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2011 Subaru Outback Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Styling
BASE INVOICE
$21,848
BASE MSRP
$23,195
On Styling
Subaru seems to have taken a chunkier direction with the Outback after the rugged-chic SUV look has fallen out of fashion. Overall, the styling and design isn't as cohesive as it could be.
7.0 out of 10
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STYLING | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

in profile this is one handsome station wagon, with tough-looking wheel arches and a roofline that sweeps naturally back
Popular Mechanics

not huge fans of the blocky wheel arches
Car and Driver

Given free reign to craft an Outback-specific body, Subaru designers evolved the shape away from a pure station wagon and more towards a crossover/SUV
Automobile Magazine

shiny faux-wood trim is among the worst of its kind
Cars.com

With a new SUV-size scale, the Outback now dwarfs its former competitors
Edmunds' Inside Line

The Subaru Outback was completely redesigned last year and given what Subaru 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. The rest of the design, with the exaggerated height and, yes, those SUV details, can come across as a little too cluttered and deliberate—a Legacy wagon on steroids, which is essentially what it is.

Inside, the 2011 Outback has styling that's pleasant and uncontroversial but doesn't take any chances. Overall, the swooping instrument-panel design is a step in the right direction for Subaru, and it's hard to find fault with any single element of the layout.

Conclusion

Subaru seems to have taken a chunkier direction with the Outback after the rugged-chic SUV look has fallen out of fashion. Overall, the styling and design isn't as cohesive as it could be.

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