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Subaru Outback

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Subaru Outback Australia

The Subaru Outback first rolled on to Australian roads in 1996, right at the beginning of the off-road-ready craze that was about to sweep the nation.

As a more wagon-focused SUV, the Outback continues to enjoy a more car-like experience than many of its so-called competitors, sacrificing little in the practicality stakes. The Outback has grown, both in size and in range, from a two-model line-up in the mid-1990s to a range of petrol and turbo-diesel offerings across five trim levels. One feature remains constant across the range, however – Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system.

Current prices range from $37,440 to $50,440 for the Outback 2.5I AWD and Outback 3.6R AWD.

Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The Subaru Outback has maximum towing capacity of 2000kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2021 SUV 1500kg 2000kg
2020 SUV 0kg 1800kg
2019 SUV 1500kg 1800kg
2018 SUV 1500kg 1800kg
2017 SUV 1500kg 1800kg
See All Towing Capacity for Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Subaru Outback here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • 2010 Subaru Outback Diesel Problems

    Subaru Outback diesel problems don’t seem to be too frequent or too common. And that’s probably in line with the brand’s overall reputation for reliable engineering.

    Probably the biggest complaint from owners is that the engine lacks a little oomph from a standing start and suffers from what’s called turbo-lag; a delay between putting your foot down and the car responding. Even though Subaru claimed a torque peak of 350Nm at anywhere between 1800 and 2400rpm, in reality, the engine didn’t feel that strong down low, particularly just off idle. The other barrier to the success of the Outback diesel was that it could only be had with a six-speed manual transmission and no automatic option was offered in the model you’re talking about.

    Beyond that, the usual diesel-engine caveats apply including the requirement to give the engine a decent run at highway speeds every few weeks at the very least. Without this, the engine’s particulate filter (which aims to clean up tailpipe emissions) will clog up and may need to be manually cleaned or even replaced, and that won’t be cheap.

    Subaru engines have, over the decades, proven themselves to be tough customers on the one condition that they’re serviced absolutely by the book. Skipping scheduled services is a sure way to send a Subaru engine to an early grave. So make sure any car you’re considering has a full and complete service history with no evidence of missed oil changes. It’s also worth noting that this model was caught up in the Takata air-bag fiasco, so make sure this critical recall has been attended to.

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  • How is water getting inside my 2009 Subaru Outback?

    Short of a broken or degraded window seal, check the door rubbers for signs of damage. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a small twig or even a thick blade of grass sticking to the rubber seals that will allow water in. However, there’s a more likely answer. If it was the front-seat foot-wells that were wet, I’d be blaming the air-conditioning vent that is supposed to drain the water - that builds up in the system - to under the car, but can sometimes lock or clog and run the water into the car.

    So let me ask you a question: Does your car have a sunroof? If the answer is yes, that’s where I’d be looking. The sunroof, being set into the roof panel, naturally collects water when it rains. So, there are tubes that run from the sunroof, down the rear pillars of the car and vent to the outside just in front of the rear wheels. If these drain tubes block up, the water will run down the outside of them and into the rear foot-wells. Cleaning out the tubes will usually fix the problem.

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  • Should we replace our Holden Commodore with a Subaru Outback?

    A car with a little extra ground clearance is great for camping as it often allows you to get a little farther away from the masses in their caravans who tend to huddle around the shower block at bush campsites.

    The Subaru Outback is a good, solid choice and if you can find an independent workshop to service it, you’ll avoid the cost of dealership prices. And you’re right, the all-wheel-drive would be great for gravel roads. Another vehicle to look at would be a late-model Ford territory diesel which is big and clever inside and has the option of all-wheel-drive. The diesel engine is a plus on the bush where that fuel is more readily available (in really remote areas) and gives you more range for big holidays in the mulga.

    Don’t rule out things like the Mitsubishi Pajero, either, which won’t be as around-town friendly, but is a proven quantity and is absolutely tremendous off-road. The same goes for a Toyota Prado or Nissan Pathfinder prior to the current model (which is a bit less hard-core adventure).

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  • Subaru Outback 2001-2009: Any known issues with the head gasket?

    You’re absolutely spot on, Craig, although my info suggests the problems started occurring in the Outback model as early as 2000. For other Subaru models, head gasket failures have been an issue since the mid-90s. Then trade seems to think that the typical fail-point is somewhere between the 120,000km and 200,000km mark, but I’ve heard of cases of cars much younger than this suffering gasket failure.

    So what causes it? Fundamentally, it was a bad design in the head gaskets Subaru was using at the time. The gaskets were a composite type, made up of thin metal sheets that were coated with a graphite-based material. Frankly, they were duds and it’s this simple fact that has caused so many Subaru owners so much grief over the years. Subaru eventually changed the design of the gaskets around 2011 and the problem just stopped.

    You can spot a Subaru with a head-gasket problem a couple of ways. For a start, the failed gasket will allow coolant to escape and that will lead to the engine overheating. So, a car that runs hot after a distance is a likely suspect.

    Early failures tended to allow the coolant to leak internally (where it was consumed by the engine) but later generations of the Subaru motor started to experience external leaks and these, obviously, are much easier to spot. Look for an oil leak from around the sealing surface of the head and crankcase and coolant on the ground under the car each morning.

    The really weird part of all this was that Subarus tend to be otherwise very reliable and durable and, serviced correctly, can cover huge distances. But the problem was made worse by the fact that the Subaru flat-four engine actually has two cylinder-head gaskets, instead of the one of most four-cylinder engines. Replacement of the dud gaskets is the only fix and it’s quite a big – and expensive – job.

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See All Subaru Outback Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Subaru Outback Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Subaru Outback varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $28,600 and going to $54,010 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,600 $54,010
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $37,440 $50,440
2020 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,600 $54,010
2019 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $27,000 $50,160
2018 SUV 2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $23,400 $45,870
2017 SUV 2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO $21,300 $40,810
See All Subaru Outback Pricing and Specs

Subaru Outback Colours

There are colours, and they don't cost you any extra! That's right, paint is a no-cost option no matter the hue you choose, and there are nine colour choices for this new Outback: Storm Grey Metallic, Crimson Red Pearl, Crystal White Pearl, Magnetite Grey Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Dark Blue Pearl, Autumn Green Metallic and Brilliant Bronze Metallic. Some of those options are specific to certain grades, though. 

  • Storm Grey Metallic
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Magnetite Grey Metallic
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Dark Blue Pearl
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.

Subaru Outback Dimensions

The dimensions of the Subaru Outback SUV vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2021 SUV 1675x1840x4820 mm 213 mm
2020 SUV 1675x1840x4820 mm 213 mm
2019 SUV 1675x1840x4820 mm 213 mm
2018 SUV 1675x1840x4815 mm 213 mm
2017 SUV 1675x1840x4815 mm 213 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Outback Dimensions

Subaru Outback Accessories

Subaru doesn't want you to spend extra on roof rails or roof racks. It has fitted them standard to all grades. But if you want things like weather shields, headlight or bonnet protection, or scuff plates, mats and other add-ons, there's a catalogue of goodies available.

Subaru Outback Boot Space

Boot space capacity is 522 litres (VDA) with five seats up, and that increases to 1267L (VDA) with the rear seat folded down.

Subaru Outback Boot space Subaru Outback Boot space

Subaru Outback Fuel Consumption

The Subaru Outback is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by Diesel, ULP and PULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 6.3L/100km for SUV /Diesel for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2021 SUV 6.3L/100km 2.0L Diesel CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 6.3L/100km 2.0L Diesel CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 6.3L/100km 2.0L Diesel CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2018 SUV 5.7L/100km 2.0L Diesel 6 SP MAN
2018 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L PULP CVT AUTO
2018 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2017 SUV 5.7L/100km 2.0L Diesel 6 SP MAN
2017 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L PULP CVT AUTO
2017 SUV 7.3L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
* Combined fuel consumption See All Subaru Outback Pricing and Specs for 2021

Subaru Outback Wheel Size

The Subaru Outback has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 225x60 R18 1 for SUV in 2021 with a wheel size that spans from —.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2021 SUV 225x60 R18 1 225x60 R18 1
2020 SUV 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches
2019 SUV 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches 225x60 R18 1 18x7 inches
2018 SUV 225x65 R17 17x7 inches 225x65 R17 17x7 inches
2017 SUV 225x65 R17 17x7 inches 225x65 R17 17x7 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Outback Wheel Sizes

Subaru Outback Interior

There's some wow factor in the cabin, with the big new 11.6-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto taking centre stage. It's a crisp, quick and clever unit, and the higher grades have sat nav included, while the top-spec even gets a CD player!

Choose the base grade and you get cloth trim, the mid-spec Sport has water-repellant trim, and the top-end Touring grade has Nappa leather seat trim. Nice!

Subaru Outback Seats

All Subaru Outback models have five seats, including three back seats wide enough for adults. Got kids? There are dual ISOFIX and three top-tether spots. And in the mid- and high-grade models, the front seats and rear outboard seats are heated, while all grades have front electric seat adjustment for both seats.

Subaru Outback Seats

Subaru Outback Speed

There's no claimed 0-100km/h time for the Subaru Outback. With a little more power and torque than before, it's surely going to take less than 10 seconds to 100, but the non-turbo 2.5L model we get is certainly not as quick as the turbo 2.4 sold overseas.