One of Subaru’s best-selling models, the 2000 Subaru Outback, offers a rugged take on the traditional station wagon. Like Subaru’s sharply-styled Legacy, the Outback comes with standard all-wheel drive and wagon and sedan body styles. However, the Outback adds a number of unique all-terrain enhancements.
Though adequately equipped for light to moderate off-road scenarios, the Subaru Outback doesn’t offer the hill-climbing prowess of a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle. Nor does it offer the soft suspension of the average car. But for families who want the all-weather security of an SUV without the typical harsh ride and cumbersome handling, the Subaru Outback remains hard to beat.
Body Styles: wagon, sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Subaru Outback, Subaru Outback Limited
For 2000, the Subaru Outback gets a brand-new design. Most notably, Subaru beefs up the Outback’s safety features with disc brakes, an anti-lock braking system, and a sturdier structure supported by front and rear side beams. The engine has also been retuned, providing a slight boost in torque. A new multi-link rear suspension improves handling.
The 2000 Subaru Outback looks easily recognizable by its two-tone paint scheme, rugged lower body cladding, and available wagon body style. While the 187.4-inch wagon remains the most popular variation, the Outback Limited trim also comes in a 184.4-inch sedan version.
Standard exterior equipment on the base Subaru Outback includes 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted privacy glass, fog lights, a roof rack, bumpers and protective cladding in a contrasting color, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, intermittent windshield wipers, and a rear window wiper. The Limited wagon adds power heated mirrors, keyless entry, a limited-slip rear differential, and dual power sunroofs. Both trims offer an optional trailer hitch, while the Limited is also eligible for a rear wind deflector. The sedan version of the Limited comes with the same amenities as the wagon, minus the roof rack and one of the sunroofs.
Standard interior features of the Subaru Outback include cloth upholstery, bucket front seats, a split-folding rear bench seat, power-adjustable driver’s-seat settings, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tachometer, and an audio system with a cassette player. The Limited gains leather upholstery, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated front seats, a center storage console, an overhead console, and a CD player. Many of the Limited’s standard features remain optional on the base, including the CD player, heated front seats, and heated mirrors. Both trims can upgrade to a CD changer.
Wagon and sedan versions of the 2004 Subaru Outback both seat five people comfortably, with front occupants receiving 39.2 inches of headroom, 43.1 inches of legroom, 51 inches of hip room, and 52.6 inches of shoulder room. Rear occupants enjoy 37.4 inches of headroom, 32.4 inches of legroom, 52.6 inches of hip room, and 51.8 inches of shoulder room. The Limited sedan offers 12.4 cubic feet of cargo storage, while the base and Limited wagons provide up to 34.3 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
All 2000 Subaru Outback models get their power from a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine generating 165 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. Wagon models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while the sedan gets a four-speed automatic gearbox. All models feature all-wheel drive, but those fitted with the automatic gearbox come with the advantage of active all-wheel drive, which has the ability to anticipate and prepare for slippages in inclement weather.
A recent redesign improves the Outback’s performance with a heavy-duty independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and a rubber-isolated subframe. Thanks to the changes, 2000 Outbacks offer sharpened handling and reduced road noise. When properly equipped with a trailer hitch, the Outback tows up to 2000 pounds.
However, the Outback has its faults. In spite of an increase in low-end torque, the inline-four offers sluggish acceleration, particularly when gearing up for freeway passes. While the versatile vehicle offers a more comfortable ride than a typical SUV, it doesn’t feel as smooth or agile as a regular car. The multi-link rear suspension allows for light to moderate off-road travel, but isn’t designed for serious athletics. The 2000 Subaru Outback proves ideal for buyers looking for the best of both worlds. However, those who prefer either a comfortable ride or true off-road performance may prefer a more traditional vehicle.
The Outback comes standard with front and rear side beams, four-wheel disc brakes, anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger front airbags, child safety door locks, and a roadside assistance program. Limited models also include side airbags. Crash test data remains unavailable for the 2000 Subaru Outback.
EPA Fuel Economy
Subaru Outback: 23/29 mpg city/highway
Subaru Outback Limited: 23/29 mpg city/highway
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Some off-road abilities
- Roomy wagon
- Comfortable ride
You Won't Like
- Limited power
- Trails SUVs in off-road skill
A stylish alternative to traditional SUVs.
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