Reaching perfect balance? Details of the New 2016 Subaru Outback

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Last time around, Subaru overhauled the Outback and shined all of the corners, making sure that it stood on top of its segment and that it has no error to change the minds of people. With the new Subaru Outback, Subaru continues the perfectionist legacy to make sure no screw is left unturned.

A highlight includes new features to the EyeSight camera to increase security, so that users feel absolutely safe. The 2016 Outback might just be the ideal family adventure car because it is in equally ideal position between being a wagon to being an SUV.

Once a Subaru Legacy more off-roadish derivative, it then became a fully independent model.

But is it a real deal? Is this car have enough from SUV and from ordinary family estate? Let’s find out what is more in this recipe – brutal off-roader or civil humble family vehicle.
First of all, a little information about the availability of 2016 model year Outback.

The release date of 2016 Subaru Outback

The 2016 Subaru Outback release date is expected by the end of 2015. Previous reports suggested that the release might be in summer but experts now say that late 2015 will see the entry of the 2016 Subaru Outback.

Updated: already available in showrooms

subaru outback 2016

Also read about 2016 CRV release date 

2016 Subaru Outback review: tradition is everything

Actually, some say that Outback is the most likeable version of a wagon that any American could want because of its size being bigger than any sport wagon, yet still maintaining modesty below the SUV segment. The complete overhaul of the Outback around 6 years ago made an array of changes and now, the 2016 Subaru Outback is a fine contender against any compact-size SUV. Well, to be more honest, Outback is stuck somewhere in between. It way more spacious than most of compact SUVs, but have only 2 row of seats. However, it handles just like an ordinary car, even better. Thanks to Subaru’s legacy of building a special flat “boxer” engines, providing low center of gravity and therefore a perfect balance.

subaru 2016 outback

Subaru Outback changes for 2016

Outback was completely redesigned last year, obviously there are only slight improvements for 2016, mainly connected to equipment list. So, 2016 model year Subaru Outback received two more option packages for Starlink multimedia system, adding new features such as auto crash notification and stolen car recovery. It also add online apps support. Regarding hardware, steering was slighltly retuned along with suspension in Limited trim. Lane departure warning system became available as an option.

subaru outback 2016

Outback was completely redesigned last year, obviously there are only slight improvements for 2016, mainly connected to equipment list

Interior design

Forget about hard plastic and peculiar ergonomics of the previous generation models. Now Outback interior gives only positive emotions. Thought-out design, easy to use Starlink infontainment system with good navigation, high-quality materials. The seats are also pretty comfortable – even in basic trim with cloth upholstery. The only issue might be for tall drivers, namely a lack of legroom. One more thing – if you get used to large amount of headroom in ordinary SUVs, you may feel a little claustrophbic. It’s enough space for almost anyone, especially if you consider that in matters of size it is just a normal station wagon car. And it is more roomy than most of its direct competitors – Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70. Despite being more affordable.subaru 2016 outback

subaru outback 2016 interior

Exterior design

As you can see in photos, there is nothing special regarding Outback exterior design. It is much more like most of the other modern cars. However, there are at least a few things which could draw your attention. Firstly, special off-road trimming. Large foglights like in rally cars, plastic protective covers in front/rear bumper and sideskirts. And of course ground clearance – more than average even on some truck-based SUVs! Let’s say, everything is drop hints about being used as sport utility vehicle.

Despite actually being a lifted station wagon everything is drop hints about being used as sport utility vehicle

Being flat: 2016 Subaru Outback specs

Under the hood you could find rather exotic option. Not a I4, not even a V6 like we used to. It is H4 – engine where pistons are moving like boxing each other in almost straight flat direction. Just look at “H” letter – that the siplified top view of the engine. As it was mentioned above, this design gives some extra opportunities – compact size, low gravity center, therefore better handling. 2016 Outback comes with 2 engine options. The first one is 2.5L H4 engine producing around 175 hp. The second one is 3.6L H6 with 256 hp. Both comes only with CVT transmission and all-time AWD layout only.

2016 subaru outback engine

Actually, those figures are not impressive, especially compared with more powerful SUVs. And that’s true – basic engine is certainly lack of power, it’s okay while city shuttling but once you fully loaded with passengers and cargo you feel the strong need of extra horses. Especially if you live in mountainous area.

With 3.6L engine hasn’t that issue, but there will be the question of price and fuel consumption appear. So, we suggest that new Outback engine range is strongly need a something in between – more likely a turbocharged version of 2.5L  – admitting the fact that intercooler will perfectly fit above engine like it is in Impreza.

subaru outback 2016 specs

Whereas, CVT transmission in Outback is almost perfect – keeps the adequate RPM and providing good amount of torque all the time. It also has feature of manual gear switching by pushing buttons on the steering wheel.

Basic 2.5 engine is certainly lack of power in high loads, especially in mountainous roads

Fuel efficiency

We should clam Outback relatively economical vehicle. Speaking words of figures, EPA rating for 2016 Subaru Outback is 25 mpg for city, 33 mpg in highway and 28 mpg in combined cycle. Nothing outstanding, but well enough for AWD car with high ground clearance and 2.5 engine. Regarding 3.6 H6 engine, the figures are following – 20/27 mpg city and highway mode respectively and 22 mpg in combined.

Subaru Outback diesel for 2016: not for North America

If you are fan of diesel power, 2016 Outback is not your choice. Diesel modifications only available in Europe and Australia, equipped with 2.0L H4 Subaru diesel engine, producing only 148 hp. It could also be combined with 6-speed manual transmission. Probably a good choice for Europeans to safe money on gas, but unsuitable in US.

2016 subaru outback diesel

Only natural-aspirated engines

Despite being famous for its turbocharged engines, and unlike its Subaru Legacy relative (for JDM market) and Subaru Forester, 2016 Subaru Outback doesn’t comes with turbo engines.

Outback price: rather affordable

The pricing for 2016 model year car starting at MSRP $24,995 to $33,395 for the top trim (without options). It’s an average price of well-equipped mid-size sedan, but in case of Outback you will get much more – all-time AWD and confidence while driving, especially in winter. That’s why it is more popular in North states. The average price paid for Outback is more $30K, so people mostly prefer full-packed car, frequently with more powerful 3.6 engine.

subaru outback hybrid 2016

Trim levels

The 2016 model year Outback is available only in 4 trim levels: 2.5i standard, 2.5i premium, 2.5i limited and 3.6R limited.
Standard trim level equipped with more or less customary set of equipment – full powered mirrors and windows, automatic headlights, roof rack, air conditioner, cruise control, rearview camera and Subaru Starlink infontainment with 6.2″ touchscreen.
Premium has better wheels (17-inch alloy) bigger screen of multimedia, heated accessories, power driver seat and other minor upholstery options, such as leather-wrapped steering wheel. Option list including sunroof, navigation, folding mirrors.
Limited got even better 18-inch alloy rims, leather seats, rear air vents, and more premium stuff – like Harman Kardon audio. Options are the same as Premium, except keyless ignition.
The next trim level is the same as the previous one, only with more powerful engine and xenon headlights.

2016 subaru outback images

Our customer advice: for most 2.5i Standard is enough, if you want more luxury it’s better turn to more powerful engine as well, especially if you plan to go for a weekend with the whole family.

Outback colors: discreet pallette

2016 Outback has quite wide color pallete available, including: Carbide Gray Metallic (light gray), Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Lapis Blue Pearl (dark blue), Tungsten Metallic (beige), Twilight Blue Metallic, Venetian Red Pearl, Wilderness Green Metallic. Color range is quite discreet, lack of out-stand colors like Subaru Crosstrek. However, car positioning is higher and it tends to look rather premium than brightly fashionable.
Interior colors including only two options for both cloth and leather – warm ivory (beige) and slate black.

2016 Subaru Outback images


2016 Subaru Outback
Drivetrain
Engine type DOHC 16V H4/DOHC 24V H6, direct fuel injection
Displacement 2,5L/3,6L
Power/torque 175 hp@5800 rpm/256 hp@6000 rpm; 174/247 lb-ft
Transmission CVT automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 108.1 inch
Length 189,6 in
Height 66,5 in
Passenger volume 143,6 cu ft
Cargo volume 35,5 – 73,3 cu ft
Performance
0-60 9.1 sec (H4); 6,9 sec (H6)
Top speed 126 mph (H4); 139 mph (H6)
PRICE RANGE: $24,995 – $33,395 (est)
Competitors: Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Forester, Ford Escape
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Editor's rating
4.4 overall
  • Safety4.8
  • Performance4
  • Design4.3
  • Features4.4
  • Fuel economy4.3
Summary

Nearly only one possible option if you want to combine all advantages of ordinary wagon and SUV for the price of mid-size sedan. However there will always be weak points in combining 2 different types of things. For Outback it is mainly a lack of power and third row seats.

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