2015 Subaru Outback: American Adventure Rig

Dave

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#1
This thread will document the newest addition to my stable, the 2015 Subaru Outback Limited AWD.

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I've been stalking, and studying, Subaru's for a long time. My Toyota Tacoma does EVERYTHING well except for one thing - efficiency. It get's 14 MPG on a good day and is on the high side when it comes to operating costs like fuel, maintenance and tires etc.

The goal here was to find an economical "soft roader" that could take me and my family to distant trailheads for kayaking, hiking and mountain biking type trips (and National Parks etc) where the Tacoma was just plain overkill. I also don't like to leave that machine at trailheads unattended for obvious reasons. We looked at the Subaru Crosstrek XV but it was too small for our needs (I'm about 6'3 and 250 lbs) and the 2015 Forester aka Fozz, while super cool and boasting a loyal following in the outdoor segment, just did not do it for us in the aesthetics department . The search led me to the re-designed for 2015 Subaru Outback.

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This "car" has 8.7 inches of ground clearance. By comparison, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has 9.3 inches from the factory. The Subaru Outback has more than enough ground clearance to tackle about 75% of the places that we want to go with double the range, and fuel efficiency, of our highly modified Toyota Tacoma. EPA ratings of 25 mpg city/combined 28 mpg/33 mpg estimated highway sound pretty good when looking at a map and planning a family trip 4 states away!

Redesigned for 2015, this Outback came with the tried and true 2.5 liter Subaru Boxer engine (redesigned for 2013, engine code FB25) rated at 175 HP @ 5800 RPM and 174 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 RPM. It also features a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The 2015 is Subaru's 2nd Generation CVT and features 6 "gear like" settings and paddle shifters. Final 4.111 in automatic "D" mode continuously varies between 3.581 to 0.618 respectively.

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In Manual Mode you can use the paddle shifters to select 1st gear 3.581, 2nd gear 2.262, 3rd gear 1.658, 4th gear 1.208, 5th gear 0.885, 6th gear 0.618. You can also use the paddle shifters in "D" for a compression braking type scenario but for slow going the "downhill assist" feature actually works damn well. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive keeps everything moving forward and while it does not have "true" 4WD or low range, my initial light trail run on day two of ownership quickly impressed me that this was not "just a car", it's really in a league of it's own somewhere between an SUV and a normal car.

Date and location of manufacture is listed as 15 March 2015 at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) for Fuji Heavy Industries in Lafayette, Indiana. As of this writing Subaru is partially owned by Toyota and they are doing some collaborative things like the Subaru BRZ being rebadged as a Scion FR-S aka Toyota 86 so my Toyota loyalty is at ease with a Subaru in the driveway.

The interior is quite honestly stunning. I've never had a car this nice. Leather (yup), heated seats and A/C front and rear and a 12 speaker Harman Kardon sound system. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the media and safety features this car has.

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Plenty of tech in this car but I won't bore you with all that just yet - what's got my attention is the OEM rack and internal layout.

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The factory rack (pictured above with crossbars deployed) is pretty stout and rated at 150 lbs dynamic load. Crossbar width (L to R) is 39 inches, and spread front to rear is 30 inches.

The rear bar can be re-positioned to the rear for a total spread front to rear of 39 inches to help accommodate longer things like our Native Ultimate FX15 tandem kayak. Tie down points are included in the OEM design here and I'm pretty confidant that it will meet my needs for light "adventure cargo" like bikes and 'yaks.

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Rear cargo area looks promising too - full rubber liner for utility and several good lightweight tie down points as well. Privacy cover (shown pulled to the rear) can shield contents from prying eyes if needed at a trail head. Cargo nets make routine logistics runs nice by keeping supplies from flying around.

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Rear seats fold almost flat and is long enough for my 6'3-ish frame to stretch out and crash. The rear door/hatch is powered so opening and closing from inside is a breeze. This car could be a serious stealth camper with the right sleeping gear. Note: Distance from the rear edge of the cargo floor liner to the rear of the center console between the front seats is 76 inches. Interior height from the cargo liner to the roof is 31 inches.

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I'll drive it a bit more and break in the engine before I comment further.
 
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100acre

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#3
Looks too clean. I think it needs some nice mud spots and splashes and some wonderful character scratches. Are you driving the Subaru or your Tacoma to the Expo?
 

Scott

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#4
Dang I love this thing. Your pictures on Facebook and here have got me seriously looking at an older forester as a "soft roader"... can't wait to see what's in store!!
 

Mr. Leary

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#5
My wife's DD is a 2014 Outback. She LOVES it, and I'll admit to stealing it from her regularly. Hands down the best performing stock suspension I've ever seen on a car, traction control leaves it just shy of a true 4x4 (and better on stuff like snow and ice), and decent fuel economy and range to boot. Great choice Dave and Nori. Y'all will love it, drive it until the wheels fall off, then go buy another one.

Made in America is legit, too... the plant is only a few miles from my sister's house in Lafayette, IN.
 

Mike

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Founding Member
#6
So you have had this like 48 hours or so and I have yet to see pics of it fully outfitted with GooseGear storage, CVT RTT, Ridged lights, Snow Peak this and that. You're slippin' in your old age. Hahaha

Seriously though, cool rig. Curious to hear how the CVT works out. My S-I-L has one in her Toyota Corolla and I hate it, as most of the ones I have test driven. My guess is I would have yours in manual mode 99.9% of the time.
 

Mr. Leary

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#7
The CVT definitely takes some getting used to, and not "feeling" the drive train working is unnerving. I kept ours in manual mode while driving for a while.
 

BlkWgn

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#8
I have been looking at mid 2000 outback or forester for a DD for a while. Truck is paid off in a few months and think I will be looking more seriously than. Watching what Mark has put his through really impressed me.
 

Dave

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#10
The CVT definitely takes some getting used to, and not "feeling" the drive train working is unnerving. I kept ours in manual mode while driving for a while.
Our Civic has the CVT and I grew to love it. The CVT in the Outback is promising because I still have the option in Manual Mode to "paddle shift" through six forward gears. Add the AWD and low COG that this car has it has been fun to drive thus far. Once I get the engine properly broken in I'll push it a little harder and see how it does then.
 

Dave

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#12
My wife's DD is a 2014 Outback. She LOVES it, and I'll admit to stealing it from her regularly. Hands down the best performing stock suspension I've ever seen on a car, traction control leaves it just shy of a true 4x4 (and better on stuff like snow and ice), and decent fuel economy and range to boot. Great choice Dave and Nori. Y'all will love it, drive it until the wheels fall off, then go buy another one.

Made in America is legit, too... the plant is only a few miles from my sister's house in Lafayette, IN.
Indeed. I like the fact that it is "Made in USA" even if it means parts are 50% USA, 40% Japan (engine and CVT). I like US jobs, and Japanese engines :thumbsup
 
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BlkWgn

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#14
I would just like to say that I am deeply disappointed in this thread. It has been 4 days and yet there is no flippac, no goosegear storage solutions, no pictures in rock gardens or flying off of sweet jumps. I am pretty let down Dave, I expected more :D
 
#18
Pssh, this thread just shows how little you know about offroading, gosh. Everyone knows that Subarus ONLY drive when on perfectly graded roads, and you are wearing L.L. Bean, and talking yuppy! Disappointment!

So when are you calling Gorilla Offroad for plates and a light bar?
 

wesel123

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#19
We picked up a "Left Over" 14 with the 3.6R Limited. Love, Love, Love this car. Over the past 6 months of ownership we have taken it on a few off road trips. Also tows our Kamaproo with ease.

Plan on a set of General AT grabbers once the factory meat runs out. Then a life kit and skid plates from these guys: http://get-primitive.com/find/2014-Subaru-Outback.

Would love to see the plans for yours. I really enjoy the new radio set up you have and jealous of the X-Drive you have... :(
 

bob91yj

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#20
I've been out with Marc and his Subaru a couple of times. He puts his through a little more hell than most, I'm always impressed with how well it does.



He needed a little tug to get up this waterfall at a local OHV area, but he made it. I was ready to turn around and go back the way we came but he wanted to give it a shot.
He bought an eyebolt for his tow point in the front bumper, which proved to be a valuable item to have. We put as little angle as possible on it for the tug, but it was still a sharper angle than I would have preferred. As it turned out, we didn't bend the eyebolt or the bumper/whatever the eyebolt screws into behind the plastic bumper.
 
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