Buying a new car or SUV is often a matter of finding out if what you need or want is more important. Sometimes, that is determined by price, while other times, it’s more involved: Are these seats more comfortable than the others? Can we get all the Cheerios vacuumed out easily?

The 2024 Subaru Outback and 2024 Toyota Venza offer numerous similarities, including attractive styling, room for five, and all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard equipment. But these two are not the same, so let’s take a look and sort out wants and needs.

2024 Subaru Outback

Subaru is the quirky brand with all-wheel drive (AWD) standard on all its SUVs that can run around town and then go off-roading. The vehicle that perhaps best exemplifies the brand’s personality is the Subaru Outback.

Is it a station wagon? Is it a sport-utility vehicle? Who cares? The 2024 Subaru Outback is a gateway to something fun. The standard 182-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is capable and efficient, but for some real fun, choose the 260-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder available to XT and Wilderness trim buyers.

The Outback comes in nine trim levels: Base, Premium, Limited, Onyx Edition, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, Limited XT, Touring, and Touring XT. The further up the chain you go, the more goodies you get. Knowing it captured our Best Resale Value award in its class might entice some to move up a level or two. Prices start at $30,240, including destination charges.

Subaru Outback Highlights

Being safe: Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist system includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Wilderness: No, not a set of directions, but the Outback’s most capable off-road trim level. It sits higher, gets extra protection underneath, rides on all-terrain tires, and receives a potent engine upgrade to a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder developing 260 hp. It’s a level of performance not available in the Toyota Venza.

X-Mode: Standard on every Outback, it optimizes the AWD system to maximize traction in off-road driving. The Onyx Edition and Wilderness models have a more advanced Dual-Function X-Mode with more off-road drive modes.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Outback models for sale near you.

2024 Toyota Venza

2024 Toyota Venza Limited in white driving down a street at night.

One might suggest the 2024 Venza is Toyota’s best-kept secret. The stylish 2-row crossover with room for five comes standard with AWD, and it’s a hybrid. Looks, capability, and efficiency make it a triple threat in the automotive world. That’s all before you get inside.

Entering the Venza’s cabin reveals a spacious, comfortable, upscale interior. With a 12.3-inch touchscreen making it easy to see where you’re going or what you’re listening to, matched to plush front seats and plenty of room for everyone, it’s easy to see why some might consider this rather than a RAV4, where fuel economy is just one mpg better.

It comes in four trim levels, starting with the LE and ascending to the XLE, Nightshade Edition, and Limited. There is only one engine choice, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid, so the higher trim levels offer you more technology and convenience. Pricing starts at $36,465, including destination fees.

Toyota Venza Highlights

It’s a hybrid: With outstanding fuel economy for a midsize SUV at 40 city/37 highway/39 combined, you’ll spend less on gas so that you can move up a trim level, perhaps. Also, you’ll wave at Outback owners as you drive past them while they’re at the pump.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+: The brand’s impressive suite of safety technology comes as standard equipment, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and intersection assistance. A “5-Star” rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only enhances its reputation for safety.

Panoramic roof: Yes, plenty of SUVs have massive moonroofs, but they often come with a fussy screen to block out the light. Not so in the Venza with its Star Gaze fixed glass roof. When you want less light, it transforms from transparent to opaque at the press of a button.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Venza models for sale near you.


The Outback and Venza have much in common with striking exteriors and spacious and tech-laden interiors, combined with AWD as standard equipment.


Let’s get the big difference out of the way now: the base price for the Venza is $6,000 more. It’s the price one pays for owning a hybrid, and if you drive it long enough, the fuel savings will compensate for the price difference. It will be great for getting the kids — or grandkids — to soccer practice, dance class, or wherever you need to go. However, if those trips with the children need some off-road fun, then the Outback, especially the Wilderness edition, deserves a look. The Outback also has the practical benefit of more passenger and cargo space.

2024 Subaru Outback 2024 Toyota Venza
Starting Price $30,240 $36,465
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 219 hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 163 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission CVT, AWD CVT, AWD
Fuel Economy 26 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg 40 city/37 highway/39 combined mpg
Also Available 2.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 108.1 inches 105.9 inches
Overall Length 191.9 inches 186.6 inches
Width 74.2 inches 73.0 inches
Height 66.1 inches 65.9 inches
Turning Diameter 36.1 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 38.6 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 39.0 inches
Legroom, Front 42.8 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.5 inches 37.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.1 inches 57.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.4 inches 56.9 inches
Cargo Volume 32.6 cubic feet 28.8 cubic feet

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