2021 Subaru Crosstrek vs. 2021 Subaru Outback: Worth the Upgrade?

2021 Subaru Outback side view (top) / 2021 Subaru Crosstrek side view (bottom)
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Crosstrek vs. Outback: Which Subaru Crossover Is Right for You?

Subaru’s vehicles are unique since almost all of them come standard with all-wheel drive, yet most still return good fuel economy. They also receive praise for being capable enough to handle light off-road situations. Moreover, Subaru has a reputation for safety.

Using our individual vehicle reviews and rankings, we take a detailed look at how the 2021 Crosstrek and 2021 Outback compare in 10 important categories, including price, safety, predicted reliability, fuel economy, performance, technology, and more. While they’re similar in some ways, there’s a lot that sets them apart. If you’re in the market for a crossover – and more specifically – a small Subaru family-hauler, this article should help you make a confident buying decision.

The Subaru Crosstrek was completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, which welcomed a generation with more passenger space and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Since then, Subaru made the EyeSight safety suite available and introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek. For 2021, this subcompact SUV gets a styling update and a stronger engine option.

The Subaru Outback is the best-selling wagon in the United States. However, despite its versatility, it doesn’t sell nearly as well as many crossover SUVs. Subaru completely redesigned the Outback for the 2020 model year. The latest Outback generation boasts better driving dynamics, more passenger and cargo space, an available 260-horsepower turbo-four engine, and an optional 11.6-inch touch screen. For 2021, the Outback gets more standard safety systems.

Keep in mind, we update our scores and rankings on a regular basis as new data and expert research become available. Thus, the scores in this article may differ from the scores in our individual reviews and rankings.

Continue reading to learn which Subaru crossover wins this head-to-head battle.

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