Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 Subaru Outback Review

The 2008 Subaru Outback is a re-tooled concept of the Subaru Legacy that will perform well in minimal off-road conditions. Don't expect to scale mountains, but you'll do great on family camping excursions and the like. Technically termed an SUV, the Outback is picking up "crossover" characteristics. The Outback carries an MSRP range from $21,995 to $31,495.

The four-door Outback has room for five and is available in seven trims including a 3.0 R L.L. Bean Edition. Here's a big change, howeer, no Outback sedans for 2008 -- wagons only. The base engine is a 2.5-liter H4 producing 170 horsepower. Expect to get about 19 miles per gallon around town and 26 out on the road. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual with overdrive (option for a four-speed automatic with overdrive.)Go all the way to the top-of-the-line L.L. Bean edition and you pick up a 3-liter H6 pumping out 245 horsepower. (Seventeen mpg city and 24 highway.)

For 2008, the Outback has a slightly larger grill, headlights and fog lights with the same higher stance typical of the breed. Reviewers are calling the look "mainstream" or "conservative" and there is a higher degree of design refinement evident in the 2008 over its predecessors. Inside you'll find electroluminescent gauges now standard in the 6-cylinders, a new unit that integrates both ignition and keyless entry, and a telescoping steering wheel. Opt for a premium package and you'll move up to features like cruise control, separate Si Drive controls, and a multi-information display panel.

Although it's tempting to take one look at the 2008 Subaru Outback and think "station wagon," there's nothing suburban or frumpy about this vehicle. It's well built, smooth handling, and carries an impressive list of feature options. Add a comprehensive array of airbags including side-impact and curtain bags and you have an elegant family SUV with respectable power and a high safety standard.

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