2018 Subaru Outback Walk Around


The styling has been revised for 2018, led by a new grille and bumpers, but the changes aren’t easy to discern. Though closely related to the Subaru Legacy sedan, the Outback conveys an outdoor-oriented demeanor, reinforced by bodyside cladding,

The hefty roof rack that comes on most models is highly functional, with stowable crossbars. A slimmer rack is used on Touring models, and cross bars are optional rather than standard.

Interior

Comfortable and roomy inside, the Outback features a particularly functional, cleanly designed dashboard. Soft-touch materials appear here and there. Limited and Touring editions combine simulated wood with genuine leather. Most Outbacks have French stitching on seats and dashboards.

Cloth upholstery in base and Premium models feels durable, while upper-trim Outbacks look and feel upscale.

Not only are front seats comfortable, they provide great views, especially useful for the driver. Nicely supportive and well-bolstered, they are mounted on long seat bases.

The center stack is not the prettiest, if sitting in the seat admiring the interior is something you like to do. Once underway, however, the controls for climate and audio prove to be ergonomically excellent, making it easy to changes settings in a flash. For example, one highly visible button turns on the seat heater; no need to work through menus as other automakers have you do. The navigation map on the center stack is big and easy to read, better than most of them. The radio on our test car annoyingly turned on every time the car was started.

Back-seat riders can rejoice, because they get plenty of space: 38.1 inches of legroom, to be precise. Additional sound deadening and laminated side glass for 2018 help curtail wind and road noise, making an already-quiet vehicle even more hushed.

Raising the tailgate reveals 35.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, with rear seatbacks upright. Fold those seats and cargo space grows to 73 cubic feet. Liftover height is far lower than competitors provide.

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