Last Thursday, Subaru launched the brand new 2015 Outback to the world at the New York International Auto Show. As a Subaru owner and fan of the brand, I tuned in via the wonderful internet to the live presentation. My Subaru Outback is the first car (non Truck/SUV) I have owned in over 20 years. I am the type of person that falls in love with their vehicles and the same has happened with my 2012 Outback. Looking for something that could still get me to the trailhead, carry my bikes and camping gear, get better miles per gallon than my previous FJ Cruiser (not hard to do) and be comfortable over long distances. The Outback fit the bill and has proven itself a worthy purchase over the past two years.
All that you could possibly want to know about the new 2015 Subaru Outback is here, so I’m not going to both telling you about every nook and cranny. Instead, let’s talk about what’s actually new and how the new model differs from the 2014 model. First, let’s sum up a little about the new features.
- Fuel economy has been improved to 25 city & 33 highway
- Lineartronic CVT is now standard on all Outback models (no manual offered)
- X-Mode and Active Torque Vectoring features are now standard on all Outback models
- Optional EyeSight System with Rear Vehicle Detection System featuring Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (premium model only)
- The new Outback is roughly 1/2-inch wider and longer
- Front seat-cushion airbags have been added to keep occupants in place during a front end collision
The side mirrors have been relocated to the doors, much like the 2015 Legacy (where the Outback is getting its styling queues from). This provides more vision across a slightly thinner A-pillar behind the mirrors. The interior received a few upgrades for select models including; heated front and rear seats, driver’s memory seat (finally) and a 576-watt Harmon Kardon stereo.
I love the new front lamps, the added LED touch surrounding the driving light looks great. Although I don’t seem to care much for the mirrors on the doors of the Legacy, they look good on the Outback.
The new front grille is, well, a new front grille. Maybe it’ll grow on me. (still no black grille option)
18-inch wheels are now an option on all Outback models. I like the tighter, less dead space look of the new wheel and the darker background.
2015 versus 2014 – The Differences
2015 – Largest wheel 18-inch
2014 – Largest wheel 17-inch
2015 – Rear cargo space (35.5 cubic feet with seats up / 73.3 down)
2014 – Rear cargo space (34.3 cubic feet with seats up / 71.3 down)
2015 – Power tailgate option
2014 – Not available
2015 – Interior space (108.1 cubic feet)
2014 – Interior space (105.4 cubic feet)
2015 – Rear leg room (38.1 inches)
2014 – Rear leg room (37.8 inches)
2015 – Fuel economy 25/33
2014 – Fuel economy 24/30
2015 – Parking Brake has been relocated below the shifter in the center console (still a pull lever)
2014 – Parking Brake was located to the left of the steering wheel
2015 – Rooftop Cargo System – now you can adjust the bars front or back to secure larger loads
2014 – Rooftop Cargo System – no forward/rear adjust
2015 – Subaru EyeSight adds Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (including the 2014 options below)
2014 – EyeSight includes pre-collison braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, but none of the above new features
Model Intro Video
Hopefully, we will get the nod to join Subaru at a media event so I can report back my thoughts on the new model. I’ve always thought it was odd that this “utility” or “outdoor” style vehicle didn’t offer any 12v outlets in the rear of the vehicle or other camping style options? No hooks in the floor or on the side panels to secure gear. The in-floor rear storage system is nice though. How about becoming the first vehicle to offer a tire option? Wouldn’t it be great to choose a tire based on your location? Yes, it would be. Also, let’s hope the new Infotainment System is improved. The one thing even beloved Subaru owners can attest to is, they hate their Infotainment System.
Overall, the new Outback has been given a new look and quite a few new features that will keep Subaru lovers happy. No new engines or transmissions, sorry petrol heads. I know some of you are waiting for that WRX engine to make an appearance in the Outback, me too. Once I get behind the wheel I’ll be sure to give you all the nitty-gritty details you expect from us here at AGW. Stay tuned.