2022 Subaru Crosstrek vs Outback SUV Comparison

difference between outback and crosstrek

Looking for your next Subaru SUV but confused between your two favorite vehicles, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2022Subaru Outback. To help you, we are going to differentiate between Subaru Crosstrek vs outback. 

The Subaru Crosstrek and Outback may look similar, but they are actually in two separate classes. The Outback is a mid-size crossover SUV, while the Crosstrek is a compact SUV. 

The Subaru Outback has more of a pickup look and, as we’ll see, it’s bigger overall than the Crosstrek. Both are spacious, safe, and equipped for off-road adventures. 

Despite their similarities, they also have some differences. Either would be a good option, but which one is best for you and your loved ones? We will help you answer that question in this article. We explain the most important differences between Subaru Crosstrek vs outback in terms of size, features, performance, and safety.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek Overview

subaru crosstrek vs outback

Originally released as the XV Crosstrek, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is currently in its second generation after a huge sales hit. 

The Crosstrek is one of the best-selling vehicles in 2022 on the market thanks to its impressive safety technology, amazing off-road capabilities, a deceptively spacious interior, and affordable price. 

For the 2022 model year, Subaru has resolved the Crosstrek’s biggest weakness by adding a larger 2.5 liter, 182 horsepower engine while maintaining a CVT transmission and the brand’s famous AWD system. 

A cheaper entry-level engine with manual transmission and a hybrid version is also available.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek Specifications

  • MSRP: $22,245 – $35,345
  • Engine: 2.5 L 4-cylinder
  • MPG: 28 City / 33 Hwy 
  • Horsepower: 182 hp
  • Capacity: 5 Seats
  • Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive

2022 Subaru Outback Overview

subaru outback vs crosstrek

Although this Subaru wagon has been completely redesigned for the 2021 model year, this sixth-generation Outback looks a lot like the vehicle it replaced. 

But under the skin, it relies on the new Subaru Global Platform, which is significantly stiffer than its predecessor. The interior changes for 2022 are minor. The Outback receives active LED headlights that are connected to the steering so they point to corners.

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You now also have a rear seat warning, reminding you to check the rear seat for small children or other valuable luggage after the Outback’s engine has shut down.

2022 Subaru Outback Specifications

  • MSRP: $26,795 – $39,945
  • Engine: 2.5 L 4-cylinder
  • MPG: 26 City / 33 Hwy 
  • Horsepower: 260 hp
  • Capacity: 5 Seats
  • Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive

2022 Subaru Crosstrek vs Outback – Hand By Hand Comparison

Both the Outback and XV Crosstrek stand top in the SUV market, these two models are made in different shapes due to differences in design, size, and purpose.

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The crossover nomenclature describes a vehicle with SUV functionality based on the frame of a car rather than a truck, giving crossovers capability without hulking size. Each of the Subaru vehicles is famous because of its unique personality and benefits. These two vehicles look the same but they have different features. 

In this article, we compare the Subaru Crosstrek and Outback by their specification so you can see the difference between outback and Crosstrek and pick a favorite.

1. Price

The Subaru Crosstrek is available at a great price. With a starting MSRP of $22,245 and five passenger seats, the Crosstrek is ideal for adventurers traveling near and one of the cheapest vehicles

Its infotainment controls are straightforward and the Crosstrek, new for 2021, is available with a more powerful engine that offers faster acceleration. 

The interior is considered a mid-range crossover. The top-of-the-line Touring XT, which starts at $39,945. In the Subaru outback vs Crosstrek Price, Subaru Crosstrek is ahead.

Winner: Subaru Crosstrek

2. Size

Both the Crosstrek and Outback are shared by Subaru’s legacy of design , as are most of the automaker’s other current models. However, the Outback has a larger size than the Crosstrek. 

It’s 191.3 inches long with a wheelbase of 108.1 inches while the Crosstrek measures 175.8 inches long with a wheelbase of 104.9 inches. That means more interior space. Subaru states a maximum passenger volume of 109 cubic feet for the Outback and 100.9 for the Crosstrek. 

So Subaru Crosstrek vs Outback price size comparison, Outback breaks apart from the competition.

Winner: Subaru Outback

3. Comfort

While the interior of the two Subaru SUVs has the same feel, the overall theme is that the Outback has something else to offer. The Outback has higher quality features. 

For example, an upgrade to the Crosstrek Limited is required to see a power-adjustable driver’s seat and a leather-wrapped shift handle. With the Outback, you just have to switch from base to premium to find the same features. In addition, the Outback has several components available that the Crosstrek does not have,

Such as an electrically adjustable passenger seat, a memory function with two positions for the driver’s seat. Outback excels in Subaru outback vs Crosstrek comfort.

Winner: Subaru Outback

4. Towing Capacity

Both the Crosstrek and the Outback can haul cargo. The Crosstrek can pull up to 1,500 pounds with its smaller engine. 

In contrast, Outbacks that use a 2.5-liter engine can pull 2,700 pounds, and those that have a 2.4-liter turbo engine have an impressive 3,500 pounds towing capacity. Subaru Crosstrek vs Outback trailer load, Subaru Outback is a better trailer load.

Winner: Subaru Outback

5. Performance

The standard engine inside is a 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The pickup is available with a loaded 2.4-liter four-cylinder that develops 260 hp. 

The Crosstrek comes with a 152 hp 2.0-liter engine and can be equipped with a 2.5-liter engine that produces 182 hp. When it comes to the performance of the Subaru Crosstrek versus the Outback, the Outback is the clear choice over the Crosstrek.

Winner: Subaru Outback

6. Technology

Both models receive versions of the Starlink infotainment system from Subaru. The Outback comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but all trim levels except the base model have an 11.6-inch portrait touchscreen. 

The Crosstrek is a step down from the Outback in the Subaru line and has a slightly older design so it doesn’t have the big screen. 

However, it comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen or an optional 8.0-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim level. Subaru Outback wins the fight in Subaru outback vs Crosstrek Tech.

Winner: Subaru Outback

7. Handling

Both vehicles have symmetrical all-wheel drive, giving them additional traction in slippery situations.

All-wheel drive can be activated at any time and, in addition to driving on snowy or icy roads, it can also be useful on steep climbs and turning maneuvers. 

These Subarus also have Active Torque Vectoring, a system that can apply braking force to each front wheel when cornering. This can lead to better handling and easier steering. So in terms of handling, both SUVs are doing well.

Winner: Tied

8. Safety

In both the Crosstrek and the Outback, the larger models have blind-spot monitoring, a lane change assistant, and a rear cross-traffic warning to give the driver information about what he cannot see. 

To make sure people are paying attention to the streets, the Outback has a DriverFocus deflection system. You can tell if someone is distracted or tired behind the wheel by using an in-vehicle camera that monitors the location of the driver’s eyes. NHTSA gives both models a five-star rating.

It works similarly to facial recognition software. Subaru Outback gives you a better choice when we compare Subaru crosstrek vs outback safety.

Winner: Subaru Outback

9. Fuel Efficiency

Equipped with the same engine and CVT, the Crosstrek and Outback are pretty close in terms of fuel economy. 

The Crosstrek has a combined power of 29 mpg (27 city mpg, 34 highway mpg) with a 2.5-liter engine. 

The Outback has the same combined mpg rating but loses 1 mpg in the city and highway categories. Subaru Crosstrek has a slight advantage compared to Subaru Crosstrek vs outback MPG.

Winner: Subaru Crosstrek

10. Final Verdict

By now it should be clear that the Outback is a higher quality vehicle and is the larger SUV of the two Subaru models. The Outback will appeal to more people who want more cargo space and a nicer cabin, provided they can afford all of these additional benefits. 

Capable and well designed on its own, the Crosstrek could easily meet the needs of people who want a modern SUV. 

Customers need to weigh the benefits and costs of these two vehicles and decide which is best. Overall, Outback is our recommendation after comparing all of the differences between outback and crosstrek in the comparison guide.

Winner: Subaru Outback

Top FAQs About Crosstrek vs Outback

Which is better, the Outback or the Crosstrek?

Both the Subaru Crosstrek and Subaru Outback are the first preference when we are to choose our next crossover SUV.

The impressive passenger and cargo space, as well as the fantastic advanced safety features, are attractive and will make you and your passengers happy. The only determining factor is size. Here the Outback has the upper hand over Crosstrek.

Which has the most cargo space, the Outback or Crosstrek?

In the rear, the Outback offers a total of 75.7 cubic meters of cargo space, while the Crosstrek has a total of 55.3 cubic meters of cargo space. The additional 20.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the outback makes it the best option for families. When it comes to performance, the Outback is the upper hand over the Crosstrek.

Is the Subaru Outback bigger than the Crosstrek?

Since the Crosstrek is a compact SUV and the Outback is an SUV, the Outback is slightly larger than the Crosstrek.

Both models have the same exceptional 8.7-inch ground clearance, but the Outback has a wider body. Overall, the 2022 Outback is a slightly larger vehicle than the 2022 Crosstrek.

Final Thought

Subaru is doing its best when it comes to Outback 2022 and Crosstrek 2022. Both models stand out for their performance, interior, spacious cabins, and technology, which means they’ll look great no matter which one you choose. 

The Crosstrek can be tailored perfectly to your needs. If you prefer something more spacious to leave more space for your bag for a day. Then the Outback might be for you.

Dylan Miller

I am a Chicago native and regular contributor to "Locar Deals". I have a master's degree in English, am an automobile content creation specialist, and have written professionally for a variety of automotive companies over the past few years. I write on a variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to ten-year-old gas guzzlers and everything in between. And I love sharing valuable car buying tips with consumers from all walks of life.

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