The 2015 Subaru Outback: New but Not Different

Subaru released this "teaser photo" of the all-new 2015 Outback. The new Outback will be unveiled later this week. Photo credit: Subaru

Subaru has powered its corporate parent, Fuji Heavy Industry  (NASDAQOTH: FUJHY  ) , to big profits by following a simple formula: Subaru offers good, endearing products that have their own market niche -- and when they introduce new ones, they don't mess with what works.

When Subaru took the wraps off the all-new 2015 Legacy sedan earlier this year, it was clear that "don't mess with what works" was one of the design team's mandates. 

The new Legacy is a little sleeker, and it has some strong high-tech features, but it's not all that different from the outgoing car -- much to the relief of Subaru fans.

Fool contributor John Rosevear will be on hand when Subaru unveils the all-new Outback in New York this week. In this video, he outlines what he expects to see -- and why it's unlikely to be too much of a surprise.

A transcript of the video is below.

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John Rosevear:  Hey Fools, it's John Rosevear, senior auto analyst for Fool.com. The New York International Auto Show starts next week, media days are next Wednesday and Thursday, and we're expecting the automakers to unveil several interesting new models.

I'll be there with my Foolish colleague Rex Moore, we'll bring you a video report of the show's highlights at the end of each day, and we'll have a bunch of more in-depth reports for you over the next week or so after that. One of the debuts we'll be taking a close look at is the all-new Subaru Outback.

Subaru of course unveiled the all-new 2015 Legacy sedan in Chicago back in February, and the Outback is a close sibling of the Legacy, so it's probably safe to assume that the new Outback will follow the new Legacy's lead.

The new Legacy isn't really groundbreaking, it's a little sleeker than the old model but it's still a Subaru, it still has the super-capable all wheel drive and the classic four- and six-cylinder boxer engines that have become Subaru hallmarks.

But Subaru did go to some lengths to emphasize that the new sedan is more refined than the older model, it's quieter and more comfortable, with some sophisticated new driver aid systems that follow along the lines of what others have been doing in the midsize sedan segment, all the automakers are putting some effort into developing driverless cars, several have promised to roll out vehicles that are capable of self-driving by the end of the decade, and a lot of the new safety systems that we're seeing are products of that research, things like collision-avoidance radar and lane-keeping systems and blind-spot warning systems are all products of that research.

The new Legacy has a package of those kinds of features available and we'd expect that on the new Outback. Now we don't know much for sure about the new Outback, Subaru did release the teaser photo you can see above this video on fool dot com, but they didn't tell us anything about it except that we'd see it in New York.

I think it's safe to guess that if you look at the new Legacy and imagine a wagon version of that with rugged wheels and a higher ride height, you'll be in the right general neighborhood of what it'll look like.

And it's probably safe to say that it'll be offered with the same two engines the Legacy gets, the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer and the 3.6-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine.

By the way, "boxer" means that that the cylinder banks are horizontally opposed, by the way, if you imagine a V6 only the angle of the V is 180 degrees, you'll get the idea, the name comes from the idea that the pistons go back and forth at each other like two boxers punching.

So Rex and I will be at Subaru's unveiling event in New York and we'll have the full story for you on video right here at fool dot com as soon as we get it. Thanks for watching.


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