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2005 Subaru Outback Mid-Size Sport Wagon

New Car Review of the 2005 Subaru Outback Mid-Size Sport Wagon

Description: Mid-Size Sport Wagon
Base MSRP Range: $24,295 - $33,495
Invoice Price Range: $22,409 - $30,754
Where built: USA

Subaru developed the first crossover sport wagon with Outback, which works like a sporty high-hiked station wagon or dropped-down SUV. This five-door wagon uses the platform of the Legacy sedan but rides higher due to the elevated suspension.

For 2005, Outback grows up. Its structure expands to forge a larger vehicle with more room for riders. Mechanical hardware upgrades to create a responsive ride quality and there are high-tech electronic controls for steering and brakes.

And Outback has three choices for powertrains, each pumping more power. Base engine is a single-cam 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer producing 168-hp with 5-speed manual transmission. It fits in Outback 2.5i and up-level 2.5i Limited. A turbo-charged boxer four-pack worth 250-hp goes to two souped-up Outbacks, 2.5 XT and 2.5 XT Limited, each with an air a scoop on the hood. Top trims -- Outback 3.0 R L. L. Bean and flagship Outback 3.0 R VDC Limited -- tote Subaru's boxer 6-cylinder unit that makes 250-hp through a 5-speed SportShift automatic.

With the VDC Limited, variable torque distribution (VTD) applies to the AWD system with a stability controller under Subaru's label of Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC).