2015 Subaru Outback

 
2015 Subaru Outback
 
2015 Subaru Outback
 

2015 Subaru Outback

MSRP 
$25,745
Invoice 
$24,257
Target 
 
 

Vehicle Highlights

  • Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 33 mpg Hwy
  • Engine: 2.5 L Regular Unleaded H-4, 175 HP
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive Train: All Wheel Drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Doors: 4

View More Features and Specifications

What You Will Like

The genius of the Outback has always been its ability to straddle classifications; it helped create the crossover segment in the 1990s. As such, the Outback competes with both family cars, SUVs and of course, other crossover vehicles. With a base price just short of $25,000, the Outback should be affordable enough for families considering a new Camry or Accord. With better off-road credentials and a more usable luggage compartment, the Outback offers increased versatility over plain Jane family sedans. At the same time, the Subaru Outback offers the kind of fuel economy that most mid-sized SUVs would struggle to match.

Compare the 2015 Subaru Outback against similar models

What's New For 2015

The Subaru Outback is all new for 2015. It returns with new styling and a larger roomier interior. A more steeply swept windshield provides better visibility, while an aluminum hood helps reduce weight. Fuel economy is improved from 2014 models, despite the fact that the Outback is bigger in overall size. Plenty of new technology has been added as well, including hill descent mode, hill start assist and liquid filled engine mounts to help quell vibrations. All-wheel drive, as in all Subaru models, continues to be standard across the entire Outback range.

Warranty

  • Basic Warranty: 3 Years / 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Warranty: 5 Years / 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance: 3 Years / 36,000 Miles

A vehicle's warranty can significant impact your maintenance costs after you drive off the dealer's lot, and it's important to understand the different parts. Typically, a new car warranty includes a Basic warranty, which covers everything except the wear items such as brakes and tires; and a Drivetrain warranty, that covers all the parts that make the car move, such as the engine and transmission

NHTSA Crash Test Rating

  • Frontal Driver: 5 stars
  • Frontal Passenger: 5 stars
  • Side Driver: 5 stars
  • Side Passenger: 5 stars
  • Rollover Rating: 4 stars

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) provides consumers with vehicle safety information based on independent testing, primarily front and side crash rating results, and more recently rollover ratings, to aid consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions.

Select options for 2015 Subaru Outback

Est Target Price With Options

$25,745

Est. Savings Of MSRP Price

$0

 
Additional Equipment
Unselected Includes: Part number 28111SC010, center cap (part number 28821SA030), TPMS valve stem (part number 28191SA000) and TPMS valve screw (part number 28192SA000), 4 of the wheel part number, 4 of the air valve part number and 4 of the cap part number, Price includes complete set $590 $787
Unselected
*PRICE TO FOLLOW*
$0 $0
Dealer Installed Options
Unselected Includes: Part number A091SSG000 $97 $150
Unselected Includes: Part number J6010FS000 $26 $40
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3881210 $32 $50
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3881220 $32 $50
Unselected Includes: Part number L101SAL011 $337 $450
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ400 $179 $275
Unselected Includes: Part number H7110AL000 $104 $160
Unselected Includes: Part number T3010YS010 $19 $30
Unselected Includes: Part number E551SAL000 $64 $98
Unselected Includes: Part number E551SAL200 $84 $129
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801E3 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801G5 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801BI $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801L8 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801V3 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801W7 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801TR $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801P4 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801F5 $162 $250
Unselected Includes: Part number E201SAL000 $300 $400
Unselected Includes: Part number J201SAL001 $130 $200
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3991800 $49 $75
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL000 $71 $110
Unselected Includes: Part number H451SAL100 $175 $270
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3881250 $32 $50
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3881260 $32 $50
Unselected Includes: Part number E10EAJ500 $45 $70
Unselected Includes: Part number E771SAL000 $45 $70
Unselected Includes: Part number M001SAJ000 $65 $100
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L133 $19 $30
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L132 $19 $30
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L116 $6 $10
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L115 $6 $10
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L124 $21 $32
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L126 $21 $32
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L123 $23 $35
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L121 $23 $35
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L127 $23 $35
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L105 $17 $26
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L104 $19 $29
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L135 $10 $15
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L136 $10 $15
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L137 $10 $15
Unselected Includes: Part number 28111AL02A, TPMS Valve Screw (DIO) Part number 28192SA000, Center Cap (DIO) Part number 28821VA000, TPMS Valve Screw Assembly (DIO) Part number 28194SC000 $600 $933
Unselected Includes: Part number H631SAL000 $65 $100
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL010 $26 $40
Unselected Includes: Part number J501SAL600 $39 $60
Unselected Includes: Part number H001SAL000 $277 $370
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA342L129 $6 $10
Unselected Includes: Part number 35160AL00A $71 $110
Unselected Includes: Part number C8110FG000 $91 $140
Unselected Includes: Part number H501SAL000 $114 $175
Unselected Includes: Part number H501SAL100 $169 $260
Unselected Includes: Part number J501SAL400 $45 $70
Unselected Includes: Part number J5010LS040 $13 $20
Unselected Includes: Part number 65550AL01AVH $129 $199
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL000 $26 $40
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL700 $270 $360
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SXA301 $111 $170
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAG420, Round (For mounting to hard roof basket) $10 $15
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ801, For mounting to factory cross bars $16 $25
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ300 $117 $180
Unselected Includes: Part number E3610LS431 $16 $25
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SSA200, Mounting clamps included $277 $370
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SXA201 $98 $150
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAG200 $277 $370
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ200 $345 $460
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAG500 $98 $150
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ901, For mounting to factory cross bars $16 $25
Unselected Includes: Part number E361SAJ500 $13 $20
Unselected Includes: Part number E3610AS891 $16 $25
Unselected Includes: Part number F0010AL500 $159 $245
Unselected Includes: Part number J2070YA000 $16 $25
Unselected Includes: Part number 92172AG040 $13 $20
Unselected Includes: Part number F6010AG010 $8 $13
Unselected Includes: Part number H6710AL010 $26 $40
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA868V9510 $36 $51
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA868V9501 $31 $45
Model Option
Selected $0 $0
Paint Scheme
Selected $0 $0
Port Installed Options
Unselected Includes: Exterior Auto Dimming Mirror w/Light Part number J201SAL001, EC Mirror w/Compass Part number H501SAL000 $274 $423
Unselected Includes: Exterior Auto Dimming Mirror w/Light Part number J201SAL001, EC Mirror w/Compass & Homelink Part number H501SAL100 $329 $508
Unselected Includes: Splash Guards Part number J101SAL000, Exterior Interior Auto Mirrors, Exterior Auto Dimming Mirror w/Light Part number J201SAL001, EC Mirror w/Compass Part number H501SAL000, Bumper Cover (Rear) Part number E771SAL000, All Weather Floor Mats Part number J501SAL400 $479 $742
Unselected Includes: Splash Guards Part number J101SAL000, Bumper Cover (Rear) Part number E771SAL000, All Weather Floor Mats Part number J501SAL400, Exterior Interior HL Mirrors, Exterior Auto Dimming Mirror w/Light Part number J201SAL001, EC Mirror w/Compass & Homelink Part number H501SAL100 $534 $827
Unselected Includes: Cargo Net (Rear) Part number F551SAL000, Splash Guards Part number J101SAL000, Bumper Cover (Rear) Part number E771SAL000, All Weather Floor Mats Part number J501SAL400, Rear Seat Back Protector Part number J501SAL600 $308 $479
Unselected Includes: Cargo Net (Rear) Part number F551SAL000, Splash Guards Part number J101SAL000, Wheel Arch Moldings Part number E201SAL000, Bumper Cover (Rear) Part number E771SAL000, All Weather Floor Mats Part number J501SAL400 $536 $839
Unselected Includes: Part number L101SAL011 $412 $550
Unselected Includes: Part number H7110AL000 $127 $196
Unselected Includes: Part number T3010YS010 $35 $55
Unselected Includes: Part number E551SAL000 $94 $145
Unselected Includes: Part number E551SAL200 $114 $176
Unselected Includes: Part number E201SAL000 $337 $450
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801E3 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801G5 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801BI $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801L8 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801V3 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801W7 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801TR $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801P4 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL801F5 $185 $285
Unselected Includes: Part number J201SAL001 $145 $224
Unselected Includes: Part number SOA3991800 $49 $76
Unselected Includes: Part number J101SAL000 $98 $152
Unselected Includes: Part number H451SAL100 $209 $322
Unselected Includes: Part number E771SAL000 $61 $95
Unselected Includes: Part number H631SAL000 $88 $136
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL010 $45 $70
Unselected Includes: Part number J501SAL600 $58 $90
Unselected Includes: Part number H001SAL000 $337 $450
Unselected Includes: Part number 35160AL00A $79 $122
Unselected Includes: Part number C8110FG000 $110 $170
Unselected Includes: Part number H501SAL000 $129 $199
Unselected Includes: Part number H501SAL100 $184 $284
Unselected Includes: Part number J501SAL400 $46 $72
Unselected Includes: Part number 65550AL01AVH $137 $212
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL000 $45 $70
Unselected Includes: Part number F551SAL700 $307 $410
Primary Paint
Selected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Seat Trim
Required $0 $0
Excluded $0 $0
Total

Specifications for 2015 Subaru Outback

Standard Equipment

  • Safety Options
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
    • Side Impact Beams
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
    • Low Tire Pressure Warning
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
    • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
    • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
    • Driver And Passenger Cushion Front Airbag
    • Rear Child Safety Locks
    • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Entertainment Features
    • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control and Steering Wheel Controls
    • Radio: AM/FM Stereo HD Radio w/Single Disc CD -inc: MP3/WMA/CRR/RW file capability, simple touch gesture high resolution 6.2" LCD display screen, Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS), Bluetooth audio streaming connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, iPod control capability, iTunes tagging capability, USB port, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, 4 speakers and in rear glass audio antenna, Aha Infotainment The Aha app on your phone allows you to easily access and organize your favorite content from the web into personalized, live, on-demand stations, Once you download the app and organize your stations, Aha syncs to the audio system in the vehicle, The in-depth interface allows you to choose several internet radio stations, newsfeeds, audiobooks and more, You can even get audio updates from Facebook and Twitter
  • Exterior Features
    • Variable Intermittent Wipers
    • Light Tinted Glass
    • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
    • Black Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
    • Body-Colored Door Handles
    • Chrome Side Windows Trim
    • Black Bodyside Cladding
    • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
    • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
    • Clearcoat Paint
    • Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
    • Steel Spare Wheel
    • Tires: P225/65R17 102H All Season
    • Wheels: 17" x 7.0" Steel w/Full Wheel Covers
    • LED Brakelights
    • Perimeter/Approach Lights
    • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps
    • Roof Rack
    • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
    • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
    • Grille w/Chrome Bar
    • Lip Spoiler
    • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
  • Interior Features
    • Reclining Front Bucket Seats -inc: height and tilt adjustable head restraints, whiplash protection, driver height adjuster (pump lever type), full width seat fore/aft adjustment lever and seatback pocket
    • 6-Way Driver Seat
    • 4-Way Passenger Seat
    • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Manual Reclining Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
    • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
    • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
    • Power Rear Windows and Fixed 3rd Row Windows
    • Aha Selective Service Internet Access
    • 5 Person Seating Capacity
    • Front Cupholder
    • Rear Cupholder
    • Valet Function
    • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 2 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
    • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Trunk/Hatch and Mechanical Fuel
    • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
    • Manual Air Conditioning
    • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
    • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
    • Driver Foot Rest
    • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert, Metal-Look Console Insert and Chrome Interior Accents
    • Full Cloth Headliner
    • Cloth Door Trim Insert
    • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
    • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
    • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
    • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Front Map Lights
    • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
    • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
    • Carpet Floor Trim and Vinyl/Rubber Mat
    • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
    • Cargo Features -inc: Cargo Tray/Organizer
    • Cargo Space Lights
    • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
    • Rear-Vision Camera
    • Instrument Panel Covered Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
    • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Up/Down
    • Power Door Locks
    • Trip Computer
    • Outside Temp Gauge
    • Analog Display
    • Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
    • Front Center Armrest w/Storage and Rear Center Armrest
    • Perimeter Alarm
    • Engine Immobilizer
    • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Mechanical Features
    • Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16 Valve 4-Cylinder -inc: Active Valve Control System (AVCS), Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
    • Transmission: Lineartronic Continuously Variable -inc: 6-speed manual shift mode, X-mode and Hill Descent Control (HDC)
    • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
    • Steering-Wheel Paddle-Shift Control Switches
    • Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
    • 4.11 Axle Ratio
    • 490CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
    • 110 Amp Alternator
    • 4695# Gvwr
    • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
    • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
    • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
    • 18.5 Gal. Fuel Tank
    • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
    • Permanent Locking Hubs
    • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • Double Wishbone Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake

Tech Specs

  • Brakes Features
    • Brake ABS System - 4-Wheel
    • Disc - Front (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Disc - Rear (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 12.4
    • Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 11.8
  • Cargo Area Dimensions Features
    • Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 1 (in) - 77.7
    • Cargo Area Length @ Floor to Seat 2 (in) - 41.8
    • Cargo Area Width @ Beltline (in) - 46.3
    • Cargo Box Width @ Wheelhousings (in) - 42.5
    • Cargo Box (Area) Height (in) - 32.5
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) - 73.3
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) - 35.5
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) - 35.5
  • Electrical Features
    • Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) - 490
    • Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) - 110
  • Engine Features
    • Engine Type - Regular Unleaded H-4
    • Displacement - 2.5 L/152
    • Fuel System - Sequential MPI
    • SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM - 175 @ 5800
    • SAE Net Torque @ RPM - 174 @ 4000
  • Exterior Dimensions Features
    • Wheelbase (in) - 108.1
    • Length, Overall (in) - 189.6
    • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) - 72.4
    • Height, Overall (in) - 66.1
    • Tread Width, Front (in) - 61.8
    • Tread Width, Rear (in) - 62.2
    • Min Ground Clearance (in) - 8.7
    • Liftover Height (in) - 27.9
  • Fuel Tank Features
    • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal) - 18.5
  • Interior Dimensions Features
    • Passenger Capacity - 5
    • Passenger Volume (ft³) - 108.1
    • Front Head Room (in) - 40.8
    • Front Leg Room (in) - 42.9
    • Front Shoulder Room (in) - 58.1
    • Front Hip Room (in) - 55.5
    • Second Head Room (in) - 38.9
    • Second Leg Room (in) - 38.1
    • Second Shoulder Room (in) - 57.3
    • Second Hip Room (in) - 55
  • Mileage Features
    • Fuel Economy Est-Combined (MPG) - 28
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG) - 25
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG) - 33
  • Steering Features
    • Steering Type - Rack-Pinion
    • Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb (ft) - 36.1
  • Summary Features
    • Vehicle Name - Subaru Outback
    • Body Style - Wagon
  • Suspension Features
    • Suspension Type - Front - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear - Double Wishbone
    • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) - Double Wishbone
  • Tires Features
    • Front Tire Size - P225/65HR17
    • Rear Tire Size - P225/65HR17
    • Spare Tire Size - Compact
  • Trailering Features
    • Dead Weight Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs) - 2700
    • Dead Weight Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs) - 270
    • Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs) - 2700
    • Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs) - 405
  • Transmission Features
    • Drivetrain - All Wheel Drive
    • Trans Type - 6
    • Trans Description Cont. - CVT w/OD
    • First Gear Ratio (:1) - 3.58 - 0.62
    • Reverse Ratio (:1) - 3.67
    • Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) - 4.11
  • Vehicle Features
    • EPA Classification - Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD
    • Annual CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year - 6.4 (Est)
  • Weight Information Features
    • Base Curb Weight (lbs) - 3593
  • Wheels Features
    • Front Wheel Size (in) - 17 X 7
    • Rear Wheel Size (in) - 17 X 7
    • Spare Wheel Size (in) - Compact
    • Front Wheel Material - Steel
    • Rear Wheel Material - Steel
    • Spare Wheel Material - Steel

2015 Subaru Outback Photos & Colors

Photos

Below are pictures of the 2015 Subaru Outback. Select the picture you want to view below

Available Colors

Below are the available colors for the 2015 Subaru Outback. Select the color to see a close-up view.

  • Carbide Gray Metallic Crystal Black Silica Crystal Black Silica Crystal White Pearl Crystal White Pearl Ice Silver Metallic Lapis Blue Pearl Tungsten Metallic Twilight Blue Metallic Twilight Blue Metallic Venetian Red Pearl Venetian Red Pearl Wilderness Green Metallic
  • Carbide Gray Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Lapis Blue Pearl
  • Tungsten Metallic
  • Twilight Blue Metallic
  • Twilight Blue Metallic
  • Venetian Red Pearl
  • Venetian Red Pearl
  • Wilderness Green Metallic

Compare the 2015 Subaru Outback

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Introduction

The Subaru Outback is all-new for 2015. The 2015 Subaru Outback isn’t much bigger than its predecessor, just over a half-inch longer and wider, on a wheelbase that’s been stretched less than a quarter-inch. But there’s more room within, and the additional width and conservative restyling combine to give it a more substantial appearance.

And there is indeed substance to vindicate the fresh appearance. The 2015 Outback gets a higher percentage of high-strength hot-stamped steel in the unit body, increasing structural rigidity by substantial margins: 59 percent torsional, 35 percent longitudinal.

Not only does this contribute to good all-around road manners, it’s also a plus for absorbing punishment on rugged dirt tracks. Augmenting the Outback’s off-road usefulness is a seamless four-wheel drive system and lots of ground clearance: 8.7 inches. That matches the ground clearance of the Jeep Cherokee, allowing the Outback to better traverse rough terrain.

As with the previous generation, the 2015 Outback offers two engine choices, a 175-horsepower four-cylinder and a 256-horsepower six-cylinder. Both are boxer designs, with the cylinders opposed to each other in a horizontal plane, and both offer lots of torque, a useful trait when driving at slower speeds over lumpy terrain. Unlike the previous generation, there is no manual transmission option; both engines are paired with continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs.

Subaru has programmed the CVT with artificial shift points, operable via the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. While it doesn’t provide the sense of driver engagement that goes with a stick shift, it does diminish some of the annoying slipping clutch trait that’s been a longtime drawback of CVTs. Indeed, the Outback feels more like a car with a regular automatic than does the latest Honda CR-V, which has a CVT with much more of that slipping sensation.

The stiffer structure of the 2015 Outback is heavier than that of the fourth-generation version, and acceleration with the 2.5-liter flat-four in a Premium trim level model was deliberate, a 2-horsepower gain and improved torque curve versus the previous generation notwithstanding. In other words, this latest Outback is no quicker than before.

On the other hand, fuel economy ratings are improved. The 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i achieves an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg City/Highway. We averaged 28 mpg in four days of touring around Oregon in a 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium with the four-cylinder engine, and that included some high country. The Outback’s pavement manners are hard to fault, and its off-road performance is impressive.

Beyond that, the 2015 Outback is than before. Though the exterior dimensional increases are fractional, there’s more space inside for passengers and cargo. Interior noise has been reduced, infotainment elements have improved, as have safety features. The result is that there is more quiet to go along with the increased smoothness.

Visually, there are still ties to the Legacy sedan, the Outback’s genetic forebear. But the 2015 Outback has evolved far beyond its first generation beginnings as a Legacy station wagon with a little extra ground clearance.

Lineup

Subaru Outback 2.5i ($24,895), Outback 2.5i Premium ($26,995), Outback 2.5i Limited ($29,995) come with the 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Outback 3.6R Limited ($32,995) comes with the 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. All come with the same continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters and Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Outback 2.5i comes standard with cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning with filter, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, four-way front-passenger seat, 60/40 split folding reclining rear seats, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio with MP3, WMA, iPod adapter, RDS, four speakers, USB port, auxiliary digital audio jack, Aha, Bluetooth, digital clock, cruise control, eight cupholders, power door locks, power windows, rear wiper, rearview camera, anti-theft alarm, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, center and overhead storage consoles, 225/65HR17 all-season tires on 17-inch steel wheels.

Premium upgrades with dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar, heated front seats, fold-flat rear seats, six-speaker audio, XM satellite subscription, leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio and phone, leather-wrapped shift knob, voice-activated audio controls, cargo area tie-down hooks and removable storage tray, illuminated consoles, fog lights, rear privacy glass, power mirrors, three 12-volt power outlets, windshield shade band, wiper de-icer, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Limited upgrades with leather-trimmed upholstery, woodgrain trim, 576-watt harman kardon audio with 12 speakers, HD, amplifier and subwoofer, front bumper underguards, aluminum door sills, upgraded instruments, power liftgate, heated mirrors with in-glass turn signal indicators, memory for seats, upgraded steering wheel, 225/HR18 tires with 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

3.6R Limited also gets HID headlights.

Options include moonroof and navigation system ($2195); Eyesight system.

Safety features on all Outbacks includes dual frontal airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, LATCH child seat anchors, rear-door child-safety locks, tire pressure monitors, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), quick brake assist, torque vectoring brake system, brake override system, safety brake pedal system, traction control, Hill Descent Control, Hill Holder System, Incline Start Assist, rearview camera, all-wheel drive. Optional safety features include lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot detection.

Walkaround

Subaru characterizes the Outback’s new skin as more muscular, but it takes an experienced eye to readily spot the distinctions between the latest edition and the preceding generation. This is not a bad thing, given the Outback’s owner loyalty index; 60 percent of its buyers return for another, according to Subaru, an indication that the company is doing something right.

But familiar doesn’t mean same old, same old. The side mirrors sport turn signal repeaters, the revised front fascia is available with xenon HID headlights, the rear liftgate offers power operation with a memory pre-set for height, and the roof rack cross rails have a nifty stowaway feature, folding into the side rails when not in use.

Although not strictly classifiable as exterior features, the Outback’s safety systems merit mention here. The first is an upgrade on Subaru’s Eyesight system, monitoring driver response to the closing rate on the vehicle ahead in urban slow and go traffic. If the vehicle ahead stops, and the camera-based system sensors decide the driver isn’t going to respond, it can stop the car short of collision, at speeds up to 30 mph. Very impressive.

The new Outback is also up to date in terms lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot detection with the ability to track the speed differential of overtaking traffic.

Also, the Outback’s stronger structure includes improved crashworthiness, in particular its performance in narrow angle frontal collisions. Subarus have an exceptional record of top safety pick ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the narrow angle collision rating is a key component.

Interior

Roomier is always good news in any new vehicle, and it’s good news in the Outback. The design team has made the most of the modest dimensional increases, adding 2 cubic feet to cargo capacity, which increases to 73.3 with the rear seats folded flat. And passenger volume improves by 2.7 cubic feet.

Like so many new vehicles coming along these days, the Outback’s interior materials are of higher quality, with soft touch surfaces on the dash and door panels and welcome padding on the armrests.

The fourth-generation Outback lagged its competitors in terms of telematics and dashboard displays, but the new one closes the gap with improved instrumentation, a new 6.2-inch color touch screen in the center stack, an optional 7.0-inch screen that’s home for the optional navigation system, and a standard rear view camera. The bigger screen includes swiping and scrolling gesture response, text messaging, and voice command for various functions.

Other new features include heated rear seats and integrated door sill steps that make it easier to access gear stowed on the roof rails.

Driving Impressions

The Subaru Outback is intended to serve active couples or active couples with one or two kids in a variety of operating situations, paved or otherwise. The elements that make the Outback so capable on dirt trails (lots of ground clearance, generous suspension travel) limit its pavement responses. Direction changes are relaxed, the electric power steering is a little numb on center (though the ratio is quicker than in the previous generation, and better than many similar systems); there’s a fair amount of body roll in hard cornering; and the 2.5-liter engine won’t cause face distortion at full throttle.

On the other hand, ride quality is supple, interior noise levels are exceptionally low, and if the Outback isn’t sporty it’s thoroughly competent. Moreover, when the pavement ends, it motors to the head of the class. The Outback isn’t the kind of severe off-roader you’d saddle up for rock-crawling on the Rubicon Trail. But it can tackle just about anything else, taking its crew to places where you can see just about the entire universe at night and the trout will be biting.

The 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder is rated at 175 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 174 pound-feet of torque at 4000 rpm and gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined.

The 3.6-liter DOHC 24-valve horizontally opposed six-cylinder is rated at 256 horsepower at 6000 rpm, 247 pound-feet of torque 4400 rpm and gets an EPA-estimated 20/27 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined.

All Outbacks come with the CVT continuously variable transmission, with paddle shift manual mode and 6-speed simulated shifting. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.

Summary

Final Word

The fifth-generation Subaru Outback adds a number of refinements that enhance its appeal for all-around use. Interior noise is down, there’s more room inside, telematics move closer to contemporary standards, and dynamics are improved thanks to extensive chassis enhancements. The fun-to-drive index is modest in ordinary pavement driving, but off pavement the Outback is a bulldog, capable of getting to those remote areas where traffic noise is nil and the impact of industrialized America is all but absent.

Tony Swan filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report after his test drive of the Outback outside Portland, Oregon.

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2015 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon H4 Auto 2.5i PZEV
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