2010 Subaru Outback

2010 Subaru Outback

Episode 2909
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It was 1996 when Subaru decided to combine station wagon “garagability” with outdoorsy car-like utility.  The Legacy Outback became known as “the world’s first sport utility wagon” and helped launch a new category of vehicles called crossovers.  Since that time, mainstream crossovers have saturated the market, but the Outback has retained its unique and sporty wagon appeal, not to mention a growing fan base. 

For 2010, the Subaru Outback enters its fourth generation and undergoes a full redesign. While Legacy is no longer part of its name, the Outback still shares its new platform with the sedan. This 5-door is wider, taller, yet a hair shorter than before.  Wheelbase gains almost 3 inches to 107.9, yielding a larger interior.

And the new Outback isn’t just stouter, it’s more rugged-looking, while also taking cues from the new Legacy. The front end starts with a more upright grille, flanked by expressive-looking hawk-eye headlamps. On profile, scuff-resistant lower rocker moldings and body cladding further convey the Outback’s enhanced capability.

But this is no poser. With 16- and optional 17-inch wheels, ground clearance edges up to 8.7 inches, giving it more off-road potential than many crossover rivals. Up top are standard roof rails, with crossbars that swing into position only when needed, a segment first that helps minimize wind noise.

The body-colored D-Pillars help emphasize the new sectioned taillights, and give the Outback a more traditional rugged utility look than before.

Hands-down, this is the roomiest Outback cabin to date.  It’s also decidedly more upscale. Like Legacy, the dash is comprised of a variety of dissimilar shapes, well-drawn lines, and metallic trim. 

Controls are laid out in a smart, easy-to-use manner. Ditto the standard electronic parking brake with hill holder, the first among non-luxury crossovers. And, with green motoring in mind, there’s even a gauge for monitoring fuel economy.

Seats are nicely contoured and padded for a high level of comfort.  Our test 2.5i Limited had leather trim, 10-way power adjusters for the driver, as well as seat heat.  A tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise is now standard. This up-level tester also came with Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, and a 440-watt Harmon-Kardon audio system. Other available high-end amenities include voice-activated navigation, a rear-view camera, and a power moonroof.

The spacious rear seat makes ample room for three and offers a new recline feature. The 60/40 fold adds excellent versatility to the Outback’s abundant cargo space.  Room behind the 2nd row swells from 34.3 cubic feet to 71.3 with seats folded down.  That’s a gain of 6 cubes over last year, and more than a Jeep Grand Cherokee. A pair of all-wheel drive boxer powertrains are also shared with the new Legacy. 

Standard is a revised 2.5-liter single cam four-cylinder with i-Active valve lift, outputting a square 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It pairs to either a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

The 3.6R adds the Tribeca’s 3.6-liter 6-cylinder powerplant.  This one sends 256 horses and 247 pound-feet through a 5-speed automatic.

Our 2.5 CVT generated Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 22 city/29 highway on regular gas.  We achieved the expected 24.7 in real world driving.

The Energy Impact Score is a modest 14.3 barrels of oil consumed per year, while its Carbon Footprint measures a tidy 7.7 annual tons of CO2.

The downside to this environmental awareness is the long 10.1 seconds needed to get to 60 miles per hour.  The quarter mile was equally painful at 17.8 seconds at 79 miles per hour.  You can feel the boxer’s torque, but the CVT acts like a fire blanket. 

The Outback sports a new double-wishbone rear suspension, and stability and traction control are now standard across the board. Still, handling is also no strong suit.  Softly sprung, there’s very little feedback through the chassis.  Steering is numb and lazy, and the high center of gravity results in lots of sway and body roll.

The Outback’s brakes are 4-wheel discs with ABS and new Brake Assist.  Stops averaged a longish 133 feet from 60 to zero. There was good stability, but the Outback still stops like a much larger vehicle.

Fortunately, what the Outback lacks in track performance, it more than makes up for with a smooth, comfortable ride. It’s nice and cushy for long road trips and extended commutes. Pricewise, the new Outback begins at $23,690 for the base 2.5i.  The 3.6R starts at $28,690.

The 2010 Subaru Outback returns with a bolder outer show, more utility-like practicality, and plenty of interior refinement.  It’s not much of a driver’s car, but it’s ideal for family carting and an outdoor lifestyle. Add in mid-twenties fuel economy, and the Outback becomes an excellent alternative to the conventional crossover-and the main reason, we believe, that Outback’s popularity is bound to keep growing. 



  • Engine: 2.5-Liter Single Cam Four-Cylinder
  • Horsepower: 170
  • Torque: 170 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 10.1 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 17.8 Seconds @ 79 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 133 Feet
  • EPA: 22 MPG City/ 29 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 24.7 MPG
  • Energy Impact: 14.3 Barrels Oil/Yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 7.7 Tons/Yr
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles