The Subaru Outback - Head to Head with Competing Models on the Market

The Outback is perhaps the single most iconic model Subaru produces. It's been a mainstay of the brand for a long time now, and remains one of the best-selling models on offer. Confident and spacious, it also delivers quite a few benefits not found with other options on the market, such as outstanding outward visibility and low roof loading height. Of course, it's not your only choice, and there are several competing models from other automakers. How does the Subaru Outback compare? We'll investigate just that with our model review.

Subaru Outback

First, you'll find no less than six trim levels on offer, including the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 3.6R Limited and 3.6R Touring. All 2.5 models use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the 3.6 models get a 3.6-liter V6 engine.

The base model offers 17-inch wheels, a rearview camera, folding rear seats, hill descent control, and more, including Starlink, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, and access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2.5i Premium trim adds fog lights and dual-zone automatic climate control, as well as a larger touchscreen, while the Limited version brings a power liftgate, 18-inch wheels, and keyless entry to name a few of the features.

The 3.6 Limited is the same as the 2.5i Limited, but with a larger engine, and the 3.6R Touring brings different wheels, as well as new color options, wood grain trim, and additional luxury touches.

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Ford Edge

The 2019 Ford Edge gets a slightly refreshed exterior, along with a new shifter and additional drive assist functions. The Sport trim level was discontinued and replaced with the ST trim. All trim levels have the same bland interior, and poor outward visibility, as well as a sluggish transmission and uncomfortable ride.

You will find four trim levels on offer here - the SE, SEL, Titanium and ST. The base SE model offers 18-inch wheels, as well as automatic headlights. It includes several other features, including a 4G data connection and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Standard safety and driver assist features include lane keeping assistance, forward collision detection, automatic braking, and blind spot monitoring.

The SEL trim level adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a larger touchscreen, and integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Luxury features are available with the Equipment Group 201A package. The Titanium Trim level brings 19-inch wheels as well as a power liftgate and leather seats. It also offers a high-end audio system and a wireless charging solution.

Finally, the ST level offers all of these features, plus a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine and 20-inch wheels. It also provides a sport tuned suspension, although many drivers report that it is too stiff for comfort.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe looks a lot like some other models on the market, particularly the Nissan Rogue, thanks to its new redesign. It still suffers from a low-powered engine on the base model, and the roof pillars block a lot of the view out of the back.

There are five trim levels offered with the Santa Fe, including the SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited, and Ultimate. The 2.4-liter engine is standard on all trims, but can be replaced with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine on the Limited and Ultimate trim levels. Some of the features available across the board include 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, keyless entry, push-button ignition, LED exterior lights, and more. The highest trims offer a 360-degree camera system, ventilated front seats, and a trailering package.

Chevy Equinox

The Chevy Equinox is a venerable model in the segment, although it did see a few upgrades and changes for the 2019 model year, such as a new lighting package for the LT trim, new adaptive cruise features, and a new infotainment system. However, all models suffer from limited cargo space, low-powered engines, and poor-quality interior materials.

Buyers have a choice of four trim levels with the Equinox, the L, LS, LT, and Premier trims. Note that the L trim level is only available through custom ordering, which means you cannot simply walk onto a lot and buy one. The LS trim level offers optional all-wheel drive, as well as the optional Convenience Package, which brings power seats. The model features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, and a seven-inch touchscreen display.

The LT model doesn't really bring much to the table in the way of standard equipment, but does offer several additional optional packages, such as the Lights and Brights package, the Infotainment package, and the Sun and Navigation package. None of these are standard equipment, though.

The Premier level includes all packages as standard equipment, plus 18-inch wheels and other options. Note that this one still lacks many of the features that we've all come to think of as standard equipment.

The Top Choice in SUVs

Ultimately, the Subaru Outback is more than just a confident, capable SUV - it is a top contender in a market segment littered with models that fall short of the mark. You can't go wrong with the Outback's power and top features. Our comparison shows the Outback's superiority- see for yourself when you visit for a test drive!