The Subaru Outback has been a company mainstay since it was introduced in Japan in 1994. For 2013, it gets revised styling, a new and more efficient powertrain, and it debuts the new EyeSight driver-assist system.
Additionally, chassis enhancements improve both ride quality and agility, and there are new amenities and audio/infotainment capabilities.
Outback has a restyled front end, with new headlights, grille, front bumper and fog lights, giving it a more powerful appearance. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive distinguishes the Outback and it continues with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, higher than many crossovers and some dedicated SUVs.
The 2013 Outback 2.5i models debut a new double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter FB series Boxer engine for increased performance and fuel efficiency. The new engine produces 173 hp and 174 pounds-feet of torque. The new engine produces greater low-end torque across a broad speed range, making the 2013 Outback 2.5i models feel more responsive in everyday driving.
Outback 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models offer a choice between a standard six-speed manual transmission and the second-generation Lineartronic CVT, which is standard on 2.5i Limited models. Outback 3.6R models continue with a 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder Boxer engine and five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Subaru says the 2013 Outback 2.5i with the Lineartronic CVT gets 24/30 mpg.
The 2013 Outback models debut Subaru’s new EyeSight driver-assist system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre- Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight uses a stereo camera design developed by Subaru to provide a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems.
The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. Below speeds of 19 mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians or objects in the vehicle’s path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision.
Under certain circumstances, EyeSight is able to bring the car to a complete stop. At speeds above approximately 19 mph, EyeSight can apply the brakes when an object is detected, and will attempt to brake if the driver takes no evasive action, or does not brake appropriately, to help mitigate collision damage.
The Lane Departure and Sway Warning feature can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or if the car begins to sway within the travel lane.
Intended for freeway use, EyeSight’s Adaptive Cruise Control system can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking and/or accelerating the car as needed to maintain the driver-selected target speed and traveling distance.
Pricing on the 2013 Subaru Outback starts at $23,495.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.