When I got the new 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, I expected it to be a nice well rounded car with off road intentions, but what I got was quite astonishing.

Let’s start out with on road manners:  The new Outback drives really smoothly and handles road imperfections with no problem.  The CVT transmission provides for smooth driving, though off the line it’s a bit undramatic.  The interior is really nice and has high quality materials and a very good infotainment system.  In fact, the Subaru “Starlink” in this vehicle has the absolute best smartphone and Pandora integration I’ve used bar none.  The cargo space is exceptional,  and the Outback doesn’t feel top-heavy like many SUVs.  I’m pretty sure this is a lifted station wagon with off road intentions rather than an SUV, but any way you categorize it, the car is great.

Now I was driving the Subaru and wondered “How is this off road?”  A few miles later, I was in the familiar mud and dirt trail in Southwest Miami-Dade county that I use to test the off road abilities of the press cars.  After a few minutes, I was absolutely blown away.  This Subaru Outback is the most off-road capable car I’ve ever driven.  It bested some new off-road package pick-up trucks in ride comfort and even ground clearance off road.  Even the traction control is a help rather than a burden when the road ends. How on earth did they manage to do this?  After some romps in puddles and pits and painting the car with mud, I drove back onto the street and the Subaru was back to being the comfortable, roomy, family car I started with earlier in the week, aside from the new mud graphics of course.

After being so totally blown away by the Outback’s off road manners, I get it.  This is the perfect vehicle for those who want to be able to go anywhere and do anything (within reason), while still having the comfort and utility that Subaru has always been known for.  Though I’m in Miami, I can only imagine how good this car would be in horrible winter weather.  The Outback is a vehicle that can really do anything asked of it.  Whatever you call it, SUV, crossover, wagon, just don’t call it a poser.  This Subaru is the real deal.