Subaru’s bread and butter model, the Subaru Outback wagon, is redesigned for 2015 following the debut of the 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan from a few months ago. This fifth-generation Outback looks to be more upscale with its sleeker styling, higher-quality interior, and increased level of technology.
The proven Outback formula doesn’t change much with this update—the 2015 Subaru Outback remains a raised Legacy wagon with some exterior cladding to give it a more SUV-like look. As such, the new Outback shares its two powertrain choices with the new Legacy sedan. Standard is a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder, with a 3.6-liter boxer six-cylinder as an option, just like in the previous-generation Outback. These engines produce 174 hp and 256 hp, respectively, and both mate with a standard continuously variable transmission (the manual has been discontinued) and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
Both powertrains have been revised for greater efficiency, with estimated fuel economy ratings of 25/33 mpg (city/highway) for the 2.5-liter version and 19/27 mpg for the 3.6-liter version. Both of these ratings represent increases of 1-3 mpg over the equivalent outgoing 2014 Outback models, and Subaru also cites better aerodynamics as another factor in improving fuel economy.
The 2015 Subaru Outback’s front end features a trapezoidal grille flanked by swept back headlights. Moving along the side, the new Outback does not look as tall and ungainly as its predecessor thanks to sharper lines that taper towards the sloped rear hatch. Overall length and wheelbase are each increased by less than one inch, but the windshield base has been brought forward by two inches for a sleeker profile. Despite this more streamlined look, though, the new Outback has more space inside, with nearly three cubic feet more interior space overall and two cubes more cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
The roomier interior is also trimmed in nicer materials, with more soft-touch materials on the dashboard that’s largely resembles that of the Legacy sedan. The center stack sports a simple control layout, with a standard 6.2-inch touchscreen that includes various smartphone integration functions like Bluetooth and Pandora support. The latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight active safety technology suite is also available, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Other available active safety features are part of the Outback’s optional rear vehicle detection system, which adds blind spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert.
The 2015 Subaru Outback will be offered in four trim levels: the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and range-topping 3.6R Limited. A backup camera is standard on all models, and Premium and Limited trims can be had with upscale features like navigation, leather seats, a moonroof, a Harmon Kardon premium audio system, and HID headlights.
The 2015 Subaru Outback will go on sale this summer, and pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date.