Like many of us gays, I’m a bit of a contrarian by nature: if everyone is wearing slacks, I want to wear jeans; if everyone is going scruffy, I kinda like being smooth. And alas, while most people prefer to drive sedans and SUVs, I am all about stylish wagons. I prefer low-slung, sporty wags, but I’ll take a wagon in any form I can find it, and the latest new wagon to hit the market is the all-new 2015 Subaru Outback.
Basically a jacked up Legacy in wagon form with body cladding and high ground clearance, the Outback offers crossover-grade off-road capability, yet a very smooth highway ride. The interior is huge and comfortable, if rather devoid of style, and I’d prefer an infotainment system that uses some form of buttons in place of this car’s wide, flat touch-screen. But at the Limited trim level, it has tons of niceties and feels bright and airy. And since the Outback is based on a long, wide car, and not a tall, stubby SUV, the cargo area is wide and deep and gets even more vast when the second-row seats are folded.
Despite being endowed with the more powerful of the Outback’s two available engines, the Outback is not terribly fun to drive, thanks to numb steering and an aloof powertrain. But then, the Outback isn’t supposed to be fun to drive — the Jetta Sportwagen or Volvo V60 wagon would be better choices for driver-types — it is supposed to be versatile and spacious, with a modicum of off-road capability. And it is all of that. And the fact that it’s not a clunky SUV or a boring sedan makes it even better.
2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
Base Price: $33,845
Price as Tested: $36,040
Power: 3.6-liter 6-cylinder (256 hp, 247 lb-ft of torque)
Transmission: continuously variable automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 20/27
Or you could buy:
VW Jetta SportWagen
Renowned automotive journalist and gay car geek Steve Siler has turned his life-long love of cars into a fruitful and enthusiastic career traveling the world to test thousands of new vehicles as they are introduced. Siler is s regular contributor to Car and Driver Magazine, Edmunds.com,AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos and Yahoo! Autos, and also pioneered automotive writing for the LGBT community more than a decade ago.