Benefiting from all of the mid-lifecycle enhancements found in its 2013 Legacy sedan cousin while adding a few unique touches of its own, the 2013 Subaru Outback also makes its debut in New York. Like the updated Legacy, this five-passenger crossover wagon gets a bolder look, a new and more fuel-efficient base four-cylinder engine, improved dynamic qualities and a more attractive standard/optional feature set that includes the availability of Subaru's new EyeSight driver assist system.

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Key visual changes to the 2013 Subaru Outback are confined to the nose, where a more angular fascia and revised grille treatment are set off by new headlamp/foglamp designs. Underhood, the four-cylinder Outback 2.5i also has Subaru's new 2.5-liter "FB-series" Boxer engine that makes 173 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque and delivers that latter commodity over a broader rev range, whether backed by the six-speed manual transmission that's standard in the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium or the new second-generation Lineartronic continuously variable automatic (CVT) that's standard on the 2.5i Premium and optional on the two lesser Outback variants. Paired with the new Lineartronic, the FB engine is projected to net 24/30/26-mpg city/highway/combined EPA numbers compared to the current Outback 2.5i's 22/29/24-mpg stats. The 256-horse/3.6-liter flat-six and five-speed electronically controlled automatic in the 2013 Subaru Outback 3.6R/3.6R Limited models carry over unchanged. All versions of the 2013 Outback will continue to be fitted with one of three different engine/transmission-specific versions of the automaker's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

A comprehensive chassis revamp was in order here as well, and like the Legacy, the 2013 Outback delivers a smoother, quieter ride with better control and greater agility. Additional attention to the rear suspension hardware and tuning also quickens response and yields a 40-percent decrease in body roll. The antilock disc brakes also are fitted with a new Brake Override system for 2013.

Inside, the cabin of the 2013 Outback adds appeal with more comfortable seat fabrics and new matte wood-grain trim as well as the same audio upgrades found in the Legacy while the standard foldable roof rails now feature even greater adjustability. Outback Limited models also get a new electro-luminescent gauge cluster and rear air conditioning outlets. In addition to a long list of model-specific standards and options/packages, the entire 2013 Outback line will be available the new Subaru EyeSight driver assist setup that we previously profiled in detail. This relatively low-cost but highly effective system integrates information from a pair of forward-looking cameras mounted behind the Legacy's windshield with the Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning systems to help enhance overall safety.

The 2013 Subaru Outback will be appearing in dealerships sometime this summer. Pricing will be released closer to the official on-sale date.


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