The wagon that thinks it’s a crossover

Considering the Subaru Outback is essentially the Legacy with a bigger booty, it comes as no surprise that Subaru wasted no time applying the updates from the 2015 Legacy to the Outback. As history has shown us, the 2015 Outback got similar exterior light units, grille, and overall styling. Inside, the Outback got the same redesigned dashboard, instrument panel and center console with softer, more premium materials. Of course, it won’t get the coupe-like styling in the rear because of its wagon nature, but that’s OK because it’s an Outback, right? As usual, the new Outback also got all the plastic body cladding and body-protective features normally associated with the Outback, you know, to protect it in case you really do decide to take a ride “out back.”

Of course, the powertrains from the Legacy carry over to the Outback, so there is a 2.50liter with 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet and a 3.6-liter with 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet. It what almost seems like an insult, the Outback is only available with a CVT transmission, and Subaru has no intention of offering the manual transmission the car deserves. It might be enough to kill the deal for some of you who might be considering the Outback, but no everybody likes to row their own gears. So, keep on reading to learn even more about the new Outback and what all it brings to the table.

Update 05/27/2016: Subaru has released pricing for the 2017 Outback. The base 2.5i trim starts at $25,645 while the range-topping Touring trim starts at $39,070.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Outback.

  • 2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback
  • Year:
    2015- 2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    175 @ 5800
  • MPG(Cty):
    25
  • MPG(Hwy):
    33
  • Torque @ RPM:
    174 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    24895
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.2/10

Exterior

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2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback Exterior
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The Outback mixes that classic wagon shape with something more akin to a modern crossover. The Subaru’s impressive ground clearance and tall greenhouse lend a more SUV-like look to the car, while its Legacy roots shine through with its design detailing. The six-sided grille and large lower fascia make the Outback look large from the front view. The same can be said with its side profile thanks to the plastic body cladding and large roof rails. Around back, the Outback’s wagon heritage shines through.

New for 2017

New on the 2017 Outback Touring is a dark grey grille with matching gray wheels finished with bright, machined faces. Low-profile roof rails bring the car’s visual height down, though they probably aren’t as handy for carrying cargo. There’s also some chrome bits that dress up this range-topping trim level, including along the door bottoms, on those roof rails, and along the front bumper.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 108.1 in.
Length 189.6 in.
Height 66.1 in. at roof / 66.5 in. crossbars in position
Width 72.4 in.
Track (f/r) 61.8 in. / 62.2 in.
Min. road clearance 8.7 in.
Overhang (f/r) 39.4 in. / 42.2 in.
Angle of approach 19.3 deg.
Angle of departure 22.7 deg.
Breakover angle 20.0 deg.
Towing capacity 2,700 lbs. with 200-lb. trailer tongue weight

Interior

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2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback Interior
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The Subaru Outback borrows much of its interior accommodations from the Legacy, which is not a bad thing. Customers now have the option of getting things like wood and metal trim, navigation, and leather seats. The new Touring trim comes standard with a new color called Java Brown on the perforated leather seats, door panels, and armrests. Ivory stitching contrasts the dark look. It also comes with woodgrain accents and piano-black trim on the switch panels. A heated steering wheel also comes standard here.

The Outback continues to offer seating for five with two rows of seats. The second row folds 60/40 style, allowing the Outback to swallow huge amounts of cargo. Even with the seats in place, the cargo room behind the second row is competitive with most of today’s midsized crossovers.

Interior Dimensions

Head room (f/r) 40.8 / 38.9 in. With moonroof: 38.3 in. / 38.9 in.
Leg room (f/r) 42.9 in. / 38.1 in.
Hip room (f/r) 55.5 in. / 55.0 in.
Shoulder room (f/r) 58.1 in. / 57.3 in.
EPA passenger volume 108.1 cu. ft. With moonroof: 104.5 cu. ft.
EPA cargo volume 35.5 cu. ft. (seatbacks raised)
Max. cargo volume 73.3 cu. ft (seatbacks folded)
Max. cargo length 41.8 in. (seatbacks raised) / 77.7 in. (seatbacks folded)
EPA total interior volume 143.6 cu. ft. With moonroof: 140.0 cu. ft.
Cargo area liftover height 27.9 in.

Drivetrain

2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback Drivetrain
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Sadly Subaru does not offer a manual transmission with either engine, making the CVT the only transmission available.

The Subaru Outback offers two engine choices. Most models will come with the 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder that makes 175 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 174 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The other engine option, which is only available on the 3.6R Limited trim, is the 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder. It makes a respectable 256 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 247 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Sadly Subaru does not offer a manual transmission with either engine, making the CVT the only transmission available.

Of course being a Subaru, the Outback comes standard with the Symmetrical AWD system. This gives the wagon extra grip during foul weather, on loose sand, and shallow mud. No one will confuse the Outback for a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but it will hold its own during the fiercest blizzards. The AWD system comes with X-MODE for those times when traction is a real issue. It locks the power split into a 50/50 mix to the front and rear axles, giving the Outback an extra sure footing.

In addition, Hill Decent Control, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Traction Control, Active Torque Vectoring, and Incline Start Assist are available on various trim levels throughout the Outback lineup.

Drivetrain/Specifications

2.5i 3.6R Limited
Engine DOHC 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed (BOXER); aluminum cylinder block and heads DOHC 6-cylinder, horizontally opposed (BOXER); aluminum cylinder block and heads
Bore x Stroke 94 x 90mm 92 x 91mm
Displacement 2,498 cc (152.0 cu. in.) 3,630 cc (221.5 cu. in.)
Compression ratio 10.3:1 10.5:1
Valvetrain Chain-driven camshafts, Active Valve Control System (intake valves) Chain-driven camshafts, Dual Active Valve Control System (intake and exhaust valves)
Horsepower 175 hp @ 5,800 rpm 256 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 174 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 247 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Manufacturer estimated city / highway / combined mpg 25/33/28 20/27/22

Safety

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The Outback comes with several high-tech safety features. Though it’s optional, the EyeSight system brings adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure, and sway warning, and lane keep assist functions. Coming standard is a long list of safety features, which include Blind Sport Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, rearview camera, daytime running lights, and a slew of passive safety system like airbags and crumple zones.

Prices

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The 2017 model year brings a slight price increase for the Outback. The base 2.5i model carries a base price of $25,645. Tacking on the $875 destination charge, the price rises to $26,520. The Premium trim, next up from the 2.5i, starts at $28,570, including destination. Limited models start at $33,265, while the range-topping Touring model starts at $26,870.

For those wanting the 3.6-liter flat-six, the Limited and Touring trim give that option. In that case, the 3.6R Limited trim starts at $35,870 while the 3.6R Touring carries a hefty price of $39,070.

2017 Subaru Outback Prices

Model/Trim Transmission Applicable Option Code MSRP MSRP + destination and delivery
Outback 2.5i CVT 1 $25,645 $26,520
Outback 2.5i Premium CVT 11,12,14,15 $27,695 $28,570
Outback 2.5i Limited CVT 21,24 $32,390 $33,265
Outback 2.5i Touring CVT 31 $35,995 $36,870
Outback 3.6R Limited CVT 21,23 $34,995 $35,870
Outback 3.6R Touring CVT 31 $38,195 $39,070

Options

CODE 12 Moonroof Package + Power Rear Gate $1,695
CODE 14 EyeSight + Blind Spot Detection (BSD)/Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)+ Power Rear Gate + High Beam Assist $1,995
CODE 15 Moonroof Package + Power Rear Gate + Navigation System + EyeSight + BSD/RCTA + High Beam Assist $3,590
CODE 23 EyeSight + Navigation + High Beam Assist + Reverse Automatic Braking $1,595

CODE 24 EyeSight + Navigation + High Beam Assist + Reverse Automatic Braking + HID Lights

2016 Subaru Outback Prices

Model/Trim Transmission MSRP MSRP + $850 destination and delivery
2.5i CVT $24,895 $25,745
2.5i Premium CVT $26,995 $27,845
2.5i Limited CVT $29,995 $30,845
3.6R Limited CVT $32,995 $33,845

Options

Option Price
Moonroof + Power Rear Gate $1,695
Moonroof + Power Rear Gate + Navigation $2,195
EyeSight + Blind Spot Detection & Rear Cross Traffic Alert + Power Rear Gate $1,695
Moonroof Pkg +Power Rear Gate + Navigation System + EyeSight +Blind Spot Detection & Rear Cross Traffic Alert $3,390
Moonroof Pkg +Keyless Access & Start + Navigation System $2,195
Moonroof Pkg + Keyless Access & Start + Navigation System + EyeSight $2,990

Competitors

Mazda CX-5

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For those wanting that car-like ride of the Subaru Outback, the Mazda CX-5 is a great alternative. In fact, we’d bet the CX-5 would out-handle the Outback around a track. Then again, probably not what buyers in this segment are looking for. Still, the CX-5 can be had with AWD when optioned with the 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. In this configuration the CX-5 price lands in the low to mid $30,000 region – right around the 3.6R trim of the Outback.

Read our full review on the Mazda CX-5 here.

Jeep Cherokee

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For those seeking a more utilitarian and SUV-like vehicle, the Jeep Cherokee offers a solid choice with a competent 4WD system and peppy power. Some might categorize the Jeep’s looks as polarizing, but you certainly won’t mistake it for anything else. Inside, however, the Cherokee offers a welcoming interior with plenty of room for five and their cargo. Seats fold flat, as in any good crossover.

Power comes from either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 184 horsepower or a 3.2-liter V-6 making a respectable 271 horses. A nine speed automatic sends power to the front wheels, or to all four wheels when 4WD is optioned. Three separate 4WD system are available. They are the Jeep Active Drive I, the Jeep Active Drive II, and Jeep Active Drive Lock 4x4, available only on the Cherokee Trailhawk trim. Each system gets progressively more hard-core, with the Trailhawk offering outstanding off-road capability – besting both the Mazda and Subaru.

Prices for the Cherokee start at $23,400 and will crest over the $35,000 mark when fully equipped in Overland trim. The go-anywhere Trailhawk starts at $31,000.

Read our full review on the Jeep Cherokee here.

Conclusion

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The Subaru Outback is a venerable wagon that has long made a name for itself in the industry. Many, especially those in the snowbelt, love its all-weather capability mixes with its car-like driving characteristics. There’s a lot to be said for that, especially in a market so consumed with high-riding crossovers. Though the Outback hasn’t changed much since the 2015 model year, it still represents a huge value in its segment.

  • Leave it
    • CVT is only transmission choice
    • Missing some luxury options found elsewhere in segment

History

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.

Updated History

Updated 05/09/2016: Subaru announced the addition of a new Touring trim level to its 2017 Outback lineup. Continue reading to learn more about what it brings new compared to the current versions.

Updated 06/05/2014: Subaru today announced prices for the 2015 Outback which will arrive into dealerships this summer. Prices will range from $24,895 for the base 2.5i version to $32,995 for the 3.6R Limited version.

Updated 04/03/2014: Subaru has officially confirmed that the 2015 Outback will be officially unveiled at the 2014 New York Auto Show. With the occasion a first teaser image reveals that the new Outback will follow the steps of the more-recently unveiled Legacy sedan.

Spy Shots

March 21, 2014 - First testing session

2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback Exterior Spyshots
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2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

May 06, 2016 Cherry Hill, N.J. – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2017 Outback Touring and Legacy Sport trim levels. The models will arrive into retailers later this Summer.

2017 Subaru Outback Touring
As the new flagship model, the 2017 Outback Touring features a dark gray grille and 18-in. wheels with dark gray accents and a machined finish. Low-profile roof rails in a silver finish along with lower cladding and Outback badging in chrome accentuate the unique styling of this model.

Outback Touring models are available in both the 2.5-liter, 175-hp, 4-cyl and the powerful 3.6-liter, 256-hp, 6-cylinder engines. Brilliant Brown is added to the exterior color options while all Touring interiors feature a new Java Brown perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, door panels, and armrests with contrasting ivory stitching. Refinements including a unique woodgrain interior finish and piano-black switch panel accents complete the signature look. A heated steering wheel is also standard on Touring trim.

Debuting on the 2017 Outback model line, Reverse Automatic Braking helps the driver avoid a possible collision when the vehicle is moving in reverse. The system uses four ultrasonic sonar sensors located in the rear bumper cover and can automatically stop the vehicle. Subaru’s highly-rated EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology along with Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are standard and are paired with the new High Beam Assist feature. This system works in conjunction with EyeSight to automatically switch the headlights between the high and low settings when an oncoming vehicle is detected.

The Touring trim comes standard with the SUBARU STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Navigation system featuring voice-activated controls and includes three years of complimentary map updates as well as a 3-year subscription to SiriusXM Traffic® and SiriusXM Travel Link® and SiriusXM All Access audio service. Also included is one year of complimentary SUBARU STARLINK Safety Plus package. The service offers SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report, and Diagnostic Alerts.
###

Press Release 2015

Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Outback, the fifth generation of the World’s First Sport Utility Wagon®, at the New York International Auto Show in the Jacob K. Javits Center. The 2015 Outback offers the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history. Its bold new design delivers an even more compelling blend of on-road agility, off-pavement control, ride comfort, interior refinement and safety technology.

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The 2015 Outback arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014. The 175-horsepower 4-cylinder Outback 2.5i model is available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited with 256 horsepower. All trim lines add more standard amenities, conveniences and new infotainment systems.

The original Outback established a template for many competitive crossover models that followed, and the new-generation 2015 Outback further strengthens the melding of passenger- car and SUV attributes that crossover shoppers seek. The 2015 Outback exemplifies Subaru’s mastery of outdoors-oriented vehicle engineering, not just for its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and raised ground clearance, but also for numerous details that help make it more convenient to load and carry cargo as well as items such as kayaks and bikes. Newly standard X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist augment Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to assist the driver in navigating rough roads, slippery surfaces or steep inclines.

New for 2015, all Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which features paddle-shift control switches and is instrumental in the Outback’s significantly improved fuel economy. Manufacturer-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined are up from 24/30/26 in the 2014 model. These figures place the 2015 Outback 2.5i at the top of the midsize crossover class, bettering front-wheel drive versions of some competitive crossovers.

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A new Active Grille Shutter system on the 2015 Outback 2.5i helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. Electric Power-Assisted Steering and improved aerodynamics also contribute to the increased efficiency in all models. Due largely to its new Lineartronic CVT, the 6-cylinder Outback 3.6R Limited also improves fuel economy, with manufacturer-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined vs. 17/25/20 for the previous version.

Bold New Design Brings New Functionality
The all-new 2015 Outback introduces a bolder look with crisper, sculpted lines that convey both its all-road capability and upgraded refinement. A new front fascia combines the hexagonal grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, which helps enhance steering response. In the Outback 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors.

The 2015 Outback’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. The 2015 Outback maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. Wheelbase is increased by just 0.2-in., overall length by 0.6-in. and width by 0.7 in. The changes, though small, yield a roomier passenger cabin, at 108.1 cu. ft. (up from 105.4 cu. ft.). The added space includes gains in shoulder, front and rear hip and elbow room and rear legroom. The Outback’s cargo area has been enlarged to 35.5 cu. ft. behind the rear seats, up from 34.3, while maximum capacity with the standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks folded is now 73.3 cu. ft., up from 71.3. In addition, the load floor provided by the lowered seats now lays flatter, and new rear seatback release levers in the cargo area enhance convenience.

The Outback continues with 8.7-in. ground clearance, which is higher than for some SUVs, yet with low step-in height for comfort. New step-style doorsills allow one to stand firmly when securing objects to the roof rails with integrated retractable crossbars and tie downs. A power rear gate with memory height is available on Outback for the first time.

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New Safety and Security Technology from a Safety Leader
The 2015 Outback builds on the stellar safety performance of the previous model, adding new front seat-cushion airbags that help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. All trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera, and a new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected.

For added nighttime security, the 2015 Outback features new standard Welcome Lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system with PIN Code Access.

The new Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, which is standard on Limited trims and available for the 2.5i Premium, offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles on either side of the vehicle, in the driver’s blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects fast-approaching vehicles in adjacent lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects vehicles approaching from a perpendicular direction while reversing, such as from a driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display.

The 2015 Outback offers the latest version of the EyeSight® driver-assist system, the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available for Outback Premium and Limited trim lines, EyeSight® uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. The 2015 Outback is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, as the 2014 Outback did.

Models equipped with EyeSight® also come with new Steering-Responsive Fog Lights. The feature, which works only when the fog lights are turned off, activates the left or right fog light independently, depending on vehicle speed and steering angle, to provide enhanced illumination in the direction of the turn. The fog lights are pre-aimed for maximum coverage in corners.

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Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engine
The 2015 Outback 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance in all driving situations.

In the Outback 3.6R Limited, the 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6 engine sustains at least 225 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.

Standard Lineartronic CVT
For 2015, all Outback models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency. Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The CVT’s selectable manual mode offers six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle switches. This feature can provide added driver control when driving down inclines, for example.

Enhanced Agility and Quieter Ride
Subaru extensively revised and retuned the MacPherson front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension for greater handling agility and a more compliant ride – a difficult balance to achieve. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also helps reduce fuel consumption. The Outback 2.5i is equipped with standard 17-inch wheels, and the Limited trim line features 18-in. alloy wheels.
Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, fosters more neutral cornering by applying brake pressure to the inside front wheel. The Outback 2.5i now uses larger brakes previously available only on the 6-cylinder model, and all models now have ventilated rear discs in place of solid discs used previously. The Brake Assist safety system automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.

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The cabin blocks more sources of noise thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.

Greater Comfort and Refinement
New soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the 2015 Outback a more premium feel. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with a center LCD information display — 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight® driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight® cars. An ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim levels feature gauges with elegant blue ring illumination.

The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection.

The Outback 2.5i Premium delivers impressive comfort with a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment); dual-zone automatic climate control; the All-Weather Package (three-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer); upgraded infotainment system; an air filtration system; leather-wrapped steering wheel; fog lights, dark-tint privacy glass and more.

The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in an Outback, adding to the Premium trim level content: perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; dual-mode heated rear seats and a power rear gate with memory height.

New Infotainment Systems
Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Outback. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Outback 2.5i provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display with single-touch gesture control; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha™ Infotainment, Pandora® Radio and iHeart® Radio; a rear vision camera; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack.

The Upgraded Infotainment System for Outback 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system; 7-inch touch screen display with multi-touch control that offers swipe and scrolling gesture control; voice-activated controls; SiriusXM® satellite radio; a vehicle information display; SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports.

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A new high-end audio system standard for Outback Limited combines an AM/FM/HD Radio system with a harman/kardon® upgraded 576-Watt-equivalent GreenEdge amplifier. The system’s 12 harman/kardon speakers include a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. GreenEdge technology provides increased audio performance and amplifier efficiency while consuming less power and reducing heat dissipation.

The available navigation system’s interactive voice command system accepts natural language and phrases, and this functionality can also operate the dual-zone automatic climate control system.

The center console armrest provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A covered and illuminated storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices.

Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Enhanced Capability
A newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD comes standard in all 2015 Outback models. The system’s electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.

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All 2015 Outback models come equipped as standard with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester. When engaged by a switch on the console, X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.

Engaging X-Mode also activates the new Hill Descent Control, which uses engine braking to help maintain a constant vehicle speed when the Outback is traveling downhill, enhancing vehicle control. New Incline Start Assist helps to momentarily minimize forward or backward vehicle rolling on inclines, and the electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop.

Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car.

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