2015 Subaru Outback gets ready to launch but is it too soft for recreation?
You would think that Outback buyers would wait for the new-generation version, but the outgoing 2014 model is selling better than expected. Subaru will launch the fifth-generation 2015 Outback in dealer showrooms this summer, but buyers are clamoring for the outgoing model now. Subaru says their overseas production reached close to the April record established last year, led by strong sales of the Outback before the scheduled launch of its all-new version.
Why wouldn’t outdoor enthusiasts wait for the new and improved version coming this summer? Subaru as a brand is appealing to a whole new generation of buyers who have never purchased a Subaru before. But the loyal faithful are still attracted to the Outback for reasons that made it an attractive offering for outdoor enthusiasts. Are they afraid the new Outback is too soft so they are snatching up the old model?
By softer, we mean is it losing its recreation appeal and turning into an urban hauler. Here‘s how the new 2015 Outback multi-purpose wagon is getting softer. The cabin of the new Outback is quieter than the outgoing model due to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.
2015 Outback gets a new new sound system with upgraded infotainment capability. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the 2.5i trim level provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display with single-touch gesture control; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha Infotainment, Pandora Radio and iHeart Radio; a rear vision camera; Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod control capability, USB port and aux. input jack.
2.5i Premium trim gets upgraded with a 6-speaker audio system; 7-inch touch screen display with multi-touch control that offers swipe and scrolling gesture control; voice-activated controls; SiriusXM satellite radio; a vehicle information display; SMS text messaging, iTunes tagging capability and dual USB ports.
So we can see Subaru has upgraded the cabin with the latest technology. And Subaru even retuned Outback’s suspension to have greater handling and a more compliant ride and it also gets a new electric power-assisted steering.
But here’s where the new-generation 2015 Outback gets a little tougher. The Outback 2.5i now uses larger brakes previously available only on the 6-cylinder model, and all models now have ventilated rear discs in place of solid discs used in the old model. Enhanced Active AWD and new X-Mode For 2015, Outback features a refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD.
The system’s electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. As the driver accelerates through turns and curves, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response, particularly when the road surface is snowy or slick.
A big improvement in making Outback tougher will be the addition that all 2015 Outback models will now come equipped as standard with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the new-generation 2014 Forester. When engaged by a switch on the console, X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.
Is the 2015 Subaru Outback too soft for Outback fans? They are buying the outgoing model in big numbers before they are gone. The 2015 Outback may be softer on the inside, but it gets more rugged underneath. Loyal Outback fans don’t need to worry, it will continue to be a good recreational vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts.
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