The look is very close to that of the new Legacy, unsurprisingly. The headlights and grille shape are nearly identical between the two cars, as are the hood and side mirrors. In fact, with Subaru's small selection of powertrains, the only substantive difference is the Outback's wagon-like profile, raised ground clearance, underbody protection and extended cargo carrying capacity.
That small selection of powertrains consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter six. Both are horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ units and drive all four wheels via CVTs. The four-cylinder is good for 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, while the six delivers 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque.
The four-cylinder is obviously the most fuel-efficient, returning an estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway and 28 mpg combined gas mileage. This is helped along by active grille shutters and reduced weight through the use of lightweight aluminum parts (such as the hood). The curb weight of the lightest 2015 Outback is 3,593, which is approximately 140 pounds heavier than the lightest 2015 Legacy sedan.
In the safety department, the 2015 Outback features Subaru’s latest EyeSight vehicle safety system. The updated system now features color stereo cameras that increase the detection range and help recognize more objects including pedestrians. The 2015 Outback also introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new rear radar system that includes blind spot and cross traffic alert systems as well as a lane change assist function.
In addition to these, hill descent control, hill start assist and a new X-Mode system augment the standard all-wheel-drive system to assist the driver in navigating rough roads, slippery surfaces or steep inclines. The X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester, adjusts the engine output and CVT together with the all-wheel drive and stability control logic to help reduce wheel spin.
To see what else is on show at the 2014 New York Auto Show this week, head to our dedicated hub.