Friday, April 18, 2014
2015 Subaru Outback is Still Basically the Raised Legacy Wagon You Love
It seems reports of Subaru ditching the tall-riding wagon look for the all-new Outback are greatly exaggerated as the company unveiled the fifth-generation model at the New York International Auto Show. Like its predecessors, the all-new Outback is instantly recognizable as a tall-riding Legacy, something that has attracted a fiercely loyal clientele since the first generation launched in 1995.
For 2015, Subaru is promising that the all-new Outback combines passenger car comfort with the long-distance capabilities and load space of an SUV. For 2015, Subaru has given the Outback a crisper exterior that conveys all-round capability and upgraded refinement. The new front fascia combines the hexagonal grille and front bumper into one smooth piece while an aluminum hood reduces the weight over the front wheels. The lights feature standard HID illumination while the “hawk-eye” park lights tie it quite nicely with the rest of the Subaru family. At the back, the Outback receives LED tail and brake lights for improved fuel economy and night visibility. Like other Outbacks before it, the newest model feature protective black plastic panels along with a new roof rail that incorporates a rope hooks. The all-new Outback also incorporates active grille shutters for improved highway fuel efficiency.
Inside, the 2015 Outback offers a dramatically improved dash with a more premium feel. The instrument cluster features a twin binnacle design with a large central LCD (3.5 inches) display and an Eco gauge that promotes efficient driving habits. The Outback comes with 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, 4-way adjustable passenger seat, and a power tailgate. In addition, Subaru is promising a bigger and more spacious feel with careful emphasis to seat width, shoulder, elbow, and rear leg room. The Outback also has an upgraded infotainment system that’s bannered by a 6.2-inch multi-function touch screen display. The 3.6R is available with a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system.
Under the hood, the 2015 Outback is available in either 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder Boxer engine configurations. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder FB25 features numerous improvements for lighter weight, improved efficiency, and more power (175 horsepower from 173 horsepower). Torque is also spread out over a wider rev range. The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder EZ36 has been tweaked with a new ECU to make it compatible with the Outback’s new transmission system though power still remains at 256 horsepower. Across the line, Subaru has given the Outback its Lineartronic CVT transmission for improved fuel efficiency and performance. Subaru is boasting that the Outback 2.5i will net 10.62 km/L in the city and 14.02 km/L on the highway—figures besting the competitor’s front-wheel drive crossovers. Meanwhile, the 3.6R Limited does 8.50 km/L in the city and 11.47 km/L on the highway.
Aside from the engine, the all-new Outback features other mechanical improvements for better performance. The body is more rigid with a tweaked suspension system with new mounts that create a lower center of gravity and enhanced ride. The steering ratio has been quickened (14.0:1 from 16.5:1) along with a new electric power steering system tuned for a more natural feel. For better off-roading performance, the Outback now has X-Mode which optimizes engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive systems. X-Mode also integrates Hill Descent Control. The all-new Outback retains its 220-mm ground clearance as well. The Outback also features front and rear vented disc brakes as well as Active Torque Vectoring for superior turning response. Wheel sizes for the all-new Outback are 225/65R17 and 225/60R18.
Given Subaru’s Philippine distributor, Motor Image Pilipinas’s tendency to be quick on product releases, expect the all-new Outback to arrive locally by the fourth quarter of 2014 as a 2015 model.