Subaru Outback's Standard EyeSight® Package Leaves Rivals Behind

The Subaru Outback has been a perennial favorite with buyers for many years, and the 2019 model promises more of the same. Low-seated but delivering plenty of room for cargo and passengers, the Outback manages to deliver in all areas. How does this SUV compare to other automakers' offerings? Our comparison will help you better understand what's available and what you can expect with other vehicles in the same segment.

Subaru Outback

The 2019 Subaru Outback gets a few upgrades, but the most important of those is the fact that the EyeSight® package of safety features and driver assist technology is now standard equipment across all trim levels. That's something you will not find with any other competitor. The Outback also offers some of the best cargo space in the category and the cabin is very spacious.

There are six trim levels available, four of which use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and two of which offer a 3.6-liter engine. All of them are all-time all-wheel drive, which is something else you won't find on most competing vehicles.

The base model offers 17-inch wheels, as well as a rearview camera and a roof rack. There is a 6.5-inch infotainment screen that connects you with the Starlink system. There's also a USB interface. Moving up to the next trim you gain dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel, larger speakers, additional USB ports, and an eight-inch touchscreen.

The next trim up brings blind spot monitoring, as well as a power liftgate. The highest level trims offer 18-inch wheels and a roof rack, as well as wood grain trim within the interior.

Ford Edge

Resembling nothing more than a diminutive Explorer, the Ford Edge enters 2019 with refreshed styling and a new St trim, as well as a new shifter for the transmission. However, the interior remains as staid and uninspiring as before, and the visibility out of the sides and rear is limited due to the thick pillars.

Ford offers four trim levels - the SE, SEL, Titanium and ST. Each builds on the other, and the base trim kicks things off with 18-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and a 4.2-inch infotainment screen (much smaller than the Outback's). The SEL bumps that screen to eight inches, and brings dual-zone climate controls, while the Titanium trim level brings 19-inch wheels and a high-end audio system. The ST trim gets a bigger engine and 20-inch wheels. Note that the safety and driver assist features available with Subaru's EyeSight® suite are only available as upgrades with most Edge trims.

Compare the Subaru Outback

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Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe's makeover makes it resemble the Nissan Rogue in many ways, and it suffers from the same poor outward visibility. The SUV also suffers with an underpowered base engine. You must upgrade to one of the two highest trim levels to change the low-powered 4-cylinder for a higher-powered V6.

There are several different trim levels on offer with the Santa Fe, but it is not until the SEL and SEL Plus that the automaker goes beyond the basic. With that being said, the base model does offer a decent number of safety options, such as rear cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring. The Limited and Ultimate trim levels bring LED lighting, a top-down camera system, ventilated front seats, and a larger (eight-inch) touchscreen for the infotainment system. Note that all trim levels can be equipped with all-wheel drive, but are front-wheel drive by default. Changing to all-wheel drive does incur an additional cost.

Chevy Equinox

The Chevy Equinox offers a decent exterior appearance, but it suffers from quite a few flaws. Chief among those are its startling lack of cargo capacity - it's actually one of the least capable in the segment. The L base model is also not available except as a special order, which means you cannot even test drive one. The interior design is lackluster, and most buyers report that the materials used are also low-quality.

The L, LS, LT, and Premier trim levels give access to a number of features and accessories, but all-wheel drive is only available as an upgrade. Drivers will need to upgrade to the LT trim in order to benefit from most of the safety and driver assist features available on other models, and even then they are only available as options, not as standard equipment.

A Top Versatile SUV

When everything is said and done, the Subaru Outlook remains one of the most versatile small SUVs on the market. It offers outstanding interior space, good cargo space, excellent ride height, and manages to win out over its competitors quite easily in most comparisons. Most notable are the full features across trim levels, which many of the competitors lack until you reach higher trims. Now with standard EyeSight® safety and driver assist features, the Subaru Outlook is the clear choice in its class.