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Consumer Reports Says 3-Year Old Subaru Outback Is A Top Pick But Has Flaws

What are the most-reliable 3-year-old midsize SUVs to buy now? Consumer Reports says the Subaru Outback is a top pick, even though it has some flaws.

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If you cannot buy a new 2022 Subaru Outback because of the recent new model shortage, which is the best year if you shop for a previously owned Subaru Outback? Consumer Reports (by subscription) ranked the most reliable three-year-old midsize SUVs, and the 2019 Subaru Outback scores as one of the six best used SUV choices you can buy now.

Consumer Reports best three-year-old midsize SUVs

In addition to the 2019 Subaru Outback, the other three-year-old midsize SUVs Consumer Reports ranks high, listed alphabetically, the 2019 Acura MDX, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, and the Toyota 4Runner.

2019 Subaru Outback pricing, specs, features, fuel mileage

Why is the Subaru Outback a top pick?

Consumer Reports says, "Subaru's popular Outback bridges the gap between a raised wagon and a midsized SUV. It has a spacious interior that's nicely finished, rides very comfortably, and has responsive and secure handling. Still, its 24 mpg overall, bests midsized SUVs, and the performance-oriented 3.6R version got a good 22 mpg overall. Excellent outward visibility and a standard backup camera help make the Outback easy to drive.

What is the 2019 Outback fuel mileage?

Fuel efficiency is essential for families with gas prices jumping, and the 2019 Outback offers two engine choices. Consumers can opt for the standard 4-cylinder boxer engine that gets an EPA estimated 25/32 city/highway and 28 combined mpg or a 3.6-liter model 6-cylinder boxer powerplant producing 256-horsepower, gets an estimated 20/27 city/highway and 22 combined mpg.

2019 Subaru Outback pricing, specs, features, fuel mileage

Consumer Reports says the owner reported fuel mileage is 26 mpg.

The 2019 Subaru Outback trim levels

The 2019 Outback came in six trim levels; base, Premium, Limited, and Touring with a 2.5-liter engine, and 3.6R Limited and 3.6R Touring with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. CR says the price range is between $25,250 and $35,550, depending on the trim level and condition.

What are the 2019 Outback safety scores?

The 2019 Subaru Outback earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The Outback received five stars from the NHTSA.

The Outback has some flaws, according to Consumer Reports

CR says the Outback could use more power. "Acceleration from the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the CVT is adequate, but you won't win any races," says Consumer Reports.

CR says the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking were standard and part of the EyeSight suite of active safety systems. The "blind spot warning remained a stand-alone option," and you'll pay extra for it.

Subaru dropped the manual transmission in the Outback, and CR says, "Unlike previous Outbacks, a manual transmission is no longer offered."

What do other studies say about the 2019 Outback?

According to a recent report from iSeeCars, the 2019 Subaru Outback is among the best three-year-old crossover SUVs and the best three-year-old compact SUV.

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.8
Reliability Score: 8.4
Retained Value Score: 8.0
Safety Score: 10.0
Average 3-Year-Old Used Car Price: $34,433

Our take

The 2019 Outback appeals to a broader audience because it's bigger than a traditional wagon, features more cargo capacity, has a higher ground clearance (8.7-inches), and comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system for all-weather performance.

For the 2019 model year, the Outback featured new interior upgrades. The base models gained an overhead console shower light and dual front center console USB ports. A high-grade instrument panel with a 5.0-inch LCD was standard for all models. Outback Premium, Limited, and 3.6R Limited models had a new standard auto-dimming rearview compass mirror with Homelink featuring a thin-frame design.

The Outback is a good pick for urban adventurers who will use the vehicle for weekend excursions to the mountains for hiking, biking, fishing, and camping, this summer. The 2019 Subaru Outback's go-anywhere attitude, versatility, and utility keep the midsize SUV's value high.

If you can't find the 2022 Outback right now because of the new model shortage, a 3-year-old model is a good option. Consumer Reports says the 2019 Subaru Outback is one of the six most reliable three-year-old midsize SUVs you can buy now, even though it has some flaws.

You Might Also Like: The Best Used Subaru Models To Buy Now And Those To Avoid - Ranked By Year

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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