2011 Subaru Outback Styling

7.0
Styling
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.

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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