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8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Subaru Outback Review

The high-ranking 2017 Subaru Outback has excellent seating and cargo space, a strong safety score, and user-friendly tech features.

Pros & Cons

  • Best-in-class cargo capacity
  • Roomy seating space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Weak four-cylinder engine

2017 Subaru Outback Overview

Is the 2017 Subaru Outback a Good Used Car?

The Subaru Outback is a great pick if you’re shopping for a used wagon. The Outback takes on weekend road trips with ease thanks to its smooth ride, comfy seats, spacious cabin, and class-leading cargo space. It can take on some pretty rough terrain as well, thanks to its high-riding stance and standard all-wheel-drive system. Factor in a solid predicted reliability rating, great safety scores, and a long list of driver assistance features, and it’s easy to see why it won our 2017 Best Wagon for Families.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 33 Subaru Outback reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Subaru Outback?

You can expect to pay between $22,900 and $33,900 for a used 2017 Outback. These figures are based on 1,600 listings for the 2017 Subaru Outback on our site. The average price is $27,800. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Subaru Outback Cost to Own?

The Outback’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $22,400 – or around $4,500 per year. That’s about average for the wagon class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Outback?

The 2018 Outback starts at $25,895. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Outback, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, there are a few perks to buying new. The Outback received updated exterior styling for 2018, as well as support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Opt for the 2018 model if these updates are important to you.

Read about the new Subaru Outback »

For a less-expensive new wagon, consider the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, which starts at just $21,685. The Golf SportWagen has a zippier turbocharged engine, sharper handling, and much nicer interior materials. It’s a more refined family hauler, though its maximum cargo capacity is lower than the Outback’s.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Subaru Outback Is Best?

The 2017 Outback is part of the wagon’s fifth generation, which arrived for the 2015 model year. There have been few updates to the Outback during this generation. You can save money with used 2015 or 2016 models, which offers comparable performance and features. However, you’ll want to opt for a 2018-and-newer model if you want an Outback with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Outback »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Subaru Outback?

The 2017 Outback has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five points from J.D. Power.

Read more about Outback reliability »

2017 Subaru Outback Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are three recalls for the 2017 Outback. Subaru identified two faults with the Outback’s steering column, which could result in steering loss and cause serious knee injury in the event of a crash. Subaru is also recalling about 100 vehicles because of brake and wheel hub bolts that may not have been properly tightened during assembly. Before buying a used Outback, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Subaru Outback safety recalls »

Which Used Subaru Outback Model Is Right for Me?

Subaru offers the 2017 Outback in four trim levels: base (2.5i), Premium, Limited, and Touring. Many shoppers will find that the base model has everything they need. The Outback 2.5i comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, a 6.2-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, a four-speaker stereo, remote keyless entry, and alloy wheels. Step up to the Outback 2.5i Premium trim and you’ll find a larger 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, six speakers, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and fog lights.

The Outback Limited trim is available with either the 2.5i four-cylinder or the 3.6R six-cylinder engine, and it adds blind spot monitoring, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a moonroof, a power liftgate, proximity keyless entry with push-button start, and a Harman Kardon 12-speaker stereo. The range-topping Outback Touring trim (also available with the 2.5i or 3.6R engine) adds a navigation system and Subaru’s EyeSight suite of advanced safety features.

See 2017 Subaru Outback trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Subaru Outback Warranty

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. Despite this lengthy warranty, competitors like Honda and Toyota have more comprehensive certified pre-owned programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Outback?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Outback a 2017 Top Safety Pick+. It received the highest rating of Good in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Outback a perfect five-star rating in overall, front, and side impact testing, as well as four stars for rollover crash safety.

All 2017 Outbacks come standard with a rearview camera. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and Subaru’s EyeSight package (optional on Premium and Limited trims, standard on Touring models). The EyeSight package consists of forward and rear collision warning, brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and steering-responsive fog lights.

See Outback safety scores »

2017 Subaru Outback Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Subaru Outback or 2017 Subaru Forester?

Deciding between the Outback (a wagon) and the Subaru Forester (a compact SUV) can be difficult because they are so similar. Both Subaru models share the same features, 2.5i four-cylinder engine, and standard all-wheel drive. They offer similar cargo dimensions, seating space, and off-road ground clearance. It’s in the details where these two differ. The Outback is rated to tow 1,200 pounds more than the Forester, and it rates higher for predicted reliability. On the other hand, the Forester is available with a manual transmission (the Outback is automatic-only). The Forester’s optional turbocharged engine is more refined – and more fuel-efficient – than the Outback’s six-cylinder. Test drive both to see which is best for you.

Which Is Better: 2017 Subaru Outback or 2017 Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V isn't a wagon like the Outback, but it’s a better option for more buyers. The redesigned 2017 CR-V outshines the Subaru with much nicer cabin materials, peppier engine performance, and higher fuel economy (up to 28/34 mpg). The CR-V also supports the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems (which the 2017 Outback lacks). Both vehicles offer the same lengthy list of available safety features, along with similar seating and cargo space. Between these two, go with the CR-V.

Which Is Better: 2017 Subaru Outback or 2017 Toyota RAV4?

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 is another crossover SUV worth considering if you’re shopping for an Outback. Like the Subaru, the RAV4 offers plenty of seating and cargo space, as well as a smooth and quiet ride. However, the RAV4 offers one big benefit over the Outback: standard active safety features. All 2017 RAV4 models come standard with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake assist, and lane departure warning. These are optional on the Outback.

Compare the Outback, CR-V, and RAV4 »

2017 Outback Performance

How Does the 2017 Subaru Outback Drive?

The Subaru Outback has two engine options. Outback 2.5i models have a four-cylinder boxer engine that makes 175 horsepower. Outback 3.6R models have a six-cylinder boxer engine with 256 horsepower. Both come with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive. The four-cylinder has enough muscle for everyday driving situations, and it offers decent passing power on the highway. However, it isn’t quite up to the task when the Outback is packed full of passengers and cargo. The brawny six-cylinder engine remedies this issue, though its touchy gas pedal is can make it hard to drive smoothly in stop-and-go traffic.

The Outback’s handling is a bit more polished. Its suspension gives it a comfortable ride and does a nice job of soaking up the bumps and dips of rough pavement. Its power steering feels light and responsive, and a tight turning radius makes it easy to park. True to its name, the Outback is a rather capable off-roader as well, with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The Outback’s all-wheel drive system uses torque vectoring (referred to as “X-Mode”) to limit each of its wheels from spinning when traction is low, like when traversing sand, mud, or loose rock.

Does the 2017 Subaru Outback Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Outback 2.5i gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which is decent for a wagon. The Outback 3.6R is far less fuel-efficient. It manages just 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

2017 Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

The Outback can tow up to 2,700 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Outback performance »

2017 Outback Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Outback Seat?

The Subaru Outback seats five. The front seats are soft and supportive, and forward and side visibility is good. The rear seats are comfy as well, and they can recline to better accommodate taller passengers. here’s ample head- and legroom for adults in both rows. Cloth seats are standard; leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. The Outback’s interior styling is simple but pleasing, and it includes soft-touch plastics, crisp metallic accents, and – on top trim levels – elegant wood veneers. However, there are some rather hard and cheap-looking plastics on the lower dashboard and door panels.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Subaru Outback?

The Outback has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Outback’s LATCH system the highest score of Good for its ease of use. The top tether anchors are easy to find, but the lower anchors are too deep in the seat cushions and can be tough to access.

2017 Subaru Outback Features

All 2017 Outback models come standard with a 6.2-inch touch screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Available features include a 7-inch screen, navigation, satellite radio, and Siri Eyes Free connectivity, which integrates many iPhone functions with the car’s voice recognition system.

Subaru’s touch-screen infotainment system is user-friendly, and it features crisp graphics and reasonably quick response times. The audio and climate controls are accessible using buttons and knobs located at the side and beneath the screen, which make it easy to make adjustments while driving.

See 2017 Subaru Outback specs »

Read more about Outback interior »

2017 Subaru Outback Dimensions

Subaru Outback Cargo Space

The Outback has 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, expanding to 73.3 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s the most cargo space of any wagon.

2017 Outback Length and Weight

The Subaru Outback is 15.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges between 3,580 and 3,856 pounds, depending on powertrain.

Where Was the 2017 Subaru Outback Built?

The 2017 Outback was built in Lafayette, Indiana. The Subaru Legacy and Impreza are also assembled at this factory.

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