Consumer Reports Loves Eyesight on the 2015 Subaru Outback – Ruge’s Subaru

3 Nov

Like the vast majority of car buyers, we’re impatient. We like to buy cars for the Consumer Reports test fleet right off the dealer’s lot. But sometimes to get what we want, we have to order a car and wait for it to be built and delivered. That was the case for our long-awaited 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, because we wanted one option: EyeSight.

Subaru’s suite of electronic safety aids includes a lot of capability. Forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and automatic braking to avoid low-speed collisions are just part of the skill set. EyeSight can warn when it senses that you’re nodding off based on steering patterns. It can even tell you to go if the car ahead of you at a light drives off and you’re still sitting there texting.

Why the wait for a car with this potentially life-saving gear? Chalk some of it up to the typical availability issues that come along with introducing a redesigned car. Subaru’s system of regional dealer allocation also probably played a role in our Outback playing hard to get.

Read our road test on the 2014 Subaru Crosstek XV Hybrid—the Outback’s fuel-efficient little brother.

When we picked up our Outback last week, our high-volume Subaru dealership—redundant terms in New England—said that EyeSight cars were still basically customer order only. A quick look at other dealers reveals a bit more inventory, but EyeSight availability still falls well short of the 30 percent of Premium and Limited trim level cars that Subaru expects. We think supplies will clear up as time ticks on, and other regions might have more availability. But for now, if you want EyeSight, be prepared to shop around for a dealer who can get one. And be ready to wait.

There’s a nice side effect to ordering the car: You can skip all of Subaru’s typical port-installed options, stuff like mud guards and extra interior mats, that can add hundreds to the price. Despite those savings, our new Outback 3.6R Limited’s $36,835 sticker price doesn’t seem cheap, but you get a lot of equipment here for that dough. It also compares well to our last top-grade Outback, a 2006 3.0R VDC that stickered for $36,538.

Needless to say, the intervening nine years brought a lot of progress, not to mention a lot more interior space. Thanks to the added power, our 2015 six-cylinder Outback feels particularly smooth and effortless to drive. Fully loaded, the only missing feature seems to be a heated steering wheel. Subaru doesn’t offer one, but it seems like a no-brainer for a car that dominates winter climates.

As the leaves fall here in Connecticut, we’re quickly racking up miles on our new Outback. We’ll also publish our test of the four-cy


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