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2017 Forester XT, 2015 3.6R Ltd (sold)
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Looks like they've got Gen IV space with Gen III looks.

This will be a homerun and might just get me off my seat and too a dealership.
+1, Gen III was the best looking OB by far. They'll have a hit on their hands if they can get back to that styling while keeping everything else about the Gen IV that drew in so many new Subaru buyers over the last five years.

At the same time, they now have an opportunity to pick up the long-term Subaru loyalists who they lost with the Gen IV. These are the people who still want a modest-sized, premium Subaru wagon that handles well and has a lot of utility, but for whom the Forester is too ponderous and basic and the Outback is too big and soft. For them, I say bring on an Outback-ized version of the Levorg and call it the Outback Sport.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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1,148 Posts
arthur,

#1: You are putting way more emphasis on towing capacity than the average consumer. Agreed, CUV's suck at towing when compared to trucks or truck-based SUV's. Most of the CUV target audience (which is the much larger group) doesn't need to tow. Maybe a bike rack or something, but that's about it.

#2: Most Americans cannot, or do not want to, buy a separate specialized vehicle for each task.

You said you use SUV's for work and towing. Minivans for hauling people. Wagons for commuting. Well, good for you. All of those are better at those tasks than a CUV (though you should probably have a compact sedan for the commute). But let me ask you something. Take away the towing requirement. Now, you can have only 1 car, that has to do ALL of the rest of your tasks. That's the average American family requirement. And that's where CUV's come into their own.

They are inherently a compromise. The best at nothing, but decent at everything (except towing). Sounds an awful lot like Subaru, because, well, you could argue that Subaru's were pioneers in creating CUV's. The OB was among the original CUV's in purpose, if not styling.

Compared to minivans, CUV's offer far better handling and slightly better fuel economy. Bring in EU minivans, and like you said, you're down to the same size. You've created a CUV. You now have a choice between a 3rd row or some storage space.

Compared to cars they offer more storage space at the slight expense of fuel economy. Compared to trucks they offer far better handling and a LOT better fuel economy.

And it's a mistake to lump the modern OB (or Forester) with other CUV's. Agreed it takes styling cues from them and I don't really like that. My biggest pet peeve is the shrinking windows as you go back. But as far as capability, it's closer to your Jeep Cherokees, in terms of clearance and off-road capability. The Jeeps are a little more in the off-road orientation, and mpg and handling on road suffer. But the Outback is still a good deal more capable off-pavement than Rav4's and CRV's.

If you take the half way compromise between Jeep Grand Cherokee and CRV, you will see an Outback/Forester. And it's the perfect fit for some. The Jeep is better for others. And the CRV is better for others. Different people need different things. If the OB doesn't fit you, don't buy it. Subaru will continue to try to appeal to larger audiences to boost sales numbers.

My family might be a little different from most since we live near each other and will swap vehicles as needed. It is easy for me to trade my Taurus for my moms Town and Country for longer trips, or borrow the E-150 for when I need to tow a lot. Compact sedan give no where near their epa mpg when commuting for 30 miles at over 70mph. The only ones that return good hwy mpgs are the VW TDIs but the electrical system is horrible. My 00 Taurus with 225k is still getting averaging 27mpg with 4 people in the car pool. My dad's Camry hybrid, only 30 mpg and he drives slower then me.

CUVs are no where near as off road capable as the old Cherokee. 6" lift + 35"(?) combined with air lockers, meant that thing could climb almost anything. The OB or Forester is great for service roads and such.

I agree the OB is a great compromise car. I disagree with the styling. That is why they are lumped in with all of the other CUVs.

I guess CUV buys want to avoid the soccer mom image that comes with wagons or minivans. But go to any kids games at the park and look what is in the parking lot.

+1, Gen III was the best looking OB by far. They'll have a hit on their hands if they can get back to that styling while keeping everything else about the Gen IV that drew in so many new Subaru buyers over the last five years.

At the same time, they now have an opportunity to pick up the long-term Subaru loyalists who they lost with the Gen IV. These are the people who still want a modest-sized, premium Subaru wagon that handles well and has a lot of utility, but for whom the Forester is too ponderous and basic and the Outback is too big and soft. For them, I say bring on an Outback-ized version of the Levorg and call it the Outback Sport.

+1 Gen3 looks with Gen4 size
 

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14' OB 2.5i Premium, CGM
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87 Posts
I honestly don't know how I feel about it if that is legit. Need a better side profile but from this angle it's not really doing much for me.
Good find though!
 

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2015 Silver Outback, 2.5 Premium
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70 Posts
interesting

That looks like it for real from what I can tell. Can't wait to see more views.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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I'd call it a big improvement. It still has the rear side windows stolen from the CRV, and there is still the possibility that the USA version will have that enormous roof rack and chunk-a-dunk side cladding, but I like it so far.
 

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14' OB 2.5i Premium, CGM
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So I'm not sure where you sourced this David as a reverse Google image search only shows this to be the only existing copy on the web but if Subaru Global is releasing images in newspaper and publications in Japan then I expect SOA to be pushing out official images early like they did with the Legacy. Should see something in the next few days.
 

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2010 outback. base 2.5
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1,970 Posts
The from bumper/fog lights do not look like the teaser that is out, also I think the rear window will wrap into the c-pillar like gen3. I keep thinking Tribeca when I see this particular photo
 

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14' OB 2.5i Premium, CGM
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JDM vehicles tend to have a slightly different design to the bumper cover and fascia/cladding. It's completely possible that this is legit. Based on the spy photos that everyone has seen I can't agree with the rear window. C pillar looks pretty well defined but I could be wrong.
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i Premium
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34 Posts
So I'm not sure where you sourced this David as a reverse Google image search only shows this to be the only existing copy on the web but if Subaru Global is releasing images in newspaper and publications in Japan then I expect SOA to be pushing out official images early like they did with the Legacy. Should see something in the next few days.
I found the image on Instagram while looking at pics tagged with #subaruoutback.

Thanks to Kabochi for providing the translation. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I actually liked the rendering.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5L Auto Weather Package
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That rear window and the tail light are straight up Gen. 4. This is probably an old shot of the Gen. 4, with some of the known Gen. 5 details badly chopped onto it. The proportions look all wrong, much chunkier than what we already know the Legacy to look like. This shot already shows cladding with no notches, so that's someone being pretty assumptive of old cues carrying forward. The fogs look like they ripped them right off of a Pontiac. The late Gen 4. fogs massaged onto what we know of the new front end would've been a bit more convincing to me.
 

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it's that squared off backend that makes me go 'eh' … and my lord does there really need to be so much plastic cladding … if that's what they think American buyers want what does that say about us ? or maybe about them ?? clean(er) fluid lines for Europe & Asia and bulky nonsense for N. America …

but hey … as awdavid kinda said … a good looking car is subjective i.e. to each their own … I can respect that
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i Premium
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it's that squared off backend that makes me go 'eh' … and my lord does there really need to be so much plastic cladding … if that's what they think American buyers want what does that say about us ? or maybe about them ?? clean(er) fluid lines for Europe & Asia and bulky nonsense for N. America …

but hey … as awdavid kinda said … a good looking car is subjective i.e. to each their own … I can respect that
Well to be honest, I was never fully on board with some of the aesthetic choices Subaru made with the US version of the 4th gen OB. I prefer the ROW versions (less cladding, nicer front bumper for 10-12), but I'm a sucker for Subaru wagons, and am waiting patiently on the sidelines to decide between the 4th and upcoming 5th gen.
 

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14' OB 2.5i Premium, CGM
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This shot already shows cladding with no notches, so that's someone being pretty assumptive of old cues carrying forward. The fogs look like they ripped them right off of a Pontiac. The late Gen 4. fogs massaged onto what we know of the new front end would've been a bit more convincing to me.
Sorry but notches are still there, just skewed with a lower profile.


Fog size is also being carried over from the outgoing Gen 4.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited - waiting on 2020 Onyx XT
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871 Posts
Eh, debating looks is interesting and all. But in the end all that doesn't go real far for me in determining what to buy.

I really want to know about engines and drive-train options.
 

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2010 outback. base 2.5
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Eh, debating looks is interesting and all. But in the end all that doesn't go real far for me in determining what to buy.

I really want to know about engines and drive-train options.
Same as the 15 Legacy- A slightly revised 2.5 and the 3.6 both with a CVT
 

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2011 OB 2.5 Premium w/6 spd CVT
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426 Posts
I'd call it a big improvement. It still has the rear side windows stolen from the CRV, and there is still the possibility that the USA version will have that enormous roof rack and chunk-a-dunk side cladding, but I like it so far.
Whats in the picture? Same US cladding and Roof rack!! Cant see it?
 
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