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2015 Subaru Outback

ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
edited March 5 in Subaru
2015 Outback Wish List. Hi Y'all, the completely redisigned 2015 Outback (Prototype) reportedly will be revealed at the January Detroit Auto Show, and will hit dealers showrooms ~ Q2 or Q3 2014, with new exterior/interior design changes, and with new/additional feature and safety content.

Here's my wish list for additional features/content/changes:black or dark grey interior color availability with white exterior color (not just saddle brown, w/eye-sight option); blind spot sensor/warning; rear cross-traffic alert; larger and more user friendly nav screen; rear back-up sonar sensors, in addition to back-up camera (since camera lens cover frequently gets smudgy/dirty on rainy days rendering back-up camera useless);multi-view rear camera with surround view and top-down/bird's eye view capability; electrochromic/auto-dimming side view mirrors; heated steering wheel option.

Comments/suggestions???

Jake
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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Top on my list would be for them to make this iteration more visually attractive (or attractive at all). They seem to do that every other generation; I know I'm ready for a change from the current gen!

    Second would be that they give the nanny tech a rest, or at least keep it optional. Encouraging competence amongst drivers is not a bad thing, especially for a car company that, at least traditionally, makes cars that are fun to drive.

    Aside from those, better road feel, bring back the hand brake, CVT on the H6, keep the 6MT available through the "premium" line with no option restrictions, and make a turbo-4 available in the line once more.

    I think the electrochromatic sideview mirrors would be somewhat problematic for them. That tech doesn't like cold too much, so I suspect there would be a lot of complaints from New England, upper Midwest, and other northern customers.
  • ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
    edited November 2013
    Thank you xwesx for your post and your interesting auto-dimming side mirror comment related to decreased performance due to cold temps. The electrochemical technology developed by Gentex Corp near Grand Rapids, Michigan, used in auto-dimming mirrors has been in widespread use since the 1970's in rear view mirrors, and in side view mirrors for the last 5-7 years in upscale autos like BMW, M-B, and Audi, and recently in the 2014 Forrester. Your comment about very cold temps affecting auto-dimming mirror performance makes sense when applying basic physics and chemistry principles to the chemical basis of the electrochemical process. However, I would think Gentex labs (based in a cold weather state, MI) would have worked out most of the problems associated with cold temp performance issues, or the upscale German auto mfg's would not have used them on most of their cars.

    One of the most important things on my wish list for the 2015 Outback, which I forgot to mention, is the addition of a gas-electric hybrid engine. This idea has been rumored to be in the pipeline for the Outback and Forrester for the past 12-18 mos, and is suppose to be released by Subaru in the Outback soon. This would be a HUGE win for Subaru and Outback and Forrester enthusiasts if Subaru can deliver a good AWD hybrid engine package, if it performs well (like the Toyota Highlander AWD Hybrid, and keep in mind the AWD Highlander Hybrid is a V-6 hybrid and weighs ~ 1,200 lbs more than the 2014 2.5 L 4-cyl Outback LTD, yet the Highlander hybrid delivers an impressive 28-29 mpg combined, a gain of 8-9 mpg over the V-6 non-hybrid Highlander; after all, Toyota now owns ~ 17 % of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent. And the FRS/BRZ Toyota/Subaru sports car joint venture has been a smashing success!). However, Subaru's first attempt at AWD hybrid engine technology, using a boxer engine, has in my opinion been a disappointment: the 2014 Hybrid XV Crosstrek, with negligible mpg improvement, a gain of only 4-5 mpg over the non-hybrid XV Crosstrek. But so was Honda's first attempt with the Accord Hybrid a few years back, and now the soon to be released 2014 Hybrid Accord looks to be a clear winner, possibly knocking the Toyota Camry Hybrid out of first place (for a full sized family hybrid).

    Jake
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    edited November 2013
    Ah, very true regarding the electrochromatic mirrors! I notice that the rearview on my car doesn't respond very quickly to input when it is quite cold, but those are temps that most customers will never see or see only rarely see (such as upper midwest, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and many Canadian customers). The mirror still works, it just fades slowly (takes several seconds) and recovers slowly when the input is gone. Aside from that, I'd love to have sideview mirrors that had this feature.

    I'd much rather see Subaru pursue diesel in the NA market before hybrid. They have a fantastic opportunity in front of them with diesel. I agree that we want to see solid economy gains (regardless of route), I just don't think that Subaru really has anything unique to offer in the gasoline-hybrid arena.
  • nine51nine51 Posts: 78
    I second the post by xwesx for a more attractive Outback/Legacy in the next generation. Subaru has always been somewhat guilty of putting function ahead of form, but the current generation of the Outback/Legacy line has never appealed to me especially after the great looking cars of the 05-09 model line. For a time they seemed to be going after Audi in terms of styling, but I'm not sure what they were trying to achieve with the current design. Maybe they are influenced too much by Toyota? Not really warming up to their styling at all. I do appreciate their move to include a sunroof option in the "Premium" line and not force buyers to move to the Limited to get it. I prefer cloth seats to leather so the Premium version is more my style. Also, keep the tech simple to use while driving. I recently rented a Ford Edge that was nice, but you had to take your eyes off the road for too long to do simple tasks like change the A.C. temp or radio channels. Even had to search to figure out how to turn off the stereo. I like the old-school knobs that you can turn without looking.
  • ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
    XWESX I agree with you on the diesel power plant; actually I'd like to see them develop/introduce a diesel-electric hybrid engine instead of gas-electric hybrid (I think VW and M-B have been working on the diesel-electric hybrid engine tech for some time), but diesel in autos (PU trucks like Dodge, Ford & Chevy have done a bit better) has had very limited success (ie, M-B) in the US vs Europe.

    Jake
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    That's very true, Jake. That said, times are definitely changing, and I really hope Subaru doesn't miss the boat. I'm not opposed to diesel-electric hybrids, but I also think that they would be taking an even greater risk going there aside from the fact they'd be harnessing the "best of both worlds" by coming up with a car that could get exceptional city -and- highway mileage.

    Adoption of the Cruze, for example, which is GM's first passenger car diesel offering in nearly 30 years, is posting positive sales projections as production and breadth of availability continue to ramp up:

    June: 188 units
    July: 347 units
    Aug: 430 units
    Sept: 479 units
    Oct: 510 units
  • ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
    edited November 2013
    Yes XWESX a diesel option for the Outback or Forrester stateside would be welcome and possibly well received, since Subaru's first venture into gas-electric hybrid technology in the XV Crosstrek yields only a ~ 10% increase in MPG for an additional increase of price of ~ $2,500-3,000, not that attractive for socially conscious Subie enthusiasts, who also happen to be very cost conscious. Reportedly, a European boxer 2.0 L diesel power plant (in an Impreza/Forester/Legacy/Outback bodies) can get 40-42 MPG on the highway, which makes more sense economically, if a buyer has to pay an additional $3,000 over a non-diesel model.
    The following Autoblog article, "First Drive: 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid",in Iceland no less, yields some interesting (and disappointing info) about the XV Hybrid's performance, especially the last three paragraphs of the article.
    (http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/11/2014-subaru-xv-crosstrek-hybrid-review-first- - - - -drive/#continued)
    To access the above you may have to copy and paste the above autoblog link to your browser, since I'm having trouble formatting the post into auto-link.

    Jake
  • ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
    edited November 2013
    Will Subaru offer a diesel power plant option for the Outback and Forester in the US, soon? Let's hope so. As you said, XWESX, times and perceptions changing regarding the benefits of diesel in cars in the US. Check out the following Audi/VW survey of US drivers and how they feel/think about the diesel option (click on 'Show Press Release' at bottom for more info): http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/15/audi-wants-more-diesels-in-us/
    However, as this article suggests, the current administration in Washington is apposed to diesel vs hybrid or all electric vehicles to improve auto fuel efficiency.
    And sometimes it's hard to fight 'city hall.'

    Jake
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Oh, it's definitely hard to do! The biggest problem is governmental overreach with this stuff. The feds have suffered so much mission creep that they don't even know which end is up any more. Sad deal for all of us. :sick:
  • I hope that they get with the program on the interior finishes. Geez Louise, everything is very hard plastic and looks and feels really cheap. I have owned a 2011 and 2013 Legacy 3.6R and love the handling and driving of the car, however when compared to any of the competition the interior is like an eastern block car from the 80's.

    I tried a Fusion Titanium yesterday, that car should be the benchmark for fit and finish, feels like a poor man's A4.

    Although the new Forester and now Impreza look and feel better, they are still far behind the mainstream brands as far as fit and finish. With VW and Ford making strong pushes with their brands and with Ford offering 4WD sedan technology and VW talking about it, Subaru is not the only manufacturer in this wheelhouse.

    Make an effort on the interior of the new Legacy guys, no split screens (on top of the dash and on the centre console), better sod materials, etc. Otherwise I may have to shop other brands.
  • vrmvrm Posts: 303
    I saw the Motor Trend article with spy shots posted on the web.

    There is some speculation that the 2015 model may NOT be a complete redesign. It may be cosmetic (headlights, bumper, tail lights etc).

    I hope I am wrong and it is a complete redesign.
  • ushy66ushy66 Posts: 197
    edited December 2013
    2015 Outback: Mild enhancements vs complete make-over? We should know pretty soon since the 2015 Outback 'Prototype' is suppose to be revealed next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan 13-14th, and then hit dealer showrooms Q2-Q3/2014.

    Jake
  • Some critics are saying that Subaru is seeing increased market share because of it's customer loyalty to the brand. I don't have the survey results but I would think that it is because they have been building cars that are more refined and pleasing to the eye.

    I believe that their improved status and sales will be compromised if they don't get better with interior finishes. For example; split screens on the impreza and forester, mechanical parts showing on the sunroof tracks and cheap looking finishes. I really hope that they pay attention to these details, it is not the look of the car or the performance, I don't think anyone questions that. They even have solved the under powered issues of old, now please pay attention to providing a cabin that buyers want to spend time in.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    edited December 2013
    building cars that are more refined and pleasing to the eye.

    Well, they are more refined (plus have much better passenger compartment space, which I think has made the biggest difference on sales), but pleasing to the eye? Um, okay. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that. Subaru is a fan, I think, of hitting the mark once, then straying again. :P

    Car shoppers have recognized for a while now that Subaru represents a strong value. Two things that pushed them away were the cramped cabin and poor fuel economy (compared to similarly sized vehicles of the non-AWD sort). The cabin issue was resolved with the introduction of the 08 Impreza (and even moreso with the 12), 09 Forester, 10 Outback/Legacy. And, they are clearly making strong strides on the FE concerns.

    While I'm not overly opposed to touchy-feely interior upgrades, you cannot expect that without it affecting the bottom line. I'd rather have the bottom line held lower and leave all that luxury stuff to the luxury brands.
  • LED headlights in place of the dated DTR lights!

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692

    I would love it if they would offer a manual in higher trims, or else a geared automatic at the very least. Had an Outback loaner for a couple of days, the CVT was really unpleasant. If the 6-cylinder can have a geared automatic, why not the 4-cylinder?

    I'm sure though that there won't be a 6-cylinder with the new model. Hopefully the optional engine will be the 2.0 turbo from the Forester. That powertrain in the Forester, even though it is a CVT, has modes you can choose that are designed to perform as though they were a geared automatic, which might be an acceptable substitute.

    And I know it is unheard of in a Subaru, but how about having a factory stereo that doesn't sound terrible? And a panoramic moonroof like the Forester has. Oh, and keyless access and start standard on all trims. What the heck, it's a wish list right?! ;)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683

    Had an Outback loaner for a couple of days, the CVT was really unpleasant. If the 6-cylinder can have a geared automatic, why not the 4-cylinder?

    That ancient automatic with harsh low speed downshifts? I presume it will be retired. There is no problem with the new CVT in my 2014 Forester XT. The 2 liter turbo/CVT combination is both faster and smoother than my six cylinder/5 speed Outback of a few years ago.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    edited January 9

    @saedave said: Had an Outback loaner for a couple of days, the CVT was really unpleasant. If the 6-cylinder can have a geared automatic, why not the 4-cylinder?

    That ancient automatic with harsh low speed downshifts? I presume it will be retired. There is no problem with the new CVT in my 2014 Forester XT. The 2 liter turbo/CVT combination is both faster and smoother than my six cylinder/5 speed Outback of a few years ago.

    Too bad there can't be a second option to the CVT.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,674
    edited January 9

    @saedave said: "Had an Outback loaner for a couple of days, the CVT was really unpleasant. If the 6-cylinder can have a geared automatic, why not the 4-cylinder?

    That ancient automatic with harsh low speed downshifts? I presume it will be retired. There is no problem with the new CVT in my 2014 Forester XT. The 2 liter turbo/CVT combination is both faster and smoother than my six cylinder/5 speed Outback of a few years ago."

    >

    My experiences with Subaru CVTs—and I've driven a number of them—have been very positive. No complaints at all.

    Bob

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508

    @rsholland said: My experiences with Subaru CVTs—and I've driven a number of them—have been very positive. No complaints at all.

    I have to agree with that. While it certainly feels different than a traditional torque-converter automatic (e.g., the "slushbox" auto w/ gears), it is also an extremely smooth transmission. I drove a Legacy with it equipped, as well as riding in another (with 7 people in it... long story!), and these cars are decently peppy as well.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,674
    edited January 11

    Exactly. Feeling different does not necessarily translate into feeling bad. I find the Subaru CVTs to be very smooth, and I really like the CVT in the Forester XT.

    The new 2015 WRX's optional CVT has been given high praise by the automotive press. Yeah, there are some non-believers, but overall it's been given a solid "thumbs up," especially in Sport # mode. It's closely related to the Forester XT's CVT. One difference is in the Forester XT, the SI-Drive defaults to the Intelligent mode when you start the car. On the WRX it defaults to the Sport mode, which accounts as to why the WRX CVT gets a lower EPA mileage rating.

    Bob

  • imaginaryimaginary Posts: 60
    edited January 12

    @rsholland said: Exactly. Feeling different does not necessarily translate into feeling bad. I find the Subaru CVTs to be very smooth, and I really like the CVT in the Forester XT.

    The new 2015 WRX's optional CVT has been given high praise by the automotive press. Yeah, there are some non-believers, but overall it's been given a solid "thumbs up," especially in Sport # mode. It's closely related to the Forester XT's CVT. One difference is in the Forester XT, the SI-Drive defaults to the Intelligent mode when you start the car. On the WRX it defaults to the Sport mode, which accounts as to why the WRX CVT gets a lower EPA mileage rating.

    Bob

    Those "non-believers" are stubborn and ignorant enthusiasts who also refuse to believe the GT-R's DCT will always do a better job than any driver as far as perfect shifting given the performance and engine of the GT-R. They also want to completely ignore the fact that the WRX will come with a manual because they've got their panties in a bunch since the WRX has an almost on-par automatic transmission to the manual.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,161

    Well... I've driven a GT-R. I guess if you track your cars, you might care about how much quicker the shifts are.. But, for a street car? After about 5 minutes, I quit using the paddle shifters and just put it in automatic. I had a lot more fun driving a Vette Z06.

    I like a manual transmission, even if it means I'm slower, stubborn and/or ignorant. ;-)

    MODERATOR
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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508

    @kyfdx

    Same here. I definitely prefer manual. That said though, I'm not going to give other transmission types a bad rap just because they aren't the transmission I prefer. I consider them for what they are. When it comes time to buy, though... if it doesn't have a manual, it's not on the list. :p

  • pennypaupennypau Posts: 3

    Get rid of those awful headrests and replace with what they have in the new Forester. Powerlift gate, bigger moonroof, and make it more fun to drive. My issue...the Forester has everything I want, but the Outback has everything I need, so I am holding out and hoping...Also, fix the oil problem that a number of owners are reporting. Having to add oil to your car every month should not be considered regular maintenance.

  • pennypaupennypau Posts: 3

    and make the interior plastic softer to the feel.

  • pennypaupennypau Posts: 3

    get rid of saddlebrown (ugly) and the tacky "wood" trim.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508

    @pennypau said: get rid of saddlebrown (ugly) and the tacky "wood" trim.

    On the special appearance package, you mean? That's really a "halo" package, meaning nearly all of these cars don't have that package and there's no reason to get it unless you want to get it. That said, the "plood" on these cars has always looked tacky (yes, get rid of it!). The saddle brown is gorgeous. Make those things available on something other than the Outback, or maybe with a manual transmission!

  • gjksn963gjksn963 Posts: 5

    Seats that both heat AND cool.

  • imaginaryimaginary Posts: 60
    edited January 20

    @kyfdx@Edmunds said: Well... I've driven a GT-R. I guess if you track your cars, you might care about how much quicker the shifts are.. But, for a street car? After about 5 minutes, I quit using the paddle shifters and just put it in automatic. I had a lot more fun driving a Vette Z06.

    I like a manual transmission, even if it means I'm slower, stubborn and/or ignorant. ;-)

    Driving a GT-R and owning a GT-R are two different things. That's kind of the point of an "automatic"; if you had to use the paddle shifters 24/7 outside of the track, why would it be an automatic then? You get on the paddle shifters because you want to control the transmission at that moment, on the track or on the streets.

    If someone bought a GT-R only to use the paddle shifters at all times instead of letting the DCT do what it does best, you're one of a kind.

    On the streets are you really trying to shift your way through the gears in a GT-R instead of letting the transmission do what an automatic does? I mean, if you're the kind of person who steps into a GT-R (from a car enthusiast/review/news/whatever website) only to shift using the paddle shifters on the streets of all places, what were you expecting when driving a ~$100k performance car on the streets?

    You're not the same kind of person that finds absolute joy in rowing through gears 24/7/365 in stop and go traffic, are you? Because I can understand having "more fun driving a Vette Z06" but not in stop and go traffic. That's kind of an insult to the history of Corvettes.

    We have Outbacks and WRX with trims that offer a CVT transmission for that kind of stop and go traffic. And EyeSight nonetheless. ;D

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