Consumer Reports Really Likes the Black Sheep of Midsize SUVs in 2021

Midsize SUVs all share a lot of common features. These SUVs look boxy, sit up higher than a sedan, and offer more room than a car. That being said, the Subaru Outback doesn’t quite fit in with other midsize SUVs.

It’s got more in common with a wagon than an SUV. So how did it take second place on Consumer Reports’ list of highest rated midsize SUVs?

The Subaru Outback doesn’t follow the pack

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Subaru has a record for doing things its own way. While other automakers charge extra for AWD, Subaru has made it standard on all its vehicles. Its vehicles are also designed to go off-road, but also make great daily drivers.

The Subaru Outback keeps up with Subaru’s tradition of not following the crowd. It has it’s own distinct look, and will never be mistaken for another midsize SUV.

It comes equipped with a 182-hp, 2.5-liter engine that performs well when used for casual driving but doesn’t handle stress well according to some reviews. The optional turbocharged 260-hp, 2.4-liter engine is more powerful, and is quieter to boot.

With that said, the Subaru Outback isn’t the greatest for going off-road. You can definitely go hit some trails in it, but only the lighter ones. The Subaru Outback is more suitable for driving in winter weather that requires superior tire traction. 

In spite of this, the Subaru Outback has some very cool features like the configurable roof rack. If you’ve got to go somewhere in a hurry, and you’ll need to pack some luggage on the roof, then the ability to swivel the crossbars where you need them will make loading up much less stressful. 

There is also loads of standard safety equipment. The Subaru Outback comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), lane departure warning (LDW), and lane centering. 

Consumer Reports is highly impressed with this SUV

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It’s hard to earn a high score from Consumer Reports unless it’s truly earned. The review site puts each vehicle it ranks under stringent tests to make sure that the score given is truly the score that was earned.

With that said, Consumer Reports was highly impressed with the 2021 Subaru Outback. The review site stated,

“The Outback has a solid feel, with a very comfortable ride that outshines some luxury SUVs. The elevated ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive help make the Outback ready to tackle light off-road duties. Handling is responsive and secure. We were impressed with its performance in our accident avoidance maneuver.”

Consumer Reports was pleased with the way it absorbs shocks from bumps and ruts. For anyone driving on less than ideal roads, this could make life much more pleasant. It also comes with a superior braking system that allows it to stop on both dry and wet roadways.

Only one midsize SUV could beat the Subaru Outback

RELATED: The Subaru Outback Got Beat on a List of Best Wagons

The Subaru Outback earned an overall score of 86 from Consumer Reports, which is highly impressive. It’s not quite as impressive as the score the Kia Telluride earned, however. 

Still, the Kia Telluride is setting the auto world on fire at the moment. It’s been nicknamed the ‘Sell-U-Ride’ due to its insanely high consumer demand, and dealers can’t keep it on the lot. It may have its issues, but the Telluride is hard to beat at the moment.

In spite of coming in second place, the Subaru Outback beat out some tough competition like the Mazda CX-9, the Toyota Highlander, and the Honda Pilot. That was no easy feat, as those are also consumer favorites. It’s hard to top a Subaru, however.