2015 Subaru Outback vs. Its Competition

2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i, test drive, Catskill Mountains, NY, July 2014
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The Subaru Outback doesn't have a lot of competition among mass-market brands, and the brand agrees that its buyers fit a profile (more educated, higher income) that's more like those who purchase luxury cars.

However between models like the Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70, and SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Outback draws from a wide range of consideration.

The Audi Allroad is its closest rival, in our opinion; its economical 2.0-liter turbocharged four provides performance that's much stronger than what you get in four-cylinder Outbacks, and ride quality in the Allroad remains perhaps a bit better; but sticker price is far above Outback territory.

The Volvo XC70 is also playing the same game as the Outback—taking a wagon and buffing it up with more ground clearance and some added cladding.

The Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee are both three-row utility vehicles that are better suited for especially large families.

Although, surprisingly, the Outback might do just as well, if not better, off-road versus the Explorer; and the Jeep is far less fuel-efficient, unless you opt for the available diesel engine.

The Volvo XC60 is one other alternative; it's a smaller utility vehicle, but far more upright than the Outback.

It carries a reputation for safety that appeals to the same types that consider the Subaru.

2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i, test drive, Catskill Mountains, NY, July 20142015 Subaru Outback
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2015 Ford Explorer2015 Ford Explorer
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2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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2015 Volvo XC702015 Volvo XC70
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2015 Volvo XC602015 Volvo XC60
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Quick Specs
The 2015 Subaru Outback is as much of a tough, safe family wagon as ever; but this year, its brawn doesn't come with as much compromise in comfort and quiet.
The 2015 Ford Explorer has a historic name, but it's a much more comfortable, road-worthy vehicle than it ever was in the past.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers an engine for everyone, and a feature list as extensive as those found in luxury sedans.
The 2015 Volvo XC70 remains a sturdy wagon in crossover clothing, a tough and utilitarian vehicle with a new and fuel-efficient powertrain this year (for front-wheel-drive models only).
The 2015 Volvo XC60 crossover stays stylish--and now it gets much better gas mileage from a new four-cylinder engine.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
20 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class    
Small SUV 4WDStandard SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name    
4-Door Wagon 2.5iFWD 4-Door BaseRWD 4-Door AltitudeFWD 4-Door Wagon T5 Drive-EFWD 4-Door T5 Drive-E
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilityWagonSport Utility
CVT w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Subaru Outback vs. 2015 Ford Explorer2015 Subaru Outback vs. 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee2015 Subaru Outback vs. 2015 Volvo XC702015 Subaru Outback vs. 2015 Volvo XC60