2015 Subaru Outback: Up Close

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Subaru has found its styling stride with the new Outback. It's an attractive wagon with smoother lines and a more conventional front-end look. Even though it has crossover-like ground clearance, the 2015 Outback doesn't look like a high-riding SUV and it's easy to step in and out of it.

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New cabin styling has a richer appearance, and the 3.6R Limited on the auto-show floor had matte-style woodgrain trim and soft-touch surfaces.

By Mike Hanley | April 17, 2014 | Comments (7)

2015 Subaru Outback Photo Gallery (55 Photos)

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Like its updated Legacy sedan counterpart, the redesigned-for-2015 Subaru Outback stays true to its roots with an understated exterior styling update. Its look still straddles the line between traditional wagons and crossover SUVs but a larger, more trapezoidal grill and less body cladding give it a more streamlined look.

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Inside, Subaru says shoulder room, front and rear hip room, and rear legroom have increased, and cargo room is also up by an extra 1.2 cubic feet.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 17, 2014 | Comments (7)

2015 Subaru Outback: First Look

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Competes with: Honda Crosstour, Toyota Venza, Dodge Journey

Looks like: The Outback gains cleaner, more cohesive styling

Drivetrain: 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 256-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder with continuously variable automatic transmission; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

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Subaru's redesigned Outback gets updated exterior styling, better estimated gas mileage, and new drivetrain, entertainment and safety technology for the 2015 model year. Like past versions, the Outback straddles the divide between traditional wagons and crossover SUVs and comes standard with all-wheel drive. It hits dealerships this summer and will be offered in Standard, Premium, Limited and 3.6R Limited trim levels — the latter with a six-cylinder engine. The 2015 Subaru Outback debuts at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

By Mike Hanley | April 17, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Subaru Outback Review

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While other automakers' faithfulness to the wagon ebbs and flows with the day's fashions, Subaru has remained devout. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela says that as the Outback continues to change for the better year after year, its cultish following grows all the more zealous, and the 2014 incarnation should perpetuate that spirit. The near-ideal family hauler combines much of the cargo and passenger comfort of an SUV with the pragmatism of a car. Power and handling don't disappoint, though bump absorption and cheap-looking standard interior finishes do. Read Varela's review.

2014 Subaru Outback Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Kristin Varela

By Matt Schmitz | April 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Subaru Teases All-New 2015 Outback

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Subaru's Legacy and Outback have always been closely linked. The automaker's redesigned sedan was recently unveiled at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, and now it's the Outback wagon's turn. Subaru announced that the "all-new" 2015 Outback will be launched at the 2014 New York International Auto Show later this month.

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The Outback was last redesigned for model-year 2010 and got a light exterior refresh for 2013. It's tough to glean much from the teaser image, but it looks like the 2015 Outback follows in the new Legacy's footsteps with a larger trapezoidal grille and light-pipe-accented headlights. Check back with us on April 17 for more details.

Manufacturer photo 

By Jennifer Geiger | April 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Subaru Shines in Latest Crash Tests

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Subaru is coming out ahead when it comes to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests. The agency has awarded the 2014 Impreza wagon and sedan and XV Crosstrek compact wagon its highest score — Top Safety Pick Plus.

The vehicles earned a good rating across all areas of testing, including the tough small front overlap test, which simulates the front corner of a vehicle crashing into a rigid barrier at 40 mph. Many automakers have had trouble with this test, but several of Subaru's vehicles have aced it. The five Subaru models to do so include the Forester, Impreza (wagon and sedan), Legacy, Outback and XV Crosstrek; winners must earn good ratings for occupant protection in four out of five of the evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 5, 2013 | Comments (10)

Can You Compare the GMC Terrain to the Subaru Outback?

"Can you compare the GMC Terrain to the Subaru Outback?"
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Though the Outback is officially a wagon, it mimics the look of an SUV, has standard all-wheel drive and provides more ground clearance than most crossovers. If it looks like one and performs like one, there is no reason it can't be on the same shopping list as the Terrain.

The Outback stacks up quite well against similar-size crossover SUVs such as the Terrain (a kissing cousin of the Chevrolet Equinox), and it offers some advantages in ride and handling because it is derived from the Subaru Legacy sedan. The Terrain, though also based on a car platform, feels more trucklike and is less maneuverable in tight spots.

Even with standard all-wheel drive, four-cylinder Outbacks have EPA estimates of 24/30 mpg city/highway with the continuously variable automatic transmission. The four-cylinder Terrain's fuel economy estimates are 22/32 mpg with front-wheel drive and 20/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. Though four-cylinder Outbacks aren't sprinters, they feel livelier and more responsive than four-cylinder Terrains.

The Terrain looks larger than the Outback, but at 185 inches bumper to bumper is actually 4 inches shorter. The Terrain has a much longer wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheels), 112.5 inches versus 107.9, which usually translates into more passenger space. That's not the case here: The Outback's interior has 105.4 cubic feet of passenger space, compared with 99.6 for the Terrain. The Outback also has more cargo space, 71.3 cubic feet versus 63.9.

Ground clearance is 8.7 inches on the Outback and 6.9 inches on the Terrain. Though that has benefits, such as when driving through deep snow, it makes getting in and out of the Outback more challenging for some, so you should check that out while shopping.

Pricewise, the Terrain is probably more expensive than comparable Outback models in base form, though how many options you choose can change the math. See here for a side-by-side comparison of Terrain and Outback specifications. Once you choose specific models of the Outback and Terrain, this helpful feature will spell out how they compare for size, standard equipment and optional features.

Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at tips@cars.com, or ask in the comments below.

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By Rick Popely | August 25, 2013 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2014 Subaru Legacy and Outback, 2013 Tribeca

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Subaru is recalling 202 model-year 2014 versions of the Legacy and Outback and model-year 2013 versions of the Tribeca due to a problem with the transmission, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from June 12 through June 28, 2013 (check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb), and are equipped with an automatic transmission. The parking rod could come loose inside the automatic transmission, which would prevent the vehicle from being taken out of the Park gear. "Furthermore, even with the transmission shifted into the Park position, the parking mechanism may not engage, and the vehicle may roll away while in the Park position, increasing the risk of a crash," NHTSA said in a statement.

Subaru will notify owners by the end of August, and dealers will update the transmission for free. Owners can call Subaru at 800-782-2783 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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Check Out Other Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | August 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

The Top 10 Smallest Recalls of 2013

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We recently counted down the top 10 biggest recalls reported by KickingTires in the first half of 2013. This week, we're out to show it's not always size that counts.

As we demonstrated last time out, among the many millions of vehicles for which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls each year, individual actions themselves can number in the millions — as was the case when Chrysler agreed to inspect and repair 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to a potential fuel-system problem that could cause fires in rear-end collisions.

At the other end of the spectrum are recalls so small — single-digits-small — that in some cases it might be quicker for us just to shoot an email to the individual vehicle owners than it is to report it. Don't get us wrong; safety recalls are serious business and have the potential to save many lives each year. That said, some households have as many cars parked in their driveway right now as are affected by some recalls.

Without further ado, the smallest recalls reported by Cars.com so far in 2013 are:

By Matt Schmitz | July 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Subaru Outback: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: Adaptive cruise control now standard on models with CVT; a driver-assistance system is available on the 2.5i Premium trim and standard with the Special Appearance Package
  • Price change: None except for a $30 hike in the destination charge
  • On sale: Now
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? With no price change and new available equipment and features, opt for the 2014.

The 2014 version of Subaru's popular wagon, the all-wheel-drive Outback, continues virtually unchanged for the new model year, with a few convenience, tech and cosmetic additions. Returning from 2013 are four trim levels: the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited; the regular 3.6R did not carry over. The lower two trims come with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission. The CVT is standard on the 2.5i Limited; the 3.6R Limited comes with a five-speed automatic.

By Matt Schmitz | July 24, 2013 | Comments (2)

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