The 2015 Subaru Outback comes in four different configurations, 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The 2.5i models are powered by a 4-cylinder "Boxer" engine that makes 175 hp, while the 3.6R Limited is powered by a 6-cylinder boxer making 256 hp, providing plenty of extra power for those who need it. Across the entire range, power is sent to all four wheels via an ultra-efficient continuously variable transmission. Rather than having set gears like a traditional manual or automatic, a continuously variable transmissions (CVT) is able to infinitely vary the gear ratio, leaving the vehicle in a perfect position for maximizing power and efficiency. With the 2.5i, owners can expect to get around 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
The base 2.5i comes nicely equipped with 17" wheels, paddle shifters, a rearview camera, an off-road mode dubbed "x-mode," an active grill shutter to help improve fuel economy, a 6.2" high resolution touchscreen and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input and USB jacks, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth streaming.
2.5i Premium models offer significantly more amenities, including a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated front seats and heated mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 7" touchscreen, incorporating SMS text messaging capabilities and a vehicle information display. The stereo is also improved for the Premium trim, it is a 6-speaker unit with satellite radio functionality.
Limited trims includes a 12-speaker, 576-watt Harmon/Kardon sound system, leather seating surfaces, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, integrated turn signals in the mirrors, wood accents around the interior and a power rear lift gate.
Optional extras include a moonroof, a navigation system and keyless access with push button start.
New safety features across the Outback line include a rollover sensor for the side curtain airbags as well as front seat cushion airbags designed to keep occupants secure in the event of an accident.
Standard All-wheel Drive
Good Ground Clearance
Fuel Efficient Transmissions
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.
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.