Which is bigger: Crosstrek or Outback?

The most obvious difference between the Outback and Crosstrek is their size. The Crosstrek is a compact SUV with hatchback style that measures out to a 176.4-inch length, 71.7-inch width, and up to 63.6-inch height (including roof rails). The Outback, on the other hand, is a midsize SUV, which is larger in every dimension with a length of up to 191.9 inches, width of up to 74.6 inches, and height of up to 66.9 inches (including roof rails). 

This means the Crosstrek is easier to park on a cramped downtown street and gives it a slightly nimbler driving feel due to its shorter wheelbase and lower driver’s seat. But if you’re heading out on a national park road trip with family or friends, you’ll appreciate all the extra passenger and cargo space the Outback offers, and its longer wheelbase and higher seating position can make the ride a little smoother.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Dimensions

Length:

176.4 inches

Width:

Up to 71.7 inches

Height:

Up to 63.6 inches

Wheelbase:

Up to 105.1 inches

Base Curb Weight:

3,277 – 3,369 pounds

2024 Subaru Outback Dimensions

Length:

Up to 191.9 inches

Width:

Up to 74.6 inches

Height:

Up to 66.9 inches

Wheelbase:

108.1 inches

Base Curb Weight:

3,641 - 3,946 pounds

Which has a more powerful engine and greater towing capacity: Crosstrek or Outback?

Engine power and towing capacity are also key differences between these two crossovers. The Crosstrek and Outback are both equipped with the time- and trail-tested SUBARU BOXER® engine to power their standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems. Every SUBARU BOXER engine is built with a unique horizontal layout, giving both vehicles a lower center of gravity and a finely tuned balance between power and fuel efficiency. 

The Crosstrek lets you prioritize fuel economy or horsepower with a choice between 2.0- or 2.5-liter direct-injection engines. The available 2.5-liter engine gives the Crosstrek up to 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque for fun everyday driving. The Outback offers a standard 2.5-liter engine and an available 2.4-liter direct-injection turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine that provides 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque across a wide power band. The Outback wins on power with 78 more available horsepower than the Crosstrek. For towing capacity, the Outback also comes out on top with 2,700 pounds for 2.5-liter models and 3,500 pounds for turbocharged models, compared to the Crosstrek with 1,500 pounds. However, both vehicles' Wilderness trims provide 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. For shoppers who are looking to tow large boats or cargo trailers, the available turbocharged-engine Outback and the Crosstrek Wilderness are clear winners.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Engine:

2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Available 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Horsepower:

152 hp at 6,000 rpm (2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

182 hp at 5,800 rpm (2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

Towing Capacity:

1,500 pounds

3,500 pounds (Wilderness)

 

2024 Subaru Outback

Engine:

2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

(Available 2.4-liter Turbocharged SUBARU

BOXER engine)

Horsepower:

182 hp at 5,800 rpm (2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

260 hp at 5,600 rpm (2.4-liter Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine)

 

Towing Capacity:

2,700 to 3,500 pounds

Which has more ground clearance: Crosstrek or Outback?

At first glance, both the Crosstrek and Outback seem evenly matched on ground clearance at 8.7 inches, which lets them rise above terrain and deep snow for even more standard off-road capability. But for those looking for more adventure-ready SUVs, the Outback Wilderness trim features rugged upgrades that include 9.5 inches of ground clearance and a standard front skid plate so you can explore rougher trails. The Crosstrek Wilderness has the same durable features, but with a ground clearance of 9.3 inches.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Wilderness Ground Clearance:

9.3 inches

2024 Subaru Outback

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Wilderness Ground Clearance:

9.5 inches

Which has more passenger and cargo space: Crosstrek or Outback?

Although both vehicles can seat up to five passengers, the more compact Crosstrek has less interior space than the midsize Outback. But the right-sized interior of the Crosstrek still offers up to 100.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and up to 54.9 cubic feet of versatile cargo space with the standard 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks lowered. The Outback maximizes its longer layout with up to 109 cubic feet of passenger space and up to 75.6 cubic feet of cargo room with its similar rear seatbacks folded. While both SUVs give you loads of room to bring along endless combinations of people and gear, the Outback gives you the most room for hauling cargo.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Passengers:

Seating for up to 5

Maximum Cargo Space:

Up to 54.9 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

99 cubic feet (Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims with moonroof)

100.5 cubic feet (Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims without moonroof)

Passenger Legroom:

42.9 inches (front)

36.5 inches (rear)

 

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 39.8 inches (front)

Up to 38.0 inches (rear)

2024 Subaru Outback

Passengers:

Seating for up to 5

Maximum Cargo Space:

75.6 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

107.5 cubic feet (Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, Wilderness, and Touring XT trims with moonroof)
109 cubic feet (Base, Premium, Limited, and Wilderness trims without moonroof)

Passenger Legroom:

42.8 inches (front)

39.5 inches (rear)

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 40.1 inches (front)

39.1 inches (rear)

Build and Price

Now you’ve explored some of the major differences in specs and features between the Subaru Crosstrek and Outback, but online research can only take you so far. Each vehicle has its own unique personality, driving feel, and customization options. You can start by building your own Crosstrek and Outback with our online tools and try each vehicle out in a test drive at your local retailer to find the Subaru SUV that’s perfect for you.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

MSRP:

$25,195 - $32,195*

MPG:

Up to 34/27 MPG highway/city**

2024 Subaru Outback

MSRP:

$28,895 - $42,795*

MPG:

Up to 32/26 MPG highway/city**

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Exterior Color Options

Alpine Green

+ $395 paint upgrade

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

Geyser Blue

Horizon Blue Pearl

Ice Silver Metallic

Lithium Red Pearl

Magnetite Gray Metallic

Offshore Blue Metallic

+ $395 paint upgrade

Pure Red

Sapphire Blue Pearl

Sun Blaze Pearl

2024 Subaru Outback Exterior Color Options

Autumn Green Metallic

Brilliant Bronze Metallic

Cosmic Blue Pearl

Crimson Red Pearl

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

Dark Mahogany Pearl

Geyser Blue

Ice Silver Metallic

Magnetite Gray Metallic

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Available Trims

Base

Premium

Sport

Limited

Wilderness

2024 Subaru Outback Available Trims

Base

Premium

Onyx Edition

Limited

Touring

Onyx Edition XT

Wilderness

Limited XT

Touring XT

A commitment to safety is something the Crosstrek and Outback share. They’re both built with trusted Subaru safety engineering like the Subaru Global Platform. Both the Crosstrek and Outback are built on this protective architecture, which uses high-strength steel to provide durable crash protection and rigidity. They are also both equipped with industry-leading active safety systems like standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which gives you an extra set of eyes on the road and, if need be, an extra foot on the brake when you drive. EyeSight also features the convenience of Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, which can take some of the stress out of driving by helping with steering, braking, and throttle control — both in daily traffic and on long road trips. One safety feature available only on select Outback trims is the Subaru DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, which acts as an attentive co-pilot along for the ride, ready to give a helpful alert if you become distracted or drowsy.

 

The Crosstrek and Outback both feature standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive across every trim for outstanding capability. The balanced design of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive creates uniform stability and delivers an optimal distribution of power for maximum traction in virtually any weather or road condition. It delivers better handling, improved efficiency, and a quicker response to road conditions than competitors’ optional systems. 

X-MODE®, also standard on both vehicles, works in conjunction with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to optimize your traction on slippery surfaces and includes Hill Descent Control, which helps you descend difficult grades. Select Crosstrek and Outback trims offer an enhanced dual-function X-MODE that lets you choose settings for specific conditions like deep snow, dirt, and mud.

The Crosstrek and Outback both use the Subaru Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT system features two pulleys that can vary in width connected by a steel chain. By changing this width, the CVT can create an infinite “gearing” across its range, which lets it continuously and smoothly adapt to performance demand by keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. Both vehicles also offer available (Crosstrek) and standard (Outback) manual modes, which allow you to move through these “gears” using paddle shifters and give you more precise engine control.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Transmission

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and Incline Start Assist (Standard on Base trim)
  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control, Incline Start Assist, and 8-speed manual mode with paddle shifters (Standard on Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims)

2024 Subaru Outback Transmission

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and 8-speed manual mode with paddle shifters (Standard on all trims)

Like every new Subaru, the Crosstrek and Outback feature two standard warranties. The Subaru Limited Factory Warranty provides limited bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and the Powertrain Warranty covers the engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive and lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

You can also purchase extended coverage for both vehicles through the Subaru Added Security Program, which offers two different plans. The Classic Plan covers major parts, including the engine, all-wheel drive (AWD), and transmission (as well as towing and car rental), while the Gold Plus Plan adds coverage to air conditioning, electrical, steering, front suspension, brakes, and other systems.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with dual 7-inch touchscreens (Standard on Base trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Optional on Limited trim)

2024 Subaru Outback Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with dual 7-inch touchscreens (Standard on Base trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, Onyx Edition XT, and Wilderness trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Touring, Limited XT, and Touring XT trims. Optional on Premium, Limited, and Wilderness trims)

The size difference between the compact Crosstrek crossover and the Outback midsize SUV are reflected in the vehicles’ fuel efficiency. Both vehicles have excellent gas mileage, thanks to Subaru’s expertly engineered BOXER engine design. However, as the smaller and lighter vehicle, the Crosstrek does have the advantage in this area, with the Base and Premium trims boasting 34/27 MPG highway/city. The Outback’s Base and Premium trims come close, with 32/26 MPG highway/city, but the rugged Wilderness trim’s efficiency declines to 26/21 MPG highway/city. When you select each vehicle's rugged Wilderness trims, fuel efficiency declines to 26/21 MPG highway/city (Outback Wilderness) and 29/25 MPG highway/city (Crosstrek Wilderness).

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Miles Per Gallon**

  • 34/27 MPG highway/city (Base and Premium trims)
  • 33/26 MPG highway/city (Sport and Limited trims)
  • 29/25 MPG highway/city (Wilderness)

2024 Subaru Outback Miles Per Gallon**

  • 32/26 MPG highway/city (Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring trims)
  • 29/22 MPG highway/city (Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT trims)
  • 26/21 MPG highway/city (Wilderness)

 

The larger size of the Outback means it can also fit a larger gas tank, giving it a fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. With its gas mileage of 32 highway and 26 city MPG**, that means it can reach over 590 miles of driving range. But while Crosstrek's fuel capacity is smaller, at 16.6 gallons, its lower weight gives it slightly better fuel efficiency at 34 highway and 27 city MPG**. This means the Crosstrek still delivers an impressive driving range of over 560 miles.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Fuel Capacity:
16.6 gallons

Driving Range:
Over 560 miles

 

 

2024 Subaru Outback

Fuel Capacity:

18.5 gallons

Driving Range:

Over 590 miles