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Subaru Outback a Big Winner on the Inside
The Subaru Outback has a long history as a rugged performer, and today it’s even more capable than ever before. The mid-size crossover still boasts the latest full-time four-wheel-drive technology that Subaru has to offer, and now, thanks to a complete redesign for 2010, the Outback also features a new, more robust chassis, shorter front and rear overhangs, and ground clearance that’s been upped to 8.7 inches.
Just as significantly, while the Subaru remains one tough customer in terms of capabilities, the toughest thing about the new Outback’s interior is finding one that’s better. Certainly the auto experts at Ward’s couldn’t do it; they honored the 2010 Outback for having the Auto Interior of the Year in the “Popular-priced car under $29,999″ category.
The inside story on the Outback’s interior comes from David Sullivan, car line manager for Subaru of America, who said: “During the design process, we spoke with numerous customers about what they wanted in a vehicle and we used their feedback to develop a car that is not only comfortable, but also includes interior features such as an electronic parking brake to open up console space and 60/40 reclining rear seatbacks.”
Another key to winning this award is the vehicle’s new dimensions. The ‘10 Outback is a bit shorter than the previous model, but it’s also wider and offers a longer wheelbase, which improves interior volume by nearly 7 percent. All occupants benefit from revised seating as well. The fronts were redesigned to provide more room for rear-seat passengers, including 4 more inches of legroom, but without sacrificing front-row comfort. There’s more available cargo room, too.
And speaking of comfort, the Outback now offers an expansive list of up-scale interior options, including new steering-wheel-mounted controls, split fold-down rear seats, 10-way power driver’s seat, ambient light accents, power moonroof, 440-watt Harman/Kardon sound system, voice-activated GPS system with 8-inch LCD display, and rearview backup camera.
Designers also enhanced the safety of the Outback’s interior, with new front seat frames that better protect occupants from potential whiplash injuries in case of a rear-end collision, and improved, more comfortable active front head restraints. There’s a full complement of airbags, too, with the front system specifically designed to deploy with optimum force based on passengers’ weights and the driver’s distance from the steering wheel.
With changes like these, it’s no wonder Outback sales are up a stellar 126 percent through the first three months of 2010.
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