By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
From the 2009 New York auto show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2010 Subaru Outback.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with Cars.com. We're taking our first look at the 2010 Subaru Outback. This is the first full redesign it's had in a few years. It is now more efficient, comes with a 2.5
liter engine, or a 3.6, before now it was a 3.0 liter. But now it doesn't require premium fuel anymore. A couple of the changes in front, you can tell, much more expressive headlights. It's kind of a lower underbite, kind of a look to the grill. And the ride height is actually a little bit higher, more ground clearance, and you can really see it. It gives it more of an SUV look. Though they've returned to the sport utility wagon name that came out with it when it was brand new. This was about 15 years ago. Now, the last time the Outback was redesigned a few years ago, they didn't grow it any, which surprised me. Partly because when a model is redesigned, they almost always grow. But this one really needed it, especially in the backseat. Now, this is the 2010 Outback. I've got the seat all the way back and tilted a bit, plenty of leg room now. And that was not the case in the old one. See what I mean. (upbeat music) Four inches have been added here. My knees are raised a little bit, but it's not bad. Now, for what it's worth the car's a little bit wider too, which gives you more shoulder room and hip room. Just a couple inches. The Legacy, which is the sedan on which this wagon is based, we just tested it versus some other mid-sized sedans and found that it was one of the tightest back seats on the market. That has improved a little for 2010, and of course, so has the wagon. One more improvement back here is now the adjustment, actually pretty easy to reach here on the side to change the backrest angle. Find a comfortable position for yourself. Generally, the seats are pretty comfortable in the Outback anyway. Now, obviously the front seat, which is kind of important in a car. Also more room, there's actually more hip room here than in the back for the front occupants. And it was never a slouch in terms of interior quality to begin with, it's improved even more. I have to say, I wasn't crazy about the kind of textures and sparkly gray stuff that I never miss an opportunity to complain about. It's been replaced by a lot more convincing faux metal on the steering wheel as well. Now, a manual transmission is standard. You can get an automatic is now a CVT, Continuously Variable Transmission. That is one of the ways that it is more efficient than the previous model. Even though it's a CVT, it still has these little paddle things here, which is a little silly I think. Now, with the growth of the car overall, cargo area's a bit deeper and wider, it's not full SUV size, but it's definitely very usable. Now, proving that there's still room for innovation, something we haven't seen before. These are the crossbars for the roof rack. Usually you have to take 'em off or just leave 'em up there and they create noise, wind noise. Here they swing across, like so, what does that do? Well, it's good for the aerodynamics. Basically, every little bit helps with fuel economy. That's the story so far of the 2010 Outback, we look forward to testing it. It has All-Wheel Drive standard. It is not just better off pavement than similar small SUV's and wagons, it's better actually off road. It has the sport, it has the utility, and it's a wagon, sport utility wagon. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to Cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.