I love a good wagon, as evidenced by my intrinsic infatuation with the Saab 9-5 Aero. But in the modern day, we have different contenders on the chopping block, namely the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad and 2021 Subaru Outback. Here’s how the two stack up.

Price

The 2021 Subaru Outback has an MSRP of $26,795. We don’t need to go into much detail here, because the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad starts at way more — $44,600, to be exact. And while they may not be in the same price range, stay tuned, because these wagons have quite a bit to fight over.

The winner: 2021 Subaru Outback

Space

While both the Audi and Subaru wagons seat five, their interior dimensions vary. Cargo volume for the A4 Allroad hits a maximum of 58.5 cubic feet (but it goes down to 24.2 if you want to seat more friends). The Outback has a stronger cargo volume of 75.7 cubic feet (which descends to 32.5 if you want more heads in the car). For packing and outdoor adventures, this spare space makes all the difference.

The winner: 2021 Subaru Outback

Performance & efficiency

For 2021, the Audi A4 Allroad is up to 261 horsepower (an increase of 13 horses). This is in addition to 273 pounds-feet of torque, all of which is backed by a turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI engine and quattro all-wheel drive with ultra technology. It accelerates from 0–60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. As for efficiency, we’re looking at 26 combined MPG. The ground clearance is 6.5 inches.

The 2021 Subaru Outback obviously features symmetrical all-wheel drive that’s standard in almost every Subaru vehicle. The quintessential turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine is also included, granting drivers 277 pounds-feet of torque and 260 horsepower. Its 29 combined MPG beats the Audi by a few crucial points. The special Onyx edition does offroading right thanks to dual-function X-Mode. The ground clearance on all models is 8.7 inches.

The winner: I don’t think anyone can disagree that the performance-oriented 2021 Audi A4 Allroad beats in performance, but it’s also true that the 2021 Subaru Outback is more efficient with a stronger ground clearance. For that, it’s a tie.

Headlights & design

Perhaps the coolest part about the 2021 Subaru Outback is the now-standard Steering Responsive LED headlights (both low and high beams). This helps with nighttime visibility by aiming the beams wherever you’re steering on windy roads. High beam assist is also standard on all models.

As for design, the Outback looks outdoorsy, which should come as no surprise. But if you’re looking for something more luxurious, the Onyx Edition XT or Touring model will be your best bet.

The 2021 Audi A4 Allroad also comes standard with LED headlights, but you need to upgrade for daytime running lights or matrix-design LEDs. Currently, no steering responsive option is available.

It’s design is killer, with leather seating on the inside and a blackout panoramic roof on the outside. I don’t think anyone can deny that Audi appeal, either.

The winner: You can disagree with me in the comments if you wish, but I’m going with the 2021 Subaru Outback. That standard headlight move was a good one. Boom.

Amenities & extras

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to dig in here.

The Subaru Outback offers an 11.6-inch touchscreen equipped with Subaru Starlink technology. A built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and Harman Kardon premium audio system are both luxurious. A power rear gate and power seats with memory are standard on most trims. You also get tons of driver-assistance tech on most models, namely advanced automatic collision notification and remote engine start with climate control.

The new Audi A4 Allroad comes standard with Audi pre sense basic and city. You also get an MMI touch display with a 10.1-inch screen as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bump up a trim or two and you get the parking system plus, wireless charger, virtual cockpit plus, navigation package, Bang & Olufsen sound system, traffic sign recognition and even a head-up display with navigation info (phew, that was a mouthful).

The winner: This one 100% goes to the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

The winner: 2021 Subaru Outback

Because of its overall practicality, reliability and maybe a little bit of my own bias, I’m declaring the 2021 Subaru Outback the winner in this fight between off-road-ready wagons.

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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    7 Comments

    1. The Outback is the clear winner with that 11-inch screen and other extras.The steering responsiveness being standard on the OUtback is a huge plus as well.

    2. My vote would definitely go to the Subaru. It’s hard to pass up those features with such a good price.

    3. Makes sense the Subaru would win.

    4. Both cars look great however I do agree Subaru wins in this case. It has some advantages and its also very similar to the Audi for almost half of the price.

    5. I’m sure the Subaru Outback is going to the cheaper on maintenance cost.

    6. Subaru all the way for me. More bang for the buck, better clearance, and cooler headlights.

    7. The turbo version of the 2021 subaru outback can tow about 3500 pounds, which is impressive for a car this size.

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