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2012 Subaru Outback vs. Its Competition

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Our expert editors build comparisons like this one to make it easy for you to understand the small handful of cars you should compare to whatever car you are already looking at. You get general thoughts on each car you should consider plus an easy way to compare basic information for yourself.
2012 Subaru Outback 4-door Wagon H4 Auto 2.5i Limited Angular Front Exterior View
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TCC Rating
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If the 2012 Subaru Outback is a niche vehicle, it's a large niche, as sales have risen steadily since the latest model was launched.

Many Outback buyers never consider any other car, and there are few direct competitors.

Few wagons remain on the U.S.

market, let alone all-wheel drive wagons, and every other crossover has worse handling, less room, and/or lower gas mileage.

The car-based Toyota Venza has less room inside, though its high seating position is appealing and its fuel-saving four can be ordered with all-wheel drive.

Volvo's XC60 crossover and XC70 all-wheel-drive wagon offer a dose of Swedish style and safety, but at prices at least $10,000 higher and generally much more than that.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer, both new last year, may be the Outback's highest-volume and least esoteric competitors.

The Ford is massive inside and out, though it offers a fuel-sipping four-cylinder EcoBoost engine--but not with all-wheel drive--while the Jeep has less room inside and a range of much thirstier engines.

2012 Subaru Outback 4-door Wagon H4 Auto 2.5i Limited Angular Front Exterior View2012 Subaru Outback2012 Ford Explorer2012 Ford Explorer2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT82012 Jeep Grand Cherokee2012 Toyota Venza 4-door Wagon I4 FWD XLE (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota Venza2012 Volvo XC70 AWD 4-door Wagon 3.2L Angular Front Exterior View2012 Volvo XC702011 Volvo XC60 FWD 4-door 3.2L Angular Front Exterior View2012 Volvo XC60
Quick Specs
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TCC Rating
Like any all-around athlete, the 2012 Subaru Outback blends capable performance and rewarding handling, surprising interior volume and great versatility, with versatility and enough high-end options to keep most buyers quite happy.
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TCC Rating
It's a rifle shot at the heart of the crossover market: the 2012 Ford Explorer gives any SUV loyalist a reason to leap off their very high horse.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee only gets better this year with the addition of the SRT8's thundering HEMI V-8.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Toyota Venza isn't pulse-raising, but its smooth styling and calming, practical, comfortable interior provide just what some families or empty-nesters want.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Volvo XC70 crossover offers safety and wagon-based practicality; it's a useful alternative to taller, blockier crossovers and sport-utility vehicles.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Volvo XC60 is an attractive, well-designed family luxury vehicle, with a class-leading roster of innovative safety and tech features.
MSRP From     
$23,295Browse Used Listings$28,280Browse Used Listings$27,195Browse Used Listings$27,425Browse Used Listings$32,950Browse Used Listings$33,300Browse Used Listings
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Gas Flat 4Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas I4Gas I6Gas I6
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle - 4WDSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4-Door Wagon H4 Manual 2.5iFWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door Laredo Altitude4-Door Wagon I4 FWD LE (SE)AWD 4-Door Wagon 3.2LFWD 4-Door 3.2L
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
WagonSport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle4 Door Wagon5 Door Wagon5 Door Wagon
ManualAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/manual shift
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