The 2014 Subaru Outback is a five-passenger wagon offered in four trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The numbers refer to engine displacement. The 2014 Subaru Outback base 2.5i comes with 16-inch steel wheels, roof rack rails with fold-out crossbars, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. An option package allows you to upgrade the base Outback (CVT models only) with 17-inch alloy wheels and fog-lights.
The 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium model has all the base car’s equipment, along with 17-inch wheels, foglights, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, a cargo cover and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
The 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium has continuously variable transmission (CVT), you can opt for the Power Moonroof package, which adds a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera. Available as part of an upgraded Power Moonroof package is Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system, which includes adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system and a collision warning/mitigation system with brake intervention. Also available is a package that combines the moonroof with a navigation system that features a 7.0-inch touchscreen display, smartphone app integration and a rearview camera.
Stepping up to the 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited adds dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood trim, a four-way power passenger seat, an upgraded gauge cluster and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with HD radio. Options for the Limited are similar to the 2.5i Premium, but now the EyeSight system can be purchased in combination with the navigation system. In addition, there’s a Special Appearance package that bundles the moonroof, EyeSight and nav system with unique exterior styling details, keyless ignition/entry, driver seat memory functions and perforated leather upholstery. The 2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited comes with a six-cylinder engine, but otherwise its standard and optional equipment is identical to that of the 2.5i Limited.
2014 Subaru Outback Interior
With its redesign a few years ago, the 2014 Subaru Outback traded its traditionally smaller footprint for more family-friendly dimensions. That extra room is immediately evident when you get inside, where even rear seat passengers now enjoy excellent headroom and legroom. The rear seatbacks also recline for greater comfort.
For 2014 Subaru Outback, behind those rear seats buyer can find 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding them down yields 71.3 cubic feet, which is on par with the Toyota Venza and CR-V. For anything that doesn’t fit inside, the Outback features built-in roof rack cross rails that swing inward when needed to attach bikes, snowboards and kayaks. Loading up recreational gear is also made easier by the Outback’s reasonable overall height, as it’s shorter than most other crossover SUVs.
Practical as it is, the 2014 Subaru Outback’s cabin has a lot of hard plastic, which is tolerable on base models but feels a bit too down-market once you get to the Limited trim level. Most buyers will find it worth the leap to the 2.5i Premium trim level, as the base 2.5i model’s standard four-speaker stereo sounds tinny and flat. The touchscreen interface in navigation-equipped Outbacks can be frustrating at times, as the menus are complicated and the on-screen buttons are not always responsive to touch.
2014 Subaru Outback Engine
The all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback is offered with two different engines. The 2.5i models use a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (“boxer”) four-cylinder that produces 173 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The CVT provides the functionality of an automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder with the CVT are 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. Models with the six-speed manual return 22/29/24. Both results are pretty good for an all-wheel-drive four-cylinder crossover.
The 2014 Outback 3.6R Limited comes with a 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine good for 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic with shift paddles is the only transmission offered. In performance testing, the 2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, a strong time for a six-cylinder-powered crossover or wagon. However, EPA fuel economy is below average at 17/25/20.
2014 Subaru Outback Safety
Every 2014 Subaru Outback comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags that cover both rows. A rearview camera is available starting on CVT-equipped Premium and Limited models. Subaru’s optional EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning functionality.
The EyeSight system uses two cameras mounted inside the upper edge of the windshield, which Subaru says reduces the potential for damage compared to conventional radar systems mounted in the front bumper. EyeSight can also detect pedestrians and is capable of braking the Outback if the driver takes no evasive action. In brake testing, the 3.6R came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, a bit longer than average for this type of vehicle.
In government crash tests, the 2014 Subaru Outback earned a five-star overall rating, along with five-star ratings for its performance in frontand side-impact crash protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s testing, the Outback received the highest Top Safety Pick+ accolade after earning a Good rating in the moderate-overlap front-offset crash test, as well as the side-impact and roof strength tests. 2014 Subaru Outback also earned an Acceptable rating in the new small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.