All-new in 2005, the Subaru Outback enters 2006 with a few changes. The naturally-aspirated 2.5i uses Subaru’s i-Active Valve Lift System and now meets Low Emission Vehicle (LEV2) standards. The 2.5i also receives 17”x7” aluminum alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza all-season tires; new interior accents are titanium and woodgrain (with a taupe interior only); and the climate control system now has air filtration.
The 3.0R VDC Limited now comes standard with a navigation package, which adds a GPS DVD-based navigation system with touch-screen display, a multi-function colour touch-screen display, and a monitor system of trip computer, calculator, maintenance data and fuel economy.
Based on the Legacy wagon, the Outback has a higher ground clearance and trim differences, along with a third engine choice: in addition
to the 2.5-litre and 2.5-litre turbo in the Legacy, the Outback also offers a 3.0-litre, horizontally-opposed “boxer” six-cylinder engine. It offers the same horsepower as the turbo, but it’s quieter and more refined than the forced-air powerplant.
The Outback is offered in five lines: the naturally-aspirated 2.5i and 2.5i Limited, the turbo 2.5XT, and the 3.0R and 3.0R VDC, named for its Vehicle Dynamics Control. All models feature symmetrical all-wheel-drive with a limited-slip rear differential.
The entry-level 2.5i features four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake distribution, five-speed manual transmission, CD player with six speakers, air conditioning, dual exhaust, roof rack system with lockable crossbars, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, fog lights, cruise control, power windows, power locks with cruise control, heated seats, heated power mirrors, 60/40 folding rear seat, cargo tray, cargo cover, eight-way power driver’s seat and cloth upholstery.
The 2.5i Limited comes with a four-speed automatic and adds leather interior, six-CD system, dual-zone climate control, and power sunroof.
The turbocharged 2.5XT comes with a heavy-duty five-speed manual gearbox; along with the features found on the 2.5i, the 2.5XT adds eather interior, functional hood scoop, sport seats, dual-zone climate control, six-CD system, integrated LED turn-signal mirrors, electroluminescent sport gauges, power sunroof, four-way power passenger seat, and MOMO steering wheel that includes gear selectors when the car is ordered with an optional sport-mode five-speed automatic.
The 3.0R also comes with the features found on the 2.5i, and adds the five-speed automatic, six-CD stereo, integrated LED turn-signal mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control and cloth interior.
The 3.0R VDC adds Vehicle Dynamics Control with traction control, along with leather interior, twin power sunroof, six-CD/MP3 stereo, Homelink system, four-way power passenger seat, and leather-wrapped, mahogany-trimmed MOMO steering wheel with audio controls.
Subaru is in a premium market with the Outback, offering smooth and powerful engines with upscale interiors. Handling is extremely responsive, acceleration on the six-cylinder is powerful and immediate, and its brakes bring it down from speed quickly and accurately. It isn’t meant for off-roading, but it’ll get you to the cottage or the country club equally well, and in style either way.
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