We're less than two weeks away from seeing the new 2015 Subaru Outback, the not-quite-a-wagon, not-quite-an-SUV that has skillfully walked that definitional tightrope for more than two decades. As with its predecessors, the Outback, which is essentially sold in the rest of the world as the Legacy wagon, will most likely get the same powertrain options as the recently introduced Legacy sedan.
In this case, that means a 2.5-liter four-cylinder "boxer" flat-four with 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, and a carryover 3.6-liter flat-six with 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. In a change from the current model, the six-cylinder also gets mated to Subaru's Lineartronic CVT transmission, which should help it to return around 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. But the I-4 will definitely be the mileage champ. The flat-four in the Legacy sedan is tentatively rated at 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Figure a drop of 1 mpg for the slightly heavier Outback, for a still very good 25 city/35 highway.
Unfortunately, the Outback is likely to follow in the footsteps of the Legacy sedan in dropping the manual transmission option altogether, leaving the Lineartronic CVT as the only transmission. Although we're not generally a fan of the species, Subaru's CVTs are some of the more tolerable, feeling a little sportier than most.
Like on the 2015 Legacy, expect a host of standard and available safety features, such as blind spot detection, EyeSight driver assistance package, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision braking. The Outback will also undoubtedly include Subaru's new Starlink connectivity package as an option, with Aha and Pandora streaming radio, among other apps. Come back to Truck Trend in two weeks for full details on the 2015 Subaru Outback.