All-new 2015 Subaru Outback

2015 Outback pics, video, specs, colors, and pricing. 

2015 Outback left, 2014 on right

Planet-exclusive 2015 Subaru Outback Gallery. 
Click to enlarge.



Highlights and Changes

  • Fuel economy at the top of its AWD crossover class:  25 city, 33 highway. 
  • Lineartronic® CVT is now standard on all models.  (No more manual offered).
  • Previously unavailable on Outback, X-Mode and Active Torque Vectoring now standard.
  • Outback grows slightly, less than an inch in length and width. 
  • Earns the highest safety rating from IIHS, "Top Safety Pick Plus."
  • Optional on higher trims, Outback gets Subaru's next generation Eyesight system with new available Rear Vehicle Detection System featuring Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
  • New optional Keyless Access and Push Button Start lets you leave your key in your pocket or purse while the PIN access system allows you to lock your key in the car when your adventures might expose it to loss or damage.

Six Minute Exclusive Planet Video:  2015 Outback Introduction

video not loading?  click for youtube version

Six Minute Exclusive Planet Video:  Infotainment system

Six Minute Exclusive Planet Video:  2015 Outback Road Test

Pretty Pictures and Analysis:


Overall dimensions remain similar, but you can see how Subaru engineers pulled the "A-pillar" forward (the A-pillar is the metal structure on each side of the windshield that supports the roof).  Moving the base of the A-pillar two inches towards the front of the car creates a more rakish windshield slope and increases passenger space.  (That's a 2014 Outback in the background).


You can see the sleek angle of the windshield which improves appearance, fuel economy, and passenger volume.  Large 18" wheels give the car a taller, more SUV-like appearance, and improve handling.  Standard roof rails with ingenious integrated crossbars continue in the new generation, but now offer a fore-and-aft sliding capability to adapt to different loads you might want to carry.   


Rear glass remains large and low for visibility better than just about any other crossover vehicle on the road. 

New triangle glass in door allows driver to see right past mirror for incredible visibility.  Touch-screen infotainment is standard, along with integrated back up camera.  This Outback has Eyesight (note the bulges of the stereoscopic cameras surrounding mirror).

Interior passenger space increases by almost three cubic feet.  Interior climbs upscale.  Higher trims offer heated seats front and rear, two position memory for driver's ten-way power seat, and 576-watt surround sound audio with ten harman/kardon speakers.

Twin pod or "binocular" instrument cluster continues a theme that Subaru began on the Tribeca.


Cabin is quieter than before thanks to liquid-filled engine mounts, acoustic windshield, and more generous sound insulation.

Warning:  Cuteness alert

Cargo area grows...with enough room for Mabel, Pabst, Blue, and even more dogs but we only have these three on our greeter staff. 

Previously unavailable on any Subaru, 2015 Outback Limited offers standard blind-spot detection to assist with highway lane changes, and rear cross traffic alert capability top help you back out of parking spaces safely. Below, left, we removed the rear bumper cover so you can see the driver side radar, which is a mirror image of the passenger side.  Below, right, is a close up of the radar unit which reads "Sensor Blind Spot Monitor."  You can see this system in action in the third video at the top of this page.


2015 Subaru Outback Colors

Available interior colors are noted in parentheses (B=black, I=ivory)

Spy Photos and Video

We kinda geeked out on spy photos before we could obtain an actual 2015 Outback for photos and testing.  These pre-production units are called "test mules," and the final car differs from the one you see here.  Of course, with a metric ton of black duct tape covering everything, it's pretty hard to see. 


Eight Minute Forecast Video. 
We produced this video before the car debuted. 



Both come standard with:
  • A sport utility vehicle's all weather prowess and 8.7" of ground clearance with the lower cost, higher fuel economy, better ride, and superior outward visibility of a car.
  • Many safety features, including full-time symmetrical all wheel drive (with no buttons to push), Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) to prevent skids, Boxer engine, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, and much more. Learn all about Subaru safety features. 
  • Many convenience features, including Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, air conditioning, keyless entry, cd player, power windows, power mirrors, and much more. 
  • 3 year/36,000 mile comprehensive warranty and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.


2014 Outback  2015 Outback
Bigger wheels reduce "dead cat space," which is the actual industry term for the area between the tire and the body.  Don't worry, we love cats.
Ground clearance remains the same at an impressive 8.7 inches.

Biggest available:  17" Wheel

Biggest available:  18" Wheel

Outward Visibility
Already one of the best vehicles for visibility, 2015 Outback is even better.  See the triangle glass on the 2015?  It allows you to see right past the mirror.  Engineers also reduced size of A-pillars to shrink blind spots. 



Instrument Cluster

2015 gets a "twin pod" style cluster.  
Conventional look
Binocular look.

Dawg (and cargo) Space

The 2015 is slightly bigger.  Blue
still enjoys lounging around back there in the cavernous cargo area.  


34.3 cubic feet with seats up.

71.3 cubic feet with seats down.

35.5 cubic feet with seats up.


73.3 cubic feet with seats down.

Power Tailgate Option

Not available on 2014 Outback, but now optional on 2015 Outback.  Watch our instructional video for the Forester tailgate which has the same capability.



Total People Space

Interior space increases because the passenger compartment is growing where the A-pillar has been pulled forward.  2015 Outback is also .7" wider. 

105.4 cubic feet

Rear Legroom 37.8 inches

108.1 cubic feet

Rear legroom 38.1 inches


Subaru increased its suggested retail prices only a few hundred dollars, which defrays some of the cost of the new standard equipment. 


Image Perception

2015 retains the go-anywhere wagon look, but now taller and even more refined.  Very upscale for a vehicle that starts in the $20's. 



Rear Spoiler
2015 Outback gets a deep rear spoiler compared to small lip on previous generation.  Larger spoiler improves aerodynamics and lends a sporty flair.

Engines and Fuel Economy
2.5 liter displacement in the standard engine does not change.  Horsepower increases from 173 to 175.  Six speed manual is no longer offered (better fuel economy with the CVT helps Subaru exceed demanding US fuel efficiency standards). 

Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

24 city, 30 highway

Six-speed manual:
21 city, 28 highway

Go Go Motor Option

Both engines have 256 horsepower, but more modern transmission in 2015 Outback improves fuel economy and smoothness.  With the CVT, the 2015 goes like a scalded cat and feels like a V8.  Turbo engine, last seen on an Outback in 2009, will not appear.  Subaru sells a diesel in world markets but we will not see that engine stateside. 

Optional 3.6 liter

six cylinder
with five speed
automatic transmission:

18 city, 25 highway

Optional 3.6 liter
six cylinder
with high torque
Lineartronic Continuously
Variable Transmission

    20 city, 27 highway

Parking Brake Location

On the 2010-2014 models,  Subaru increased space in the center console by eliminating the old mechanical hand brake and replacing it with an electric brake.  On 2015 model, brake actuator appears in more intuitive location. 

Switch is left of steering wheel.

Switch in center console.

Oil Change Interval

See our maintenance interval page.

7,500 miles
7.5 months

6,000 miles
6 months

Rooftop Cargo System
One of David's three favorite things about the Outback, standard roof rails ingeniously incorporate integrated crossbars.  New for 2015, crossbars adjust fore and aft.  

Integrated crossbars are
posed partially open to
show how they work.


Crossbars can notch in
at different positions.

Subaru Eyesight System

Optional on Outbacks since the 2013 model year, Subaru Eyesight includes pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, and much more.  2015 upgrades include the addition of Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection. 

View 2013-2014 Technology

View 2015 Upgrades

Next generation cameras are smaller,
 but see 40% farther and wider
Outback Model Lineup


  • Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-MODE® featuring Hill Descent Control
  • 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine with 25 city/33 highway/28 combined MPG1
  • Roof rails with retractable cross bars and tie-downs
  • SUBARU STARLINK™ cloud infotainment with Aha™ and Pandora®3
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity
  • Subaru advanced airbag system with new front-seat cushion airbags
  • Single-CD audio system with 6.2" color touchscreen and HD Radio®
  • Dual USB charging ports/iPod® control
  • Steering-wheel audio control switches
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Welcome lighting
  • Rear-Vision Camera
  • Lineartronic® CVT transmission with paddle shifters
  • VDC with Active Torque Vectoring

OUTBACK 2.5i Premium

  • Includes Outback 2.5i key features and adds:
  • 6-speaker single-CD audio system with 7" color touchscreen, HD Radio,® SiriusXM®
  • Satellite Radio,7 SMS text capability and 2 USB charging ports
  • All-Weather Package: Heated front seats, exterior mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer
  • 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar support
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

Optional Equipment

  • EyeSight® Driver Assist System with Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Braking
  • Blind-Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Power rear gate
  • Voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic
  • Voice-activated climate control
  • Power tilt/sliding moonroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Steering-responsive fog lights

OUTBACK 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited

  • Includes Outback 2.5i Premium key features and adds:
  • Available 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine with
  • 20 city/27 highway/22 combined MPG1
  • 576-watt 12-speaker premium audio system with Harman Kardon speakers
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • Blind-Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • 2-position driver seat memory
  • Power-adjustable front-passenger seat
  • All-weather package with heated rear seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Power rear gate
  • Exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Woodgrain-patterned trim on doors and console

Optional Equipment
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist System with Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Braking
  • Voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic
  • Keyless Access and Push-Button Start
  • Power tilt/sliding moonroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Steering-responsive fog lights

Want even more? 

More 2015 Subaru Outback pics.  Click to enlarge.

The 2015 Outback arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014. The 175-horsepower 4-cylinder Outback 2.5i model is available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited with 256 horsepower. All trim lines add more standard amenities, conveniences and new infotainment systems.

The original Outback established a template for many competitive crossover models that followed, and the new-generation 2015 Outback further strengthens the melding of passenger- car and SUV attributes that crossover shoppers seek. The 2015 Outback exemplifies Subaru's mastery of outdoors-oriented vehicle engineering, not just for its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and raised ground clearance, but also for numerous details that help make it more convenient to load and carry cargo as well as items such as kayaks and bikes. Newly standard X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist augment Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to assist the driver in navigating rough roads, slippery surfaces or steep inclines.

New for 2015, all Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT(continuously variable transmission), which features paddle-shift control switches and is instrumental in the Outback's significantly improved fuel economy. Manufacturer-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined are up from 24/30/26 in the 2014 model. These figures place the 2015 Outback 2.5i at the top of the midsize crossover class, bettering front-wheel drive versions of some competitive crossovers.

A new Active Grille Shutter system on the 2015 Outback 2.5i helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. Electric Power-Assisted Steering and improved aerodynamics also contribute to the increased efficiency in all models. Due largely to its new Lineartronic CVT, the 6-cylinder Outback 3.6R Limited also improves fuel economy, with manufacturer-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined vs. 17/25/20 for the previous version.

Bold New Design Brings New Functionality

The all-new 2015 Outback introduces a bolder look with crisper, sculpted lines that convey both its all-road capability and upgraded refinement. A new front fascia combines the hexagonal grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, which helps enhance steering response. In the Outback 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors.

The 2015 Outback's windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. The 2015 Outback maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. Wheelbase is increased by just 0.2-in., overall length by 0.6-in. and width by 0.7 in. The changes, though small, yield a roomier passenger cabin, at 108.1 cu. ft. (up from 105.4 cu. ft.). The added space includes gains in shoulder, front and rear hip and elbow room and rear legroom. The Outback's cargo area has been enlarged to 35.5 cu. ft. behind the rear seats, up from 34.3, while maximum capacity with the standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks folded is now 73.3 cu. ft., up from 71.3. In addition, the load floor provided by the lowered seats now lays flatter, and new rear seatback release levers in the cargo area enhance convenience.

The Outback continues with 8.7-in. ground clearance, which is higher than for some SUVs, yet with low step-in height for comfort. New step-style doorsills allow one to stand firmly when securing objects to the roof rails with integrated retractable crossbars and tie downs. A power rear gate with memory height is available on Outback for the first time.

New Safety and Security Technology from a Safety Leader

The 2015 Outback builds on the stellar safety performance of the previous model, adding new front seat-cushion airbags that help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. All trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera, and a new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected.

For added nighttime security, the 2015 Outback features new standard Welcome Lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system with PIN Code Access.

The new Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, which is standard on Limited trims and available for the 2.5i Premium, offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles on either side of the vehicle, in the driver's blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects fast-approaching vehicles in adjacent lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects vehicles approaching from a perpendicular direction while reversing, such as from a driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display.

The 2015 Outback offers the latest version of the EyeSight® driver-assist system, the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available for Outback Premium and Limited trim lines, EyeSight® uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. The 2015 Outback is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, as the 2014 Outback did.

Models equipped with EyeSight® also come with new Steering-Responsive Fog Lights. The feature, which works only when the fog lights are turned off, activates the left or right fog light independently, depending on vehicle speed and steering angle, to provide enhanced illumination in the direction of the turn. The fog lights are pre-aimed for maximum coverage in corners.

Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engine
The 2015 Outback 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance in all driving situations. 

In the Outback 3.6R Limited, the 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6 engine sustains at least 225 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.

Standard Lineartronic CVT
For 2015, all Outback models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency. Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The CVT's selectable manual mode offers six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to "shift" manually using steering wheel paddle switches. This feature can provide added driver control when driving down inclines, for example.

Enhanced Agility and Quieter Ride
Subaru extensively revised and retuned the MacPherson front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension for greater handling agility and a more compliant ride - a difficult balance to achieve. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also helps reduce fuel consumption. The Outback 2.5i is equipped with standard 17-inch wheels, and the Limited trim line features 18-in. alloy wheels.
Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, fosters more neutral cornering by applying brake pressure to the inside front wheel. The Outback 2.5i now uses larger brakes previously available only on the 6-cylinder model, and all models now have ventilated rear discs in place of solid discs used previously. The Brake Assist safety system automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.

The cabin blocks more sources of noise thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.

Greater Comfort and Refinement

New soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the 2015 Outback a more premium feel. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with a center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight® driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight® cars. An ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim levels feature gauges with elegant blue ring illumination.

The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection.

The Outback 2.5i Premium delivers impressive comfort with a 10-way power driver's seat (with power lumbar support adjustment); dual-zone automatic climate control; the All-Weather Package (three-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer); upgraded infotainment system; an air filtration system; leather-wrapped steering wheel; fog lights, dark-tint privacy glass and more.

The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in an Outback, adding to the Premium trim level content: perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver's seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; dual-mode heated rear seats and a power rear gate with memory height.

New Infotainment Systems

Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Outback. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Outback 2.5i provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display with single-touch gesture control; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha? Infotainment, Pandora® Radio and iHeart® Radio; a rear vision camera; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack.

The Upgraded Infotainment System for Outback 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system; 7-inch touch screen display with multi-touch control that offers swipe and scrolling gesture control; voice-activated controls; SiriusXM® satellite radio; a vehicle information display; SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports.

A new high-end audio system standard for Outback Limited combines an AM/FM/HD Radio system with a harman/kardon® upgraded 576-Watt-equivalent GreenEdge amplifier. The system's 12 harman/kardon speakers include a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. GreenEdge technology provides increased audio performance and amplifier efficiency while consuming less power and reducing heat dissipation.

The available navigation system's interactive voice command system accepts natural language and phrases, and this functionality can also operate the dual-zone automatic climate control system.

The center console armrest provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A covered and illuminated storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices.

Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Enhanced Capability

A newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD comes standard in all 2015 Outback models. The system's electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.

All 2015 Outback models come equipped as standard with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester. When engaged by a switch on the console, X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.

Engaging X-Mode also activates the new Hill Descent Control, which uses engine braking to help maintain a constant vehicle speed when the Outback is traveling downhill, enhancing vehicle control. New Incline Start Assist helps to momentarily minimize forward or backward vehicle rolling on inclines, and the electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop.

Search our inventory for your Outback:


Outbacks through the years:

Originally introduced in 1995, the first Outback was basically just a Legacy wagon with two tone paint and a little cosmetic differentiation.  In 1996, Subaru produced the Outback that you would recognize today, with aggressive cladding, raised suspension, and bigger engine.  1997 saw the first Outback Sedan, a vehicle unlike anything sold at the time.  It was available all the way through 2007.   


This latest generation is slightly larger in every dimension, and the upscale interior abounds with technology and infotainment functions.  Airbag count rises to eight with the addition of seat cushion airbags that deploy from the flat part of the seat to hold front occupants in place during an accident.


2010 through 2014

Sales went through the roof with the introduction of a larger Outback, close in size to traditional sport utility vehicles but a heckuva lot more economical and responsible.  Continuously variable transmission debuts and causes steroidal fuel economy gains.  Eyesight appears in 2013. 

2005 through 2009

In 2005, we welcomed a quieter, more upscale Outback, even though the size remained pretty much the same.  Six airbags were standard.  Subaru offered a turbocharged XT model only on this generation. 

2000 through 2004

This generation ironed out the wrinkles in the previous version, especially in the interior, formerly an expanse of hard plastic and curious ergonomics.  Hood scoop from the Techno-Brutal era of Japanese auto styling goes away and no one misses it.  First optional six cylinder arrived in 2001, along with Vehicle Dynamics Control.

through 1999

Arguably, Subaru created the "crossover" segment by building a car with the sport utility capabilities of a truck.  No wonder that "Subaru" comes quickly to mind when people think rugged, practical, and economical.  This was a functional car, but not a pretty one.  Dual sunroof model, also known as the "Double Bubble," appears in 1998

All new Outbacks purchased at Planet come standard with:





Planet serves Boston, Plymouth, Brockton, Cambridge, Braintree, and all of Massachusetts.
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