2015 Subaru Outback: Photo gallery and first look

I recently had the chance to check out the all-new 2015 Subaru Outback, and I have to say that Subaru knocked this one out of the park.

The first thing you’ll notice from the photo gallery below is that the design isn’t radically different. Subaru calls this more of an evolutionary step than a revolutionary design. But every piece of it is better.

The new Outback is still standard with all-wheel drive and comes with two engine options: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder that delivers 175 horsepower and a 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder that delivers 256 horsepower. The new transmission of choice is a Lineartronic CVT.

What I liked about the Outback: It’s comfortable. When you sit in the driver’s seat, even though everything is new, it’s familiar. All the mirrors and seats adjust perfectly, and driving the Outback isn’t work. Visibility is good out all windows, engine power is just right in both the 4- and 6-cylinder engines and handling is solid.

Oh, and another thing I liked: 33 mpg on the highway with the 4-cylinder engine – and all-wheel drive.

What I didn't like about the Outback: I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, here, but I don’t like that Subaru is getting rid of the manual transmission option in the 2015 model. Since the take rate of the manual was only about 2 percent, I get it. But I don’t have to like it.

Interesting to note: Subaru’s available EyeSight system gets top marks from the IIHS for crash avoidance. In fact, Legacy and Outback equipped with EyeSight received superior crash prevention ratings in 2013-14, with higher marks than Cadillac ATS, Cadillac SRX, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volvo S60 and Volvo XC60. For 2015, Outbook gets the next gen EyeSight system, with a 40 percent greater visibility range, higher speed capability, brake light recognition of the lead vehicle and 15 percent smaller cameras. EyeSight is available on both Premium and Limited models, bundled with blind-spot detection and rear-cross-traffic alert. Cost is $1,695.

Best feature: The ability to lock your keys in the car. As a runner, I love this feature because I no longer have to worry about where to put the key – or losing it somewhere along the lakefront – while I’m running. How it works: You disable the key fob and hide it in your car. Then you lock the doors, and shut up the car. To get back in, you enter a preset code via a button on the rear hatch.

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    A lot of people have a thing for the Outback. I have actually never seen the new model yet. I think they are wonderful cars and I don't cringe as much when I see them in the woods or on a gravel road. They are meant to handle that kind of abuse. I think that is what I like most about the Subaru Outbacks. http://www.reynellasubaru.com.au/new-outback-at-reynella-subaru/

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