Subaru Outback 2.5 XT Wagon

>> Thursday, January 1, 2009

 A preppy soccer mom wearing steel-toed boots and work gloves. That's the look copped by most wagon-based crossovers. And while grafting raised white letter tires and frightening quantities of ribbed cladding to the family transporter hardly qualifies today's genre-benders for MOMA's parking lot (let alone their exhibition hall), virtually every manufacturer in the segment uses the recipe. Unsurprisingly, all of Subaru's previous efforts became ensnared in the very clich├ęd design trap that they helped originate. Until now…

The athletic contours of Subaru's attractive Legacy are a welcome departure from the norm. Its tapering greenhouse, sloping backlight and interesting harp-shaped taillamps are inherently attractive. Fortunately, the team at Subaru charged with transforming the Legacy's basic form into an Outback didn't violate that trust. Yes, there's still lower cladding and a vestigial spear of door-ding armor, but both have been smoothly baked into the vehicle's form (available in body-color on certain hues). So even if the 2005 Outback it isn't a picture of modern maternal magnetism, it's still a second-look MILF. The design works particularly well up front, where eagle-eyed headlamps no longer appear malnourished (in comparison to the bumper's elephantine fogs). Handsome, broad-spoke alloys draped in 17" mud-and-snow rated Bridgestone Potenzas mark out their territory convincingly. A wisp of roof rack topside completes the picture.


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