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8.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Subaru Outback Review

Subaru fully redesigned the Outback for the 2015 model year. It strikes a great balance between on-road comfort, everyday practicality, and all-weather traction.

Pros & Cons

  • Extraordinary cargo space
  • Large rear seats
  • Outstanding all-weather traction
  • Underpowered four-cylinder engine 

2015 Subaru Outback Overview

Is the 2015 Subaru Outback a Good Used Car?

There's a lot to like about the 2015 Subaru Outback. It delivers good value for your money with a lot of space, standard all-wheel drive, and a number of impressive safety features. When it was new, we named it our 2015 Best Wagon for the Money and 2015 Best Wagon for Families.

Used 2015 Subaru Outback Performance and Interior

The 2015 Subaru Outback comes with a 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a smooth-shifting continuously variable automatic transmission. A 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine is available. The base engine has sufficient acceleration around town, as well as good highway cruising power. However, it can struggle on hills. The six-cylinder has more muscle and feels less taxed when filled with cargo and passengers.

The base Outback gets 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is good for a wagon. The six-cylinder gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway, which is average.

All-wheel drive is standard in the 2015 Outback and provides excellent traction over a variety of surfaces. The wagon has nimble handling and takes corners with confidence.  

Read more about Outback performance »

The 2015 Subaru Outback seats five on standard cloth upholstery with standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Available features include heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

The Outback’s interior features high-quality, soft-touch materials. It has comfortable front seats and reclining rear seats that provide plenty of leg- and headroom – even for tall passengers. The rear seats have two sets of lower anchors and three upper tether anchors for securing child safety seats.

Standard features include a 6.2-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and smartphone integration. Available features include a premium sound system, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, a moonroof, and voice recognition.

Both touch screens are user-friendly, thanks to simple menus and an intuitive design. They also respond to gestures like scrolling and swiping. However, they can be prone to excessive glare due to their location on the dashboard.

The Outback has some of the largest cargo space in its class: 35.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 73.3 with them folded. A height-adjustable, automatic power liftgate is available.

Read more about Outback interior »

Used 2015 Subaru Outback Prices

The average price of a 2015 Outback ranges from about $20,630 for a base 2.5i trim to about $27,370 for a top-of-the-line 3.6R Limited trim. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition and mileage, and they can shift with demand. 

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if the 2015 Subaru Outback is right for you, we analyzed 22 consumer-focused reviews and data like safety scores and reliability ratings in this overview.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we utilize our combined 75-plus years of automotive industry experience to help you become a well-informed car shopper. To keep our reviews impartial, we refuse gifts and trips from automakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Subaru Outback?

J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2015 Outback a 3.5 out of five for predicted reliability. This is a slightly above-average score.

Read more about Outback reliability »

How Safe Is the Outback?

The 2015 Outback received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest score of Good in all crashworthiness categories and was named an IIHS 2015 Top Safety Pick+. It received an overall safety score of five out of five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

A rearview camera comes standard. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the EyeSight Driver Assist system, which detects cars and objects and automatically applies the brakes if necessary. 

See Outback safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Outback?

The 2015 Outback is part of the model's fifth generation, which launched with the 2015 model and includes the 2017 model. The Outback saw several changes for the 2016 model year, including the addition of Starlink Safety and Security and lane keep assist. If those features are important to you, then you'll want to look at 2016 models.

Compare the 2015 and 2016 Outback »

Which Used Subaru Outback Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Subaru Outback comes in four trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited. For the best value, go with the 2.5i Premium model. This trim is well appointed with heated front seats, smartphone integration, a 7-inch touch screen, and voice recognition. Available features include a power liftgate, a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, and the EyeSight Driver Assist system. 

For more peace of mind, consider a certified pre-owned vehicle. For its CPO vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

2015 Subaru Outback and Other Vehicles to Consider

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

The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV, but it doesn't beat the Outback by much in cargo space. It has less space behind the rear seats (34.4 cubic feet) and just a bit more room overall (74.7 cubic feet). It has similarly comfortable front and rear seats, good fuel economy, and a peppy turbocharged engine. However, the Outback has stronger acceleration. The Forester has a higher ground clearance, but the Outback is better suited for off-roading (its suspension soaks up uneven terrain better). Additionally, the Outback comes with more standard features, including smartphone integration. It’s the better vehicle to buy.

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

The Legacy – another Subaru – is a midsize car. It comes with a choice of two engines. The six-cylinder has more muscle than the standard four-cylinder, but neither will blow you away. Much like the Outback, the Legacy has good cornering abilities. However, it lacks the Outback’s off-roading capabilities and cargo space, with only 15 cubic feet of room. Both vehicles come standard with similar features, including smartphone integration and a 6.2-inch touch screen. For the best combination of performance, space, and features, go with the Outback.

Which Is Better: 2015 Subaru Outback or 2015 Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV with similar cargo space to the Outback, but smaller rear seats. The RAV4 also has mediocre cabin materials compared to the Outback’s top-notch interior. The RAV4 offers only one engine, whereas the Outback offers a more powerful turbocharged engine. Additionally, the RAV4's engine has slow acceleration from a stop. Both vehicles come with similar features, including a touch-screen infotainment system, smartphone integration, and a rearview camera. However, the Outback's smartphone integration is easier to use and includes hands-free text messaging. Overall, the Outback is the way to go.

Compare the Outback, Forester, and Legacy »

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