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Muddy Off-Road Test Drive: 2015 Subaru Outback on Everyman Driver

The fifth generation of the World’s First Sport Utility Wagon®, featuring the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history. Outback’s bold new design delivers an even more compelling blend of on-road agility, off-pavement control, ride comfort, interior refinement and safety technology.  

The 2015 Outback exemplifies Subaru’s mastery of outdoors-oriented vehicle engineering, not just for its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and raised ground clearance, but also for numerous details that help make it more convenient to load and carry cargo, kayaks and bikes. Added as standard for 2015 are X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist augment Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to assist the driver in navigating rough roads, slippery surfaces or steep inclines.

The 175-horsepower 4-cylinder Outback 2.5i model is available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines beginning at $24,895. All trim lines add more standard amenities, conveniences and new infotainment systems for 2015.

All Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which features paddle shifters and is instrumental in the Outback’s significantly improved fuel economy. Manufacturer-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined are up from 24/30/26 in the 2014 model. These figures place the 2015 Outback 2.5i at the top of the midsize crossover class, bettering front-wheel drive versions of some competitive crossovers.

VIDEO BELOW: Muddy Off-Road Test Drive: 2015 Subaru Outback on Everyman Driver

VIDEO BELOW: First Test Drive: 2015 Subaru Outback on Everyman Driver

Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system contributes to more neutral cornering is now standard on all Outback trim levels. The Active Grille Shutter system that helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance is standard on 4-cylinder models.

The Outback 2.5i also features a significantly improved Infotainment System that includes a 6.2” high resolution single-touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK, AM/FM Stereo HD Radio with single-disc CD Player, Aha and Pandora, Bluetooth audio-streaming and hands-free phone connectivity, Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS), iPod Control and iTunes Tagging capabilities, USB Port, Auxiliary Input Jack, 4-speakers, and a Rear Glass Audio Antenna.

The 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium has an MSRP of $26,995, just $200 more than the comparable outgoing model. The Premium trim level adds All-Weather Package, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control System, 10-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, and an illuminated overhead console and front door pull handles. An upgraded Infotainment System includes a 7” high resolution multi-touch screen display , Bluetooth hands-free SMS text messaging connectivity, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (available with a subscription), dual USB ports, 6-speakers, roof mounted satellite radio, and a vehicle information display.

A Moonroof and Power Rear Gate package can be added to the 2.5i Premium for $1,695 and includes a power moonroof and auto-dimming rear view compass mirror with Homelink as well as a height adjustable Power Rear Gate. A Navigation, Moonroof and Power Rear Gate Package is available for $2,195 total. The Navigation System adds SiriusXM NavTraffic and NavWeather with a subscription, map information via an updatable SD card, and improved navigation voice-activated controls.

VIDEO BELOW: 2015 Subaru Vehicle Safety Report on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

The Outback 2.5i Premium option package offers the industry’s leading driver assist technology, Subaru Eyesight®, and also adds Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA.) It uses radar detection to assist the driver by detecting vehicles on either side of the vehicle that may be in the driver’s blind spots and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) notifies the driver when in reverse of a possible collision danger if a vehicle is detected approaching from a perpendicular angle. All of these industry-leading safety features are included together as an option package for only $1,695. Steering Responsive Fog Lights are added to all Eyesight- equipped models and provide increased visibility in the direction of a turn. The Outback 2.5i Premium is available with an Option Package that bundles the Moonroof Package, Power Rear Gate, Navigation, and EyeSight/SRVD Safety Package for $3,390.”

The Outback 2.5i Limited provides an impressive list of standard features and content at a starting price of $29,995. The Limited adds Perforated Leather-Trimmed Upholstery, stylish 18-inch Alloy Wheels, Harman/Kardon® Surround 12-speaker system and 576-watt Amplifier, 10-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory, dual-mode heated rear seat backs and cushions, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, part of the Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, fog lights, woodgrain-pattern accent trim, and center console rear A/C outlets. Power Rear Gate with memory is standard on Limited trims.

Option Packages for the 2.5i Limited include the Moonroof Package, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, and Navigation is available for $2,195. EyeSight can be added to this group for a total package MSRP of $2,990. These packages are also available on the Outback 3.6R Limited.

VIDEO BELOW:FIRST LOOK | 2015 Subaru Outback on Everyman Driver

The flagship of the line-up, the Outback 3.6R Limited, has a starting MSRP of $32,995. It now includes a new, High-Torque Continuously Variable Transmission for the 256-horsepower 3.6 liter, 6-cylinder Boxer engine that improves its estimated gas mileage to 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined. HID low beam headlights with automatic height adjustment control, dual/stainless tips exhaust are also standard on the 3.6R Limited.

The new Outback is built at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA). SIA this year celebrates ten years as a Zero Landfill Facility and continues to be the only U.S. automotive plant designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

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