Note: Current model pictured here
The Subaru Outback has always been the Boy Scout of the car/wagon/crossover crew, with its standard AWD and rugged, foul-weather-defeating demeanor. While that demeanor won’t likely change, reports say the Outback is getting a Legacy -style work-over for the 2015 model year and will make its grand entrance at the 2014 New York Auto Show this spring.
Since the Outback is essentially the wagon version of the Legacy, it makes sense the recent changes to the 2015 Legacy would make their way over to the Outback. What this means for the Outback is a new exterior look with a similar reworked grille, headlights and raked windshield. The extra body cladding and plastic bits that make an Outback look like an Outback will surely make their return.
Inside, the same redesigned dashboard, instrument panel and center console with softer touch, more premium materials will be present. The coupe -like look of the new Legacy obviously won’t make the jump as cargo room and rear passenger headroom are bigger priorities in the Outback.
History tells us the powertrain offerings will be identical as well. The new Legacy offers two engine choices: a 2.5-liter flat-four making 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and the 3.6-liter flat-six putting out 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, both engines are stuck with CVT transmissions with no conventional manual on the horizon.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru Outback.
The Edge is more an upright, SUV-like crossover compared to the Outback’s wagon design. The Edge’s higher seating position and clean exterior design might be enough to attract buyers to away form the Suby – especially those who aren’t brand loyal and aren’t looking for that classic Subaru go-anywhere capabilities.
The Edge has three separate powertrain options: a 3.5-liter V-6, a 2.0-liter I-4 EcoBoost, and a 3.7-liter V-6. Fuel economy is 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for a 3.7-liter V-6 with AWD, and 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with front-wheel-drive. Pricing starts at $28,100 and climbs into the upper $30k range with options.
Gallery Ford Edge EcoBoost
The Venza is a much softer option compared to the rugged Outback. While the Venza does offer AWD, it lacks the needed ground clearance to tackle anything beyond snow and ice. While this might be a factor for some, others might enjoy the Venza’s more comfortable and luxurious cabin. Refinement is definitely superior in the Toyota.
Two engines are offered here: a 2.7-liter I-4 making 181 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque and a 3.5-liter V-6 putting out 268 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque. MPG ratings fall mid-pack at 20/26/23 for the four-cylinder in front wheel drive guise and 18/25/21 for a V-6 fitted with AWD.
Pricing for the Venza starts low and tops out high. $27,950 will get you a base Venza with FWD and the I-4. Check every option box on a Venza Limited with AWD and the V-6, and you’re looking at over $40,000.
Gallery Toyota Venza
The Outback got its start in 1994 with the introduction of the second generation of Legacy sedans. Originally called the Subaru Legacy Outback, the name was eventually shortened. The Outback got its first makeover in 1998 and lasted until 2003 when the third generation Legacy came out.
The Outback grew in size, capability, and refinement. The interiors received much attention from the automaker in making it much more welcoming and tolerable in extended highway jaunts.
The current outback came to market in 2009 with the fifth generation Legacy. Growing even more in size and refinement, the Outback stretched further towards the Crossover SUV category while still remaining a car-based wagon.