Subaru's 2.5L 4-cylinder "boxer" engine makes 173 horsepower and 174 ft-lb of torque. The engine, working in conjunction with the second-generation Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, allows the Outback to achieve 30 mpg on the highway, outstanding for a vehicle with full-time all-wheel drive. The optional 3.6L 6-cylinder boxer engine has 256 hp and 247 ft-lb of torque and a standard 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Rev-Matching Downshift Blipping Control.
The 2.5i is the base model for the Outback, but like all Subaru models, it has Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring, daytime running lights and airbags as standard equipment. The two available transmissions include a 6-speed manual transmission and the Lineartronic CVT. Air conditioning, auxiliary audio jack, power locks, mirrors and windows, cruise control and eight cupholders are standard.
The 2.5i Premium adds a 10-way power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels rather than the 16-inch steel wheels of the base model, halogen fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard equipment. All-weather equipment such as heated seats, mirrors, and windshield wipers are now also standard on the Premium. Options include a harman/kardon audio system and a power moonroof. The 2.5i Limited takes it all a step further with standard CVT, 4-way power passenger seat, dual-zone climate control and leather-trimmed upholstery. Options at this level include a navigation system with rear vision camera.
The 3.6R Limited has the immediate advantage of 85 more horsepower, thanks to its larger, more powerful horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine. It comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels and larger brake rotors, a power passenger seat, premium audio system, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, dual-zone climate control and leather-trimmed upholstery, with optional power moonroof and navigation system with backup camera.
Subaru's optional EyeSight System, introduced in 2013, uses a stereo camera design to detect obstacles, including other cars and pedestrians. It functions as an additional safety net, even applying the Outback's brakes if it detects an impending collision. At higher speeds, the system can be used to provide adaptive cruise control, with the vehicle adjusting its own speed to maintain a set distance between itself and the car in front.