The 2016 Subaru Outback is the new-generation design of The World’s First Sport Utility Wagon® that debuted for 2015. A deft blend of confident design, standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, interior refinement, award-winning safety technology and exemplary fuel efficiency has helped push the Outback to new sales records.
The combination of Subaru’s acclaimed Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and standard Active Torque Vectoring gives Outback confident grip in all weather conditions. 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.
In addition to the new STARLINK Safety & Security features, the Outback receives several other refinements for 2016. On all models, a new auto on/off mode operates the windshield wipers with the headlights. Subaru retuned the electric power-assist steering for all Legacy and Outback models to provide an even more linear and natural feel. In the 2015 redesign, the Outback Limited trims gained exclusive Stablex suspension dampers, and these have been further refined to reduce vibration over rough roads, especially those with washboard-texture concrete surfaces.
Four- and Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines
The Outback 2.5i is powered by a 175-horsepower double overhead camshafts (DOHC) 2.5-liter Boxer engine that produces 174 lb-ft. peak torque. It’s paired with a standard Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) with manual mode and paddle shifters. The combination achieves 25 MPG city/33 MPG highway EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings, among the highest for midsize crossovers with all-wheel drive. The CVT features with manual mode and paddle shifters. The Active Grille Shutter system helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance.
The DOHC 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine in the Outback 3.6R Limited produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6R sustains at least 225 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving. The 3.6R is fitted with a high-torque Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode and paddle shifters. The Subaru BOXER engines, renowned for their outstanding balance, are placed lower in the chassis than a conventional upright engine. This low center of gravity contributes to the car’s handling agility.
New SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety & Security
For 2016, Outback Premium and Limited trims now include the new SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security features. Two STARLINK packages are available and are among the most affordable in the industry. The STARLINK Safety Plus package, which is complimentary for the first year, includes SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts. For even greater peace of mind, the STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus Package adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn/Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.
Safety Leader with Newly Enhanced EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology
Subaru’s renowned safety engineering uses the brand’s proven Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure, which has been shown to excel in all crash tests by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The available Subaru-developed EyeSight® system, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning, adds a Lane Keep Assist function for 2016. Limited trims also feature the standard Blind Spot Detection / Rear Cross Traffic Alert system, which includes Lane Change Assist. The system is included with the EyeSight® option on the Premium. With EyeSight®, the 2015 Outback earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Lane Keep Assist, which the driver can activate with a steering wheel-mounted switch, is an enhancement of the EyeSight® system that activates above 40 mph. If the EyeSight® camera detects the vehicle drifting from the lane, steering assistance control engages to direct the vehicle back into the lane. If the vehicle leaves the lane, Lane Departure Warning is triggered and audible and visual alerts are activated.
On models equipped with Eyesight®, Steering Responsive Fog Lights help support visibility in the direction of a turn. In its redesign, the new-generation Outback also gained driver and front passenger seat cushion airbags designed to retain the occupant’s seating position and hold the occupant in place in an accident.
All Outback models come standard with a rear view camera. A rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, standard Welcome Lighting automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. The Limited trim offers an available Keyless Access with Push-Button Start system with PIN Code Access.
STARLINK Audio Systems
All Outback trims for 2016 feature STARLINK, Subaru’s in-vehicle platform that provides hands-free connectivity and entertainment services. STARLINK is designed to work seamlessly with the in-car head unit to provide smartphone integration and tap into nearly unlimited entertainment sources through apps. The technology can deliver live traffic alerts and also help reduce driver distraction by displaying texts and allowing the driver to use voice commands for music and navigation (when equipped). The voice functionality can also operate the audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The Outback 2.5i models feature the STARLINK 6.2” Multimedia system with today’s most in-demand user technologies, including: 6.2-inch single-touch gesture display, AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control, iTunes® Tagging, a USB port and auxiliary input jack. Smartphone integration features Aha™ and Pandora®, along with STARLINK cloud applications iHeart® Radio, Stitcher™, Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather. The screen also provides the display for the standard rear vision camera.
The Premium and Limited trims have a standard STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Plus system with a high-resolution 7-in. LCD screen featuring multi-touch gesture controls, much like a smartphone or tablet. In addition, STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Plus includes Bluetooth® hands-free SMS text messaging and dual USB ports and adds SiriusXM® All Access Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link®. Optional STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Navigation features voice-activated controls and also adds SiriusXM Traffic® (subscriptions required for SiriusXM products). Navigation equipped models now come with three years of complimentary map updates.
Three Trim Levels
The 2016 Outback 2.5i is available in standard, Premium and Limited trim lines. The 6-cylinder 3.6R version is available exclusively in Limited trim. In addition to the STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Plus and STARLINK Safety and Security features, the Premium trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), dual-zone automatic climate control system, 10-way power driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, electroluminescent instrument panel with LCD color display, auto up/down front windows, illuminated overhead console and front door pull handles and body-color side mirrors.
A moonroof package can be added to the Premium and Limited trims and also includes an auto-dimming rear view compass mirror with Homelink®. A power rear gate, which features height memory, is standard on the Limited trims and available for the Outback 2.5i Premium.
The Limited trims step up the luxury with perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, heated rear seat backs and cushions, rear-seat air conditioner outlets, 4-way power front passenger seat, a Harman Kardon® 575-watt equivalent amplifier and Harman Kardon® Surround 12-speaker audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, turn-signal side mirrors and woodgrain-pattern matte-finish interior accent trim. Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) low-beam headlights are exclusive to the 3.6R Limited. Optional Keyless Access & Push-Button Start with PIN code access is available exclusively for Limited trims.
Most Versatile Outback Ever
The Outback exemplifies Subaru’s mastery of outdoors-oriented vehicle engineering, not just for its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and 8.7-inch 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. Roof rails with integrated retractable crossbars are standard, and step-style doorsills allow a person to stand firmly when securing objects to them.
The new-generation Outback is the roomiest and most versatile in the model’s 20-year history, yet still with an easy-to-maneuver footprint similar to the previous-generation design (wheelbase increased by 0.2-inch, overall length by 0.6-inch and width by 0.7 inch). The Outback offers 35.5 cu. ft. of space behind the rear seats and 73.3 cu. ft. with the standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks folded. The load floor is nearly flat, and rear seatback release levers in the cargo area enhance convenience.
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.
Agility and Quiet Ride
The Outback’s refined MacPherson front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension ensure an excellent balance of handling agility and ride comfort. The Limited trims exclusively feature Stablex suspension, which employs larger front struts along with front and rear damping tuned for improved low-speed handling performance and enhanced ride comfort at higher speeds. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, which helps enhance steering response. The Outback 2.5i is equipped with standard 17-inch wheels, and the Limited trim features 18-inch 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 Brake Assist safety system automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.
Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode
The standard Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively control torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, the system optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.
When engaged by a console switch, standard 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 Hill Descent Control, which uses engine braking to help maintain a constant vehicle speed when the Outback is traveling downhill, enhancing vehicle control. 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.
Subaru of America, Inc. offers a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car. The Legacy and Outback are built at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA).
Recommended retail price (MSRP) starts from $24,995