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CAR OF THE MONTH August 2012

2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited Review

Advanced Wagon

A side view of a white 2013 Subaru Outback

In short: A versatile and intelligent all-wheel-drive crossover wagon.

Long ago Subaru's slogan was "Inexpensive. And built to stay that way." As the cars from the Japanese manufacturer have grown, so have their prices, but the Outback 2.5i Limited is a great value. It's a no-nonsense automobile with a safety-oriented mind and will get an active individual or family moving in confidence. The EyeSight features, which include adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and vehicle lane departure warning, are meant to be supplements that take the stress out of driving, but are by no means a substitute.

An interior view of the 2013 Subaru Outback

A look at the Boxer engine of the 2013 Subaru Outback

The driving versatility is certainly one of this car's principal assets. Gravel, mud, snow or sand won't deter it, as we had a chance to experience on the sandy beaches of North Carolina's Outer Banks — a place where most other vehicles were of the specially prepared off-road four-wheel-drive kind. A sturdy and aerodynamically designed roof rack is ready to accommodate additional cargo. Beyond being a car company, Subaru strives to protect the environment and supports many causes (including ASPCA and United by Blue). The USA plant is zero-landfill and boasts an organic garden used to donate food to charities. It's no wonder that with 71% brand loyalty Subaru has achieved cult status... and we hope it will stay that way.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2013 Subaru Outback

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Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/unlimited mile rust perforation warranty; 3-year/36,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance

Base Price: $23,495

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door station wagon

Engine: 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine
Horsepower: 173 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual

Curb weight:
3,432 lbs
Wheelbase: 107.9 in
Length/Width/Height:189/71.7/65.8 in
Turning circle: 36.8 ft

4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; double wishbone rear

Traction: Vehicle Dynamics Control with stability and traction control; Hill Holder System; symmetrical all-wheel drive

EPA City:
21 mpg
EPA Highway: 28 mpg

driver and front passenger front airbags; side-curtain airbags; front seat-mounted side-impact airbags

Likes: overall performance; utility; value

Dislikes: the car has grown over time, making it less city-friendly


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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW072612 (Updated: 08/13/12 NW)