Monday, May 27, 2024
Reviews2024 Subaru Outback Onyx Review: Forget the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4;...

2024 Subaru Outback Onyx Review: Forget the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4; This Wagon is Way Cooler

The Subaru Outback continues to deliver on every conceivable level and it's better looking than any SUV


The car world is brimming with compact SUVs, and because of this it’s no easy feat for a vehicle to carve out its niche and command attention. Yet, Subaru’s Outback has done just that, distinguishing itself from the crowded segment of CRVs and RAV4s. Having recently reviewed the Honda CRV hybrid, spending a week with the rugged and always cool 2024 Subaru Outback reminds me that we don’t all have to ride in an SUV. The Outback is a vehicle that blends utility with distinctiveness in a market thirsty for both.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

The Enduring Charm of the Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a testament to the brand’s knack for crafting vehicles that resonate with adventure-seekers and pragmatic drivers alike. Its ascent in popularity amidst a sea of compact SUVs speaks volumes about its unique proposition. The Outback, along with its sibling the Crosstrek, emerges not just as another option, but as a clear indicator of individuality and versatility. As I like to ask: Why be like everyone else?


A Blend of Style and Substance

With its roots stretching back 30 years to its inception in 1994, the Subaru Outback has evolved significantly, now in its sixth generation since the 2020 model year. The 2024 Outback continues to charm with its blend of sensual station wagon physique and utility, embodying the spirit of an actual sport utility vehicle while retaining the essence that has endeared it to fans over the decades.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

Spotlight on the Onyx Edition

Navigating the landscape of pricing and features, the 2024 Subaru Outback presents a number of interesting propositions. With the base Convenience trim starting at $33,995 and the feature-rich Onyx edition at $40,595, the Outback positions itself competitively among average SUVs. In my opinion, the Wilderness is the most interesting at $44,795 thanks to its supplemental cladding, increased ride height, and turbocharged 2.4L H4 engine. Even so, each trim level is thoughtfully curated, ensuring that there’s a perfect match for varying preferences and needs.

The Onyx Edition, a new addition to the Outback lineup, flaunts black wheels and trim that accentuate its already adventurous spirit. This edition is more than just a visual treat as it’s a close one can get to the Wilderness without spending the extra money. It includes Dual-function X-MODE, all-weather rubber floor mats and rear bumper step pad, a heated steering wheel, front and rear seats, and more. In fact, it represents exceptional value, marrying style with substance in a package that appeals to a broad spectrum of buyers.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

Inside the Outback

The interior of the Subaru Outback offers plenty of space, comfort, and practicality. Among the numerous highlights are the impressive outward visibility it affords, making for an airy and enjoyable driving experience, complemented by ample storage solutions that cater to both daily errands and weekend getaways.

The heart of the Outback’s tech suite is its 11.6-inch display which is available from the Touring trim. While it impresses with its size, its user-friendliness is often questionable where the screen creates reflections and navigating menus isn’t always as intuitive as it should be. The lack of physical buttons, such as the seat warmers, means butts will remain colder longer as they can only be activated once the screen itself warms up. Even so, the integration of features like wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the premium Harman Kardon audio system elevate the in-car experience.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

The Outback shines in utility, offering generous cargo space that easily accommodates lifestyle activities from golfing to grocery shopping. Its practicality stands up not just against other SUVs, but wagons too, making it a versatile companion for various needs.


Driving Dynamics

The driving experience in the Outback is as pleasant as ever as it strikes an ideal balance between comfort and capability. Its suspension and handling betray a vehicle keen on delivering a drive that’s both engaging and reassuring. The Global Platform is as always a wonderful structure that enables the dampers to properly do their jobs.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

The Onyx is powered by Subaru’s veteran naturally aspirated 2.5L flat-4, good for 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Power is decent and the distinct Boxer engine noise becomes part and parcel of the experience. Said experience is only mildly buggered by the CVT’s occasional desire to hold engine revvs. Otherwise, it’s brilliant and only better with the turbocharged 2.4L.

The 2024 Subaru Outback reaffirms its place in my heart and does so every time as a vehicle that dares to be different. In a market saturated with compact and midsize SUV options, the Outback provides an answer to every requirement. If you want to break away from the conventional, this is your car.

2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre
2024 Subaru Outback | Photo: Matt St-Pirre

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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