Changes for the 2013 Subaru Outback
For 2013, the Subaru Outback receives a slight styling makeover and, more importantly, a new standard 4-cylinder engine that provides better fuel economy. Subaru has also softened suspension tuning for a more comfortable ride, and new Subaru EyeSight technology debuts to help the driver and the car to avoid collisions.
The 2013 Subaru Outback is available in 2.5i and 3.6R models. The 2.5i can be furnished in base, Premium and Limited trim levels, while the 3.6R is offered only in base and Limited trim. Standard equipment for the 2.5i includes aluminum wheels, power accessories, Bluetooth with streaming audio capability, and a USB port. The Premium model and the 3.6R add larger wheels, fog lights and a 10-way power driver’s seat. The Limited model is equipped with an upgraded audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and leather upholstery.
Engines and Transmissions
A new 173-horsepower, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine is installed in the Outback 2.5i. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) available as an option for the base and Premium models, and as standard equipment for the Limited model. The Outback 3.6R is motivated by a 256-horsepower, 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode.
Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard for all 2013 Outback models, and this crossover SUV provides 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
Fuel Economy Ratings
According to the EPA, the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i should get 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway when equipped with the manual transmission, while the CVT is expected to return 24-city/27-highway. The Outback 3.6R is rated to get 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2013 Outback a 5-star overall crash-test rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) calls the Outback a “Top Safety Pick Plus.” The latter rating is only given to models that pass the IIHS’s tough new small overlap frontal-impact crash test with a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating.
Unfortunately, a reversing camera is available only for the Limited model, and a blind-spot monitoring system is not offered at any cost.
While blind spot monitoring is unavailable, Subaru now offers a crash avoidance system for the 2013 Outback. Called EyeSight, it employs two cameras mounted near the rearview mirror to constantly monitor the action ahead of the car, and emit a warning if it senses that a collision may occur. The technology includes lane departure warning and active cruise control systems, the latter able to autonomously slow or stop the Outback if a car or another object should come its path. EyeSight also cuts engine power if you’re traveling in a parking lot and can sense whether you accidentally put the car in drive instead of reverse and then pressed the accelerator.