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The 2014 Subaru Outback Is The Grownup’s Subaru

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The lineup from Subaru includes a lot of great vehicles, but the biggest, most mature of those is the Outback. The 2014 Subaru Outback enjoys some nice improvements as it enters the midsize crossover segment and matures into a grownup’s car, ready for the family and adventures of both the suburban and outdoor variety.

The base model of the 2014 Outback starts at $24,320 and at its top fit, as we drove it, it rings in at about $33,540 with just a couple of options to spare. The base model comes decently equipped with standard roof rack rails, full power accessories, and sixteen-inch wheels. Upgrading to the Limited package as we had it adds a lot of extras, including 17-inch wheels, foglights, leather-wrapped steering, a far better sound system, wood trim, and more. If you’re upgrading to the six-cylinder engine option, the Premium and Limited packages are well worth considering for the creature comforts and trim additions they bring.

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The 2014 Subaru Outback is a natural road trip waiting to happen, with comfortable seating, plenty of interior room, and a lot of cargo capability. Add on the six-cylinder engine and a tow package and you can pull a trailer with your toys on it (3,000 pound towing capacity) to boot. All of this includes Subaru’s legendary off-road capability and easy driving in inclement weather.

The four-cylinder option leaves the Outback a little sluggish and makes it less dynamic, but still offers good economy (30 mpg highway) and capability considering that. The six-cylinder (a powerful 3.6-liter that puts out 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque) is a better option, but it sacrifices five mpg on the highway (rated at 25 mpg). Your choice will likely depend on what you plan to use your Outback for most of the time.

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On the road, the 2014 Outback is comfortable and confident with its only drawback being a heavy steer stroke making turning the wheel a tougher chore than many might want. When mashing the pedal to the floor to get some speed, some might also notice an odd turbo lag quality in the Boxer engine as well. Neither of these points destroy the Outback’s inherent appeal as a family get-there machine.

Off the pavement, we took the 2014 Subaru Outback into the fresh-fallen snow of the Wyoming tundra and found it to be exactly as expected: a stable, unflappable mountain goat. It’s rare to see a Subaru get stuck and common to see them doing truck-like feats of rescue and towing. On a rough dirt trail covered in two inches of snow, our Outback showed no concern as it plows the powder and traversed the bouncy terrain.

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This more grown up version of the Outback loses its Subaru “get out and have fun” feel, but replaces it with a more mainstream crossover appeal that expands its marketability. Some may take issue with that, but the other cars in Sub’s lineup continue carrying that “get out and do something” torch for the brand. This Subaru is about suburban driving and weekend getaways rather than the other way around. As such, it is perfect for the family that needs a versatile crossover option without all of the boxy, contemporary crossover boringness.

Definitely a great job from Subaru here as the 2014 Outback remains one of the most well-loved vehicles on or off the road.

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Visit www.subaru.com to learn more about the 2014 Subaru Outback.

Aaron Turpen is a freelance automotive journalist and writer living in Wyoming, USA. You can find him at AaronOnAutos.com and CarNewsCafe.com.