2017 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5: Test Drive

We test the 2017 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 on and off-road to see why it’s setting sales records against traditional SUVs. Full review of performance, handling, off-road traction and mpg.

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  1. I like this guy. And I like this car!!! The mogul test IS what I needed to see. My concern was traction and having the tires that needed to spin, spin. I live in Maine, so I can go from dry roads one day, to black ice up hill, with no salt or sand the next. I NEED my tires to turn. This car will apply traction to the road when other foolish AWD systems will not. And comfort? Excellent, I went and test drove the car after watching this (and made a deposit ;D). I am 6'2 and actually adjusted the seat fore ward when I got in. The seats adjust well, and there are so many convenience factors that are standard. Look at the oil filter placement under the hood, never have I owned a vehicle with such an owner friendly maintenance design. 5 years down the road when the dealership stops doing things for free, I can do them all on my own. Oil, filters, fluids, open engine and able to be cleaned without wondering what you're spraying down. And the 8.7 inches of clearance is just enough for me to spray the bottom of my car with fluid film so  it wont rust over the years. SO what if the 4 cylinder doesn't throw you into your seat, you would be impressed with what it does do when you need it. And if gas goes back up to $4.00/gallon, you will be glad your wagon gets 30 mpg. Drive it gingerly and it will. Its SAFE, incredibly reliable, surprisingly capable, very comfortable and SUPER affordable. Its the smart choice for every reason, and if people jab you about having a Subaru wagon, let them take it for a drive. This is a luxury car. The luxury of impeccable reliability, outstanding ability to drive wherever you want to go, user friendly convienience inside and outside of the car and the smile you ALWAYS get starting up the engine before you go wherever it is you're going. It changed my mind quickly and now I am thankful that this is the decision I am making.

  2. I've always liked the Outback, but it's overkill for my needs here in an urban environment in Florida. I'd much rather have a Legacy wagon with FWD. Would also make it more affordable. Subarus sell really well in the northeast because of the AWD, but Subarus are really weak sellers in the southeastern US. We don't want or have to pay for AWD. Sad because I love Subarus.

  3. As much as I like the redesigned Outback, a couple of test drives revealed the following.
    Steering wheel covers the upper gauges.  Initially did not realize the car was equipped with a gas mileage gauge.  Completely covered by the steering wheel. 
    Spongy brakes.  Brakes felt spongy.  At a stop with the trans in park, I could push the brake pedal nearly to the floor. 
    Wind noise from left side mirror.  Shame that was not noticed during testing after the redesign.
    Unable to move the mirrors outward enough to cover the blind spot. 
    I always felt the engine is underpowered.  Felt that way with the previous generation, still feel that way about the new generation.
    Hate the head rests.  Same is true with most of the headrests in cars.  Why oh why must the head rests be canted forward?  Back of our heads are not shaped that way.
    So many, many good features, so many pointless features that I do not want nor need. 
    I will just keep looking.  Shame, has one of the most comfortable seats, headrest aside.

  4. Excellent review! What are your thoughts on the longevity/reliability of the CVT transmission? I have a 2005 Pilot with 213,000 miles that I just gave to my son. Can I expect the same longevity from this bad boy? Thanks Semper Fi

  5. I had a 2010 Outback with the H6 engine. Whenever they switched to the use of regular unleaded for the H6. And here in the mountains of the Pacific NW. It got well over the rated HWY fuel economy. I suspected it was due to the bigger H6 engine not having to work as hard to move that vehicle. It was a nice surprise to say the least.

  6. Thanks for your review Sam. This was one of the 2 reviews I saw about the Outback that most helped me to know what the car was about.

    Cheers and greetings from the other side of the border of the Sonoran desert.

  7. I have a 2017 with 18k on it, and I've never been happier with a car, and I've owned over 20 really fine cars. Yes, if it came with a 6 speed manual and the turbo diesel that you can get everywhere BUT the US, I'd be over the moon, but… The car is just rock solid – never a single rattle, amazing in all weather situations, super comfortable and great on gas. A buddy of mine with a Lexus RX 350 drove it and said that it drove and rode better than his Lexus at HALF the price and 5 more MPG overall. Good work Subaru! oh BTW for 2018 they've added Apple Car Play, etc…

  8. Hey Sam, I am going through the process of choosing the right vehicle, and always loving Subaru, your really great in your review, your very professional and personal with the honesty you have great job….. thanks

  9. I don’t have an outback but I do have a 2017 Forester 2.5 with cvt. I chose the cvt over the 6 speed manual. The manual was sluggish and the peddles were too close. This is my first cvt and I prefer it over the 6 speed traditional auto trans my vw Tiguan had.

  10. Just bought a 2017 Outback 2.5L yesterday. It's great! Thanks for a really well done and comprehensive review. It makes me feel satisfied that we chose this vehicle. I'm sure we won't regret our purchase.

  11. After watching your review of the 2018 crosstrek, and how you gave the chassis a bad grade, it's surprising that the older outback scored better on the dirt road.

  12. I used to be a Chevy and Ford man.
    8 1/2 years ago, my wife and I got a 2010 Outback. WOW!
    Since then, I've had a 2012 Outback of my own, and now have this '17 Outback in Touring.
    My wife's 2010 broke in at 158 mph, the 2012 at 128 mph, and my '17 at 138 mph. All H4 Boxers w/ the CVT.
    Love 'em.

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