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Is the 2015 Subaru Outback getting too soft?

The all-new 2015 Subaru Outback comes with more comfort and refinement than ever. But is Outback getting too soft?

Subaru has unveiled the all-new 2015 Outback at the New York International Auto Show and it comes with more refinement and greater comfort than any previous Outback wagon. But is the new fifth-generation wagon getting too soft? Will the new-gen wagon appeal to Outback loyalists?

Many buyers are attracted to Outback because of its multi-use function as a family hauler, its cargo carrying ability and recreational capabilities. Subaru is attracting a new buyer who has never purchased a Subaru before across their entire lineup. Are they getting away from their roots of recreational all-wheel-drive vehicles with the new cushy Outback?

For the 2015 model year, Outback comes with new a greater level of comfort and refinement than ever before. It now features new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the 2015 Outback a more premium feel. Will loyal Outback owners be attracted to the new-gen model?

The new model is impressive with its new level of comfort. Outback 2.5i Premium now features 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment); dual-zone automatic climate control; the All-Weather Package (three-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer); upgraded infotainment system; an air filtration system; leather-wrapped steering wheel; fog lights, and dark-tint privacy glass.

Step up to the Limited Outback and it gets even cushier. Limited trim models offer the highest level of luxury ever in an Outback, and it will come with extra luxury items like perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; dual-mode heated rear seats and a power rear gate with memory height.

Will loyal Outback owners trade their older all-wheel-drive wagons in for this new luxury-oriented vehicle? The new Outback is really a contrast in function between luxury and function. What may entice loyalists is the new level of recreational use the new Outback comes with.

All 2015 Outback models now come equipped with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester. It can be engaged by simply flipping a switch on the console. Previous Outback owners wouldn’t be sitting on the couch watching extreme sports. You would find them in their new Outback in the back country and on the way to the ski slopes. They drive over high mountain passes that are covered in snow and ice. But the new Outback is even better for extreme conditions with X-Mode.

Outback also comes with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. So Outbacks ability to handle extreme conditions, gets better. The system’s Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery. So Outback now comes standard with better off-road capabilities than the outgoing model.

Do Outback loyalists really want all that comfort and refinement, or do they want a rugged go anywhere recreation-oriented multi-use vehicle? With the 2015 Subaru Outback, they get both. Do you really want to go back to hand crank windows and more hard plastics in your Outback?

Other 2015 Subaru Outback stories of interest.
Two new features that make 2015 Outback a true out-door oriented vehicle


Greg K (not verified)    April 26, 2014 - 3:43PM

You failed to mention the most important change! A manual transmission is no longer a option on the Outback. One of the major reasons I bought my 2013 Outback!