2014 Subaru Outback vs. Its Competition

2014 Subaru Outback 4-door Wagon H6 Auto 3.6R Limited Side Exterior View
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The 2014 Subaru Outback manages to attract close to 100,000 buyers a year with a vehicle that's a halfway mix of crossover and old-style wagon.

The car-like handling and roadholding, combined with standard all-wheel drive and 9 inches of ground clearance, make the Outback comfortable and spacious on smooth roads and remarkably capable off them.

Any competing crossover of the same size has worse handling, lower gas mileage, and less room inside.

The Volvo XC60 crossover is far more stylish, and far more expensive.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is thirstier, especially fitted with a V-8, and the high fuel efficiency of its new optional EcoDiesel model will set you back several thousand dollars more.

Fitted with the most efficient EcoBoost four, the heavy Ford Explorer is just slow--and that engine precludes all-wheel drive.

Finally, there's the Toyota Venza--with a high seating position, but also based on a car chassis.

Its drawbacks are that it's smaller inside--unlike the Outback, it won't carry two medium dog carriers side by side--and all-wheel drive isn't standard.

The Outback's continuing unique mix of capability, durability, and aggressive pricing helps to explain why many buyers never consider any other vehicle.

2014 Subaru Outback 4-door Wagon H6 Auto 3.6R Limited Side Exterior View2014 Subaru OutbackBrowse Used Listings2014 Ford Explorer2014 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT2014 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings2014 Volvo XC702014 Volvo XC70Browse Used Listings2014 Volvo XC602014 Volvo XC60Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
Above all else, the 2014 Subaru Outback remains an eminently practical and capable vehicle, with generous interior space both for people and their gear.
8.6
The 2014 Ford Explorer does build on its heritage, but on-road fluency and passenger comfort are clearly at center stage.
8.4
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee adds great turbodiesel fuel economy to a resume already blushing with talent.
8.2
The 2014 Volvo XC70 is an upscale option for active families–offering advanced safety technology in a tough, luxurious, utilitarian vehicle.
8.4
The 2014 Volvo XC60 keeps in sync with Volvo's reputation for safe, luxurious wagons–just in a taller crossover package.
MSRP From    
$23,495$30,015$29,495$34,500$34,850
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded I-6Regular Unleaded I-6
EPA Class    
Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WDStandard Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDStandard Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD
Style Name    
4-Door Wagon H4 Manual 2.5iFWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door LaredoFWD 4-Door Wagon 3.2LFWD 4-Door 3.2L
Drivetrain    
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
57555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilityWagonSport Utility
Transmission    
Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Subaru Outback vs. 2014 Ford Explorer2014 Subaru Outback vs. 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee2014 Subaru Outback vs. 2014 Volvo XC702014 Subaru Outback vs. 2014 Volvo XC60