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.

Adaptive cruise control now comes standard on all CVT-equipped models. Meanwhile, Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance system that integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning is available on the 2.5i Premium model and comes standard on models equipped with the Special Appearance Package; the system previously was only available on Limited trims. Also, a backup camera is now included in the Power Moonroof Package on Premium and Limited models, and multimedia smartphone integration comes with the optional navigation system.

Other updates for 2014 include a new Alloy Wheel Package for the 2.5i model, which adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 225/60 R17 all-season tires and fog lights. In addition, an electroluminescent instrument cluster with a center-mounted color LCD display is now optional on the 2.5i Premium model with the EyeSight system. Same as the previous year, the Outback’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is good for 173 horsepower and 174 pounds-feet of torque, with fuel economy estimated at 24/30 mpg city/highway on the 2.5i Limited. The 3.6R Limited comes with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder that makes 256 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque, with fuel economy estimated at 18/25 mpg.

Pricing remains the same as 2013, though the destination charge has increased by $30 to $825. The 2014 Outback starts at $24,320, including destination, and is on sale now.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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