For 2010, Subaru has entirely redesigned its legendary Outback, moving it firmly into midsize territory and making it an even stronger competitor to such sport-utility crossovers as the Toyota Venza, Volvo XC60, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new 2010 Subaru Outback comes in three trim levels—base, Premium, and Limited—and offers two engines, a 2.5-liter flat four and a 3.6-liter flat six. Prices start at $22,995 for the base 2.5i model with six-speed manual transmission, rising to $30,995 for the 3.6R Limited model with all the bells and whistles. TheCarConnection.com drove several different 2010 Outbacks to produce this hands-on road test.
Subaru has given the 2010 Outback bolder styling and what it calls "SUV details”— exaggerated wheel arches, a thicker rear roof pillar, and chunkier rear side windows. It added 2.8 inches to the wheelbase, upped the width by 2.0 inches, and made it a whopping 4.1 inches higher, but actually kept it almost an inch shorter than the previous model. And at 8.7 inches, ground clearance is the highest ever, besting rivals that include the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The front styling may be the Outback’s least successful aspect, with very large headlights swept well back into the fenders. Inside, the Outback is modern without being outlandish, with a slightly curved sweep to the center console.