This is relatively new territory for Subaru, but the real surprise came when we found similar polish and poise in a four-cylinder 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium that cost $6,724 less. At first, this more plebeian Outback seemed closer to Subaru’s roots with its cloth seats and rubber floormats. But it still had the same quiet, comfortable ride, high-quality interior materials, and responsive infotainment interface as the six-cylinder 3.6R. And despite its lower price tag, the Outback 2.5i still had a healthy load of features including heated seats, a power tailgate, and the optional EyeSight active safety features.
Sure, the four-cylinder has 81 fewer horses, but we’re more than willing to give up the extra grunt when the 2.5i delivered 28.4 mpg observed to the 3.6R’s 23.0 mpg as indicated. The 2.5i’s 175 hp is more than adequate in a family-oriented wagon, especially in partnership with the new CVT. This retuned transmission simulates the shifting of a conventional automatic and makes the powertrain feel more eager and responsive.
In all of its forms, the 2015 Subaru Outback has risen to a new realm of refinement and luxury. Given the standard four-cylinder’s overall goodness, we say less is more with the new Outback, and shoppers should think twice before ponying up the extra cash for the six-cylinder engine.
2015 Subaru Outback Specifications
|As-Tested Price:||$30,111 (2.5i Premium)/$36,835 (3.6R Limited)|
|Engines:||2.5-liter DOHC flat-four/175 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 174 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 3.6-liter DOHC flat-six/256 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 247 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Layout:||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD wagon|
|EPA Mileage:||25/33 mpg (2.5i); 20/27 mpg (3.6R) city/highway|
|L x W x H:||189.6 x 72.4 x 66.1 in|
|Weight:||3,593 lb (2.5i Premium)/3,810 lb (3.6R Limited)|