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Travel back in Subaru’s history and you’ll discover that the Outback began in 1995 as a premium trim level for a Legacy wagon. The following year it began acquiring characteristic features we’ve come to expect—like a raised suspension.
Now in its fifth generation, the Outback pleases buyers by splitting the difference between a wagon and an SUV. It offers a choice between four- and six-cylinder engines, and Subaru has made shifting choices easy by offering only one: a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddles that control a six-speed manual mode. All-wheel drive is standard on all Outbacks.
In 2010, Subaru redesigned the Outback again, bringing in the third generation. This revision gave the Outback a sharper and more aggressive exterior look and a more spacious cabin. The third generation launched with a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter engine as standard and an all-new 256-horsepower, 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder as an option. In 2013, Subaru restyled the Outback's front end, added in a standard CVT and pushed the base 2.5-liter engine to 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway -- a 2 mpg and 1 mpg increase, respectively.
The 2005 model year ushered in the second-generation Outback and with it came a revised 3-liter engine, which Subaru tweaked to deliver 250 horsepower. Along with the revised six-cylinder came a new turbocharged 2.5-liter engine with 250 horsepower in the wagon variant, a fully revised exterior and a new interior. In 2005, Subaru added variable valve timing to the base 2.5-liter engine, pushing its power to 175 horsepower. Additionally, 2005 also brought the addition of the base 2.5-liter engine to the sedan model. In 2008, Subaru dropped the Outback sedan, leaving only the wagon variant to carry on, and slightly revised the front and rear fascias.
In 2000 the Subaru Outback debuted as its own model -- previously it was a trim level for the Legacy model -- with a all-wheel drive and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that was good for 165 horsepower. This new model came in a pair of body styles: sedan and station wagon. After just one year on the market, Subaru introduced a new 3-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that produces 212 horsepower for the VDC and L.L. Bean Edition trim levels in the station wagon format. In 2002, the six-pot engine joined the sedan variant for the first time.