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Subaru Outback Scores Buyers Choice Award; AutoWeb Misses One Important Fact

The 2018 Subaru Outback is AutoWeb's Buyers Choice for best wagon. They miss one important fact about the recreation-purposed vehicle.

The 2018 Subaru Outback scores the best wagon award in the second annual AutoWeb Buyer’s Choice Awards. It’s an award that doesn’t express AutoWeb’s opinion, but it’s based on the opinion of the 120 million consumers who visited AutoWeb's network of automotive websites. Outback wins for the second year in-a-row, but they miss one important fact about the recreation-purposed vehicle.

Even though Outback is more of a Crossover/SUV vehicle, the 2018 Subaru Outback wins in the “Best Wagon” category. AutoWeb says, “Outback hits the sweet spot for those who demand utility from their vehicle but still value a drive experience that feels connected to the road.”

AutoWeb praised Outback for its high-end features, improved connectivity, freshened styling, improved ride quality, smooth, quiet 6-cylinder power, 4-cylinder fuel economy, spacious interior, sterling safety record, all-wheel-drive, and its multi-purpose utility. But they never mention an important off-road feature that sets the wagon apart from all other wagons, crossovers and SUVs.

Outback features X Mode

Since the 2015 model year, Outback comes standard with a feature called X-Mode. It can be engaged by simply flipping a switch on the console. How does it work? In a nutshell, X Mode works in addition to the Symmetrical all wheel drive system to give you even greater traction and control.

Subaru X Mode is a software program engineered to get the Outback up and down extreme terrain. The system uses lower gear ratios to generate extra power at the wheels that have grip, directs power to slipping wheels, intervenes earlier during wheel slippage, and employs "Hill Descent Control" so you don't need to apply brakes and risk locking them up when headed down steep slopes.

Subaru sells more Outbacks than any other vehicle in three states, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. This is where you’ll find Outback owners taking the vehicle into the high country for weekend excursions to get away from civilization. X Mode is the one feature missed by AutoWeb that allows consumers with adventurous lifestyles to go deep into the back country.

Subaru of America knows that around 30 percent of Outback owners will take their vehicle off-pavement and its why the 2018 Outback is the only model in their lineup that comes standard with the extreme feature.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA