2012 Subaru Outback

The 2012 Subaru Outback is a top ranked wagon, which is considered to be one of the most safe, practical and useful vehicles available in the market. Just like other Subaru’s, it is equipped with an AWD system, to enable it to compete against rivals.

The Outback will attract the attention of many customers because of its attractive and roomy cabin, and generous cargo space.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Wagon AWD Base Price: $23,295.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons (70l) MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Length: 189 in. (480 cm) Wheel Base: 107.9 in. (274 cm)
Height: 65.8 in. (167.1 cm) Width: 71.7 in. (182.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 3423 lbs (1553 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.7 in. (22 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 34.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 4 Cylinder DOHC SUBARU Boxer® Displacement: 2.5 Liter
Horsepower: 173 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Max Towing Capacity: 2700 lbs (1225 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:2.5i PZEV CVT MSRP: $23,595; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:2.5i Premium MSRP: $24,795; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:2.5i Premium PZEV MSRP: $25,095; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:3.6R – 3.6L 6 Cylinder A/T MSRP: $28,295; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:2.5i Limited MSRP: $28,695; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:2.5i Limited PZEV MSRP: $28,995; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:3.6R Premium – 3.6L 6 Cylinder A/T MSRP: $29,495; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:3.6R Limited – 3.6L 6 Cylinder A/T MSRP: $31,695; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy

Engine & Performance

Under the hood is a 2.5 L 4-cylinder engine that generates 170 hp and 170 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is connected to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, although a CVT is offered as an option, a 2.5L engine combined with the manual transmission gets a fuel economy estimate of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. When this engine is paired with the CVT, it nets a fuel economy if 22/29 mpg city/highway.

3.6R models are fitted with 3.6L 6-cylinder engine that produces 256 horsepower and 247 lbs-ft of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles, enables this model to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds. This engine nets 18/25 mph city/highway.


This 5-passenger wagon is available in 6 trim levels including: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 3.6R Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R Limited and 3.6R. This wagon comes with an 8.7 inches ground clearance, making its stance to be taller than most wagons. The 2.5i model comes with standard 16-inch steel wheels, while the rest of the trims are fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Outback can be distinguished from the Legacy due to its prominent bumper and body side moldings. Standard exterior features found on the 2.5i model include: automatic headlights, keyless entry, and roof rack rails. The 2.5i premium adds fog lights, rear privacy mirror, body-color mirrors, and fog lights to its stylish exterior.


This wagon receives a lot of praise for its comfortable, useful and roomy cabin. All seats are very comfortable, with enough leg and head room even for tall people. All trims come with standard interior features that include: power door locks and windows, auxiliary audio input jack and tilt/telescoping steering column with cruise and audio control buttons.

Depending on the model, you can also get other features like: dual zone climate control, heated seats, power driver’s seat, wood trim, Premium audio system with a 4.3 inches LCD display, leather upholstery, HD radio, and a moon-roof. This wagon offers a cargo space of 34.3 cubic ft behind the rear seats, but that can be increased to 71.3 cubic ft after folding the rear seats.

Safety & Reliability

The Outback is well equipped with safety features to guarantee the safety of the occupants during a ride or in the event of a collision. These features are: driver and front passenger airbags, rear head airbag, side head airbag, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, child safety locks, 4-wheel disc brakes, brake assist and 4-wheel ABS.

Subaru provides new Outback owners with a 5-year or 60,000 mile engine warranty, in addition to the 3-year or 36,000 mile limited warranty. In the first 36,000 miles or 3 years, customers also benefit from road assistance plan.


  • SUV-like utility
  • AWD can handle slick road conditions
  • Comfortable and composed ride
  • Simple controls on lower trims
  • Strong safety record


  • Poor base stereo
  • Fussy controls on upper trims
  • Lacks agility

The 2012 Subaru Outback serves as an alternative to traditional crossovers. Many customers and people shopping for affordable wagons will go for this car due to its spacious cabin, many trim levels and its performance capabilities in all weather conditions.


The Outback is higher priced, but it can be compared to the likes of the VW Jetta Sportswagen (MSRP $20,395; 23 city / 33 hwy), the Mini Cooper Countryman (MSRP $21,750; 27 city / 35 hwy), and the lower priced Dodge Caliber (MSRP $17,380; 24 city / 32 hwy).

Overall Rating
75 out of 100

What others say:

“Like any all-around athlete, the 2012 Subaru Outback blends capable performance and rewarding handling, surprising interior volume and great versatility, with versatility and enough high-end options to keep most buyers quite happy.” 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

“The Outback is a more rugged-looking wagon version of the Legacy. While the body proportions are still wagon-like, the Outback’s ground clearance is comparable to an SUV’s. The cabin is quiet, and rear-seat and cargo space are generous.” MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“On the road, the Outback demonstrates an impressive sedan-like feel, in part because the low center of gravity of its powertrain more than offsets its tall bodywork.” KBB

“The 2012 Subaru Outback is an appealing alternative to conventional wagons and crossovers.” Edmunds