Cars > Subaru > Subaru Outback 2013

By Ketan Patel

Subaru Outback 2013 Review

When the upcoming model of Subaru, the 2013 Subaru Outback, was showcased at the New York Auto Show, everyone around were almost forced to give the redesigned front fascia a look. While the rear end of the car has been kept unchanged, the redesigned front-fascia (enhanced grille with the headlights on the extension of the grille and fog lamps) has done it all. Moreover, its all-wheel drive traction ensures a safe and hassle-free drive even in the bad weather and uneven terrains.

In terms of interiors, the car has certainly taken over from the 2013 Subaru Legacy. The 2013 Subaru Outback is reported to feature 4.5”x 2” increased interior space in comparison to the Legacy Sedan. The increased dimensional analysis doesn’t end here. In terms of ground clearance too, the car has an edge over some other popular competitive vehicles in its class. While the 8.7-inches ground clearance parameter beats the Legacy Sedan by 3-inches, the same is noticed for Toyota Venza and Honda Crosstour by about an inch. Moreover, the interior of the car features voice-activated navigation system with a 7-inch LCD, rear-vision camera and real-time satellite traffic system as well.

The company seems to have stressed on the fuel efficiency of the car. The car is expected to perform well in this front (26mpg compared to earlier models’ 24mpg), while featuring increasing power and torque at the same time. The car is reported to be available with the same engines as the previous models, viz. 2.5L flat 4-cylinder and a 3.6L flat 6-cylinder. It’s the fresh boxer four in the 2.5L engine that has taken over older 2.5i model to produce three more horsepower (173hp) and additional four pound-feet of torque (174 lb-ft). While the 6-speed manual transmission comes fitted with the 2.5L engine, the 3.6L engine has been mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

As far as the driving and handling is concerned, the car features unparalleled suspension (used in earlier models) to promise improved drive-control and comfort. However, the car seems to be brimmed with some appealing specifications and features. The company still didn’t disclose the price tag of the car, but it’s quite expected that even the base model of the car will make you shell out some real good cash.

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  • Fourth-generation of The World’s First Sport Utility Wagon® that launched the crossover category in 1995.
  • Two performance levels and three trim lines.

New for 2013

  • Redesigned front styling with new grille, headlights and bumper cover.
  • More powerful, more efficient DOHC 2.5-liter 4-cyl. Boxer engine with broader torque delivery for improved low- and mid-range response.
  • Up to 30 mpg.
  • Available EyeSight safety system with: Pre-Collision Braking; system capable of pedestrian detection; Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.
  • Second-generation Lineartronic® continuously variable transmission (std. 2.5i Limited, available other 2.5i models) is lighter, more responsive and quieter than previous version.
  • Chassis enhancements ensure smoother, quieter ride with improved agility.
  • Standard audio system for 2.5i and 3.6R models adds Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability and USB port.
  • Bluetooth steering wheel control switches std. base 2.5i model.
  • Audio/navigation system offered in Limited trim lines features 7-in. LCD touch screen, SirusXM NavTraffic service (with a 4-month free trial subscription) voice activated controls, rear vision camera and harman/kardon premium audio.
  • Limited models add electro-luminescent gauges and a 3.5-in. LCD color display, as well as a center console rear seat A/C duct outlet.
  • Revised retractable roof rail crossbars can accommodate longer accessory attachments.
  • Brake Override safety system.

Special Appearance Package available for Limited models includes 2-position memory for 10-way power driver’s seat, keyless access & start and exclusive exterior and interior trim.

Key Facts

  • Innovative standard roof rails with crossbars that swing into position only when needed, to help reduce wind noise. They now feature an additional 9.8-in. of bar spread adjustment.
  • Both engines specify regular-grade gasoline.
  • Heavy-duty raised 4-wheel independent suspension and 8.7-in. ground clearance enable off-pavement driving.
    • Three types of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive featured across Outback line: 2.5i models with 6-speed manual transmission use a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute the power 50:50 front to rear. Outback 2.5i models with continuously variable transmission (CVT) use an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively control power distribution in response to driving conditions. Outback 3.6R models use Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system, which normally sends more power to the rear wheels to enhance handling agility and continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

Basic Specifications

Body                            5-passenger wagon
Wheelbase                    107.9 in.

Length                          189.0 in.

Height                           65.7 in. (with roof rails)

Width                            71.7 in.


Outback 2.5i models     DOHC H4, 2.5-liter

Horsepower                  173 hp

Torque                          174 lb-ft

Transmission                 6-speed manual or CVT


Outback 3.6R models       DOHC H6, 3.6-liter

Horsepower                  256 hp

Torque                          247 lb-ft

Transmission                 5-speed automatic

Key Standard Features

Outback 2.5i

  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • 16-in. wheels with 215/70R16 tires
  • 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Brake Assist and Brake Override
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with armrest and recline feature
  • 3-spoke steering wheel with integral audio, Bluetooth and cruise control switches
  • AM/FM stereo with single-disc
    in-dash CD player, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control capability, USB port and aux. input jack
  • Air conditioning
  • Combination digital clock and trip computer, including outside temperature display
  • Cruise control
  • Electronic parking brake with Hill Holder function.
  • Front seat side-impact airbags and side
    curtain airbags
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Overhead console with holder for sunglasses
  • Power door locks
  • Power side mirrors, manual folding
  • Power windows with driver’s auto-down
  • Rear window wiper/washer
  • Remote keyless entry system with integrated ignition key
  • Roof rails with retractable crossbars
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)


2.5i Premium adds:

  • Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission)
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • 17-in. alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tires   
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • Cargo area cover
  • Driver’s window with auto up/down
  • Fog lights
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob
  • Privacy rear glass


2.5i Limited adds over 2.5i Premium:

  • 4-way power passenger seat
  • All-Weather Package (heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system
  • Center console rear A/C outlet
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • harman/kardon® display-type audio system with HD Radio, XM Satellite Radio (4-month free trial subscription included) and 9 speakers, including subwoofer
  • Electro-luminescent instrument cluster with 3.5-in. LCD display

3.6R adds to 2.5i:

  • 256-hp 6-cyl. Boxer engine
  • 5-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters
  • 17-in. alloy wheels with 225/60R17 tires
  • Body-color side mirrors
  • Fog lights
  • Cargo area cover
  • Rear privacy glass


3.6R Limited adds to 3.6 R Premium:

  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • All-Weather Package
  • Driver’s auto up/down window
  • 4-way power passenger seat
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • harman/kardon display-type audio system
  • Instrument cluster with LCD display
  • Leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob
  • Electro-luminescent gauge cluster
  • Rear AC duct in center console


Optional for Premium trim lines:

  • harman/kardon display-type audio system
  • Power Moonroof Package with Rear Vision Camera and auto-dimming mirror with display plus Homelink
  • All-Weather Package (2.5i Premium; standard for 3.6R Premium)


Optional for Limited trim lines:

  • EyeSight driver-assist system
  • Power Moonroof Package (see Premium)
  • Special Appearance Package with Keyless Access & Start, 2-position memory driver’s seat, exterior turn-signal mirrors, Saddle Brown perforated leather, Outback logo floormats, and unique exterior trim accents
  • Voice-activated touch-screen GPS navigation system with harman/kardon premium audio, XM® Satelllite Radio and XM Navtraffic (4-month free trial subscription included for both), rear vision camera, iPod/USB input, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and streaming audio, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink®


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