2015 Subaru Outback

2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4

2015 subaru outback Reviews and News

2015 Subaru Outback 36R Limited Front Three Quarter 03
High-priced, leather-lined, six-cylinder versions of the Subaru Outback have always seemed at odds with this all-wheel-drive wagon's rugged, utilitarian mission. We imagine Outbacks loaded with muddy Golden Retrievers much more than Outbacks headed for a dressy date night on the town. That's not the case with the 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, which has the upscale manners to match its $36,825 price tag.
2015 Subaru Outback 36R Limited Rear Three Quarter 02
The newest Outback takes a step up in refinement with its quieter boxer engine, composed ride, and well-calibrated, unobtrusive continuously variable transmission. The classy interior digs, replete with matte wood trim that wouldn’t look out of place in an Audi, also feature an intuitive, capable new infotainment system and a full suite of EyeSight active safety features.
2015 Subaru Outback 36R Limited Cockpit 01
This is relatively new territory for Subaru, but the real surprise came when we found similar polish and poise in a four-cylinder 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium that cost $6,724 less. At first, this more plebeian Outback seemed closer to Subaru's roots with its cloth seats and rubber floormats. But it still had the same quiet, comfortable ride, high-quality interior materials, and responsive infotainment interface as the six-cylinder 3.6R. And despite its lower price tag, the Outback 2.5i still had a healthy load of features including heated seats, a power tailgate, and the optional EyeSight active safety features.
Sure, the four-cylinder has 81 fewer horses, but we’re more than willing to give up the extra grunt when the 2.5i delivered 28.4 mpg observed to the 3.6R’s 23.0 mpg as indicated. The 2.5i’s 175 hp is more than adequate in a family-oriented wagon, especially in partnership with the new CVT. This retuned transmission simulates the shifting of a conventional automatic and makes the powertrain feel more eager and responsive.
2015 Subaru Outback 36R Limited Front Three Quarter 02
In all of its forms, the 2015 Subaru Outback has risen to a new realm of refinement and luxury. Given the standard four-cylinder’s overall goodness, we say less is more with the new Outback, and shoppers should think twice before ponying up the extra cash for the six-cylinder engine.

2015 Subaru Outback Specifications

As-Tested Price: $30,111 (2.5i Premium)/$36,835 (3.6R Limited)
Engines: 2.5-liter DOHC flat-four/175 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 174 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 3.6-liter DOHC flat-six/256 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 247 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Continuously variable
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD wagon
EPA Mileage: 25/33 mpg (2.5i); 20/27 mpg (3.6R) city/highway
L x W x H: 189.6 x 72.4 x 66.1 in
Wheelbase: 108.1 in
Weight: 3,593 lb (2.5i Premium)/3,810 lb (3.6R Limited)
2015 Subaru Outback Rear Three Quarter Blue
Along the soft, red-dirt trails in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, our thoughts couldn’t have been further from the 2015 Subaru Outback we were driving. That's partially a credit to the view through the windshield: snow-capped mountains of the Cascade Range, fields of trees burned silver-metallic in a recent forest fire, and little lakes of pristine blue water. But it also speaks to both the remarkable capabilities and remarkable un-remarkableness of the 2015 Subaru Outback.

Growing over five generations

The Outback has come a long way from the quirky, cladded wagon and Paul Hogan TV commercials of the 1990s. We liked those cars, and so did lots of active individuals. Through each of the first three generations, Subaru sold about 200,000 to 240,000 Outbacks.
2015 Subaru Outback Profile Motion
“The Outback really put Subaru on the map,” said Peter Tenn, car line manager for the Outback.
But the Outback really hit the big time following its redesign in 2010, when it grew into a larger, more conventional-looking crossover. Sales increased to about 450,000 over the life of the vehicle. Not surprisingly, Subaru is sticking with this larger format for the redesigned 2015 model.
“If you hit a nail on the head, you strike in the same place,” said Michael McHale, director of corporate communications for Subaru of America.

Better looking, not good looking

The new Outback sure looks similar to its predecessor, albeit slightly more handsome. The 2015 Subaru Outback still isn’t a looker, but it benefits from a redesigned front fascia with prettier headlights and Subaru’s new hexagonal grille. The windshield is more raked, which makes the Outback look a little sleeker. That’s not to say it looks sleek, seeing how it’s 8.7 inches off of the ground and has body cladding and roof rails.

A new way to work the radio

More changes are evident inside the new Outback. The cabin has a cleaner design, more soft-touch materials, and, most important, a new infotainment system to replace the dreary unit we’ve come to know. It features either a 6.2-inch or optional 7-inch touchscreen, attractive piano-black trim around its outside edge, and a more intuitive layout. Each system gets Subaru’s Starlink smartphone integration and comes with a suite of apps that includes Aha, Pandora, and iHeart radio. The 7-inch system gets voice-activation, SiriusXM satellite radio, two USB ports instead of one, and can be optioned with navigation.

A pair of boxers

The 2015 Subaru Outback comes in four flavors: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited. The first three variants get a 2.5-liter flat-four engine and the last one gets a 3.6-liter flat-six engine. They’re basically carryovers from the last Outback, although the 2.5-liter has two more hp this year, for 175 hp, total. “Most customers prefer the 2.5-liter engine, but some customers choose the [256-hp] 3.6-liter if they live in hilly areas or higher altitudes,” said Yoichi Hori, manager of the total vehicle performance integration department for Subaru’s engineering division. Both engines are now mated to continuously variable transmissions (the six-cylinder Outback uses the high-torque version from the 2015 Subaru WRX). “We believe that a CVT is very flexible, has a lot of capability, and can beat a 9- or 10-speed automatic [in fuel economy],” said Hori. The boxer engines and CVT, amazingly, don’t make a racket—the cabin is commendably quiet. Neither, however, do they provide much acceleration.

Satisfying Goldilocks

Subaru has struggled to tune the Outback’s reflexes to match its larger size. One of our main complaints about the 2010 model (which we tested for four seasons) was its cushy ride. Hori and his team firmed everything up with a mid-cycle refresh—and we found it too stiff.
“With the new car, I think we got a good balance between ride and handling,” Hori says.
We’d say he’s right, judging by how the 2015 Outback drives over the nicely kept roads east of Portland. Changes to the suspension’s geometry, springs, dampers, and tires have made the car feel planted but not stiff-legged. Small impacts still upset the car more than we’d like, however.
2015 Subaru Outback Front Three Quarter Static

When pavement runs out

Hori says pavement was more of a priority than off-roading when tuning the Outback. Yet we think the crossover is happiest when its wheels are digging into dirt. Soft-roaders will enjoy the standard X-Mode, a system that integrates inputs from the powertrain, all-wheel-drive system, and traction control to reduce wheel spin. It also comes with an advanced hill descent control that requires no braking input from the driver. The Outback never once struggled going over wet dirt, soft dirt, gravel, or anything we could find on these Oregon trails.

Coming to

In fact, 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.

2015 Subaru OUtback

Base Price: $25,745
Engines: 2.5-liter DOHC flat-four, 3.6-liter DOHC flat-six
Power: 175 hp @ 5800 rpm (2.5L), 256 hp @ 6000 rpm (3.6L)
Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm (2.5L), 247 hp @ 4400 rpm (3.6L)
Transmission: Continuously variable
Steering: Electrically assisted
Suspension, front: Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, rear: Control arms, coil springs
Brakes: Vented discs
Base curb weight: 3593 lb (2.5L), 3810 lb (3.6L)
Wheelbase: 108.1 in
LxWxH: 189.6 x 72.4 x 66.5 in
Towing capacity: 2700 lb (2.5L), 3000 lb (3.6L)
Headroom, front/rear: 40.8/38.9 in
Legroom, front/rear: 42.9/38.1 in
Shoulder room, front/rear: 58.1/57.3 in
Passenger volume: 108.1 cu ft
Cargo volume, rear seats upright/folded: 35.5/73.3 cu ft
Fuel economy: 25/33/28 mpg (2.5L), 20/27/22 mpg (3.6L) (city/highway/combined)
2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback

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.

Vehicle Overview

The Subaru Outback is a five-passenger crossover that fits above the Forester and XV Crosstrek as the largest crossover the automaker currently offers.

Summary

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

You’ll Like

  • CVT is quiet
  • Comfortable
  • Capable

You Won’t Like

  • Styling still not attractive
  • Slow
  • The mainstream direction has sapped character from the Outback

Key Competitors

  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Kia Sorento
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Ford Escape
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Mazda CX-5

Rating

4
2015 Subaru Outback Front Three Quarter In Motion 02
Amid booming sales in North America, Subaru will increase production capacity at its Lafayette, Indiana plant ahead of schedule.
2015 Subaru Outback Rear Three Quarter Screenshot
Subaru has definitely widened its sales and demographics in recent years, but the Japanese automaker’s new 2015 Subaru Outback TV ad campaign is reminder of the outdoorsy and fun-loving identity that propelled the brand forward in the 1990s and early 2000s. The two new commercials, titled “Bison” and “Memory Lane” say very little about the actual 2015 Subaru Outback, but tap heavily into the idea of what it means to be a Subaru owner.
2015 Subaru Legacy IIHS Small Overlap Test During
The redesigned 2015 Subaru Outback and 2015 Subaru Legacy continue the high safety ratings of their predecessors by earning yet another Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This means that Subaru’s entire lineup is recognized as at least a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, while the Legacy, Outback, and Forester earn the higher TSP+ award.

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New 2015 Subaru Outback Pricing

Fair Market Price what is this?
$23,597
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
$24,895
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2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback
2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4
25 MPG City | 33 MPG Hwy
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2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback
2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4
25 MPG City | 33 MPG Hwy
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2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback
2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4
$24,895
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2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback
2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4
175hp
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2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback
2.5i 4WD 4-Dr Wagon H4
175hp

2015 Subaru Outback Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.5L H4Engine
Fuel economy City:
25 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
33 MPG
Horsepower:
175 hp @ 5800rpm
Torque:
174 ft lb of torque @ 4000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Roadside
36,000 miles / 36 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
TRAILER HITCHES
Summary
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2015 Outback vehicles manufactured January 22, 2014, to August 18, 2014, and equipped with a Subaru accessory trailer hitch assembly. During installation, the trailer hitch mounting nuts may have been overtightened, potentially resulting in failure of the trailer hitch mounting studs.
Consequences
The mounting nut(s) may not provide sufficient force to remain attached to the studs or the studs themselves might break. If this were to happen while a trailer is being towed, the driver might not be able to operate the vehicle as desired or the trailer may detach from the vehicle. Either situation could increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will replace all eight mounting nuts for the trailer hitch assembly, and will inspect all eight mounting studs for damage, free of charge. The recall began on October 7, 2014. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru's number for this recall is WQN-50.
Potential Units Affected
56
Notes
Subaru of America, Inc.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH
Summary
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2015 Legacy vehicles manufactured March 10, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Outback vehicles manufactured February 24, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Impreza vehicles manufactured September 9, 2014, to April 14, 2015, XV Crosstrek vehicles manufactured October 16, 2014, to April 15, 2015, and 2016 WRX vehicles manufactured March 23, 2015, and equipped with the Eyesight Driver Assist System. If the switch that activates the brake lights fails, the automatic pre-collision braking component of the driver assist system will not function.
Consequences
If the automatic pre-collision braking system does not function as intended, the vehicle will not react to an obstacle in its path, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the driver assist system, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru's number for this recall is WQS-54.
Potential Units Affected
72,000
Notes
Subaru of America, Inc.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
FORWARD COLLISION AVOIDANCE: CRASH IMMINENT BRAKING
Summary
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2015 Legacy vehicles manufactured March 10, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Outback vehicles manufactured February 24, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Impreza vehicles manufactured September 9, 2014, to April 14, 2015, XV Crosstrek vehicles manufactured October 16, 2014, to April 15, 2015, and 2016 WRX vehicles manufactured March 23, 2015, and equipped with the Eyesight Driver Assist System. If the switch that activates the brake lights fails, the automatic pre-collision braking component of the driver assist system will not function.
Consequences
If the automatic pre-collision braking system does not function as intended, the vehicle will not react to an obstacle in its path, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the driver assist system, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru's number for this recall is WQS-54.
Potential Units Affected
72,000
Notes
Subaru of America, Inc.


IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2015 Subaru Outback

Depreciation
35.6%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$11,165
35.6%
Insurance
$5,675
18.1%
Fuel Cost
$8,385
26.7%
Financing
$2,508
8%
Maintenance
$2,544
8.1%
Repair Costs
$697
2.2%
State Fees
$415
1.3%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $31,389 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent