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Can The Subaru Outback Get Any More Comfortable? CR Says No

Which is the most comfortable new Midsize 2-Row SUV? Is the 2025 Subaru Outback really the best you can buy? Check out the four best SUVs according to Consumer Reports and the six areas where the Outback has the highest comfort scores. 

Let's get comfortable.

Do you want a smooth ride, a quiet interior, supportive seats and comfortable seats, the perfect driving position, and easy access? Who doesn't, right? In an updated Consumer Reports (CR, by subscription), scoring of the most comfortable midsize 2-Row SUVs says they can all increase the pleasure of driving—and keep you safer. 

Consumer Reports says the 2025 Subaru Outback is the best most comfortable midsize 2-Row SUV you can buy. 

"Comfort is an important element in driver safety," says Alex Knizek, CR's associate director of auto test development. "You can be more attentive to driving if you're not distracted by a sore back or achy legs. Plus, in a comfortable car, you'll arrive at your destination more refreshed."

CR did the work

CR tested more than 260 new cars and created a comprehensive comfort score. You can rest assured they did the heavy lifting; here are their results. 

How do you define comfort?

CR defines comfort by how well the car muffles road and wind noise, how well your body fits in the driver's seat, and how much effort it takes to get in and out of the car and reach and use the controls. 

CR's comfort score is based on its evaluation of six factors: ride, noise, driving position, usability, seat comfort, and access.

You can't find a vehicle's real-life comfort on a short test drive at the dealer. 

Find out the best new midsize SUVs for outward visibility from the driver's seat in my report here. 

You have to live with the vehicle for a while to find out its flaws. That's what CR does. Ratings for these factors are based on scores from testers of different heights and sizes who drive thousands of miles. 

You don't have to buy a luxury car.

CR says, " It's also a mistake to think that comfort is a luxury."

I've listed Consumer Reports' four top-recommended 2-row SUVs ($45,000 - $50,000) with the highest comfort scores. All are mainstream (non-luxury) models. 

  1. Subaru Outback - 82
  2. Ford Edge - 77
  3. Honda Passport - 76
  4. Nissan Murano - 75

What does CR say about the Outback?

"If you like the Subaru Legacy but can't get a sedan to work for your lifestyle, the Outback takes all of the Legacy's goodness and wraps it in a lifted wagon/SUV body. Because of the built-in roof-rack crossbars, this body style allows it to carry more cargo behind the rear seats and on the roof. And the raised ride height allows it to handle deeper snow or gravel roads." 

"The Outback's composed ride outshines that of many luxury SUVs. Be aware that the turbocharged engine in the XT trim is quieter and has more refinement than the base four-cylinder engine. We also like how the raised ride height makes it easier to get into the Outback than its sedan sibling. The front seats are comfortable and supportive but improve as you move up in trim level. The driver's seat in the Limited has a manual extendable under-thigh cushion."

There's more.

  • Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard on all new Outback trim levels. This will make your drive more comfortable. Set the adaptive cruise control, which eases driver fatigue—an often overlooked feature.
  • The 2025 Outback comes with the Subaru Starlink 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system for infotainment, including standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility with a full-screen display. 
  • A heated steering wheel and seats add more comfort and are now standard on all upper trim levels. 

What is the 2025 Outback pricing?

For the 2025 model year, the Outback has nine trim levels. The Base is priced at $30,290, Premium ($32,590), Onyx Edition ($37,500), Limited ($39,250), Touring ($41,740), Onyx Edition XT ($40,755), Wilderness ($41,355), Limited XT ($41,590), and Touring XT ($44,190). In addition, destination and delivery fees are included in the price above ($1,395).

Find out more in my 2025 Outback model guide here.

Only one trim level increased in price. The Outback Limited increased +$2,160. A power moonroof, DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, navigation, and a 360-degree heated steering wheel are now standard on Limited trims.

Read my 17 SUVs With The Worst Reliability And The Best Models To Buy Instead report here

If you want the most comfortable 2-Row SUV, Consumer Reports says the 2025 Subaru Outback is the best among all midsize models you can buy. The Outback will provide a secure and enjoyable driving experience with its array of comfort features. 

How important is a vehicle's comfort to you?

Is a vehicle's comfort level the number one thing you look for? If not, what is? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Tucson Subaru


Richard (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:39AM

Having driven my Outback for a couple of months, I can agree that it is comfortable but I hate the car. I hate the pings and whistles. I hate the automatic idle cut off. I hate the driver monitoring system. I hate the automatic back up brake. I hate the lying estimated fuel given as 25 mpg when it barely passes 18 mpg. I would be ok if I could turn off these features permanently. I can turn them off manually but it resets each time the ignition is turned off. Anyone who enjoys DRIVING a car, in other words, being in control of it, forget about this model.