With a relatively low curb weight and a redesigned four-cylinder engine, the latest Subaru Outback earns better fuel economy in its base version.
You'll want the continuously variable transmission to get the highest EPA ratings. In that form, the Outback is scored at 24 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway, with a combined rating of 26 mpg. That's an increase of 2 mpg combined over the prior version. Anecdotally, we've found it easy to get near the high end of Subaru's fuel economy numbers, too.
The more powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine doesn't do as well, with EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and a combined gas-mileage number of just 20 mpg. And on a separate green note, it's worth noting that Subaru offers a Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (PZEV) equipment package for a few hundred dollars on cars sold in those states where it's not required equipment.