By Mike Hanley on April 16, 2014
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.
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.
A new center control panel incorporates touch-sensitive surfaces on either side of a central screen. This technology has presented usability challenges in other cars we’ve tested, but the Outback's touchpads respond quickly to your touch, and the automaker doesn't rely on them for the majority of vehicle controls; it still has conventional climate controls just below.
The Outback has grown in size considerably over the years, and the current version is a large wagon. Passengers benefit, though, as the backseat is roomy with good legroom and headroom. The backrest angle is adjustable, too. There’s also slightly more cargo room.
Visibility — especially over-shoulder views — is becoming increasingly restricted in many new cars, but sightlines are good in the new Outback.
Even at the end of its lifecycle, the prior Outback was Subaru's second-best-selling car last year. The 2015 version improves on that model in a number of ways. Even better, Subaru says pricing will be in line with the outgoing version, which starts at $24,320, including an $825 destination charge.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike