The 2013 Outback features a restyled front end, with new headlights, grille, front bumper, and fog lights, for a more powerful appearance. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive distinguishes the Outback from crossover competitors, which generally offer all-wheel drive as an extra-cost option. Numerous enhancements to the body structure, suspension, and steering give the Outback an even smoother and quieter ride for 2013; while also helping increase handling agility. Body roll has been reduced by up to 40 percent.
The Subaru Outback provides the crisp car-like handling with the versatility of an SUV. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance is higher than for many large SUVs and crossovers while maintaining a low step-in height.
The 2013 Outback 2.5i models debut a new double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter FB series Boxer engine for increased performance and fuel efficiency. The new engine produces 173 hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to 170 hp and 170 lb.-ft. with the previous engine. More significant is that the new engine produces greater low-end torque across a broad speed range, making the 2013 Outback 2.5i models more responsive in everyday driving.
Outback 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models offer a choice between a standard six-speed manual transmission and the second-generation Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission); the latter is standard on 2.5i Limited. Models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios. Outback 3.6R models continue with a 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder BOXER engine and five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Official EPA fuel economy figures are not yet available, but Subaru projects that the 2013 Outback 2.5i with the Lineartronic CVT will achieve 24-mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined, up compared with the 22/29/24 for the 2012 model.
Subaru also projects that the 2013 Outback will achieve a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2013 Outback models add a new Brake Override system.
The 2013 Subaru Outback (and Legacy®) models debut Subaru's new EyeSight driver-assist system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. Projected to be one of the most affordable such technologies available in the U.S. market, EyeSight uses a stereo camera design developed by Subaru to provide a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems.
New, more comfortable seat fabric, and a new light matte wood grain trim provide a sophisticated appearance. The Outback Limited models for 2013 offer a new Special Appearance Package option that provides a Keyless Access & Start system along with a two-position memory system for the already-standard 10-way power driver's seat. With the Keyless Access & Start system, the driver, while carrying the remote control in a pocket or purse, can unlock the car by touching the door handle button. The rear gate also has an unlock touch sensor.
Also in the Limited models, rear A/C outlets have also been added, and a new electro-luminescent instrument cluster integrates the 3.5-in. color screen for the multi-information display, which also shows EyeSight functions when the car is so equipped. The Outback was the first crossover to feature as standard factory-installed foldable roof crossbars. For 2013, a new adjustable design allows the rear crossbar to be moved further rearward to carry longer items such as kayaks or other outdoor gear.
The 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i models are available in three trim levels – base, Premium, and Limited. Outback 3.6R models will be offered in base and Limited. The base 2.5i features standard steering wheel cruise control and audio switches; a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with recline feature; electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System; and an automatic headlight function. The standard audio system in the 2.5i model is upgraded for 2013 to now include Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability, audio streaming, iPod® control capability, and a USB charging port. The system continues with an AM/FM stereo, single disc CD player, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), 3.5mm aux. input jack, and 4 speakers.
Outback Premium models add a 10-way power driver's seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; body-colored side mirrors; 17-in. alloy wheels (all 3.6R trim lines have 17-in. alloy wheels as standard); and other amenities.
The Limited trim lines add to the Premium perforated leather upholstery; dual zone automatic climate control; the All-Weather Package that includes heated front seats and mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer (package optional for Premium); the harman/kardon Premium Audio Package (optional for Premium) with a 4.3-in. color display, 440-watt amplifier, nine harman/kardon premium speakers, and standard XM Satellite Radio® service (four-month free trial subscription included); rear A/C duct, electro-luminescent gauges, and a 4-way power front passenger seat. The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with a seven-in. LCD display, rear vision camera and XM NavTraffic® (with a four-month free trial subscription included), and an SD card slot for convenient navigation map updates, among other features.
Outback Premium and Limited models offer an available Power Moonroof Package with Rear Vision Camera that also includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink garage-remote function.