Today we’re looking at the Outback, which for the 2013 model year has been given refreshed styling, a more fuel-efficient engine and extra safety features.
Unless you’re a Subaru die-hard you’ll probably not notice the styling changes.
Visually setting the latest 2013 model apart from the previous Outback are new headlights, a revised grille and a sharper front bumper.
The base 2.5-liter engine also looks the same but it’s actually a brand new unit. It puts out 173 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, with more torque at the low end of the range for better responsiveness. A six-speed manual is still standard but customers can now opt for a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which comes with paddle shifters behind the wheel to simulate manual mode when needed.
The EPA hasn't yet rated the 2013 Outback for gas mileage, but Subaru projects that the new engine with CVT will achieve 24/30 mpg city/highway and 26 mpg combined. The previous model rated in at 24 mpg combined, so the 2013 Outback already looks quite impressive on paper.
The Outback 3.6R is still available and its engine is largely unchanged for the 2013 model year. It still displaces 3.6 liters and is rated at 256 horsepower. Note, it’s only available with a five-speed automatic transmission. Gas mileage is around 20 mpg combined.
The other major addition on the 2013 Outback is Subaru’s latest EyeSight driver-assist system, which offers a host of safety features like pre-collision braking, lane-departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control. Combined with the vehicle’s surefooted all-wheel drive system, stability control and roster of airbags, the EyeSight system should ensure the 2013 model retains the Outback’s top marks in independent crash testing.
For a closer look at all that the 2013 Subaru Outback has to offer, check out our extensive preview.