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$27,845
Starting MSRP
$26,576
Starting Mkt Avg
TrueCar Rating
Owner Rating
Pros

Standard all-wheel drive with substantial ground clearance. Strong resale value. Roomy interior for five.

Cons

Excessive nagging from electronic driver alerts. Many functions are buried in the dashboard touchscreen. New styling indistinguishable from its predecessor.

Verdict

Sitting midway between wagon and SUV, the Subaru Outback offers a unique combination of all-weather capability, four-cylinder fuel efficiency, and legendary reliability. A spacious, modern interior and top safety scores add to its appealing mix of practicality and performance.

Pros

Standard all-wheel drive with substantial ground clearance. Strong resale value. Roomy interior for five.

Cons

Excessive nagging from electronic driver alerts. Many functions are buried in the dashboard touchscreen. New styling indistinguishable from its predecessor.

Verdict

Sitting midway between wagon and SUV, the Subaru Outback offers a unique combination of all-weather capability, four-cylinder fuel efficiency, and legendary reliability. A spacious, modern interior and top safety scores add to its appealing mix of practicality and performance.

Overview

Redesigned in 2020, the Subaru Outback was largely unchanged in size, function, and even styling this year. Apparently, Subaru did not want to mess with success. Again boasting standard all-wheel drive, a feature for which most competitors charge extra, the Outback has significant off-pavement abilities. What has increased is the Outback's tech quotient: an 11.6-inch touchscreen that's among the segment's largest and a sophisticated driver assistance feature that comes standard on all trims. The Outback interior has also been upgraded with fresh materials. However, if you want three rows of seating, you still have to step up to the larger Subaru Ascent. One notable change for the latest Outback is the optional engine. It's now a turbocharged four-cylinder instead of a six, and fuel economy with either the base or optional engines has improved.

What's New for 2021

The Outback was redesigned for 2020, so there are only minor changes for 2021. Adaptive headlights are now standard as is a new rear-seat alert, which reminds drivers to check the back seat before exiting.

2021 Subaru Outback Trim Comparison

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

2.5i Premium

Outback 2.5i Premium

2.5i Limited

Outback 2.5i Limited

2.4T Onyx Edition XT

Outback 2.4T Onyx Edition XT

2.5i Touring

Outback 2.5i Touring

2.4T Limited XT

Outback 2.4T Limited XT

2.4T Touring XT

Outback 2.4T Touring XT

Starting MSRP

Starting Market Average

MPG

Engine

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Wheel Size

Starting MSRP

$27,845

Starting MSRP

$30,095

Starting MSRP

$34,645

Starting MSRP

$36,195

Starting MSRP

$38,545

Starting MSRP

$39,045

Starting MSRP

$40,995

Starting Market Average

$26,584

Starting Market Average

$28,759

Starting Market Average

$32,947

Starting Market Average

$34,719

Starting Market Average

$36,557

Starting Market Average

$37,252

Starting Market Average

$38,980

MPG

26 city/33 hwy

MPG

26 city/33 hwy

MPG

26 city/33 hwy

MPG

23 city/30 hwy

MPG

26 city/33 hwy

MPG

23 city/30 hwy

MPG

23 city/30 hwy

Engine

2.5L H4

Engine

2.5L H4

Engine

2.5L H4

Engine

2.4L H4 Turbo

Engine

2.5L H4

Engine

2.4L H4 Turbo

Engine

2.4L H4 Turbo

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Wheel Size

17"

Wheel Size

17"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Trims and Pricing

The 2021 Subaru Outback is available in seven trim levels: base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT.

The base car starts at $27,845 (including a $925 destination fee) and includes all-wheel drive, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, and a cleverly designed roof rack with crossbars that fold out from the roof rails.

The Premium ($30,095) trim is upgraded with an 11.6-inch multimedia system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, and two rear-seat USB outlets. The Premium has two option packages. One includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a hands-free power liftgate, keyless entry, and push-button start for a reasonable $1,400. The other package builds on the first one by adding navigation and a power sunroof for a total of $2,995.

The Limited ($34,645) includes the content of the Premium's base option package along with leather, heated rear seats, rear auto-braking, and rear A/C vents. Again, a power sunroof and navigation are optional here, bundled with premium audio for $2,045.

The Touring comes with a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, a 180-degree front-view monitor, power-folding mirrors, and special trim for $38,545.

Models with "XT" in their name have the optional turbocharged engine. The least expensive of those is the $36,195 Onyx Edition XT. Its features largely parallel those of the Premium, but the Onyx adds off-road-oriented items, including the 180-degree front-view monitor, a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, a full-size spare, 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, and special upholstery. Between the added power of the optional engine and the long list of additional features, we think this is the best trim level for most buyers.

The Limited XT includes the base Limited's option bundle as well as an electronic driver attentiveness monitor and a heated steering wheel for $39,045.

The Touring XT includes all the Touring features plus the turbo engine. It's the most expensive Outback at $40,995, but that's still thousands less than the top-trim versions of the Chevrolet Blazer or the Ford Edge.

This is what others paid nationwide for a 2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i
How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

  • What is MSRP?

    MSRP stands for Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, sometimes also known as the sticker price. Because this price is only a suggestion, a dealer can choose to sell a vehicle above—or, more often, below—MSRP.

  • What is Market Average?

    Based on actual recent transactions other buyers have made, the Market Average shows you the average price others paid for vehicles similar to the one you want, while taking into account that most of these vehicles have different option combinations from the ones you specified.

  • Statewide, Regional, and National Data

    If there are insufficient transactions in your area, we calculate your Market Average by gathering statewide, regional, or national data. Because this data can come from a large geographical area it may not be as representative of your local market.

MSRP
$27,845
Market Average
$26,576
Avg Savings off MSRP
4.6% off
Customize Yours
Excellent Price
Great Price

4% - 7% off MSRP

$25,713 - $26,672

Fair Price
High Price
25
sales
61
sales
32
sales
23
sales
Select Style
Nationwide Data

This graph helps you recognize a fair price for the Subaru Outback by displaying national new car sales transactions from the past 30 days. This data can come from a large geographical area, so may not be as representative of your local market. The prices have been normalized to account for transactions involving different configurations of this model.

Engine and Performance

The Outback offers two four-cylinder engines: a 2.5-liter base unit makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque and a turbocharged 2.4-liter with 260 hp and 277 lb-ft. Both use a continuously variable automatic transmission, which helps improve its efficiency but can feel unnatural compared to a standard automatic. All Outbacks come with all-wheel drive and an X-Mode feature that helps provide additional traction in slippery conditions. The Onyx XT gets additional X-Mode settings for Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud.

The Outback's suspension smooths out rough pavement, although we noticed that it does tip forward under braking and lean backward under hard acceleration. Nicely weighted steering makes the Outback easy to maneuver, but we wouldn't describe it as sporty. The Outback comes standard with adaptive cruise control that also includes a semi-automated lane-centering feature. Although the driver must keep a hand on the wheel, the system can effectively maintain lane position on its own during highway driving

Fuel Economy

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the base 2.5-liter engine-equipped Subaru Outback at an estimated 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. The turbocharged 2.4-liter comes in 3 mpg lower at 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. Those figures are better than average for this class, beating the all-wheel-drive versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Chevrolet Blazer, and the Ford Edge.

2021 Subaru Outback Exterior Photos

Interior

The 2021 Outback has a much more upscale interior than the outgoing model, even if it still falls short of the top-spec Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy's ritzy cabin. The cushy seats and soft armrests mark a contrast to older Outbacks, and the Limited and Touring trims come with leather. Seating is strictly for five (buyers needing a third row are directed to the Subaru Ascent). But passenger space is generous in both front and rear, with a nearly flat floor making the rear middle seating position more tolerable.

Behind the rear seats, there's 32.5 cubic feet of luggage space — less than the Ford Edge but more than the Chevrolet Blazer. Dropping the rear seatbacks is easy to do with remote latches in the cargo area. Its space grows to a class-leading 75.7 cubic feet.

Infotainment and Connectivity

All but the base version of the 2021 Subaru Outback come with an 11.6-inch vertically oriented touchscreen that boasts modern graphics and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The large screen can display multiple functions at once. Outside of the huge screen, the Outback has volume and tuning knobs as well as physical buttons for adjusting cabin temperature and some other climate controls. We like the mix of old and new, but there are still some functions that are buried in the touchscreen menus that we wish were easier to access. It is not ideal, nor is having to return to the home screen in order to move between menu functions.

2021 Subaru Outback Interior Photos

Safety

The 2021 Outback achieved top five-star ratings in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-tests and a four-star rollover rating, for an overall five-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the Outback its highest rating, Top Safety Pick+.

All Outbacks get forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are not available on the base car, optional on the Premium, and standard elsewhere. An available DriverFocus system turns a camera on the driver and can use facial recognition to customize settings to different drivers' preferences. It also flashes a message if the driver is looking away from the road. Subaru's various warning systems sound numerous alerts, not all of them useful, but notifications can be customized to be less annoying.

The Outback has a solid reputation for reliability, and this latest version should follow suit.

Subaru Outback vs. the Competition

The 2021 Subaru Outback sits amongst a crop of modern midsize, two-row crossovers. They include the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, and Hyundai Santa Fe, among others. The Outback is not only one of the most attractively priced of the group, but it also has a reputation for reliability and a strong resale value. With standard AWD and impressive ground clearance, the Outback can easily handle mud or deep snow. However, it's not a true trail rig in the manner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee (although a Wilderness model announced for 2022 promises greater off-road ability). And unlike the Blazer RS or Edge ST, there's no sporty Outback variant.

Subaru Outback Owner Reviews

Based on 526 Reviews
Overall Satisfaction
4.9
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
All Reviews
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
Fit & finish; safety features; comfortable seating; styling; remote starting with ac/heat selection
cons
Road noise is a little noisy in cabin; acceleration is a little slow
Submitted by James S on Jan 28, 2021|2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited|Purchased on Jan 2021
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
It’s my 2nd Subaru. I love the style, and its capability. The safety features are awesome, and the all-wheel drive is fantastic. I got the XT trim, with the turbo engine. I love it.
cons
The only things I dislike are small things like the layout of the cup holders.
Submitted by Kaylen G on Jan 27, 2021|2021 Subaru Outback 2.4T Onyx Edition XT|Purchased on Dec 2020
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
The turbo is a must in my opinion. Great reputation. Resale value above average. Loaded with safety features which helped with annual insurance cost. It was actually much Less than I expected.
cons
I love all the technology however it could be a bit more user friendly. The center council storage need to be bigger. I was disappointed when first drove at night that the radio volume and tune control are not illuminated. Also the Trip Reset button is not illuminated making it very difficult to locate in the dark. 1 more thing, the 36 month bumper to bumper warranty should be at least 5 years, preferably 7 years. They brag about value and reliability. If they are serious Than prove it by extending the bumper to bumper warranty.
Submitted by Ken D on Jan 25, 2021|2021 Subaru Outback 2.4T Limited XT|Purchased on Jan 2021

2021 Subaru Outback FAQs

Pricing for the 2021 Subaru Outback starts at $26,795 for the base trim. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more for that price. The Outback is priced competitively against other two-row midsize SUVs, and families will appreciate its safety technology and quiet, comfortable ride. There are seven trims available, including the top-of-the-line Touring XT for $39,945.

All 2021 Subaru Outback models are 191.3 inches in length and 73 inches in width.

With its outdoorsy image and comfortable interior, the 2021 Subaru Outback is an excellent alternative to the typical midsize SUV. It offers the same ground clearance and all-weather driving abilities as rivals, but the Outback stands apart with the styling and practicality of a station wagon. Families will appreciate the standard driver safety features, quiet ride, and competitive fuel economy. Some competitors are less expensive, but the Outback’s car-like attributes make it a great SUV.

Equipped with its base engine, the Subaru Outback can tow up to 2,700 lbs. By upgrading to one of the upper trim levels with the more powerful turbocharged engine, towing capacity increases to 3,500 lbs.

People who viewed the 2021 Subaru Outback also considered

The Starting Market Average is a proprietary mathematical calculation based on actual recent transactions. It provides a statistically accurate understanding of what other buyers are paying for the least expensive configuration of this vehicle. Adjustments to the calculation beyond make, model, and trim are normalized based on detailed, anonymized transaction information. This accounts for the fact that most or all recently-sold vehicles included different option combinations. The data underlying the Starting Market Average calculation are filtered for extreme outliers and subjected to a weighted averaging process that considers factors such as the recency of transactions and the timing of data lags. In certain instances, the calculated result is adjusted to take account of abrupt changes in the market that may not yet be fully reflected by recent transaction prices. In all cases where the Starting Market Average is shown there is sufficient sample size and transaction detail to be statistically reliable.