New for 2015
The Subaru Outback has been redesigned for the 2015 model year, featuring improved styling, a revised interior design with more cargo room, revised chassis tuning for better driving dynamics, an updated pair of CVTs (the flat-six gets the heavy-duty unit from the WRX), and a 6.2- or 7-inch touchscreen.
The Subaru Outback is a five-passenger crossover that fits above the Forester and XV Crosstrek as the largest crossover the automaker currently offers.
The 2015 Subaru Outback’s standard powerplant is a 2.5-liter flat-four that makes 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, which gets paired with a CVT for an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway. An available 256-hp 3.6-liter flat-six makes 247 lb-ft of torque, which gets paired with the high-torque CVT from the WRX, and is EPA-rated at 20/27 mpg.
Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system (adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and vehicle lane departure warning) is available on both engines, as is a 6.2- or 7-inch infotainment system, active grille shutters (help improve fuel economy), active torque vectoring, hill descent control, and a rear vehicle detection system with blind spot detection, rear cross traffic and lane change assist.
The 2015 Subaru Outback received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and is considered a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Subaru Outback, one of the automaker’s most best-selling models, and the redesign should help reinforce its popularity. The looks have been improved, and the engines each get their own CVT, instead of sharing one that doesn’t work well for either engine. In a Driven Review of a 2015 Subaru Outback we noted, “The boxer engines and CVT, amazingly, don’t make a racket—the cabin is commendably quiet. Neither, however, do they provide much acceleration.” This latest revision of the Outback has also brought the handling to a good middle ground, not the cushy ride of 2010, nor the overly stiff bounce of the mid-cycle refresh, but right where we’d like it.
There’s little the 2015 Subaru Outback doesn’t handle with ease. If anything, it’s so capable and refined as to be a bit boring. In going mainstream, the Outback has lost some of the rugged charm it exuded through its first three generations. But the 2015 Subaru Outback is more than ever what the market wants: a comfortable, nondescript midsize crossover that can take you to unbelievable places
- CVT is quiet
You Won’t Like
- Styling still not attractive
- The mainstream direction has sapped character from the Outback
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- Kia Sorento
- Jeep Cherokee
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- Toyota 4Runner
- Mazda CX-5