Subaru managed to sell more than 180,000 Outbacks last year which is very impressive. Why? Well, the US market doesn’t really like wagons. Despite that people do buy wagons disguised as crossovers which is exactly what the Outback is. However, there is more to it than just that. In order to keep it as up to date as possible, they just did a refresh to the car with the 2018 Subaru Outback. Even though the changes have been kept to a minimum, the end result is rather impressive. In fact the Outback remains one of the better buys in its class which is not an easy feat to achieve.
Unfortunately the car is still based on the same old platform as before. The new Impreza-based chassis is going to be updated in the future. Until then the Outback will continue to be made out of steel and it will continue to rock a higher center of gravity than its siblings.
This is not such a huge issue though, especially when we consider all the upgrades Subaru did in order to make the Outback as good to drive as a sedan. The price for the new model hasn’t been revealed just yet but it seems it won’t change much from what it was before. The base cars are likely still going to hover at right around $26,000 with the top end models nearing $40,000.
2018 Subaru Outback Design
Probably the largest change for the 2018 Subaru Outback is the design. Here Subaru tried to make it seem familiar while making it look more alike to the new Impreza. In the front it received a new grille which is wider as well as mounted lower. The bumper is all new with larger fog-lamps, bigger black plastic cladding as well as a wider center intake.
The new headlights now include LED DRLs that wrap around the exterior of the headlights. In the back they tried to make it look as stylish as possible and so far it looks like they managed to do just that. The higher end Limited models also receive a new set of wheels but everything else remains pretty much identical to the one before it.
Inside the cabin
The steering wheel, instrument cluster and the core dashboard design are the same as before. However, it gets a new center stack which includes new AC controls, a larger infotainment screen and slimmer HVAC vents. The base models now get a 6.5 inch screen with the top end models receiving an 8 inch screen.
Across the range Subaru also added Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which was previously unavailable. The higher end trim levels receive an extra 2 USB plugs which will allow for multiple input sources for the infotainment center. In terms of safety features, the EyeSight camera system can be used at lower speeds and it will now actively keep the lane which is quite impressive.
Subaru Outback 2018 Under the hood
Here the 2018 Subaru Outback gets the same 2 engines as before. The base car gets the 2.5 liter naturally aspirated flat-four mill. This has been around for a while and it is a good compromise between fuel consumption and speed. With 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque it is not exactly all that bad, especially considering the Outback is quite light.
The higher end models get the 3.6 liter flat-six with its 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will only be available with a CVT gearbox and the all wheel drive system. The CVT will be a slightly revised version which will also support a fully manual mode that should make the Outback slightly more fun to drive. The electric power steering has also been revised for this model in order to make it slightly more engaging than before.