Subaru adds two new versions of its Outback for the 2007 model year and they are positioned at opposite ends of the spectrum. The 2.5 i "Basic" wagon is a new lower-priced entry while two new L.L. Bean editions add new levels of luxury. Further, all Outbacks get audio systems with MP3/WMA CD playback and auxiliary audio input jacks.
Subaru notes that its Outback was the world's first "Sport Utility Wagon" when it launched as a 1995 model. The Outback combined substantial ground clearance with a "command" seating position, all wrapped in a package with SUV-style cladding. The Outback, available in sedan and wagon styles, will be extensively redesigned for the 2008 model year, and the current version goes out in style with several new models, including the 2.5 i "Basic" that recalls the original idea of an economical and car-like alternative to the truck-based SUV for drivers who put a priority on outdoor enjoyment.
The Basic version comes at a lower price point, thanks to such changes as the use of steel wheels instead of aluminum alloy wheels, a manual driver's seat, and the deletion of the usual all-weather package and, thus, no heated front seats or mirrors and no limited-slip rear differential. However, like all Outback models, the Basic version comes with Subaru's heralded Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive; anti-lock brakes; front, side, and side curtain air bags as well as air conditioning; cruise control; power locks, mirrors, and windows; remote keyless entry; and a 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system. Like the Outback 2.5 i and 2.5 i Limited, the Basic draws power from a 175-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.
The Outback 2.5 i L.L. Bean Edition comes with an automatic transmission; an in-dash, 6-disc CD changer; dual-zone automatic climate controls; special floor mats, badging, and wheels; and a navigation system. The Outback 2.5 i Limited also gets the 6-disc CD changer, a dual-panel power moonroof, and leather-trimmed seating. An Outback 2.5 i Limited L.L. Bean Edition adds a 4-way power front passenger seat, a rear-seat center arm rest, and two-tone dark taupe leather-trimmed seating. The Outback 2.5 XT Limited gets a 243-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a special front bumper, a MOMO-designed steering wheel, and sport-design instruments. The Outback 3.0 R L.L. Bean Edition gets much of that same upgraded equipment as well as a 245-hp, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine and a MOMO mahogany wood and black leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.
The Subaru Outback competes in the Midsize Conventional segment, which consists of 18 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, fuel economy, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Camry (397,630 units sold), Honda Accord (354,441), and Nissan Altima (232,457). The Subaru Outback sold 84,442 units (including the Legacy) in 2006, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Conventional segment include the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, and Buick LaCrosse. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Saturn Aura.
|2.5 i Limited (A4)||4 speed automatic||$26,395||175-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl||22/28|
|3.0 R L.L. Bean Edition (A5)||5 speed automatic||$30,295||245-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||19/26|