2010 Subaru Outback Review

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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.

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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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2010 Subaru Outback Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2010 Subaru Outback against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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    Subaru Outback Questions

    15,725

    How Often Do You Change Your Oil?

    There's been numerous articles written on the myth of changing your oil at 3,000 miles. The owner's manual says change your oil at 7,500 miles or 7.5 months? What if you don't put that many miles on...

    11,023 views with 38 answers (last answer 3 days ago)

    Transmission Drain Plug Loosened

    I have a 2010 Subaru Outback. What could cause the transmission drain plug to get loose other than someone getting under the car and using a tool to make it loose.

    20 views with 4 answers (last answer about a week ago)

    Is It Possible For The Transmission Drain Plug To Get Loose Just By Normal ...

    I have a 2010 Subaru Outback. The transmission needs to be replaced, the fluid leaked out. The mechanic said someone loosened the drain plug. No one has been near the car. Is it possible for the plug ...

    20 views with 6 answers (last answer about a week ago)
    20

    2010 Subaru Outback 3.6r Limited

    Need your advice... I have a 2010 Outback with 184k miles. The engine needs to be replaced. Currently the car will not make it to 50mph without going dead. I've received 2 opinions from reputable ...

    154 views with 35 answers (last answer about a week ago)
    10

    Newer Used Subaru Outback With A Lot Of Miles?

    Hey guys, I want a Subaru and I recently saw a listing on Craigslist for a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium. It has 185k miles, which is a lot, but it has a clean carfax and the owner says it was mo...

    110 views with 24 answers (last answer 2 weeks ago)