2011 Subaru Outback

The 2011 Subaru Outback is ranked number 1 out of 3 among Affordable Full Size Wagons. It is a full-sized wagon that is a cross between a sport utility vehicle and a station wagon. It has been redesigned adding a much-needed space to the backseat. Despite the redesign, it still offers the same value and versatility as the old Outback since it received only a few changes. But unlike the old model, the 2011 Outback diverges further from its wagon roots to the crossover trend.

Subaru added new folding exterior mirrors that can be more useful in tight parking spaces. It is perhaps the most versatile vehicle on the road with a well-design interior and supple suspension, plus 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Outback is the perfect vehicle for weekend adventures.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Midsize Wagon Base Price: $23,195.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons (70 liters) MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 188.2 in. (478 cm) Width: 71.7 in. (182 cm)
Height: 65.7 in. (167 cm) Wheel Base: 107.9 in. (274 cm)
Curb Weight: 3386 lbs (1535 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.7 in. (22 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 34.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 16-Valve SOHC, 4-Cylinder w/ i-Active Valve Lift System Displacement: 2.5 liter
Horsepower: 170 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: 8.1 seconds 1/4 Mile: 16.4 seconds
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Outback Premium 2.5i MSRP: $24,495; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:Outback Limited 2.5i MSRP: $28,495; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:Outback 3.6R 6-Cylinder MSRP: $28,195; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Outback Premium 3.6R 6-Cylinder MSRP: $29,195; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Outback Limited 3.6R 6-Cylinder MSRP: $31,495; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy

Performance

The Outback comes in four and six-cylinder engines. Both engines have three trim levels each. The 2.5-liter engine has trim levels 2.5i, 2.5i Premium and 2.5i Limited. The 3.6-liter engine has trim levels 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, 3.6R Limited. The four-cylinder 2.5-liter can achieve 256-horsepower with 170-pound feet of torque. Fuel economy in the automatic transmission is 22-mpg in the city and 29-mpg in the highway while 19-mpg in the city and 27-mpg in the highway for standard six-speed manual transmission. The bigger six-cylinder 3.6-liter engine can achieve 256-horsepower with 247-pound feet of torque that can run 18-mpg in the city and 25-mpg in the highway. This engine has a speed automatic transmission.

Exterior & Interior

The exterior of the Subaru Outback has few changes in 2011 but has added features such as the rear vision camera available in Premium and Limited Models, a sun roof is also available in the two mentioned models. Auto-dim mirrors and manual mirrors have also been added. The Outback has adjustable roof rails for carrying extra cargos.

Interior features of the 2011 Outback include a more spacious and more comfortable seating. The rear seats have been adjusted to carry enough adults comfortably. The cargo volume in the rear seat gives 34.3 cubic feet with all the seats in use and gives more 71.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

The streamlined design and abundant standard features of the Outback gained good impressions from reviewers. The base models features power windows and door locks, cruise control, an auxiliary audio jack, remote keyless system and tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Additional features on the Outback are leather-covered seats, a power driver’s seat, heated seats, moon roof, and a dual-zone climate change control.

The Premium and Limited models have 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. Bluetooth hands free connectivity is available on Premium and standard on Limited models. The 2011 models are equipped with an upper level audio system that can receive XM Satellite radio.

Safety & Reliability

Safety features on the Outback include all-wheel drive, four wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side-seat mounted airbags, curtain first and second row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, traction control. A ring-shaped reinforced frame made of high-tensile strength steel is designed to shield and protect in a collision.

Safety scores earned by the 2011 Subaru Outback has not yet been released by the federal government. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), on the other hand gave the Outback a top score in frontal, side rear impacts tests and roof strength test.

The Predicted Reliability Rating given by the J.D. Powers on the Outback is 6.0 out of 10.0. This is particularly based on the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS).

The Competition

The Outback’s competitors are the Toyota Venza (MSRP $27,125; 21 city / 27 hwy) and Honda Accord Crosstour (MSRP $29,990; 18 city / 27 hwy) which possesses the same niche as the Outback with wagon-like design.

The Toyota Venza offers a standard automatic transmission but does not offer a standard all-wheel drive is more expensive that the base Outback. On the other hand, the Honda Accord Crosstour has an almost similar price to the Outback but only comes with a six-cylinder engine. Compared to its Honda counterpart, the Outback has more cubic feet of cargo space and comes with standard all-wheel drive (AWD).

Pros:

  • Styling is simple
  • Good safety records
  • Excellent off-road capability
  • Spacious interior
  • Good mileage

Cons:

  • Some models offer limited power
  • Limited features on audio system

Overall Rating
77 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Subaru Outback is the equivalent of a good cross-trainer—offering satisfying on-road performance, modest trail capability, and enviable interior versatility and space, all with just a taste of luxury, too.”Car Connection

“Outbacks have linear, predictable steering. Some body lean is present, but on the road these Subarus behave more like a car than an SUV. During light off-road duty on dirt trails and rutted gravel roads, Outback remains confident and sure footed. Brakes are strong with good pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“Handling is good in routine driving but clumsy when pushed to the limits. Acceleration is just adequate, though, and that engine can be noisy when pressed. Fuel economy is quite good thanks to the CVT transmission.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2011 Subaru Outback is an appealing alternative to conventional wagons and crossovers.”Edmunds

“If you're looking for an economical wagon with an emphasis on safety, features, fuel-economy and true off-road ability, the Outback is pretty much your best bet.”KBB