2024 Subaru Outback Onyx

The Outback may not be the fastest in a straight line, but it's otherwise comfortable, roomy, and extremely easy to live with
The Outback may not be the fastest in a straight line, but it's otherwise comfortable, roomy, and extremely easy to live with

by Rushabh Shah and Nick Tragianis | April 30, 2024


The Outback has been on-sale for nearly three decades now. What started out as a raised Legacy wagon with some extra body cladding turned into one of the best-sellers in a unique class. After six generations, we spent some time with the 2024 Subaru Outback Onyx to see if this latest model maintains enough of the distinctive charm the brand is so well-known for.

Style-wise, the 2024 Outback maintains the same looks as it did last year, following a subtle refresh. I’m not sure if it’s just me coming around to the design, or maybe it’s the silver paintwork on this particular tester, but the Outback has grown on me. It’s fairly handsome, taking a lot of cues from the WRX, including a lot of body cladding. Our tester’s Ice Silver Metallic helps break up all the body cladding and black wheels, which tend to blend into one dark blob with darker colours — like last year’s dark blue Outback. The aggressive styling is common to all Outback models, and the even more rugged Wilderness takes it a few steps further with a slight lift, all-terrain tires, unique bumpers and trim, and of course, even more body cladding.

Inside, the Outback does a great job of feeling spacious. Its large greenhouse means visibility all around is excellent, and there’s ample legroom front and rear. The “all-weather soft-touch” seat material with green stitching is standard on the Onyx. The Wilderness gets something similar; it adds a camping-gear sort of feel to the interior. It does feel a little artificial, and even though you know it doesn’t have to be there, you can appreciate the effort Subaru has made to channel that outdoorsy feel. The lesser Convenience and Touring trim come with cloth seating, while the Limited and Premier have leather.

Materials and fit-and-finish feel pretty standard for Subaru, meaning it feels quality though not exactly class-leading. I can’t say the same about the rather substantial centre console display. The 11.6-inch Tesla-style vertical touchscreen is powered by Subaru’s latest StarLink infotainment; even after having years to get used to it, I just haven’t. It’s functionally OK with mostly good responsiveness, but the interface and graphics still lack visual appeal. It really cheapens the look and feel of the Outback, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and ease the sting a little bit. The lack of physical controls is also a frustrating sore point, but at least you get a volume knob and physical buttons for temperature adjustments on the fly.

Behind the wheel, the Outback handles itself just as you’d expect. It’s very well-composed albeit a tad boring, but that isn’t the worst thing in the world. The one major grip with the driving experience remains the CVT. You pretty much have to tip-toe and feather the gas pedal, otherwise the tendency to drone and groan under hard acceleration is annoying. Speaking of acceleration, it feels anemic at best with just 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque on tap from its 2.5-litre Boxer four-cylinder engine, but there’s decent mid-range torque.

Fuel efficiency stands at 10.8 L/100 km combined. That’s quite a way’s off from the Outback’s official combined rating of 8.7 L/100 km, but the wintry conditions we experienced plus ample city driving we did no doubt impacted that number. Regardless, while your longer journeys with the Outback may be relaxed, you’ll at least enjoy fewer stops. It’s officially rated at 9.2 L/100 km city and 7.3 highway, so you’ll likely see better numbers in fairer weather.

Canadian pricing for the Outback starts at just $33,995 for the base Convenience trim, running up to $47,395 for the fully loaded Outback Premier with the more powerful turbo engine. Our Onyx tester sits in the middle at $40,595, which is pretty good value overall for a comfortable, spacious crossover with one of the best all-wheel-drive systems in the business. Subaru’s array of active safety features and driver assists, including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist operate well and are standard on all trims, though upper-level models get additional features such as forward-facing cameras, lane centering, and more.

There aren’t many other vehicles that sit in the same category as the Outback, favouring more of an SUV feel over the Outback’s wagon-esque charm. Personally, I think for those looking for more of a “lifted car” experience rather than a full-on SUV, the 2024 Subaru Outback Onyx fits the bill.



Vehicle Specs
Midsize crossover
Engine Size
2.5L Boxer four-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
182 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
177 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
920/2,140 L (seats up/down)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Rushabh Shah

Staff Writer

Rushabh is an avid car enthusiast since the day he was born. He’s an experienced detailer and largely does his own vehicle maintenance. On the side, Rushabh can often be found tinkering on his classic Porsche 911SC.

Current Toys: ’97 F355 Spider 6MT, '79 911SC Targa, ’00 M5, '13 750i Executive