Safety, multiple uses highlight 2012 Subaru Outback wagon, geared to families wanting reliability
By LARRY CORNWELL
Special to The Post and Courier
Too often road test reviews do not deliver much. Sadly these features are not very useful to prospective buyers and are not very entertaining to enthusiasts.
Most automotive features are formulaic with a typical introduction, bland body and usually ends with a common conclusion.
Regrettably, I can’t resolve myself from this wrong because I too have delivered sloppy goods. It is my goal to make sure that I make up for these “fails”. In other words, I am not going to sugarcoat this review.
This is not going come as a surprise to anyone, but the Subaru Outback is not an exciting car.
Don’t read this wrong, because the Outback does have its good points. The biggest selling point for the Outback is that it is versatile. If you have a family of toddlers, kids in child seats or teens, the Subaru Outback station wagon would serve you well.
The Outback could also be a good choice for those who work out of their car, but don’t want an SUV. It features good leg room, headroom and comparable full size SUV cargo space.
Subaru’s legendary all-wheel drive system in combination with its raised platform make the Outback capable off road as well. This raised platform, while not good for lateral maneuvers on any car, makes loading and unloading a bit easier in the Outback.
Overall the Subaru Outback was easy to drive, was versatile, but wasn’t exciting. However, those that are in the market for this model will love it. These buyers want a reliable, versatile and safe model. In the end, this is exactly what the 2012 Subaru Outback is.
Coming up, look for my review of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt. Forget everything you have heard or read about the Volt, because I have a different take on it.
2012 SUBARU OUTBACK:
• Price range: $22,000-$35,000
• Engines: 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 170 pounds-feet of torque; 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder producing 247 hp and 256 pounds-feet of torque
• Drivetrain: CTV transmission (2.5-liter), 5 speed automatic (3.6-liter)
• Fuel economy: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway (2.5 liter); 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway (3.6 liter)
• Competitor models: Honda Accord Crosstour, Volvo XC70
• Production location: Lafayette, Ind.
• Website: www.subaru.com
Larry Cornwell is an automotive journalist based in the Charlotte area.