The 2014 Subaru Outback covers the basics well, offering standard all-wheel-drive and capabilities that make up for a lack of some of the high-end electronic features and luxury options offered by certain competitors. The base price is around $24,000, and even top trim levels rarely exceed $32,000, so the Outback represents good value for money on the practical, sensible, durable end of the scale.
Every Outback comes standard with tilting and telescoping steering; air conditioning; cruise control; power windows, locks, and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack, Bluetooth and audio streaming, and iPod connectivity; steering-wheel audio and cruise controls; automatic headlights; and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
The mid-level Premium trim adds to that a 10-way power driver seat; 17-inch wheels; leather trim for the shifter and steering wheel; and body-color side mirrors. It also adds as standard a previously optional All-Weather Package with seat and mirror heaters, along with a de-icer for the windshield wipers. That package, popular in colder climates, remains an available option on base models. Premium models do offer the option of an excellent 440-Watt Harman/Kardon audio system with nine speakers, and a 4.3-inch display, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio and four months of free service.
The very top-of-the-line Limited models add a four-way power adjustable passenger seat; dual-zone climate control (with new rear air-conditioning outlets this year); and perforated leather upholstery. There's also an electroluminescent instrument cluster integrated with the 3.5-inch multi-information display screen that shows EyeSight functions if that driver-assistance feature is fitted.Options for various trim levels include a voice-activated GPS navigation system with a 7-inch LCD display, a rearview camera for reversing, and real-time satellite traffic. A separate Power Moonroof Package integrates the rearview camera, and includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror as well. And active owners will also prize the huge selection of storage racks and containers designed to fit the Outback's roof-rail system, offered both by Subaru and many aftermarket specialists.