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What Subaru Changed With the All-New 2015 Outback

Subaru's U.S. chief Tom Doll stands with his boss, Fuji Heavy CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, in front of the all-new 2015 Outback at the New York International Auto Show in April. Source: Subaru.

Subaru announced last week that its all-new 2015 Outback would start at $25,745, a price that puts it just about $100 above the starting price of the outgoing model.

That's a tiny increase for an all-new model, but Subaru says it's hoping the new Outback will increase its sales.

That's not to say Outback sales have been bad -- not at all. It has lost some sales recently to Subaru's own Forester, which was new last year. Forester sales are up over 50% so far this year, while the (outgoing) Outback's are up a little over 4%.

But for much of its life, the Outback has been Subaru's best-seller in the U.S. -- and the U.S. is Subaru's most important market. 

Subaru is the automotive division of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industry  (NASDAQOTH: FUJHY  ) . It's a much smaller company than Japanese rivals Toyota  (NYSE: TM  ) and Honda  (NYSE: HMC  ) , with a much more limited model range. But the company updates and refreshes that model range exceptionally well, and its endearing, long-lived products have earned it fierce customer loyalty. 

Subaru's careful approach to updating its products has worked out very well for Fuji Heavy, and for its shareholders. The stock isn't well-known in the U.S., but maybe it should be: Over the last two years, it has risen more than 250%. 

Subaru revealed the new Outback at a big event at the New York International Auto Show in April. We were there, and we got a close-up look at the new Outback and spoke to some of the people responsible for it. 

We also captured much of the presentation on video to share with you. In the segment below, the third of three parts, you'll see the new Outback moments after it was revealed to the media. You'll also see and hear Subaru's U.S. chief Tom Doll talk about all the ways in which Subaru improved the Outback for the new generation -- without messing with the basic formula that has made the Outback a favorite for so long.

If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can catch them here and here.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2014, at 3:26 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    Aaaak no transcript. must be Rex Moore influence, you've been stellar to date JR about transcripts for most videos. Sooo (sigh) I wont get to be informed...wonder if Subaru put a hybrid in the line up as they were rumored to be doing?

  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2014, at 11:03 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @Skepikl: Sometimes it's simple to do a transcript, sometimes it's much more complicated. I do them when I can. We're making progress, I promise.

    No hybrid on the 2015 Outback. Boxer 4, boxer 6, same engines as before with some mild tweaks and updates.


  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2014, at 10:26 PM, SkepikI wrote:

    OK John I will cut you some slack on this one. Its just as well there is no hybrid completion from Subaru.. I have my heart just about set on a 2016 plug in Fusion if the reliability holds purchase a year or two old as my 2009 Outback hits 500,000 actual mi.

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John Rosevear

John Rosevear is the Fool's Senior Auto Specialist. John has been writing about the auto business and investing for over 20 years, and for The Motley Fool since 2007.

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