The new Subaru crossover wagon carries more of the XV-style body cladding that we've come to expect, with new dark plastic protection plastics on the body sills and front and rear bumper bars. Roof-rails will be standard on all models, and bold front fog-lamps also feature.
The new front-end styling only loosely ties the Outback to its Liberty sedan sibling, and the company admits is working hard to define the two cars as separate models. At the rear, slim LED tail-lights add a more sophisticated look over the current model.
Inside, Subaru claims it has made more space from virtually no overall size increase. The car is slightly wider, and the brand says the increase in shoulder room in the back seat is noticeable. Boot space is also said to increase
In terms of interior styling, Subaru says it has aimed to make the new Subaru "comfortable and sporty". A new media system features with Harman Kardon speakers on top models, while new instruments include an LCD centre panel. The company claims the interior materials are a step up over the previous model, including soft-touch materials on the dashboard to "thick cushioned armrests". Rear seat occupants will have seat heating on some models, and rear vents are expected on all models.
Powering the US market Outback is a 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder 'boxer' engine produces 130kW of power and 236Nm of torque, while a top-end 3.6-litre 'boxer' six-cylinder produces 191kW and 335Nm. Both come as standard with a CVT automatic transmission, and power is sent to all four wheels via Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Fuel use is not yet known for either engine.
The brand claims it has improved the way the car drives, increasing rigidity, refining the suspension but retaining a high ride height, and sharpening up the steering with a reduced ratio (down from 16.5:1 to 14:1). The electric steering system is also claimed to offer "an accurate and natural feel". Subaru will also fit "Active Torque Vectoring" to the Outback that will improve its corner ability and agility by braking the inner wheel during sharp turn situations.
The all-wheel-drive system has an off-road focused X mode, that offers "optimised integrated control of engine, AWD, braking, and other functions on slippery surfaces".
Subaru Australia has confirmed the new Outback wagon will arrive locally early in 2015. Pricing and specifications are yet to be confirmed, though it is expected that the brand will offer both petrol and diesel versions of the new model.