbo engine.
Either way, the Outback uses a continuously variable automatic transmission. Symmetrical all-wheel drive is standard. This is one of Subaru's main selling points; the all-wheel-drive system really does improve traction, not only when driving in slippery conditions but also when cornering.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
Subaru has focused its attention on building reliable and safe vehicles. The 2021 Outback has symmetrical all-wheel drive to enhance its traction. Automatic high beams and other stability and traction systems are also standard.
With the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, the vehicle can keep an eye on how things are going. It can emit a warning if it starts to veer out of position or is about to hit the vehicle in front of it. In some situations, the Outback can actually correct its steering and/or slow itself down to hopefully prevent an accident. One other standard component is adaptive cruise control. With this program, the Subaru can adjust its speed in order to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it.
What's the Interior Like?
This Subaru model is spacious and comfortable. Front-row leg room is 42.8 inches, and second-row leg room is an impressive 39.5 inches. Five people can definitely ride together in this vehicle, and there would still be room for cargo. The rear cargo area has a capacity of 32.5 cubic feet. For situations in which more room needs to be created, the rear seats can fold down to increase total cargo volume to about 75 cubic feet.
While the base model has fairly standard components, such as manually adjustable seats and cloth upholstery, there are many available upgrades. Both front seats can be power adjustable and heated, and the rear seats and steering wheel can be heated, too. The steering wheel and gear shifter can be wrapped in leather, and the other upholstery choices are StarTex, leather, and Nappa leather.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
The Subaru Outback has ben around for a long time. While it may not have had too many competitors in the past, it now does. Some alternatives to the Outback are the Acura RDX, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V. The Subaru Forester is another close competitor.
Note: All Subaru Outback lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.