2018 Subaru Outback: What’s Not to Love?

Subaru has a compelling lineup of adventurous vehicles. But among them all, numerous critics say that the Subaru Outback put the carmaker on the map. Getting a new Outback is undoubtedly enticing, but if you’re interested in buying lightly-used, the 2018 model is a loveable option.

Critics and owners love how the 2018 Subaru Outback drives 

Subaru Outback during the Moscow International Motor Show 'Autosalon 2014' the leading automotive event of the year
The Subaru Outback | Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

When it was new, many reviewers raved about the 2018 Outback, especially for its performance. And what makes the model even better is it’s still celebrated as a used model. The Outback is the type of vehicle that’s pleasant on city streets and capable off-road.

The 2018 Outback features two engine choices. Drivers who want a relaxed ride for their everyday commutes will likely be happy with the standard 175-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This four-cylinder has a fuel economy rating of 28 mpg, which is excellent for the class. A drawback to consider is that the base engine can feel underpowered at times.

If you plan on packing your Outback with people and cargo or plan on driving at higher altitudes, U.S. News recommends the available six-cylinder. The Outback’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder produces 256-hp. No matter which engine you choose, all Outbacks come standard with all-wheel-drive, a CVT, and have 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Many owners appreciate this wagon for its smoothness and power, as Consumer Reports highlighted in its member survey.

“Is a fun to drive car, with excellent handling and acceleration. The cabin is quiet and if you roll down a window part way it is still quiet. Subaru safety second to none. People who haven’t looked at a Subaru lately are missing out on an outstanding vehicle.”

Anonymous, MO 2018 Subaru Outback owner 

Interior elements 

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The Outback also earns praise for its comfy interior. This wagon can seat up to five passengers. It came standard with cloth upholstery; some models will have leather. Additional amenities on the Outback include heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Most owners say that their 2018 Outback is remarkably comfortable, even on long drivers. However, some comment that its seats are on the firmer side. According to Consumer Reports, owners say the Outback presents excellent value because of its in-car tech. 

Standard infotainment features on the 2018 Outback include a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Some models will have upgraded options, like an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, and Subaru’s Eyesight safety system

So, what’s not to love?

Subaru Outback commercial at the school
Subaru Outback | Subaru

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While the 2018 Outback is a standout in many ways, it didn’t get the best reliability scores. Consumer Reports gave it a 2/5 predicted reliability rating; U.S. News gave it a 3/5. These ratings partly relate to the complaints associated with the model. According to the NHTSA, there are 369 complaints about the 2018 Outback, which relate to its fuel system and backup device.

But considering that Subaru sold 680,135  Outback models in 2018, that’s not a significant number. So, if you want this wagon, make sure to get it properly evaluated before buying. Additionally, you might want to consider the 2017 or 2019 models.