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2015 Subaru Outback Review

The 2015 Subaru Outback ranks near the top of the wagon class. The Outback has an expansive cargo area, comfortable seating, refined handling, and great safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy seating and cargo space
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Great safety scores and features
  • Mediocre fuel economy

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Subaru Outback's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Wagons category. It was the winner of our 2015 Best Wagon for the Money award and the winner of our 2015 Best Wagon for Families award. Currently the Subaru Outback has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 26 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Subaru Outback Overview

Is the 2015 Subaru Outback a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 Outback is a good option if you’re shopping for a used wagon. The Outback impresses with its roomy seats, cavernous cargo space, and engaging ride – even on rough pavement. It has many active safety features and comes standard with all-wheel drive.

One of the Outback’s few drawbacks is fuel economy, which trails many of its competitors. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, consider the more efficient 2015 Toyota Prius v.

Compare the Outback and Prius v »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 26 Subaru Outback reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2015 Subaru Outback?

Based on listings for the 2015 Subaru Outback on our site, the average price is $21,300. Prices range from $16,500 to $26,700 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Subaru Outback Cost to Own?

The Outback’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $22,400, or $4,480 per year. That’s below average for the wagon class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Outback?

The well-equipped 2019 Outback starts at $26,345 and comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a suite of safety features collectively called EyeSight. You can find many of the same EyeSight features in a 2015 Outback, and those older models will likely cost less. That said, you’ll need to opt for the newer model if you want the latest infotainment features, like smartphone compatibility. Newer models also come with a lengthier warranty.

Read about the new Outback »

If your budget is limited to that of an average-priced 2015 Outback but you want a new wagon, you're out of luck. However, if you’re willing to consider a hatchback, try the 2019 Kia Soul. It offers a bit less cargo space than the Outback, but it starts at a very affordable $16,490. The 2019 Subaru Impreza hatchback starts at $19,095 and, like the Outback, it comes standard with all-wheel drive.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the Subaru Outback Is Best?

Subaru redesigned the Outback for 2015 and has made few changes to subsequent models. This means you can save money shopping for a 2015 or 2016 Outback while finding features and performance that are comparable to newer models. Opt for a 2018-or-newer Outback if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability.

The previous-generation Outback (2010 to 2014) is also worth consideration. These models offer similarly roomy cabins, comfy rides, and comparable all-weather grip, and they often cost far less. However, they fall short of the newer models in terms of interior quality, fuel economy, and available tech and safety features.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Outback »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Subaru Outback?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 Outback a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about Outback reliability »

2015 Subaru Outback Recalls

At the time of writing, there are five recalls for the 2015 Subaru Outback.

The first recall deals with a possible loss of steering ability, which may increase the risk of a crash. The second involves poor performance of the electronic stability control system in some models, which could result in a loss of vehicle control. The third involves transmission oil that could leak onto the exhaust pipe, potentially resulting in a fire. The fourth deals with the collision mitigation braking system, which may not react to an obstacle in the vehicle’s path, increasing the risk of a crash. Finally, the trailer hitch assembly may not be torqued correctly in some models, which could lead to the trailer detaching from the vehicle.

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Subaru Outback safety recalls »

Which Used Subaru Outback Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Subaru Outback is available in four trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited. The base model Outback 2.5i comes with a 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It’s well-equipped with a 6.2-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, four speakers, a USB port, cloth upholstery, and remote keyless entry.

Opt for the 2.5i Premium trim if you want a few extra creature comforts. It adds heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, fog lights, and alloy wheels.

The luxe 2.5i Limited trim gains leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.

The Outback 3.6R Limited trim includes a brawny 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine. Available features include navigation, a moonroof, and the EyeSight safety package.

See 2015 Subaru Outback trims and specs »

What Does Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Subaru offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. Subaru provides no additional coverage for CPO vehicles, so buyers receive the remainder of the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty. However, buyers can purchase additional coverage. Every CPO Subaru must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like owner loyalty discounts, a one-year Starlink Safety Plus trial subscription, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Subaru’s CPO program isn’t particularly robust. Among affordable automakers, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and many others have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Outback?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Outback a 2015 Top Safety Pick+, the organization's highest award. The wagon received a top rating of Good in five tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Outback an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It received five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover evaluation.

The Outback comes standard with a rearview camera. Available features include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. The EyeSight safety package adds lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a pre-collision system that includes forward collision warning and automatic brake assist.

See Outback safety scores »

2015 Subaru Outback Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Subaru Outback or 2015 Honda CR-V?

The 2015 Honda CR-V and Subaru Outback are both fine options. These vehicles offer similar seating and cargo space, average reliability ratings, and lots of advanced safety features. The Outback tops the CR-V in towing capacity, but the Honda yields slightly better fuel economy, and older models typically cost a bit less. Test-drive both to see which you prefer.

Which Is Better: 2015 Subaru Outback or 2015 Subaru Forester?

The 2015 Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that’s another good option. Both vehicles boast all-wheel drive, the same EyeSight safety features, comparable fuel economy, and more than 70 cubic feet of cargo space. The Forester has a higher driving position, and older models often cost less. The Outback offers a much larger towing capacity though. Choosing between these two may come down to body-style preference, budget, and need.

Compare the Outback, CR-V, and Forester »

2015 Outback Performance

How Does the 2015 Subaru Outback Drive?

The 2015 Outback has two available engines: a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder. A continuously variable automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

The four-cylinder engine has adequate power for most driving situations. It scoots the Outback around town and keeps pace on the highway. However, it feels sluggish when climbing long hills or hauling a full load of cargo. The six-cylinder engine has a gutsier feel, and it remains quiet under hard acceleration.

Both transmissions earn praise for their responsiveness and smooth operation. Shift paddles are standard in all models. These allow the driver to change gears manually.

One of the Outback’s best qualities is its refined handling. The Subaru has quick steering, minimal body lean in turns, and a forgiving ride on rough pavement. It’s capable off road as well. The Outback has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and a high-tech traction control system (X-Mode) that allows the wagon to scamper along trails, push through snow drifts, and descend hills without losing grip. It’s not as off-road ready as SUV rivals like the 2015 Jeep Renegade and 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, but its abilities are significant nonetheless.

Does the 2015 Subaru Outback Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Outback 2.5i gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. That’s decent fuel economy for a wagon. The 3.6R model is much less efficient though. It returns just 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

2015 Subaru Outback Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Outback 3.6R can tow up to 3,000 pounds. Outback 2.5i models are rated to tow up to 2,700 pounds.

Read more about Outback performance »

2015 Outback Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Outback Seat?

The Subaru Outback is a four-door wagon with five seats. The front seats are well-cushioned, and they provide excellent comfort, even on long road trips. The rear seats are similarly cozy, and there’s generous head-, hip-, and legroom for adults in both rows. Cloth seats are standard, and heated and leather seats are available.

The Outback’s cabin remains fairly quiet at highway speeds, and its large windshield offers good forward visibility. The interior styling is a bit plain, but most of the materials look and feel high-quality, such as the soft-touch plastics on the dashboard.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Subaru Outback?

The Outback has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use because some of the anchors are too deep in the seat cushions, are difficult to maneuver around, and can be confused with other hardware.

2015 Subaru Outback Features

The Outback comes standard with a 6.2-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a rearview camera. Available features include a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a Harman Kardon stereo.

Subaru’s Starlink touch screen is user-friendly, and it responds promptly to inputs. But because of its placement on the dashboard, it can be hard to see in direct sunlight. Additional audio and climate controls are located to the side and beneath the screen. They’re simple to use as well.

See 2015 Subaru Outback specs »

Read more about Outback interior »

2015 Subaru Outback Dimensions

Subaru Outback Cargo Space

This wagon has 35.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and an airy 73.3 cubic feet with these seats folded.

2015 Outback Length and Weight

The 2015 Outback is 15.8 feet long. It has a curb weight between 3,593 and 3,810 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Subaru Outback Built?

Subaru built the 2015 Outback in Indiana.

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