The 2014 Subaru Outback is a rugged station wagon with the versatility of an SUV. It’s great for hauling around a large family or for doing some light offroading. The Outback’s focus is not on luxury or fancy technological bells and whistles, but on practicality. It is exceptionally spacious and has enough room for five passengers and their luggage.
Outback 2.5i models are available in three trim levels – base, Premium and Limited — while the 3.6R model is offered only in the Limited trim for 2014. The base 2.5i has a long list of standard features, including steering wheel cruise control and audio switches; Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capability; a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with a recline feature; electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System and an automatic headlight function.
Premium models add additional amenities, including a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver’s auto up/down window; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; instrument panel storage bin with a door; ambient light for the overhead console; and body-colored side mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Outback also has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, yet has a comfortable step-in height.
Outback earned a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and also picked up the new Top Safety Pick-Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the latest IIHS Front Crash Prevention (FHP) test program, the 2014 Outback equipped with the available EyeSight system received the highest possible score of six points, and also was one of seven models (of 74 tested) to receive highest possible “Superior” rating, given to vehicles that have an auto-braking system (such as Subaru EyeSight) and can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests. Subaru EyeSight is the highestrated front crash prevention system by IIHS. It uses innovative stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning.
Under the hood, Outback 2.5i models continue with the double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter FB series Boxer engine that debuted in 2013. The engine produces 173 hp and 174 pound-feet of torque, with greater low-end torque across a broad speed range than the engine it replaced. Outback 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models offer a choice between a standard six-speed manual transmission and the second-generation Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), standard on the 2.5i Limited. Models with CVT get EPA-estimated 24/30/26 mpg (city/highway/combined). The Outback 3.6R Limited continues with a 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder Boxer engine mated to a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
The MSRP on the 2014 Subaru Outback ranges from $23,495 to $32,095.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to <Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com>.