Subaru Outback vs. Escape, Highlander, Cherokee, & Rogue


The Subaru Outback meets the competition

The 2017 Subaru Outback excels when it comes to resale, fuel economy, safety and family friendliness. It's also a solid choice for those looking to take their families into deep snow, backcountry off-road trails or other out-of-the way places.

The Subaru Outback's X-Mode off-road-assist system and 8.7 inches of ground clearance help back up the Outback's visual suggestion that it really can tackle any tough off-road situation on your journey. The Outback's all-wheel-drive system is designed to tackle more than just snowy roads and dusty trails. 

And inside, the Outback is downright luxurious, especially in the new Outback Touring model, which adds unique leather and exterior trim. Technologies, like the EyeSight collision-mitigation and active cruise control, elevate the Outback to the realm of many premium-luxury SUVs.

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Part of deciding whether the 2017 Subaru Outback is right for you is comparing this model to the closest competitors in its segment. Other popular choices in this crossover segment include the Ford Escape and the Toyota Highlander. Let's take a look to see how the Outback stands out.

Subaru Outback vs. Jeep Cherokee

  • Engine: The Subaru BOXER engine in the Subaru Outback houses more torque than the Jeep Cherokee's engine. Standard, the Outback has 174 pound-feet of torque, compared to 171 pound-feet in the Cherokee. Upgrade the engine, and the Outback still puts out 247 pound-feet of torque, which is more than the Cherokee's 239 pound-feet of torque in higher trim levels.
  • Fuel efficiency: When it comes to efficient performance, the Outback has the Cherokee beat. The Outback gets up to 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg city, compared to the Cherokee's 30 mpg highway and 21 mpg city rating.
  • All-wheel drive: Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive comes standard on the Outback. You'll have to pay an extra $2,000 for four wheel drive on the Cherokee.
  • Towing capability: Looking to tow? The Outback can tow up to 2,700 pounds, which is 700 pounds more than what the Cherokee can tow.
  • Passenger space: The Outback offers more total standard passenger volume than the Cherokee, including more standard front head and leg room, and rear head room.
  • Cargo space: Speaking of interior space, the Outback also offers more cargo space than the Cherokee. The Outback offers up to 73.3 cubic feet of space, which is almost 15 cubic feet more than the Cherokee's 58.9 cubic feet of space. In terms of trunk space, the Outback offers 35.5 cubic feet, which is significantly more than the 24.6 cubic feet in the Cherokee.
  • Back-up camera: The rear-vision camera comes standard in the Outback. Want it standard in the Cherokee? Get ready to pay an extra $2,000.
  • Power trunk: Accessing trunk space is easier than ever with the standard power rear gate on the Outback. The Cherokee will make you pay an extra $2,000 just for it to be an option.

Subaru Outback vs. Ford Escape

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The Outback was built from the ground up with all-wheel drive. Both the Escape and the Highlander base models are front-wheel drive with AWD available as an option on higher trim levels. Subaru's more sophisticated system responds more quickly to a loss of traction.
  • Powertrain. The Outback has a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a manual shift mode mated to a standard 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Checking the box for the Outback 3.6R boosts horsepower to 256 horsepower with a boxer six-cylinder motor; the only one you'll find on the market outside a Porsche showroom. 
  • Safety.  Most models offer their own versions of pre-collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and lane departure warning. Exclusive to the Outback is which includes "rear cross traffic alert" (uses rear-facing radar to detect vehicles approaching from either side - e.g., when backing out of a parking space) and "pre-collision throttle management" (senses the presence of obstacles in front of the vehicle and will reduce available power to lessen or potentially avoid a collision).
  • Fuel Economy. The Subaru Outback has 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine standard that makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates the Outback's fuel economy at 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. Meanwhile, the Escape's standard 2.5-liter inline-four delivers EPA-rated fuel economy of just 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for the FWD model.

Subaru Outback vs. Nissan Rogue

  • Power: The Outback holds more standard horsepower than the Rogue, at 175 horsepower, compared to the Rogue's 170 horsepower. But upgrade to the available six-cylinder BOXER engine, and your power increases to 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Guess what you'll get from an upgraded engine in the Rogue? Nothing, because there isn't one.
  • All-wheel drive: The Outback comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Want all-wheel drive in the Rogue? Get ready to pay an extra $1,300.
  • Towing capability: When you're looking to tow a trailer behind you, rely on the Outback. The Outback can tow up to 2,700 pounds, significantly more than the 1,000 pounds the Rogue can tow.
  • Passenger space: Inside the Outback, you'll find more total standard passenger volume than in the Rogue. There's also more shoulder and hip room in the front, and more second row passenger space.
  • Cargo space: Bringing cargo along? Enjoy 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space in the Outback, which is more than the 70 cubic feet in the Rogue.
  • Passenger comfort: Those in the back seat don't deserve less comfort. That's why the Outback has available heated rear seats. You won't get that in the Rogue, unfortunately.
  • Remote engine start: The Outback features available remote engine start from the base trim level. The Rogue makes you pay an extra $1,400 for this feature.

Subaru Outback vs. Toyota Highlander

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The Outback was built from the ground up with all-wheel drive. Both the Escape and the Highlander base models are front-wheel drive with AWD available as an option on higher trim levels. Subaru's more sophisticated system responds more quickly to a loss of traction.
  • Ground Clearance. From the beach to pockmarked city streets to the freeway to the desert to the mountains, driving in southern California require traversing many different terrains. The Outback is well-known for its remarkable 8.7-inches of ground clearance. 
  • Fuel Economy. The Highlander's 2.7-liter inline-four is rated at just 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.  
  • Cargo Hauling. The Outback includes a pivoting roof crossbar. Normally the roof rails run lengthwise along the length of the car, but when you need crossbars to actually carry something, the rails pivot outward, snapping into place on either side, and can even be adjusted fore and aft.

Ready to start shopping for your new Outback?  Take a look at our selection here:

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Have you been inside a new Subaru lately?  Comfort and luxury will pleasantly surprise you!

Visit Puente Hills Subaru to get behind the wheel of a New Outback

Whether you're sure the Outback is right for you, or you're trying on the Subaru brand for size, our professional staff are ready to help!  We can discuss your needs, find a Subaru vehicle that meets them, and also make sure you drive off the lot with a payment that makes you smile.  Stop by our City of Industry lot today!