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How The Subaru Outback Stacks Up in Comfort With The Top Midsize SUVs

Which midsize SUVs are the roomiest, most comfortable, and have ample cargo room? The 2022 Subaru Outback is the best in the 2-Row Midsize SUV category. Check out the seven best models.

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Are the 2022 Subaru Outback seats comfortable, and is the midsize SUV roomy? You spend a lot of time in your vehicle and want comfort when commuting and taking road trips. The CarGurus COVID Sentiment Study revealed 43 percent of people now use their vehicle as a means of escape and fun since the coronavirus pandemic changed people's views on their cars.

Consumer Reports (by subscription) did a study and picked the seven-best midsize 2-Row, and 3-Row SUVs that are the roomiest, most comfortable and have ample cargo room to fit your family along with your groceries, sports equipment, and luggage when you take road trips. The vehicles also must offer safety technology, have good reliability, and offer fuel efficiency.

2022 Subaru Outback features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage
photo credit: Competition Subaru

Consumer Reports ranked the 2022 Subaru Outback the best in the non-luxury 2-Row Midsize SUV category. In its scoring, CR measured interior space and calculated cargo room by checking how many suitcases and duffel bags could fit in the back. They also had their testers of various shapes and sizes repeatedly get into and out of the front and rear seats.

CR tested multiple trim levels from the standard 2.5-liter engine to the XT trim powered by the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. CR ranks the 2022 Outback number one of eleven midsize SUVs.

2022 Subaru Outback features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage

CR ranks the Lexus RX as the best luxury 2-Row Midsize SUV. The Toyota Highlander is number one in the 3-Row Midsize SUV category, followed by the Kia Sorento, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Mazda CX-9.

How much cargo room does the 2022 Outback have? The Subaru Outback measures 37.0 cubic feet with the seats up and 75.7 cubes with the rear seats folded flat.

What is the 2022 Outback fuel mileage?

The EPA fuel mileage rating of the 2022 Outback XT 2.4-liter turbo is 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. The estimated fuel economy of the standard 2.5-liter engine is 26/33 mpg city/highway and 29 combined mpg.

The EPA says the new 2022 Outback Wilderness gets an estimated 22/26 city/highway mpg and 24 combined mpg. The 2021 Outback XT with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gets an EPA estimated 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg.

The Outback has a higher ride height than other SUVs allowing a better view of the road. It comes with 8.7-inches of ground clearance allowing you to slide in without stepping up, and you won't be dropping down to get in the front seat.

In addition, an earlier CR study found the Outback has the most comfortable front seats. A recent study by Ketchum's Daily Ride Index found that the average American has seen a 12 percent increase in time behind the wheel per week (from 9 hours and 43 minutes per week to 10 hours and 50 minutes per week).

2022 Subaru Outback features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage

The Midsize SUV also has a car-like ride, comes with standard all-wheel-drive and X-Mode to get you off the beaten path.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Outback?

The 2022 Outback comes in eight trim levels; the base trim is priced from $27,845, Premium ($30,270), Limited ($34,720), Touring ($38,620), Onyx Edition XT ($36,270), new for 2022, Outback Wilderness ($38,120), Limited XT ($39,120), and Touring XT ($41,070). Pricing includes $1,125 destination and delivery fees.

Consumer Reports ranks the 2022 Subaru Outback number one in the 2-Row Midsize SUV category. They say, "Yes, it looks more like a raised wagon than an SUV, yet the Outback is a formidable competitor, thanks to its solid feel and very comfortable ride that outshines even some luxury SUVs."

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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: main image Competition Subaru

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K Jung (not verified)    August 30, 2021 - 4:47PM

A hybrid Outback with 10% more power and 15% mpg is more desirable. I don't need the turbo with the higher cost and lower mpg. The Santa Fe Hybrid is sold out within 275 miles of my location. I will wait for the Sant Fe Hybrid unless the Mazda CX-7 hybrid is going to come out sooner. A Honda passport Hybrid will be nice too.

Anthony (not verified)    July 25, 2022 - 11:01PM

My wife's 2016 outback is comfortable on short drives but anything over 2 hours driving, not so much.
We are planning a few long trips and will be looking for an upgrade in comfort. Hoping the 2023 Outback is an improvement