Crossover & Midsize

Does the Subaru Outback Have 3rd Row Seating?

The Subaru Outback has staying power with more than 25 years on the market. Brand enthusiasts love it, and the Outback continues to create new fans. Longevity like this demonstrates how popular this quasi-station-wagon-meets-SUV really is. Over the years, Subaru has made substantial improvements in response to market demand, including safety features and in-cabin tech. 

The Subaru Outback saw a refresh in 2020 and few new additions for 2021. But to know if it’s a good fit for your family, you need to determine if it can accommodate your regular number of passengers. How many can sit comfortably in the 2021 Outback, and does it offer third-row seating?

2021 Subaru Outback by the numbers

There are other important considerations besides seating capacity. One of the 2021 Outback’s strongest selling points is the price, starting at $26,795, according to Subaru. The value keeps coming with standard symmetrical all-wheel drive and fuel-efficiency ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. And with a reputation for lasting beyond 200,000 miles, the Outback is perfect for anyone looking for a dependable vehicle over the years.

Cargo space behind the rear seats measures 32.5 cubic feet, which might sound average. But you’ll also enjoy up to 75.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, suitable for backpacking gear, golf clubs, or youth sports equipment. The Outback is also known for its higher ground clearance of 8.7 inches, making it a champ in inclement weather or off-pavement exploring.

The Subaru Outback’s seating capacity

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This 2021 Subaru Outback midsize crossover, which feels like one part wagon and one part hatchback, comes in seven trims. With that kind of variety, you should be about to configure a model with all or nearly all the features you desire. Edmunds says the Outback Premium — one trim level above the base model — is the most popular. But you can choose from Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT models too.

In a sense, there’s a Subaru Outback for the city driver, the off-road enthusiast, and everyone in between. But the seating capacity might be a deal-breaker. No matter how you build your Outback, it’ll come with no more than five seats in two rows.

So if you’re set on a Subaru but routinely travel with six or seven people, check out the three-row Ascent.

But if you’re still interested in the Outback, keep reading.

A spacious and comfortable cabin

The five passengers riding in the 2021 Subaru Outback will enjoy a roomy and comfortable cabin. U.S. News calls the seating spacious and supportive. Whether you prefer cloth upholstery or supple Nappa leather, you’ll enjoy 42.8 inches of legroom in the front seats and 39.5 inches in the back. Front occupants get 40.1 inches of headroom, and rear passengers have 39.1 inches. So not many people will feel cramped in the Outback.

A dedication to safety

The Subaru made a few upgrades to the Outback this year. They include a rear-seat reminder system, standard seatbelt warnings, and adaptive headlights. Also, expect advanced driver assistance features such as DriverFocus, which uses facial recognition to determine whether the driver is fatigued or distracted. There’s also EyeSight, which “monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and warns you if you sway outside your lane. EyeSight has been found to reduce the rate of rear-end crashes with injuries by up to 85 percent,” Subaru says. 

The Subaru Outback is an excellent choice if you appreciate value, capability, and safety in a midsize crossover SUV. But if you need more than five-passenger seating, you’ll have to look elsewhere.