Roadshow Video Reviews
2015 Subaru Outback 3.6L LimitedDoes the new Outback do enough to keep Subaru drivers coming back? Brian Cooley gets behind the wheel and checks the tech.
Subaru's been on a tear recently, not just selling a ton of cars, but also enjoying the second highest customer loyalty, after Ford. Let's find out what's making folks come and making them stay, as we drive the new sixth generation Outback. This one a 3.6 Limited. And check this out. Now this new Outback for 2015, as you can see has been very unmistakably revised. It's a little more Manhattan if you will. A little less adirondack. Just finessed, all around the edges. That has not taken away its chunky presentation or its high ground clearance. 8.7 inch just like the last model. And now the grill has automatic arrow shutters that will close at highway speeds to smooth the air flow and improve its MPG. We'll talk about that a little bit later. Inside, you'll find a cabin that is also more urban, more urbane to be honest. Although Subic just can't shake their penchant for bright, garish colors in the instrument panel and the night time lighting. An Outback 3.6 is gonna cost you about 34 grand delivered. We're gonna add a $3,000 option package for navigation, driver assist, moon roof and keyless. We're at about 37. Lets see what you've got. Now the biggest change in the cabin you see right away is that Subaru finally has a more modern, sophisticated interface on their hav unit. Here's the home screen you can see your basic functions are all there. Before we even get to those though notice it's kind of like this sort of this one single sheet of glass type design. Very, very sophisticated. And the touch response is really outstanding. It moves quickly and I almost never have to touch anything twice to get it to understand what I want. Under the navigation, you find the map that now has much nicer rendering. Look how smooth and nicely done that is. And I find that road labels are always very readable. Very usable system. Now, in addition to that very snappy, easy to use touch command, you also got the voice button on the wheel. Voice, in this system, they've tried to make very natural. How may I help you? Play satellite radio. Which satellite station would you like to listen to? Chill. Tuning to chill. [MUSIC] That's how you actually want to talk to a radio right? It hiccups a little where if you notice the master choices you have are all based around audio, climate control, maybe some settings. To get to navigation command, you've gotta tell it to shift to that mode. And frankly using voice command to control things like the temperature or the radio station is way less important to me than using it for a complex task like finding or entering an address. So it should be easier to voice command nav than everything else. Not harder. Now going to your media, things get a little bit chaotic. You've got your traditional media, if you will, where you find things like broadcast. But also Pandora and bluetooth streaming. But under apps you're going to find another set of layers. There's Aha and Pandora. Again, here is Starlink, which is Subaru's own sort of a master menu system that goes through your phone. In general I find Starlink is painfully slow and frequently tends to bonk and say you need to reconnect. Then you've got Mirrorlink, which is the phone screen projection technology that is sort of trying to emerge. It would take much of what's on your phone and put it on your screen. Like Google Navigation for example. Except MirrorLink technology requires a MirrorLink-compatible phone. Which mostly means having an HTT or Sony phone. A Galaxy S3 would work but no iPhones, no other Galaxies, and these guys are signed on to do Apple car plan Android auto this year. So imagine a future Outback with MirrorLink. StarLink, CarPlay, Android, and the home audio menu here. That would be a mess of unprecedented proportions. If I gotta be harsh, dump StarLink cuz it sucks. And dump MariLink, cuz it might be DOA. Now under the hood, we of course have the 3.6 Outback. That means the 3.6 liter flat six boxer engine, not the. Flat four. We're doing 256 horsepower out of this unit now. 247 pound feet of torque. Zero to 60 in about 7.3 seconds. It's not super snappy but I don't think these buyers care. Weighs about 3800 pounds, gets you mpg of 20 city, 27 highway. As our director Kelly said no, I'm done with the 20's. That's a little low, a little thirsty. Of course these vehicles are all symmetrical, all wheel drive, that's Subaru's stock in trade. First thing I noticed getting in this out back is responsiveness is quite good, that doesn't mean it's overwhelmingly powerful, I'm going up a grade here right now and it's got enough power but not too much, but when you ask it for power you get it in a linear fashion, when you lift off the pedal you get deceleration. Patient and satisfying. That isn't found that often in a lot of cars I drive. It's also very nice and quiet in this car. They used some new fluid engine mounts and they've also done some stuff with laminating the windshield glass. It's CBT only in this [UNKNOWN]. If I put it in the manual gait and grab some shifts. They're not bad. It kind of simulates a true. Automatic pretty well. This is pretty good cvt. I've never found it rubbery or slippery at any point that I can recall. Ride quality's great. I've never found a point where it felt wallowy in the extreme nor too harsh. Now they used a technology called the eyesight camera that lets them handle things like forward collision warning. Also adaptive cruise control. Lane departure warning. So they've improve it recently. It's a stereo camera now I understand that they. added more of a color imaging technology. Our car though unfortunately is not equipped with that assist. In sum, happy friendly little approachable car to drive. Well, not so little after all. Spacious and comfortable inside. A look that's more urban and modern. They're not going to have any problem continuing their rather torrid sales. These days. [MUSIC]