Both the 2019 Subaru Outback and Toyota Highlander are worthy vehicles for families and weekend warriors. If you're ready to begin the car-buying process, it's important to have a reliable vehicle for traveling the roads of Wakefield, Reading, and Danvers.

The spacious Outback is a high-performing wagon with a long list of standard features, while the Highlander crossover SUV offers dedicated performance and plenty of standard features of its own. Thus, the team at Ira Subaru has created this Subaru Outback vs. Toyota Highlander comparison to take a deeper look at some of the key items to consider when looking at these two cars!

Outback vs Highlander: Performance and Gas Mileage

The base engine in the 2019 Outback is a 4-cylinder engine that's plenty strong enough for daily driving around town. The base engine in the 2019 Highlander is also a 4-cylinder-a peppy engine that handles well in daily driving.

If you're looking to make an upgrade, you can easily do so in either vehicle. Both cars have available 6-cylinder engines that are great for highway driving as well as towing equipment along for a weekend adventure.

The Outback's base engine is a fuel-efficient one, earning an EPA-estimated 25 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway.1 Ultimately, this means fewer trips to the gas station to fill up, and more time to focus on the road ahead. While efficient, the Highlander gets an EPA-estimated 20 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway, leaving little doubt that the Outback is the right choice for the fuel-conscious driver.


With a lengthy list of standard infotainment options, the Outback does a good job to keep both driver and passengers entertained throughout the entire drive. The Subaru Outback features a standard SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia Plus system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, including SiriusXM® All Access Radio and iHeartRadio®. The Highlander's standard touchscreen is a smaller 6.1-inch offering, and an upgrade is required to get similar radio features.

The Subaru STARLINK™ system comes standard with Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, Pandora® integration, and more. With Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, it's easy to connect your smartphone to the touchscreen and access your navigation, text messages, and all your favorite songs. While the Highlander comes with an Entune™ Audio system, it doesn't carry Apple CarPlay™ or Android™ Auto technology, even in higher trims.

Tackle Any Road

The Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system comes standard in the 2019 Outback. This all-wheel-drive (AWD) system properly balances weight between the two sides of the vehicle, provides power to all four wheels, and offers optimal traction in snowy conditions, on wet roads, and on rough terrain. Unfortunately, the 2019 Highlander does not offer AWD as a standard feature.

The Outback's 8.7 inches of ground clearance also comes in handy if you're doing some low-level off-roading. The Highlander, meanwhile, checks in with 8 inches of ground clearance, giving the Subaru a small advantage in this category.

Subaru Outback vs Toyota Highlander: The Final Verdict

When searching for a car to help you tackle the roads of Wakefield, Reading, and Danvers, drivers should certainly consider both the 2019 Subaru Outback and 2019 Toyota Highlander. However, with its superior fuel economy, infotainment capabilities, and standard all-wheel drive, we think that the Outback wagon is an outstanding choice for the adventurous yet family-friendly driver.

To see it for yourself, test drive the 2019 Subaru Outback! Stop by the Ira Subaru showroom today or schedule a test drive with us.

1 EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage will vary with driving conditions and your vehicle's condition.

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