Subaru’s best-selling Outback wagon-wagon-crossover-thing has been on sale as a freestanding model without sharing the Legacy sedan name since 2010. But in the quickly moving, ultra-competitive segment in which it competes, it’s quickly losing its luster against newer, more sophisticated offerings, including Subaru’s own 2014 Forester crossover.
So the automaker is rolling out a completely redesigned Subaru Outback for 2015, looking sleeker and less cumbersome so far as we can tell. The 2015 Subaru Outback has a more steeply raked windshield and rear window, and its mirrors have been moved down to the doors, making the pillars easier to see around.
The 2015 Outback’s hood has two domed ridges running from front to back, and its grille and body cladding look to have been modified in keeping with the slimmer, meaner, and hopefully greener theme.
We don’t expect the 2015 Subaru Outback’s engine options to change too much. The current Outback uses a 173-horsepower, 2.5-liter flat-4 engine that is good for 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway and a much more powerful 3.6-liter flat-6 that nets 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway. In the next generation, expect fuel economy numbers to go up significantly. There is also a chance that the 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-4 that debuted in the latest Subaru Forester will be hitting the lineup in addition to a hybrid powertrain that will soon be available in the smaller Subaru XV Crosstrek. And with CAFE 2025 fuel economy standards starting by 2016 that will inevitably boost fleet averages to 54.5 mpg, we wouldn’t be surprised if a diesel engine or diesel hybrid are also on the options list, helping boost efficiency that much further.
Spotted alongside an Audi Allroad and Toyota RAV4 in Southern California, Subaru is far from done with tweaking the 2015 Outback before it makes its debut. Expect to see the 2015 Subaru Outback at January’s Detroit Auto Show, with the crossover wagon going on sale a few months later.