Business Opinion

Review: 2024 Subaru Outback Touring Delivers Outstanding Safety

2024 Subaru Outback Touring. Photo credit: Keith Griffin

This crossover, though, doesn’t forget its role as a weather beater and off-road carver when needed.

Subaru Outback. Photo courtesy of Keith Griffin

By Keith Griffin

Is any vehicle more suited for the vagaries of New England weather than the 2024 Subaru Outback? Make it the Touring trim level and you have an SUV that combines practicality with some upscale touches.

This is an SUV you want to drive regardless of the conditions. It’s nimble, has decent power, and a roomy interior that offers an abundance of practicality.

Plus,  there’s the safety angle that can’t be ignored. The Outback comes standard with the latest generation of EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.

The enhanced system operates more smoothly and under a greater range of conditions. These improvements are the result of a wider field of view, updated control software, and the addition of an electric brake booster.

Subaru Outback. Photo courtesy of Keith Griffin

On models equipped with blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, EyeSight now includes automatic emergency steering. The two systems work in conjunction to help avoid a collision with an obstacle at speeds less than 50 mph.

The top-level Touring trim, the model loaned for review by Subaru, adds a wide-angle mono camera that works with the dual-camera EyeSight system. The additional camera expands the field of view even further to recognize pedestrians and bicycles sooner when the vehicle enters an intersection at low speed. EyeSight gives an alert to the driver and, when necessary, applies brakes to avoid collisions.

When first introduced about nine years ago, EyeSight was revolutionary for its time because it sees things faster than any driver can. An early test model did get fooled once by a bright burst of sun on the horizon and exuberantly hit the brakes. Since then, including the current iteration, it is practically flawless in its ability to enhance safety. Why practically flawless? I’m not an engineer. Maybe there exists an anomaly in its design.

Subaru Outback. Photo courtesy of Kieth Griffin


As mentioned above, the Outback is nimble for an SUV. It delivers the capacity of a larger vehicle with the handling of a much smaller vehicle. Is it as capable as a WRX? Of course not, but it holds a steady line regardless of the curves in the road even when approached with a touch too much speed. Test drivers don’t drive recklessly but sometimes need to see speed limits as recommendations to appreciate a vehicle’s capability.

Most people won’t test the Outback for its off-road abilities but if you do, it comes with standard Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive, active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control, and X-MODE with hill descent control. Of those features, the one you will use the most and appreciate the least is active torque vectoring. When you corner, it applies light brake pressure to the inside wheel, which sends more power to the outside wheel for better handling because wheel spin is reduced.

The Outback Touring, the mode loaned by Subaru for review, comes standard with the 2.4-liter turbo/intercooled engine; with 260-hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. It’s more than enough oomph to move the Outback around in any situation most drivers encounter. Subaru knows how to combine performance with practicality.


MAKE: Subaru

MODEL: Outback Touring

ENGINE; 2.4-liter turbo BOXER engine

HORSEPOWER; 260 horsepower

TORQUE: 277 lb.-ft. of torque

FUEL ECONOMY: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway

PRICE: $40,345 (base)

COMPETITORS: Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-30, Ford Bronco Sport

Longtime West Hartford resident Keith Griffin is a veteran auto journalist whose work has been published in U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe and online for various New York Times companies. He is a past president of the New England Motor Press Association.

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