Subaru is America’s All-Wheel Drive leader and Outback, together with the brand’s Legacy® line, is the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in the United States.
All Subaru models are equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which powers all four wheels all the time and automatically transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction.
New for 2006, the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine that powers Outback 2.5 i and 2.5 i Limited models offers more performance. The new i-Active Valve Lift system boosts horsepower to 175 from 168 on the previous model year. The new system also increases peak torque to 169 lb.-ft., up from 166 lb.-ft., and improves vehicle drivability at all speeds. The Outback 2.5 i and 2.5 i Limited now feature standard 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/55 R17 tires (replacing 16-inch alloy wheels). All Outback models gain a standard cabin air filtration system, and the 2.5 i and 2.5 i Limited models also add the engine immobilizer security feature that was already standard on the Outback 2.5 XT and 3.0 R models.
Subaru has refined the Outback lineup for 2006, adding four new models and discontinuing one: (1) The Outback 2.5 i Wagon with Navigation System is new and also adds other amenities, including dual-zone automatic climate control and a 6-disc in-dash CD changer; (2) the new Outback 2.5 i Limited Sedan offers all of the luxury amenities of the 2.5 i Limited Wagon in a sport sedan package; (3) the new Outback 3.0 R Wagon is the third 6-cylinder model in the line; (4) the Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition Sedan replaces the discontinued Outback 3.0 R Sedan and joins the L.L.Bean Edition Wagon.
The new 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 R Wagon brings the performance of the high-end 6-cylinder Outback models - including the advanced Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive - to a more accessible price point. This model builds on the extensive standard equipment of the 4-cylinder Outback 2.5 i model and adds a five-speed automatic transmission with SPORTSHIFT, a tire pressure monitoring system, dual-zone automatic climate control system, leather-trimmed steering wheel and 6-disc CD changer.
All Outback 3.0 R models are exclusively powered by a 250-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC 6-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine. The flagship Outback model, the 3.0 R VDC Limited Wagon, adds the new Subaru Navigation System as standard equipment. The navigation system, which features touch-screen control, is offered as an option on the Outback 2.5 i with automatic transmission, the Outback 2.5 XT Limited and the Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition models. The navigation system’s integrated trip computer replaces the trip computer that’s standard on all Outback models.
For 2006, Outback Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) models sold in California, New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont produce the same horsepower as federally certified models sold in all other states. In contrast, many PZEV-compliant vehicles sacrifice some power to achieve zero evaporative emissions.
The 250-horsepower 6-cylinder Outback 3.0 R models and the 250-horsepower intercooled/turbocharged Outback 2.5 XT and 2.5 XT Limited models bring a dramatic performance infusion to the Outback line. With these models, Subaru offers customers two distinct versions of high-performance driving: the 6-cylinder Outback 3.0 R models provide a linear power feeling that is characteristic of a higher-displacement engine; the turbocharged Outback 2.5 XT models offer a more sporty and exciting type of engine performance.
The 3.0-liter DOHC 6-cylinder Boxer engine, produces 250 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 219 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. Premium technology includes Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing and Active Valve Lift System (AVLS). These systems enhance power at all engine speeds while ensuring optimal efficiency and low emissions.
The intercooled/turbocharged 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder boxer engine that powers the Outback 2.5 XT models produces 250 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm.
The turbo engine shares architecture and key performance technology with the rally-bred Impreza® WRX® STI®, including Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing technology that helps optimize low and mid-range torque and high-end output. The turbo engine also offers outstanding performance at high altitudes, where changes in atmospheric pressure adversely affect the power output of naturally aspirated engines.
A 5-speed electronic direct control automatic transmission is standard on all Outback 3.0 R models.
Outback 2.5 XT models come equipped with a standard 5-speed manual transmission and offer the 5-speed automatic as an option. With the automatic, the SPORTSHIFT feature allows manual shift control from the console-mounted shifter and, on Outback 2.5 XT models, steering wheel shift buttons, as well.
The Outback models are designed and equipped to compete with the growing range of crossover models in the market, including those from luxury brands. The melding of passenger car and SUV attributes - such as generous ground clearance and the command-seating position - has been designed to meet the demands of consumers shopping the crossover segment.
The third-generation Outback design expresses its dynamic performance and nimbleness. The pronounced wedge body shape conveys a strong and stable presence, accentuated by aerodynamic side ground effects, pronounced wheel arches and protective side cladding. Premium design details include glass-look D-pillars on wagons, an extensive color palette featuring additional monochromatic choices, judicious use of chrome trim, a rear gate spoiler and raised black-letter tires.
All Outback 3.0 R models and the 2.5 XT models feature body-color exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, and a front bumper underguard distinguishes the 3.0 R models. On Outback 2.5 XT models, a functional hood scoop supplies air to the engine-mounted intercooler. The Outback 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition Wagon and Sedan are further distinguished by a specific alloy wheel design, co-branding identification and exterior colors that are exclusive to these models.
The roomy and versatile Outback interior combines a dynamic design and high-quality materials.
Flush surface treatments, a soft foam upper dashboard, soft foam door trim and aluminum side sill covers all provide a premium appearance and ambience. The Outback interior features a two-tone color arrangement, with cloth upholstery for the Outback, 2.5 i, 2.5 XT and 3.0 R Wagon, and leather-trimmed upholstery for all others.
The sporty 4-dial instrument panel is augmented in all Outback models by a combination digital clock and trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Some of its functions and displays include outside air temperature, fuel consumption, driving range, estimated driving time and a passenger airbag on/off indicator light. Outback 2.5 XT models exclusively feature an electroluminescent LED (light-emitting diode) gauge display.
Standard equipment includes an 8-way power driver’s seat for all models, with Outback 2.5 XT Limited and 3.0 R models also featuring a standard 4-way power passenger seat with lumbar support. Front seats on all Outback models provide standard 4-stage heating.
A power glass moonroof, standard on Outback 2.5 i Limited, 2.5 XT Limited, 3.0 R L.L.Bean and 3.0 R VDC Limited models, provides a single large opening when the tilt-up front section and retracting rear section are opened. (The 2.5 i Limited Sedan and 3.0 R L.L.Bean Edition Sedan feature a single-panel power glass moonroof.)
Outback models offer the rugged, go-anywhere capability that Subaru customers want while also providing the crisp handling response and smooth, quiet ride comfort expected in a premium model.The stiff unitized body structure makes extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum, as well as advanced construction techniques including hydroforming and tailored-blank welding. The multilink rear suspension attaches to a hydroformed steel sub-frame for added rigidity.
The 4-wheel independent heavy-duty raised suspension and 17-inch wheels and 225/55 R17 raised black letter tires on all Outback models enable all-road, all-weather agility. Generous ground clearance compares to that of many SUVs — 8.4 inches on Outback 2.5 i and Outback 3.0 R models and 8.7 inches for Outback 2.5 XT models. The rack-and-pinion steering system has been designed for quick response, high precision and excellent feel. A 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard equipment on all Outback models.
Built around a refined version of the company’s proven Ring Frame Reinforced safety structure, Outback models feature as standard equipment front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants.
Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to detect the presence and weight of a front passenger and also the driver’s distance from the steering wheel. The system determines front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection. All Outback models for 2006 feature active front head restraints, which can help reduce potential whiplash injury in a rear collision.
The 2005 Subaru Outback earned the highest rating in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests. The newly designed Subaru Outback received “5-star” ratings in both the frontal and side-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions.
All-Wheel Drive is a cornerstone of Subaru brand identity, not just an add-on feature. Consistent with this philosophy, all Subaru All-Wheel Drive systems are organized under the “Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive” branding umbrella. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a total system that integrates a lightweight low profile horizontally opposed (Boxer) engine and a full-time power transfer system. The system provides excellent balance thanks to the longitudinally mounted Boxer engine and the way power flows from it through the transmission and to the rear differential along a straight, near-horizontal path.
Subaru offers four different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive in the 2006 Outback line, each tailored to the model and transmission. With the 5-speed manual transmission, the system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute the power 50:50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power to the opposite set of wheels. In Subaru Outback 2.5 i and Subaru Outback 2.5 i Limited models equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission, an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions.
All Outback 3.0 R models - and Outback 2.5 XT models when equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission - use a version of the system called Variable Torque Distribution (VTD). A planetary gear center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. VTD normally sends more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, but the system continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving conditions.
Exclusive to the flagship Outback 3.0 R VDC Limited is Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), an advanced stability system that controls VTD operation and integrates an electronic 4-wheel traction control system (TCS). Traction control functions as a second line of defense against wheelslip, after All-Wheel Drive.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N. J., the company markets and distributes All-Wheel Drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States.
Subaru is the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2004.