Subaru has introduced new 2015 Outback, the fifth generation of the world’s first sports utility wagon, and it’s has the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history.
The 2015 Subaru Outback, which debuted at the New York International Auto Show, offers improved on-road agility, off-pavement control, ride comfort, interior refinement and safety technology.
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 and 28 mpg combined, an increase from 24/30/26 mpg in the 2014 model.
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.
The 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 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 Subaru 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.