With more auto consumers looking for all-wheel drive and extra cargo space in their vehicles, a company like Subaru has been sitting pretty. In fact, the automaker sets a new U.S. sales record just about every month.
Models like the Forester and Crosstrek are a major part of that success, but no vehicle sells more than the Japanese brand than Outback. For 2019, this midsize wagon got several updates with designs on keeping that winning streak going.
As the new model arrives at dealerships from the Subaru plant in Indiana, here’s a look at everything new you’ll find in the 2019 Outback.
1. Safety upgrades
Automakers always seem to be playing catch-up to Subaru on the safety front, and that means it’s hard for the brand to stand pat in any model year. For 2019, every Outback trim will get the EyeSight Driver Assist tech standard.
The Eyesight suite, found in the automaker’s Top Safety Pick winners, includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and pre-collision braking.
2. Interior tech
Outback will remain available in six trims: four with the base 2.5-liter engine (175 horsepower) and two with the 3.6-liter engine (256 horsepower). Both come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
As in every Subaru, all-wheel drive is a standard feature here. In Premium and Limited models, an auto-dimming rearview Compass mirror will come standard for 2019.
From the base model (2.5i) on up, an updated 6.5-inch Starlink media system is standard, while every trim also gets dual USB ports and overhead console “shower” light included in the starting price.
Meanwhile, a 5.0-inch LCD display instrument panel will be standard in every model.
3. Price increases (plus 1 trim that dropped)
The added equipment does come with some price increases. In the base 2.5i, the starting price sits at $26,345 before destination. That’s a $450 increase over the debut of the ’18 Outback. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth hands-free come with this trim.
In the 2.5i Premium ($28,445), the All-Weather Package and 10-way power seats with lumbar support come standard (along with other features), while an 8.0-inch touchscreen becomes an option. Otherwise, the 2.5i Limited ($32,845) and Touring ($36,795) keep adding more features at smaller price increases over 2018 figures.
Meanwhile, the six-cylinder Outback 3.6R Limited ($34,995) got a price drop of $400, while the 3.6R Touring ($38,995) crept up $300.
4. Carryover standard equipment
The 2019 Outback continues coming with a standard package that includes roof rails, Hill Descent Control, X-Mode, and Hill Holder. Ground clearance is 8.7 inches, with exceptional passenger volume (108 cubic feet) and cargo space (35.5 cubic feet).
Outback’s front cladding, redesigned for 2018 and carrying over here, added protection for stones, branches, and other impediments you encounter in off-road driving. The suspension dampers and upgraded CVT pushed the smoothness and quality of the ride, starting last year.
5. Fuel economy and safety ratings
The 2018 Outback received the Top Safety Pick+ designation when buyers added optional safety tech and special headlights. Given the latest improvements, that should be an easier standard for 2019 models to hit. Nonetheless, the latest IIHS test results will come later in the year.
EPA fuel economy estimates have come in, and the numbers held from previous models. The 2.5-liter Outback rates at 28 mpg combined, while the 3.6-liter engine peaks at 22 mpg combined.