2018 Subaru Outback

Interior


#2 out of 7 in 2018 Wagons

$23,518 - $35,140

2018 Subaru Outback Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

The 2018 Subaru Outback has a well-designed cabin and features soft-touch materials in many places. It’s also relatively quiet inside. Both rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, and the standard infotainment system is user-friendly. The cargo hold is one of the largest in the class.

  • "The overall interior quality and noise levels also tend to be a bit better as well -- especially compared to Subaru's Forester -- with a nice array of soft-touch materials in places where you frequently look and touch." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The Subaru Outback crossover SUV for 2016 essentially shares its interior with the 2016 Subaru Legacy sedan – a good thing. The layout is clean and functional, and we especially like the latest touch-screen infotainment system's design." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • The Outback has made strides in terms of comfort and quality of cabin materials, but it's still not as refined as it could be. It lacks that last little bit of interior quality and overall refinement that sets the best apart from the very good." -- Cars.com (2015)

Seating

The Subaru Outback seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and driver visibility is good. The rear seats are also comfortable – they even recline – and have plenty of head- and legroom for adults.

The current-generation Outback’s LATCH system is rated Marginal for ease of use, the second-lowest rating, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are too deep in the outboard seats, and it’s difficult to maneuver around them. It’s also easy to confuse the indistinguishable upper tethers with other hardware.

  • "Up front, the seats are comfortable and well-supported, and the view out is commanding. Controls are easy to see and access." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The front seats are fantastically plush with supple leather and generously wide with lateral support. The door and center armrests are well-padded, and the driver seat has power lumbar adjustment. The rear seats are also comfy, though the cushions are on the short side." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior space is very comfortable for four, with plenty of headroom and legroom for all, plus rear seats that recline and fold easily." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Interior Features

The Outback’s standard features include a four-speaker sound system, HD Radio, a USB port, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Available features include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, a proximity key, push-button start, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic pre-collision braking, reverse automatic braking, and automatic high beams. Some of these features are part of Subaru’s EyeSight system.

The Outback’s infotainment system is fairly easy to use. The touch screen is responsive, and there are physical buttons for certain functions. The system has been improved for the 2018 model year and now also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, making it easier to sync your smartphone to the Outback.

  • "The Outback's infotainment systems have been upgraded for 2018, with improvements both expected and surprising. In the former camp, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are now standard. Among the latter, new apps will guide you to everything from birding to parking." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Unlike past Subarus, the 2017 Outback is graced with a modern and reasonably user-friendly touchscreen interface -- available in either 6.2- or 7-inch sizes. Though some functions require a bit too much dexterity (pressing down on a radio preset button to program it, for instance), it is generally one of the easier systems to use. It's also packed with an abundance of features and smartphone-connectivity apps." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The optional upgraded navigation unit gets a 7-in screen and incorporates spoken commands as well as pinch and swipe controls. We still think the head-unit look is a little generic, but it's much nicer than anything Subaru has offered before and really does get the job done. Navigation commands are easy to use and logical to execute." -- Autotrader (2015)

See 2018 Subaru Outback specs »

Cargo

With the rear seats up, the Outback has 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold them down, and that grows to 73.3 cubic feet. These are both outstanding totals for a wagon, and they’re higher than most compact SUVs’ totals. In addition to being large, the cargo hold’s boxy shape makes it easy to load cargo, as does the low liftover height. A power liftgate is available.

  • "We consider the 2017 Subaru Outback an alternative to compact crossover SUVs and a major reason for going with the Outback is what you'll find inside. Its cargo area is large (73.3 cubic feet maximum), boxy and a bit lower to the ground, making it easier to load big items or dogs inside." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Cargo space in this SUV is obviously leaps and bounds better than the Legacy sedan. That goes double with the seats folded." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Where the Outback offers added functionality is, of course, at the rear, where the wagon configuration is good for a whopping 73.3 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats folded flat – two more cubes than its predecessor." -- Autoblog (2015)

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