The 2014 Subaru Outback is an excellent vehicle for a young couple with a growing family. It’s a two-row crossover vehicle (or station wagon) with a roomy mid-size interior, crisp handling and off-road capable with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. It also is easy to maneuver and offers some pretty amazing safety technology.
In fact, the 2014 Outback earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and picked up the new Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the latest IIHS Front Crash Prevention tests, Outback equipped with the available EyeSight system earned the highest possible score of six points and was one of just seven models (of 74 tested) to receive the highest possible “Superior” rating given to vehicles that have an auto-braking system (such as Subaru EyeSight) and can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in both tests.
Subaru EyeSight uses innovative stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. Below 19 mph, EyeSight detects pedestrians or objects in the path and activates to help avoid a collision and even bring the car to a complete stop. Above 19 mph, EyeSight can apply the brakes when an object is detected and will attempt to brake if the driver takes no evasive action.
The Lane Departure and Sway Warning feature can detect if the car begins to wander outside the lane without a turn signal being used or if the car begins to sway within the travel lane.
EyeSight’s Adaptive Cruise Control system can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking or accelerating the car as needed to maintain the selected speed and following distance. Adaptive Cruise Control is operational up to 87 mph and can fully brake the vehicle to a stop if the system “locks on” a vehicle ahead. It also helps maintain the distance from the vehicle ahead in heavy stopand- go freeway traffic.
Outback is available in two models — 2.5i and 3.6R. The 2.5i is offered in three trim levels — Base, Premium and Limited — while the 3.6R comes only in the Limited trim for 2014. The base 2.5i has a long list of standard features, including steering wheel cruise control and audio switches; Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capability; a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with a recline feature; electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System and an automatic headlight function.
Under the hood, Outback 2.5i models continue with the double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter FB series Boxer engine that debuted in 2013. The 3.6R Limited continues with a 256-hp 3.6-liter sixcylinder Boxer engine mated to a fivespeed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
The MSRP on the 2014 Subaru Outback ranges from $23,495 to $32,095.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.