The Subaru Outback is a five-passenger crossover, exhibiting SUV proportions but car-like handling and fuel efficiency. Subaru gives it a serious update for the 2015 model year.
From a styling standpoint, the new Outback seems like a minor refresh, yet it gains inches all around.
Engine choices remain the same, with a flat 3.6-liter six-cylinder, seen here, and an available 2.5-liter four-cylinder, also in Subaru's traditional flat format.
The Outback's increased size means more interior room, but it still might be small for a family of four, considering the amount of cargo most people haul around.
Ground clearance is rated at 8.7 inches, helping the Outback negotiate rutted dirt roads.
All-wheel drive comes standard, and Subaru adds a new X-Mode feature, tuning the torque split and traction control for challenging surfaces.
Integrated roof rails are ready to receive a pair of kayaks or a cargo carrier.
In Limited trim, a power lift gate opens at the push of a button.
The high seating position helps with traffic visibility.
This fake wood trim looks good in a satin finish.
Split-folding rear seats increase cargo flexibility.
Subaru doesn't offer cutting-edge cabin tech, but the features are quite good, especially the optional EyeSight system.
Electric power steering increases fuel efficiency and is tuned for a natural feel.
A small LCD in the instrument cluster shows trip data.
The continuously variable transmission leads to smooth acceleration, and offers a manual mode with virtual shift points.
Subaru's navigation head unit features modern styling, with soft buttons on the bezel.
Voice command did not always prove accurate, but does let you enter an address for navigation as a single string.
Maps offer extensive traffic coverage.
The Subaru StarLink app lets you do limited online destination searches, and includes a wide variety of Internet audio channels.
Satellite radio provides information streams, such as fuel prices, weather and stocks.
Digital audio sources are well-covered, and include HD Radio.
The head unit shows a music library interface for devices and drives plugged into the USB port.
The audio playback screen shows album art.
The premium Harman Kardon audio system delivers very good fidelity, but heavy bass rattles the car's panels.
A hands-free phone system integrates contact lists.
The rearview camera includes distance, but not trajectory lines.