2013 Subaru Outback vs. Its Competition

2013 Subaru Outback
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The 2013 Subaru Outback probably demonstrates why the U.S.

market has virtually no wagons left.

It's somewhere between a wagon and an SUV, but the mix attracts close to 100,000 buyers a year.

With standard all-wheel drive and car-like handling, it has few direct competitors--and many buyers never consider any other car.

Every other crossover has less room inside, worse gas mileage, and inferior handling.

Outback buyers can often afford the Volvo XC60 crossover or XC70 all-wheel drive wagon, but the slightly plainer Subaru will save them $10,000 or much more.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is thirstier, with no four and an optional V-8, and the most fuel-efficient Ford Explorer with the EcoBoost four is slow--and not available with all-wheel drive.

The Toyota Venza, based on a car platform, offers an appealing high seating position, but it's smaller inside and all-wheel drive isn't standard.

Plus, how many competitors were designed specifically to handle a pair of medium dog carriers side by side in the load bay?

2013 Subaru Outback2013 Subaru OutbackBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Explorer Sport2013 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT82013 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings2013 Toyota Venza2013 Toyota VenzaBrowse Used Listings2013 Volvo XC702013 Volvo XC70Browse Used Listings2013 Volvo XC602013 Volvo XC60Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
The 2013 Subaru Outback is practical above all: it's capable in all kinds of conditions, and has great interior space and standard all-wheel drive.
8.8
The Ford Explorer trades some trail-riding and towing for on-road driving lessons, and comes out fluent.
8.4
The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee blurs the SUV-crossover line expertly; better transmissions are at the top of the wish list.
7.4
The Toyota Venza gets substantial improvements in entertainment and connectivity for 2013; otherwise it remains a comfortable, practical, and somewhat stylish pick for those who don't need a rugged SUV.
8.2
The 2013 Volvo XC70 hits a family sweet spot as a vehicle that packs the accommodations of a station wagon and advanced safety-tech features into the chunkier, tougher image and ability of a utility vehicle.
8.6
The 2013 Volvo XC60 carries on the tradition of Volvo wagons--even their top-of-the-class safety--only in a modern, fashion-conscious crossover.
MSRP From     
$23,495$29,100$27,695$27,850$33,600$34,350
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas Flat 4Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas I4Gas I6Gas I6
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle - 4WDSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility4WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4-Door Wagon H4 Manual 2.5iFWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door Laredo4-Door Wagon I4 FWD LE (GS)AWD 4-Door Wagon 3.2LAWD 4-Door 3.2L
Drivetrain     
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
575555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/A4N/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
WagonSport Utility VehicleSport UtilityWagonWagonWagon
Transmission     
ManualAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Ford Explorer2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Toyota Venza2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Volvo XC702013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Volvo XC60