2010 Subaru Outback Review

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Average user score
4.7 5 stars
Based on 19 reviews

2010 Subaru Outback Overview

The 2010 Subaru Outback gets the model’s first redesign in five years, adding height, decreasing length, increasing room in the back seat, and, according to Subaru, reducing the mileage of the outgoing model. But this is still the same vehicle that can serve as a fantastic accessory for owners who are active and need a vehicle that can haul equipment, but don’t want the size or cost of an SUV.

The Outback comes in 2.5i and 3.6R lines, with Base, Premium, and Limited trims available for both. The 2.5i is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine with 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of available torque that’s mated to either a six-speed manual (standard) or Subaru’s new continuously variable automatic transmission, which includes a manual mode and shift paddles on the steering wheel and gets 21 city/27 highway mpg. The 3.6R is powered by a 3.6-liter, inline six-cylinder engine with 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque that’s paired only with a five-speed automatic and gets 17/23 mpg.

All-wheel drive is standard on both lines, though the AWD technology gets more complex with the 3.6R. Stability and traction control systems are also standard on all models, as is an all-new suspension with double wishbone control arms in the rear. Subaru claims the improved suspension and higher-profile tires have enhanced the Outback’s ride.

The 2010 Outback’s 105.4 cubic feet of passenger volume is about 7% more than the previous model had, which translates into 3.5 inches more hiproom in the front and 4 inches of extra legroom in the rear. Plus, the doors are 11 inches wider than the 2009 model's, which greatly eases entry and exit.

The built-in roof rack is a major selling point for most Outback owners, and this feature gets an upgrade for 2010 as well. The crossbars can be stored in the side rails when not needed, which improves aerodynamics and therefore reduces wind noise and fuel consumption.

The interior gets a makeover for 2010 and has a much higher-quality feel than the outgoing model's. The instruments are stylish, and materials like metallic trim, leather accents, and either cloth or leather upholstery add to the cabin's refined quality. Cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, and a CD player with audio input jack are standard on all models. An impressive Harman Kardon stereo is available, as are Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, a navigation system, rearview camera, a moonroof, and an all-weather package that includes heated front seats and side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Outback’s safety features include frontal, front-seat side-impact and side curtain air bags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, brake assist, and an electronic stability control system.

Updated

After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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    Subaru Outback Questions

    20,525

    Reliability - Subaru Cvt Vs. Toyota Power Sharing Transmission

    While they may seem similar, the actual platform that each of these cars use is different. Subaru is a metal belt driven CVT with pulleys while the power sharing transmission uses a planetary gea...

    16,584 views with 63 answers (last answer 2 days ago)

    Subaru Outback Clutch Problem

    Got stuck in traffic on a bridge for an hour and a half with a manual transmission 2010 subaru outback. Had to ride the clutch to stay on the bumper of the car in front of me or else people kept cut...

    41 views with 7 answers (last answer 6 days ago)

    Dash Warning Lights

    Went to start the car last night and all the idiot lights were on. Brakes, check engine, cruise, traction control all on and some flashing. Any idea what might be wrong??

    1,520 views with 2 answers (last answer 6 days ago)
    30

    Ripped 2010 Leather Seats On Outback

    Anyone had problems with the leather seats?? Mine are ripped from very minor use (child's seat) and Subaru is basically telling me to get lost. I owned an accord for almost a decade and put everythi...

    3,135 views with 21 answers (last answer 2 weeks ago)

    Is This The Battery?

    Car won't start. All warning lights are going off, and I hear clicks when I turn the key. Is this the battery?

    769 views with 19 answers (last answer 3 weeks ago)