2016 subaru outback Model Overview
New for 2016
The suspension on the Limited trim of the 2016 Subaru Outback has been retuned for improved ride quality, and the steering has been revised for better feel. An updated version of Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system has been included now includes functions such as SOS emergency assistance, automatic collision notification, and vehicle diagnostics. Lane keeping assist has been added to the EyeSight suite of safety and driver’s assistance features while blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard on the Limited trims.
The 2016 Subaru Outback is an all-wheel-drive, two-row crossover that’s essentially a raised wagon while the steering calibration has been tuned for better feel in all models.
Two engines are available in the 2016 Outback, a 175-hp 2.5-liter flat-four with 174 lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter flat-six making 256 hp and 247 lb-ft. Both engines are paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is impressive with the four-cylinder engine at 25/33 mpg city/highway while the more power flat-six is rated lower at 20/27 mpg.
Since it’s essentially a raised wagon, the Outback has a roomy interior for five adult passengers and 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the split-folding rear seats and a whopping 73.3 cubic feet when the second row is not in use.
Standard safety features include dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. Seat cushion airbags for the driver and front passenger are also standard on the Legacy. In the Premium trim, the EyeSight suite of safety features becomes available and bundles together lane departure warning, automatic forward emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, and adaptive cruise control.
In NHTSA crash testing, the 2015 Outback earned a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars). The IIHS gave the 2015 Legacy the Top Safety Pick+ designation because it received a Good score in all five crash tests (Good is the highest possible score) and a Superior rating in the front crash prevention test and avoided a 12-mph and 25-mph collision (front crash prevention ratings include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Standard features in the base 2.5i trim include six-way manual adjustable driver’s seats, reclining 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, and a 6.2-inch infotainment touchscreen. The 2.5i Premium variant adds dual-zone climate control, a larger seven-inch touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. Navigation and a power rear tailgate are optional extras in the 2.5i Premium. Opting the 2.5i Limited trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, power adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, matte woodgrain-patterned accents, navigation and a Harman Kardon audio system. The range-topping 3.6R Limited model has the same features as the 2.5i Limited but comes with the larger flat-six engine and HID headlights.
What We Think
The 2016 Outback continues to be a great choice for those who prioritize practicality. In a 2015 Outback 2.5i Limited First Test review, we were impressed by the crossover’s much improved interior, featuring high quality materials throughout the cabin. Additionally, new infotainment system is user-friendly, and the reclining split-folding rear seats improve the Outback’s flexibility and usability. However, when it comes to performance, the Outback falters because its base powertrain doesn’t provide good acceleration. Additionally, the sensitive throttle means there’s no way to get off the line smoothly. The optional 3.6-liter flat-six provides more power but comes with a sizable fuel economy sacrifice. In a 2015 Outback 3.6R Limited First Test review, we noted that while the Outback handles surprisingly well, it performs better as a people and hear hauler thanks to its spacious rear seats, excellent ride quality, and generous cargo area.
The Outback was one of the original crossover wagons and has been on sale since 1994.
- Spacious interior
- Excellent ride quality
- Handles surprisingly well for a tall vehicle
You Won’t Like:
- Base flat-four engine is underpowered
- Mediocre six-cylinder fuel economy
- Touchy throttle tip in