At the 2009 New York auto show, Subaru introduced the all-new Legacy and Outback. Both related models are bigger and promise to be better than the current, outgoing models. The Subaru Legacy sedan starts at $19,995, and the Outback wagon starts at $22,995—just $700 more than the current model. Add $695 for destination charges.
The new Outback has a longer wheelbase, enabling four more welcomed inches of rear legroom while reducing the overall exterior length by an inch. Increased width and height gives the Outback a commanding presence, and it results in a cargo capacity increase of 6 cubic feet. Despite the larger size, fuel economy is estimated to increase by 1 MPG in both City and Highway modes with CVT.
The base 2.5i is powered by a revised 2.5-liter, 170-hp four-cylinder engine with AWD, natch. The base boxser engine is available with either a new standard six-speed manual transmission for $22,995 or a continuously variable transmission for $23,995. Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, power steering, tilt and telescope steering column, 60/40 split-folding and reclining rear seats, floor mats, cargo tray, electronic parking brake with Hill Holder system, auto on/off exterior lights (autolights), AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, dual lit visor mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, stability control system, and remote keyless entry system.
Key options include a power moonroof ($995), all-weather package with heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer and heated exterior mirrors ($500), harman/kardon audio system ($995), and navigation system with the harman/kardon stereo ($2,000).
Moving up through the model range, the 2.5i Premium ($24,295) adds halogen fog lights, cargo cover, privacy glass, 10-way power driver's seat, driver's side window with automatic up/down, leather-wrapped steering wheel, instrument storage bin w/door, overhead console with sunglass holder and ambient light, body-colored mirrors and 16-inch wheels.
The 2.5i Limited ($27,995) builds upon the 2.5i Premium with dual-zone climate controls, paddle shifters and a six-speed manual shift mode, 17-inch wheels, perforated ivory / off black leather-trimmed upholstery, four-way power front passenger seat, all-weather package, and harman/kardon audio system.
The new Outback 3.6R replaces the 3.0R model. As the name suggests, it is powered by a 3.6-liter, 256-hp six-cylinder engine matched to a five-speed electronic automatic transmission. Unlike the previous engine, the 3.6L uses regular-grade fuel. The engine is available starting with the Outback 3.6R ($27,995) – priced $4,000 less than the 2009 six-cylinder Outback.
Step up to the 3.6R Premium ($28,995) for a 10-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and all-weather package. The range is topped by the 3.6R Limited ($30,995), which adds perforated ivory / off black leather-trimmed upholstery, four-way power front passenger seat, and harman/kardon audio system.
Since the new Legacy and Outback are on their way to production, dealers will likely be dealing on the well-regarded, outgoing models.
Read our 2009 Subaru Outback review, and research Subarus in the 2009 new car buyer’s guide.