Subaru Outback and Legacy go butch and grow eyes (photos)
The freshened Subaru Outback and Legacy made their debuts at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, with meaty new front ends and a camera-based system that sees pedestrians and other cars.
2013 Subaru Outback
For its 2013 refresh, Subaru toughened up the look of its Outback model by making the grille more upright, a move that may not sit well with Subaru's progressive fan base. Other changes for 2013 include chassis and engine tuning, plus new cabin electronics that include a driver assistance system.
The rear styling of the Outback remains unchanged, and the engines available are still a 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter flat six. The four-cylinder gained new tuning, pushing the horsepower up by 3, to 173. The four-cylinder can be had with a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission; the six-cylinder comes with a five-speed automatic.
As before, all-wheel drive is standard on the Outback. Subaru says it has improved the chassis tuning for a more comfortable ride and better handling. And despite the slightly more powerful four-cylinder engine, the car still earns its Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle rating from the California Air Resources Board.
Subaru improves on the Outback's cabin tech, which consisted of navigation, hands-free phone, and a stereo with some digital music sources, by adding Aha app integration. Aha will let drivers listen to tweets and Facebook updates, along with podcasts and a variety of other online information.
The major cabin tech addition is a set of cameras, placed on either side of the rearview mirror, looking forward. These cameras can recognize pedestrians, other cars, and lane lines, enabling a number of driver assistance features. Subaru calls this system Eyesight.
The Eyesight camera system includes lane-departure warning, collision warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. With a steering-wheel button, drivers can set their following distance from cars ahead.