The Subaru Outback has been a core model in the Japanese carmaker’s line-up for over a quarter of a century, and at this year’s New York International Auto Show, the sixth-generation of the Legacy-based wagon is being presented for the first time. In conjunction with the introduction of new Outback, Subaru of USA also prepared a rather touching video (posted below), which is well worth a watch.

Like many other Subaru models (XV, Impreza, Legacy and Ascent), the latest Outback rides on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP). The architecture is 70% stiffer in both torsional and front suspension rigidity, as well as 100% stiffer in front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity compared to the previous Outback’s platform.

As a result, the SGP provides increased safety, dynamics, along with reduced noise (by three dB), vibration and harshness (NVH). Crash protection is also improved, as the new body is capable of absorbing over 40% more energy in front or side crashes than before.

The Outback uses MacPherson struts with new internal rebound springs, aluminum lower L-arms and new 23-mm hollow stabilizer bar for its front suspension. Meanwhile, the rear adopts a double-wishbone layout with subframe, coil springs and new 19-mm hollow stabiliser bar.

The body itself is styled following Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” philosophy, which is tied in with the “Active x Tough” concept. From the front, just above the lower apron, the resemblance to the latest Legacy is uncanny. Cues such as the creased bonnet, large hexagonal grille (with a different slat design) and sleek headlamps with C-shaped LED daytime running lights are a familiar sight.

Beyond that, the Outback boasts all-around cladding finished in black or silver, a ground clearance of 220 mm and of course, more boot space thanks to the wagon portion of the body. That last bit also comes with angular taillights that are a little bit different than those on the Legacy.

Bringing out some facts and figures, the Outback offers up to 2,143 litres (75.7 cubic feet) of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded down. The wider tailgate opening also provides better access the cargo floor that spans up to 1,981 mm, while a hands-free power tailgate and one-touch lifting cargo cover are for convenience.

Cabin-wise, the Outback looks pretty much identical to the Legacy, from the layout of the dashboard, to the shape of the instrument binnacle, right down to the design of the steering wheel and air vents.

In total, there are seven trim levels offered in the United States – Base, Premium, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT and Touring XT models – with the Onyx being a new addition. The large, 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all trim levels except the Base, and is linked to the car’s multimedia, HVAC, X-Mode, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and other functions.

Available equipment for the Outback includes Nappa leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, ventilated and heated seats, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, navigation function and satellite radio.

Every Outback trim in the US will come as standard with eight airbags (including a driver knee airbag) and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The latter includes systems such as Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System and Pre-Collision Braking.

Other available systems are LED Steering Responsive Headlamps, Reverse Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert and EyeSight Assist Monitor with head-up display.

Two engines are available, with both being the same offered for the Legacy. The first is a FA24F 2.4 litre turbo four-cylinder also used in the Ascent, which provides 260 hp and 376 Nm of torque on XT models. A non-turbo FB25DI 2.5 litre four-cylinder meanwhile, serves up 182 hp and 239 Nm. All Outback models get a Lineartronic CVT with eight virtual ratios and paddle shifters, along with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.


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