Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Subaru Outback

subaru outback 2012

One of the original sport wagons, the Subaru Outback has enjoyed a high level of popularity over the years, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. While other manufacturers are trying to create crossover SUVs and sportier minivans, the 2012 Subaru Outback has the perfect combination of on-road handling and ruggedness to handle getting off road when you need to.

Key Features

Subaru was serious about making this a true sport wagon and giving it as much off-road capability as possible. The base model 2012 Subaru Outback is standard with all-wheel drive, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and stability control. As you go up in trim levels, you’ll get more features, like a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, iPod and USB connectivity, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control.

Changes for 2012

In 2012, Subaru added Bluetooth phone connectivity and streaming audio for its premium trims. They also improved the roof rack on all models and included foldaway crossbars.

What We Like

We love the idea of a wagon that can actually hold its own on off-road excursions, and we love that it also gives a great driving experience on the road, too. For the power and performance, it also gets decent gas mileage, too.

What Concerns Us

While it’s a very versatile car, the 2012 Subaru Outback does have its limitations. It doesn’t have a third row bench, so if you need to carry more passengers, you may want to consider an SUV.

Available Models

Unlike a lot of other cars, the 2012 Subaru Outback has a unique engine configuration, called a boxer engine; the pistons lie flat and horizontally opposed to each other. In addition to choosing your trim level, you can also choose between a 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder or a 3.6-liter boxer 6-cylinder. The 6-cylinder is, of course, more powerful and has more torque, but the 4-cylinder gets 29 MPG on the highway with the automatic continuously variable transmission. The 6-cylinder is only rated at 25 MPG on the highway.

Major Recalls

A few major recalls have affected the 2012 Subaru Outback. Some models have been recalled due to increased brake pedal travel, an issue with the side curtain airbag inflator, malfunctions with the remote engine starter fob, a melting wiper motor bottom cover, and separation of the moonroof glass.

Common Issues

The most common problems that some owners have with the 2012 Subaru Outback involve poor braking when the vehicle is loaded down and issues with device connectivity with the Bluetooth system.

subaru outback interior 2012

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...

Related questions

Q: Brake pads replacement

Hello, thanks for writing in. Generally most brake pads have a specific thickness tolerance that is used to warn the owner of the vehicle of when it may be time to replace the pads. What this means is that you...

Q: buying for 22,000.00

That is a very tough question to answer without being able to see the vehicle first hand. That is a lot of miles, but if it was mostly highway miles, that isn't so bad. If it was a lot of...

Q: Big fast oil leak killed the whole motor

Typically, the standard in the automotive industry is that an engine burning 1 quart of oil every 1000-1200 miles is “normal.” The oil level of the engine should be checked every time the gas tank is filled. Subarus are known...