Is the 2016 Subaru Outback the Best Used SUV on Gas?

The 2016 Subaru Outback received rave reviews across the board. Consumer Reports ranked two-row midsize SUVs on their fuel economy and the Outback top the list. With great reviews from several other organizations, is the 2016 Outback the best used SUV for fuel economy shoppers?

2016 Subaru Outback | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

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More than gas mileage sets the 2016 Subaru Outback apart

Reviewers can’t get enough of the 2016 Subaru Outback. Consumer Reports was particularly impressed with the roomy interior and increased features of this model. Improved visibility, great handling, and standard all-wheel-drive make this a fun SUV.

This midsize SUV has been referred to as a cross between a wagon and a crossover. The combination pleases overall. The car’s CVT has been re-calibrated, providing smoother acceleration. The four-cylinder Outback is slightly slower than its predecessor, but it doesn’t feel that way to drivers. With an overall combined fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon, the Subaru offers a fun and comfortable drive for a fuel sipper.

Improved safety features

A silver 2016 Subaru Outback SUV on the assembly line
2016 Subaru Outback | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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A full complement of high-tech safety features, including Subaru’s EyeSight, makes this car feel newer than it is. Blindspot detection is a new feature for the 2016, as well as rear cross-traffic alert. The IIHS gave this SUV top marks in crash test ratings. LATCH car-seat anchors are standard in the 2016 Outback.

Interior comforts abound

Subaru took interior comfort very seriously with the 2016 Outback. Comparable models can’t compete when it comes to finishing touches. The glove box and center console feature a felted lining to reduce cab noise and protect stored items. This is a nice detail for a car in this price range. The Limited trim package adds woodgrain and perforated leather seats.

What Outback owners should watch out for

Blue and chrome Subaru emblem
Subaru logo | Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

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There are four active recalls for the 2016 Subaru Outback. It’s difficult for manufacturers to reach out to used car buyers. Recalls on cars more than a few years old can be tricky to keep up with. Used car shoppers should search for their Vin with their car manufacturer to ensure no active recalls are outstanding.

Two separate recalls address issues with the Outback’s powertrain. A transmission oil leak could potentially drip onto the car’s exhaust pipe. If this happens, it’s a possible fire risk.

A rear driveshaft recall addresses a potential fire hazard. If the driveshaft detaches from the rear differential, it’s possible that it could strike the car’s fuel tank and the resulting leak of gasoline is an increased fire risk. NHTSA numbers 15V794000 and 15V502000 identify the powertrain recalls.

NHTSA recall number 19V910000 Addresses front passenger airbag deployment issues. The risk of personal injury increases if these faulty airbags deploy. NHTSA recall number 16V2920000 refers to a steering issue recall.

An improperly machined steering column caused another recall. As a result of the defect, turning the steering wheel may not affect the wheels’ direction in affected units. This increases the risk of a collision.