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2010 Subaru Outback Overview


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Subaru of America, Inc. has introduced the all-new 2010 Subaru Outback. The fourth-generation of the World’s First Sport Utility Wagon® is a roomier and more capable interpretation of the vehicle that launched the crossover trend 15 years ago. Distinguished by bolder styling, the all-new 2010 Subaru Outback delivers enhanced performance, comfort and fuel economy with the introduction of an all-new chassis and the new Subaru Lineartronic™ CVT (continuously variable transmission). Capability is enhanced with a segment-first swing-out roof crossbar design and an improved 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The all-new 2010 Subaru Outback is smart-sized compared to other 2-row crossover vehicles, featuring a mid-size interior in an easy-to-maneuver and off-road capable wagon body. Subaru engineers have increased interior volume by almost 7 percent in a package that is slightly shorter than the previous model. The wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer and rear seat legroom is improved by almost 4 inches, but front and rear overhangs are reduced by around 2 inches to maintain vehicle capability. A new rear double wishbone suspension enhances chassis dynamics and rear cargo space. The 2010 Outback is also 2.0 inches wider to improve passenger comfort and has more headroom than the previous model.

Must-Know Facts

  • Roomiest Outback ever with new levels of comfort and refinement.
  • Bold new design with renowned Subaru packaging efficiency.
  • New 6-speed manual and CVT transmissions for Outback 2.5i models.
  • New Outback 3.6R models featuring more powerful regular-fuel 6-cylinder engine.
  • Improved fuel economy for all models.

Building on the tremendous success of previous Outback models, the 2010 Outback caters to a wide variety of customer tastes and needs. The Outback line for 2010 includes the 2.5i, powered by a revised 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, and the new Outback 3.6R powered by a 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine teamed with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission.

The efficient Outback 2.5i offers a new standard 6-speed manual transmission, or the available Lineartronic™ CVT. Both transmissions help to improve acceleration, response and fuel economy. When equipped with the Lineartronic CVT, the 2010 Outback 2.5i achieves EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway, making the roomiest Outback ever also the most fuel-efficient Outback ever. Part of the efficiency story is that the 2010 Outback features greater use of high-tensile strength steel to keep any weight increase below 95 pounds on any one model, despite the roomier interior package. All Outback models for 2010 feature a larger fuel tank, now 18.5 gallons vs. 16.9, for increased driving range.

Compared to the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine it replaces, the more powerful 3.6-liter Boxer has a similar external size and uses recommended regular-grade fuel, rather than premium as Subaru recommended to achieve rated output figures in the previous 3.0R models.

Subaru is the only company that features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line. This invaluable performance and safety-enhancing system distinguishes the Outback from crossover competitors, which generally offer all wheel drive only as an extra-cost option. The 2010 Outback model line employs three different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, each tailored to the specific transmission.

Bold New Design and New Level of Interior Comfort

The 2010 Outback, while clearly related to its predecessors, marks a departure in design toward a new, bolder look. The new Outback blends a sophisticated crossover design with SUV details. The upright grille features the Subaru circular badge and wing design as the focal point and is offset by dramatic hawk-eye headlamps. The new functional molded lower rocker and side cladding convey the Outback’s improved capability and are more durable for off-pavement driving.

The 2010 Outback also has a greater road presence with a wider track and expressive wheel arches. Ground clearance on the new model has been increased to 8.7 inches, among the best of all crossover vehicles available, yet still with a more comfortable step-in height than traditional SUVs. As a new characteristic of the Outback, the D-pillars project a powerful SUV-like presence. The taillamps blend into the rear liftgate, which highlights the more clearly defined beltline.

Right-Sized for the Times

The original Outback established a template for many competitive crossover models that followed, and the new-generation 2010 Outback further strengthens the melding of passenger car and SUV attributes that today’s crossover shoppers seek.

Built on an all-new platform, the 2010 Outback showcases Subaru’s mastery of vehicle packaging efficiency. A 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, now 107.9 inches, contributes to a smoother ride and increased interior space. Total passenger volume is increased by nearly 8 cubic feet, now 105.4 cu. ft., and maximum cargo capacity (with the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded) is increased by 6 cubic feet to 71.3 cu. ft. The Outback also features a rear cargo area that is deeper and wider than in many small SUVs and easier to access through its wide aperture rear hatch.

Rear seat legroom is increased by nearly 4 inches to 37.8 inches. With a 2.0-in. increase in vehicle width, the 2010 Outback offers greater hip room (+3.5 inches in front, +1.3 in. in back) and shoulder room (+1.9-in. front, +2.4-in. in back).

Remarkably, the roomier 2010 Outback is almost one inch shorter than the previous model, due to reduced front and rear overhang dimensions. The new Outback is also 2.3 inches taller than the previous model, increasing headroom and cargo area height. The new packaging thus preserves the maneuverability, agility and parking ease that Outback customers highly value.

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Surefooted Handling and Safety for any Road or any Weather

The new Subaru Outback improves crash-worthiness and provides a stiffer platform that helps yield a smoother, quieter ride – still with crisp handling. Outback customers have long valued the way Outback models have balanced comfort with capability, and the 2010 Outback improves on both. The reduced front and rear overhang dimensions, combined with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, help enhance Outback’s off-pavement maneuverability.

All Outback models for 2010 are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control functions. The all-new electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop. Previous systems held the car in place for only a few seconds.

MacPherson-type strut front suspension is mounted to a new engine cradle, and the engine is attached to the cradle using new hydraulic mounts. The new cradle is designed to also enhance crash-worthiness in front. A new double-wishbone rear suspension, mounted to a sub frame, replaces the previous multi-link configuration to provide improved ride and handling. The enhancement of body rigidity and the new suspension design help to reduce levels of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH).

The 2010 Outback models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and, new for 2010, the Brake Assist safety system that automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.

Significantly, the stiffer body structure and new suspension combined with a higher profile tire (215/70R16 on base Outback 2.5i) contributes to the more comfortable ride quality without sacrificing handling agility. Models with 17-in. wheels likewise benefit from a higher-profile tire size, 225/60R17 compared to 225/55R17 used before.

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Efficient New Powertrains

The 2010 Outback 2.5i models are powered by a revised 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, teamed for the first time to a new 6-speed manual transmission or the available new Lineartronic CVT equipped with a manual mode and steering wheel paddle shifters. The CVT is standard in the Outback 2.5i Limited.

The 2.5-liter engine, which is also available as PZEV-certified, is modified for 2010 to improve performance, drivability, and economy. The engine delivers 170 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 170 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The i-Active Valve Lift System (AVLS) ensures a broad torque curve and smooth response at all engine speeds, while also helping to improve fuel efficiency. Whether teamed to the new 6-speed manual transmission or the Lineartronic CVT, the roomier 2010 Outback provides quicker acceleration than comparable 2009 Outback models. Either transmission helps make the 2010 Outback 2.5i models more responsive in everyday driving.

All-New Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Subaru has adopted a chain-type CVT, the world’s first longitudinally mounted CVT system for AWD production vehicles. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the lowest and highest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range for improved fuel economy and performance. The payoff is in significantly improved fuel economy – to 24 mpg (EPA combined rating) up from last year’s rating of 22 mpg combined.

Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The selectable manual mode of the Lineartronic CVT uses six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle controls.

3.6-liter Boxer Engine: Premium Performance with Regular-Grade Fuel

The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine replaces the previous 3.0-liter Boxer, yet features similar external dimensions due primarily to a unique shortened connecting rod design. As a result, this larger-displacement, more powerful engine maintains its excellent low center of gravity while improving power delivery and significantly improving the driving experience. Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves optimizes power delivery across the engine’s speed range while helping to reduce emissions.

The 3.6 engine produces 256 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 247 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,400 rpm, compared to 245 hp at 6,600 rpm and 215 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm for the previous 3.0-liter engine. Notably, the 3.6 engine sustains at least 225 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.

Not only does the 3.6 engine offer greater performance than the previous 3.0, but does so using recommended regular-grade fuel compared to premium recommended in the 3.0. The specially tuned five-speed automatic transmission, combined with the greater torque output of the new engine, helps make the Outback 3.6R more responsive when driving in hilly areas by significantly reducing “hunting” between gears. The 5-speed automatic transmission also incorporates improved downshift “blipping” logic, which helps transmission responsiveness.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive A Key to Brand Identity

Subaru offers three different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2010 Outback line, each one tailored to the type of transmission. In Outback 2.5i models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power to the opposite set.

Outback 2.5i models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use Active Torque Split AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions.

The Outback 3.6R uses the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, and it continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

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New Level of Refinement, Comfort and Convenience

The 2010 Outback’s interior is not only more spacious, but takes another step up in refinement from an already-praised design in the previous model. The four-dial instrument panel is augmented in all Outback models by a multi-information display with trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Seat comfort, long a Subaru strong point, is further enhanced in the 2010 Outback with new front and rear seat designs. The rear seat includes a new recline feature. The front seatback shape provides extra rear-seat knee room, and the front-seat cushion design allows more rear-seat foot room.

The 2010 Subaru Outback is available in three trim levels – base, Premium and Limited.

Standard comfort and available amenities are increased across the Outback line for 2010. The base 2.5i, for example, features new standard steering wheel cruise control and audio switches, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with recline feature, new electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System, automatic light function, overhead console with holder for sunglasses, and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio jack.

Outback Premium models add more new amenities, including a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver’s auto up/down window, leather-wrapped steering wheel, instrument panel storage bin with door, ambient light for the overhead console, chrome exhaust tip, body-colored side mirrors and 17-in. alloy wheels (all 3.6R trim lines have 17-in. alloy wheels as standard). The Premium models also offer additional comfort and convenience options, including a power moonroof, a 440-Watt harman/kardon® audio system with Bluetooth® hands-free phone capability, and the All-Weather Package that adds heated front seats and mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Limited trim lines feature standard perforated leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, the harman/kardon audio system, and a 4-way power front passenger seat. (The Outback 2.5i Limited also has the Lineartronic CVT as standard.) The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with an 8-in. LCD display and rear-view backup camera, hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and streaming Bluetooth audio capability.

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The Subaru Safety Story

The Outback, like all Subaru models, has consistently earned top scores in government and insurance industry crash tests. The 2010 Outback is designed to further raise the safety quotient. Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Frame Reinforcement safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, again forms the foundation for impact protection and occupant safety in the new-generation 2010 Outback. A new front subframe (engine cradle) helps improve front impact safety. The 2010 Outback also features greater use of high-tensile strength steel.

The 2010 Outback models include as standard equipment front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to detect the presence and weight of a front passenger and also the driver’s distance from the steering wheel. The system determines front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection.

New in the 2010 Outback, redesigned front seat frames provide enhanced protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. With the entire seat optimized for a rear-end collision, Subaru replaced the previous active front head restraints with a more comfortable design.

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2010 Subaru Outback – Hi-res. Images

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