Automotive

What’s a competitor to the Subaru Outback ?

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  • Apr 21st, 2021 2:59 pm
[OP]
Deal Expert
Dec 4, 2010
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What’s a competitor to the Subaru Outback ?

Is there anything in this price range that beats out the Subaru Outback? From everything I’ve read this is subarus bread winner and it’s not hard to see why from the value proposition. Especially 2020-2021+has so many updates that make it punch above its weight.


I think it looks tuff! And can be civil and docile at the same time.
64BEE009-5D31-4FD3-ACFA-C74EF26C7F6B.jpeg
A lot of reviewers seem to like it as a complete package. Plus it’s a freaking wagon! If you wanted a wagon with these chips you’d be looking at Volvo or Mercedes. Not going to get one for under $40k.
13 replies
Sr. Member
Sep 25, 2018
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In their promotional videos they always use RAV4 and CRV as comparisons. So I guess Subaru see them as competitors
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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It's a wagon and this is North America, so while there are quite a few [competitors] most are not available for purchase here.

Of the ones that come to mind you got:
Audi A4 Allroad
Volvo V60
...and a few other lux models which you've basically already covered and no def. not under $40k. But the Legacy Outback itself isn't really under $40k, at least not if you select one of the better trims and/or option it out. Heck even Forester is easily touching $40k with some options, which makes you wonder why anyone would buy that compared to the Outback sitting right next to it at the dealer.

Downsides to Subaru are having to live with a CVT and having worst paint evar (unless Subaru has significantly changed that in recent years). If their paint is still the same paper-derived-from-cheese stuff, it's not a car you want to own for more than 4-5 years, so probably better to lease.

Apart from that I always liked the Legacy Outback, just don't see many of them on the road. And this basically explains why manufacturers don't sell wagons here--people don't buy 'em.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
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ES_Revenge wrote: It's a wagon and this is North America, so while there are quite a few [competitors] most are not available for purchase here.

Of the ones that come to mind you got:
Audi A4 Allroad
Volvo V60
...and a few other lux models which you've basically already covered and no def. not under $40k. But the Legacy Outback itself isn't really under $40k, at least not if you select one of the better trims and/or option it out. Heck even Forester is easily touching $40k with some options, which makes you wonder why anyone would buy that compared to the Outback sitting right next to it at the dealer.

Downsides to Subaru are having to live with a CVT and having worst paint evar (unless Subaru has significantly changed that in recent years). If their paint is still the same paper-derived-from-cheese stuff, it's not a car you want to own for more than 4-5 years, so probably better to lease.

Apart from that I always liked the Legacy Outback, just don't see many of them on the road. And this basically explains why manufacturers don't sell wagons here--people don't buy 'em.
Been looking at what first car to get my niece for a while now (thanks COVID). Not only is Subaru's paint quality still shoddy but the car itself rusts if you look at it funny. I love the interior and appreciate the safety but I don't think I can recommend the Outback to her despite the numerous improvements on the interior. The A4 allroad interior is...not as nice but the car is well built (well painted, resists corrosion well). The Outback 2.4T (2.4 IIRC) also has the weirdest power delivery - it's a combination of turbo lag and multiple personality disorder.
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Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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angryaudifanatic wrote: The Outback 2.4T (2.4 IIRC) also has the weirdest power delivery - it's a combination of turbo lag and multiple personality disorder.
And the CVT, I'm sure ;)
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Jun 9, 2003
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Markham, ON
I have a 2008 Outback...except for the initial purchase rust undercoat...I have zero rust on the paint. Knock on wood. Also I have not applied any rust protection since the initial rust protection purchase.

perhaps the rust issue is on another line?

(The outback is made in Indiana).


I am 90% sure I will purchase another outback in the next few months...
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Nov 10, 2018
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thelefteyeguy wrote: I have a 2008 Outback...except for the initial purchase rust undercoat...I have zero rust on the paint. Knock on wood. Also I have not applied any rust protection since the initial rust protection purchase.

perhaps the rust issue is on another line?

(The outback is made in Indiana).


I am 90% sure I will purchase another outback in the next few months...
The rusting is on the underside, typically. Surface rust on paint on Subaru's is often what I will call 'rust speckle' - e.g. small granules of what should be paint are actually small 'dots' of rust. 2008 Outback though - that's a far cry from recent Subarus. When I had my Justy (yes, it dates me but I don't hide my age) things were much better than the way they are today (re: paint quality)
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Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2007
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It really depends on how you want to define a "competitor". Back in school an interesting concept was taught to me, two different products in two different categories can be "competitors", because you only have one $45k budget to spend. Once you spent that $45k on an Outback, other manufacturers won't be getting that money. So essentially anything out there that's within this budget range could be the Outback's competitor.

For example
https://www.bmwtoronto.ca/inventory/dem ... 00lbl11753

This is in the same price range of a Outback Premier, so if you are open to options, this could theoretically be the Outback's competitor for your hard earned money.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 4, 2005
8088 posts
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Brampton
VW Golf Wagon Alltrack used to be a direct competitor but that discontinued in 2019.

Tho size wise it was kinda a class size below. Almost like Jetta vs Passat size but for wagons.

Only competitors to cross shop now is CUV's tho for the price the outback is usually larger than the rest.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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Badman wrote: VW Golf Wagon Alltrack used to be a direct competitor but that discontinued in 2019.

Tho size wise it was kinda a class size below. Almost like Jetta vs Passat size but for wagons.
Yep. Passat wagon is actually the "correct" competitor but we don't get it here. Here's a review anyway, lol:


There's like ten engine choices including a bi-turbo TDI, three different transmissions, and a choice of FWD or AWD. The one with 4Motion, DSG, and the same 2.0T the Arteon has, does 0-60 in a respectable low 5s range (Carwow, above, got 5.2s).

That's some heck of a lot of choice esp considering we don't get the car at all but I guess that's because we get the NMS :rolleyes: NMS which has no wagon version and is still a PQ45 car, even in the latest version! But NMS will get discontinued after MY22 or 23 anyway. Chatanooga will keep on trucking though :) continuing to make the Atlas, along with the new electrics--the Crozz and Buzz.
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
699 posts
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in my opinion, the 2 competitors that come to mind are the Mazda CX-30 and the Honda HRV
[OP]
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Dec 4, 2010
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angryaudifanatic wrote: The rusting is on the underside, typically. Surface rust on paint on Subaru's is often what I will call 'rust speckle' - e.g. small granules of what should be paint are actually small 'dots' of rust. 2008 Outback though - that's a far cry from recent Subarus. When I had my Justy (yes, it dates me but I don't hide my age) things were much better than the way they are today (re: paint quality)

The current outback also has reports of QC issues with the windshield. Some have even reported flooding in the cabin after heavy rain. It isn’t perfect; far from it, but it’s a compelling package for those who want utility in a semi high riding conveyance. Alex on autos who is arguably a very objective auto journalists is in favour of buying one and that speaks volumes.

The other component with SUVs that no one has mentioned or often glossed over is, actual offf road capabilities. Driving Sport TV does very comprehensive reviews on off-roading when they review cars and the outback is right up there.

The cars mentioned here as alternatives would probably struggle in the snow with their pretender awd systems.

I’ll have to do the rust proofing if what you’ve said is true but I haven’t read a lot about it on SubaruOutback.org.
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Jan 18, 2010
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Canada
Jigsaw wrote: in my opinion, the 2 competitors that come to mind are the Mazda CX-30 and the Honda HRV
Those are subcompact, they compete with Crosstrek, not Outback.

Outback competes with midsize crossovers like Ford Edge, Murano, Venza etc.

Forester competes with CRV, Rav4, Rogue etc

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