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Subaru Outback

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Subaru Outback
2023 Subaru Outback
Also calledSubaru Legacy Outback
Model years1995–present
AssemblyOta, Gunma, Japan
Lafayette, Indiana, United States (Lafayette Plant, since 1999)
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size crossover SUV (D)
Body style5-door station wagon / crossover SUV

The Subaru Outback is an automotive nameplate used by the Japanese automaker Subaru for two different SUV-themed vehicles: a Legacy-derived crossover station wagon, the Outback (1994–present, also sold as Legacy Outback (Japanese: スバル・レガシィアウトバック, Hepburn: Subaru Regashi Autobakku) in some markets), and an Impreza-derived off-road themed hatchback, the Outback Sport (1994–2011).

Most versions of the Outback wagon and Outback Sport have had all-wheel drive as standard equipment.


First generation Subaru Legacy station wagon (1989–1993), before the model gained the "Outback" name

The original Outback station wagon was derived from the wagon variant of the second-generation Subaru Legacy. The first-generation Legacy, which made its debut in 1989, did not receive the cosmetic and suspension modifications to create an Outback version, although Subaru offered an Outdoor option package for the 1994 model year Legacy L all-wheel drive model, which added a compressed air strut height adjustable suspension, a luggage rack, a skidplate, and mud flaps.[1][2][3]

Earlier, a raised-roof "Touring Wagon" variant had been offered on the preceding Subaru Leone for the 1988 and 1989 model years.[4] Subaru also sold a raised-roof variant (chassis code BF) of the first-generation Legacy wagon outside the United States. North American Legacy wagons were only offered as the flat-roof variant (chassis code BJ) until a special "GT" model was marketed for the 1994 model year.[5]

The second-generation Legacy wagon became the first generation of the Outback crossover series, called the "Legacy Grand Wagon" in Japan in 1995, and the "Legacy Outback" in most other markets. Compared to the existing Legacy wagon, the "Outback" variant added partial protective plastic side body cladding for off-road conditions, used a raised roof, and would later raise the suspension to provide additional ground clearance. It was introduced at the 1994 New York Auto Show.[6] Aside from other small differences in trim, the Outback shares almost all of its components with the Legacy donor model.

When launched in Australia in 1996, the name "Legacy Outback" was shortened to "Outback", followed in other markets afterwards. In the United States, Subaru also retailed the Legacy SUS sedan between the 1997 and 2007 model years, with similar modifications to distinguish it from the equivalent Legacy model sedan.[7] The Impreza Outback Sport was introduced at the 1996 New York Auto Show, but for the 1997 model year, the donor model names were dropped, and the cars were known as the "Outback" and "Outback Sport".[8]

Subaru Outback model codes
Gen Years Sedan Wagon / Crossover SUV
1 1994–1999 BD BG
2 2000–2004 BE BH
3 2005–2009 BL BP
4 2010–2014 BR
5 2015–2019 BS
6 2020+ BT

First generation (BD/BG/BK; 1994)

First generation
Model code
  • BD
  • BG
  • BK
Also calledSubaru Legacy Grand Wagon
Subaru Legacy Lancaster (MY99)
Model years1995–1999
Body and chassis
Body style5-door station wagon
4-door sedan (USA and Australia)
Engine2.2L SOHC 135 hp (101 kW) H4
2.5L DOHC 165 hp (123 kW) H4
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,629 mm (103.5 in)
Length4,719 mm (185.8 in)
Width1,714 mm (67.5 in) (Int'l)
1,694 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
Height1,600.2 mm (63 in)

The Outback concept originated with Subaru of America, which was suffering from slumping sales in the mid-1990s partly due to a lack of an entry in the then-burgeoning sport utility vehicle market. Lacking the finances to design an all-new vehicle, Subaru decided to add body cladding and a suspension lift to their Legacy wagon. Named the Legacy Outback, after the Australian outback, actor Paul Hogan was the spokesman in the North American market, playing off the Australian name of the vehicle and portraying the vehicle as a capable and more efficient alternative to large, truck-based SUVs. Sales exceeded expectations, with Tim Mahoney, Senior Vice President of Subaru of America stating "[the Outback] saved our company."[9]

The Legacy Outback was formally introduced to the North American market at the 1994 New York Auto Show,[citation needed] and was known in Japan starting August 1995 as the Legacy Grand Wagon, and in Australia as the Outback, a trim package with normal ground clearance but an "SUV look" with two-tone paint and fog lights. In Japan the Legacy wagon was called the Legacy Touring Wagon so the "Grand Wagon" nomenclature was meant to signify a more grand, luxurious approach to equipment offered. The exterior was designed by Olivier Boulay, who was hired by Subaru on a short-term basis.

For the 1995 model year, the first year the Outback was introduced, the Outback was a trim package on the base model Legacy wagon "L", that primarily consisted of the heavy cloth interior, Berber carpet floor mats, a luggage rack and fog lights with a standard height suspension. This approach was also used on the smaller Impreza wagon, with the name Outback Sport. When the 1996 model year arrived, it gained more aggressive appearing front bumper covers, with larger rallye inspired driving lamps replacing the previously installed fog lights, taller tires with more aggressive tread, and a 7.8 in (198 mm) ground clearance, with a 7.87 in (200 mm) ground clearance in Japan. The more aggressive appearance was also used on the smaller Outback Sport while omitting the increase in ground clearance from suspension modification. This approach was inspired by the Legacy having been entered into international rallying and long distance racing events, and winning the 1990 Safari Rally in the Group N category. In 1996, the MY1997 Outback received the hood scoop installed in the engine hood (bonnet) without installing an intercooler, commonly used in conjunction with a turbocharger.

The previous generation Legacy wagon had an optional air suspension, which allowed the driver to temporarily increase the vehicle's ground clearance, however the permanent increased ride height used on the Outback proved to be more practical. Subaru sales had been declining up until that point in North American market. With the help of clever marketing, a trim level called the Outback intent on making the Subaru a more capable multi-terrain vehicle offered an affordable and fuel efficient alternative to the popular SUVs that were outselling Subaru's traditional offerings.[9] The Legacy and Outback wagons were built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive production facility in Lafayette, Indiana that also manufactured the Isuzu Rodeo and the badge engineered Honda Passport, traditional SUVs with transfer case installed four-wheel-drive and an extended ground clearance.

In September 1997, the Japanese Legacy Grand Wagon was renamed Legacy Lancaster though 1998 cars retained the Grand Wagon nameplate along with the new Lancaster plate. Earlier versions of the Outback continued to use the EJ22 four cylinder engine, while later generations introduced the larger EJ25 four cylinder engine, revised with DOHC and more horsepower. The JDM Grand Wagon and Lancaster were only available with the DOHC 2.5-litre flat-4 engine, receiving a 10 hp (7.5 kW) improvement in 1998. Some Japanese-spec Grand Wagons came with digital climate control, plaid seat upholstery, a dual-range manual transmission and a Momo black leather steering wheel. Because the only engine available in Japan was the 2.5-litre engine, and the engines displacement exceeded Japanese regulations for vehicles classified as a "compact", Japanese buyers of the Grand Wagon were liable for taxes charged to larger cars, and was regarded as a luxury vehicle in Japan. The installation of the 2.5 litre engine in Japanese models also obligated Japanese buyers to pay more annual road tax, further enhancing the luxury image.

All trim levels retained the typical AWD layouts seen in previous generation Legacy, depending on transmission choice. Manual transmission models came with a mechanical "Continuous AWD" system which was normally 50/50 front/rear, and relied on limited slip differentials to redirect power front to rear, rear to front, and from one rear wheel to the other (when fitted with a rear limited slip differential). – No USA Legacy models had front or rear limited slip differential from '92–99 – including Outback versions. Automatic transmission models had an electronically controlled AWD system that was 90/10 front/rear and redirected differing amounts of power to the rear wheels continuously. When accelerating or driving uphill, the vehicles weight shifts rearward, reducing front wheel traction, causing the transmission to automatically send torque to the rear wheels to compensate. When braking or driving downhill, the vehicle's weight shifts towards the front, reducing rear wheel traction. The transmission again compensates by sending torque to the front wheels for better steering control and braking performance. If the automatic is placed in Reverse or "1st" gear, the transmission divides the torque 50–50 to both front and rear wheels.

Legacy SUS


The Legacy SUS (short for "Sport Utility Sedan")[citation needed] was launched with a limited production test run sold in USA in 1998[citation needed] and, based on its success, was rolled out in North America only the following year. The "Limited" trim level package for the Outback wagon was standard equipment on the sedan body, with the addition of a hood scoop and trunk-mounted rear wing. Despite the appearance of the front hood scoop, the SUS was not installed with a turbocharged engine; the only engine installed from Subaru was the naturally-aspirated EJ25D engine. The "SUS" moniker was removed with the introduction of the second generation Outback Sedan. Plastic side cladding was not present on the side doors of the Outback; the lower half of the doors were painted a contrasting color also found on the front and rear bumper covers.

Second generation (BE/BH; 1999)

Second generation
Model code
  • BE (sedan)
  • BH (wagon)
Also calledSubaru Legacy Lancaster (Japan)
Subaru Legacy Outback (Europe)
Model years2000–2004
Body and chassis
Body style5-door station wagon
4-door sedan (USA only)
Engine2.5 L SOHC 165 hp (123 kW) H4
3.0 L DOHC 212 hp (158 kW) H6
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,649 mm (104.3 in)
Length4,760.0 mm (187.4 in) (wagon)
4,683.8 mm (184.4 in) (sedan)
Width1,745 mm (68.7 in) (Int'l)
1,694 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
Height1,607.8 mm (63.3 in) (2000–02 wagon)
1,579.9 mm (62.2 in) (2003–04 wagon)
1,480.8 mm (58.3 in) (sedan)

With the arrival of the third generation Legacy, the second generation Outback wagon became its own model. The Legacy SUS remained unique to North America and was realigned with the Outback Limited package, offering the sedan with an optional horizontal six-cylinder engine, also optional on the wagon. The new body style was introduced to Japan in September 1998 and called the Lancaster. The USA-spec Outback was available starting in 2000. In October of that year, Nissan introduced a Japan-only called competitor with an Outback-like appearance called the Nissan Avenir Blaster.

The raised roof was retained, but the new body was smoother, rounder, and about 3 inches longer, with a slightly longer wheelbase. A new version of Subaru's flat four-cylinder "boxer" engine was standard, offering more low-end torque, better fuel economy, and smoother performance. There were no changes to the front suspension, but there was a complete makeover of the rear suspension, which included a new design that occupied less of the backspace, adding more room in the trunk and cargo floor. Safety improvements consist of three-point seat belts for the driver and additional four passengers. There is also a child-safety-seat anchor for all of the seat positions in the back. For the front, the seat belts are positioned to better hold the driver and front passenger along with front and rear airbags installed to protect the occupants in a collision. The Subaru Outback received a good rating from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2000 for its performance in a safety demonstration of a crash test at 40 miles per hour. The Outback has been since developing to make it as safe, smooth, and convenient a ride that it can be.

The rear seat on the Outback sedan does not fold down, unlike previous generations where the rear seat had a 60:40 folding seat for extended length items. Rear headrests are now included as standard equipment on all trim levels. The ground clearance is 7.3 in (190 mm). The engine now meets California's LEV emission standard.

The Outback came standard with a 165 hp (123 kW) by SAE, 4-cylinder boxer engine, four-cylinder SOHC design with a maximum torque of (166 lb⋅ft (225 N⋅m)) that was available at a lower RPM compared to the previous generation. The 2.5 L SOHC four-cylinder engine uses a timing belt that must be replaced around 100,000 miles (160,000 km), whereas the 3.0 L six-cylinder engine uses a timing chain that does not require replacement under normal conditions.

The base model six-cylinder was offered as the H6-3.0 — its interior, and available options, were identical to those of the Outback "Limited", with the exception of a manual transmission, although many successful non-factory transmission swaps have proven that it physically bolts up without issue (but still requires some significant modifications to the electrical system). Badging for all 6-cylinder Outbacks was located on the front grille as well as on the rear of the vehicle.

In a higher trim level, known as the Outback H6-3.0 L.L. Bean in the USA, it included standard features like an in-dash six-disc CD changer, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and dual moonroofs. OnStar was available as an option on the USA-spec L.L. Bean and VDC trims. In-dash satellite navigation was offered on Japan-spec vehicles on upper trim level wagons starting with Model Year 1998 and continued to offer a Momo black leather steering wheel with genuine wood inlay, shift knob, and parking brake handle. Plaid upholstery was still offered on Japan-spec Lancasters.

The six-cylinder was also available as the Outback H6-3.0 VDC; a 200 Watt McIntosh stereo system was standard from 2001 to 2004 with Subaru's VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) system, which integrated stability control with traction control. These were some of the only vehicles ever factory-equipped with McIntosh stereo equipment. The system was also mated to a previously used Japanese-market AWD system, called VTD, in which power was split 45/55 front-to-rear in normal conditions. When wheel spin is detected, the system cuts power to the spinning wheel and directs power to those that are not. Only when necessary do the brakes slow the affected wheels, when the vehicle detects excessive oversteer or understeer. This package had more sound insulation than other trims, as well as those features found on the H6-3.0 L.L. Bean, such as dual moonroofs, OnStar, and leather upholstery. Its curb weight was just slightly higher than that of the standard H6-3.0 L.L. Bean trim, and while the VDC badging was placed on the front quarter panels only, the H6-3.0 and Outback markings were also applied as usual.


2002–2003 Subaru Outback 2.5 wagon
2002–2003 Subaru Outback H6 3.0 wagon
2001–2002 Subaru Outback H6 3.0 wagon

Australian-specification vehicles differ from cars delivered in the United States by following the Japanese models; primarily headlights, side indicators (on front quarter panels), rear taillights, front and rear bumpers, and a higher placing of the "Outback" badging on the front door bodywork (as opposed to being placed on the plastic cladding).

This generation of Outback was released in an early style with gold-colored cladding, all-in-one headlights (not dissimilar to the US model headlights), and internally a light gray cloth (sometimes speckled with various colors), a light brown wood textured dashboard and a plain instrument cluster. A nudge bar (a smaller style of bullbar or roo bar) was also available as an aftermarket option. The later style (2002–2004) was updated with silver cladding, an updated range of paint colors, multi-unit headlights (where headlight and indicators were in different sections of the unit) and internally a dark gray/black cloth, dark gray plastics, a very dark brown faint wood texture, and metal trims on the dials of the instrument cluster.

Models available included the base "Outback", the "Outback Limited" which added a sunroof and cloth/leather seats and the "Outback H6" which included the 6-cylinder engine with VDC as described in this article. The H6 was released with slightly different 16-inch wheels and available in a single metallic pearl off-white colour instead of the usual colour with gold or silver cladding. The H6 was only available in automatic, apparently due to the size of the 6-cylinder engine taking up too much space to fit the manual box and associated dual-range mechanicals.


Lancaster 6 (D type) (Front)
Lancaster 6 (D type) (Rear)

The Lancaster (as known in Japan) was released originally in September 1998 following the original release of the third-generation Legacy in May 1998. The Lancaster models were available originally in 2.5 L engine size with the E-4AT transmission or 5-Speed Manual Car. In May 2000, Subaru released the Lancaster 6, featuring Subaru's reborn Flat-6 engine. This was in production from April 2000 to May 2001 when Subaru released the facelifted Legacy models included a revised Lancaster design. These changes were seen on 'Outbacks' produced in Japan, US built Outbacks did not use the facelifted design released by Subaru Japan.

The Lancaster ADA (Active Driving Assist) was introduced in September 1999. The system featured two CCD cameras mounted either side of the rear-view mirror. The system was installed on 2.5 L models with VDC and then later in 2000 on the newer Lancaster 6 VDC models.[10]

The ADA system featured 4 key safety components:

Function Description
Lane Departure Warning ADA will detect when the vehicle is diverging from the intended course of the road. An audible sound is made through the navigation system and dashboard warnings are illuminated.
Inter-vehicle Distance Warning When the ADA detects the car fast approaching another vehicle in front, the system will warn the driver via an audible sound.
Dynamic Cruise Control Whilst cruise control is active, ADA will keep the vehicle at a safe distance from the car in front. This in turn requires no input from the driver when the car is fast approaching a vehicle ahead.
Curve Alarm / Shift Down If ADA detects an upcoming corner and calculates the car could face loss of traction or under/oversteer, ADA will warn the driver audibly and down-shift the transmission automatically to provide engine braking to the vehicle in order to slow it before entering the corner.

While Subaru's newly marketed ja:EyeSight (Japanese) system (essentially ADA) found in the 5th generation Legacy and Outback draws media attention for 'new advanced technology', the ADA system was actually a system developed back in the late 1990s along with the development of the 3rd Generation Legacy and is no means 'new technology' as such, but more a 'newly recognised' system for a more safety-conscious global market.

Third generation (BL/BP; 2003)

Third generation
Model code
  • BL (sedan)
  • BP (crossover)
Also calledSubaru Legacy Outback (Japan and Europe)
Model years2005–2009
Body and chassis
Body style5-door crossover
4-door sedan (U.S. only from 2005 to 2007)
Engine2.5L SOHC 175 hp (130 kW) H4
2.5L DOHC 243 hp (181 kW) H4 turbo
3.0L DOHC 245 hp (183 kW) H6
2.0L turbodiesel 148 hp (110 kW) H4 (Europe only)
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length4,793 mm (188.7 in) (2005–07 crossover)
4,729 mm (186.2 in) (sedan)
4,801 mm (189 in) (2008–09 crossover)
Width1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height1,605 mm (63.2 in) (2005–07 crossover)
1,501 mm (59.1 in) (sedan)
1,565 mm (61.6 in) (2008–09 base crossover)
2005–2007 Subaru Outback Limited sedan
Pre-facelift Subaru Outback
Facelift Subaru Outback
Facelift Subaru Outback
Facelift Subaru Outback

On October 22, 2003, with the debut of the third-generation Legacy at the 60th Frankfurt Auto Show, the Outback name was now being used in all markets with the launch of the third-generation Outback crossover, which until that point had only been used in export markets. Models equipped with a 3.0L EZ30D H6 were introduced at the 2004 Chicago Auto Show. The ground clearance is 8.5 in (220 mm) in the US, so as to get around fuel economy regulations,[11] and 7.8 in (200 mm) most elsewhere. In some countries, such as Canada, it varied by what engine was installed.

This generation of Outback carried the same model codes as the Legacy Wagon: BP9 for the 2.5-litre model and BPE for the 3.0-litre model. The highest trim level offered in the United States was the Outback "L.L. Bean Edition" that offered optional equipment as standard, including a wood and leather steering wheel, an auxiliary port on the stereo for external music player compatibility (2007 and later), perforated leather seats, GPS navigation, a double-sized, one-piece glass moonroof, limited-slip differential, and the 3.0-litre H6 engine. Starting with this generation, the interior retractable rear cargo cover had a separate stowage compartment in the spare tire storage area so that the cargo cover could be removed for large items and stowed out of the way inside the vehicle.

A new Outback variant for the 2005 and newer years was the Outback XT. This model came with the same turbocharged 2.5L EJ255 4-cylinder engine found in the Impreza WRX model. This engine produced 243 hp (181 kW), which was much higher than the naturally aspirated 2.5L engine, which produced 175 hp (130 kW). The XT model came equipped with any 2 of the 3 standard transmissions: a 5-speed Auto-SportShift, or a 5-speed manual.

In 2007, the Outback (along with the Ford Mondeo) won Top Gear's "Car of the Year" award.[12]

As of the 2008 model year, the Legacy wagon and Outback sedan were discontinued in the United States, leaving only the Legacy sedan and Outback crossover models. The Outback crossover also received styling revisions for the 2008 model year, most notably an enlarged, chrome-ringed grille. Additionally, in July, 2008 Subaru ceased offering a special edition L.L. Bean trim level on the Outback.[13]

For 2008, the 2.5i USA model was certified PZEV emissions and a "PZEV" badge attached to the rear of the vehicle on the bottom right hand side of the tailgate. All other models were certified LEV2. The PZEV Outback was available for sale in all 50 states, unlike other manufacturers, who usually only sell PZEV certified vehicles in states that have adopted California emission standards.



Starting May 2008, the Japanese-spec Legacy could be fitted with a new safety feature called EyeSight. It consists of two cameras, one on each side of the rear-view mirror, that use human-like stereoscopic vision to judge distances and generally keep tabs on the driver. The system helps maintain a safe distance on the highway, warns the driver during unintended lane departure, emits a wake up call should everyone else pull away from the traffic lights, and keeps an eye out for pedestrians.[14][15] SI-Cruise has been integrated into the EyeSight feature as a driver safety aid.



The Subaru EE series flat-4 diesel engine was offered in both Legacy and Outback models in Europe exclusively. These diesel models were introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2008. Identified as the "Subaru Outback 2.0D", it was offered with a 5-speed manual transmission only. The top-of-the-line JDM and EU diesel models also had a "Start/Stop" button, similar to those found in Lexus, Infiniti, Audi and other high end makers.

According to the Subaru Owners on-line newsletter dated March 2008, Subaru was planning to introduce the diesel Legacy and Outback models in the U.S., stating they were "...currently making modifications to the diesel so it meets the more stringent U.S. standards. Subaru diesel models should be domestically available in two to three years."[16][17][18] However, there has yet to be a diesel version of any Subaru model introduced into the U.S.

Fourth generation (BR/BM; 2009)

Fourth generation
Model code
  • BR
  • BM
Model years2010–2014
Body and chassis
Body style5-door crossover SUV
TransmissionLineartronic CVT
5-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase2,741 mm (107.9 in)
Length2010–12: 4,780 mm (188.2 in)
2013–: 4,801 mm (189.0 in)
Width1,821 mm (71.7 in)
Height2010–12: 1,669 mm (65.7 in)
2013–: 1,623 mm (63.9 in)
Curb weight1,659 kg (3,658 lb) (3.6R Limited)
Subaru Outback 2.5i (Pre-facelift)

Based on the fifth generation Legacy, the fourth generation Subaru Outback was introduced in April 2009 at the New York Auto Show, the fifteenth anniversary of the first Outback's introduction at the same event. The Outback was introduced in Japan May 20, 2009.[19] The "Legacy" prefix has been dropped internationally. Air Bags are offered for the driver and front passenger, side bolster airbags for front seats on the outer edge, side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers and a knee bolster air bag for the driver.

The ground clearance increases to 8.7 in (220 mm), and is the ninth Subaru vehicle to feature continuously variable transmission (CVT). The double-sized moonroof is no longer being offered, and has been reduced to a conventional size that doesn't extend over the rear seats. The turbocharged engine is also no longer offered on all international versions of the Outback. An engine coolant temperature gauge is no longer offered, replaced by a fuel economy gauge instead. When the engine temperature is below normal, an indicator light shines blue and when the engine is overheating, the light turns red. Using the key to unlock the drivers' door after locking the vehicle with the remote will set off the security system; the vehicle must be unlocked with the remote, a tradition going back to the first generation when remote keyless access was introduced.

The side windows are no longer frameless, ending a Subaru tradition started with the first generation Leone in the early 1970s. The "D" pillar on the crossover is no longer covered in glass, also ending a design tradition established with the first generation and borrowed from the Subaru XT. The front and rear bumper covers are no longer painted a contrasting color, but the plastic side body cladding continues. The external "Limited" badge has been retired on North American vehicles, and if the vehicle has the 3.6 L six-cylinder engine, the rear of the vehicle has a "3.6R" badge applied internationally. Black housing for headlights is not offered on the Outback worldwide. The Outback with 2.0 L diesel engine can be distinguished by its hood scoop and "Boxer Diesel" emblem on the rear. January 21, 2010, the Outback was introduced for sale in South Korea.

Subaru introduced improvements to the chassis that they call Dynamic Chassis Control Concept, which uses high-tensile steel in critical areas to achieve high strength with lighter weight. The front-end structure introduces Cradle Mount that isolates the suspension and engine from the passenger compartment for a smoother and quieter ride using rubber mounts. New for this generation is a double wishbone rear suspension, with all suspension links and the rear differential isolated from the rear subframe with large rubber mounts to minimize noise and vibration intruding into the passenger compartment. Subaru has also added safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control, Brake Assist, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution to the list of standard features.

In North America, the fourth generation Outback won Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year Award for 2010, and Ward's Automotive Group's 2010 Interior of the Year awards in the popular-priced car category under $29,999.[20]

North American models


Trim level designations have been modified based on the engine installed; the Subaru EJ engine 2.5 L naturally aspirated engine are labeled 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 2.5i Limited, with the Subaru EZ 6-cylinder engine identified as 3.6R, 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited. As with previous generations, leather interior is only available in 2 colors (Warm Ivory or Off-Black) on Limited trim packages on specific exterior colors, and a glass moonroof is optional only on the Limited; cloth interiors are offered in the specified colors on lower trim level packages. A 440 W, 9-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, using Dolby Pro Logic II technology and DTS Digital Sound, with Bluetooth and iPod capability is optional on the Limited trim packages. An 8 in (203 mm) voice activated GPS touch screen navigation system is optional only on the Limited. A separate Bluetooth wireless package with voice recognition, called Blueconnect, is available on lower trim levels and is not offered internationally. A Harman/Kardon-sourced stereo with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and SRS Circle Surround sound is the standard sound system provided, with four speakers on all trim levels. A dual zone digital climate control system with 6-speed fan is standard and only available on the Limited; the base and Premium model have a 4-speed fan. Base and Premium trim levels have silver metallic trim on the interior door panels and dashboard; the Limited trim package has woodgrain accents.

All trim levels are fitted with a retractable roof installed luggage rack, where the crossmembers are permanently attached but can be swung into the luggage carrier support structure when not in use, currently available only on North American models. Also, the North American Outback has lower side body claddings, which are not applied to international models (although the cladding may come on international models as a dealer-installed option). The interior retractable rear cargo cover has a separate storage compartment in the spare tire storage area so that the cargo cover can be removed for large items but stored inside the vehicle and out of the way. The rear seatbacks can be partially reclined for comfort.

  • The 2010 model year had eight exterior colors: Azurite Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Cypress Green Pearl, Graphite Gray Metallic, Harvest Gold Metallic, Satin White Pearl, Sky Blue Metallic, Steel Silver Metallic.
  • The 2011 model year had nine exterior colors: Azurite Blue Pearl, Caramel Bronze Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Cypress Green Pearl, Graphite Gray Metallic, Ruby Red Pearl, Satin White Pearl, Sky Blue Metallic, Steel Silver Metallic. The exterior color Harvest Gold Metallic was removed for the 2011 model year. The exterior colors Caramel Bronze Pearl and Ruby Red Pearl were added for the 2011 model year.
  • The 2012 model year had nine exterior colors: Caramel Bronze Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Cypress Green Pearl, Deep Indigo Pearl, Graphite Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Ruby Red Pearl, Satin White Pearl, Sky Blue Metallic. The exterior colors Azurite Blue Pearl and Steel Silver Metallic were removed for the 2012 model year. The exterior colors Deep Indigo Pearl and Ice Silver Metallic were added for the 2012 model year.
  • The 2013 model year had ten exterior colors: Brilliant Brown Pearl (available for a limited time, in a Special Appearance Package only), Caramel Bronze Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Cypress Green Pearl, Deep Indigo Pearl, Graphite Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Satin White Pearl, Twilight Blue Metallic, and Venetian Red Pearl. The exterior colors Ruby Red Pearl and Sky Blue Metallic were removed for the 2013 model year. The exterior colors Twilight Blue Metallic and Venetian Red Pearl were added for the 2013 model year.

All models are now available with painted exterior door handles, with black exterior side mirrors on the base level 2.5i, and painted mirrors on Premium and Limited. The Limited can be identified externally by simulated aluminium surround for the front foglights and matching trim piece on the bottom edges of the side door sill protector, front, and rear bumpers; the Premium and base model remain black. The grille appearance is unique on North American models so as to provide a visual similarity to the larger facelifted Tribeca and the third generation Forester. The 2.5i uses the flat-4 engine with 6-speed manual transmission or the optional Lineartronic Continuously variable transmission with steering column-mounted paddle shifters that allows the driver to select 6 "virtual gears" in manual mode. The 3.6R uses the flat-6 engine (from the Subaru Tribeca) exclusively with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The conventional automatic transmission is only available with the flat-6 engine, and the 6-speed manual transmission is not available on the 2.5i Limited. The PZEV Outback 2.5i, identified by a badge attached to the rear of the vehicle, continues to be sold in all 50 states, unlike other manufacturers who only sell PZEV certified vehicles in states that have adopted California emission standards. All other models have been certified LEV2 or ULEV.

In the States, in 2010 and 2011 Erika Davies is the voice of the Subaru Outback commercial featuring the song "I Love You, I Do".[21]

For the 2013 model year, Subaru refreshed the Outback, and it debuted at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

Japanese models


The Japanese-specification Outback is available with either the 2.5 L flat-4 or the 3.6 L flat-6 engine.[22] The EJ20 engine is no longer used in the Legacy or the Legacy Outback.[23] The trim levels are 2.5i, 2.5i L package and 3.6R and 3.6R SI-Cruise. SI-Cruise is an autonomous cruise control system that can reduce or resume a preset speed or bring the vehicle to a complete stop if the system detects a slower vehicle is being followed, without driver intervention. Air vents are installed for rear passengers at the back of the center front armrest compartment. The front hood (bonnet) and front bumper covers are not interchangeable with the North American version due to slight changes in the sheet metal. Turn signal repeaters are still integrated into the side exterior mirrors on all Japanese-spec models. Woodgrain accents are standard on the "L" package and the SI-Cruise vehicle, silver accents on lower trim levels.

SI-Drive control knob (earlier version)

SI-Drive, or Subaru Intelligent-Drive,[24] (Japanese: SI-Drive) is standard equipment on all trim versions. It is a feature that enables three distinctly different modes of vehicle performance characteristics (identified as "Sport", "Sport Sharp", and "Intelligent") by regulating the engine control unit (ECU), the automatic transmission control unit (TCU, if equipped), and by fine-tuning the electronically controlled throttle. The SI-Drive control knob is installed on the center console between the heated front seat control switches. The "Intelligent" mode makes throttle response more gradual, and decreases maximum engine power by 10 percent. The "Sport" mode allows the engine to run at higher speeds and increases fuel efficiency by 5 percent in comparison to Subaru engines without the feature. The "Sport # (Sharp)" mode makes throttle response more abrupt and enables the automatic transmission to maintain higher RPMs within a given gear's range, and minimizes the electric power steering wheel effort. When the engine is started, the default setting is the "Sport" selection.

Japanese buyers can choose two different premium level entertainment systems; they can select the previously described Harman/Kardon GPS-stereo with six speakers, or a McIntosh sourced GPS/stereo with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, a separate powered amplifier and 10 speakers. Both units are Gracenote, G-BOOK and VICS enabled, with both systems available with an internal 600 MHz 40GB HDD coupled with a digital TV tuner that can be watched when the transmission is in park and the parking brake applied. Both stereos are compatible with CD, CD-R/RW, DVD and DVD R/RW as well as MP3 and WMA music formats. A Harman/Kardon sourced stereo with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and SRS Circle Surround sound is the entry level sound system offered with six speakers and is standard equipment. The McIntosh stereo facia is offered in the trademark black with a clear plastic overlay and the center dashboard trim piece retains the brushed aluminum appearance but the color is black, with the climate controls offered in a matching black appearance, instead of the standard silver. Oddly, the Japanese version has a retractable cover for the console installed cupholders, whereas the North American version has exposed cupholders without a retractable cover. The dual-zone climate control system is standard on all trim levels.

The GPS navigation system can be displayed in a split-screen format showing both two- and three dimensions with graphic landmarks instead of a flat screen without geographical images. HID headlights are standard on all models except the base 2.5i, as well as automatic rain sensing windshield wipers and headlight washers. A smart key is available as an option coupled with two position memory seat that memorizes driver's seat positions and adjustments, exterior mirror adjustment, and climate control settings. The settings can be customized based on the smart key module being used to unlock and start the car. The Outback can be fitted with twin white LED lights installed on the interior hatch vertically surrounding the rear window, with a separate light switch for additional illumination when the rear hatch is open.

On the first anniversary of the introduction of the fourth generation, "EyeSight" was once again offered on the Japanese-spec Outback. EyeSight consists of 2 cameras with one on each side of the interior rear-view mirror, that use human-like stereoscopic vision to judge distances and generally keep tabs on the driver. The system can help maintain a safe distance on the highway, a lane departure warning system, a wake up call when traffic lights change, and even keeps an eye out for pedestrians. SI-Cruise has been integrated into the EyeSight feature as a driver safety aid.

European models


The European engine choices are the flat-4 EE20 2.0 L turbodiesel, the EJ25 2.5 L or the EZ36 3.6 L flat-6, with SI-Drive available only on the six-cylinder. Trim level packages are the 2.0D Comfort, Trend and Active, the 2.5i Comfort and Trend, or the 3.6R Exclusive. The interior colors of Warm Ivory or Off Black are offered, but the Warm Ivory interior is only available in leather. Wood accents are only available on the Exclusive trim package. The dual-zone climate control system is standard on all trim levels. The turbodiesel is available with the Warm Ivory interior with the Harman/Kardon sound system with six speakers and the satellite navigation, but the only transmission offered is the six-speed manual transmission. Cruise control, heated seats, automatic windshield wipers, HID headlights with headlight washers, heated exterior mirrors, glass moonroof and 17" wheels are standard equipment. The smart key is available only on the Exclusive or Comfort trim packages, coupled with the satellite navigation system and memory seats. The front hood (bonnet) and front bumper covers use the Japanese configuration, with turnsignal repeaters on the exterior mirrors, and standard equipment front and rear foglights. The turbodiesel and the 2.5i engines are Euro5 compliant.

2013 brings a facelift of the model with minor updates on the exterior and interior. Steering and handling is improved, and CVT is offered with the diesel engine. A new multimedia navigation unit is offered.

United Kingdom models


The Outback is available to United Kingdom buyers with a choice of the flat-4 Subaru EE turbodiesel with a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.5 L flat-4 with the CVT transmission, or the 3.6 L flat-6 engine with SI-Drive and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The trim level packages are the 2.0D SE and 2.0D SE NavPlus diesel, the 2.5i SE and the 2.5i SE NavPlus and the 3.6R. The interior is offered in black only, with leather on all trim levels. The interior trim strips on the doors and dashboard are silver on all models except the 3.6R, which has woodgrain trim. The front bumper and bonnet use the Japanese configuration, to include self-levelling HID headlights and headlight washers. The UK and Europe are offered an exterior paint selection, called Camellia Red Pearl that is not available in Japan or North America. For vehicle security, a Thatcham Category 1 perimeter alarm and immobiliser, along with a rolling code ECU engine immobiliser are standard equipment. The dual-zone climate control system is standard on all trim levels. The 2.5i and the turbodiesel engines are Euro5 compliant.

The smart key is available on NavPlus and 3.6R models only. 17" alloy wheels are standard on all models, as well as rain sensing automatic wipers, two position memory seat, heated exterior mirrors, glass moonroof, heated front seats, fog lights, and tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The Harman/Kardon stereo with 6 speakers and the rear-view backup camera is installed only on vehicles with the voice recognition NavPlus system. The standard stereo system uses an in-dash 6-disc CD auto-changer and automatic speed-sensing volume adjustment that is MP3 player compatible.

South African models


The Outback is offered with black interior; specifications are similar to European "Comfort" trim package. Outback 2.5i Premium is available with the choice of Lineartronic CVT or six-speed manual transmission, including leather trim, memory function for the driver's seat, electric sunroof, dual zone climate control and rear air vents. Satellite navigation is not offered along with the premium Harman/Kardon sound system.

Recently, the 2.0 diesel (6-speed manual only) and 3.6R models have been introduced.

Australian models

Subaru Outback 2.0D (Facelift)
Subaru Outback 2.0D (Facelift)

The Outback sold in Australia resembles the vehicle sold in Europe, with some features only available in Japan. The trim level packages are the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Premium SatNav, the 3.6R, 3.6R Premium SatNav and the diesel 2.0D, 2.0D Premium, 2.0D Premium SatNav. The engines offered are the EJ25, EZ36 and the EE20 turbodiesel. Australians can choose either the Lineartronic CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission on the EJ25, but transmission choices on the EZ36 are limited to the 5-speed automatic, and the EE20 turbodiesel is available with the 6-speed manual transmission exclusively. The Off Black interior color is standard across the range, however the Warm Ivory is available on the 3.6R, with leather interior offered on vehicles identified as "Premium". Cloth is offered on the 2.5i, 3.6R and the 2.0D. SI-Drive is only available on the 3.6R, following the international trend. The front bumper and hood (bonnet) use the Japanese configuration. The Australian EJ25 and EE20 engines are Euro4 compliant.

The dual-zone climate control system is standard on all trim levels. Sound systems offered include the McIntosh stereo with 10 speakers, a separate powered amplifier and satellite navigation provided by "WhereIs", a service provided by Telstra Corporation Ltd, or the Harman/Kardon stereo with the satellite navigation and 6 speakers, or the unit offered in North America and Europe with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and 6 speakers. The McIntosh unit sold in Australia has function buttons written in English and is different from the Japanese unit, due to Japanese characters being used on some of the functions. The Australian McIntosh or Harman/Kardon GPS-stereo packages are not Gracenote, G-BOOK and VICS enabled, and do not have the internal 600 MHz 40GB HDD coupled with a digital TV tuner. The center dashboard trim is color matched based on the stereo installed; if it has either one of the Harman/Kardon units, the trim color is silver brushed aluminum, and if the McIntosh is installed the trim color is black brushed aluminum. The climate controls are also colored either silver or black as well. Silver trim is installed on the doors and dashboard, with woodgrain available only on the 3.6R. Cruise control, heated seats, automatic windshield wipers, HID headlights with headlight washers, heated exterior mirrors, and 17" wheels are standard equipment. The smart key is available only on the 3.6R, and the glass moonroof is only offered on Premium trim packages.

Fifth generation (BS; 2014)

Fifth generation
Model codeBS
Model years2015–2019
Body and chassis
Body style5-door crossover SUV
LayoutF4 layout
RelatedSubaru Legacy (sixth generation)
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Tribeca
Subaru Exiga
TransmissionLineartronic CVT
6-speed manual
Wheelbase2,746 mm (108.1 in)
Length4,816 mm (189.6 in)
Width1,839 mm (72.4 in) (w/mirrors)
Height1,679 mm (66.1 in)
Curb weight1,630 kg (3,593 lb)
SuccessorSubaru Outback (sixth generation)
Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (Pre-facelift)
Facelift Subaru Outback
Facelift Subaru Outback

The fifth-generation Outback appeared in 2014 for the 2015 year model with the sixth generation Legacy, still badged the Legacy Outback for Japan. The sixth-generation Legacy was previewed as a concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2013;[25] the Legacy sedan was premiered at Chicago in February 2014,[26] with the Outback following at New York in April.[27] An unrelated Legacy-based "sports tourer" wagon, the Subaru Levorg, was shown in 2013 and first sold in 2014.[28] Elsewhere, the Outback became a free-standing model line of its own, independent of the Legacy, thus bringing greater product differentiation between the two.[27]

Subaru billed the exterior styling evolution as being shaped by the concept of 'more Outback', claiming to combine the strengths of passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles and capitalizing on the brand recognition gained from selling the Outback since 1995.[27] EyeSight was offered for the first time in the European market on the new Outback.[29] Chassis stiffness was improved for the fifth-generation Outback.[27] To reduce aerodynamic drag, the side view mirrors were mounted on the sheet metal of the front doors rather than the base of the A-pillar, as was the case with previous models.[30]

From 2018, some world markets also offered Subaru Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) that allow a driver to leave their high beam switched on at all times, and in combination with EyeSight, adjust a series of shutters that cover portions of the high beam light projection to prevent dazzling oncoming drivers whilst maintaining visibility of the rest of the road, or to "draw a box" of low beam around a lead vehicle that adjusts left and right working with SRH in line with that vehicle's movement. Other additions include front and side cameras along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the ability to change the colour of the combination meter illuminated rings to one of eleven different colours.[31]

The fifth-generation Subaru Outback is now classified as a 'crossover', with the body and wheelbase set larger than previous models. Other technical changes such as the larger 256 hp (191 kW) 3.6L EZ36 engine have pushed it into this classification. The Outback received a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS,[32] an ASV+ rating from JNCAP,[33] and five stars from NHTSA.[34]

The fifth-generation Outback retained the same 2.5-litre FB25 and 3.6-litre EZ36 engines from the 2013 refresh; the FB25 was slightly revised to improve mid-range torque.[27] In China, the uplevel engine was a turbocharged 2.0-litre FA20F instead of the EZ36.[35] In the United States, the Outback was only offered with a single transmission choice, Subaru's continuously variable transmission branded Lineartronic.[27] In Canada, a manual transmission was available with the 2.5-litre Base and Touring models until 2017.[36]

North American models

Model Transmission
2.5i, 2.5i Premium Lineartronic CVT

Canada only: 6 speed MT – Touring in place of Premium with added features

2.5i Limited, PZEV (all trim levels) Lineartronic CVT
3.6R Limited Lineartronic CVT

Japanese models

Model Transmission
2.5l DOHC Legacy Outback Lineartronic CVT
2.5l DOHC Legacy Outback Limited Lineartronic CVT


Southeast Asian models


Model available as of December 2, 2014, the fifth generation Subaru Outback was officially launched in Southeast Asian region. The fifth generation Outback debuted in the 2015 Manila International Auto Show in the Philippines. Motor Image Group, the distributor of Subaru automobiles in Southeast Asia, releases the four-cylinder variant of the Outback.

Model Transmission
2.5i-S Lineartronic CVT
3.6R-S Lineartronic CVT

European models

Model Transmission
2.5i Active Lineartronic CVT
2.5i Ridge Lineartronic CVT
2.5i Summit Lineartronic CVT

United Kingdom models

Model Transmission
2.5i SE, 2.5i SE Premium Lineartronic CVT
2.0D SE, 2.0D SE Premium Lineartronic CVT or Manual

South African models


The Subaru Outback is available in South Africa in two derivatives, the lower 2.5i-s ES and the 3.6R-S ES as the flagship. The car does not make use of the new FB25 but rather the old N/A EJ25. The 2.5l engine produces 129 kW (175 PS) at 5800 rpm and 235 N⋅m (24 kg⋅m) at 4000 rpm and the 3.6R engine produces 191 kW (260 PS) at 6000 rpm and 350 N⋅m (36 kg⋅m) at 4400 rpm. All derivatives are equipped with the Subaru Eyesight System.

Australian models

Model Transmission
2.5i, 2.5i Premium Lineartronic CVT
3.6R Lineartronic CVT
2.0D SE, 2.0D SE Premium Lineartronic CVT or Manual


Euro NCAP test results
Subaru Outback 2.0D 'Eyesight' (2014)[38]
Test Points %
Adult occupant: 32 85%
Child occupant: 43 87%
Pedestrian: 10 73%
Safety assist: 25 70%
IIHS scores[39]
Small overlap front (driver) Good
Moderate overlap front (original test) Good
Side (original test) Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints and seats Good
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle Superior
Child seat anchors (LATCH) ease of use Marginal

Sixth generation (BT; 2020)

Sixth generation
Subaru Outback Limited (US, pre-facelift)
Model codeBT
Also calledSubaru Legacy Outback (Japan)
Model years2020–present
Body and chassis
Body style5-door SUV
PlatformSubaru Global Platform
RelatedSubaru Legacy (seventh generation)
Subaru Ascent
Power output
  • 130 kW (174 hp; 177 PS) (1.8T)
  • 138 kW (185 hp; 188 PS) (2.5)
  • 191 kW (256 hp; 260 PS) (2.4T)
Transmission8-Speed Simulated Lineartronic CVT
Wheelbase2,745 mm (108.1 in)[40]
Length4,860 mm (191.3 in)[40]
Width1,855 mm (73.0 in)[40]
Height1,680 mm (66.1 in)[40]
PredecessorSubaru Outback (fifth generation)

The revised Outback was premiered at the New York International Auto Show on April 17, 2019, and went on sale at United States dealerships starting in Q3 of 2019 for the 2020 model year alongside the Legacy sedan. Changes and features mirror those made to the Legacy,[41] and the raised suspension of the Outback provides a minimum ground clearance of 8.7 in (220 mm).[40] In North America, the engine options, like the Legacy, are the 2.5-litre FB25D flat four that produces 182 hp (185 PS; 136 kW) at 5,800 rpm and the turbocharged 2.4 litre FA24F flat four found on XT models that produces 260 hp (194 kW; 264 PS) at 5,600 rpm.

The sixth-generation Outback was marketed outside of North America starting in 2021. The Outback was released in Australia in February 2021, exclusively powered by the naturally-aspirated FB25D engine.[42] On March 23, 2021, TC Subaru Thailand officially introduced the all-new Subaru Outback SUV, imported from Japan, powered by Subaru's naturally-aspirated FB25D 'boxer' engine that produces 188 PS and 245 Nm.[43] The Outback was released in Japan in October 2021 as the Legacy Outback, powered exclusively by the turbocharged petrol CB18 engine.[44]

Outback Wilderness


The Subaru Outback Wilderness, launched for 2022 for the North American market, is a more off-road focused version of the standard Outback. It is the first vehicle to be launched under Subaru's new "Wilderness" brand. The suspension is raised to 9.5 inches (240 mm), 0.8 in (20 mm) more than the standard Outback's 8.7 inches (220 mm) of ground clearance. All-terrain tires wrapped around black 17-inch wheels are also added to the Outback Wilderness. There is more extensive plastic body cladding as well as integrated tow hooks. The roof rack on the Outback Wilderness is changed and is rated for up to 700 pounds (320 kg). The Wilderness has a shorter final drive ratio of 4.44:1 compared to the 4.11:1 in the standard Outback. The only engine option for the Wilderness is the turbocharged 2.4L FA24F 4-cylinder boxer engine. Interior changes include orange stitching and accents as well as water resistant "StarTex" seats, also found on the Onyx edition Outback.[45]

2023 model year updates


Revealed at the New York Auto Show in April 2022, the 2023 Subaru Outback received several mid-cycle changes for the North American market.[46] The front fascia was redesigned with new headlights, a honeycomb-style grille, and cladding on the front corners. Inside, the Starlink multimedia system was updated with an optional 11.6-inch screen and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The EyeSight system added a wide-angle camera for the Touring trim level. Also, the Onyx trim level became available with the base engine, in addition to the previously offered turbo engine.

For Australia, the 2023 Outback retained the same front end as before. However, the turbocharged engine was added to the lineup in Sport XT and Touring XT trim levels, with unique six-LED fog lights.[47] There, it produces 184 kW (247 hp) and 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) torque. The 2023 Outback for Australia also received the same interior multimedia upgrades, including the available 11.6-inch screen.


ANCAP scores[48]
Adult occupant 33.56/38.00
Child occupant 44.62/49.00
Vulnerable road user 45.40/54.00
Safety assist 15.40/16.00
Euro NCAP test results
Subaru Outback 2.5i-L 'Eyesight' (2021)[49]
Test Points %
Adult occupant: 33.6 88%
Child occupant: 44 89%
Pedestrian: 45.4 84%
Safety assist: 15.3 95%
IIHS scores[50]
Small overlap front (driver) Good
Small overlap front (passenger) Good
Moderate overlap front (original test) Good
Side (original test) Good
Side (updated test) Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints and seats Good
Headlights (varies by trim/option) Good Acceptable Marginal
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle Superior
Front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle (Day) Superior
Child seat anchors (LATCH) ease of use Good+

Outback Sport


Subaru also released the first generation Impreza-based Outback Sport in 1994 to North America only for the 1995 model year. Derived from the Impreza hatchback, the Outback Sport initially featured an off-road appearance package with two-tone paint; otherwise, the mechanics of the platform were unchanged.

First generation (1994–2001)

Outback Sport (first generation) 1994–2001

The first Impreza Outback Sport was introduced for the 1995 model year as a trim line based on the "L Active Safety Group", which included all-wheel-drive and front and rear disc anti-lock brakes. The standard engine was a 1.8-litre EJ18 with a manual transmission, but an automatic transmission was available exclusively with the larger 2.2-litre EJ22 from the Legacy. In addition, the Outback Sport received a roof rack and mud flaps, but ground clearance was unchanged from the Impreza wagon on which it was based at 6.3 in (160 mm).[51] The 1997 model year Outback Sport had larger tires than the Impreza and an increased ground clearance of 6.4 to 6.5 in (160 to 170 mm).[52]

The Outback Sport was priced lower and aimed at a younger buyer than the Legacy-based Outback. Advertisements for the Outback Sport featured an actor who referred to Paul Hogan as his "uncle".[53]

Second generation (2001–2007)

Outback Sport (second generation) 2001–2007

Subaru in North America launched the subsequent generation in 2001 for the 2002 model year based on the second generation Impreza. In Australia, the Impreza RV incorporated similar styling changes.[54]

Third generation (2007–2011)

Outback Sport (third generation) 2007–2011

Subaru in North America launched the subsequent generation in 2007 for model year 2008 based on the third generation Impreza.

Subaru introduced the Impreza XV for the European and Australian markets at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The XV adopted the same changes that were made for the USDM Outback Sport, but the concept XV used the 2.0-litre turbodiesel EE20 or 2.0-litre turbo EJ20 engines available in other European Impreza variants.[55] In Australia, the XV replaced the RV line, equipped with the naturally aspirated EJ20.[56] It is succeeded by the Subaru XV/Crosstrek.


Calendar year United States[57] Canada[58] Japan[59] Australia
1994 1,238
1995 14,805
1996 48,208
1997 54,594
1998 56,732
1999 60,575
2000 64,582
2001 70,605
2002 60,974
2003 54,930
2004 62,594
2005 59,570
2006 59,109
2007 56,078
2008 44,262
2009 55,356
2010 93,148 6,401
2011 104,085 7,072
2012 117,553 7,049 4,408[60]
2013 118,049 6,120
2014 138,790 8,688
2015 152,294 9,992 10,927[61]
2016 182,898 11,255 12,207[62]
2017 188,886 11,490 11,340[63]
2018 178,854 10,954 10,378[64]
2019 181,178 10,972 7,210[65]
2020 153,290 12,556 3,424 4,928[66]
2021 154,623 11,264 1,849 10,490[67]
2022 147,262 5,838 9,697 9,739[60]
2023 161,812 6,460 12,903[68]


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