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The New Subaru Outback Improvements Are Good But They Could Be Better

What improvements did the 2021 Subaru Outback get? The 2021 Outback is coming this fall with new upgrades. See why the wagon could be better.


Consumer Reports says the Subaru brand makes the best cars of any mainstream automaker. What makes their cars better than other brands? Subaru keeps improving in safety, which SUV shoppers say is essential in a new car. For 2021, Subaru improves the Outback by making steering responsive LED headlights standard on all trims. The Outback also gets a new passenger seat belt reminder as well as a rear-seat reminder. But the new model could be better.

The curve-adaptive LED headlights were previously only available on Limited and Touring trims, but now they come standard on base ($27,845), Premium ($30,095), and Onyx Edition XT ($36,195) trims. Curve-adaptive headlights will improve safety ratings on lower trims with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is a good addition for 2021.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs

The steering responsive headlights will help drivers see better at night, especially outside the city, where there are no street lights. Many customers live in mountainous regions where deer and elk can cross the road, and the new headlights could help you avoid hitting an animal.

The Steering Responsive Headlights turn with the car so the driver can see around a curve where an animal or pedestrian could be walking. Around a bend, in IIHS testing, the LED Steering Responsive Headlights will project up to 300 feet, while the older Halogen headlights only project a little over 200 feet. That could be the difference between seeing a deer jump into the road and avoid hitting it.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs

The 2021 Subaru Outback isn’t the best it could be

There is another feature we would like to see Subaru offer on the 2021 Outback and all its all-wheel-drive vehicles. Subaru does offer a head-up display on the windshield that gives the driver EyeSight warnings and status information, but it doesn't show the car’s speed.

A head-up display is a needed safety feature because it allows the driver to keep both eyes on the road by directly putting essential information in the driver’s sight. Many automakers like Mazda and Hyundai are now offering a head-up display on lower trims, and you don’t have to buy a luxury car to get it. It’s the one feature Subaru should offer on the wagon. The 2021 Subaru Outback will begin arriving at retailers in October.

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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 and the founder of 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