Picking the right Subaru can be a challenge because many Subarus are so similar. Take the Crosstrek and the Outback, for example. They’re both five-seat, go-most-places, sturdy SUVs. But there are some key differences to each, and one is bigger. Which is larger, the Subaru Crosstrek or Outback?
The Crosstrek is the smallest Subaru
The Crosstrek is 176.9 inches long, and 71 inches wide. The Crosstrek is the shorter and narrower of the two by a few inches. The Outback is 191.1 inches long and 73 inches wide. That translates to having three inches less legroom in the rear of the Crosstrek than the Outback. They both have similar room up front.
That shorter length also means The best-selling Subaru, the Crosstrek’s, cargo area is limited. The seats fold, but they don’t fold completely flat. It holds 55.3 cubic feet of goodies. The Outback holds 75.6 cubic feet of stuff in its longer cargo hold. They both, however, have similar reliability ratings at J.D. Power.
The Crosstrek comes with a smaller motor, too
The Crosstrek comes with a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine standard. It’s tied to a CVT, or continuously variable transmission, so it has no gears. It can be ordered with a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder as well that perks up the cheapest Subaru. However, the Crosstrek does offer a manual transmission, which makes it a fun rarity in the modern world. However, that mouse motor does give the base Crosstrek stellar fuel economy, with 28 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.
The Outback has two engine choices, as well. You can order one with a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, or a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. The Outback, too, has a CVT standard. But, because it’s larger, you can expect the gas mileage to take a hit, and you’ll see 27 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway.
As an aside, the Crosstrek can tow just 1,500 pounds, while the Outback can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The smaller Crosstrek has the smallest price
The Subaru Crosstrek starts at $23,645. That base model, however, is fairly austere. Stepping up to the Sport model for $27,995 gets you Subaru’s StarTex upholstery, push-button start, and critically, the 182-horsepower engine. The Limited has all of the options, and it starts at $29,495.
The Crosstrek Hybrid comes as a plug-in-hybrid, but it’s really a different beast since it starts at a steep $36,845. It has even less room in back because of the battery pack.
The 2023 Outback is more expensive, and it starts at $28,395. While that version comes well equipped, the Premium at $30,695 comes with more of the stuff folks want, like the larger screen, dual-zone climate control, and several charge ports, including USB-C and USB-A. The $39,695 Outback Limited XT and Touring trims include the 260-horsepower motor, navigation, and even a heated steering wheel.