2018 Subaru Outback: New Rugged Exterior, Cozier Interior


The 2018 Subaru Outback has a lot going for it that seems to be at odds with one another. On the outside, new front and back styling give the sport utility wagon a more rugged appearance. But on the inside, a suite of new creature comforts wants to make sure the driver and passengers are cozy.

The Subaru Outback is the Japanese automaker’s crown jewel. Along with being the company’s best-selling vehicle,  the Outback has chalked up month-over-month growth for, oh, the past five years.

Die-hard Subaru enthusiasts will be sure to zero-in on any changes. Here’s what’s in store when the weekend warrior wagon makes its debut at the New York International Auto Show.

2018 Subaru Outlook at First Glance

Don’t worry, they didn’t bother the iconic hexagonal Subaru grille. However, the lower grille was expanded to help pronounce the above grille.

The C-shaped headlights don’t extend back as far, and are nearly flush with the top of the grille. They also feature daytime LED running lights.

Subaru came up with new front cladding improvements to help protect the car from anything that might get kicked up on or off the pavement.

Inside the Updated Subaru

Depending on the trim – and there are four trims with the 2018 Subaru Outback – a varying degree of materials and multimedia offerings will pamper drivers and passengers.

For technology, at the top you’ve got the available 8-inch Starlink multimedia system. The standard is the 6.5-inch screen.

The updated Subaru Starlink system has Bluetooth wireless capabilities and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Starlink cloud apps could truly help enhance an outdoor experience. eBird gives tips on local bird sightings and locations. Glympse offers real-time location sharing. RightTrack keeps tabs on your driving habits and recommends improvements. To be sure, however, some drivers will not be very receptive of the advice.

The 2018 Subaru Outback boasts two microphones for much greater voice command recognition. The technology is the same used by the Dragon Diction app – a media industry standard.

The 2018 Subaru Outback has the most interior space in an increasingly competitive sport-utility wagon segment. There is just over 108 cubic feet of total passenger space, with 35.5 cubic feet of behind the back seat.


Cargo space jumps to 73.3 cubic feet with the standard 60/40-split backseat folded down.

A Real Power Wagon

Two engines help move the 2018 Subaru Outback, and both pack enhanced performance. A double overhead cam 2.5-liter Boxer engine produces 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque on the Outback 2.5i.

A 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer produces 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque on the Outback 3.6R.

Enough to Keep Them Coming Back?

The Outback has been around for over 20 years. It was the first Sport Utility Wagon and ushered in the age of crossovers.

As more and more car companies post less-than-stellar sales numbers, the Outback has maintained a steady growth. But is the 2018 Subaru Outback, which will be available this summer, enough to keep tenacious Subaru fans satisfied?