2013 Subaru Outback vs. Its Competition

2013 Subaru Outback image

The 2013 Subaru Outback probably demonstrates why the U.S.

market has virtually no wagons left.

It's somewhere between a wagon and an SUV, but the mix attracts close to 100,000 buyers a year.

With standard all-wheel drive and car-like handling, it has few direct competitors--and many buyers never consider any other car.

Every other crossover has less room inside, worse gas mileage, and inferior handling.

Outback buyers can often afford the Volvo XC60 crossover or XC70 all-wheel drive wagon, but the slightly plainer Subaru will save them $10,000 or much more.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is thirstier, with no four and an optional V-8, and the most fuel-efficient Ford Explorer with the EcoBoost four is slow--and not available with all-wheel drive.

The Toyota Venza, based on a car platform, offers an appealing high seating position, but it's smaller inside and all-wheel drive isn't standard.

Plus, how many competitors were designed specifically to handle a pair of medium dog carriers side by side in the load bay?

2013 Subaru Outback image2013 Subaru Outback
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2013 Ford Explorer image2013 Ford Explorer
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2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee image2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2013 Toyota Venza image2013 Toyota Venza
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2013 Volvo XC70 image2013 Volvo XC70
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2013 Volvo XC60 image2013 Volvo XC60
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Quick Specs
The 2013 Subaru Outback is practical above all: it's capable in all kinds of conditions, and has great interior space and standard all-wheel drive.
The Ford Explorer trades some trail-riding and towing for on-road driving lessons, and comes out fluent.
The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee blurs the SUV-crossover line expertly; better transmissions are at the top of the wish list.
The Toyota Venza gets substantial improvements in entertainment and connectivity for 2013; otherwise it remains a comfortable, practical, and somewhat stylish pick for those who don't need a rugged SUV.
The 2013 Volvo XC70 hits a family sweet spot as a vehicle that packs the accommodations of a station wagon and advanced safety-tech features into the chunkier, tougher image and ability of a utility vehicle.
The 2013 Volvo XC60 carries on the tradition of Volvo wagons--even their top-of-the-class safety--only in a modern, fashion-conscious crossover.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Gas Flat 4Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas I4Gas I6Gas I6
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle - 4WDSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility4WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4-Door Wagon H4 Manual 2.5iFWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door Laredo4-Door Wagon I4 FWD LE (GS)AWD 4-Door Wagon 3.2LAWD 4-Door 3.2L
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
WagonSport Utility VehicleSport UtilityWagonWagonWagon
ManualAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Ford Explorer2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Toyota Venza2013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Volvo XC702013 Subaru Outback vs. 2013 Volvo XC60