Following a thorough redesign last year, the 2011 Subaru Outback gets only minor changes. XM satellite radio is now standard, and the Power Moonroof Package has been expanded to include a rear vision camera, which shows on a 3.3-inch display in the rearview mirror. Foldaway side mirrors are now standard.
Six different Outback models and two separate powerplants are available for 2011: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited.
The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine makes 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It can be mated to either the standard 6-speed manual or the optional Lineartronic CVT. The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine has 256 hp and 247 ft-lb of torque, and a standard 5-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Rev-Matching Downshift Blipping Control, which sounds as fun as it is to use with the paddles.
The 2.5i is the base model for the Outback, but like all Subaru models, it has Subaru's symmetrical all wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring, daytime running lights and airbags as standard equipment. Even air conditioning, auxiliary audio jack, power locks, mirrors and windows, cruise control, and eight cupholders are standard. The only option for the 2.5i is the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, or CVT.
The 2.5i Premium adds a 10-way power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels rather than the 16-inch steel wheels of the base model, halogen fog lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard equipment. Options include the CVT, an all-weather package with heated seats, mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer, the harman/kardon audio system and a power moonroof. The 2.5i Limited takes it all a step further with standard CVT, 4-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control and leather-trimmed upholstery. Options at this level include a navigation system with rear vision camera.
The 3.6R base level has the immediate advantage of 85 more horsepower, thanks to its larger, more powerful horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine. It comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels and larger brake rotors. The 3.6R Premium adds the all-weather package as standard equipment, a power driver's seat and leather steering wheel are also standard equipment. The harman/kardon audio system and power moonroof are optional. The top-end 3.6R Limited adds the power passenger seat, premium audio system, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, dual-zone climate control and leather-trimmed upholstery, with optional power moonroof and navigation system with backup camera.