Subaru Outback

Helpful reviews of the Subaru Outback

The Good

The 2012 Subaru Outback is a stylish, light and highly responsive crossover that displays excellent agility and cornering ability. It also offers a very smooth ride that is akin to Subaru’s top-of-the-line sedans.

The Bad

The standard engine is a little lacking in power, and the optional engine upgrade is very noisy. The body also tends to shake slightly at higher speeds.

The Bottom Line

This vehicle is a good choice if you are looking for an attractive crossover vehicle that performs well in all weather conditions. Its sedan-based body provides a spacious interior and a comfortable ride, and it is considered one of the leading family vehicles in its class.


Like the 2011 Subaru Outback, the 2012 model is available in several trim packages, each of which is priced at a different level. The base model is the 2.5i, with the 3.6R Limited and 3.6R Premium representing the higher end.

MSRP: $24,070 to $32,470.

Average paid: $22,582 (base model).


Acceleration and power

The 2012 Subaru Outback sport utility wagon/crossover comes with a standard 2.5L H-4 engine, which can be upgraded to a more powerful and responsive flat-six engine. The standard engine still accelerates fairly well, going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.9 seconds, with a power peak of 170 horsepower. If you upgrade to the flat-six engine, you will enjoy an amplified 256 horsepower, with only a marginal loss of fuel economy. The flat-six gets 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

Handling and braking

Reviews of the Subaru Outback rave about the vehicle’s highly responsive handling and excellent cornering, even at higher speeds. This is achieved through power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, with a tight and trim 16:1 steering ratio and 3.2 lock-to-lock turns of the steering wheel. The vehicle also offers all-wheel-drive capability with a turning radius of 18.4 inches, which is one of the leading turning radius specifications in its class, and a curb-to-curb turning diameter of 36.8 feet.

The 2012 Subaru Outback comes with standard power-assisted 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Front and rear brake rotor diameters measure in at 11.6 and 11.3 inches respectively.



The 2012 Subaru Outback comes with seating for five. Front and rear head room measure in at 41 and 39 inches, respectively. Front and rear leg room is also generous, coming in at 43 inches in the front seats and 37.8 inches in the rear. Shoulder room is similarly ample, measuring 56 inches in both the front and rear. Hip room is 55 inches in the front and 54 inches in the rear. Cloth upholstery is standard, though customers have the ability to upgrade to leather seats if desired. In the front, bucket seats are standard; the rear seating is bench-style.


A wealth of features are available for the Subaru Outback. The vehicle’s audio system includes a powerful subwoofer/amplifier, with numerous upgrades available that include a headrest-integrated rear seat entertainment system for the kids and a Sirius satellite radio kit. A shock-sensing security system upgrade is available, as is a remote ignition starter kit. The vehicle is also GPS-capable through a built-in on-board computer system.

Standard interior accessories include cargo area anti-slip mats and organizers, auto-dim compass-assisted rear view mirrors and sun shades. Exterior accessories include puddle lights, side window and hood deflectors, side molding kits, and bumper step pads.

Cargo space

Concealed cargo storage and cargo tie-downs come standard with the Subaru Outback, with optional cargo nets and dividers. Accessories like exterior bicycle and luggage carriers are available as add-ons to all trim packages. Its cargo space is generous, measuring in at 71.3 cubic feet. The vehicle also has a luggage capacity of 34.3 cubic feet.


Subaru Outback reviews note that this vehicle earns high marks in crash tests, assisted by an effective anti-lock braking system. A rear-view camera is available for enhanced safety and handling in tight quarters. Additional safety features include traction control, six airbags, traction control and vehicle dynamics control. It earned a four-star rating in rollover tests, front and side impact tests, and overall safety.


The Subaru Outback underwent a major redesign for the 2010 model year, and the 2012 model is virtually unchanged, except for minor variations in standard and optional features among the various trim packages.

  • Transmission: 6-speed manual with overdrive (automatic transmission optional)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: H-4 (can be upgraded to a flat-six)
  • Engine Size: 2.5 L
  • Horsepower: 170 @ 5600 RPM (standard engine)
  • MPG, City: 19 MPG (standard engine)
  • MPG, Highway: 27 MPG (standard engine)
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