Why the 2015 Subaru Outback Matters:
The 2015 Subaru Outback is the latest and greatest edition of one of the Japanese brand’s most popular vehicles. The Subaru Outback jump-started the crossover segment back in the 1990s, and it’s stayed at the crest of that wave ever since with its wagon-like practicality and standard all-wheel drive. Not radically different, the 2015 model makes changes where they matter most, including under the hood and in the safety department.
New 2015 Subaru Outback: What’s New
Although immediately recognizable, the 2015 Subaru Outback’s styling has been smoothed out and strengthened, especially up front where a bold new grille sits between a pair of hawk-like headlights. In profile, even with a more pronounced windscreen rake, this is still the jacked-up wagon we have always loved, which is good news for fans of the brand who prefer incremental styling over wholesale changes.
There’s almost no change in terms of the overall size of the 2015 Subaru Outback, which grows imperceptibly longer and wider yet manages to offer a larger cargo capacity (73.3 cubic feet) and more passenger room (105.4 cubic feet) than the vehicle it replaces. A more upscale interior also greets Outback buyers, with special attention paid to sound attenuation and materials quality, and it’s now possible to get perforated leather, heated rear seats, a new 6.2-inch touchscreen interface, and improved mobile device integration with the crossover.
Safety-wise, the 2015 Subaru Outback now comes with an available ‘rear vehicle detection’ system that combines blind spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, and lane change assistance under a single umbrella. The Subaru Eyesight stereoscopic camera feature makes adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning possible, along with lane departure warning, and a backup camera is standard across the board.
The entry-level 2015 Outback comes with a familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, while the top-spec 3.6R features a revised 3.6-liter six-cylinder that delivers 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Output for both engines has been reconfigured so as to offer better mid-range performance. A continuously-variable automatic transmission is included with each motor, and fuel mileage improves to 25-mpg city and 33-mpg highway for the four-cylinder engine (the six-cylinder also swells by two miles per gallon for each respective measure, checking in at 19-mpg around town and 27-mpg during highway cruising). X-Drive is included free of charge with all Outback models to help boost off-road capability.
New 2015 Subaru Outback: What Autobytel Thinks
The 2015 Subaru Outback is a strong addition to the Subaru crossover family, and one that makes improvements where longtime customers will appreciate them most. The decision to add luxury content to the Outback should help keep customers in the fold who may have outgrown the vehicle’s previously more-austere comforts, while the additional efficiency made possible by the reconfigured drivetrains will be welcomed by anyone looking for a practical, all-wheel drive ride.