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What other crossover and modest-size SUV's are comparable to the Subaru Outback?

I believe the Toyota Rav4 SUV is close. Highlander as well but it adds a 3rd row of seats. Which others are in roughly the same comparable group as the Subaru Outback?

I like the Honda CRV, the Toyota Rav4, and the Ford Escape. They are all very nice vehicles.

Don’t let anyone tell you that there is a drastic difference in quality between imports and domestics. I can point to two Escapes in my neighborhood with >150k miles and 1 Subaru with a head gasket that failed in <80k.

Thanks. I should have refined my question - I was looking for SUVs that are not gas guzzlers and that are really more like cars (more like an Outback except with more interior volume). Can handle a little off road but not really meant for it. I got curious when I was surprised to see that the Toyota Highlander and Rav4 get pretty good highway mileage - much better than I would have expected.

Was curious about alternatives to crossover vehicles like the Outback that offered more interior volume and perhaps more seating (like the Highlander which has 3 rows of seats) without compromising gas mileage. I’ll repost asking this.

The head gasket issue was a problem with older 2.5 liter 4 cylinder Subarus. The 6 cylinders don’t have that problem, and I think Subaru corrected or improved the issue for new 4 liter Subaru Outbacks.

The Suzuki SX4 is smaller but cost Thousands of dollars less then anything else with 4 wheel drive

Comparable? Yes, but IMHO not as good. You can indeed compare an apple to an orange.

I’m not doubting you - I’m in the market for a Subaru Outback myself - but may be looking at a mid-size high mpg SUV soon as well - how do you think the Outback is better?

OK, looking at gas mileage for a 4wd/AWD SUV (city/hwy) and not hybrids:

Jeep Compass (man) 22/27
Nissan Rogue (auto) 21/26
Jeep Compass (auto) 21/24
Jeep Patriot (auto) 21/24
Subaru Forester (man) 20/27
Subaru Forester (auto) 20/26
Subaru Outback (auto) 20/26
Honda CRV (auto) 20/26
Toyota Rav4 (auto) 20/25
Mitsubishi Outlander (auto) 20/25
Ford Escape (auto) 19/24

Alright, I won’t list them all. You can look them up here:

None of the cars I listed are that far off on gas mileage. I would not consider the Escape to be a gas guzzler too an Outback. My opinion is that you are mentally hung up on an Outback. Many people are and that is why the Outback sell at a premium. If you want a good car for a good price you will need to expand your maker parameters. You might find an Outback for a good price, you might not. Keep your eyes open for the best deal you can find. Personally I like domestics, I have found them cheap to buy and cheap to keep. If you can find a well maintained car of any make, by all means buy it. What ever you buy, if you keep it well maintained, it will last you a good while and be a fine car.


LOL you just don’t understand what I had to do. Don’t judge your fellow driver until you’ve had to drive a few miles in his seat…

I was not mentally hung up on an Outback. Rather I had to select 1 model to focus on - to learn it well to know what to look for and confine my search to make my search quick and efficient (though I looked within a several hundred mile radius - a very good value is worth a few hours driving). I’m moving a company I founded out West and relocating with my wife, yet might have to return to the E Coast because of an illness in the family. I needed a car that I could use for some very light moving of computer equipment and light office furniture when needed, day to day travel during week, and a short road trip every few weeks of 2-3 hours. I needed that car to be a car that holds its value well so I could sell it without a big penalty if I needed to in the fall. Guess what? My highly targeted method worked. In 10 days efficient steady effort, including research, search, inspection and buying, I got a great deal on an Outback VDC edition that checked out in thorough inspection in excellent mechanical and cosmetic shape, was well maintained and came with a bunch of valuable extras. I inspected only 3 cars at fairly minimal cost to get there.

I asked about the other cars because in the future, if we get a second car, or if we need a bigger car, I was curious to learn about crossovers and compact-mid SUVs that were highly fuel efficient yet offered more internal volume and seating space. I have not followed cars for years, living in a major city with 3 car rental places in several blocks walking distance.

BTW, I don’t think the Outback is not the be-all-end-all of cars. No car is. It depends on your use. But the AWD Subaru Outbacks with VDC (anti-slip) handle many road and weather conditions very safely, the car makes a great car for driving into the mountains for skiing (you often see them passing SUVs on mountain roads in winter), the car has among the best crash tests, Subaru has just overtaken Toyoto for reliability and I could go on. It’s a good gar, there are other many other good cars out there, but I just had to pick 1 car that would work for us to make my search quick and efficient.

Hum, check out the new Mercury Sable. Might be more than you can handle yet a test drive will/can tell you what you really want.