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Following a complete redesign last year, the 2016 Subaru Outback returns with only a few changes. Among them, the windshield wipers now feature an auto on/off mode. Subaru's Starlink infotainment system has added capabilities like crash notification and stolen vehicle recovery assistance. Finally, the EyeSight safety system adds Lane Keep Assist, which activates above 40 mph, detects lane departure and seeks to correct it.
The 2016 Subaru Outback comes in four different configurations, 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The 2.5i models are powered by a 4-cylinder "boxer" engine that makes 175 horsepower, while the 3.6R Limited is powered by a 6-cylinder boxer making 256 horsepower, providing plenty of extra power for those who need it. Across the entire range, power is sent to all four wheels via an ultra-efficient continuously variable transmission. Rather than having set gears like a traditional manual or automatic, a continuously variable transmissions (CVT) is able to infinitely vary the gear ratio, leaving the Outback in a perfect position for maximizing power and efficiency. With the 2.5i, owners can expect to get around 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
The base 2.5i comes nicely equipped with 17-inch wheels, paddle shifters, a rearview camera, an off-road mode dubbed "x-mode," an active grille shutter to help improve fuel economy, a 6.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input and USB jacks, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth streaming.
2.5i Premium models offer significantly more amenities, including a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, heated front seats and heated mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 7-inch touchscreen, incorporating SMS text messaging capabilities and a vehicle information display. The stereo is also improved for the Premium trim, it is a 6-speaker unit with satellite radio functionality.
Limited trim includes a 12-speaker, 576-watt Harman/Kardon sound system, leather seating surfaces, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, integrated turn signals in the mirrors, wood accents around the interior and a power rear lift gate.
Optional extras include a moonroof, a navigation system and keyless access with push-button start.
Safety features across the Outback line include a rollover sensor for the side curtain airbags as well as front seat cushion airbags designed to keep occupants secure in the event of an accident. Additionally, Subaru's Starlink infotainment system includes crash notification and stolen vehicle recovery assistance, adding an extra layer of security to the car.