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Driving Notes

2015 Subaru Outback CUV

The redesigned 2015 Outback offers updated body styling, excellent handling, and standard safety features.

September 24, 2014, by Stephane Babcock - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Crocodile Dundee. It was first thought that came to mind when I heard a 2015 Subaru Outback was heading to the Bobit offices. For some, this won't make any sense, but for others, you'll remember the actor formally known as Paul Hogan jumping into the front seat of a late '90s Outback and taking it into, well, the outback.

While I stayed on the main roads of Southern California, I could see how this remodeled compact SUV could do well in rougher terrain. The look of the new (fifth generation) Outback is a steer away from the past wagon-like look of the vehicle. It has more modern lines and a matching interior, which was welcoming to my tired backside (yes, it is possible to get sore sitting in front of a computer screen all day).

The first venture onto the freeway was its own adventure, and the Outback did a great job quickly maneuvering between lanes and around the common collisions I see every day. It had enough punch to keep up during those brief patches of smooth sailing on the San Diego (405) Freeway, and enough braking power to react to the times when that quickly changed.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

But, the true test came in the form of my nine-year-old, who is always the first to pass judgment on any new vehicle I bring home. She stopped at first when she ran out of the front door, titling her head to the vehicle, asking what I was driving.

After explaining the concept of a compact SUV, she jumped in and looked at what buttons were available to press and asked if there were any cool, new features that she had yet to experience. While giving her a tour of the exterior, I pressed the trunk button on the car's remote, and we were both surprised to see it slowly — and safely — open. This was the icing on the cake for her, and she instantly jumped in the trunk and asked me to close it so she could see it work from the interior.

The new few days, I put the Outback through its paces and found it to be more than adaptable to the different road environments Southern California has to offer, even the potholes along many of the streets of L.A., which I could barely feel.

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