The 2012 Subaru Outback is a five-passenger station wagon that retails from $23,295* and is available in six trim levels. Like all Subaru models, the Outback is all-wheel-drive and offers impressive cabin room and utility. With its large ground clearance, the Outback can handle light off-roading with ease as well as providing excellent around-town driving for families. A novel roof rack with fold-out crossbars demonstrates the versatility of this capable AWD model.
You would be forgiven if you were to consider the Outback a crossover instead of a wagon. This model is essentially both, allowing it to provide the utility that makes the Outback one of Subaru’s most popular models.
Large wrap-around projector headlamps dominate the face of the Outback, which also includes daytime running lamps, optional fog lamps, and a three-slat horizontal grille. Large arched wheel wells, folding side mirrors, beltline trim, and an expansive lift gate with wrap-around tail lamps are other defining characteristics of this model.
Standard 16-inch steel wheels are offered with the 2.5i edition; all other Outbacks get 17-inch 6-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels. All-season tires are standard across the Outback line.
Engines and Transmissions
Two engine choices are available with the 2012 Subaru Outback. These engine choices correspond with each edition’s name.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 170 horsepower and is paired with a 6-speed manual or an optional continuously variable transmission. With the available CVT, the 2.5 models are rated as high as 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.**
The 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 256 horsepower and is paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. These models are rated at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.**
The Outback’s interior is bright, roomy, and very versatile. Seating five passengers, the Outback offers a pair of bucket seats up front and a 60/40 split-bench folding seat in the rear. With the back seat down, the Outback’s flat floor expands its cargo capacity from 34.3 cubic feet to 71.3 cubic feet.
Get behind the wheel of the Outback and you’ll find a seat that is comfortable and well-bolstered. Outback 2.5i and 3.6R editions offer a 6-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat; all other models are equipped with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat. A tilt and telescoping steering column helps to ensure the right seating position for you.
The Outback’s brightly lit instrument panel includes four analog displays that surround a digital driver’s information center offering readouts for fuel consumption and mileage. The center stack includes a digital clock, audio and climate controls; a navigation system is optional in Limited editions. Secondary controls are affixed to the steering wheel in Premium and Limited editions.
Cloth seating surfaces are standard in base and Premium models; the Limited editions are leather-appointed. Silver metallic door trim provides the accent to cloth interiors. Woodgrain-patterned accent trim is found on doors and consoles in Limited edition models.
All Outback models come with ample storage including an overhead sunglasses console, glove compartment, and center console storage. In the cargo area there is an underfloor compartment that includes a removable tray. Subaru also provides a pair of grocery bag hooks and 4 cargo tiedown hooks to allow you to manage your storage efficiently.
Standard amenities include electronic cruise control, eight cup holders, sun visors with illuminated mirrors, and a 4-speaker audio system. Power door locks and driver’s window, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a retractable cargo cover are available. Audio system upgrades include a 6-speaker audio system in Premium editions and a 9-speaker Harmon Kardon system in Limited editions (optional in Premium). An auxiliary jack for portable media players is included across the line.
Optional equipment upgrades include a power moonroof package, puddle lights, and an auto-dimming rear mirror. See your Subaru dealer for more information.
The 2012 Outback has been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety with its “Top Safety Pick” award. This award is given only to those models which successfully achieve a “good” rating in crash testing involving frontal offset, side impact, rollover, and rear collision.
The Outback comes equipped with 4-wheel antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, stability control, and traction control. A tire pressure monitoring system, rear door child safety locks, and daytime running lamps are also included. The Outback comes with six airbags, including front, seat-mounted front side, and side curtain airbags.
*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.
**EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage may vary.