Today's sport-utility-vehicle shopper faces a bewildering array of models, from the diminutive MINI Countryman to the massive Chevrolet Suburban. For families with limited budgets and an adventurous spirit, the Subaru Outback rates a long look.
Always rugged, and a bit rough-hewn in its early days, the Outback is now a comparatively refined family wagon with an exceptional safety record. But it still lives up to its name, borrowed from Australia's famously untamed, remote Outback region. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, symmetrical all-wheel drive, traction control and hill-descent control, the Subaru Outback can cross terrain that would stop most of its competitors.
Our Wilderness Green Metallic test car was a high-end 2016 2.5i Premium model that carried a sticker price of $32,035. The base Outback 2.5i has a starting price of $24,995. For maximum luxury, performance, safety and technology, the Outback Limited with the 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder engine has a base price of $33,395.