The 2018 Subaru Outback is a solid piece of engineering that continues the Subaru trend of general excellence. The Outback is the current go-to family-hauling Subaru, but that will change when the new three-row Ascent hits the market next year (review coming soon). As it is, though, most families will thoroughly enjoy the 2018 Outback. Even if they don’t own Tevas or eat granola.
The 2018 Outback seats up to five and has a good starting price that comes with a pretty well-done base model. The Outback is available in six trim levels in all, two of which upgrade to a six-cylinder engine – an upgrade we’d highly recommend. We gave the Outback an “A” rating here and at iSeeCars. And also an “A” at CarNewsCafe. I called the 2018 Outback “rock solid goodness” in my review at NewAtlas. For what it is meant for, the Subaru Outback is a quality machine which richly deserves the high praise it often receives.
Please make a note, however, that our data points above change when the six-cylinder engine is opted for, as the numbers above are for the four-cylinder base model.
How Useful Is the 2018 Outback As a Family Hauler?
The 2018 Subaru Outback is much bigger on the inside than its exterior would make one believe. We managed to fit five people (three kids, two adults) plus enough gear for an overnight camping trip into the Outback. That’s impressive and more could have been added via the (standard) roof rails or an added rooftop cargo bin. Note that our Touring model comes with less useful rails, but most Outback models include rails with integrated cross bars.
Inside, the 2018 Outback has a roomy interior with great seating. This generation of the Outback saw several inches of growth, which translated into far more rear seat legroom than was had before. All five seating positions in the Outback are now adult-friendly and kids will have no issues getting in and out of the 2018 Outback or strapping in once seated.
The wagon styling of the car means a huge amount of useful cargo space is available as well.
Expected Reliability/Dependability and Value
Subaru enjoys one of the most respected reputations for reliability in the industry. This is mirrored by high scores from both J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports for this generation of the Outback. This is why I so often recommend Subaru vehicles to friends asking what they should buy.
Which Version of the 2018 Outback Would We Buy?
There are a lot of options in the Subaru Outback’s 2018 model line, but I’d recommend most buyers look at the Premium trim, which includes most of the accouterments you’re likely to want and at a price that’s very competitive with like-arrayed competitors. It’s also recommended that the full EyeSight suite of safety and driver’s aids be added to whatever trim level you purchase. These are some of the best in the business for crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control, etc. Very worth having.
Although getting a sale price on a new Outback is unlikely, it’s well worth noting that the Subaru brand and the Outback in particular have historically enjoyed industry-leading resale values.
Radio Setting and Kid Approvals
We seemed to find that the SiriusXM Turbo channel fit the Outback the best. The kids really liked the Subaru’s roomy interior and confident “go anywhere” feel.
A Note on Our Process: Reviews here are based on Aaron’s reviews found around the Web. The goal here is to forego the usual “horsepower and capability” jargon of most automotive reviews and instead focus on how well the vehicle is as a regular family hauler for a single dad. Links to full, formal reviews are included in this review in order to provide more information should you wish to have it.