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2012 Subaru Outback Features

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There are three major trim levels for the 2012 Subaru Outback: the base 2.5i, the Premium, and the Limited. Even the simplest 2.5i has some nice standard features, including a steering column that telescopes as well as tilts, an outdoor temperature display, and three interior 12-Volt power plugs. Air conditioning and cruise control also come standard, and the base audio system has four speakers and an aux input jack.

Remarkably, both Premium and the high-end Limited trim levels can be ordered with any of the three engine/transmission combinations: the 2.5-liter four with six-speed manual, the four with the LinearTronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), or the 3.6-liter flat six with a conventional five-speed automatic. Moving from 2.5i to Premium adds a power-adjustable driver's seat and standard fog lamps, among other features. Moving up again to the Limited trim level adds in dual-zone climate control and a standard stereo from Harman Kardon.

The 2012 Subaru Outback offers remarkable value for the money, with trim levels and features that include a few luxury and comfort items, but more often simply add practicality.

One of the 2012 Outback's more attractive features is the low starting base price of the 2.5i model, which is roughly $24,000. A fully optioned-out Limited model with the large engine still comes in around $35,000. That's at least $10,000 less than the high-end Jeep Grand Cherokee, and probably $20,000 lower than a comparable Volvo.

Options on the Outback are less high-tech than they are practical. The very popular all-weather package adds heated seats, heated outside mirrors, and windshield-wiper de-icing. Other available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker, 440-Watt premium sound system from Harman Kardon that includes  satellite radio, a power moonroof, and a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat. Optional on the Limited trim level is a navigation system with an 8-inch dashboard display screen that also displays the picture from the backup camera. Oddly, though, getting that navigation system requires also ordering the moonroof--peculiar, to say the least.

One option that regrettably isn't available on any Subaru Outback is a memory function for seat and mirror settings for multiple drivers, something that's increasingly standard on high-end cars and a feature we heartily recommend for any family vehicle.

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