Trucks & SUVs

A Used Subaru Outback is the Best Car Under $10,000 Says Consumer Reports

Buying a used car is almost always scary. There are so many options, and the history of a car can be hard to determine. What if something goes wrong? What if it’s not as safe as a newer car? There are plenty of questions, but the IIHS and Consumer Reports have done some digging and found that 2013 and newer Subaru Outback models are among the most reliable and safest vehicles that you can get for under $10,000. 

How did the IIHS and Consumer Reports make this list? 

As Gear Patrol explains, the IIHS and Consumer Reports worked together to make a list of the safest and most reliable used cars you can buy for under $10,000. This is major because these two institutions are both dedicated to finding this sort of thing. So, to see them working together means that the cars on this list will be practical as hell.

Subaru SUVs on display at a car dealership (IIHS)
A Subaru Outback for sale at a dealership | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are two categories here, Best choices and Good choices. I don’t know that anyone cares about the second category, so let’s stick to the best of the best. 

As Gear Patrol mentions, the cars that meet the best choices category have to adhere to these criteria. First, they must have a good rating from IIHS on moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint tests, and at least a good or acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test. Next, they must have either a four or five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lastly, they must have both electronic stability control and must not weigh more than 2,750 lbs. 

Is the Subaru Outback a good used car? 

2020 Subaru Outback Off Roading
2020 Subaru Outback | Subaru

RELATED: The Subaru Outback Gets a Lower Safety Rating Than the Legacy Because of Headlights

Also, to be included on this list, the vehicles must have a better than average (three out of five) reliability rating on Consumer Reports, which of course, the Outback has from 2013 onward. The Outback also meets the requirement of scoring better than a three out of five on the emergency handling test. Gear Patrol says that 40 vehicles made the best choice list, but only eight could be had for under $10,000. Of those eight, the Subaru Outback is easily the coolest and also probably the best. 

Is a used Subaru Outback reliable?

If you take a look at the Consumer Reports page for the Subaru Outback, you will find a long history of reviews and assessments that show the stability, safety, and reliability of the model. The 2013 model was a little mixed, but overall still meets the criteria and most owners were happy with the car. Starting in 2014 to the 2021 model, things have only gotten better. 

Subarus is not a sports car in the traditional sense. They are more sporty in a Jeepy way. The Outback is rugged, dependable, and certainly meant for a more adventurous lifestyle. Since at least 2013, the Outback has come with two motor options; the 175-hp 2.5-liter flat-four and the bigger, cooler 256-hp 3.5-liter six-cylinder. The 2.5 was and is a strong motor that remains reliable and proud, but it is slow. Many people prefered the 3.5-liter, but the extra cost was substantial. From 2020 to present, Subaru nixed the 3.5 and added a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four that made nearly the same horsepower but was much more efficient, getting 24 mpg combined. 

The interior 

Obviously, the newer the model, the more outfitted the cabin will be. One thing Subaru has always done is keep their base customers in mind. Subaru is a lifestyle brand, and that lifestyle is an outdoor adventure. While the Subaru Outback is not the fanciest interior (due to the inevitability of mud, dirt, snow, and so forth), the more recent models have really stepped up the comfort of the cabin substantially. 

How much is a used Subaru Outback

This list of cars was strictly made. But even more than the criteria is the price cap of $10,000. With any used car, prices vary based on condition, mileage, and trim level, but generally speaking, the mid 2010s Outbacks can be found around that $10,000 mark and under. To get something with AWD, reliable, safe, and cool for this money is almost hard to believe.