New York Auto Show: Refreshed 2018 Subaru Outback Takes Premium Approach

April 09, 2017 by Ryan ZumMallen, @Zoomy575M

The Subaru Outback has become a runaway sales hit thanks to its off-road prowess and impressive utility. For 2018, the wagon is looking to move upscale.

Subaru has equipped the revised 2018 Outback with upgrades that it says will provide a smoother, quieter ride. The company also focused on enhanced comfort and luxury with new interior materials and design accents. Several standard safety features have been upgraded or introduced as new equipment.

The 2018 Subaru Outback is slated to debut at the New York International Auto Show this week.

New front and rear design give the 2018 Outback an updated aggressive look, along with standard LED daytime running lights.

Inside, Subaru outfitted the 2018 Outback with retuned suspension, steering and brakes for an improved ride and driving dynamics. Adjustments to the transmission and engine timing are designed to reduce noise, while new sound-insulating glass for the front side windows intend to keep the cabin quiet.

New details include stitching on the dashboard for the Premium trim. Stitching is added to the seats and door panels in the Limited and Touring models, as well.

The standard Starlink Multimedia system grows in size from 6.2 inches to 6.5 inches. A new 8.0-inch system is available as well with a central touchscreen. Audio streaming and smartphone integration are standard on all Starlink systems. New apps have been added to the 2018 Outback, including eBird – which helps outdoorsy drivers locate bird sighting locations.

Subaru updated its standard rearview camera to include guidance lines that move as the car steers. Steering Responsive Headlight, which turns with the car, is available for the first time on an Outback. Also new: the tire pressure monitoring system displays data for each individual tire; the Blind Spot Detection/Rear Cross Traffic Alert indicator is larger; and the child seat LATCH anchors have been improved.

The engines in the 2018 Subaru Outback remain unchanged. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder makes 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet.

The Outback is Subaru’s best-selling vehicle. Outback sales rose 14.2 percent through the first three months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, according to Autodata Corp., an industry research firm.

Subaru sales rose 11.3 percent in March, and have grown by 9 percent through the first three months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.

Subaru did not announce pricing for the 2018 Outback. The wagon will go on sale this summer.

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