By Nick Smirnis
The 2017 Subaru Outback Limited combines the ease of owning a crossover SUV with an accessibility to luxury features unusual to the segment. With the Subaru, the options and packages seem streamlined compared to the information overload many buyers face at the dealerships of its competitors.
The fully equipped Outback Limited test vehicle featured the EyeSight driver assistance package that made the car really feel complete.
It is easy to get lost in the pack of pseudo-wagons, Crossovers and SUVs especially around the $30, 000 mark. It can seem like a never-ending game of trading one feature for another. When you finally do get the configuration with everything you want, there you are again at $38,000. At this point, you start all over again and call countless salespeople while you sink hours of would-be family time on the manufacturer’s website. To avoid that, I’ll simply say that both engines (4 and 6 cylinder) come in Touring trim level that has all the bells and whistles standard, including the driver assistance package. If you think that you don’t need a smart key or a voice activated GPS system, then the Limited trim level of the Subaru Outback (and many other Subarus) has all of the aesthetic upgrades, but allows you to choose the options you like. This also allows you to fine tune the price of the vehicle without sacrificing the overall look of the car.
That being said, accessories are where Subaru excels. So if you have even a hint automotive enthusiasm or a spirit for the outdoors, plan to treat yourself to you a couple of the following: All-weather floormats, wheel-well splash guards, wheel arch moldings, body side molding, rear bumper cover, fog light kit, rear seatback protectors, Subaru’s blue footwell illumination kit, remote engine starter, or perhaps the exterior auto-dimming side mirrors with a unique approach light. That’s without even mentioning all the racks and containers available for the roof.
With the growing popularity of compact SUVs and Crossovers, the Subaru Outback should not, however, be written off as a just a wagon or cult vehicle for hardcore outdoors enthusiasts. This is an accessible and balanced platform that Subaru has put a lot of love into.