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Why The New Subaru Outback Is Still Your Best Choice For Winter Weather

Is the 2021 Subaru Outback a good vehicle for driving in the snow? We break down the models and trims that are best for winter driving.

Subaru of America reports the Subaru Outback is still the second-best-selling model in its lineup, with 11,784 units delivered to customers in January. Outback is up 3.6 percent over January 2020 for a good reason. Customers want a vehicle that is best for navigating winter weather.

Which 2021 Subaru Outback trim is best for winter driving?

With seven trim levels to choose from, which one is best for driving in snow and ice? All 2021 Outback trims come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, X-Mode for off-pavement adventures, hill-descent control, and 8.7-inches of ground clearance. So all trims are ideal for navigating winter weather.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing
Photo credit: Subaru of New England

The base and Premium trims will get you to your destination safely for the average consumer who uses the SUV to commute and drive in urban environments. All trims also come standard with EyeSight driver assist safety technology with advanced adaptive cruise control and lane centering.

The base and Premium trims come with a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with more than enough power. The 2.5-liter engine produces 185 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA estimated 26/33 city/highway and 29 combined mpg.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing
Photo credit: Subaru of New England

Subaru offers the Outback Onyx Edition XT with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine for customers who want more power for navigating a high mountain pass or who live outside the city limits. The new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA estimated 23/30 city/highway and 26 combined mpg.

The Outback XT trims also comes with an exclusive dual-function X-Mode feature for increased off-pavement capability. You can read our full report on dual-function X-Mode, and why it’s a feature you would want, and how to use it.

The Onyx Edition XT seats are wrapped in a new water-repellant durable StarTex material if you are off-road in the dirt and snow for active customers.

All models from the Premium trim on up offer the all-weather package with heated exterior mirrors, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats, and windshield wiper de-icer. The optional package is a must for those who live in cold-weather climates.

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru Outback?

The 2021 Outback comes in seven trim levels, base $27,845, Premium ($30,095), Onyx Edition XT ($36,195), Limited ($34,645), Limited XT ($39,045), Touring ($38,545), and Touring XT ($40,995). Pricing includes $1,050 destination.


The 2021 Subaru Outback Premium trim hits the sweet spot for many customers, comes well equipped, and has all the features you want for winter driving. Unless you need to pull a trailer, carry extra cargo and haul people up a mountain pass regularly, the 2.5-liter engine will do just fine.

For customers who live in mountain regions, need the extra power, and use their vehicle for off-pavement adventures, the 2021 Subaru Outback XT turbocharged trim is the right choice.

All 2021 Subaru Outback trims are ideal for navigating winter weather. It depends on how you are using the mid-size SUV. The Outback is the second best-selling model for Subaru of America in January because it has a car-like ride and the utility and cargo-carrying capability of a bigger SUV.

You Might Also Like: The 10 Best Rated AWD Cars This Winter - Subaru Dominates The List With 4 Models

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 of New England


ASC (not verified)    February 7, 2021 - 1:30PM

Onyx nailed it for me. New engine, no bling-bling wheels to go passé by July, RAB, all the Eyesight features,StarTex interior. Just the stuff I wanted without going full pinkie ring, gold medallion like the other XT stablemates. Could use the wheel heater, but if that’s what the high manicure models need to sell, go for it.