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Popular Subaru Outback refined for 2015

by: JOHN M. VINCENT - 2015 Outbacks feature less body cladding than previous models, but more capability with a standard X-Mode traction management system.Perhaps no vehicle sums up the Oregon lifestyle more than the Subaru Outback.

It's nimble enough for the urban environment, but it's large enough to carry a hefty cargo of outdoor adventure gear. It's as much of a SUV as most people will ever need with the security of all-wheel drive for less-than-ideal weather conditions or unpaved roads.

The Outback’s local popularity makes Portland one of Subaru’s top sales markets. There seems to be one on every block, and their owners keep them for a long, long time.

A new exterior design features a more sharply sculpted design and less of the Outback’s signature lower body cladding. The interior has been updated with a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity standard.

Subaru’s done an impressive job of reducing noise in the new model, with enhanced insulation and the acoustic windshield. Cargo space is up 1.2 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 2 cu. ft. with the 60/40 seats that now fold fully flat in the down position.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO BY JOHN M. VINCENT - A 6.2-inch touchscreen is standard in all Outbacks, with a 7-inch included on upper trim level models. The center console features a dedicated cell phone pocket.
Subaru feels that the Outback has reached about the proper size, so for 2015 the focus was on refinement, safety, and efficiency. The available 4- and 6-cylinder horizontally opposed (Boxer) engines are largely carryover, but mileage has improved significantly by routing power exclusively through continuously variable transmissions. Mileage in 4-cylinder models of 25 in the city and 33/highway exceeds some 2-wheel drive competitors.

First introduced in the Subaru Forester, the 2015 Outback features a standard X-Mode traction management. At low speed, the system improves traction with hill start assist and hill descent control that enables a driver to maintain a controlled downhill speed.

Subaru’s available EyeSight driver assistance package has been improved with smaller cameras and a wider field of view. The system provides pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

2015 Subaru Outback

Models: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 3.6R Limited

Base prices: Range from 2.5i $24,895 to 3.6R $32,995 (plus $850 destination charge)

Type: 5-passenger 4-door midsize all-wheel-drive crossover wagon

Engine: 2.5-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, 3.6-liter H-6

EPA Estimated Mileage: 2.5i 25 city/33 highway, 3.6R 20/27.

Length: 189.6 inches

Curb Weight: 3,593 lbs. (base vehicle)

Final Assembly: Lafayette, Indiana

On Sale Date: Summer 2014

John M. Vincent can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..