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2015 Subaru Outback debuts in New York

Thu, 17 Apr 2014

The 2015 Subaru Outback took a bow at the New York auto show on Thursday. It gets a new front fascia with a hexagonal grille, a standard CVT -- not sure how we feel about that -- and the same 9 or so inches of ground clearance. It'll be in dealerships this summer.

The new fascia looks cleaner than the outgoing model, while the windshield base is pulled forward by 2 inches giving the Outback a more wagon-ish look. The headlights shrink a bit but the 3.6R now gets HID low beams. The fog lights and dark bumper cover stay.

The 2015 Subaru Outback comes with a new Active Grille Shutter system that Subaru says -- along with the Lineartronic CVT -- helps improve fuel economy. The 2.5i now gets 25 mpg city/33 highway, from 24/30 in the 2014 model. The 3.6R gets 20 city and 27 highway, from 17 and 25.

The body and wheelbase are less than an inch bigger in all directions, which yields an extra 2.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The cargo area now measures 35.5 cu-ft behind the rear seats and 73.3 cu-ft with the seats folded.

Subaru predictably brings a ton of safety features, including front seat-cushion airbags, rearview camera, blind spot and rear vehicle detection, and a new version of the EyeSight system. Steering-responsive fog lights light up independently when going around corners.

The 2.5-liter flat four engine makes 175 hp, while the 3.6-liter H6 makes 256 hp. Those are up from 173 and 247, respectively. Subaru notes that the 3.6-liter makes 225 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm.

Subaru revised the MacPherson front suspension and double-wishbone rear, and added a quick-ratio electric power steering system. The 2.5i gets 17-inch wheels, the Limited trim gets 18s.

The 2.5i also gets larger brakes, and both models get ventilated rear discs, instead of solid.

X-Mode, which is like a sport mode for the engine, CVT and AWD system, is standard on all models. Hill Descent Mode and Incline Start Assist are also included.

The Outback 2.5i Premium trim adds a bunch of features including a 10-way power driver's seat, All-Weather package, upgraded infotainment system, fog lights and a few other bits. The Limited adds dual-heated rear seats and the power liftgate.

A 6.2-inch touchscreen offers all the features you'd expect, as well as smartphone integration with Pandora, Bluetooth and voice-activated controls. Limited models get a 576-watt Harmon/Kardon sound system with 12 speakers.

Subaru didn't announce the price, but we wouldn't expect it to move much from the current base price of $24,320, including destination.

About the New York auto show

The 2014 New York auto show runs April 16-27 and is expected to attract a range of production and concept cars including the 2015 Mustang convertible, BMW M4 convertible and next Hyundai Sonata. Check out Autoweek's complete coverage at

By Jake Lingeman