Posts Tagged ‘outback’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2011 Subaru Outback

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 27th, 2015

Earlier this week we learned that Subaru is trying to emulate the success of their Outback in the large crossover segment as they try to figure out how to replace the Tribeca in their lineup. In our opinion – and that of every other journalist in the automotive industry – the best thing Subaru could do is simply offer a three-row Outback. Today’s Japanese car auction find is a perfect example of why.

2011 Subaru Outback

This 2011 Subaru Outback demonstrates why this station wagon is such a hot seller and proves that the Outback’s success is anything but short-lived. As a 2011 model, this would’ve been the second model year in the Outback’s fifth-generation, which lasted from 2009 (offered as a 2010MY) to 2014.

For the fifth-generation model, Subaru expanded the Outback’s cabin to offer more room for both driver and passengers, they improved fuel economy up to 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway for the four-cylinder engine, and they did a great job of modernizing the exterior without losing that traditional Outback feel.

2011 Subaru Outback auction find

Looking at the auction sheet at the bottom of this post, you can see that this is a Subaru 2.5i. All fifth-gen Outbacks are AWD, and two engine options were offered for this model year – a 2.5L Boxer-4 with an emphasis on fuel economy and a 3.6L Boxer-6 with an emphasis on performance. Both are offered with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT transmission.

As we said earlier, this is one of the 2.5L models, which means it outputs 170 horsepower. Again, this doesn’t hold a candle to true heavy-towing offroaders, but it’s more than enough for the average city driver.

2011 Subaru Outback interior

Subaru made a number of other noteworthy improvements for the 2011 model year:

  • An extra 4 inches have been added to rear seat legroom, and the driver will enjoy 3 inches of additional headroom
  • Extra-wide front seats and reclining rear seats for maximum occupant comfort
  • Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the automatic transmission (you can barely see them in the photo below)
  • Electronic parking brake mounted on the center dash to allow more roam for cups and pocket storage between the seats

Of course, you can also see on the auction sheet that this Subaru Outback includes the EyeSight collision prevention system which originally debuted on the Subaru Legacy. Subaru EyeSight was awarded the “Best Technology” in 2010 by Japan Automotive Hall of Fame.

It’s easy to see why the Subaru Outback continues to be one of the best-selling wagons both in the US and internationally, and why it remains as the arguable crown jewel of Subaru’s lineup. To learn more about this particular Japanese car auction find, you can find a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2011 Subaru Outback auction sheet

“Grade 4, interior A, exterior B, first registered August 2011, DBA emissions code, 2.5 i-Sight SI Drive model, four-wheel-drive, FAT, AAC, original option navigation system with digital TV, black leather seats, power heated seat, HID lights, indicator door mirrors, i-Sight, cruise control, power steering, power windows, original alloy wheels, airbags, ABS, one owner, smart key, aftermarket alloy wheels, snow tires, light scratches, front windshield scratched, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”

Subaru Planning a 3-Row Outback for 2018? We Hope So

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

2015 Subaru Outback

2015 Subaru Outback

According to Nobuhiko Murakami, Subaru’s senior VP of global marketing, the rogue Japanese automaker is currently in the throes of making the most difficult, high-impact decision they’ve had to make in the past 10 years. The news comes from an interview between Murakami and Automotive News (subscription required), where the former is explaining the two answers Subaru is mulling for this one question:

What will replace the Subaru Tribeca?

No one was surprised when Subaru removed the Tribeca from their lineup at the beginning of 2014. Their large crossover was an extremely low-seller for a couple different reasons. First, it just looks too weird; families didn’t like it. Strange looks work in segments where drivers value innovation, not when you’re dealing with a conservative audience and facing off against such well-established competition. Which brings us to the second reason…

As Murakami told AN, competition in the large crossover segment is “so strong”. Whatever SUV Subaru offers in this segment will need to stand out from the likes of the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder, along with the upcoming third-generation Honda Pilot.

So, whatever Subaru comes up with needs to simultaneously be conservative enough to appeal to families, but distinct enough to stand out from the competition. Apparently they’ve narrowed it down to two options:

Option 1 is to develop an all-new three-row SUV from the ground up with its own distinct look and feel. Basically, this is exactly what they did with the Tribeca back in 2004.

Option 2 is to keep it simple – just make a bigger Outback and keep it in the Outback lineup.

2005 Subaru Tribeca

2005 Subaru Tribeca

The advantages of option 1 are that Subaru would be able to develop an offer around specific features that may not be available in the current Outback. The disadvantage would be extra R&D costs, presumably extra manufacturing costs, and of course the risk that they will pull another Tribeca incident.

The advantages of option 2 are that Subaru already has a highly successful, proven platform in the form of their Outback that they could use for development, manufacturing and even promotion/sales. You can almost see the conversation on the dealership floor: “Ma’am, if you’d like we have that Outback with an extra row of seats.” The only possible disadvantage would be if Subie wants a large crossover with a feature, chassis or layout that can’t be simply transformed from the current Outback. But that seems unlikely.

When you look at it like that, the answer seems pretty simple. A three-row outback is a natural fit for the lineup, and should be more than capable of hitting the Tribeca’s original sales goal of 36,000 units per year. Whatever Subaru does though, it’ll be tough to do worse than the 732 Tribecas they sold last year.

2015 Subaru Outback Specs & Pricing Officially Announced

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Even though we’re still six months away from 2015, Subaru has already released official specs and pricing for the 2015 Outback which is set to go on sale later this summer. As one of the best-selling vehicles in their lineup, the new Subaru Outback will be a lot more attractive and only a little more expensive than last year’s model.

2015 Subaru Outback

The basic Subaru Outback 2.5i trim starts at $25,745, which includes an $850 destination charge. The 2.5i, 2.5i Premium and 2.5i Limited all run on a 2.5L 4-cylinder boxer engine with 175hp. The highest trim level, the Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, starts at $33,845 and features a 256hp 3.6L 6-cylinder boxer engine.

At first glance, the Outback’s base prices look to have risen anywhere from $400-$1,500 across-the-board. However, all trims now include a continually variable transmission by default, which would’ve cost you an extra $1,000 on last year’s models.

The CVT isn’t the only new feature now included across the entire Outback range, however. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and X-Mode Active Traction Assist are now default on every model. Active Grille Shuttering, which reduces wind resistance, is also standard on the four-cylinder 2.5i models.

Together, these added technologies not only improve the 2015 Outback’s driving dynamics and driver safety, they also improve fuel economy. The 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i trims had an estimated fuel economy of 24mpg city / 30mpg highway / 26mpg combined whereas the 2015MY is estimated at 25/33/28. Meanwhile, the higher displacement 3.6R Limited gets an improved 20/27/22 rating.

2015 Subaru Outback Interior

In addition to the plethora of extra technology beneath the hood, the 2015 Subaru Outback gets both exterior and interior makeovers. The base 2.5i model now comes with a new 6.2 inch touchscreen infotainment system. The 2.5i Premium gets extra goodies like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a bigger 7-inch infotainment screen. The 2.5i Limited ups the ante a step further with a 12-speaker audio system, 18-inch wheels and all-leather upholstery, as well as a power-operated tailgate. The top-of-the-line 3.6R Limited gets HID low-beams and stainless steel exhaust tips in addition to the more powerful engine.

As you’re probably beginning to see, there’s almost too much to tell about the 2015 Subaru outback. So, if you’d like to learn more about Subaru’s new prize crossover, checkout Subaru’s official press release here.

New Subaru Outback Teased Ahead of New York Debut

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 4th, 2014

With the 2014 New York Auto Show coming up in the next two weeks (April 18 to 27), we’re finally starting to see Japanese car teasers and previews trickle in one image at a time. Today’s newest teaser is for the 2015 Subaru Outback, which we’ve known for a while would be making its debut at New York’s international event.

Are you ready? Can you handle this amazing, incredibly informative teaser?

Alright… Here it is, our first image of the 2015 Subaru Outback:

2015 Subaru Outback Teaser

Okay, so maybe we exaggerated the image’s educational value by the tiniest margin, but it still gives us some important information. For reference, this is the 2014 Subaru Outback:

2014 Subaru Outback

As you can see, it looks like the front of Subaru’s flagship crossover has actually been toned down a bit. It looks more contemporary, and foregoes the cluttered, boxy look of the 2014 model. It’s sleeker, curvier and with a larger, more premium-feeling grille. At least, that’s what we get from the Photoshopped teaser image; the actual car could be come off less fluidly in-the-metal.

As another point of reference, the Subaru Outback is typically designed as a bigger brother to the Subaru Legacy, which we saw earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show. So, it’ll probably take a lot of styling cues from the sedan below:

 2015 Subaru Legacy

In addition to sharing the Legacy’s design, we can also expect the 2015 Outback to share the Legacy’s powertrains. That means we’re looking at two different configurations: a 2.5L four-cylinder boxer with 175hp, or a 3.6L six-cylinder boxer with 256hp. That means there’s plenty of kick available for those who want it. You can expect both engines to come paired with a CVT that allows paddle-shift gear selection. We’re probably looking at AWD-only, although that’s not officially confirmed at this point.

Some may argue that the exterior changes to be Subaru Outback are minimal; however, inside you can expect the new crossover to get a major overhaul. If it’s anything like the Subaru legacy, it’ll get brand-new, luxurious materials and an updated dash design with the latest iteration of Subaru’s EyeSight technology suite – a compilation of features such as lane departure warning, brake monitoring, and “active” cruise control. We also know it’ll offer more cargo capacity than the outgoing model.

Subaru’s goal with the Outback has always been to pair car-like handling with SUV capability. From what we can tell so far, the upcoming Subaru Outback will do exactly that, and better than it ever has before. Although there is still a lot that we don’t know about the hipster Japanese automaker’s crossover, we’re certainly excited to see what secrets it holds at the 2014 New York Motor Show.

Oh, and if you’d like to keep tabs on the 2015 Subaru Outback for yourself, along with any other cars Subie may decide to unveil in New York, then be sure to bookmark their dedicated web page for the event at

Until then, thanks for reading and stay tuned tomorrow for more Japanese car news!