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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo V60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Subaru Outback doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
Both the V60 and Outback have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The V60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Outback’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The V60 offers an optional 360° Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The V60’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Outback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the V60 and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The V60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The V60’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Outback’s (12 vs. 5 years).
Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the V60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outback.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volvo 22nd in reliability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.
The V60 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (250 vs. 175) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 174) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The V60 T5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 247) than the Outback 3.6R’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl. The V60 T6’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (316 vs. 256) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 247) than the Outback 3.6R’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the V60’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The V60 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Outback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the V60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the V60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium. The V60’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Limited/Touring.
The V60 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Outback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the V60’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the Outback (113.1 inches vs. 108.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the V60 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the Outback.
The V60 is 9.9 inches shorter in height than the Outback, making the V60 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the V60 Inscription’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the V60’s available liftgate can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Outback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Outback Limited, the V60 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The V60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outback doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the V60 and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the V60 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.
The V60’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
The V60’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the V60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Outback doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The V60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Outback doesn’t offer headlight washers.
When the V60 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outback’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the V60 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outback doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The V60 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.
Both the V60 and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the V60 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback Base/Premium doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The V60’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Outback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The V60 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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