When you start to shop for a Subaru, if you don’t know the way Subaru labels its various “trim levels”, it can be very confusing.  Then come the many choices of “option packages”.  After that are “port-added accessories”.  All three of these can affect the price of a new Subaru Outback.

Here at the dealership in Fresno where I work in internet sales, what frequently leads customers shopping for a new Subaru down the wrong path is the Outback Premium trim level.  To most people, “Premium” sounds like the top of the line.  Turns out just like Starbuck’s coffee sizes, the actual label might mislead.  At Starbuck’s a “Tall” coffee is the smallest size they have.  In Subaru language, a Premium is one level above the base (stripped down) model.  The next level above Premium Outback is Outback 2.5i Limited.  When I first started here in 2012, I remembered this because “Limited” and “Leather” both start with “L” and Limited that is the first level above “Premium”.   We’ll deal with limited and leather in another post.

The purpose of this post is to discuss the 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium.  Because it is “in the middle” of the trim levels, Premium is the level that can be modified the most.  There are four different Option Packages on a Premium Outback:

  • Standard
  • Moonroof & Power Rear Gate
  • EyeSight + Blind Spot Detectors with Rear Crosstraffic Alert + Power Rear Gate + High Beam Assist  
  • EyeSight + Blind Spot Detectors with Rear Crosstraffic Alert + Power Rear Gate + High Beam Assist + Moonroof + Navigation 

If you are wondering why this level has the most varied options, it’s because the next level up comes automatically with many of these like Blind Spot Detectors and Moonroofs.  So Premium Outbacks have the most flexibility compared to the other trim levels.

Every Subaru Outback has the equipment included on a base.  Other equipment is either added or upgraded as you move up in trim levels.  He’s what Subaru addes to a Base 2018 Outback 2.5i to make it a Premium:

  • 10-Way Power Driver’s Seat (Includes Power Lumbar Support)
  • 12-Volt Power Outlets: Dash, Center Console & Cargo Area (3)
  • All-Weather Package:  Heated Front Seats, Windshield Wiper De-Icer, Heated Exterior Mirrors
  • SUBARU STARLINKTM 8.0″ Multimedia Plus Audio System
  • Vehicle Information Display
  • Auto-Up / Auto-Down Driver’s & Front Passenger Window w/ Anti-Pinch Protection
  • Cargo Area Cover
  • Dash Panel w/ Silver Stitching
  • Dark Tint Privacy Glass (rear and rear side windows)
  • Foldable Body-Color Exterior Mirrors
  • Fog Lights
  • Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control System
  • Inner Door Handles: Chrome
  • Illuminated Inner Door Pull Handle: Front Doors
  • Illuminated Overhead Console
  • Instrument Cluster w/ LCD Color Display
  • Leather Wrapped Shift Lever Handle
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel w/ Silver Stitching
  • Windshield: Dark Upper Sunshade Band

Subaru doesn’t build even one tenth the number of cars of its major Japanese competitors, but the ones they build, they build well.   It can be frustrating because in order to achieve production efficiency at the very high level of engineering in Subarus, certain things must be standardized.  In my position at the Subaru store in Fresno, CA, I work with customers every day all over the Western United States to find the right options and color combinations.  It usually works out.  If I don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, we can find one close or if you can be patient and/or flexible in your choices, you will drive home in a car that will keep you safe and in control for several hundred thousand miles.