The SUV with the Wagon Body: 2015 Subaru Outback
When the words SUV as uttered thoughts of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Explorer, or one of many offerings of luxury SUV’s comes to mind. Vehicles that are highly capable both on and off road and in some ways are an excuse for the owners to not have to buy a minivan. The Subaru Outback is highly capable off road vehicle that comes in a body shape and style that makes it look more like a wagon that has been lifted off the ground. For this reason it is classified and competes in the class with smaller SUV’s.
Even as a wagon, the Outback boasts the industry leading all-wheel drive that is enhanced with X-Mode stability control offered by Subaru. This allows Outback owners to know and experience a full array of off road locations in a vehicle that is small enough to get in and out of tight spots the larger more cumbersome vehicles could never dream of heading to. As a completely new offering for 2015 the Outback adds the X-Mode stability control to the all-wheel drive system as well as expanding the availability of EyeSight by using two cameras for the adaptive cruise control, collision warning and collision mitigation systems.
As a highly responsive and exceptional performing off road vehicle anyone might expect the Outback to not perform on the pavement, but the opposite is actually true. The Outback handles and performs beautifully on any road surface with its highly engineered sport suspension system that soaks up road defects easily and allows for fantastic off road control as well. Add to this the highly responsive steering controls and the Outback is built to handle the dangers in the wild as well as the wild dangers offered on the highway and city streets.
Two very unique and expertly designed engines are offered from Subaru for the Outback. These engines use what is called a boxer format that allows the pistons to move horizontally. This allows for a lower center of gravity and helps to reduce engine vibration in the vehicle. The first of these is a 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder engine that has 175 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque to offer. Matched up with a continuously variable transmission that has steering wheel mounted paddle controls the power train comes in with a fuel efficiency of 25 city/33 hwy mpg.
The second engine offered for the Outback is a 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder engine that brings in much more power at 256 horsepower and 247 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is offered for the Limited models and is also paired up with the continuously variable transmission allowing a fuel efficiency of 20 city/27 hwy mpg. Both power trains are set up with all-wheel drive as a standard feature and include the X-Mode to allow low speed traction and much stronger stability control.
The interior of the Outback is actually much more refined and luxurious than expected. Sharing an interior style with the higher class Legacy this interior offers a layout that is clean and functional to ensure owners can easily utilize all the controls that are in place. The interior is bathed in exceptional materials and the seats are very comfortable to help make that off road trek just a bit nicer. The new infotainment system is well-designed and intuitive to use making this a vehicle that anyone can drive and enjoy. Because the Outback sports a tall roof, Subaru took advantage and installed a reclining rear seat to allow back seat passengers an even more comfortable ride for those naps on the way back from the adventurous trip off road.
Although the Outback offers and exterior appearance that still favors function over style there are plenty of great style features in place when a second glance is taken. The grill offers u a new hexagonal patter and the headlights and taillights are both built in a wrap-around fashion to get the eye moving across the vehicle. With its high stance the Outback appears more rugged-looking and the hood to roof angle is less than sporty, but the Outback is unmistakable and when noticed causes feeling of excitement for the next great off road adventure. The wheels are multi-spoked in their pattern giving a look of style and function to finish off the looks of this SUV-wagon.
The Outback offers a very generous amount of standard features for anyone to enjoy. This list includes power windows, air conditioning, power mirrors, cruise control, a backup camera, under-seat-cushion airbags, a touch screen controlled audio system that includes a 6.2-inch screen, Aha, iHeart Radio, Pandora and Bluetooth and USB connectivity, X-Mode, hill-descent control, active torque vectoring and grill shutters. All of these features make the Outback a pleasurable ride and highly controlled one on and off the road.
If the standard offerings are not enough, the Outback does offer a nice list of optional features to enjoy. This list includes the EyeSight system that adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, pre-collision braking and steering responsive fog lights. Other options include a power lift gate, voice activated navigation with a seven-inch screen, rear vehicle detection system, blind spot detection, lane change assistance, rear cross traffic alerts, a leather interior, faux wood trimmings and an upgraded harman/kardon audio system. With all of these features in place the Outback becomes a veritable command center of control and enjoyment for on and off road driving.
At the base price the Subaru Outback is very affordable in the 2.5i model coming in just under $26,000. The Premium model of this great SUV-wagon comes in just below $28,000 and can go up to as much as $31,000 when some optional features are added. The Limited model starts at $31,000 and increases as much as $3,000 to add the six-cylinder engine. The fully loaded Limited model will bring an asking price that is near $40,000 but at that price the vehicle approaches luxury and offers a lot of great features for everyone to enjoy.