In honor of the mega Nor’easter hitting the country, we thought it only fitting to “talk shop” with Subaru. Few other brands evoke such a patriotic following; it’s to the car and mid-crossover markets what the Tacoma is to the mid-size truck segment. And neither are American, go figure.
The mighty Subaru is mister ever-dependable, even infallible if you ask devoted enthusiasts like Ben Chase, Keystone sales team leader based on the West Coast, or respected rally car driver Crazy Leo Urlichich. And according to the April 2017 issue of Car and Driver, “Subaru continues to ascend, a huge cartoon snowball somehow barreling uphill, picking up skiers, snowmobiles and the odd yeti. It started with a US sales record in 2009, when 216,652 Americans bought Subarus. Seven consecutive record years later, the brand came close to tripling that total, with 615,132 sales in 2016. Its industry leading customer-retention rate means that more people come back to buy another Subaru than do the buyers of any other brand in the US.”
With enough chutzpah to blow this brazen storm out to sea, the Subaru platform continues to deliver one winning combination after another. Want a reliable daily driver? Get a Legacy or Impreza. Looking to handle corners like a motocross champ? Get a BRZ or WRX STI. And if you’re looking for a name that’s trusted by outdoor enthusiasts then snag an Outback, Forester or Crosstrek.
Even better, apparently these vehicles love being on the road more than their owners do. Their bodies have been known to rust out before the engines go kaput and even then, a head gasket change and minor wrenching usually gets ‘er back-up-and-at-‘em for another round. To commemorate the subtle badassery of this American staple, we take a look at the 2017 Subaru Outback.
2017 Subaru Outback
Praised for its efficiency, durability and longevity on the road, the 2017 Subaru Outback is a mid-size crossover utility that proves to new admirers and long-time aficionados alike that “it can rightfully compete with other, much more expensive wagons on comfort and quality,” said The Car Connection. Did we mention it’s setting sales records against traditional SUVs?
The Outback is not only a topnotch family hauler, but also tough as nails when it comes to overcoming nature’s elements. Personally, we think the Outback can compete against the best in nearly every category. This model “is a confident companion in adverse driving conditions and on imposing terrains. You won’t have to think twice about going in search of a new trailhead or secluded camping site,” said U.S. News & World Report in its “Best Cars” reviews.
More Than Meets the Eye
The Outback has plenty of allure, even boasting a “Residual Value Award” by ALG—one of its many accolades throughout the years. The attraction starts with an affordable MSRP price range of $25,645 – $38,195 across the six trim levels. Another enticing feature, the Outback was born to manhandle the outdoors. This peppy wagon includes roof rails with crossbars even on its base model. And it simply begs outdoorsmen to customize with other aftermarket cargo management options that keep travel, camping, hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding gear out of the way, yet just within reach.
Whether it’s the 2.5i Limited, Touring or Premium sporting a 175 horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder flat BOXER® engine with 174 lb-ft of torque or a 3.6R Touring or Limited with a 256 horsepower 3.6L six-cylinder flat BOXER® engine with 247 lb-ft of torque, the Outback performs exquisitely.
Vehicle dynamics control, active torque vectoring, CVT, X-MODE® with hill start assist/hill descent and Symmetrical AWD deliver robust yet smooth handling on rough back roads as well as slick highways. With maximum towing capacities of 2,700 lbs. for the 2.5i and 3,000 lbs. for the 3.6R, go ahead and confidently pack up that extra gear.
Confidence also comes along with the Outback’s impressive safety features. It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and has a five-star rating from the NHTSA; no wonder the Outback maintains top stance within its class. The core component, EyeSight® Driver Assist, is further highlighted by details such as steering responsive fog lights, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking and pre-collision braking for enhanced focus and response times.
No Compromises Necessary
Edmunds singles out the 2.5i Premium as “nicely equipped with heated front seats and a good mix of tech, it’s a great choice that dispenses with fuss and frills.” But truthfully, every trim strongly appeals to consumers. After all, it’s a Subie!
There’s terrific noise reduction from the acoustic windshield glass and improved floor damping, cargo volume that nicely expands from 35.5 cubic feet to 73.3 cubic feet, cozy ten-way power adjustable front seating with dual memory settings and the invaluable convenience of a hands-free lift gate.
Picture enjoying the upgraded twelve-speaker 576W Harman Kardon® stereo system (and the power moonroof, of course), as you access integrated smartphone apps or Siri™ Eyes Free through the 6.2” or 7” STARLINK™ Multimedia touchscreen. And just like that, you’re instantly reminded of why the Outback is a favorite amongst a broad range of drivers. For those that live to drive and do so comfortably, make it a Subaru.
*This article was co-written by Robyn Anders.