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$12,172 - $16,207 $23,495 - $32,095

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Subaru Outback Review

The 2013 Subaru Outback is a highly ranked wagon, thanks to its standard all-wheel drive, spacious cargo hold, and roomy back seats

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Very spacious cargo area
  • Roomy back seat
  • Poor sound quality from base stereo

New for 2013

  • Revised front-end styling
  • New base engine and improved fuel economy
  • Updated suspension
  • Bluetooth became standard
  • EyeSight driver assistance system became available

2013 Subaru Outback Overview

Is the 2013 Subaru Outback a Good Used Wagon?

The Subaru Outback is one the best wagons available, and few rivals can match its combination of practicality and roominess. It has strong safety and reliability scores, available advanced driver assistance features, and standard all-wheel drive – an uncommon feature for the class. The Outback was also named our 2013 Best Wagon for the Money and 2013 Best Wagon for Families.

Used 2013 Subaru Outback Performance and Interior

The all-wheel-drive 2013 Subaru Outback has a standard 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine that provides enough power for most driving situations. More power for passing and pulling away from a stop are available with the 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. A continuously variable automatic transmission and a five-speed automatic with paddle shifters are available in some trims. With the CVT and base engine, the Outback earns 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. While some other wagons use less fuel, the Outback’s numbers are still impressive for an all-wheel-drive vehicle. On the road, the Outback has a smooth, composed ride, precise steering, and strong brakes.

Read more about Outback performance »

The five-seat 2013 Subaru Outback wagon’s interior has price-appropriate materials and good-looking styling. It’s quite roomy inside, offering plenty of space for tall adults in both the front and rear seats. The Outback’s LATCH child-seat system includes complete sets of upper tethers and lower anchors in the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has an upper tether and the ability to borrow a lower anchor from each outboard seat. With a maximum cargo capacity of 71.3 cubic feet, the 2013 Outback also has more storage space than the majority of its competitors. Standard dashboard controls are clearly labeled and user-friendly. However, the available navigation system’s touch screen complicates some audio functions.

Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port, and iPod connectivity. Available features include a Harman Kardon audio system and navigation.

Read more about Outback interior »

Used 2013 Subaru Outback Prices

The average price paid for a 2013 Outback ranges from almost $13,200 for the base model up to almost $19,000 for the top trim. Prices vary depending on the wagon’s location, condition, mileage, and features.

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We Did the Research for You: 34 Reviews Analyzed

We base our used car rankings and reviews on an analysis of hard data – including crash test scores, reliability ratings, and total cost of ownership estimates – as well as the opinions of the automotive press. We researched and analyzed 34 Subaru Outback reviews for this 2013 Outback overview.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of car industry experience combined. You can trust that our reviews are impartial because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automakers, and another company takes care of our website's advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback has an above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

See Outback reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Outback?

The 2013 Subaru Outback has a strong safety score for the class. It received a Top Safety Pick+ designation – the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest award. In IIHS crash testing, the Outback earned the top rating of Good in four crash tests (moderate overlap front, side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength) and the second-best rating of Acceptable in the small overlap crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Outback a perfect five-star rating for overall safety, as well as in the frontal and side crash tests. The Outback earned four stars in the rollover test. 

Subaru offers some advanced driver assistance features in the Outback – many of which are not available in competing wagons. A rearview camera is available, as is Subaru’s EyeSight system, which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure warning.

See Outback safety scores »

Is the 2013 Outback the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Subaru Outback is part in the wagon’s fourth generation, which spans from the 2010 through 2014 model years. While earlier Outback models may cost you less, the 2013 Outback is still an excellent used model to buy. It features a number of notable updates over the 2012 model, including a new base engine with better fuel economy, a revised suspension, and standard Bluetooth. It also introduced the available EyeSight driver assistance system.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Outback »

Which Used Subaru Outback Is Right for Me?

There are five trims available: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6 R, and 3.6R Limited. The base Outback 2.5i comes with Bluetooth phone and audio, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, iPod connectivity, and a six-speed manual transmission. The 2.5i Premium trim adds a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. If you’re big on audio quality, you will want this trim or higher. The 2.5i Premium’s six-speaker stereo provides a welcome improvement in sound quality over the base model’s audio.

Stepping up to the Outback 2.5i Limited gets you a standard automatic transmission, heated front seats and side mirrors, a power-adjustable passenger seat, HD Radio, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, dual-zone climate control, and perforated leather-trimmed seats. This is the lowest trim level available with the EyeSight driver assistance system and the 7-inch touch-screen navigation system. The Outback 3.6R and 3.6R trims have the larger V6 engine but the same features as the 2.5i Limited and 2.5i Premium trims.

Subaru also offers certified pre-owned vehicles. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

2013 Subaru Outback and Other Wagons to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Outback or 2013 Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV. Like the Outback, the 2013 Forester comes with all-wheel drive and has a spacious interior. However, the 2013 Outback offers a few more benefits, including the availability of the EyeSight Safety system and a nicer interior. Its base manual transmission also has one more gear than the Forester’s. You’ll likely pay a bit more for the Outback, but it’s worth it.

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Outback or 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen?

The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen offers an upscale interior and a fuel-efficient TDI model. The TDI model, however, is affected by the VW diesel scandal. Fixes are being rolled out that may affect performance and fuel economy. Though the VW is a good vehicle, the Outback is the all-around better ride. It has a better reliability rating, more cargo and back-seat space, and standard all-wheel drive. The Outback is also available with some active safety features, while the Jetta SportWagen isn’t even available with a rearview camera.

Compare the Outback, Forester, and SportWagen »
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